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This is the Ninety-Fourth page of John BLANKENBAKER's series of Short Notes on GERMANNA History, which were originally posted to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Discussion List.  Each page contains 25 Notes.

(See bottom of this page for Links to all Notes pages.)
This Page Contains Notes 2326 through 2350.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 94

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Nr. 2326:

In the Northern Kraichgau, there were six market towns where there was a higher degree of freedom for the inhabitants.  The citizens were either craftsmen or farmers who farmed the surrounding fields.  Not all of the farmers actually owned land; many of them were laborers who worked for others.  Physically, the towns and villages tended to be circular in shape and a wall would surround the village or town for protection.  Very often a part of the wall which survives unto today is the watch tower where the entry gate was located.

Schwaigern was one of the market towns.  At the center was the residence of the knight (von Neipperg) and the (Lutheran) Church.  The town hall was close by and the cellar, where wine was made, was located on the center square also.  The residential area was closely packed as the walls defined the area available and growth in the population forced the citizens to live close together.  Nearly all of the residents lived in this central area.

The villages themselves were not far apart.  From the watchtower one could see the adjacent villages.  From Schwaigern, Gemmingen lay about three away, Massenbach about two, and Schluchtern was similar.  Even the market towns were not far apart.  From Schwaigern to Sinsheim was fourteen miles, from Schwaigern to Eppingen was seven miles.  It was possible for the inhabitants of the smaller villages to walk to a market town, do their trading, and return home the same day.

The close proximity of the villages meant that the land available for farming was very limited.  The median size of the parish was only slightly more than two thousand acres.  This was just a little more than three square miles or an area that was less than two miles by two miles.  If homes were located in the villages and the village was centered in the parish, than the farmers had about a mile to walk to the fields.  During the Eighteenth Century, the population continued to grow in the rebirth after the wars of the Seventeenth Century.  The land available for each resident declined steadily.

By the second decade of the Eighteenth Century, say in the 1710's, arguments were developing between the villages about where the villages' boundaries were.  A border dispute between Bonfeld and Kirchhausen began in 1717 and continued for decades.  Though there had been formal, legal descriptions of the boundaries, many of these were lost during the wars of the Seventeenth Century.  At first, with the reduced population, the exact boundaries were not important, but the growth of the population created many minor crises.  Land was in short supply and contributed to the desire to emigrate.
(20 Jun 06)



Nr. 2327:

Within the general background of demographic recovery, aristocratic encroachments, the rebuilding of village structures (requiring labor and taxes), and developing community cohesiveness, the crucial factors that led to so many people from the Northern Kraichgau to emigrate were the same as for all of southwestern Germany.

There was an increasing scarcity of land, overpopulation, and extreme land splitting resulting from the division of a man’s estate among all of his descendants.  It just simply became hard to make a living, and especially to have something left over for the improvement of living conditions.

The burdens imposed by the rulers were very heavy.  Even as late as 1776 in Virginia, when the members of the German Lutheran church petitioned to be exempt from supporting the Anglican church, they wrote,

“To the Honorable, the President and Delegates of the Convention of the Common Wealth of Virginia The Petition of the German Congregation of the County of Culpeper Showeth 22 October, 1776 That our Fathers who lived under an Arbitray Prince in Germany, and ....”

The only point that we fault them in this statement is the use of the word “prince” instead of “princes”.  And few of the rulers in Germany ranked as high as “prince”.

Some farmers in Germany were well off.  Hans Horch owned 71 separate pieces of land which amounted to about 26 acres in total.  Christof Neu was more typical; he owned less than 15 acres of land, which he divided among his six children.  Again, this land was scattered throughout the parish.

Even though there were good reasons to emigrate, few were going to America even as William Penn advertised his Colony along the Rhine River.  He personally visited there, and he had agents who were trying to sell land in Pennsylvania under terms which seemed impossible to the Germans.  It was not until a few brave souls did go and wrote home to Germany what conditions were like in America (especially in Pennsylvania) that potential emigrants believed it might be true and possible to do.

One of these first groups who came from the Northern Kraichgau were the Mennonites, a group of which Hans Herr was a member.  Many others were going to New York, but their experiences were not so favorable.
(21 Jun 06)



Nr. 2328:

Living in difficult, crowded conditions in their small parishes, where relationships to the authorities were often tense and difficult, they (Germans in general, but especially the Kraichgau residents) read the promotional literature on Pennsylvania and the letters of previous emigrants from their villages and chose to seek a better fortune there.  At first, the emigrants knew little of the difference between New York, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, or other of the English Colonies but the letters from America were strongly in favor of Pennsylvania and so that became the Colony of choice for emigration.

A few people from the Northern Kraichgau had emigrated in 1709, but some of these ended up in New York under unfavorable circumstances.  That same year, a small group of Mennonites from the Northern Kraichgau also emigrated, but to Pennsylvania.  They liked it and immediately began to recruit their fellow religionists in the Kraichgau.  There was a social interchange between the Mennonites and the Lutherans (or Reformed and Catholic) and so the word spread to the non-Mennonites.  The farm where Hans Herr, a 1709 Mennonite emigrant, had been living appears to have joined the Wagonbach farm where George Utz and the Volcks were living.  In fact, the 1717 emigration of the Germanna colonists from southwest Germany, so late in the year, was motivated at least in part, I believe, by the departure of Mennonites earlier in that year.

A relatively small number of Germans preceded the vast majority who emigrated during the third phase from 1717 to 1775.

The northern Kraichgauers and all Germans tended to emigrate with other family members and villagers on the same ship and in the same year.  In this period of time, there were 305 emigrants from Schwaigern.  Only 2% of these traveled alone.  87% of the Schwaigern emigrants were traveling with the same surname and the same ship.  Just looking at the same year, 97% of the Schwaigern emigrants traveled with fellow villages.  (I believe these numbers are based on those having permission to leave; those who left quietly were not counted.)

This is why so many genealogy researchers say study the lists.  Any list from that time that is preserved would be worth studying including the land records.  In America, study the communities because once the Germans arrived here they tended to live together.  If the village of origin for an immigrant cannot be found, see if the associates of the person can be found.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that all Germans went to church.  We find missing surnames in Germany, often in the villages of known people, but we cannot find the missing people in the church records.  A case in point is my Ludwig Fischer who is even a sponsor once but otherwise leaves no record (that I can find).
(22 Jun 06)



Nr. 2329:

[This is being sent early as I am going tomorrow to Richmond for the Palatines to America Conference.]

The following material, a note on the history of Schwaigern, has its origins in three pages by Pastor Waldbaur in 1905.  Earl and Leona Willhoite brought this back from Germany and Fred Westcott translated it.

Various forms of the city name in the records include Sueigera, Sueigeren, Suegeren, Swegern, Swaigern.  The oldest document is a record of donation to the Monastery Lorsch in 765.  It is to be assumed that a church building followed soon after 765.

The church itself (the city church) is mentioned for the first time in a document of Wimpfen from 1295.  The introduction of the Reformation in Schwaigern probably took place between 1520 and 30.  In 1531 the Counselor of Heilbronn requests from Wolf von Neipperg a trained preacher.  Thereafter B. Wurtzelmann was called to Schwaigern as the first evangelical [Protestant] pastor.

