GERMANNA History Notes Page #029

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This is the TWENTY-NINTH 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 701 through 725.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 29

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Nr. 701:

The start of a new "century" of notes is the occasion to write a note of explanation.  The subscription list is broad and some individuals may wonder if I am ever going to write about their ancestors.  The answer to that question is, probably not, seeing how many different families there are to write about, and how little I know about many of the families.  This inability to write about many families is a deep regret of mine.  On occasions, others have stepped in and wrote about a family in several parts.  The Crigler family is a good example, where Cynthia Crigler wrote about them and we all learned a lot.  And Cindy probably learned a lot also, for the questions she posed while writing, led to research which clarified the status or name of two very early individuals.  So, the invitation is open to all for stories on Germanna families.  Remember this is your list, not my list.

There is confusion about what constitutes a Germanna family but I do not feel that is bad.  I actually hope there is some confusion because the Germanna families were so mixed up with other German families, or other areas, that I see the possibility that we will learn more by being generous in our definition.  Technically, and rather narrowly, I define a Germanna family as having at least one German ancestor, especially one who was born in Germany, who lived in Virginia, east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We also use the term Piedmont to describe this region of Virginia.

Some of the time I do not write directly about the Germanna families.  But then our Germanna people shared the same hopes, fears, and aspirations as the general population.  So writing about what happened to Virginia, in the first half of the nineteenth century, in the words of Dr. Charles Bryan, is as applicable to Germanna citizens as it is others.  Certainly, our Germanna citizens were not at all bashful about moving to the frontier.  The first community in Kentucky had several descendants of Germanna people.  It is said the first white woman west of the Alleghenies was Margaret Thomas Hupp, another descendant.  It has been said the first white girl born in Kentucky was a Germanna descendant.  It is not so important whether these reports are strictly true or not.  What they do show is that the Germanna people were there early.  So when the talk swings to the frontiersmen, we do not have to refrain from speaking up.

What am I going to write about after 701 notes? Even I will have to wait until it becomes time to write note 702.  I do appreciate your suggestions, or your comments, about what I have written, and I welcome your ideas for the future.  If you tell me that you enjoyed, or learned something from, a note or a series of notes, I am encouraged to try and find more in a similar vein.  And, you don't have to be so polite; you can say you missed the point of a note, or that you thought it was wasted paper.  Judging from the size of the list, and that most people print the notes, another tree has to be chopped down every time we publish a note.  (Don't forget you can be ecologically sound and get all of the notes on a CD-ROM from Gene Wagner at the email address below or you can read the notes on a web page maintained by George Durman at the web address below.)

Gene Wagner's email address for the CD-ROM:

George Durman's web site pages for archives of these Notes:

Nr. 702:

The Virginia Historical Society has held noontime talks that are open to the public.  The informal air of them should not belie the careful preparation by the speakers.  Several years ago I heard one (I do not live in Richmond) and it was good.  (I wish that I could tell you the name of the speaker but I can't.)

This particular talk looked at the motives and disincentives that existed among the people who were moving west, especially to the new lands.  The speaker considered both whites and blacks, males and females.  She had found written sentiments of many people, who were candidates for moving, were moving, or had moved.

Women, white or black, were generally not in favor of moving, for it often meant separation from family and friends.  We heard here the comments that Elizabeth McClure expressed.  While she was not in favor, she went along with the plan for it seemed to be the only way they could progress.  Certainly after the move was underway, she expressed her disappointment and homesickness.  Seldom were women in favor.

Blacks saw no gain in such a move and they had much to fear.  First, it might lead the breakup of their family if things did not go well.  And often it meant leaving friends and relatives.  The women, in particular, saw it as disruptive and perhaps very divisive.  Black men faced the prospect of extra work, often of a hard nature.  New lands meant there was clearing of land to be done, lumber to be sawn, and all the problems of converting forest land to cultivation and homes.

The one group that was the most inclined to see a reward were the white men.  Often there was discouragement with conditions where they had been, with bleak prospects of earning a living from the land.  James McClure searched for land in Virginia but could find none that was worthwhile.  So the projected move to Texas was a road to economic advancement.  His wife, who seems to have been a partner with him in decision making, came to the same conclusion, albeit reluctantly.

It was a hard decision for a young couple to make, because they were probably leaving family, especially parents behind.  Often, the problem was solved by moving with the entire family, or by encouraging relatives and friends to join the endeavor.  It was very hard if there were only one couple who had never been away from home.

Of course, the problem is very similar to emigration from the old country, which, in our case, was from Germany.  The ties were so strong that in some cases return visits were made.  Just recently we were talking about Cyriacus Fleshman, who obtained permission to leave Virginia to visit Germany.  To undertake a journey of this magnitude shows how strong the ties could be to the home land, to relatives, and to friends.

Nr. 703:

This note discusses one of the families who moved, in the first half of the nineteenth century, from Virginia to Missouri.  Jonas Finks Blankenbaker received two of his names from his ancestors.  His grandmother was Christina Finks Blankenbaker, who had married Christopher Blankenbaker.  Jonas married Mary Smith, of the English Smiths, who had Germanna blood also.  They married, 8 May 1827, in Madison County, Virginia, and they lived there for a while.  He was in the 1830 census from there, but by 1840 he was in Howard County, Missouri.

In the 1840 census, there were three girls born 1830 to 1835, and one girl born 1835 to 1840.  None of these four appear again, and I have wondered if they were not from another family.  Why they would be living with the Jonas Blankenbaker family is not clear.  Their birth years seem to be in conflict with the children of Jonas and Mary so they were probably outsiders.  They could have been simply children of a neighboring family where the mother had died and the father had not remarried.

Arthur Leslie Keith in the "Broyles Family" gives the children in this family as:

  1. Franklyn Finks, b. ca 1829,
  2. Catherine Diane, b. ca 1831,
  3. Alice Palmyra, b. 20 Sep 1834,
  4. Andrew Smith, b. ca 1835,
  5. Virginia Ellen (Jennie), b. 9 Apr 1836,
  6. Louisa T., b. 3 Jun 1839, d. 28 Aug 1851,
  7. Martha E., b. 22 Jun 1840, d. 20 Sep 1851,
  8. Matilda Frances, b. ca 1843, and
  9. Jonas Nelson, b. 11 Dec 1848, d. 14 Aug 1851,

What this sad story does not tell is that Jonas Finks Blankenbaker, the father, died 26 Aug 1851.  The mother, Mary Smith Blankenbaker, had lost her husband and three children in the period from 14 August 1851 to 20 Sep 1851 (about five weeks).

Mary, herself, was in the 1880 census at the age of 70, and head of household (she apparently never remarried).  In the same county and year, Frank, 51, was also the head of a household.  There was also Jeff, 47, in the same county (Howard) in 1880 who was head of a household.  It would appear that he might have been of this family also.

