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This page contains the 1960 article by Dr. B. C. Holtzclaw on the Little Fork Colony.  It was published in the 1960 Annual Report of The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc., and was the typescript of Dr. Holtzclaw's address to the 1960 Annual Reunion.  Dr. Benjamin C. Holtzclaw was author of "The Holtzclaw Genealogy", and of many other important studies.  He was the Head of the Department of Philosophy, and served as Dean of the Graduate School, University of Richmond.  He was also the official Historian for The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc.

(This Dr. B. C. Holtzclaw article is posted here by permission of The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc., which holds the copyright.  Specific thanks go to Thom Faircloth, CEO and President of The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc., who has authorized its posting.)

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  Dr. B. C. Holtzclaw's original article, unfortunately, contained some errors.  John Blankenbaker, our Official Germanna Colonies Historian, in his Germanna Notes to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List, has, through his diligent and tireless research, and through his numerous trips to Virginia, corrected many (most?) of Dr. Holtzclaw's errors.  (John's many corrections are to numerous to reference, or link to, here; the best way to see the corrections is to go to the Germanna Notes link just above and click on "Search John's Notes", at the top of the page.  Once there, you can search for "Little Fork", or for specific surnames.  [Doing a search for "Litle Fork" results in links to 25 different Notes in which John discusses the Little Fork Colony, and where he makes corrections to Dr. Holtzclaw's original article.)

(To see Land Patent Maps of the Little Fork Colony, go here.)



The Little Fork Colony
by:  Dr. B. C. Holtzclaw


The Second Colony from Nassau-Siegen near Jeffersonton, Culpeper Co., VA.

The First definite reference to this Colony is found in the report and diary of Brother Matthias Gottschalk, a Moravian Missionary from Pennsylvania, who visited the various German settlements in Virginia in March and April, 1748.  These reports are to be found in Volumes 11 and 12 of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, and quite clearly identify this Colony, which has been confused in the past with the first Nassau-Siegen group that settled, first at Germanna on the Rapidan River in 1714, then later removed to Germantown on Licking Run in what is now Fauquier County.  The Second Colony was settled in the Little Fork of the Rappahannock River in the northern part of Culpeper Co., where the Hedgeman and Hazel Rivers meet to form the north branch of the Rappahannock.  The present town of Jeffersonton was laid out on land that belonged to one of the colonists, Joseph Coons.  My colleague, Professor Woodford B. Hackley, who was reared near Jeffersonton, has been of great help in tracing the members of the colony, and particularly in showing how their land adjoined around Jeffersonton.

Brother Gottschalk's "Report" states that after visiting the large and prosperous colony of Lutherans near Hebron Church he next traveled 26 miles towards the Potomac to the Great Fork of the Rappahannock (i.e., the vicinity of Germanna), where he found only three German Families still living.  Then, under the heading, "The Little Fork of the Rappahannock", he has the following to say (Va. Mag., Vol. 11, pp. 232-3):

"It is situated about twenty-two miles from the Great Fork toward the Potomik.  Twelve families of the Siegen district, being of the Reformed religion, live there close together.  They are very fine, neighborly and friendly people, who love each other in their manner and live together very peacefully.  The brother of our Matthew Hoffman, John Henry Hoffman, also lives there and I lodged with him.  They built a small, neat and suitable church, and engaged one of their number, John Jung, to be the Reader of the Church, who conducts services for them every Sunday.  They can not get a minister, because they are so few in number."
Brother Gottschalk then goes on to state that he preached for the Little Fork group on April 10, 1748; that then John Jung and Hoffman accompanied him across the North River of the Rappahannock (i.e., the Hedgeman River); that very late in the afternoon he came to the home of Jacob Holtzclaw, the reader and schoolmaster at Germantown; and that he stayed there until April 12, 1748.