The 30 Years War [1618 to 1648].  The year 1625 lists 222 deaths.  The high mortality number is connected with the march of Georg Friedrich of Baden Durlach, who started out from here on the 25th of April with 15-20,000 men, with 20 marksmen and 1,800 pack wagons, in order to follow Tilly.  He was beaten on the 26th of April at Obereisesheim.  The year 1635 numbers 691 dead.  Among them are indeed 186 foreigners.  Over 500 deaths occur in the time between May and August.  In the month of September and half of October no other deaths are registered, so it is assumed that the inhabitants of Schwaigern had left the town.  In the years 1634 to 37, 1,005 persons died.  In 1636-37 one finds the notation four times that a person died on the field or on the way to Heilbronn.  The vigor of the population is evident in the number of marriages subsequently.  After 1625 there were 30, at other times 15.  After 1635 there were 45 (otherwise an average of 12).  Mostly widowers married widows.

Reformed, Catholics from France and the Salzburg areas were immigrants to the area during the 1600s.  In 1674-79, 1689-97, 1702-09, there was a billeting of troops, or troops marching through, with requisitioning, war contribution taxes, shootings.  Families died of hunger.  In 1713, Anna Maria Heinrich was burned as a witch.

Apparently in 1719, in any case before 1726, Reinhard von Neipperg, who had been elevated to the status of Count by the Emperor, converted to the Catholic religion.  In 1748 a Catholic castle chapel was built.  In 1755 the Count gave up all right to the naming of the [city church] pastor and transferred the choice to an expanded community representative body.

On the 22nd of Oct. 1811, 90 buildings were destroyed by fire.  On the 22nd/23rd of January and 5th/6th of February 1849, there were 18 main and 27 out-buildings burned down.  On the 23rd/24th of March 1892, fire destroyed a large section of the city.  On the 21st/22nd of May, 1905, an entire section of the city burned between the Schlosskirche [Castle Church] and the Markplatz along with the town hall, 13 residences, and 30 barns.  Only the city parsonage remained.  The community has also been plaqued by hail storms numerous times: in 1883, in 1897, and 1905.

(22 Jun 06)



Nr. 2330:

On the way to Richmond for the PalAm Conference, Eleanor and I stopped at the Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg.  I have a soft spot in my heart for this library.  When I was starting Beyond Germanna, a subscriber sent money for a subscription for them and they became the first library in a long list of libraries who received Beyond Germanna.

I was drawn to the abstracts of the deed books for Orange County to see what I might find about the lands of Alexander Spotswood where the Second Colony was first located in 1717/18.  I didn’t find anything new but a couple of early deeds caught my attention.

On 19 & 20 April 1736, John Trotter of York County, blacksmith, leased and released to David Christler of Orange County, labourer, for 20 pounds current money, 418 acres . . . on top of a hill . . . side of a mountain . . . side of a hill . . . taken up by James King of St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania County, and afterward sold to John Trotter.  Witnesses: J. Wood, W. Russell, Christopher Zimmerman, Leenhart Ziegler.  Signed Jno. Trotter (no wife mentioned).

In the Patent Abstracts by Nell Marion Nugent, there was a 418 acre patent to James King on the Island Run in the first fork of the Rappardan River, dated 8 July 1728.  So in the eight years following this it was sold to John Trotter and then to David Christler.  Probably the land had never been developed.

James King had another patent in the same general area which was described as adjacent to John Broyles and Michael Holt; however, the two King patents were not said to be adjacent though it would appear that they should not be far apart.  I have plotted the location of this last King patent in Beyond Germanna on page 597.

I was struck by the choice of Christopher Zimmerman and Leonhard Ziegler as witnesses.  The first of these definitely, and I also believe the second, lived in the Mt. Pony area which is a good twenty miles from the land from the land that Christler bought.  Why did David Christler get these two men?  Zimmerman and Ziegler did live closer to the Orange County Courthouse than most of the other Second Colony members.  Was this the reason, or was there a deeper reason that Zimmerman and Ziegler were chosen as witnesses?  Zimmermans and Zieglers were close with several marriages later but nothing unusual shows up in the Christler/Crisler family.

I take it that David Christler was also known as Theobald and Dewald and that he was the head of the Crisler family in Germanna.  He married Rosina Gaar who was born in 1713.  (There is a slight possibility that David Crisler and Rosina Gaar knew each in Pennsylvania.)
(26 Jun 06)



Nr. 2331:

In the Rappahannock Regional Library, I came across the following marriages in Orange County.  Normally, by the time that we expect to find marriage licenses, we do not look in the records of Orange County which is outside the Great Fork.

25 May 1790 (date of the bond):  Zachary Lee married Sarah Mankspoil, the daughter of Adam and Mary Mankspoil who consent.  The surety was Abner Watson.  A witness was James Taylor, Jr.

7 Nov 1785 (date of the bond):  Henry Long and Lucy Manspoile.  Surety was John Long.  A witness was Henry Winslow.

According to Germanna Record 6, Jacob Manspeil patented 400 acres of land in 1734 (on the north side of the Germans in the Robinson River Valley).  He was admitted to citizenship on 24 February 1742/43.  His eldest son may have been John, and his wife Ann, who deeded land to John Deer in Culpeper in 1752.  Jacob Manspiel still was the owner of the 400 acres in 1764.  Some of this land was deeded to John Broyle in 1764.  In this same year, Jacob Manspile gave land to William Adkins and Margaret his wife, and to James Shearer and Anna his wife.  This would indicate at least three children:  John, Margaret, and Anna.  The two women in the marriage licenses above might have been daughters of John who had moved to Orange County.

Another marriage is indicated in Deed Book 17 of Orange Co.  On 7 January 1778, John Gillock and Hannah Wolfengerger, both of St. Thomas’s Parish, were married.  Now Wolfengerger is not an Irish name.  Usually it is spelled Wolfenberger.  The Wolfenbergers are one of the under-recognized Germanna families.  Some of the others which are scattered throughout the pages of Beyond Germanna are the names of Germans such as Wolfenberger, Lehman, Leyerle, Gerhardt, Crecelius, Ernst, and Wrede, who are not generally recognized as Germanna citizens even though they lived, at least briefly, in the Germanna area.

Discussions with Wolfenberger descendants show that the family lived a few years in the Germanna area before moving on.

At the Conference last weekend, someone complained that they could not find where their ancestor was for a period of a few years.  I said that they should consider that the family might have been in transient, perhaps trying an area to see if they wanted to stay there or perhaps looking for a good land buy.  The Wolfenbergers may have been in this category.  The record above would suggest that they were living in the Orange County area.
(27 Jun 06)



Nr. 2332:

I return to the reasons that our ancestors had for leaving Germany.  To give the First Colony descendants their just dues, let’s look at some of the reasons that they had for leaving.  I owe the remarks here to the late Heinz Prinz, a native German.

In the early Eighteenth Century, Germany was not unified, but consisted of many small territories, some as small as a parish, but others were larger and even warranted being called a kingdom.  In contrast to Great Britain and France which were ruled by strong monarchs, Germany had no centralized government.  There was an elected emperor who sat in Vienna, the seat of his own personal domain.  But his power was limited.  The Thirty Years’ War, which originally pitted the Catholic and Protestant principalities against each other, had destroyed many areas in Germany fifty years earlier.  The hard living conditions created by this conflict were still to be seen in the Siegerland.  The people of Siegerland had also been involved in ending the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands.

In the late Seventeenth and early Eighteenth Centuries, the Siegerland belonged to the Nassau-Orange principality.  There were two princes, who were brothers, and one was Catholic and one was Protestant.  They had divided the Siegerland into two parts and were constantly struggling against one another.  Both princes used the town of Siegen as their capital, so they were brought into close contact with each other.