Life was not always easy.  I am sure there were people back in Virginia who were saying, "I told you so.  They should never have moved."  The epidemics occurred everywhere and were not to be particularly identified with any area or section but they must have led to discussions about the relative merits of one area or another.

Nr. 704:

In the last two issues of Beyond Germanna, Carol Ann Burdine has discussed the Burdyne-Burdine family where there were six children of Richard and Catherine (Tanner) Burdine in Culpeper County (now Madison), Virginia.  Five of these children moved in the southerly direction after the Revolutionary War, while one widowed daughter and her family moved to Kentucky.  (Many members of the Burdine family are working on a family genealogy, which Carol Ann Burdine is compiling.  Any information that readers may have would be appreciated.)

One story is told in the article which illustrates how fragile life was.  Samuel Burdine, one of the six children, had a son Abraham, who had a daughter, Mary, who married Henson Hunt, and lived in Pickens County, South Carolina.  In the late summer and early fall of 1851, the Hunts drained the water from their mill pond which contaminated the water supply for the house well.  Organisms in the mill water infected the supply for the Hunt's house and the supply for the servants living on the farm.

Before the tragedy was over, at least nineteen people had died.  Five guests who were staying with them were included, plus the Hunt's own family and servants.  All of these deaths were in the months of September, October, and November.

This was just one hundred and fifty years ago.  Great improvements have been made, thanks to the combined efforts of the civil engineers and doctors.  (The improved conditions wrought by the civil engineers have been said to the single biggest factor in reducing death.)  It took the efforts of many professions to recognize the causes.  Are we safe today?  That question would take us too far afield from the theme of these notes, but one cannot but note what history has told us.  Perhaps we should not feel too confident about conditions today.

Nr. 705:

On this day in English history (September 14), there was much concern in 1752.  The English government decreed that September 14 would be the last day for the Julian calendar, and that the following day the Gregorian calendar would be used.  This meant a loss of eleven days, because the Julian calendar was running late in 1752 by that amount.  There was much unrest because some people thought they were losing eleven days from their lives.  We usually refer to the Julian calendar as old style (OS) and to the Gregorian calendar as new style (NS).  The Catholic countries had adopted the new style calender more than a century before this but the Protestant countries were reluctant to follow the lead of the Pope.  Most of the German principalities had adopted the new calendar.

The following material is taken from a note by Harriet Stewart, with her permission, and should be compared to Note 703:

Mary Smith, daughter of William Downing Smith, and his wife, Diana Yager Smith, married Jonas Blankenbaker.  Our family information says they were both born and married in Madison Co. VA.  We list the following children:

  1. Franklin Finks b. 6-20-1829, d. 3-30-1904, m. Elizabeth Kingsbury 1853;
  2. Catherine b. 1-20-1831, d. 1-7-1918, m. John R. Chancellor 1850;
  3. Andrew b.10-6-1832, d. 2-3-1914, m. Emaline Kingsbury 1855;
  4. Alice Palmyra b. 9-20-1834, d. 9-18-1879 m. John W. Lee 1852;
  5. Jennie (Virginia) b. 4-9-1836, d. 5-16-1891 m. Wm. Cooper Chancellor 1854;
  6. Matilda b. about 1843 m. Marcellus R. Mirick;
  7. Jonas Nelson b. 12-5-1847, d.8-24-1851 of Cholera;
  8. Louisa T. b. 6-3-1839, d. 8-28-1851 of Cholera;
  9. Martha E. b. 6-22-1840, d. 9-20-1851 of Cholera.

Jonas, the father, also died of Cholera, which hit the New Franklin families very hard.  They are buried at Clark Chapel, New Franklin, Howard Co., MO.  Mary was a sister to my ancestor, William Jefferson Smith.  Their mother, Diana, and many of the family are also buried here.  The Lilburn Kingsbury Collection, at the University of Missouri Western Historical Manuscript Collection, and the State Historical Society of Missouri Manuscripts at Columbia, MO, have a lot of information about the Smith and related families.  [ Harriet Stewart .]

Nr. 706:

The year 1752 not only lost eleven days in September, but it lost the entire month of January, the entire month of February, and the first 24 days of March, at least in the English-speaking world.  That isn't an easy thing to do; it takes real talent to lose days by the entire month.  In the old Julian calendar, the new year started on March 25.  In the change to the Gregorian calendar, the first day of the new year was fixed at January First.

So what day was George Washington born?  Most children are taught it was February 22, but George thought, for the first part of his life, that it was February 11.  This was a decision that people who had a birthday in the span from January 1 to March 24 had to make.  With the loss, or shift, in the calendar by eleven days, what day was to be used to denote one's birthday?  If one was particularly attached to the number, one kept the same number.  To keep one's age in sync with the sun, one should adjust the number.  One also had a choice in saying which year it was.  By the old style, one's birthday year appeared to be one less than by the new style.  The logical thing to do was to change the date to what it would be in the new style, the Gregorian calendar.

There is one Germanna event in history that I am convinced has not been adjusted and as a consequence the wrong impression is being created.  The Second Colony people left Germany in the month of July of 1717, if the direct import of the Gemmingen pastor's remarks is accepted.  He described their departure as being a future event, and he said that he wrote the comments on July 12.  To complete a trip in less than six months from Germany to America was very rare.  The First Colony took almost a year, though they were subject to unusual delays in London.  The Second Colony had its own delays in London due to the imprisonment of the ship's captain (Tarbett) in debtors' prison.  If they completed the trip in six months, it would have taken some luck.  Six months after leaving Germany in July would have been past January 1.

However, if they landed in the period of time from January 1 to March 24, they would have said the year was 1717 because the English calendar was used for official purposes.  Now, today, we are in a quandary as to what year to say.  By the rules that George Washington used, the year should be adjusted (after 1752) to 1718.  However, this, and probably many similar events, goes unadjusted.

I was discussing this with Klaus Wust, and he said it would be impossible to rectify now.  The date 1717 is carved into too many stones to eradicate it.  And he is correct.  The Second Colony is too strongly identified with 1717 to correct it (assuming one is describing it by its arrival date, not its departure date).  But, if one is to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its arrival, it should be in our calendar year 2018.

Nr. 707:

One of my favorite families to write about is the Finks family in the Robinson River Valley.  Mark Finks, Sr., the progenitor of the family, is an ancestor of mine, so look on my comments as talking about my relatives, not about someone else's.  There are more mysteries in the records than there are clarifying facts.

I am not aware that Mark Finks ever owned land.  Certainly, he had no patent for land, and, though he might have purchased a property that had been patented by someone else, I am unaware of any land ownership.  (If anyone can add to my comments, please speak up.)  The people who did not own land were rare.  Most of the people who did not own land were the senior generation who lived with a younger generation.