The Little Fork Germans are referred to indirectly in 1743 in the diary of Leonard Schnell and Robert Hussey, Moravian missionaries, on their journey to Georgia.  They stayed with Jacob Holtzclaw in Germantown from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25, 1743, and were told that Matthew Hoffman, a Moravian of Bethlehem, PA., had written several letters to his brother, who lived 10 miles away; that the brother had brought the letters to Holtzclaw to read, because he was afraid that Matthew Hoffman had fallen away from the true religion; but that Holtzclaw read the letters and liked them very well (Va. Mag., Vol. 11, pp. 376-8).

The center of the Little Fork settlement was on land that belonged to Jacob Holtzclaw of Germantown.  He was granted 680 acres on the branches of Indian Run in the Little Fork of the Rappahannock in 1728, and the tract was enlarged to 1300 acres by a later grant in 1748.  On Aug. 22, 1748, Jacob Holtzclaw and Catherine his wife of Prince William Co. deeded parts of the tract to four families, as follows:

  • Harman Back, 100 acres (Orange Co. D. B. 11, p 85);
  • John and Frederick Fishback, sons of Jacob Fishback and Catherine his wife, 150 acres, with life tenure to the parents (p.88);
  • Henry Huffman, 225 acres (p. 83); and
  • John Young, Fr., and Katherine Young, infants, son and daughter of John Young and Mary his wife, 200 acres, with life tenure to the parents (p. 86).
The Orange Co. list of tithables for 1739 shows that Jacob Holtzclaw was charged with 4 tithables on his Little Fork land, who were apparently the above 4 men, as the 1748 deeds state that the grantees were already living on the land.  We can thus be pretty certain that the Little Fork group from Nassau-Siegen, or at least part of it, was established in 1749.  Henry Huffman of the 1748 deed was quite clearly the John Henry Huffman of Brother Gottschalk's report, while John Young was John Jung, the Reader of the group.

A fifth man, George Wayman, was also a member of the settlement as early as 1739, for on Feb. 26 of that year William Beverly gave him a life lease on 100 acres of land just southeast of Jacob Holtzclaw's tract (Orange D. B. 3, p. 389), and on May 24, 1754, Jacob Holtzclaw deeded him 98 acres of the old Holtzclaw grant between Henry Huffman and John Young (Culpeper D. B. "B", p. 115).  Professor Hackley and I think that this tract of 98 acres, roughly a triangle, was probably the land on which the church was located; that it had been originally intended as the minister's glebe; and that it was not deeded to George Wayman until after the colony had given up hopes of securing a minister.  Rev. James Kemper, who was born at Germantown in 1753, thought that Wayman (as well as Hanback and Utterback below) was a member of the original 1714 group from Nassau-Siegen, but except possibly in the case of Utterback, he seems to have confused members of the Second Nassau-Siegen group with the First.

Two other men who were in the Little Fork group in 1747 were sons of the original 1714 immigrants from Germantown.  The first was James Spilman, son of John Spilman of Germantown.  The William Beverly Papers in the Virginia Historical Society Library at Richmond show that in 1747 Spilman had assumed an arrears of debt of George Wayman (probably on the 1739 land deeded to Wayman by Beverly), but that Spilman had paid up the arrears by 1752.  It is not improbable in view of the above that Spilman had married Wayman's daughter, as he was a young man, born ca. 1720-25.  Spilman himself got a grant of 400 acres in the North Little Fork in 1751.

The second member of the Little Fork group from Germantown was Frederick Fishback (1716-1782), son-in-law of Jacob Holtzclaw.  Fishback's father, John Fishback of Germantown, got a grant of 400 acres in the Little Fork in 1730, just northwest of Jacob Holtzclaw's 1728 grant, but with about 250 acres of vacant land between the two grants.  It is not improbable that the second Nassau-Siegen Colony grew out of efforts of Holtzclaw and Fishback to get settlers on their Little Fork land.  However, John Fishback died early in 1734, an event which left Holtzclaw as the chief patron of the colony.  Frederick Fishback, eldest son of John Fishback, seems to have moved to the Little Fork to occupy his father's land early in the 1740's, soon after his marriage to Ann Elizabeth Holtzclaw.  He got a grant of additional land in the Little Fork neighborhood in 1747, and in 1748 enlarged his father's 1730 grant to 790 acres.  Probably some of the remaining colonists listed below occupied Fishback land in the 1730's, before Frederick Fishback was of age.