The Siegerland was one of the most advanced iron mining and processing regions in Germany.  While there were many other regions known for their iron and/or mining activities, the Siegerland had a good reputation.  Not all of the people who lived in this region were actively involved in the iron work.  Most of them spent the greater part of their working hours in agriculture including raising trees for the bark used in tanning and for some of the wood used in smelting and processing iron.  But the areas where the Protestant Prince ruled could not grow enough wood to meet their needs.  They depended on the charcoal which was produced in the eastern part of the realm, which was ruled by the Catholic Prince.  Also, several of the iron mines were in this region.

The Catholic Prince was William Hyazinth.  After the death of his cousin, William III of England, Hyazinth claimed he was the heir to the throne of England.  His endeavors to win support throughout Europe were expensive and a burden to his subjects.  He maintained a high standard of living at the Upper Castle in Siegen, which also taxed his subjects.  Taxes were being raised in the Protestant area also as Prince Adolf there was reconstructing the Lower Castle in Siegen which had been destroyed by fire in 1695.

This much of the history shows remarkable parallels to the story I have been telling in the Kraichgau.
(28 Jun 06)



Nr. 2333:

The Catholic Prince, Hyazinth, banned the delivery of charcoal to Protestant areas in the Siegerland, thus bringing the iron working there to a near halt due to the lack of this vital resource.  The wood that could be grown in the Protestant area was not sufficient.  In addition, Hyazinth tried to ban the sale of iron products.  The iron working segment was hit very hard and the families who were involved found themselves falling into a deep state of misery.

On December 6, 1706, the subjects of the district of Weidenau rebelled against Hyazinth while he was in Vienna trying to convince the German Emperor to officially recognize him as the heir to the principality of Orange in the southern part of France.  In March 1707, Prince William Hyazinth seized Friedrich Flender who was supposedly the leader of one of the rebellions of the miners and ironworkers in Weidenau.  Flender was taken to the Upper Castle, convicted without a trial, and beheaded.  His head was placed on a pole at the Upper Castle and pointed toward his home in Weidenau in order to intimidate Hyazinth’s opponents.

Josef I, the Holy Roman Emperor, intervened in this tumultuous state of affairs by turning over the administration of the Siegerland to the Archbishop of Cologne.  This placed Siegerland under the rule of the Jesuits and living conditions did not improve in the Protestant region.  On May 26, 1712, just one year before the emigration of the first Germanna Colonists, the situation became more violent when the imperial guards of the Upper Castle clashed with those of the Lower Castle during the Corpus Christi Procession.  Cannon fire was exchanged, which resulted in a large number of military, as well as civilian, casualties in Siegen.  The protestant Prince Adolf of Nassau-Siegen requested support from the King of Prussia and the Counts of Hesse shortly thereafter in the hope of restoring peace to the Siegerland.

In short, the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, the living conditions of the miners and iron workers in the Siegerland became worse and worse due to the political, economical, and religious circumstances there.  The reigning Princes demanded more and more taxes from their subjects.  Large sums of money were demanded from the Protestant areas for the reconstruction of the Lower Castle.  The Catholic Prince Hyazinth cut off the delivery of new materials to the protestant parts of the Siegerland, this bringing the iron industry in those areas to a standstill which resulting in under employment.

When Johann Justus Albrecht appeared about 1710/11 seeking miners to go to the British Colonies in North America, this represented a great employment opportunity.  Initially they were to mine silver but Spotswood eventually put them to work seeking iron ore.
(29 Jun 06)



Nr. 2334:

We might draw several parallels in the conditions in the Kraichgau and in Nassau-Siegen in the early Eighteenth Century.

War had had a very negative impact.  The Thirty Years’ War was the major war but the impact on the Kraichgau was more severe where there was a loss of life in villages from one-third to one-half.  (Some villages were essentially wiped out.)  Following this was a series of minor wars involving foreign powers, as France invaded late in the Seventeenth Century and the Nassau-Siegen people were involved in the Dutch liberation.

Taxes were escalating.  In Schwaigern, the von Neippergs built a new castle.  In Siegen, Prince Adolf restored the burned out Lower Castle.  These endeavors took money, more than the usual taxes were yielding.

There were appeals to higher authorities.  Even though they claimed independence, the rulers sometimes sought help.  In the Kraichgau, the people themselves were willing to address their complaints to higher courts.  The Knights of the Kraichgau were very sensitive to outside help and sought to minimize intervention by others.  Prince Hyazinth did not pay enough attention to the possible effects from outside help and the Emperor put the Bishops of Cologne in charge of Nassau-Siegen.  Prince Adolf appealed to Prussia and Hesse for support.  All of this activity showed the generally weak positions of the rulers.

Human rights were violated.  Flender was executed without a trial in Siegen, this in 1707.  A witch was burned in Schwaigern, in 1713.

Earlier migrations showed there was an alternative.  A large number of people left Nassau-Siegen in 1709.  Many of these had names which occur in the First Germanna Colony ancestry.  For example, Friedrich Haeger (Häger), son of Henry Hager (Häger), led the sixth party from Rotterdam to London.  Other names in this party included Hoffman, Fischbach, Lueck (Lück), Schneider, Orhendorf, Becker, and Heide.  While not as many left the Kraichgau in 1709, there was a small stream of people leaving up to 1717.

Religion was NOT a major factor (as many genealogy researchers have claimed).  Economics was much more important.  It was clearly recorded in the Gemmingen Church that the motivation was economic.  In the Kraichgau there was a rebuilding of the infrastructure, after the wars, involving immigration from other areas.  The land available to one family became scarcer.  In Nassau-Siegen, the economy was in the doldrums and the promise of jobs in America was a better hope.
(30 Jun 06)



Nr. 2335:

Recent notes have suggested some material for discussion.  In this Note, I would like to write about the Kaefers (Käfers) and others.

Early on in studying the Germanna colonies, I had been bothered by the marriage of Johann Nicolas Blanckenbuehler and Apollonia Kaefer.  These two people came from villages that were twelve miles apart.  That seemed like a long way for Nicolas to go to find a wife.  It did not rest well with me.  How did these two meet?  That would be equivalent to going 240 miles today (3 mph vs. 60 mph).

When Eleanor and I went to Gresten, Austria, what I believe to be the answer began to dawn on me.  But first, let me give what we observed about another family.

When one is on the hill where the Planckenbichl farm stands (the old home of the “Blankenbakers”) outside Gresten and looks down in the valley, one sees the Scheiblau farm about one-half mile away.  This immediately suggests that the Scheibles in Neuenbuerg, Germany, where the Blanckenbuehlers were living in 1717, were also from Austria.  The Scheibles left with the Blanckenbuehlers for America (the Scheibles are noted in St. Marys Lutheran Church in London).  Then in Virginia, George Scheible had his land patent in the midst of the “Blankenbaker” clan and their known relatives.  So I am absolutely convinced that the origin of the Germanna Scheible family was Gresten, Austria.  The connection between the two families is unknown at the present time.

While driving around Gresten, one can’t help but note that there are Kaefers living there.  Having observed that the emigration to locations along the Rhine River from Austria was more extensive than just the Blankenbakers, I began to think of the possibility that the Kaefers also emigrated from Austria and were probably, at least loosely, connected to the Blankenbakers and Scheibles.  This solved my initial problem of how Nicholas Blankenbaker met Apollonia Kaefer.  The families knew each other from Austria and were perhaps related.