Mark Finks starts appearing in the Virginia records in the 1730's, where there are several references to him.  The first Court in Orange County was held in January 1734, though we would say it was 1735.  The first Grand Jury appeared in November, and among its members were Mark Finks, William Carpenter, and George Utz (as Woods).  At these early dates, it is always a surprise to see Germans in the English Courts on the Juries.  However, William Carpenter and George Utz had been here thirteen to eighteen years, and they probably knew some English.  The real surprise was to see the name Mark Finks, for this is one of the earliest records for him.  I definitely consider Mark to be Germanic; the question is, "Where and when did he learn English?"

A question closely coupled to this is the nationality of Mark.  By blood, he was probably German, but there is no naturalization known for him.  Was he born in the British Empire?  As to when he was born, it was probably close to the first decade of the eighteenth century.  He may very well have married after he came to the Robinson River Valley.  The apparent ages of his children would be consistent with this.  Thus, he might have been born between 1710 and 1714.  I have a reason for selecting the first of these dates, late in 1710.

His apparent English citizenship might have arisen from his parents being a part of the exodus from Germany in 1709.  Some of these people were sent to New York, and some were sent to North Carolina.  Some of them, a very respectable number, were sent to Ireland.  Many of them were farmed out to communities throughout England, said communities being paid to take in the refugees.  Most of the Germans in England in these communities did not like life under these conditions.  They gravitated toward London, where they sought transportation to America.  Ships' captains were willing to take them to America, where they became indentured servants.  Had Mark Finks' parents been in one of these situations, Mark might have been born on English soil and have been an English citizen.  Perhaps the conditions led to his learning English.  The Vawter name is often found with the Finks and the Vawters are associated with the Church of England.

Nr. 708:

Apparently Catherine Finks was the eldest child of Mark Finks and his wife Elizabeth.  Catherine married Christopher Crigler, and they had children from 1751 to 1778, a span of 27 years.  If we say that the youngest child was born when she was 44, the first (eldest) child was born when she was about 17.  These are reasonable numbers, so she was probably born about 1734.  This was about the time that Mark Finks started appearing in the records in Orange County.

Through this general period, Mark Finks appears in several incidental records.  He was a defendant in a 1736 assault and battery case, which was dismissed in 1740.  He was a witness on 24 Nov 1736.  He appeared in the Orange County list of tithables.  In 1737, he was in the list of Davis Phillips with one tithe.  In 1737, Timothy Finks was also in the list of Isaac Haddock with two tithes.  In 1739, Joseph Pickett included Mark Finks in his list, with two tithes.

So there appeared to have been two male Finks, Mark and Timothy.  Timothy could hardly have been a son of Mark as Mark does not appear to be that old.  My suggestion has been that Timothy and Mark were brothers.  Later, I will even suggest a marriage for Timothy, which occurred after Mark married, so Timothy might have been a younger brother.

On 29 May 1741, "John Kines, Henry Philip Hart, Robert Appleby, Robert McPherson, Margaret McPherson, Alexander McPherson, Susanna McPherson, Joseph Harris & Mark Fink in open court severally made oath they were imported from Great Britain or Ireland immediately into this Colony and that this is the first time of proving their importation in order to obtain land ..." [Orange County Order Book 2, page 366ff].
My most immediate notes do not say so, but I was under the impression that Mark assigned his head right to another person.  Notice that there was no mention of Timothy Finks.

Already it is beginning to sound as if we are discussing an atypical German.  Especially when my notes say that when he signed his will, Mark used English script, not German script.  Two of the individuals who appeared in court with Mark Finks above appear in the community later.  These are Kines (who might be a Kaines) and Hart (Michael Thomas married, as his second wife, a Hart woman).  From the importation order, we know that Mark was not born in the colonies.  (In my earlier comments, above, I suggested he may have been born in the British Empire.)

Reader comments are invited.  One reader suggested that Mark must have owned land to have been on the Jury, since land ownership was generally a requirement of voting (true).  But, I don't know whether this was a juror qualification or not.

Nr. 709:

In the last note, Catherine Finks, who married Christopher Crigler, was mentioned.  They had children from 1751 to 1778.  All of them were baptized at the German Lutheran Church.  In entering the information for the first ten children, there is no mother listed.  The name of Catherine is omitted for all of them, except for the eleventh child, Wilhelm or William.  Sometimes the record keepers simply failed to make the proper entry, but I am convinced in this case that the reason he did not list Catherine is that she was not there.  The children were brought by the father without the mother being present.

From a study of the Finks family at the Lutheran Church, I am convinced that the family was not Lutheran.  They were opposed to the Lutheran Church, especially to the baptisms of infants.  There are two groups that I can think of that might be opposed.  First, there are the Anabaptists who are opposed to all infant baptisms, believing that this is a function which should be performed when a person is an adult.  The second group which might oppose the baptisms at the Lutheran church is the Catholics.  The Reformed Church members would hardly be opposed, nor would the Church of England people.  The Church of England and the Lutherans regarded each other as members of the "true" church with the Church of England holding their service in English and the Lutherans in German.

For a while, I was impressed by the stories told by the descendants of Mark Finks.  They said he was born in the Alps or he was born high in the mountains.  What is remarkable about these attributions is that the Anabaptists today give these "locations" as their spiritual and/or physical home.  So I was inclined to think the family was Anabaptist.  It would describe a lot of their behavior patterns.  A major weakness in this thesis was the role played by Mark Finks, Jr., during the Revolutionary War.  He was a Captain in the Militia.  The Anabaptists were not only opposed to infant baptisms but they were pacifists.  Mark Finks, Sr., had died in 1763 or 1764, but his wife, Elizabeth, lived until at least 1776, when she was recorded at the Lutheran Church as taking communion.  But about 1776, there is a turn around in the attitude of the Finks family toward the Lutheran Church.  It would still be hard to believe the major change in attitude displayed by Mark, Jr., in a few years.  I haven't completely abandoned the thought that the family might have been Anabaptists but an alternative theory might fit the facts better.

I am now inclined to believe the family was Catholic and had convictions strong enough to keep them from participating in a Lutheran baptism.  Tomorrow I will cite a small piece of evidence toward this end.  At least it would not be so improbable that Mark, Jr., could be a Captain in the Militia.

Nr. 710:

In 1767, a Conrad Fink lived in Windsor, Berks Co., PA.  He appeared in the Catholic Church of Goshenhoppen, PA, in 1768.  He was in Heidelberg Township, York Co., in 1783, and he died 24 Nov 1794, in Littlestown, Adams Co., which, prior to 1800, was York Co.  This information came to me from David Schubert.  Certainly the mention of the Catholic Church sparked my interest.  An almost equally interesting point was the name of the children in Conrad Fink's family.

These children were Henry, JOHN, ELIZABETH, Margaret, CATHERINE, Mary CHRISTINA, Conrad ANDREW, and Magdalena.  The children of Mark Finks, Sr., in Culpeper Co., VA, are CATHERINE, ELIZABETH, Mark, JOHN, Mary, ANDREW, Hannah, and James.  I thought this was a significant overlap between the two sets of names.  If the two families were related, the age difference between Conrad Fink and Mark Finks, Sr., suggests that Conrad might be of the generation below Mark Finks.  (I do not regard the inclusion or omission of the final "s" as significant.)