Brother Gottschalk mentions 12 families from Nassau-Siegen in 1748 in the Little Fork Community.  In addition to the 7 men mentioned above, the following 4 men appear in 1747 and 1748:

In 1747 Joseph Coons (Coants) and John Crim got grants of 127 1/2 acres apiece, adjacent to each other, and Professor Hackley has shown that these two grants occupied exactly the 255 acres of vacant land between Jacob Holtzclaw's grant of 1728 and John Fishback's grant of 1730.  These two grants are of particular interest, for the town of Jeffersontown was later laid out on the Coons land, the deed being made by Joseph Coons, Jr., to whom his father deeded the land in 1783.

Henry Utterback was another member of the colony.  In 1747 he received a grant of 200 acres north of the Fishback grant of 1730.  It was separated from the Fishback land by 397 acres, originally patented by William Deatherage, an Englishman, but was deeded by Deatherage to Henry Huffman of the Little Fork group in the same year, 1747 (Orange D. B. 11, p.48).  Utterback also had a survey for 400 acres jointly with John Button in 1748 (Button, too, being probably an Englishman).  This land was divided, and Utterback received his half (198 acres) by patent in 1748.

The survey for Utterback and Button just mentioned shows the 11th Nassau-Siegen family in the Little Fork in 1748, that of Nay (Nöh, Noe, Noeh, Nohe, Noch in German), a very old family in Nassau-Siegen, which is mentioned as early as 1461 at Klafeld, just north of Siegen.  On the back of the survey, dated May 20, 1748, it is stated that Jacob Noe, an orphan in his 16th year, entered a caveat through his principal against the Utterback-Button survey and division, on the ground that his mother had purchased part of the land from Charles Dewit; but a later notation states that Jacob Holtzclaw had informed the surveyor that Noe had received another grant of about 140 acres and was satisfied with it, thus clearing the title for Utterback and Button.  The actual grant was not recorded for Jacob Nay until 1752, when he was 19 or 20 years of age.  It was for 146 acres and was just north of the 1747 grant to Henry Utterback, and joining it.  We shall see that Jacob Nay's father was probably John Nay (or Johannes Nöh/Noeh), who died some time prior to 1745, and his widow, Mary Noe, early in 1746, became the second wife of Harman Fishback (1693-1783) of Germantown (see Fishback's deed to Peter Hitt Feb. 7, 1745/6, "being about to marry Mary Noe, widow", Prince William Co. D. B. "I", p. 12).

The 12th family living in the Little Fork community in 1748 was that of Harman Miller, who was a chainman with Joseph Coons in the survey for Jacob Nay, and with Frederick Fishback in the joint survey for Utterback and Button, both in the year 1748.  Harman Miller was apparently a young man and had just married Elizabeth Holtzclaw, the third daughter of Jacob Holtzclaw.  In his will in 1759 Jacob Holtzclaw left the Millers 300 acres of the 1300 acres patented at the Little Fork in 1748, and they were probably already occupying this land in 1748.

A 13th man who was probably living among the Little Fork Germans in 1748 was Jacob Hanback (probably a corruption of the German surname Heimbach).  The Holtzclaws, Fishbacks, and Kempers at Germantown were all descended from Heimbachs in Nassau-Siegen, and the surname occurs there as early as 1444.  It is true that Jacob Hanback is not mentioned in the documents of Culpeper Co. until 1757, but his land was in the immediate neighborhood of the Little Fork Germans; two of his daughters married sons of Joseph Coons and another married a son of John Young; Rev. James Kemper thought that Hanback, as well as Utterback and Wayman, was a member of the original 1714 Colony.  In view of the above it seems rather likely that Hanback was living in the Little Fork Colony in 1748.  If so, Jacob Nay was probably living with his stepfather, Harman Fishback, at Germantown in that year, and the Hanbacks would be the 12th family alluded to by Brother Gottschalk.