The Kaefer name is not at all rare in Austria or Germany.  It means “bug”.  Some people tell me that it specifically might refer to “ladybugs”.  Two Kaefers came to Virginia.  Apollonia came as the wife of John Nicholas Blankenbaker.  Her brother, Michael, came as a bachelor and was probably loosely attached to his sister.  When Anna Maria Blankenbaker Thomas’ husband John died, Michael married her.  The children in these two families were double cousins.  The Kaefer name died out when Michael sired only five daughters.  I have wondered if the Cofer family who lived in the area was not a Kaefer but researchers tell me he had a different origin for his name.  I used to spell the name as Kaifer as it was not clear at first, but the correct spelling is Kaefer (Käfer).
(06 Jul 06)



Nr. 2336:

I present some more information about the Scheible family, 1717 Germanna immigrants.  They left Neuenbuerg with a significant number of other people in the summer of 1717.  The best source of information about them is to be found in the “Ortssippenbuch Oberoewisheim-Neuenbuerg”.  This information is more complete and correct than is found in Cerny and Zimmerman’s “Before Germanna”.

On the 13th of November 1692, Johann Georg Schaible, a weaver, married Maria Eleanora Ockert.  He was born 11 February 1670 and she was born at Kleingartach, 29 June 1670.  Five children were baptized at Oberoewisheim:

Anna Martha, b. 14 March 1697;
Anna Elisabetha, b. 17 September 1700;
Anna Maria, b. 18 March 1708, d. 4 April 1708;
Anna Maria, b. 15 June 1709, d. 12 July 1710;
Anna Maria, b. 24 July, 1711.

There are mentions of the parents in St. Mary’s (Lutheran) Church in London.

They appear on Alexander Spotswood’s Head Right List as Hans Jerich Chively, Maria Clora Chively, Anna Martha Chively, Anna Elizabetha Chively, and Anna Maria Chively.  Some of the names have been mangled slightly but there can be no doubt about the identity of the family.  All five members made it to Virginia.  In Virginia, we would expect no more children as the parents were 47 years old by then.

On 15 April 1737, George Shuble gave his 78 acres of land to his grandson George Holt.  George Holt’s mother was Elizabeth Scheible.

We have no information about the other two daughters, Martha and Mary, who would have been 20 and 6 years old when they came to Virginia.  We could surmise that they did not have any children as George Scheible left nothing for them when he gave his land away in 1737 when they would have been old enough to have had children.

The parents of George and Eleanor are given in the Ortssippenbuch.  His father was married a second time to Anna Catharina Rueckher (Rucker?).  In this marriage he was identified as a weaver, court official, and mace bearer.  Apparently, he was an honorable member of the community.
(07 Jul 06)



Nr. 2337:

Southwestern Pennsylvania was the destination of several members of the Germanna Colonies who moved there.  While studying the Thomases, where several members of the family moved to what became southwestern Pennsylvania (at first it was thought to be a part of Virginia), I found that some of the Hardins moved there also. The Hardins were connected to the Holtzclaws enough that B. C. Holtzclaw devoted a chapter to them in Germanna Record 5 (the “Big Red Book”).

As an aid, I drew the chart of the first three generations of the Holtzclaws (the one I just put up on the germanna.com web site).  It also fascinated me that the name Thomas occurs three times on this Holtzclaw chart.  I have always wondered if there was any connection between the first Thomas who married a Russell girl and died and between the later Thomas girls who married Holtzclaw sons.  I could not find any, but observed that the Hardin family and the Thomas family had people who moved to southwest Pennsylvania.

Who else moved there?  The Baumgardners moved there.  Some Hupps moved there.  Some members of the Johann Michael Schmidt, Jr., family moved there (his wife was Anna Magdalena Thomas).  Michael Crisler, son of David (Theobald) Crisler married Mary Ann DeBolt, a widow, who was born a Thomas.  When studying the names in SW PA, another early names was Teagarden.

Somewhat later, when I found the Oberoewisheim-Neuenbuerg Ortssippenbuch, I was taken back to see these names in the index:

Debelt/Debold/Debolt, Hepp, Thomas, (and of course, Blanckenbuehler and Scheible).

In the village of Eppingen, not too far away, these are some of the names:

Dewald/Dibold, Diebolt(d, dt), Hepp/Hopp/Hupe.

One gets the impression that many of the people who went to Pennsylvania had known each other in the Old Country.

As other communications here recently commented, many of these people remained in Pennsylvania, but many of them moved on to Kentucky.  The route that they took was down the Ohio River using flat boats which they built.  Abraham Thomas left a description of the journey.  Altogether, I have wondered how many of our people did go to Kentucky by the Ohio River.

I believe that Adam and John Smith did (their mother was Anna Magdalena Thomas).  Jacob Holtzclaw, son of the immigrant Jacob, married Susannah Thomas.  Jacob declared that he had raised a crop of corn in Kentucky by 1776, a story also reported by Adam Smith.  Adam’s daughter, Susannah, married Abraham Thomas whom we know was in PA.  Again, we have Holtzclaw and Thomas ties and a possible route through Pennsylvania.  Intriguing!
(10 Jul 06)



Nr. 2338:

A recent query asked about the Crites family.  It is a Germanna family which is strongly contending for a prize in the under-recognized Germanna families.  It is a nip and tuck race, though, as there several families who are well qualified in this World Cup of Under-Recognized Germanna Families.

The Crites family originates in the group of Freudenberg emigrants who left there in 1738.  The German names, as given by the pastor at Freudenberg, are Hymenaeus Creutz and his wife Elizabeth.  The name became something more like Haman Critz or Crites in America.  One thing that makes his identification in America very positive is his close association with John Frederick Miller, another Freudenberg emigrant, who name in Germany was Johann Friedrich Mueller.  The latter man had married Anna Maria Arnd.

The first record in Virginia for Haman Crites was in the spring of 1748.  (John) Frederick Miller entered for 400 acres on the North Fork of the Mayo River, in the present day Patrick-Henry County area (it was Lunenburg Co. then).  The next entry in Record Book 1 for this same area is for Haman Crites.

On 18 September 1753, “John Frederick Miller and Haman Critz came into [the Halifax] Court and took the usual Oaths to His Majesty’s Person and Government and repeated and subscribed the test in order to ? their Naturalization.”  Apparently, by doing so, the two men became the first two naturalized citizens of Halifax County.

A biographical sketch of the Critz family is given in the book, “History of Patrick and Henry Counties”, by Pedigo and Pedigo, 1938, where it is stated that Haman Critz settled on Spoon Creek in 1747.

Because Miller and Crites came on the ship Oliver, where the loss of life was about two of three persons, one must be careful in naming their wives.  In America they may not have been the persons we know in Germany.

There is another reference in Beyond Germanna to a Crites.  Mary Barbara Teter married the Rev. Jacob Henkel (both born in the early 1730's).  Their children include Elizabeth Henkel, born 1759, who married Jacob Crites/Creutz in 1775.  Since the first child of Harman Crites was born in 1738, this Jacob Crites might have been a younger son of Harman Crites (see Beyond Germanna, page 526).
(11 Jul 06)



Nr. 2339:

We returned home last night after four days and three nights for activities related to the Germanna Reunion.  The first of these was a Willheit gathering which toured several sites and ended up with a dinner and hay ride.  I will be writing some more about this, especially about the house at Scotchtown where Mr. Chiswell lived (also Patrick Henry).  Our most excellent leader was Johanna Wilhite Allyn.  This was on Thursday afternoon and evening.

