GERMANNA History Notes Page #005

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This is the FIFTH 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.

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This Page Contains Notes 101 through 125.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 5

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Recently, mention was made that Richard Birdine was a contributor to the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Hebron) in the Robinson River area when they were raising funds in 1733.  Probably Richard Birdine (or Burdyne) was not a German.  This raises the question as to why he made a contribution.  Most likely, he had married a German woman.

This contribution of Richard Burdyne is the earliest known record of him in this area.  He had no land patent.  Robert Tanner deeded him 212 acres on 12 Mar 1738.  In the 1739 tithe list, Richard Burdyne was located in the sequence of Zacharias Fleshman, Peter Fleshman, Richard Birdine, John Wilhide, Michael Claur, . . .

Richard Tanner (Gerber) was a German who had land patents in 1728 and 1735 in the vicinity of the individuals named above.  Robert Tanner testified in 1720 that he came to Virginia with his wife, Mary, and five children, Christopher, Christianna, Katherine, Mary and Parva (Barbara).

Richard Burdyne was nominated as executor in the will of Henry Frederick Phierpack (Beyerback) but Burdyne did not serve.

Richard Burdyne's will, written 22 July 1761, named his wife as Catherine.  It is thought that she was the daughter of Robert Tanner.

There is one Burdyne record at the Hebron Church.  Richard Burdine (Jr.) and his wife, Dorothea, were the parents of Veronica, b. 15 Dec 1782.  The sponsors were John Tanner and Magdalena Tanner.  Dorothea was Reginald's (Richard and Original are two other names in the records) second wife.  She was probably a daughter of Christopher Tanner and a first cousin of Reginald.  In 1817, Dorothea Burdine is named in the distribution of the estate of John Tanner, brother of Dorothea.

Taking all of these records together, it does seem probable that Richard Burdyne, Sr., married Catherine Tanner.  Though this event, a much longer association with the Germans begins.

Mixed nationality marriages were not rare; they occur with a greater frequency than we might expect.  It has a lot to do with the sizes of the groups.  In small groups, marriages outside the group are much more common just because the opportunities within the group are limited.  The First Germanna Colony had several mixed nationality marriages.  The Second Germanna Colony, the largest of the groups, had the fewest.  When the mixed marriages do occur, we wonder how the partners came to meet and how they courted with only a limited knowledge of the other's language.  But then language may not be a prequisite for courtship.


Recently, I have been trying to enumerate the individuals in the Germanna colonies.  As we will eventually see, this will be an endless task as the stream of immigrants, directly either from Germany or from other colonies in America seems never to have ended.  Even among those who we believe to have come directly to Virginia, we find that many came through another colony and may even have spent some time there.  In the later periods, it is extremely likely that the families lived in another region besides the Virginia Piedmont where Germanna is located.

Recently, I had tried to list the Germanna Germans up to about 1740.  In the case of the Second Colony, the 1739 Orange Co. tithe list was very helpful in forming a census; however, even in this case, some of the families were hidden from view because the patriarch had died, the matriarch had remarried and the children were not yet on their own.  Also a few names turned up which are not usually on anyone's list.  Presumably so little is known that a record of them has never been made.  Some families seem to have just disappeared, or did they?  Have they just moved to another locale?  Or is the name difficult to trace?

As an example of how a name can be lost, in note 88, I listed five families who came in 1738 to join the First Germanna Colony.  (Three of these were bachelors.)  What was not recognized was there was a sixth family who came also, Hymanaeus Creutz and his wife Elizabeth.  This is a known family in Nassau-Siegen but they had not been recognized in Virginia.  Because I failed to list them here as Virginia immigrants, a correspondent directed my attention to the oversight.  There are ample records that show they did live in Virginia eventually though they may not have settled in Virginia in 1738.

The process of identifying the Germanna people will go on for a long time.

A few more names of families who came from Nassau-Siegen include the following.  Again, the rule seems to be that they had relatives or friends here.  Probably they were responding to information that had been sent back to Germany.

Johann Jost Konst or Kuns arrived via Philadelphia in 1737.  Probably this is Joseph Coons of the Little Fork group who arrived as a bachelor.  He was a nephew of the 1714 Joseph Cuntze.

The brothers, Johannes Crim/Grim and Johannes Jacob Crim/Grim, also arrived via Philadelphia in 1740, and they too settled in the Little Fork area (a part of Orange Co. then, but now a part of Culpeper Co.).  Their mother was a Spilman.

Johannes Heinrich Hofmann came some time around 1740 but his exact ship is unknown.  He was a brother of the 1714 John Huffman who by then lived in the Robinson River community, now Madison Co.

Johann Jacob Heimbach (Jacob Hanback) arrived at an uncertain time but around 1745.  He was a nephew of Mrs. Harman Otterbach of the 1714 colony.  Also, his grandmother was an aunt of John Young of the 1734 group.

Dilmannus Weissgerber (Tilman Whitescarver) landed in 1750 at Philadelphia and was granted land in Culpeper Co. in 1752.  He had married a sister of Joseph Coons of the Little Fork group.


Identifying the German immigrants is not always easy.  One difficulty is the fact that names are repeated and the individuals are confused.  In a recent case, Barbara Vines Little found that a man who had been described as John Rector was in reality two individuals.  Her findings were confirmed by John Alcock.  Now that the two men have been identified, the records are clearer and some of the mysteries are cleared up.  But before they were broken apart, they had been merged into one man.

Looking through the lists of names for the ships, especially those for Philadelphia, where the best record keeping was done (and preserved), several names are essentially duplicates of names found in Nassau-Siegen, or in the extended Germantown community.  For example:

Johannes Oterpack (Otterback in English or Utterbach in German) arrived in Philadelphia 25 Sep 1732, on the "Judith".  Johannes Krim (Grim) and Martin Krim landed 19 Sep 1738.  No connection to John and Jacob Crim in the Little Fork group have been discovered and only the similar names suggest there may be a connection.  A Daniel Buttong (Jan Daniel Bouton) arrived 27 Aug 1739 and he may be identical with a Daniel Buttons in the Elk Run District of Prince William Co., VA, in 1751.  Possibly this man has been found in Europe and his story is interesting enough to warrant a note in itself.  He may have had a connection with the Jung (Young) family.

One individual with a high probability of being a Germanna person is Johannes Steinseiffer who landed at Philadelphia 19 Sep 1749.  Stonecypher (in one English spelling) is a Nassau-Siegen name.  Though John Stonecypher lived in the Second Colony area, he was associated with the John Hoffman family and appears to be Reformed.  Other Stonecyphers left Nassau-Siegen in the 1738 emigration.

A study of the names in the ship's lists and in the naturalization lists often will help to identify where an individual is from.  Consider these names from the ship "Nancy" which arrived at Philadelphia on 31 Aug 1750: Tilman Creutz, Johann Jacob Brumbach, Johann Gitting, Daniel Shneyder, Dilmanus Weissgerber (Whitecarver), Johannes Reesbach, and Johannes Jung.  Several of these names are to be recognized as Nassau-Siegen names and the probability is almost certain that we talking about a contingent from Nassau-Siegen.  The only one not to recognized in the Germanna community is Johann Gitting.  The name Shneyder is equivalent to Shneider or Snider.  The name Reesbach became Railsback and John Railsback married Elizabeth Thomas in the Second Colony area.

Identifying any one individual from a ship's list with a later individual in the colonies is problematic though.  Too many of the names are similar.


Some Germans came to the Robinson River community shortly after the Hebron Church was built.  This itself could have been a drawing card.  The Germans in residence could write back to Germany that they now had a church building and a pastor.  Land was still available, though unpatented land near the church was becoming scarce.  People were taking up land ten or more miles from the church.

Henry Frederick Beyerback was deeded land by Peter Weaver in 1742 and 1744 but he died early in 1746.  His will mentions his wife, Hannah, and daughter Catherine Jones.  He nominated Richard Burdyne (mentioned here recently) as his executor but Burdyne declined to serve.  Why Burdyne should have been selected is a mystery.  Beyerback's origin's in Germany have been found and documented in "Before Germanna", vol. 10.

George Frederick Crible landed in Philadelphia in 1743.  He died intestate in Culpeper Co. in 1764.