The following three men were probably later immigrants from Nassau-Siegen, though in the case of the first two, they were not associated directly with the Little Fork group:

John Miliord (Melchoir) Fiter died in Prince William Co. in 1735.  His sister, Mary Dorothea Fiter, was the second wife of John Fishback of the 1714 Colony.  Fiter's will leaves his property to his wife Mary and his sister, Mary Fishback (Prince William D. B. "C", p. 57).

John Ricketer (Rector) died in Prince William Co. in 1742, his inventory being made by John Holtzclaw, eldest son of Jacob Holtzclaw (Prince William D. B. "C", p. 388).  He was not a son of Jacob Rector of the 1714 Colony.

Tillman Whitescarver (Weissgerber) was granted was granted land in Culpeper Co. somewhat north and north-west of the Little Fork group in 1752 (N. N. Grants "H", p. 177).  He and his wife Margaret deeded land to Joseph Utterback, son of Henry Utterback, in 1764 (Culpeper D. B. "D", p. 412).  His son was probably Harman Witescarver, who appears as early as 1767 and in later Culpeper Co. deeds.  Whitescarver may be identical with a "Dilmanus Weissgerber" who landed at Philadelphia Aug. 31, 1750.  The name, Weissgerber, appears at an early date in Nassau-Siegen.  It means a "tawer"1, one who prepares leather without the use of tan-bark.

The names of six of the 16 men mentioned above occur in a list of male passengers who landed at Philadelphia in the ship "Hope", Sept. 23, 1734 (Rupp "30,000 Names", p. 197).  They were: Hans Henrich Hoffman, Johannes Jung, Johannes Noeh, Hans Jacob Fischbach, Hans Henrich Otterpach, and Johannes Richter, all over 16.  In addition the list shows two boys under 16, Hermann Jung (who reappears at the Little Fork as Harman Young and was probably the eldest son of John Young), and Johann Jacob Noch (who seems to be the Jacob Nay, orphan b. 1732-3, who appears at the Little Fork and was apparently son of Johannes Noeh).

Further details regarding the 13 men directly connected with the Little Fork colony are summarized as follows:

  1. Harman Back.  He was an appraiser of the estate of John Huffman, father or brother of Henry Huffman, in 1741 (Orange Co. W. B. 1, p. 161); was deeded land by Jacob Holtzclaw in 1748 (Orange Co. D. B. 11, p. 85); and he and his wife Katherine sold the land in 1789 (Culpeper D. B. "P", p. 86).  The tax-lists of Culpeper Co. show Harman Back, Jr., and Joseph Bach as probably his sons.  John Back and Henry Back, owners of 150 acres apiece in Culpeper in 1779, may have been older sons.

  2. Joseph Coons (Cuntze).  He was probably a relative of Joseph Cuntze of the 1714 group, but apparently not a son or grandson, for the will of Joseph Cuntze in 1730 mentions only sons Henry and Tillman Cuntze, both under age.  Joseph Coons of the Little Fork was granted the land on which the town of Jeffersonton now stands in 1747 (N. N. Grants, "G", p. 7), and in 1783 he and his wife Elizabeth deeded it to their son, Joseph Coons, Jr. (Culpeper D. B. "L", p 246).  The wife, Elizabeth was probably identical with an Elizabeth Catherine Cuntze who appears as a daughter and heir of Rev. John Casper Stover, the first pastor of Hebron Lutheran Church in 1739 (Orange Co. W.B. 1, pp. 237-8).  Culpeper Co. deeds and tax-lists show three other sons of Joseph and Elizabeth Coons.  Jacob, John, and Henry Coons.  Jacob and Henry married daughters of Jacob Hanback.