According to this thesis, the Finks family might have been among the early emigrants from Germany who had lived for a while in England.  While they were there, Mark was born.  Then they came to Pennsylvania and lived there for a while.  Mark, and probably a brother, moved down to Virginia.

In the last note I was telling of my conviction that Catherine Finks Crigler did not attend, except for the last one, any of the baptisms of her children.  I cited the omission of her name at the baptisms.  There is another reason which strongly enforces this conclusion.  For the first ones, the father, Christopher Crigler, did not have his brother as a sponsor for the children.  Normally this is a role performed by brothers, sisters (none in this case), and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.  With only one brother and no sisters, one would have certainly have expected Nicholas to have been selected.  Nicholas did appear as a sponsor once, for Wilhelm, the last child.  For this baptism, the mother Catherine is listed as present, and in this case Nicholas is a sponsor.  I can hear Nicholas saying, "If my brother's wife is not coming to the baptism, I will not be a sponsor."  He would have no part of this strange proceeding.

Wilhelm is entered twice in the list of baptisms, once as Wilhelm in the original recording, and as William in the later recording.  Wilhelm was born in 1778 and about this time the attitude of the Finks family changed toward the Lutheran Church.  They started to participate and they brought children for baptism and they acted as sponsors.  Something happened about this time and it may have had a deeper significance than the appearance of Rev. Frank who was very successful at getting people into the church.

Nr. 711:

The third child which Mark Finks, Sr., mentioned in his will was Elizabeth, whom he identified as Elizabeth Weaver.  Popular history says that she was the wife of Matthias, the son of Peter Weaver, the immigrant of 1717.  Elizabeth is a special problem because she acts as if she were a Carpenter, not a Finks.  What do I mean when I say this?

At church (the German Lutheran church) she sat with the Carpenters and the Weavers.  Even on the few occasions when there was a Finks at church, she sat not with the Finks but with the Carpenters and the Weavers.  Her behavior is so biased this way that it would be possible to conclude that she was a Carpenter.  (Her association with the Weavers would be because of her husband.)

There are two possibilities that I see.  One, it was a mistake to say that the wife of Matthew Weaver was a Finks, or, two, she split with her family on the question of religion.  I have argued for both of these points, but I am inclined now to the belief that she did not agree with the other Finks family members and broke with them on this question of religion.  It may not have been a severe break.  Instead she may have found herself, without any of the other Finks family members, at church and the Carpenter family befriended her.  There was only one church in town and Elizabeth was going to use it.  Since her blood relatives did not make much use of it, she chose the sponsors for her children from her husband's relatives and from the Carpenters.

Elizabeth and Matthew Weaver had children baptized from 1757 to 1780.  So Elizabeth would seem to be just a few years younger than Catherine.  Between these two there was another name in the will of Mark Finks, Sr.  This was Christina, who married Christopher Blankenbaker.  They had children baptized from 1754 on, so it was appropriate that Christina was the second name in Mark's will.  None of the sponsors at the baptism of these Blankenbaker children were from the Finks' family.  This was also true of the Weaver children just discussed.  At the baptism of the Crigler children, previously discussed, Finks' family members appear only once for Wilhelm, the last child.

From the early 1750's, three of the Finks daughters have children and only once, in 1778, does the list of sponsors include a Finks.  Apparently Christina and Elizabeth attended the baptism of their children.  From evidence such as this, one can draw the conclusion that the Finks family was opposed to infant baptism at the Lutheran church.  The question for us is, "Why?"

Nr. 712:

The seven hundred and twelfth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies The oldest children of Mark Finks, Sr. appear to be Catherine, Christina, and Elizabeth. Catherine and her husband, Christopher Crigler, had eleven children baptized even though Catherine appears to have been present for only the last one in 1778. There were no Finks related sponsors except for Wilhelm, the last one. And even here, the closest we come is Elizabeth Christopher, a relation by marriage. Christina and her husband Christopher Blankenbaker had nine children and only one Finks sponsor, Mary Finks Wayland, was related to the Finks family. This too was in 1778. Elizabeth and her husband, Matthew Weaver, had ten children up to 1780. None of the sponsors at the baptisms of their children were Finks related. There is only one case where a Finks appeared as a sponsor before 1776. In 1772, Christina, with her husband Christopher Blankenbaker, were sponsors of Anna Miller, the daughter of Henry and Susanna Miller. This would seem to mark this as an exceptional event and we have no good explanation for it. I elaborate on these events to emphasize that the Finks had an attitude problem toward the Lutheran Church and its infant baptisms. When Rev. Franck came in late 1775 to be the pastor, he was successful in getting more participation from the Finks family. Was this due to his personality or was it due to the death of the parents? Or another reason? In telling this story to an Anabaptist, he said he could believe that the family was Anabaptist because this behavior is typical of Anabaptists. While the parents are living, the children are very faithful to the Anabaptist church. After the parents die, the children often switch churches. Was the change that was evident during Rev. Franck's pastorate due to the death of the parents? Mark Finks, Sr. had died several years earlier. The last known record of Elizabeth Finks is her attendance at the Lutheran church on Easter Sunday in 1776, just a few months after Rev. Franck came. It appears from the record which has been kept that she partook of communion. Was this attendance by Elizabeth a symbolic release of the children? Did the family decide that if you couldn't lick them, then join them? In the petition made by the male members of the church in the fall of 1776 to be released from payment of tithes to the state church, Mark Finks, Jr. signed it as Mark Fink. (I say that "he" signed it as most of the signatures were made by the person named but one can never be sure who wrote a name.)

Nr. 713:

A reader, Minerva Spaulding Howard, writes on the subject of the religion of the Finks family:

"I am a ggggg granddaughter of Marks Finks Sr.(Mark Jr.; Joel Finks; Lucinda Finks, who married Hurt Yager; Joel HenryYager; Charles Lee Yager; and my mother, Margaret Yager Spalding). All the Yagers and Finks (in Missouri) were Baptists, and my Mother always said they were originally Anabaptists.  They were plain, simple people with no frills in life but education.  My grandfather, who was born in 1860, sent all five of his children to college.  . . .  I do believe you are correct in saying they were not Lutherans."

Minereva Spaulding Howard.

The question of the religion of the Finks is not settled.  There are two points against the thought that Mark Finks was an Anabaptist.  One of the tenets of Anabaptist thought is that the church and state should be separated.  As a corollary to this, they avoid participation in government.  Serving on a grand jury is not consistent with Anabaptist thought.  I have already mentioned that Mark Finks, Jr.'s service as a captain in the militia does not sound as if the family were Anabaptist.  Anabaptists form the hard core of conscientious objectors during war times.

I was impressed that a Finks family existed in Pennsylvania who seemed to be Catholic, and whose given names duplicated many of the Virginia Finks.