Michael Finder died intestate in Culpeper Co. in 1760.  Appraisers of his estate were James Barbour, Jr., Adam Gaar and Adam Wayland.

Theobald Fite and his wife sold land to John Zimmerman, Jr. in 1759.  In the Culpeper Rental of 1764, he is shown as "Tebald White".

John Kains (Kines) received a patent for 400 acres in 1736, adjacent to John Hoffman, Christian Clements, and Edward Ballenger.  He proved his importation in May 1741 and was an appraiser of the estate of John Stinesyfer (Stonecypher) in 1761.

Anna Mary Gabbard wrote her will in Culpeper Co. on 17 Dec 1761 with witnesses John Clore, Christopher Dickens, and Michael Thomas.  The estate went to her grandson, Henry Jones.  This was the only name mentioned in her will.  There was a Fredrich Gabbart who signed a road petition 3 Feb 1742/3 in the Shenandoah region of Orange Co.

In the 1740's, Johannes Gerhard appears to have been a resident in Orange County to judge by the marriage of his daughter, Mary, to George Blankenbaker.

Michael Thomas, youngest son of the 1717 immigrants, John and Anna Maria Thomas, is said to have married, as his second wife, Eve Susannah Margaret Hart.  Among the later Harts was Valentine Hart, probably a German name.

Philip Hoop (Hupp is modern spelling) died in Culpeper Co. in 1761.  When he came is uncertain.

Henry Hoffman, brother of the 1714 John Hoffman, came in the early 1740's and settled in the Robinson River community.

In this fairly long list of names, there are several about whom we wish that we knew more.  For example, Johannes Gerhard is an ancestor of the Picklers of Germanna origin but we know little about him, his wife, or their origins.  Sometimes we are lucky and meet someone who can inform us about these people.  If the names in the note today ring any bells, I would like to correspond.  We do know a lot about Henry Hoffman, but the others have more blanks than filled in spaces.


In the last note, we were naming people who came to the Robinson River community in the interval of about 1740 to 1750, or slightly later.  I continue with more people:

There are many instances where a name appears only once in the records.  All that we know about Conrad Kepler is that he was paid from the estate of Joseph Kelly as recorded in 1757 in the Culpeper Co. Will Book A, on page 32.  The name Kepler almost suggests Kabler which is a recognized family in the Mt. Pony area but the Kabler family history does not suggest there was a Conrad.  Conrad Kepler could have been an individual who was just passing through Virginia or who lived in a more remote region of Virginia.  Incomplete stories or histories leave us with a feeling of uneasiness.  Some similar events for other men have had happy outcomes.  The name is recognized in other contexts and the story is made more complete.

Matthias Kerchler proved his importation in Orange Co. in 1736 and Peter Weaver used his headright in obtaining his 1736 patent.  Sometimes the transfer of a headright was within the family but, in other cases, it was simply a cash transaction.  Again, we know little about Kerchler.

George Samuel Klug was the associate pastor hired in Europe on the fund raising trip.  After the death of John Caspar St�ver, he became the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran (Hebron) Church.  He married Susannah Castler of the community.

John Kyner was in the Orange Co. tithables in 1739 with three tithables.  B.C. Holtzclaw, in his writings, confused him with the name Reiner, which was a separate family.

Jacob Miller lived in the Mt. Pony, area adjoining Adam Y�ger.  He paid for his land with his own headright, but named no other individuals, so presumably he came as a bachelor.  He was naturalized 24 Feb 1742/3, so he is probably a German.  In later deeds he appears with a wife Rebecca.

Though the name Perry occurs in the Hebron Church Register, it is believed to be a mistake for Berry.  This is a typical interchange of letters at a German-English interface.

The name Preiss is in the Hebron Church Register.  Probably this is the German spelling of the English name Price.

The Reiner name has been confused with other families.  The first Reiner to come to Virginia was Mary Barbara Reiner who had married Michael Koch (Cook) in Germany.  They came in 1717.  Thirty-three years later, her brother, Hans Dieterich Reiner, with his family, came to Virginia.  They landed in Philadelphia from the ship "Fane" and they went immediately to Virginia where they quickly became involved in the community.  The youngest son, Eberhardt, purchased 530 acres of land on Dark Run.  The daughter, Mary Sarah, married George Cook, her first cousin and they had their first child baptized within a couple of years.  The Reiner family is an excellent case of how communication was maintained between Virginia and Germany.  It is obvious that the Reiner family was responding to information from Germany.  The Reiners have a known history back to about 1600 in Schwaigern, the home of several Germanna families.


The Reiner family, with which the last note closed, is an excellent example of how many of our German ancestors came with a purpose and an informed knowledge of what they were going to do.  In many cases, emigrants left Germany with large uncertainties about their futures.  We have to be thankful that they had the courage to do so.  But in the case of the Reiners, there was a plan.  When Hans Dieterich Reiner came in 1750, with his family, he was being united with his sister who had left in 1717.  This also illustrates how strong family ties were.

Johannes Rehlsbach (John Railsback), b.1731 at Eisern, southeast Siegen, arrived in 1750 with several other people from the Nassau-Siegen region.  By 1756 he was a foot-soldier in Culpeper Co., VA and commenced a long series of land transactions in Culpeper Co.  He married Elizabeth Thomas of the Second Colony.  In 1788 he moved to Kentucky where he apparently lived until about 1795.  John's brother Henry (Johann Henrich) came with his wife, Anna Maria Euteneur, whom he married in 1757 in Eisern.  They came to America with a first record in a 1762 land record in Culpeper Co.  They moved to Rowan Co., NC where she died in 1786.

George Row (or Rowe) is mentioned several times in connection with the German families but he may have been English.  He was a witness to the will of Richard Burdyne along with John Clore, Peter Clore and John James.  Richard Burdyne is believed to have married the German, Catherine Tanner.

Henry Sluchter was the stepson of Cyriacus Fleshman, and a half-brother of the Blankenbakers and Fleshmans, and came with them in 1717.  He married Sarah.  B.C. Holtzclaw says that Henry Sluchter deeded land to John Shafer in 1749.  Very little is known about the man.  His appearances in the records are minimal.  What became of him is unknown and he is a major hole in enumerating the descendants of Anna Barbara Sch�ne, his mother.

Just because men share the same surname does not mean that they are related.  There was a series of Snyders, or Sniders, in Culpeper Co., VA who probably were not related.  Henry Snider came in 1717.  John Snyder first appears in Virginia in 1742, when he witnessed the will of Michael Wilhoite, a Germanna pioneer.  John Snyder's will of 1760 names three sons and five daughters.  Very often, witnesses of wills are related to the maker of the will but no relation is known between Snyder and Wilhoite.

Phillip Snyder married Margaret Cook, the daughter of Michael Cook, the 1717 colonist.  Phillip died about 1795 leaving four sons and three daughters.

The name Souther, which is probably Sauder/Sauter in German, needs more research.  The mother of John Michael Smith, Sr.'s, first wife was a Sauter.  In its own right, the name Souther appears in 1748 when Henry Souther was granted 324 acres on German Ridge. Chain carriers were Daniel Crisler (?) and Steven Harnsburger.  In the 1787 Culpeper tax list, there are Jacob and Michael Souther.  Jacob's name occurs at the Hebron church records.


Some German names, even with two given names and the surname, may be duplicates.  That may be the case with the following individual or individuals.  John Michael Stoltz was first granted 400 acres in Hanover Co., VA on both sides of Owens Creek in 1725.  He was granted 291 acres in the Robinson River area in 1732.  Whether one man or two, there can hardly be any doubt about the nationality.  In any case, it would be of interest to know why a German was patenting land in Hanover Co.  Where did he come from?  Did he live in another colony before Virginia?  Why Hanover Co.?  This is a good illustration of how little we know about some (make that, nearly all) of the immigrants.  The Robinson River patent was adjacent to Peter Weaver on Deep Run, Frederick Baumgarner, and George Moyer.  John Stolts is in the 1739 Orange Co. tithe list.  At an inquiry by the colony of Virginia, it was found that the property of John Michael Stolts, deceased, had reverted to the colony.  William Fowler claimed it and sold it to Michael Utz in 1745.  Apparently John Michael Stoltz had a son of the same name, as a John Michael Stoltz was appointed the administration of the John Michael Stoltz estate.  There were several reasons that property reverted to the crown (colony).  Failure to pay taxes (quitrent) was one.  The failure to develop the property was another.  In theory, an individual who was not naturalized could not pass on property.