  3. John Crim.  Crim is probably the German name, Grimm.  Hermann Grimm of Trupbach was godfather of Harman Fishback of the 1714 group in 1693, and John Crim may have been a relative.  John Crim was granted land next to Joseph Coons in 1747 (N.N. Grants, "G", p. 8), but he, his wife Gertrude ("Caretrout"), and son John Crim, Jr., had all moved to Fauquier Co. and deeded the land way in 1767 (Culpeper D. B. "E", p. 219).  The Little Fork land seems to have come back to the Crims, however, for it was in the possession of George Crim, probably another son, in 1783 (D. B. "L", p. 246).  A third son was probably Jacob Crim, who appears in several Culpeper deeds from 1779 to 1782.

  4. Frederick Fishback (1716-1782), as mentioned, was eldest son of John Fishback of Germantown, and married Ann Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Jacob Holtzclaw.  His descendants are given in the Fishback genealogy.

  5. Jacob Fishback.  It is uncertain whether Jacob Fishback was the Hans Jacob Fischbach who landed at Philadelphia in 1734, or whether he was the young "cousin Jacob Fishback", who was apprenticed to John Fishback of Germantown and who was left a small bequest in the latter's will, dated Mar. 11, 1733/4.  It seems certain that Jacob was not a son either of John Fishback of Germantown or of his brother Harman.  Jacob Fishback's wife Katherine and his sons, John and Frederick, are mentioned in the Holtzclaw deed to them in 1748 (Orange Co., D.B. 11, p. 88).  The Tax-lists of Culpeper Co. show Jacob Fishback in 1785 as an old man, exempt from taxes; in 1786 they show only "John Fishback son of Jacob", so that Jacob probably died in 1785 or 1786.  I have found nothing further regarding this branch of the Fishback Family.

  6. Jacob Hanback.  On April 17, 1757, John Green and Susannah his wife deeded 400 acres in the close neighborhood of the Little Fork Germans to Jacob Hanback, Harman Young, and John Hanback, and the three men divided the land in 1785 (Culpeper D. B. "C", p. 43; D. B. "N", p. 46).  Jacob Hanback died in 1785.  His will, dated Nov. 1, 1785, and probated in Culpeper Co. Dec. 19, 1785 (W. B. "C", p. 152), mentions sons John, Jacob, and William; daughters Susannah Hanback, Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Coons, Mary, wife of Henry Coons, and "the children of my daughter Catherine, deceased"; wife and Jacobs Coons, executors.  Judging by the 1757 deed above, the deceased daughter, Catherine, was probably the wife of Harman Young.  A deed in 1792 shows that Jacob Hanback's wife was named Mary (Culpeper D. B. "R", p. 96).

  7. Henry Huffman.  Henry Huffman was certainly the John Henry Hoffman of Brother Gottschalk's report in 1748, brother of Matthew Hoffman of Bethlehem, PA.  He is not to be confused (as has been done in the past) with John Hoffman of the 1714 Colony, who moved to the neighborhood of the Lutheran group about 1729, and is said to have founded "Hoffman's Chapel" of the Reformed faith there.  He is almost certainly the Hans Heinrich Hoffman who landed at Philadelphia in 1734.  On June 25, 1741, Henry Huffman (also called Hans Henry) administered on the estate of John Huffman, decd., in Orange Co. (W.B. 1, p. 155; O. B. 2, p. 400).  John Huffman was probably his father or another brother who had come over from Nassau-Siegen.  Mr. Huffman accumulated a considerable amount of land in the Little Fork, as shown by deeds from William Deatherage in 1747:  from Jacob Holtzclaw in 1748, from George Wayman in 1760, and a grant in 1768 (Orange Co. D. B. 11, pp. 48 and 83; Culpeper D. B. "C", p. 284; N. N. Grants, "O", p. 153).  A deed June 21, 1770, shows that his wife was Margaret Harnsberger, daughter of Stephen Harnsberger and granddaughter of John Harnsberger and Anna Purva his wife of the 1717 colony (Culpeper D. B. "F", p. 96).  Henry Huffman died in Culpeper Co. in 1783.  His will, dated April 15, 1967, and probated Sept. 15, 1783 (Culpeper W. B. "C", pp. 30-33), mentions his wife, Margaret; son-in-law, John Young; sons Tillman, John, Henry, Joseph, and Harmon; daughters Elizabeth (m. John Young), Mary, Alice, Susannah, and Eve Huffman.  The daughter Alice became the second wife of James Spilman.  Professor Hackley is descended from them.