The thought remains that adherence to the Catholic church would not be so strong as to preclude participation in the only German speaking church in the area of Virginia where they lived.

All this is beginning to leave the following possibility.  Mark Finks, Sr., was Catholic, and Elizabeth, his wife, was an Anabaptist.  The strength of the opposition to infant baptism lay not with Mark, Sr., but with Elizabeth.

Some day (I hope it is my lifetime) someone may sort this all out.  But to complete the Finks' genealogy will be a difficult task, as they didn't leave many records at the church.  In the near term, I will write about other Finks in the Culpeper Co. area of Virginia that were not descendants of Mark and Elizabeth.

Nr. 714:

At one time I was led to study two John Blankenbakers who lived in Culpeper Co., VA, and who were of a similar age.  I was concerned whether the two had been mixed up or confused with each other.  There were enough mistakes in the Germanna Records that one was alerted to the possibility that the two Johns had been confused.  I did the study by examining the baptisms, especially the selection of sponsors, at the German Lutheran Church.

The most significant thing to emerge from the study was the role played by Henry Wayman.  The selection of the baptismal sponsors did not follow the conventional pattern, if I used the standard histories.  To make sense of their roles of the players, it was necessary to invoke another marriage for Henry Wayman.  Besides the usual marriage cited for him, it was necessary to postulate that he had married an unsuspected daughter, or stepdaughter, of Zacharias Blankenbaker.  It could have been a stepdaughter, for Zacharias did marry a widow who had at least one child.

After this tentative conclusion, based on the baptisms, other evidence was sought.  The will of Zacharias (John Nicholas) Blankenbaker was witnessed by Aaron Garr, Henry Wayman, and Aaron Wayman, who was the son of Henry.  The appearance of Henry was not startling, but in the light of the decision that he had been a son-in-law of Zacharias at one time, it assumed more significance.  Especially telling was the appearance of Aaron Wayman, who was about 21.  Zacharias was about 80 and it is not typical for 80 year-old men to select 21 year boys as a witness, unless they have good reasons for trusting the youth.  In light of the decision that I had reached that Henry had been a son-in-law of Zacharias, it was not so unusual to select a grandson.

Henry is said, in the common histories, to have married Magdalena, the daughter of John Blankenbaker.  John in his will refers to his "daughter Magdalena now married to Henry Wayman".  I interpret the word "now" as meaning that the marriage of Henry or Magdalena had not always been to the other one.  Also, the first marriage of Henry had been some sixteen years earlier, so to refer to a marriage of this duration as "now" would be strange.

A point that made the analysis more confusing was that the first wife's name was Mary Magdalena and she appears in the records under all combinations of these names.  Since John Blankenbaker's daughter was also a Magdalena, it made it difficult to distinguish the two wives.

Based mostly on the baptisms, I published a note in which I said that Henry Wayman was married twice.  The first wife was an undetected daughter, or stepdaughter, of Zacharias Blankenbaker.  I could not tell immediately which of these it might be.  One of the things that the baptismal records told me was that a known stepdaughter of Zacharias was in every way an accepted member of the family.

Nr. 715:

Shortly after I had published the note which said that Henry Wayman had two wives, Reba Poster saw a copy and sent me an extract from the book entitled "Some Martin, Jefferies, and Wayman Families, and Connections of Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky and Indiana."  On page 139, in writing about Henry Wayman, who was obviously the same Henry Wayman that I have been discussing, the book says, "Henry Wayman, b.�, d.� , m.1) -----; m.2) before 1776 (according to a descendant) Mary Magdalena Finks."

I thought this was good support for the two marriage concept for Henry Wayman.  A literal interpretation is that the second wife was Mary Magdalena Finks.  However, I proposed that both of his wives were named Mary Magdalena.  Under these conditions it is not surprising that the source of the information confused the first and second wives.

This Mary Magdalena Finks was the daughter of Elizabeth (Alcy), and was a stepdaughter of Zacharias Blankenbaker.  The married name of this Elizabeth was Finks.  Her maiden name is unknown.  The man that she married was probably the second tithe in the 1739 Orange County tithe list with Mark Finks.  From the inferred age he was probably a younger brother of Mark, Sr.

The information that I cite in the first paragraph is hardly better than a rumor.  The important point is that I had decided that Henry Wayman was married twice before I came across that information.  My decision was based on good evidence, even though it was a bit extreme.  Having made this decision, to find a family tradition that supported it only encouraged me to believe that I was correct.

When Zacharias wrote his will, he named only Elizabeth as a daughter of his wife.  Elizabeth married Peter Broyles.  Alcy's daughter Mary Magdalena had died by then and Zacharias did not mention her.  It was this Mary Magdalena that was the first wife of Henry Wayman.  After she died, Henry married Mary Magdalena Blankenbaker, the daughter of John.  As often happens, this was another case of "keeping it in the family."  The time at which the switch between the two wives occurred is not certain so some of the children of Henry have an indeterminate mother.

Nr. 716:

Last Saturday, I heard four talks, each of a full hour, by Henry Z. Jones.  He has devoted his life, starting at the age of eight, to genealogy.  By the time that he was a teenager, he had worked out his own family.  Though he is known primarily for his work with the "poor Palatines," he has few German ancestors himself.  The first ones that he found do have an unusual history.  They were among the emigrants of 1709 who were sent to Ireland, where they maintained a German community for a couple of centuries.  This increased his interest in the entire German emigration of that year (which included a Germanna descendant, the son of Rev. Haeger of the First Germanna Colony).

Hank found that lists of names had been preserved for the Germans sent to the Hudson River in a naval stores program.  There were about 847 families in the lists and he set himself the task of finding where each of these families originated in Germany.  At the same time, he also included some two thousand affiliated families for whom he wanted the homes.  At the time, he was thought to be crazy for such an ambitious program but he succeeded.  While he didn't find the homes of all of them, he found so many that no one even questions his success.

Before he was done, he had made 17,000 family group sheets.  He published his results in the two volume book of 1298 pages, "The Palatine Families of New York, 1710", (in 1985).  This was before the wide-spread use of computers.  He was assisted by a German researcher, Carla Mittelstaedt-Kubaseck, to whom he generously gives credit for making the project a success.  Primarily, the key to success was to note that people did things together.  One of the things that they did was to appear together in unalphabetized lists.  So if one did discover the home of Johann Schmidt, then it was likely that his neighbor in the lists and in other activities was a friend or relative from Germany.  The fact that names from one village did appear together, helped to make the identity in Germany more certain.  Another thing that neighbors tended to do was to marry each other.  People just simply felt more comfortable with others that they had known for some time.  These associations often went on for up to two generations.

If you never have had the opportunity of hearing the man, you should watch for an opportunity.  He has an easy-going way which results from practice and experience.  He is a professional actor though he has retired from that, except when he is on the podium telling you about his genealogical experiences.  Though he has done this perhaps a thousand times, he always seems fresh and enthusiastic, as though he were announcing to the world a discovery that he has just made.  Even with four hours of talks in one day, the audience is kept on the edge of their seats.