It is a complete mystery, but Christian Tival was named as a son-in-law of Andrew Garr in a land grant application.  Another member of the family is Henry Tival.  The problem with being a son-in-law of Andrew Garr is that Andrew had no extra daughters.  Of course, the words "son-in-law" did not always mean the same thing then as now.  They could mean "stepson".  Perhaps Andrew Gaar/Garr was married twice, the second time to the widow Tival who had sons Christian and Henry.  Right now this is the only explanation that I can see.  Perhaps a reader might have a better comment to make.  See Peggy Joiner's "Virginia Northern Neck Warrants and Surveys", vol. 1, 2 and 3.  If anyone can elaborate on the Tivals, I would appreciate hearing the information.  Of course, the "t" might be a "d" and the "v" might be a "b".

George Wayman (Weidmann) has been mentioned as an immigrant from Nassau-Siegen in 1738.  He lived in the Robinson River area and had two sons, Harman and Henry.  Harman married first, Elizabeth Clore, and second, Frances Clore, both granddaughters of the 1717 immigrant, Michael Clore.  Henry Wayman was perhaps married twice, first to a daughter of Zacharias Blankenbaker's wife, who may have been a Finks, and second, to Magdalena Blankenbaker.  This two-marriage concept is supported by the baptismal sponsorships at the Hebron Church and by the book, "Some Martin, Jefferies, and Wayman Families and Connections of Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky and Indiana".

Johann Leonhart Ziegler came through Philadelphia in 1732 and moved to Virginia, where he married Barbara Zimmerman.  He died as a young man of 46 and his 1757 Culpeper will mentions children Christopher, Leonard, Elizabeth, Ann, and Susannah.  He lived in the Mt. Pony area.  He appears to have come from Sinsheim in Germany.  Sinsheim is also the home of the Pinnegars (Benninger) who were associated with the Zieglers in Virginia.


Very recent notes have concentrated on the Germans who moved to the Germanna area in the time period of about 1740 to 1760; however, they continued to come right up to the time of the Revolutionary War.  The uncertainties arising from the war stopped the flow of immigrants from Germany and seem to have slowed migration within the colonies.  After the war, very few people came into the Germanna area.  Instead the pattern, perhaps starting about 1750, was a flow of people out of the area; however, we have not recounted all of the people who came into the Germanna area.

Daniel Boehme signed the Hebron Church covenant (constitution) in 1776; actually another person wrote the names which were not signatures.  A few months later, the male members of the church signed a petition to the new government asking to be freed from the obligation of paying the state tithe for support of the English church.  Probably Daniel signed his own name as Daniel Beemon at this time.  It is believed that this is the spelling most commonly found in modern times.  Apparently the first child of Daniel was born in 1777, so Daniel may have been in the early 1750's.  His wife was Nancy and it appears she was the family of Peter Clore and Barbara Yager or perhaps of Barbara and her second husband, Phillip Chelf.  Perhaps a Harman "Bahmer" who witnessed a deed from Matthew Smith to Jacob Barler in 1747 was his father.  The origins of the Beemon family are unknown but the family did move to Boone Co., KY.  Nine children are known from the church records.  More research on the family would be welcome.

John Becker and his wife, Elizabeth Clore, had four children baptized at the Hebron Church from 1769 to 1776.  There is an interesting story in connection with the baptism of the first of these, Jesse.  Jesse was not the son of John.  But before you think a racy story is coming up, it was all very honorable.  Elizabeth's first husband was Adam Baumgardner, the father of Jesse.  Adam died, Elizabeth remarried, Jesse was born and John and Elizabeth brought Jesse to the church for baptism.  There is nothing in the baptismal record to indicate that John Becker was not the father of the baby.  There is ample documentation in the Baumgardner family which shows that this was the case though.  So the next time you read a baptismal record, ask yourself what is the probability that the apparent father is really the father.  The origin of the Becker (Beker, Bacher) family is not known.  A Michael Bacher was a sponsor in 1756, 1759, and 1762 for children of Nicholas Crigler and Margaret Kaifer.  Samuel Becker was in the Orange Co. tithe list for the late 1730's next to Nicholas Christopher.

Adam Bender (perhaps Pender) and his wife, Demila, has Heseckiel, baptized 28 Jul 1776.  Sponsors were Andrew Carpenter and his wife Barbara, Moses Broyles and Elizabeth Broyles.  Very often the sponsors are related but sometimes a family has no relatives in the community so non-relatives have to serve.  The records are relatively few.  The maiden name of Theobald Christler's (Crisler) wife's mother was Bender.  This family immigrated with the Crislers to Pennsylvania in 1719.

Felta Bunger bought 100 acres on a branch of Deep Run from Michael Wilhite in 1775.  The name Felta is a nickname for Valentine and the last name may have been closer to Bungard or Bangert in the German.  The will of Felta Bunger was executed in Greenbrier Co. (now WV) in 1806.  Other members of the family moved to Kentucky.  There was a close association with the House family. 
A book of Bunger genealogy, by Ina Ritchie Sipes, "Bunger Ancestors and Descendants and Allied Families" has been published but it says little about the ancestors of Felta Bunger.


In recent notes there has been an attempt to group people by the approximate time of their appearance in the Germanna community.  The name of Christian Clements may have been overlooked.  He was an earlier immigrant as he purchased 600 acres on Deep Run in the Robinson River community adjacent to John Hoffman.  He was also a neighbor to John Paul Vogt, who was his father-in-law, since Christian married Catherine Margaret Vogt (Vaught).  The Clements and the Vogts moved to the Shenandoah Valley ca 1744 and were in the first wave of emigrants out of the Robinson River Valley.  About the same time, others were moving to North Carolina.

The given name Christian was a stumbling block for the English clerks who seemed to regard Christian as an improper given name.  They usually converted it into Christopher.

Rudolph Crecelius and his wife Maria Elisabeth had Johannes, born 14 Oct 1777, baptized at the Hebron Church.  The name Crecelius hardly looks German and, in fact, it is not a proper German spelling.  In the 1600's, it became a fad to "Latinize" the spelling of one's name, especially among the lawyers and doctors, i.e., university trained people.  There were a couple of mentions of the family at church, but the records were sparse for this family.  It was found that Rudolph Cretselious and his wife Elizabeth were buried in Washington County, TN in the Old Dutch Meeting House cemetery.  Continued advertising for information on the family turned up more, a rather complete family history starting in the colonies in Pennsylvania, moving through Virginia and on to Tennessee.  The people who supplied this information had not been aware of the birth of John in Virginia.

The Crecelius family illustrates that a move often took several years.  A family might leave Pennsylvania, perhaps were not sure what the final destination was.  But they tried one locality, perhaps staying only for a winter and a growing season, perhaps a little longer, but moving on to still other localities where the prospect appeared brighter in terms of the climate or opportunity for land was better or the attitude toward slavery was permissive or against.  These migration paths were both north and south and people on the move probably encountered others moving in the opposite direction.

Genealogists though pull their hair out at the thought of this transient behavior which is very hard to follow.

Sometimes we are left wondering what name was intended in a record.  For example, John Dearet and his wife Maria were sponsors for Jacob, son of Ambrose Garriott and his wife Elizabeth Blankenbaker.  There were Dear families in the community so Dearet might be a variation.  Or handwriting being what it was at the church (and in German), maybe Dearet was a misreading of Garriott.  A third possibility, and perhaps the most likely, is John Derret who was adjacent to Philip Clayton on Muddy Run Mountain.  He was adjacent to Bryan and William Fairfax, who are below Devil's Run, Mountain Run, and Muddy Run Mountain (using information from Peggy Joiner on the early grants).  Ambrose Garriott was not a member of the Lutheran church.  He might be considered a Germanna family because of his marriage to a Germanna descendant.  However, John Dearet is probably not a Germanna family.

