Germanna Colonies of America

Germanna Colonies of Virginia 1714-1721

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The Germanna Colonies of Virginia were first established in 1714 under the administration of Governor Spotswood. There were 12 families in the first colony, numbering 42 persons, and they were not Palatinate, but engaged to come, knowing where they were going, and what they were to do. They belonged to the German Reformed Church, the German branch of the Presbyterian family of churches, and began the first congregation of the church in the United States. They were the first actual settlers in what is now Orange County, Virginia. The families included in the First Colony, also called Germanna 1, were: Holtzclaw, Kemper, Martin, Spillman, Fishback, Hoffman, Coons, Brumback, Weaver, Rector, and Hitt.

The 2nd Colony, also called Germanna 2, arriving in 1717, was entirely different from the first, its destination being Pennsylvania, and not Virginia. This colony was comprised chiefly of Lutherans, and numbered approximately 80 persons, which made up 20 families who came from Alsace, the Palatinate, and adjoining districts in Germany. These colonists reached Virginia through circumstances beyond their control. Families to be included in this 2nd colony were: Broyles/Broil/Briles, Blankenbaker, Yeager, Smith, Holt, Fleshman, Snyder, Utz, Clore, Ballenger, Mayer, and Carpenter.

From 1719 on, several other German families, also mostly Lutherans, came to Virginia and settled at, or near, the site of Germanna. This later influx of immigrants from Germany to Virgina is sometimes, erroneously, referred to as the 3rd Colony, or Germanna 3. There was actually no Third Immigration, rather, there were several families, from Germany, who tended to settle near the First or Second Colonies, and who arrived from about 1719 up to about the mid 1700's. Some of these "stragglers" came from the areas of the First and Second Colony immigrants, and it must be assumed that they knew of the earlier groups' departure from Germany, AND where they had settled in America; however, some of them came from different areas in Germany, especially near the Swiss border, and from Switzerland itself.

Germanna Notables in History

Germanna Queries

Germanna Colonies Discussion Group

John Blankenbaker's "Short Notes" on GERMANNA HISTORY
Germanna History Notes that John has been posting to the GERMANNA_HISTORY Mailing List located at the
RootsWeb Genealogy Netserver.

GERMANNA COLONIES Family History Web Site

John Lawson Rector with wife Esther 'Sook' Cox Rector

For more information on the GERMANNA Colonies please follow the links below:

Germanna_Colonies Discussion Group

The Germanna Colonies discussion group is an e-mail subscriber group created for the purpose of searching for, and sharing information on those who came to the original Germanna Colonies in Virginia.

If you would like to subscribe, please send your message to that contains the word "subscribe" (without the quotation marks, of course) and nothing else.

If you prefer digest mode, you should send the command instead to

To unsubscribe, you should send the command "unsubscribe" to (if in mail mode) or (if in digest mode.)

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Germanna Notables in History

James Sevier Conway - eldest son of Ann RECTOR and Capt. Thomas Conway

FIFTH GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS Elias Conway - fourth son of Ann RECTOR and Capt. Thomas Conway


Henry Massie Rector

Alcorn Rector Son of Elizabeth 'Rosebud' Alcorn and Elias William Rector, and grandson of Henry Massie Rector

John V. Blankenbaker Designed to help teach programming, using standard medium-scale and small-scale integrated circuits, it relied on switches for input and lights for output. In 1973, after selling 40 machines, the Kenbak Corporation closed its doors.

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