By his own confession he admits that he has debated whether to use some new money for research or for food for his family.  This might help some of you to identify with him.

Nr. 717:

If Henry Jones sounds as if he were an evangelist, well he is.  He can cite the litany of genealogical research transgressions with the fervor of a reformed sinner.  But at the same time, he admonishes one to keep a sense of humor.  And he can tell the story of success as few others can.

His work has taught him many things.  Always study the neighbors and the community.  Use original sources.  Secondary sources have an appalling error rate.  Some indices to census lists have a fifty percent error rate.  Each copy made of a copy introduces more errors.  The I.G.I. and the internet are great for finding leads but they are not facts.  More typically they are errors.

Some original sources are in error.  Judgment is required to assess the weight to be given to a "fact".  Publish and work with others in a corrective manner.  Family tradition is never gospel, at the best it is a guide.  Be open to all spelling variants.

Remember that things were done differently in the eighteenth century.  Children could have the same name.  Jr. and Sr. implied no particular blood relationship.  "Cousin" merely meant a relative.  Some relatives were simply called "good friend".

Forget the royalty.  Our ancestors were peasants and craftsmen.  They had little to lose and much to gain, and it took tremendous courage to come to America without a silver spoon.

Even when one is keeping to the straight and narrow path of original documents, care must be exercised.  (I have cited some errors in the Hebron church register that existed from the day they were written down.)  Mr. Jones' favorite is the reversal of the parents and the sponsors in a list of baptisms.  The problem is not always theirs; sometimes we just don't always understand the eighteenth century mind set when the original document was written.  Many names are missing from original lists, perhaps as many as a quarter.  Gravestones generally do not qualify as original documents.  For a variety of reasons, what we read on them may be in error.

Every sermon should close with a call to action (that's my opinion).  Henry Jones suggests we not forget that we are human, as were our ancestors.  We should remember the genealogists of the past who labored under handicaps that we do not face.  Bury your own ego and concentrate on the quality of the work that you are doing.  And always, Upwards and Onwards!

Nr. 718:

A favorite sub-topic of Henry Jones is Jost Hite, who is an excellent example of "Tradition Gone Wrong".  Jost Hite is well known in the Shenandoah Valley, where he was an early settler.  You might not recognize the man if you were to hear the family tradition which surrounded the man previously.  He was said to be "An Alsatian Baron of Strasbourg, who fled to Holland after Louis XIV seized that city.  He married Anna Maria DuBois, a French Huguenot refugee.  Hite then sailed to America on his own ships, the brigantine Swift and the schooner Friendship, bringing not only bags of gold but sixteen Dutch and German families as tenants for land which he expected to settle."

Jost Hite is to be found in the 1710 immigrants to New York where he is associated with some other Germans in a pattern that is not random.  The presence of the other Germans suggested that the region of interest might be the Kaichgau, southeast of Heidelberg.  (This is the home of many Second Germanna Colony immigrants.)  Genealogical pay dirt was hit in Bonfeld.  The church books not only had recordings of specific acts but a listing of the emigrants from that village.

With the actual history known, one question was how the family tradition had arisen.  Some parts of the tradition were understandable.  The sixteen families were probably a reflection of the large number of families who purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley from Jost.  He was responsible for the settling of a large number of people.  The bags of gold?  His father in Bonfeld was a butcher with above average property holdings.  He could have had a little more money than most emigrants.  Just south of Strasbourg there is a village by the name of Benfeld.  Was Bonfeld remembered but confused with Benfeld?  And since Benfeld was a small place, was Strasbourg substituted for Benfeld?  His wife's name was Anna Maria Merckle and no hint is provided about how the wife of tradition entered the picture.

The uncovering of the whole Jost Hite story involved many people, including Klaus Wust and Ralph Connor.  When the information was presented to the Hite family it sank like the proverbial balloon.  But Henry Jones says he has been invited back to the reunions of the family, of which he is now an honorary member.  In the end, truth is more pleasing than fiction.

The most important thing in uncovering Jost Hite was not the family tradition, but the people with whom he associated.  There were perhaps strains of truth in the tradition but they were not as helpful as the associations.  Sometimes to find one family, all the families of a region must be studied.

Tomorrow, Saturday, there will be no note as I will be leaving early to go New Holland for the Pennsylvania Chapter meeting of the Palatines to America.  I feel that I should attend as I am the first speaker after lunch and charged with keeping the audience awake.  At the Henry Jones talks, there was no problem about keeping the audience alert, even after lunch.

Nr. 719:

In recent years Henry Jones has become known for his work with "Psychic Roots".  In the course of years of investigation, one is bound to have some strokes of luck in research.  The odds may be small but events do come together in such a way that one left is left wondering whether they were preordained.

Henry Jones cites some personal events that left him wondering whether we really do understand all there is to know in this universe.  When he started his research to find the German homes of the 847 immigrating families to New York in 1710, his German assistant persisted in asking him for the name of the family with whom she should begin.  To Mr. Jones, it didn't seem to matter where they started.  But the insistent pleas of Carla Mittelstaedt-Kubaseck forced him to name one of the families, a Schneider, I believe, to start on.  When all was said and done and the man was found, it was the only one of the 847 families that Mr. Jones was related to.  At the time, he didn't know it.

Closer to us, Jack Alcott in Fauquier and I were seeking the father of Uriah Rector (more exactly, Jack was doing the work).  This was a search which had been going on for several decades by various people.  He wrote, "Since it was snowing this morning, I went over to the courthouse instead of working outdoors.  I paid particular attention to the 'loose' papers in the Fauquier Co. Courthouse which have been catalogued and indexed.  I was especially drawn to the name Rector without any unusual finds.  When I finished, I called my wife to say I was on the way home for lunch, but there was no answer.  So I said that I would take a few minutes to look at the Chancery indexes.  I turned to the index of PLAINTIFFS and my eye caught the name Uriah Rector as DEFENDANT.  This was no accident; it was only one page out of perhaps two hundred.  The luck was that the case did identify Uriah's father."

Henry Jones was so impressed by his own experiences that he started asking others if something similar had happened to them.  The response was, "I've never told anybody about this before but . . . ."  The net result was that a book "Psychic Roots," emerged about these collective experiences.  The reaction was overwhelming favorable and more experiences piled in to him, with the result that another book was issued called, "More Psychic Roots".  From the way Henry Jones describes it, there is apt to be more such books because any genealogist who has worked any time seems to have his story of serendipity to tell.

One of the favorite tales seems to be "finding the tombstone".  The stories vary, sometimes the cemetery is very large, sometimes it is the "wrong" cemetery.  The researcher enters the cemetery and is completely lost but he walks without hesitation to the tombstone of his ancestor.