It does not suffice to study only the Germanna families because there were intermarriages between the English and German communities.  But also, there were English and German families of the same name.  Two that come to mind immediately are the Smith and Thomas families.  And to make the sorting harder, there were English-German marriages in these families.


Conrad Delph (Delp, Telph, Telp) was probably born about 1720-25 in an unknown location.  His mother was perhaps a Mary Delp ( who was ordered to be paid as a witness in Orange Co., in 1745, in a suit of George Moyer, Jr., and Sarah his wife, against Conrad Broyle).  Conrad married, about 1744-45, Anna Magdalena Castler, daughter of Mathias Castler, Germanna pioneer.  The Hebron Church records show there were eleven children of Conrad and Anna Magdalena.

Daniel Diehl (Deal, Deals), with his wife Elizabeth brought their daughter Mary for baptism on 28 Jul 1776.  Besides Daniel, there was also a John Deal in 1787 in Culpeper Co. John and Daniel were probably brothers as they seem to be of about the same age.  The origins of the Diehl family are unknown.

The Dikons (Dickens) family was probably English but intermarried with the Germanna people.  Benjamin Dikons and Rosina his wife had a daughter, Rhode, baptized 22 Jun 1777, at the Hebron Church, with Adam Fisher, Elisabeth Fisher, and Eva Yager as sponsors.  Often the sponsors were relatives but no relationship is known at the present.  An Elizabeth Dickens married John Burdyne, son of Richard and Catherine (Tanner) Burdyne.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Christopher Dickens, Sr. and Sarah Pallium of Culpeper Co.  Christopher was a witness to the will of Anne Mary Gabbard (1762) and an appraiser of her estate (same year).  Elizabeth has a brother William and sister Winifred.

Dosser, Doser, Dozer are the names of Daniel and his wife, who were sponsors of the child Anna Barbara Urbach (Arbaugh) on 22 Sep 1776.  A Friedrich Dosser was confirmed in 1777, and Henrick Dosser was confirmed in 1782 at age 14.  Leonard Dozier received cash of the estate of Philemon Kavanaugh (1752), as did Christopher Zimmerman.  The family appears to have moved to Greenbrier Co., now WV, and some information is available in Larry Shuck's "Shuck, Fleshman, Sydenstricker & Other Families".

Elizabeth Eberhart was a communicant at Hebron Church in 1775.

Caspar Faehr and his wife Catherina had Adam baptized on 2 Nov 1777, with Adam Wayland and his wife Mary (Finks) as sponsors.

Michael Finder died intestate in Culpeper Co. in 1760.  The appraisers of the estate were James Barbour, Jr., Adam Garr and Adam Wayland.

This note has mentioned several families or individuals about whom little is known.  Several of the citations have a date of 1777 plus or minus a year.  There is a known reason for this which will be the subject of future notes.  The fact remains that we know very little about these people and many others; however, in some cases the individual or family has been identified.  These names are put forth with a similar hope.  They are probably the ancestors of somebody.


The Rev. Jacob Franck became the pastor of the Hebron Lutheran Church late in 1775.  During the fewer than three years that he was the pastor, the church was reactivated and the number of baptisms increased dramatically.  (This is one reason that so many people seem to be making a first time appearance in the years 1776, 77 and 78.)  Though Rev. Franck was very popular with the congregation, he left the ministry and returned to Philadelphia as a silversmith.  He and his wife Barbara had a son, Jacob, born 17 Sep 1776, baptized.  After the very successful period with Rev. Franck as pastor, the Hebron Church fell onto hard times for several years.

John Fray purchased land in Culpeper Co., VA in 1764.  He married Rebecca Swindell.  John Fray died in 1791 with a will that mentions his wife, Rebecca, and his sons Ephraim, Moses, and Adam, and his daughters, Mary, Elizabeth, Ann, and Margaret.  Virginia Fray Lewis' book, "A History and Genealogy of John Fray of Culpeper Co., Virginia", has much more information.  (Though there seem to be several errors in the book.)

A Barbara Gerhardt was a sponsor in 1787 when Henry Crisler and his wife Elizabeth brought Rosina for baptism to the Hebron church.  There appear to have been Gerhardts in the community in the period around 1740 and later years.  Whether there is a relationship is unknown.

Daniel Gut (Good) and his wife Elizabeth had Ludwig baptized on 24 Nov 1791.  Sponsors were Jacob Lip and his wife Margaret.

The origins of Matthias House prior to his purchase of land in 1771 in Culpeper Co. were in Augusta Co., VA, but prior to that, his source is unknown.  The Hebron church records are filled with House information after they arrived in Culpeper Co.

George Hume was a second cousin of Alexander Spotswood who was sent to the colonies as a sentence for an uprising against Queen Anne.  Descendants of George Hume married into the Germanna families.

Philip Hoop (Hupp) left a will in Culpeper Co. in 1761.  He had several sons who all appear to have moved, at least on a temporary basis, to southwestern Pennsylvania.  There were intermarriages to the older Germanna families.


John Daniel Jacoby was probably a German who died in Culpeper Co., VA, in 1767.  His will mentions his wife, Anna Barbara, and five children, Francis, John, Daniel, Elizabeth, and Anna Barbara.

Henry Jones apparently had a German strain since Anna Mary Gabbard calls him her grandson in her will, in which she left her entire estate to him.  Henry Jones was a witness to the Michael Clore in 1762.  David Jones was a chain carrier for Nicholas Kabler.  He, David, had land on Stanton River.  The daughter of Henry Frederick Beyerback was Catherine Jones.  More research on the Jones family might help clarify these situations.

Michael Kaifer refers, in his 1762 will, to his son-in-law, Henry Coller.  This person has never been identified.  Spelling being what it was in many of the German wills, we are not sure just what the name was.  So far no individual has come forth as the logical candidate for Henry "Coller"

John Kaines (Kine) had 400 acres adjacent to John Huffman, Christian Clayman (Clements), and Edward Ballenger.  He proved his importation in 1741.  He was an appraiser of the estate of John Stinesyfer in 1761.  He died in 1767 and his will mentions Joseph Harriss and his wife and his grandson, John Harriss.  He appointed his friends Harman Spilman and John Stinesyfer, Jr. as executors.  From these latter names, it is most likely that John Kaines was from the Nassau-Siegen area.

Conrad Kepler was paid from the estate of Joseph Kelly in 1757.

John Jacob Kneissle and his wife Margaretha had Jacob baptized 24 Aug 1777.  Sponsors were Jacob Redman and Elisabeth Schmidt.

Conrad K�nzle's name appears in many forms and sometimes one is left wondering whether the same individual is intended.  Other spellings are Genzle, Kansler and Gansler.  The interchange of the "G" and the "K" is understandable.  The list of sponsors for the nine children (1773 to 1794) of Conrad and his wife Rachel suggests that Rachel was a Barlow, in particular, a daughter of Adam Barlow and Mary Smith.

George, Michael and John Lehman are mentioned in the Hebron Church register 1775 to 1784.

Henry Lipp's name was affixed to the Hebron Church constitution of 1776.  His wife was Elizabeth.  Other Lipps who appear at church include Daniel, Anna Maria, Elizabeth, and Jacob who married Margaret.  Though Germanna Record Six says that Jacob married Margaret Zimmerman, the right Margaret may not have been selected.


When one starts scratching beneath the surface, there were many German families in the area that was pioneered by the original settlers in the Virginia Piedmont.  From the beginning I have taken the view that all of these were to be counted as Germanna people even though many of them did not come to the area until close to the time of the Revolution.  The enumeration of these people continues.

One family that should not be counted is John Langenbuehl and his wife Barbara.  The idea that there was such an individual was put forth by B.C. Holtzclaw in the Germanna Records, in Number Six to be exact.  This was a mistake resulting from the difficulty of reading the German script in the church records.  The name Langenbuehl is really, in the modern spelling, Blankenbaker.  The German script for the capital letter "B" looks much like our modern script letter "L".  This is a warning to us as we trace individuals; spelling and penmanship may confuse us.