On Friday, from nine in the morning to four in the afternoon, I led a tour of Madison County to which we added some observations about Fleshman’s Run, Stevensburg, Cross Key Tavern, three of the Mt. Pony sites of Germanna people (Amberger, Kabler, and Zimmerman).  In Madison County, after a brief stop at the Hebron Church for orientation, we drove by some of the prominent landmarks of the county, including White Oak Run, the Robinson River, and the original tracts of many of the German settlers who were the first settlers of the region.  We had to choose our routes very carefully as we were in a large bus with 45 people on it.  I would like to have visited more of the home sites but it just wasn’t practical in a large bus.  As Deputy Sheriff Steve Huffman, whom we saw, said, “Some of these roads were designed for a horse and wagon.”

After this tour, which went as far north as Criglerville, we returned to the Hebron Church where we had a short question and answer session.  At noon we had lunch in the social hall which was served by ladies of the church.  Then we adjoined to the church where I gave a longer talk, and tried to answer some questions, about the congregation and the church itself, which covered the period up to the departure of Rev. Carpenter.

Somewhere between two and three o’clock we were in the town of Madison itself where the tour members could walk along Main Street and see several buildings.  Two of the most popular sites, which were open, were the Madison County Library and the Courthouse.  In the latter place, Joan Tanner helped several people, at least to the extent of orienting them to the records.  At three thirty we had to leave to be back at the Germanna Visitor’s Center by four.

Then in the evening we had a Greet and Eat (barbeque) time at Salubria.  This is an opportunity to talk with other people who are attending the Reunion.  The conclusion of this, I was all too happy to fall into bed and sleep the rest of the weary.
(17 Jul 06)



Nr. 2340:

Besides the tour of Madison County, which included more than just that, there was a tour on Friday of Germantown, the Little Fork, and some Holtzclaw sites.  I believe that in the Little Fork, the home of Frederick Fishback was visited.  On the whole, this was an interesting tour with a lot of early history in it.  Originally, I was going to sign up for this tour but Thom Faircloth asked me to lead the Madison County Heritage tour.

The highlight of Saturday was the Seminar but I may be prejudiced in my opinions.  I emceed the Seminar, which was not very hard work, and I gave the first talk.  The title of my talk was “Susanna Klar (Clore)”.  While I tried to touch on all of her children, I concentrated on her daughter Elizabeth, who married Michael Yager.  This presentation had two objectives.  First, I wished to show that Michael Yager’s wife was Elizabeth Crigler, the daughter of Susanna Clore Crigler.  Second, I wished to show that indirect evidence can be a valid method of arriving at deductions.

Another talk was given by Dr. Katherine Brown on a review of “The First Fifty Years”.  This pertains to the Germanna Foundation which was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia on March 17 in 1956.  Dr. Brown reviewed also some of the work going back even a few decades that preceded the formation of the Foundation.  Not only were the beginnings reviewed but recent activities were reviewed, especially the trips to Germany that the Foundation sponsors.  Dr. Brown’s talk was mostly based on her recent publication, “The First Fifty Years”, which was issued by the Foundation as Germanna Record Seventeen.  Attendees at this 50th Reunion were given a free copy of this Record.

Thom Faircloth added some comments about the next fifty years.  The Trustees have felt that a revision to the organization would be appropriate and they prepared plans which, it is hoped, would allow the Foundation to expand in the numbers of its members and to engage in a wider range of activities without swamping the paid leadership of the Foundation in a zillion details.  At the same time, they adopted a conservative approach toward protecting the assets of the Foundation, which are, by now, very appreciable.

After lunch, Don Tharpe talked about Germantown and the history of the people who founded and lived at Germantown.  Don is not a Germanna descendant but his interest in Germantown is certainly not weakened by that fact.  This is not an unusual situation as the first President of the Foundation, Dr. Charles Herbert Huffman, was not a Germanna descendant either.  Much good work has been done concerning Germanna by people who were not descendants.
(18 Jul 06)



Nr. 2341:

[There was no Note yesterday as we had no electricity here, an event that has happened three times since last spring.]

On the Saturday of the Germanna Reunion, there were several events that caught my special attention.  First, someone had said there was another Blankenbaker man at the Seminar who looked something like me.  When I met Walter Blankenbaker, I had to agree there was some merit in the comment.  So I introduced Walter to the audience but I did not hear from the audience whether there was any truth in our resemblance.  Perhaps, of more interest to me, were the similarities in our history.  Walter and I were born in the same year (1929).  Both of us saw that best hope of attending college was to join the Navy where, for two years service, we would get four years of college.  So he joined at 17 and I joined at 16.  I had passed the Eddy test before I joined; he passed the test after he was in the Navy.  This guaranteed us entry into the schools to train electronics technicians.  We both went to primary school at Great Lakes and we went to secondary school at the Naval Research Laboratory near Washington, D.C.  He made Electronic Technician Second Class while I was only Third Class (due to a change in the policy of the Navy).  After the Navy, Dr. Walter pursued a career in medicine while I pursued a technical career, mostly in computers.  Walter does not have his genealogy back to the immigrants, but I would bet that he descends from Matthias Blanckenbuehler, one of the three immigrant brothers.

After the Seminar, many of us retired to the Pooles in the Lake of the Woods for a mini-Clore reunion.  (A few non-Clores joined us.)  This is always a relaxing time, renewing friendships and enjoying some of the great Walter Clore Private Reserve wine.  Then we retired to Salubria where the discussions continued.

One of the highlights of this event is the auction conducted by Germanna descendant Michael Oddenino.  He missed his calling; he should have been an auctioneer, not a lawyer (do a Google search on Oddenino to learn more about his legal career).  Michael is quick in his mind and very friendly with a banter that kept the crowd laughing.  There were many great items in the auction and some of them brought very good prices to the benefit of the Germanna Foundation.  I believe that a chocolate candy bar brought more than $25.00, but it was offered by a lovely visitor from Germany.  Several clothing items requiring modeling and Suzee Oberg showed them to great advantage while keeping up the gaiety of the evening.

And so ended another full day of excitement, education, and renewal of friendships.
(20 Jul 06)



Nr. 2342:

Last Sunday, the Germanna Reunion met in the Germanna Community College where we had met on Saturday.  There were several things that I considered noteworthy.  During the roll call of family names, there was a large contingent of Holts (who would also be Scheible descendants).  Usually, during this roll call, the only person who answers to “Holt” is Ora Seay; however, this time they may have had the most people who answered to any family name.  That is not easy considering the number of Hitts, Clores, and Willheits who usually attend.  Unfortunately, on Friday during the Heritage tour of Madison County, we could not visit the Holt land patents because the roads are not adequate for large busses.  We could have gone in several cars.  Several years ago, I did something similar with the Ambergers and it was a most enjoyable time, even for me where I am not an Amberger (and even though the roads were pools of melted tar).  The reason I am mentioning this is that now is the time to start planning your family reunion at the next Germanna Reunion.

Most people will remember the 2006 Germanna Reunion, not as the 50th anniversary of its founding, but as the time that Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Spotswood appeared together before the group.  It was not easy to have both at the same time and in the same discourse but, due to some startling discoveries, it was possible.  In the Eighteenth Century, they did not know each other but both were aware of several people who had lived in Virginia so they could compare some notes.  One had been a staunch advocate of the monarchy and the other had rebelled against it.  In their personalities, they were very different.  Spotswood looked on Jefferson as a windy philosopher, while Jefferson, with some disdain, looked on Spotswood as narrow-minded.

If you visit Williamsburg (today), you may be able to hear Jefferson which is a full time occupation for Bill Barker.  Spotswood’s enactment is performed by a man who also does other men as well.  Both of the men have performed together on several occasions.