  8. Harman Miller.  Harman Miller may have been a son of Jacob Miller, who was granted land among the Lutheran group in 1733 and was admitted to citizenship along with several members of that group in 1742 (Grant Book 15, p. 110; Orange Co. O. B. 3, p. 346).  It is certain that Jacob Miller was connected with Germanna, for in 1735 it is stated that he was living in Governor Spotswood's quarter (Orange Co. O. B. 1, pp. 18-19).  Harman Miller and his wife, Elizabeth Holtzclaw, moved to Halifax Co. Va., sometime between 1760 and 1764, and Harman died there in 1772.  His will, dated Jan. 20, 1772, and probated Sept. 17, 1772 (Halifax Co. W. B. "O", p. 353), mentions his wife Elizabeth; sons Jacob and Joseph; and five daughters, among them Eva, Anna, and Mary.  Harman Miller seems to have been a brother of John Frederick Miller of Halifax Co., who died there in 1789 and who had sons Jacob and Harman, among a number of other children.

  9. Jacob Nay, b. 1732/3, probably son of Johannes Noch and wife Mary (who m. (2) Harman Fishback).  This family probably landed in Philadelphia in 1734, as indicated.  Land was surveyed for Jacob Nay in the Little Fork in 1748 and the grant was made in 1752 (M. M. Grants, "H", p. 176).  The Culpeper Co. tax-list of 1784 shows Jacob Nay, Jr., John Nay, and Samuel Nay close to Jacob Nay, and they were probably his sons.

  10. James Spilman.  He was son of John Spilman of the 1714 colony.  We have indicated that he was in the Little Fork community in 1747, has assumed a debt of George Wayman, and was perhaps Wayman's son-in-law.  His first wife was probably a Martha Spilman who died Sept. 7, 1771, as recorded on her tombstone just west of the Jacob Holtzclaw land in the Little Fork.  James Spilman's second wife was Alice Huffman, daughter of Henry Huffman.  Mr. Spilman received grants in the Little Fork in 1751 and 1775 (N.N. Grants "G", p. 492; "P", p. 159) and acquired considerable land in the neighborhood.  He died in Culpeper Co. in 1790, leaving a will.  By his first marriage, James Spilman had four sons, Nathanael, Charles, Thomas, and William.  By his second marriage he had three sons, John (From whom Professor Hackley is descended), Henry, and Philip; and three daughters, Elizabeth, Susannah and Peggy.

  11. Henry Utterback.  He was perhaps the Hans Henrich Otterpach who landed in Philadelphia in 1734, though the Utterback Genealogy contends that (in accordance with Rev. James Kemper's statement) the Utterback of the Little Fork and his cousin Henry Utterback of Fauquier Co., who married prior to 1746 Agnes, daughter of Melchior Brumback of the 1714 colony, were both born in Virginia, grandsons of Harman Otterback, the father of Mrs. Holtzclaw and Mrs. Kemper of the 1714 colony.  Henry Utterback's wife was named Anna.  He died in Culpeper Co. in 1799.  His descendants are traced in the Utterback Genealogy.