The Lotspeich family is truly an international family and I never cease to marvel that the pieces were ever put together.  Three children of Conrad Lotspeich and Catharina Elisabetha Ladenberger, born at Frankenthal in the Palatinate, were immigrants to America.  They were Johann Wilhelm, born 1740, Johanna Friederika, born 1744, and Johann Christoph, born 1750.  There were three other children but the named three came to Virginia where Friederika married John Francis Lucas Jacoby, and William Lotspeich married Magdalena Klug, the daughter of Rev. Klug.  J.C. Lotspeich's wife's given name was Rebecca Barbara according to Don McNeil.  Their mother's brother was a merchant in London who left his estate to his sister's children.  This will was the essential link in tying the family together.

John Marbes received land from John Michael Smith, Jr.  Apparently John Marbes had married Catherine Smith, the daughter of Michael Smith.  In the back of the Hebron Church Register it states that Sara was the daughter of Catharina Marbes but that the mother admitted her husband was not the father of the child.  The sponsors at the baptism of Sara include Jacob Holtzclaw (s/o the immigrant) and his wife Susanna Thomas, who was a cousin of Catharina.

Mathias Mauck (Mock, Mack, etc.) and his wife, Barbara, appear in Culpeper Co. deeds in 1772, 1774 and 1779.  George Clore, son of John, and grandson of the 1717 Michael Clore, married Barbara Mauck.  Daniel Mauck married Barbara Harnsberger, the daughter of Stephen and granddaughter of the 1717 immigrant John Harnsberger.  (There is a very active Mock research group on the Internet.)

Michael Meyerhoeffer became the pastor of the Lutheran Church in 1815. 

Francis Michael was granted 400 acres in the Great Fork of the Rappahannock River in 1728.  The spelling of the name in the Virginia records, Mycall, Mycill, Mickell and his appearance with some of the Germans suggests that the name may have been Michel, not Michael.  The early associate of Graffenried was Franz Ludwig Michel.  Michel is the one who though he found silver in Virginia (in the Shenandoah Valley) and who sparked the imagination of Graffenried leading to the recruitment of the members of the First Germanna Colony.  Possibly this early Francis Michael in Virginia was this one-time associate of Graffenried.


Two brothers, George and Henry Miller, came down from Pennsylvania not long before the Revolution.  Henry is said to have been a tanner by occupation.  Though both brothers have children whose baptisms were recorded at the church, it appears that some of the baptisms occurred at other churches.  The recording at Hebron was probably for the purpose of making the records on the families more complete.  A book by Louise Keyser Cockey, "History of the Descendants of Charles Keyser and Henry Miller" has more information.  A short note on the family of Henry Miller was in Beyond Germanna, v.1, n.5. There were other Miller families to whom George and Henry do not seem to be related.

John Millbank married Mary Barlow on 10 Apr 1773 in, Culpeper Co., VA.  John may be identical to the John Millbank tried for robbery at Old Bailey in London in 1770 and sentenced to death.  Later the sentence was commuted to "transportation for life" and he was brought to America aboard the ship "Scarsdale".  He was probably auctioned as an indentured servant at the port.  The Millbanks moved to Scott Co., KY about 1806.  Research on the Millbanks has been performed by Ellie Caroland and a short note appeared in Beyond Germanna, v.3, n.1.  Transportation for life was not unusual; Alexander Spotswood had a second cousin, George Hume, who was "condemned" to spend his life in the colonies.  He, Hume, went on to become a noted surveyor and whose descendants moved several Germanna people.

Lewis Nunnamacher married Barbara Blankenbaker and they were sponsors at a baptism in 1776 at the Hebron church.  A John Neuenmacher was confirmed in 1777.  Probably Lewis and John were brothers.  George Ludwig Noonemacher arrived at Philadelphia on the ship "Mary and Sarah" with a known Germanna immigrant, George Ra�ser (Racer, Razor) on 26 Oct 1754.  Perhaps Lewis and John were sons of George Ludwig.  Later Nunnamachers were in Jeffersontown, KY, where many Germanna people were located.

Conrad Ohlscheitt, with Catharina Daher, had Henry baptized 3 Jul 1782.  Apparently they were the parents but not married.  Sponsors of the boy were Joseph Holtzclaw and his wife Elizabeth, and Daniel Daher and his wife Maria Elizabetha.  This is another one of those tantalizing tidbits which just tell us how imperfect our understanding is.  More to follow.

Johannes Eberhard Ohlschlager was deeded land in Culpeper Co. in 1768.

Aaron Paler and his wife Catharina had children baptized from 1802 to 1806.  Apparently the Germans kept coming after the war.

John Peck (Beck? or Veck?) had a daughter (Rosina) baptized in 1776 at the church.

The name Perry in the Hebron church records is probably a misspelling of the name Berry.  Though there were Perrys in Culpeper Co., the Berrys lived closer to the church and have proven records of marriage with the Germans.  Again, it shows that we can be misled by spelling problems or reading problems in the records.


Peter Pinnegar purchased 275 acres from John Deer and his wife Catherine in 1778.  The land was located in the Goard Vine Fork of the Rappahannock River (in the area now Rappahannock Co.).  Peter moved to NC before 1793 in company with the Flinchums, Zimmermans, and Ziglars where they lived together and intermarried.  The German origins of Peter Benninger of Epfenbach (Kreis Sinsheim) are given in Don Yoder's book, "Rhineland Emigrants".  He was permitted to emigrate in 1751 with his wife and four children.  In the previous year Leonhardt Ziegler was denied permission to emigrate to Pennsylvania.  The association of the Ziegler and Benninger names in Germany and Virginia makes it clear that the families have likely been identified.  Why the families moved to Virginia is not clear except that Epfenbach is not very far from the German homes of many Germanna settlers.

The name Preiss occurs at the Hebron church.  It is probably a German spelling of the name Price.  Still, the family does seem to be associated with the German community.

George Adam Ra�ser (Racer, Rasor, Razor) came to America from Germany on the ship "Mary and Sarah" in 1754.  The same ship carried George Ludwig Nonnenmacher.  George Razor married Margaret ____ in New Jersey, where he lived before Virginia.  In 1774, George bought 100 acres in the Robinson River community from the Baumgardners.  In the next 14 years, the family can be found in the Hebron records.  About 1794, George Razor, Sr., with his sons Peter and Christian, his son-in-law George Swindle, other members of the Swindle-Swindel family and perhaps Aaron Clore moved to the Abbeville district of SC.  George, Sr., is said to have died on the trip.  In SC, the family became known as Raso, while in VA the name was Racer.

Henry Railsback was a brother of John Railsback.

Jacob and Peter Redman attended the Hebron church on a few occasions about the time of the Revolution.  The name Redman is no doubt a corruption, but it is not clear what the original name was.

The Rinehart name is found in Culpeper Co. just before the Revolution.  It is also found in the Shenandoah Valley, perhaps there first.  It appears there were branches of the family on both sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Benjamin Rise and his wife Hanna brought Franke to the church for baptism in 1778.

John Rodeheifer is in the Culpeper 1787 tax list in the area of present day Madison Co.  His wife seems to be Mary and they brought David to church for baptism in 1776.  A deed in 1787 indicates his wife was Sarah (who married Ephraim Yager in 1791 after John died in 1790).

Maria Rossel was a communicant in 1778 at the Hebron Church.  Michael Russel was a witness to the 1750 will of George Clore.  Though he was named as executor in George Clore's will, Michael renounced the job.

Again, we are seeing many names that have a very limited presence in the community.  Still, they are no doubt important in some lines of ancestry.  We would like to learn as much as possible about them.


On 27 Apr 1794, George R�ckstuhl had his natural son, Wilhelm, baptized.  The sponsors were Valentine Bungard and the child's mother who is not specified.  George Rookstool married Catherine House and moved to Preble Co., OH.

George Schlatter and his wife Margaretha attended the Hebron church in 1776.  John Shlatter and Elisabeth Schlatter were confirmed at Hebron in 1777.  A Margaretha Schlatter was confirmed in 1778.  A George Slaughter obtained a 300 acre patent on 28 Jan 1733 which was noted as adjacent to George Long and Matthew Castler which probably means that George "Slaughter" was German and perhaps related to the people above.  A Conrad Slater is in the 1739 Orange Co. tithables very much among the Germans.  A Conrad Slaughter is mentioned in deeds.  Conrad Slaughter's wife was Margaret according to the will of John Snider (Culpeper W.B. A, p.214).  This appears to be the case of a German family whose name was close to a known English name.  In cases like this, the tendency is for the German name to be spelled according to the known English name.  It then becomes harder to recognize that the family is German, not English.