The third item I would mention is the establishment of the Germanna Association.  This will take quite a bit of discussion so I won’t go into it very much in this note.  In the first fifty years of the Germanna Foundation, which remains, the membership at large was never given the vote.  With a need to enlist the membership in more activities related to Germanna, it was felt that a new organization could be very helpful.  Giving the membership some more say in the broader purposes would be helpful and the members could be useful to relieve the paid leadership of some of the details.  At the same time the Trustees wanted to adopt a very conservative approach to the assets of the Foundations to prevent their misuse.  The problem was how to give the members some say without allowing them to dissipate or destroy the assets of the Foundation.
(21 Jul 06)



Nr. 2343:

As a brief interruption to the discussion of the Germanna Foundation, let me add a bit on the Kaefer family which, in 1717, appears to be living in Zaberfeld.  They leave very few references in the church there.  One of these references does say that the family came from Ansbach in Bavaria.  When the emigrants left Gresten, Austria, about 1655 for Germany, many of them settled in Bavaria, especially around Dietenhofen.  Ansbach is not far from Dietenhofen.  I did not mention this the other day when I gave my suspicions that the Kaefer and Planckenbuehler families in Austria might have been related and left together for Germany.

(Back to the Foundation and Association.)

We were talking about the Germanna Foundation and the Germanna Association.  I believe it is the case that in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Germanna Foundation do not give the members any vote.  (Members are those who pay dues to belong to the "Foundation", and are not to be confused with "Trustees".)  All of the power resides in the Board of Trustees, which elects new Trustees when the present Trustees die or resign.  The status of the voting rights of the members is a confusing point, as there were two documents on the subject which seemed to say different things.  To my knowledge, there has never any vote by the members.  There have been some open discussions, brought about more by the determination of some of the members than by the desire of the management (Trustees) to foster any discussion.  In particular, I remember one time that the President wished to promote an idea and asked John Pierce to speak in favor of it.  I asked for the floor at the conclusion and spoke against the idea.  This was at a general meeting of the members.  No vote was taken by the members on the question though.  The voting was left to the Trustees, who voted in favor of the management’s proposal (except for one Trustee who voted against it).

At a time when I was a Trustee, I wanted to change the Constitution and the Bylaws to give the members a voting right.  I felt that unless we empowered the members we should not ask them to do something.  I also felt that the Trustees should be more responsive to the membership and not a sounding board for the administration.

The present Trustees have adopted a compromise position trying to balance the protection of the assets of the corporation and the voting power of the membership.  The present Trustees remain with the old Constitution and Bylaws, and the members have no vote in the Foundation.  This was done in an effort to protect the assets.  The members at the Reunion did discuss as interested people, not as members of the Foundation, whether to form an Association.  Fifteen people had already agreed to serve as the Directors of the newly formed Association.  The vote to form this Association was not a vote of members of the Foundation who have no vote in anything but as a group of interested citizens.  The Association is not incorporated but is more informal.  Its rules and bylaws can be anything that the members want them to be.  They can specify the conditions for membership in the Association and whether there are even officers.
(24 Jul 06)



Nr. 2344:

What will the Germanna Association be and do?  First, most anyone can be members, but only Germanna descendants can be Trustees.  Please note that I am only repeating what I remember and it should not be taken as authoritative.  The actual membership rules will be set by the Association Directors.  So far, there are no rules which have been set down and it will be a first order of business to establish the rules and purposes.  The votes of the Association members will be to elect new Directors, three each year.  The business of the Association will be conducted by the fifteen Directors.  (The first fifteen Directors have already been elected; I can’t find my list of these names so perhaps someone else could give us these names.  Also, it would be good to have their addresses so we could communicate our thoughts to them.)

One Director has already told me that he/she has four pages of questions, concerns, and agenda items.  Some of this could be discussed publically before the Directors meet.

One of the first items for the Directors of the Association will be to determine their relationship to the Germanna Foundation.  The two are independent, but working, hopefully, toward some common objectives.

Second, will the Germanna Association have any budget?  How will this money be raised?

Without some money, a group is rather powerless.  Or can they only recommend a specific action to the Foundation and gain its approval?

What are some of the outstanding needs of all of the Germanna people?  It would seem to me that publications are high on the list.  First, there is the short term need in the form of newsletters.  Then there are the long , or semipermanent, publications.

To give an example, I noticed that Germanna Record 13 which treats the Blankenbaker, Weaver, and Willheit families has been republished by merely reissuing the old volume with all of its errors and omissions (there are several serious ones).  This was really sad to invest the money in the propagation of the errors which are known and in omitting the new history which is a part of the public domain by now.  To continue to publish these out of date volumes only weakens the image of the Foundation.  For starters, the Foundation should give the Association the projected end dates of the inventory of the Germanna Records.  Then it should be decided which of these should be reedited before the next edition or printing is issued.

Where is the labor to come from?  Let’s leave that for a future note.
(25 Jul 06)



Nr. 2345:

I need to make some corrections.  The new organization that we have been talking about is called the Association of Germanna Colonies.  It is headed by a Board of Directors.  The existing fifty-year organization is, in a shortened form, the Germanna Foundation, which is headed by a Board of Trustees.

The Board of Directors consists of fifteen Directors serving five-year terms, except for the initial Directors, three of whom will serve only one year, three will serve for two years, three will serve for three years, three for four years, and three for five years.  These initial Directors were chosen for their willingness to serve and to attend meetings.  To help the Association get started, three present Trustees of the Foundation will serve for one year as Directors of the Association.

The Directors are:

One year
Thomas Faircloth, a Yager descendant
Marc Wheat, a Hager descendant
Dr. Katherine Brown, a Rector descendant

Two years
James Albin, a Broyles descendant
Wil Bowler, a Clore descendant
Aaron Ellis, a Martin descendant

Three Years
Ruby Horvath, an Aylor descendant
Russell Hitt, a Hitt descendant
Cornwell Martin, a Kemper descendant

Four Years
Suzanne Matson, a Holtzclaw descendant
Joanne Messing, a Martin descendant
Susan Neal, a Fishback descendant

Five Years
Barbara Price, Otterbach descendant
Al Welch, a Willheit descendant
Emily Williams, a Weaver descendant

I used modern spellings.  Most of the people are descendants of more than one family.  For example, all Aylors are Thomas and Blankenbaker descendants also.  The assignment to the length of terms was alphabetical.  It would be interesting to know how many of these Directors are readers of the Rootsweb Mailing List.  The first Director's Meeting will take place in November, when the Directors will start their service.
(26 Jul 06)



Nr. 2346:

What is the nature of the task which is generally to be assigned to the Board of Directors of the Germanna Association?  It could be advisory only, meeting perhaps three times a year, and issuing recommendations to the Board of Trustees of the Germanna Foundation.  (Those of you who have served on a local Planning Commission, as I have, are aware of how this might work.  The Planning Commission hears the evidence and makes a recommendation to the Supervisors who are free to accept or reject the recommendations.)

Another view of the Board of Directors is that it is a body of people who are willing to work.  They might assume, for example, the responsibility for the Germanna Seminars and recruit speakers, make the arrangements for food, advertize the meeting, etc.  These things cost money.  Who controls the budget and purse strings?  Where does the labor come from?  From the Board or from the membership at large, after being recruited by the Board?

Who has access for editing the web page, "Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies of Virginia", at www.germanna.org?  Or does the Board of Directors get its own separate web page?  A web page does not cost much.  This could be a means of communication to the majority of the membership (but not necessarily to all of the members).  Would a List Service be useful?

Will the Board of Directors take on the responsibility for (the/a) newsletter?

The Board of Directors might want to sponsor DNA studies by finding a coordinator for each family.