Nr. 720:

In 1898, Herrmann Schuricht published one volume entitled "History of the German Element in Virginia" and followed this by a second volume, same title, in 1900.  The volumes have been reprinted, usually as one volume.  In those sections of the book where I feel that I have some knowledge, I find many errors.  I should have reviewed this book when I was writing about the errors in the history of Germanna.  Actually, I seldom look at this book and had forgotten about it until it was mentioned recently.

Speaking of the emigration of many Germans to the Americas in 1710, Schuricht says more than 3000 were sent to New York and about 600 to North Carolina.  I cannot quibble with these numbers.  But he goes on to say that several shiploads were sent to Virginia.  For this I find no evidence, nor have I heard anyone else make such a claim.  (Schuricht credits "History of the United States" by E. Willard, published in 1871, for these statements.)  This combination of known facts, mixed with dubious assertions, makes Schuricht a dangerous author.

Concerning Christopher Graffenried, he says that after he was released by the Indians, in 1711 in North Carolina, he removed to Virginia with a number of Swiss and Palatines, where he settled in the forks of the Potomac.  Again, there is a mixture of true and false statements.  None of the Swiss and Palatines in North Carolina moved to Virginia, and Graffenried certainly did not settle in the forks, though he visited the region.  Schuricht notes that Spotswood said, ". . that a number of Germans came to Virginia on his inducement."  As Schuricht gives it, the "his" would refer to Spotswood himself, but the original quotation makes it clear that "his" referred to Graffenried.  So one of the faults of Schuricht is to take statements and present them in a way where they are misconstrued.

In another instance, notice how Schuricht gets the facts mixed up.  He says, "Governor Spotswood induced a number of them [Germans] to enter his service and he erected, with their assistance, on the shores of the Rapidan, between Russell and Wilderness Runs, ironworks and the town of Germanna; the balance of the immigrants settled in the present counties of Stafford, King George, and Westmoorland."  Again there is a mixture of true and false facts.  It is true that the "town" of Germanna was erected on the shores of the Rapidan River with help from the Germans, and it was between Russell Run and Wilderness Run.  The other statements are false, such as "induced," "ironworks," and the reference to other Germans and their locations of settlement.

I will return to the following statement, "By direction of Governor Spotswood, dwelling houses, a church, a court-house, and a residence for himself were built at Germanna and surrounded by palisades for protection against the Indians."  Meanwhile, you can analyze the statement.

Nr. 721:

The last paragraph of the previous note seemed to imply that Gov. Spotswood's home at Germanna was surrounded by a palisade.  By this time the frontier had been pushed west by the Germans and there was no danger from the Indians.  The statement confuses the palisade built in 1714 with the time of Spotswood's home which was built about 1722.

Schuricht says, "The relations between the governor and the German colonists were of the very best kind.  They called Virginia in his honor: �Spotsylvania' � and he was at home with them.  He was so much charmed by this laborious and peaceable people, that he married a young German lady by the name of �Theke' and born in Hannover."

If relationships were so good why did Spotswood sue nineteen of the Germans? The Germans did not originate the name "Spotsylvania".  This was the name given by the Burgesses in the act to create the county and it was Spotswood who laid the proposed legislation before the Burgesses.  And the information about his wife is incorrect.

Schuricht may not be the original source of the following, but he repeats the assertion that Rev. Gerhard Hinkel was the pastor of the church at Germanna.  Whether at Germanna or on the Robinson River, there is no known record of Hinkel as a pastor among the Piedmont Germans.  This report has confused everyone who has searched for the man but it seems to be an error.

There is a complete mixup of the facts in Schuricht's statement, "The German inhabitants who were appointed overseers on Spotswood's plantations, or employed in his mines, finally had to claim large sums for unpaid wages and in place of payment he transferred to them large tracts of land on Robertson River, a tributary of the Rapidan, in the present county of Madison."

From the geographical locations he mentions, he appears to be writing about the Second Colony.  They never worked in his mines and they never claimed unpaid wages (on the contrary he sued them), and he never transferred any land to them, period.  They did obtain land on the Robinson River, but the procedure was that which was open to all residents of Virginia and he certainly never signed the land patents.

Again, I close this note with another Schuricht quotation in which he says, "The German colony on the Robinson River, west of the present town of Madison, prospered under the kind government of Sir Alexander Spotswood." We'll look more at this in the next note.

Nr. 722:

Schuricht would have us believe that the time that Col. Spotswood was governor overlapped the time that the Robinson River Germans were settled in their homes there.  Actually, Spotswood was replaced as governor in 1722, and the Germans did not move to the Robinson River until 1725.  Thus he was only a private citizen when the Germans moved.  It is true that he and the Germans both lived in Spotsylvania County, but he seemed to have no involvement in the government.  Schuricht refers to Spotswood as "Sir" which I believe is incorrect.  I believe that one must be knighted to be called "Sir".

Schuricht says the Germans on the Robinson River founded a congregation in 1735, with John Casper Stoever (St�ver)as parson.  He also took charge of the church at Germanna when Rev. Henkel at Germanna moved on to North Carolina.  Schuricht says the church register also shows two sentinels were posted at the door of the Robinson River chapel.  Schuricht also says Rev. Stoever traveled to Germany in 1739 to raise money for a church, school, and library.  After this trip, Stoever conducted the school himself.  All of these statements by Schuricht are generally false, though there is an occasional hint of truth in some of them.  In fact, Stoever died in 1739 returning from Germany where he had been several years.

With friends like this, who needs enemies? From the work I reported here earlier on the history of the history of Germanna, I can recognize some of the sources for the statements that Schuricht makes.  Still, he could not entirely place the blame on other people.  He seems to have misunderstood a lot of what he read or heard.  I don't think that he set out to deliberately misinform people; it was more a case that he did not understand.

There was a more recent individual who did set out to deliberately misinform people by making up evidence that simply was not there, or was not true.  This was Brawdus Martin, the man for whom the Germanna Foundation's new visitor center is to be named.  Out of nothing he created what he said were facts in order to persuade people that his version of history was correct.  Schuricht cannot be blamed for such dishonest behavior.  More exactly, he might be considered as incompetent but well intentioned.  I certainly would not take my Germanna history from what the man wrote.

Nr. 723:

I have just received a note on a future Lotspeich Reunion to be held in June of the year 2000.  The organizers are calling it a "Lotspeich Gathering".  Though the emphasis is on the descendants of Johann Conrad Lotspeich, all Lotspeichs are invited.  Even if you aren't a Lotspeich, perhaps you might like to join in the fun and festivities and help bring recognition to the Lotspeichs as a Germanna family.

The affair is planned as a three-day event on June 16, 17, and 18 in Greenville, Tennessee.  Entertainments include a golf tournament, music, arts and crafts by descendants, Civil War Reenactors, Mountain Men, swimming and games, and genealogy.  For further information contact Bob Lotspeich at 20502 E. 351st St., Archie, MO 64725.  Or telephone him at 816-430-5248 or email him at

In the announcement, a very short family history was included.  Johann Christoph Lotspeich came to America 19 October 1772, landing in Philadelphia, the favored port of entry at that time.  He came on the ship Catherine, commanded by Captain Sutton.  The ship came from Rotterdam, via London.  There were only 17 male names on the passenger manifest, an unusually small number.