Johannes Schwabach was the pastor at Hebron Lutheran Church from about 1764 to 1774.  After Rev. Klug's death, there was a gap of about a year before Schwarbach came to Hebron.  He was born in Europe and was a teacher in Pennsylvania.  He moved on to the Valley of Virginia where he was a catechist.  In 1768 he wrote, "I am overburdened with work . . . in six months, I have instructed and confirmed young people in seven different congregations at a considerable distance from each other."  Deacons Adam Garr and Adam Wayland wrote at the same time that "The efforts of Mr. Schwarbach . . . please us very much."  The deacons complained at the same time that Mr. Schwarbach could not officiate at their weddings and they had to use the English pastor.  Schwarbach's retirement seems to have been motivated by a desire to escape the heavy physical duties such as ministering to congregations up to one hundred miles away.  His wife was Margaretha.

The Selcer (Selzer, Seltzer) family is another family whose members seemed to straddle the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Matthew Selser owed money to the estate of Michael Clore in 1763.

Elizabeth St�r was confirmed in 1782 at the Hebron church at the age of 17.

Rosina Stature was confirmed in 1782 at the Hebron church at the age of 17.

In the comments about Johannes Schwarbach, it was noted that he traveled far in his duties of serving as a minister to different people.  It may also be the case that people would come to Hebron for special services, especially confirmation.  Thus there may be no records to be found for the St�r and Stature family in Culpeper Co.  Or if the records are sparse for a family, it may be that they were not permanent residents.


There is one known record for George Trumpor in Culpeper Co., Virginia.  This was at the Hebron Church where he and his wife Margaretha had Andreas baptized 17 Nov 1776.  The sponsors for the boy were George Utz, Jr. and his wife.  George Utz, Jr., was the son of Michael Utz, the son of the 1717 immigrant George Utz.  The wife of George, Jr., was Margaret Weaver, the daughter of Peter Weaver, the young 1717 immigrant.  Margaret Utz is said to be the daughter of George, the son of the immigrant George Utz.  Therefore, George, Jr. was a cousin of Margaret and a logical choice as a sponsor.  But none of this furnishes any information about George Trumpor who remained a mystery.

Fortunately, Marge Willhite provided information on George Trumpor whose family is more commonly known as Trumbo.  The family starts with Andrew Trumbore (Drumbore, Trombor, Trumbourger, Trombauer, etc.) who emigrated from the Rhenish Palatinate to Pennsylvania between 1724 and 1727.  Branches of the family moved to Virginia (by 1748 Jacob Trumbo was delinquent in his taxes in Augusta Co.) in an area which is now Pendleton Co., West Virginia.  This is an area to the west of the Shenandoah Valley and separated from it by the Shenandoah Mountains.  Fort Seybert was a prominent early feature which can still be located.

Jacob and Mary Trumbo were the parents of at least seven children: Elizabeth, who married Mathias Rheinhart; Andrew, who married Margaret Harness; John, who married Mary Custer; George, of this commentary; Dorothy; Margaret; and Jacob, Jr., who married Elizabeth Lair and Hannah Hawes Cowger.  The Trumbo family history gives the wife of George as Margaret Rockefeller Oats.  It is clear that Oats should be identified with Utz.

The name Rockefeller has a Germanna origin also.  Margaret Utz was the granddaughter of Anna Maria Blankenbaker and Thomas Kaifer.  Written in German script, the names Blankenbaker (as it may have been spelled then) and Rockefeller have a similarity.  In the face of uncertainty it is not unusual for a descendant to make the choice which seems to have the higher status.

As a consequence of this information, we now know that one branch of our Germanna families descends through the Trumbo family.  And in the Trumbo family, they have a better understanding of their heritage.

How did George Trumbo meet Margaret Utz?  Stories written about life in this region mention that the men went across the mountains on business.  Or, we have Rev. Schwarbach of the Hebron church who traveled a hundred miles reaching a very dispersed congregation.  Maybe he spread the information about Margaret.  Or church members from the Valley and environs came to Hebron.  The important point is that spouses did not always come from the farm next door, even a lot of them did.


Adolph and his wife Anna Maria Urbach (Arbaugh, Orebaugh, Orebach) had Anna Barbara baptized 22 Sep 1776 at the Hebron Lutheran Church, with Daniel Doser and his wife as sponsors.  Five pages of information on the family are given by Ardys V. Hurt in Larry Shuck's book, "Shuck Fleshman Sydenstricker Families".  A later version of the book, "Our Families", has a chapter of twenty pages.  This family appears to be a Shenandoah Valley family, not a Culpeper Co. family.  The family may have made a trip east of the Blue Ridge and had Anna Barbara baptized while they were there.  It may also be the case that Rev. Franck was on a visit to the Valley and baptized Anna Barbara while he was there; however, there is little or no evidence that the Hebron baptismal register was used in this way.  The name "Adolph" is sometimes reported as "Adam," not only in this case but in general.

Johannes Weingart and his wife, Anna Maria, had Susanna baptized 4 Aug 1776.  There may have an earlier presence in the Robinson River community.  The early patent of Michael and John Clore was reported to be a neighbor to William Vinegunt, a spelling which almost suggests the name Weingart.  This patent of Vinegunt seems to have never been executed since there is no record of it.

The 1780 records of St. Mark's Parish (an Anglican church) refunded a parish levy to Woolfenbarger who had overpaid.  The name is obviously Germanic but the name itself was a surprise to me as I was unaware of his presence in the community; however, the name is known in Germanic genealogical research where it is typically spelled with only one "O".  The family was from Switzerland and came to Pennsylvania several years before 1780.

A scan of the last several notes shows that many of the people that are discussed seemed to have a presence in the records in the years 1776 and 1777, usually in the church records.  There is a good reason for this, and the reason is Rev. Jacob Franck.  He pursued his work in the church vigorously and with a good reception by the congregation.  As to how effective he was, one can count the baptisms in the period from 1750 to late 1775 and form a yearly average.  Doing the same for the years 1776 and 1777, one sees a striking difference.  The yearly averages differ by a factor of ten! One can also see it in church attendance where it increased sharply after he came.  On April 7, 1776, 176 people took communion, perhaps an all-time record for the church.  It appears Rev. Franck succeeded at getting many people who not been attending church to start coming.  It may have been that he worked too hard at the job, for not only did he preach and teach in the church, he conducted a school in which he was the teacher.  He was gifted musically.  Of his singing, it is said, "He allured both old and young, even the poor negro slaves, by his lovely singing."  But within three years, he resigned, much to the disappointment of the congregation.  He returned to Philadelphia, where he owned property, and left the ministry to become or return to silver smithing.  He had never been fully ordained as he was on trial within the Lutheran ministerium.


In recent notes, many references have been made to the Hebron Church Register.  The original records are bound in a book and kept in a vault for safekeeping, but microfilm copies are available.  The records are in German script and many hands were responsible for the penmanship and not all of them are top quality.  The easiest way to proceed is to use the translation made by George M. Smith which is available through Shenandoah History, P.O. Box 98, Edinburg, VA 22824.

The principal content of the register is baptisms.  The date of birth of the child is often mentioned in connection with the baptism.  Confirmations are also included.  On a few occasions, the complete list of members partaking of communion is included.  No death or marriage records are included.  A few miscellaneous records are included.

Typically, the baptismal information includes the names of the parents (but never with the maiden name of the wife), the name of the child, when the child was born, and when the child was baptized and the sponsors.  Though this is a lot of valuable information for the family historian, the simple itemization of the data does not do justice to the amount of information that may be gleaned from the Register.  While some conclusions will be drawn from this particular set of information, it is not to be implied that the same information may be drawn from the records of other churches.