Now, the main reason that I putting forth these ideas is stir up a discussion among the potential members, which is probably the majority of the readers here, prior to the first meeting of the Board of Directors this November.  The Board may set several things in concrete at that first meeting.  This may be the best chance that the membership has for expressing their opinions.

Remember that a major objective is to make the whole Germanna organization responsive to the desires and objectives of the general membership.  So let’s hear your thoughts.

I have hoped for more than a decade that the members would have more say in the organization, both in the election of the leadership (Board of Trustees) and in the establishment of its programs.

There are some programs and objectives that I would hope come to fruition.  Some of these are best met if they are placed in the hands of a central figure but there is no reason that the membership cannot be involved.  How are they to work together toward common goals?
(27 Jul 06)



Nr. 2347:

The Germanna Foundation was created in response to generous gifts by Ernst Flender.  He gave one thousand dollars to found an organization and to seek appropriate real estate which could commemorate the memory of the 18th Century immigrants from Nassau-Siegen.  The organization was founded.  A tract of land was located close to Fort Germanna for a price of ten thousand dollars.  Mr. Flender offered, and it was accepted, to give the Foundation approximately sixteen thousand dollars.  This was used to purchase the property and the balance was deposited in an interest-bearing account.  The enormity of Mr. Flender’s gifts and his faith in the people who had established the Foundation cannot be overemphasized.  It is a shame that his memory is not memorialized with some permanent feature connected with the Foundation for which he was so responsible.

At the time the land was purchased, the location of Fort Germanna was not known.  The land that was purchased is on the south side of Virginia Highway 3 starting at the Rapidan River, while the site of Alexander Spotswood’s home was on the north side.  Later it was discovered, but it not yet been proven, that Spotswood’s home was built on the site of Fort Germanna.  Later, a portion of the purchased land was given to the Virginia Commonwealth as a site to build Germanna Community College.  The Brawdus Martin Visitor’s Center of the Foundation is on a portion of the original land purchase.

This land, bordering as it does on Highway 3 in a region experiencing rapid growth and development, has become very valuable, worth many millions of dollars.  It is attracting the attention of developers.

The present Board of Trustees is aware that efforts have been or may be made to infiltrate the Board with an objective of obtaining the possession of some of this land.  The Board is very desirous that this does not happen.  At the same time, they wish to bring the general membership of the Foundation into a more active participation.  The problem was how to achieve both of these objectives which might result in a conflict.

The answer that they have come up with is that there might be two organizations, the Foundation and the Association.  The Foundation is headed by a Board of Trustees which is self-perpetuating.  They are trusting that their present commitment to protecting the physical assets can be maintained by the careful choice of future Trustees.  The membership is to be brought into a more active role in the Germanna story by the Association.

What is the legal basis for the Association?  It seems to me to be a vote of interested parties to have such an Association.  It stands independently of the Foundation, without any assets at the present time.
(28 Jul 06)



Nr. 2348:

The original charter of the Germanna Foundation read (from Germanna Record 9) as follows:

        “This is to certify that we, the undersigned, do hereby associate ourselves to establish an association, not organized for profit, in which no capital stock is required or to be issued, under and by virtue of the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for the purposes and under the corporate name hereinafter mentioned, and we do, by this our Certificate of Incorporation, set forth as follows:

  1. The name of the corporation is to be THE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION OF THE GERMANNA COLONIES IN VIRGINIA, INCORPORATED.
  2. The name of the City where in the principal office in this State is to be located is Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the post office address of the corporation is to be Post Office Box 786, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
  3. The purposes for which the corporation is formed are as follows:
  4.         (1) To preserve and make known the history of the several Germanna Colonies, their operations under the patronage of Alexander Spotswood, his residence and activities at Germanna and in the surrounding area.

            (2) To purchase, hold, and improve real estate; to publish bulletins and other printed matter relating to the field of interest and of a character to preserve and disseminate information for the general public, and to any and all other acts, which are necessary and proper to accomplish these purposes.

           (3) To establish an endowment fund or funds for the acquisition, restoration, perpetuation, and maintenance of any real estate acquired by the corporation for its operating purposes.

  5. The affairs of the corporation shall be managed by a board of trustees, the maximum number of which shall be fifteen and the minimum number of which shall be five, the exact number thereof shall be determined annually at the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees.

    Vacancies on the board of trustees shall be filled by the remaining members of the board of trustees if such vacancies should occur more than ninety days prior to the date of the annual meeting of said board of trustees.  If such vacancies should occur with ninety days prior to the annual meeting of the said board of trustees, then such vacancies shall be filled at the annual meeting of the said Board of Trustees.

    The entire voting power shall be vested in the trustees who may take any lawful action for or on behalf of the corporation which be taken by members having such voting power or by stockholders and directors under any Section of Chapter 13 (Non-Stock Corporation) of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.

  6. The names and residences of the trustees who are to manage the affairs of the corporation during the first year of its existence are as follows:

    [T. W. Fishback, C. H. Huffman, B. L. Stanley, Frank C. Switzer, John W. Wayland, J. B. Carpenter, Sr., and E. W. Flender, with their addresses.]


(To be Continued)
(31 Jul 06)



Nr. 2349:

(Discussion of the Germanna Foundation, continued.)

The charter for the Germanna Foundation stated that the President was C. H. Huffman (he was NOT a Germanna descendant) and his home address in Harrisonburg, Virginia, was used as the address for the Corporation.  Two more points in the Articles of Incorporation were:

  1. The period for the duration of the corporation is unlimited.
  2. The amount of real estate to which the holdings of the corporation are at any time to be limited is one thousand acres.  Witness the following signatures this 8th day of February 1956.

             Signed: T. W. Fishback, C. H. Huffman, B. L Stanley, Frank C. Switzer, John W. Wayland

To obtain a tax exempt status the corporation had to file an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation to the effect that in the event of the dissolution the assets, after all debts had been paid, were to go to Literary Fund of the State of Virginia.

It has also been necessary to file amendments to change the address of the corporation which has been in Richmond and in Culpeper besides Harrisonburg.

The corporation has adopted By-Laws.  At one time, I had a small booklet of these, but in preparing for these notes I could not locate it.  I do seem to remember that there were conditions in the By-Laws which were in conflict with the Articles of Corporation.  Of course, the Articles took precedence.  I seem to remember also that the By-Laws called for an annual financial report to the members, where the membership was defined as those paying dues.

There will be a break in general to these notes.  I have been disappointed that I received very little comment from readers about the Association.  When I was a Foundation Trustee, I had recommended and did some work on revisions to the Charter and By-Laws.  I was disappointed then at the lack of interest on the part of the Trustees, Mary Doyle Johnson and John Gott excepted.

If the Foundation is not everything that you hoped it would be, now is your chance under the umbrella of the Association to make improvements.  Do not wait for the Directors of the Association to take action; they are good people but they need your help.
(1 Aug 06)



Nr. 2350:

[Eleanor and I returned yesterday afternoon from a swing through the Midwest.  The point most of interest here was attending the Peter Weaver III Reunion in Lafayette, Indiana.]

The Peter Weaver III Reunion was well organized and well attended.  Peter III was the son of Peter, Jr. (sometimes referred to as Peter II), who was the son of the immigrant Peter, Sr. (sometimes referred to as Peter I or even more simply as Peter Weaver), the young boy who came to Virginia in 1717.  He had been christened as Hannss Dieterich Weber in Gemmingen.