  12. George Wayman.  As mentioned, George Wayman received a life lease from William Beverly in 1739 (Orange Co. D. B. 3. p. 389) and a deed from Jacob Holtzclaw in 1754 (Culpeper D. B. "B", p. 115).  He and his wife Catherine deeded the Holtzclaw land to Henry Huffman in 1760 (Culpeper D. B. "C", p. 284), and he was dead by April 20, 1769, when Catherine Wayman and Joseph Wayman were deeded land (D.B. "E", p. 705).  The only son of George and Catherine Wayman seems to have been this Joseph Wayman, who was granted land in 1768 (N.N. Grants, "O", p. 119), and with his wife, Ann Elizabeth, appears in deeds as late as 1788 (C.B. "O", p. 270).

  13. John Young.  He was the Reader of the Little Fork colony in 1748, and was almost certainly the Johannes Jung who landed in Philadelphia in 1734 with his young son, Hermann Jung.  There was a Jung family at Trupbach, Germany, who were related to the Fishbacks, Holtzclaws, and Rectors of the 1714 colony, and John Young may have come from this family.  He, his wife Mary, and his children John and Katherine, are mentioned in the Holtzclaw deed to them in 1748 (Orange Co. D.B. 11, p. 86).  We have indicated that Harman Young probably married (prior to 1757) Catherine, daughter of Jacob Hanback.  John Young, Jr., married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Huffman.  The Culpeper Co. tax-list of 1784 shows Harman Young with sons John and Nimrod, and John Young with sons Samuel and James.

The question whether Jacob Fishback and Henry Utterback of the Little Fork group were the men who landed in Philadelphia in 1734, or whether they were from the Germantown group, raises the interesting problem of the constituency of the 1714 colony from Nassau-Siegen.  In 1724, land was claimed for only 30 persons who landed in Williamsburg in April, 1714, yet we know that 42 persons were in the colony, for this is the number which was exempted from taxes in the same year by the Virginia Assembly.  We know that Rev. Mr. Haeger and his wife were with the group, which brings the number to 32.  Recent information from Germany shows that in 1713 Philip Fishback, father of John and Harman Fishback, was granted permission to emigrate, along with his son-in-law, Jacob Rector; and a record in 1714 states that Hans Jacob Fishback, schoolmaster, who had gone to the New World, has sold a house in Trupbach to John Rector of Weidenau.  This makes it almost certain that Philip Fishback and his wife Elizabeth Heimbach had emigrated, along with a relative, Hans Jacob Fishback, bringing the total to 35.  The above indicates very strongly that Jacob Fishback of the Little Fork group was born in Virginia, probably the son of Hans Jacob Fishback who emigrated in 1714 and the young cousin to whom John Fishback of Germantown left a bequest in 1734.  If this is the case, then the Hans Jacob Fischbach who landed at Philadelphia in 1734 was probably the elder man who came over in 1714, and had perhaps returned to Germany to secure new colonists for Jacob Holtzclaw's and John Fishback's new land.

Two other colonists who almost certainly left Germany with the group in 1713 were Jacob Weaver, father of Tillman Weaver, who is stated by Mr. Willis Kemper, author of the Kemper Genealogy, to have died either in England during the short stay of the colony there, or almost immediately after landing in Virginia; and Anna Gertrud, the first wife of Joseph Cuntze, and the mother of the three children for whom he claimed land in 1724.  These two individuals would bring the total number to 37.

The above conclusions seem fairly certain; what follows is more hypothetical.  But, if the Utterback Genealogy, leaning heavily on the report of Rev. James Kemper that the Utterbacks came over in 1714, is correct, it would add 4 more people to the original group, namely, Hermann Otterbach, father of Mrs. Holtzclaw and Mrs. Kemper, his wife Elizabeth Heimbach, and his two sons, John Philip and John Otterbach.  This would bring the total to 41, and the entire number of 42 would be completed by John Justus Albrecht, de Graffenried's agent who secured the colonists in Germany, and was with them at least as late as 1718.