As the pages are bound into a book, the first page is number 4, followed by 3, then by 1 and 2.  After that, pagination appears to be normal.  In the first twenty-four pages, generally one family is reported per page.  For example, Nicolaus Breil (Broyles) and his wife Dorothea have page 6 and Daniel, Elisabetha, Abraham, Sara, Maria, Rosina, Phebe, and Lea are all reported on this page.  This first 24 pages constitute the family oriented section.  Then on page 25, starting with a baptism on 5 Nov 1775 of Aron born to Peter Breil and wife Elis., baptisms are recorded in chronological sequence.  On page 4, two families are reported, first that of George Miller and wife Maria Margaretha, and below, that of Johannes Zimmerman and wife Susanna.  (This particular Johannes Zimmerman was of the family known in the civil records as Carpenter and should not be confused with the family of John Zimmerman who always went by the name of Zimmerman, never Carpenter.)

Some baptisms appear in both the chronological section and in the family section.  The first recording was in the chronological section and then the data, or parts of it, were copied back into the family oriented section.

A number of problems which need an explanation can be listed.

Problem 1. The birth dates of the first child in the family section, starting with page 1 and continuing up to page 24, are:

1750, 1752, 1754, (1754, 1771), 1757, 1757, 1756, 1750 (J�ger), 1751 (Krickler), (1775, 1763, 1773), 1762, 1757, 1769, (1769, 1773), 1751, 1774, 1761, 1767, 1769, 1774, 1762, (1750 (Blanckenb�cher), 1770), 1768, (1767, 1772).

Dates enclosed in parentheses are multiple families on one page.  What would seem logical is that each higher numbered page would have a later date.  How could Blanckenbucher with a first child in 1750 be put on page 22?  One would expect this record to be on page 1, 2 or 3 but not on page 22.


The last note closed with a remark that the page numbers in the Hebron Church Register were not used in sequence according to when the first child was born.  Also some pages had more than one family which raised the question as to how the writers knew that the first or top family wouldn't grow to require the space which was being used by the second family, lower on the page.  Another point that was mentioned was that the page numbers were not in sequence.

Another major question (call it number 2 on the list of problems) occurs because, almost universally in the first 24 pages, no dates of baptisms are given.  Remembering that the major reason the church register was kept was to record baptisms, it seems strange that the dates are not recorded.  The few dates that are given are almost always after November of 1775.  The one date of baptism before 1775 is for 1772 when the Miller twins were six years old before they were baptized.  In a church where an attempt is made to baptize the babies at the earliest possible moment, being six years old is unusual and perhaps this is the reason the date was entered.

Another problem, major enough to warrant being called problem 3, is that the children are sometimes out of sequence.  In the Nicholas and Margaret Crigler family, Anna, who was born in 1768, is listed before Susanna, who was born in 1764.  In this same family, a note is made at the bottom that Jacob and Ludwig are dead.  The implication is that Jacob and Ludwig lived for a while.  Why weren't they listed as baptized at the time?  A similar situation occurs for Zacharias Blankenbaker and his wife Els.  A note says, "Four are dead whose names are not mentioned here."  Nancy and George in the family of John and Susanna Carpenter (given as Zimmerman) are reversed in the sequence.

Problem number 4 occurs when a sponsor is called Barbara Chelf in 1759.  Barbara Chelf did not come into existence, by marriage, until after this date when she married Philip Chelf.  Born as a Yager, Barbara married Peter Clore who did not die until 1763.

As long as there are unexplained problems of this type, the data in the Register is called into question.  A document that calls someone Barbara Chelf in 1759 when Barbara Chelf did not come into existence until about 1764 is not to be trusted unless an explanation can be offered for these problems.

It might be useful to review who the pastors were.  From about 1739, until about the beginning of 1764, Rev. Klug was the pastor.  Then came John Schwarbach from about 1765 to the spring of 1774.  There was a gap of about one and half years before Jacob Franck came in the fall of 1775.  He left in 1778 and it is not clear that there was a pastor for a few years.  The church may have been under lay leadership until William Carpenter assumed his duties at the start of 26 years as a pastor in 1787.

[There is not enough space in this note to give the resolution of these problems.  Besides, you may wish to use the time until the next note to resolve the problems yourself.  Maybe you want to send your solutions to me.]

Nr. 121:

The Hebron Church Register is not quite what it would appear to be on a first glance; however, when it is understood, it is an extremely valuable tool.  Several problems have been enumerated and the present note seeks to explain how the problems arose and what they mean.  The first clue in solving the mysteries is to note that the character of the Register changed late in the fall of 1775 when Rev. Franck came to Hebron.  At this time, the presentation changed from a family orientation to a chronological recording.  His preference must have been for chronological recording.

Assume now that the trustees of the church wanted to give Rev. Franck the best possible view of the members of the church and their families.  They decided to reorganize the data into pages of family information.  Using notes, they resorted the information they had, using basically one page per family.  Though they made some attempt to put the families in the order of the first child of each family, this was not important.  This explains why the pages were not used in the sequence of the first child's birth.

In the sorting process, they occasionally temporarily overlooked a child who was then listed out of sequence.  Thus, children are out of sequence.

There was a lot of writing to do, so they saved some on this by omitting the baptismal date.  Rev. Franck could assume that every child was baptized; the actual date was not that significant.  The date of birth was important to understanding the family and to knowing when to expect the child would be ready for confirmation classes.

In some cases two families could be put on one page.  For example, the George Miller family is on the top of page 4 and the John Carpenter's family is below that.  When the Register was rewritten in 1775, they had good reasons to believe there would be no more children in the Miller family (it was now 21 years past the first child).  There were only three Miller children and paper was expensive.

Saying that a woman in 1759 was Barbara Chelf was permissible because people were being described in terms of their names in 1775.  In fact, one should conclude that the situation in the local church in 1775 is being described, not past history.  From this one could conclude that families who had moved away were not included.  Why describe someone who was no longer present?

It appears that one rule they adopted was that no family who had children born earlier than 1750 would be included.  All of the families who are included appear to us to be complete; older children are not missing.  This rule may have come about because the data from which the rewritten register was made was no older than 1750.  A family was included only if the record was complete.

The family of Zachariah Blankenbaker presented a problem.  Zach married a widow who had two daughters before 1750 by her first marriage.  But Zach and Els had only children after 1750.  As the rewriting of the Register was taking place, Zach's family was omitted at first because of the step-children born before 1750.  Finally, near the end of the rewrite, they decided that since the first child of Zach and Els was born in 1750 the family would be included.  So the family is listed on page 22 even though the first child's birth would indicate that one of the first pages would be appropriate.

The assumption that the Register was rewritten in 1775 can explain all of the problems.  It is necessary to come to the conclusion that the Register was actually rewritten then.  No other explanation serves nearly as well.

Nr.  122:

To review the past notes briefly, in 1775 the officers of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church (Hebron) decided to take the existing notes on baptisms and reorganize them into families.  Thus the new pastor, Rev. Franck, could see the church community at a glance.  Apparently they bought a new book for the purpose.  In describing the families, the emphasis was on the community in 1775.  They even described people at an earlier date by the name they were known by in 1775.  Families who had moved away were omitted.  So far as is known, the older sheets of information were thrown away.

Were there major errors in the copying process?  Actually none are known aside from the case of Barbara Chelf.  Apparently they did a good job and the data is to be trusted.  There may have been baptisms before 1750 and during the period 1750 to 1775 which were not reported.

When Rev. Franck arrived, he showed his preference for chronological recordings by starting on page 25 by entering the parents' names, the child's name, date of birth and date of baptism and the sponsors.  The first of these is 5 Nov 1775 so it is reasonable to say that he arrived just before this time.  By the end of the year, he had baptized nine babies.  This pace continued throughout his stay.  Not only were there more baptisms, the record keeping was better.

Some lay member of the church, perhaps one had been responsible for the preparation of the family section of the Register, did decide to put some of these chronological entries back into the family section.  Thus, we have duplicate entries.  Where there are approximately duplicate entries, the chronological entry is the one to be trusted.  Sometimes in the copying process, the person doing the copying made assumptions.  In one case, a sponsor was listed only by name.  In the copying process, she was made to be the wife of someone which the original entry did not claim.