A highlight of the program for many of the people was a chart of the descendants of Peter III.  It stretched about eighteen feet across one wall and was about eighteen inches tall.  By now there are some eight generations below Peter III.  Individuals are shown in small boxes with lines connecting the children to their parents.  Above Peter III, his ancestors, with his aunts and uncles, were shown up to Peter I.

Several people were able to add information to this chart.  One person was able to add the eleven children of a certain person.  Of course, like all genealogy work, there is always more and new information.  If possible, it is desired to update the chart but the production of the chart is now a problem.  The software for doing so will not run on modern operating systems.  One thought is to buy an old computer with an old operating system to run this one program.  (If anyone knows of software that will produce a chart of indefinite “width” to show descendants, please speak up.)

I spoke to the group which met in a church.  I concentrated on the ancestors of Peter Weaver I, the immigrant.  His father was Philip Joseph Weber, and his mother was Susanna Klaar.  Having just spoken at the Germanna Foundation Reunion on Susanna Klaar (Clore) I was able to use some of my material from that talk.  A point that I tried to emphasize was that Peter Weaver I was not an isolated individual, but that he had many relatives and connections to other families in Virginia.

The night before the Reunion, several of us met at a restaurant where I was able to talk for a while about the social conditions which existed in the century up to the departure of Joseph Weber and his wife Susanna.

It was a pleasure to have Virginia Craw in attendance.  She has done more research on the Weaver/Weber family than anyone.  We used to hear more from Virginia, but health and age considerations have forced her to reduce her activities.

The Peter Weaver III descendants try to meet about every three years.  One of their ongoing projects is to care for the cemetery where Peter III is buried.  They would like to purchase this cemetery but the owner does not want to sell.  The owner, who lives in the Peter Weaver III house, does allow the descendants to care for the cemetery.  Meanwhile, the “association” of Peter Weaver III descendants is trying to build a fund for the care and perhaps the future purchase of the cemetery.
(14 Aug 06)


(To see John & Eleanor Blankenbaker's May, 2000, and May, 2002, Germany and Austria photos, click here.)


(To see maps of villages in Germany and Austria from which our Germanna ancestors immigrated, click here.)


(This page contains the NINETY-FOURTH set of Notes, Nr. 2326 through Nr. 2350.)

John and George would like very much to hear from readers of these Germanna History pages.  We welcome your criticisms, compliments, corrections, or other comments.  When you click on "click here" below, both of us will receive your message.  We would like to hear what you have to say about the content of the Notes, and about spelling, punctuation, format, etc.  Just click here to send us your message.  Thank You!


There is a Mailing List (also known as a Discussion List or Discussion Group), called GERMANNA_COLONIES, at RootsWeb.  This List is open to all subscribers for the broadcast of their messages.  John urges more of you to make it a research tool for answering your questions, or for summarizing your findings, on any subject concerning the Germanna Colonies of Virginia.  On this List, you may make inquiries of specific Germanna SURNAMES.  At present, there are about 700 subscribers and there are bound to be users here who can help you.  If you are interested in subscribing to this List,

(GERMANNA History Notes, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 John BLANKENBAKER.)
(GERMANNA History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 George W. DURMAN.)
This material has been compiled and placed on this web site by George W. Durman, with the permission of John BLANKENBAKER.  It is intended for personal use by genealogists and researchers, and is not to be disseminated further.

Index Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES and Genealogy Comments
INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES
Pg.001-Notes 0001-0025
Pg.002-Notes 0026-0050
Pg.003-Notes 0051-0075
Pg.004-Notes 0076-0100
Pg.005-Notes 0101-0125
Pg.006-Notes 0126-0150
Pg.007-Notes 0151-0175
Pg.008-Notes 0176-0200
Pg.009-Notes 0201-0225
Pg.010-Notes 0226-0250
Pg.011-Notes 0251-0275
Pg.012-Notes 0276-0300
Pg.013-Notes 0301-0325
Pg.014-Notes 0326-0350
Pg.015-Notes 0351-0375
Pg.016-Notes 0376-0400
Pg.017-Notes 0401-0425
Pg.018-Notes 0426-0450
Pg.019-Notes 0451-0475
Pg.020-Notes 0476-0500
Pg.021-Notes 0501-0525
Pg.022-Notes 0526-0550
Pg.023-Notes 0551-0575
Pg.024-Notes 0575-0600
Pg.025-Notes 0601-0625
Pg.026-Notes 0626-0650
Pg.027-Notes 0651-0675
Pg.028-Notes 0676-0700
Pg.029-Notes 0701-0725
Pg.030-Notes 0726-0750
Pg.031-Notes 0751-0775
Pg.032-Notes 0776-0800
Pg.033-Notes 0801-0825
Pg.034-Notes 0826-0850
Pg.035-Notes 0851-0875
Pg.036-Notes 0876-0900
Pg.037-Notes 0901-0925
Pg.038-Notes 0926-0950
Pg.039-Notes 0951-0975
Pg.040-Notes 0976-1000
Pg.041-Notes 1001-1025
Pg.042-Notes 1026-1050
Pg.043-Notes 1051-1075
Pg.044-Notes 1076-1100
Pg.045-Notes 1101-1125
Pg.046-Notes 1126-1150
Pg.047-Notes 1151-1175
Pg.048-Notes 1176-1200
Pg.049-Notes 1201-1225
Pg.050-Notes 1226-1250
Pg.051-Notes 1251-1275
Pg.052-Notes 1276-1300
Pg.053-Notes 1301-1325
Pg.054-Notes 1326-1350
Pg.055-Notes 1351-1375
Pg.056-Notes 1376-1400
Pg.057-Notes 1401-1425
Pg.058-Notes 1426-1450
Pg.059-Notes 1451-1475
Pg.060-Notes 1476-1500
Pg.061-Notes 1501-1525
Pg.062-Notes 1526-1550
Pg.063-Notes 1551-1575
Pg.064-Notes 1576-1600
Pg.065-Notes 1601-1625
Pg.066-Notes 1626-1650
Pg.067-Notes 1651-1675
Pg.068-Notes 1676-1700
Pg.069-Notes 1701-1725
Pg.070-Notes 1726-1750
Pg.071-Notes 1751-1775
Pg.072-Notes 1776-1800
Pg.073-Notes 1801-1825
Pg.074-Notes 1826-1850
Pg.075-Notes 1851-1875
Pg.076-Notes 1876-1900
Pg.077-Notes 1901-1925
Pg.078-Notes 1926-1950
Pg.079-Notes 1951-1975
Pg.080-Notes 1976-2000
Pg.081-Notes 2001-2025
Pg.082-Notes 2026-2050
Pg.083-Notes 2051-2075
Pg.084-Notes 2076-2100
Pg.085-Notes 2101-2125
Pg.086-Notes 2126-2150
Pg.087-Notes 2150-2175
Pg.088-Notes 2176-2200
Pg.089-Notes 2201-2225
Pg.090-Notes 2226-2250
Pg.091-Notes 2251-2275
Pg.092-Notes 2276-2300
Pg.093-Notes 2301-2325
Pg.094-Notes 2326-2350
Pg.095-Notes 2351-2375
Pg.096-Notes 2376-2400
Pg.097-Notes 2401-2425
Pg.098-Notes 2426-2450
Pg.099-Notes 2451-2475
Pg.100-Notes 2476-2500
Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025


INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GENEALOGY COMMENTS

(As of 12 April 2007, John published the last of his "Germanna Notes"; however, he is going to periodically post to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List in the form of "Genealogy Comments" on various subjects, not necessarily dealing with Germanna.  I'm starting the numbering system anew, starting with Comment Nr. 0001.)

Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025
This Page Contains Notes 2326 through 2350.

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