Christopher appears in Culpeper County, Virginia deed book for the 15th and 16th of December in 1776.  On 11 Jul 1788, Christopher bought 100 acres of land for 50 shillings per acre in Greene Co., Tennessee, on the south side of the Chucky River.  He was in the county before this, because his fourth child, John, was born in Greene Co. on 9 Nov 1782.

The three children previous to this, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Ralph, were born in Culpeper Co., Virginia.  After John, the fourth child, there were eleven more children of John Christopher and his wife Barbara Hartley.  All of these, Mary and Sarah (twins), William, Susannah, Barbara, Christopher, Rachel, Samuel, Rebecca, Grace, and James, were born in Greene County.  Christopher and Grace died as infants.  Many of these children grew up in the Greenville area of Tennessee, and the region is rich in Lotspeich descendants.

Johann Christopher had at least a brother and sister in the Culpeper area.  In following notes we will look at the family in general.  (I have merged in a few items to what Bob gave in his history.)

Nr. 724:

Information pertaining to the German origins of the Lotspeich family is to be found in various sources.  Friedrich Krebs published a note in German in 1969.  This was translated and edited by Don Yoder and published in the book "Rhineland Emigrants", authored by Yoder in 1985.  Cerny and Zimmerman published a short note, drawing especially upon the church records, in volume 11 of the monograph series, "Before Germanna".

Johann Willhelm Lotspeich was living in Virginia prior to his father's death in 1778.  He appears in a Culpeper deed with his wife Magdalena, in 1774.  Of special note is the Rev. Klug's estate record (he died in 1764), that mentions his son-in-law, William Lutspike and daughter Magdalena.

The father of William was Johann Conrad Lotspeich who, is sometimes called Lotschberg in the Frankenthal (Palatinate) records.  Conrad married Catharina Elizabeth Wilhemina, the daughter of J�rg Andreas Ladenberger of Frankenthal.  Conrad was a tailor and church deacon at Frankenthal, and died there 30 September 1778.  His estate papers mention six children, of whom three were in America.  These were Johann Wilhelm, Johann Christoph, and Johanna Friederika.  Christopher was mentioned in the last of the notes here.

In America, only the arrival of Christopher is known.  William, born in 1740, came as a young man to Culpeper Co., VA, and soon married Magdalena Klug, but the details remain unknown.  Johanna Friederika, his younger sister by four years, could have come with William, or perhaps with Christopher.  She is not listed on the ship's manifest with Christopher, but women and children were usually omitted.  In Virginia, she married John Francis Lucas Jacoby.  Christopher was the youngest child in the family, born in 1750.  He arrived at Philadelphia when he was twenty-four years old.

The mother of these children was Catharina Elisabetha Wilhelmina who had a brother Rudolff.  He moved to England where he adopted the name Ralph and married twice, but he left no children.  He wrote a will in 1784 in which he named as heirs the three children of his deceased sister Susan Dietz of Frankenthal; the son, George Andreas, of his deceased brother Philipp Leonhard Ladenberg; five children of his deceased brother Johannes Ladenberg, at Arnemuide, near Middleburg, in Zeeland; six children of his deceased sister, Catherine Lotspeich, of Frankenthal; his surviving sister Anna Maria Drislein of Frankenthal; and her two children by two husbands.

Ralph himself was described in his will as a wine merchant, formerly of Easter Street, in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, now living at Salisbury, Wiltshire.  The family has always impressed me for its international flavor.  Ralph's will mentions the countries, Palatinate, Holland, England, and the United States.  He was the uncle of the three Lotspeichs of America.

Nr. 725:

Of all of the nationalities that settled the English colonies, I am inclined to believe that the Germans were more favorably inclined toward the Indians than any other European group.  In the history of our Germanna Colonies, Gov. Spotswood came up with the thought in 1712 that Germans could be useful as a barrier between "our citizens" and the Indians.  At the time, he had no particular reason for believing that Germans could do a good job in this role.  He proposed this in a general way to the Lords Commissioners, as a way of preserving the safety of the Virginians, but there is no record that they ever responded to him.  Two years later, when he had control of 42 Germans, he put this plan into action and installed the Germans on the frontier, twelve miles beyond the usual course of "our rangers".

Two years later he was bragging about how effective (and economical) this policy had been.  He even expressed a desire that more of the German's countrymen might join the ones already here in a similar capacity.  He also saw that if he could get more Germans, than it would be very profitable to acquire land in the west, where he could settle the Germans.  This is when he started to advertize among the ship's captains that he wanted more German servants.  (At the same time he set out to explore the lands in the west, especially during the expedition across the Blue Ridge Mountains.)  He was sold on the Germans as keepers of the peace on the frontier.

Apparently the German were good at maintaining peace with the Indians.  Later the Germans were caught up in the side effects of the European national wars which had repercussions on the western frontier here.

The Germans along the Hudson River developed relationships with the Indians about this same time.  After their disappointment with the government naval stores project on the Hudson River, they sought land to the west to settle on as private individuals.  They negotiated with the Indians directly for the purchase of land at Schoharie.  This was further west than the English government had exerted any claim or had any settlers.  The Germans were comfortable with this arrangement.

One of the remarkable events of this colony was that Conrad Weiser, a German youth, went to live with the Indians where he learned their ways and languages.  Throughout his life he maintained his contact with the Indians and was their trusted friend.  Later, when he lived in Pennsylvania, he continued this role as a man who had a foot in both European civilization and in Indian civilization.  There was hardly a conference without his presence as he interpreted each side to the other.  That his outlook was very broad is shown by the marriage of his daughter to Henry M�hlenberg, the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, while at the same time being welcomed in every Indian village he visited.

(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 TWENTY-NINTH set of Notes, Nr. 701 through Nr. 725.)

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

There is a Mailing List (also known as a Discussion List or Discussion Group), called GERMANNA_COLONIES, at RootsWeb.  This List is open to all subscribers for the broadcast of their messages.  John urges more of you to make it a research tool for answering your questions, or for summarizing your findings, on any subject concerning the Germanna Colonies of Virginia.  On this List, you may make inquiries of specific Germanna SURNAMES.  At present, there are about 1200 subscribers and there are bound to be users here who can help you.

If you are interested in subscribing to this List, click here.  You don't need to type anything, just click on "Send".  You will shortly receive a Welcome Message explaining the List.

(GERMANNA History Notes, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 John BLANKENBAKER.)

(GERMANNA History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 George W. DURMAN.)

This material has been compiled and placed on this web site by George W. Durman, with the permission of John BLANKENBAKER.  It is intended for personal use by genealogists and researchers, and is not to be disseminated further.

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

INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GENEALOGY COMMENTS

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

Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025