Entries appear quite regularly up to October of 1778.  This probably marks the end of Rev. Franck's stay, which would be three years on the job.  There is then a period in which the data is very suspect.  Probably there was no regular pastor and data was entered on a hit or miss basis.  The number of baptisms falls off sharply.  The pages become very crowded suggesting that the end of the book was being approached at about 50 pages.  Entries were made a space available basis rather than in sequence.

Much of the recording was done by lay members.  In fact, it appears that one of the people doing the recording, perhaps on a regular basis, was Samuel (son of Jacob) Blankenb�hler.  He used page 44 to establish a family record for himself.  He did share the page with Joseph Carpenter.  In the year 1786, only seven baptisms are recorded.  Rev. Franck recorded this many in his first two months.


In 1787, after about nine years without a regular pastor, William Carpenter, Jr., assumed the duties of the pastor.  At first, he was restricted to administering baptism and to preaching.  He could not serve communion; outside people had to be called in for this.  In time, this restriction was lifted and he went on to serve the most years of any pastor at Hebron Church.  In 1813 or 1814 he moved to Boone Co., Kentucky where he served many more years with a congregation of people who had moved from the Robinson River community.  When he left Hebron, services were still being conducted in the German language.  During his pastorate, the church was physically enlarged and the organ was procured.

On assuming his duties, Rev. Carpenter found that the Register of baptisms was full and no more space was available.  Probably by then the data had overflowed to temporary records.  At some time after the start of his ministry, the church purchased another book of eighty odd pages in which to keep the records.  This book was setup using a family orientation.  One page was assigned to each family even though some families had only one entry.  In setting this book up, older data that had been in the first book or on temporary pages was organized anew.  Apparently an attempt was made to have the story for each family as complete as possible.

At some point, it not certain when, book one of about 50 pages was bound together with book two of about 80 pages into one volume.  During this binding a couple of unusual things took place.  In the original book one, pages 1 and 2 which are one sheet, were reversed with pages 3 and 4 which were another sheet.  This may have been deliberate as the first page of a reference book often gets the heaviest wear.  It may have been an accident.

In the original book one, a few pages at the back of the book were used for special purposes.  Two natural births (unwed parents) and baptisms are recorded here.  In one, Susanna was the daughter of Ephraim Klug and the mother (Maria?) Rossel.  Sara was the daughter of Catharina Marbes who was not living with her husband.  The pastor, Jacob Franck, added the note, "As she herself admitted her husband was not the father.  Nevertheless, the child's birth is recorded."  From the dates, we know this would have been recorded in book one.

Another page was used for the baptism of slave children.  Five were performed by Rev. Franck and one is by Rev. Carpenter.  These records give the child's mother and owner.  Very often the owner was the sponsor of the child.

When book one and book two were bound into one volume, the two sheets at the back of book one were removed from their location there and placed at the back of the combined volume.  Thus, the information was still relegated to the back of the book.

Another volume contains lists of communicants, confirmations, minutes of meetings, financial records, etc.  Before discussing this volume two, the value of the volume one to genealogists will be discussed.


The following observations pertain to the Register of Baptisms at the Hebron Lutheran Church and may not apply in other churches.  The "rules" which I am going to describe are not written down anywhere.  Instead, I took known families and studied the relationship between the sponsors and the parents.  That there were some relationships seems obvious from the duplication of the surnames of the father and the sponsors.

Using known families, I found that the sponsors were usually of the same generation and most likely were either siblings of the parents, spouses of the siblings, first cousins, or spouses of the first cousins.  In baptisms involving the Fisher family, where a Fisher was either the parent or a sponsor, I found that more than 95 percent of the sponsors fit one of the categories above.  It is extremely rare to see the parents of the parents as sponsors, or to see older children of the parents acting as the sponsors for the younger children, though examples of both of the cases are known.  Still very rare, but slightly more common, are aunts and uncles of the parents.  Second cousins or first cousins, once removed, are also unusual.

One of the more common deviations from the cases above is the use of nieces and nephews and most likely this occurs when the ages are about the same.  Because child bearing went on for twenty-five years in some cases, the older children were already having children before the parents of the older children stopped having children.  Thus, many people were older than their aunts and uncles.  As a result, some people were closer in friendship to the next generation than they were to members of the same generation.

Friendship seems never to qualify an individual to serve as a sponsor.  Rather, sponsors were taken from relatives, either by blood or by marriage, who were of a similar age.

After working out these "rules" using known cases, I have applied them to analyze cases where there is an uncertainty.  Some of the successes include identifying the maiden name of a woman.  When several people appear as sponsors who are not related to the husband, and when these individuals are from one family, it is reasonable to place the mother in this family.

One can confirm the brothers and sisters of a given individual.  An example occurred where there were two John Blankenbakers and the question arises as to whether John #1 has been confused with John #2.  By looking at the sponsors for the children of John #1, one can form an opinion as to his family.

In one case, I was able to conclude that a man, Henry Wayman, had two wives.  Later, I found supporting evidence for this view from a Wayman biography.

The rules are so strong that when there appears to be a deviation, one is tempted to search for an explanation.  In some cases there are reasonable answers.  A good example in this category is in the July 1997 issue of Beyond Germanna (volume 9, number 4).

Many of the exceptions to the rules involve people who have no relatives in the community, or who are the oldest child in the family and have no brothers or sisters who are old enough to serve.  In these cases, non-relatives had to be used.


Volume two of the Hebron Register includes lists of communicants, confirmations, minutes of meetings and some financial records.  Confirmation was the process whereby young persons who had been baptized as infants were educated and trained in the meaning of the church and in their duties.  The culmination of this process was the confirmation ceremony at church.  The names of the individuals, and sometimes their age, were recorded at this ceremony.

In 1782 these were some of the ages:

For the boys, 19, 16, 16, 18, 18, 21, 17, 22.
For the girls, 17, 17, 17, 16, 16, 17, 16, 17.

On the average, the girls were younger.  Since confirmation involved training and classes, there may have a problem in the men finding the time.  It was probably desirable to be confirmed and a member of the church before marriage, so this may have influenced the timing of confirmation.  On rare occasions, marriage seems to have preceded confirmation but it was probably the result of an unusual situation.

Lists of communicants are the names of people who partook of communion.  Others may have been present in church, but only confirmed members partook of the communion and are in the lists.  At the time, the church was a rectangular structure with the pulpit in the middle of one of the longer walls.  On the floor below or around the pulpit, the married couples sat.  At the ends of the room there were two balconies.  One of these appears to have been used for women and the other for men.  A person whose marriage partner had died, or was there without their spouse, sat with the singles of the same sex.

Individuals filed from their pews to the front to take the communion.  There is every appearance that this was done in a very orderly fashion by having the people in the front pew come up first, then the people in the second row, and so.  Thus, the list of communicants is the approximate order of seating in the church.  Not very surprisingly, people most likely sat with their relatives, especially in the front pews.  Toward the rear, attachments become weaker.  Very often there is the appearance that a family agreed to come on a particular Sunday.  Thus there may be a Sunday with a high representation of Carpenters, usually all sitting close together.  Another Sunday, there may not be any members of a family.  Of course, there was always the problem that a man and his wife usually represented two different families and being in two places at the same time was not easy.

Let's look at the communicants on the first Sunday after Easter in 1778.  The first couple is Adam Wayland and Mary.  Adam had married Elizabeth Blankenbaker who died, whereupon he married Mary Finks.  Next Christopher Blankenbaker and Christina (Finks).  Thus, the first two couples have Blankenbaker and Finks ties.  The third couple was Adam Fisher and his wife Elizabeth (Garr).  Adam's mother was Anna Barbara Blankenbaker, and Adam Wayland was the uncle by marriage of Adam Fisher.  The fourth couple was Michael Blankenbaker and his wife Elisabetha (Garr).  The fifth couple was John Fleshman and Elizabeth (Blankenbaker).  John and Elizabeth were also related as they shared a common ancestor in Anna Barbara Sch�ne.

Sorting through and identifying the people in the communicant list is fun.  The process raises good questions, though the answers may not always be obvious.  What one can accomplish is a confirmation of family relationships.  One gains confidence in the genealogies to see people doing what one would expect.


(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 FIFTH set of Notes, Nr. 101 through Nr. 125.)

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!

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(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