Of the 12 men who petitioned for land in 1724, only 5 were married in Germany, as far as the records show, namely, Cuntze (to his first wife Anna Gertrud), Hitt, Holtzclaw, Rector, and Spilman.  Tillman Weaver, who was a boy in 1714, married much later Ann Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Joseph Cuntze.  The remaining 6 men seem to have been bachelors when they left Germany in 1713, namely, Melchoir Brumback aged only 18 in 1713, John Fishback (aged 22), Harmann Fishback (aged 20), John Huffman (aged 21), John Kemper (aged 21), John Joseph Martin (aged 22).

Of these 6 men, we know that John Fishback must have married Agnes Haeger, probably about 1714-15, as his eldest child was born in 1716.  John Kemper married Alice Katherine Otterback, daughter of Hermann Otterbach, and that marriage, too, probably occurred in Virginia about 1715, as their eldest child was born in 1717.  As to John Huffman, we know from his family Bible that he did not marry his wife, Katherine Haeger, until 1721.

The maiden names of the wives of the remaining three men, Melchoir Brumbach, Harman Fishback, and John Joseph Martin, remain unknown; yet in the 1724 affidavits, they all state that their wives arrived in Virginia in April, 1714.  If the family, not only of Philip Fishback, but also of Hermann Otterbach, came over in 1714, it would account plausibly for these three wives as follows:

    Philip Fishback had two daughters named Mary Elizabeth, one born in 1687, the second in 1696. The first married Jacob Rector in Germany in 1711.  The second seems probably identical with Elizabeth, wife of Melchoir Brumbach of the 1724 record.

    Besides Anna Margaret, wife of Jacob Holtzclaw, and Alice Katherine, wife of John Kemper, Hermann Otterbach had two other daughters, Mary Katherine (b. 1699) and Anna Katherine (b. 1705).  The former looks as though she was Mary Katherine, wife of John Joseph Martin, of the 1724 record.  The latter could have been Katherine, wife of Herman Fishback, probably just married in 1724.

    The coincidence of the names of the above wives with the names of daughters of Philip Fishback and Hermann Otterbach, certainly indicates that these two older men came over in 1714 with their children and sons-in-law; and that several of their daughters did not marry until several years after coming to Virginia.

There remains only one puzzle about the 1724 men:  Who was Katherine, wife (second wife) of Joseph Cuntze, whom he obviously married after coming to America?  A good guess is that she may have been a sister of Tillman Weaver and daughter of Jacob and Anna Weaver.

The theory that Phlilp Fishback and Harman Otterbach came over in 1714 also fits in with the attested statement that there were only 9 houses at Germanna in 1715.  They would have been occupied by the 5 men of the 1724 affidavits whom we know to have been married, plus four more occupied by the Weaver family, Rev. Mr. Haeger, Philip Fishback's family, and Hermann Otterbach's family; and the bachelors would have been distributed around among these nine families.

If the above theory is correct, then Henry Utterback of the Little Fork was probably born in Virginia, a grandson of Hermann Otterbach of 1714, as stated in the Utterback book; and his presence on the ship in Philadelphia in 1734 may perhaps be accounted for by the theory that he, too, though quite a young man, went to Germany with Hans Jacob Fischbach to secure new colonists from Nassau-Siegen.


(This concludes the 1960 Article by Dr. B. C. Holtzclaw on the Little Fork Colony. It originally appeared in the Germanna Annual.)

1TAW:  To convert (skin) into white leather by mineral tanning, as with alum and salt, rather than with tannic acid from tan-bark.

(Dr. B. C. Holtzclaw Article, Copyright © 2002, 2003, The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc..)
(GERMANNA History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, George W. Durman.)
This material has been compiled and placed on this web site by George W. Durman, with the permission of Thom FAIRCLOTH, CEO and President of The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc.  It is intended for personal use by genealogists and researchers, and is not to be disseminated further, without express permission of The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc.


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