GERMANNA History Notes Page #032

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This is the THIRTY-SECOND 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 776 through 800.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 32

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Nr. 776:

Let's look at the positive side of things and be thankful for all that RootsWeb is doing for us.  Right now would be an appropriate time to remember them with a gift that will only partially pay for all that you enjoy from them.  Donations may be mailed to them at this address:

RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative
P.O. Box 6798
Frazier Park, CA 93222-6798

I believe that if you contribute at the rate of $25.00 per year you can have a notification service that alerts you to the appearance of any key words that you name.  Why not become better acquainted with them.

[Note here from WebMaster of this web site, who is also Listowner of the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List at Rootsweb:  John is referring to the Personalized Mailing List (PML), that is one of the many benefits of becoming a sponsor, or a supporter of RootsWeb.  The PML is a service that allows you to have daily notifications sent to your email address of ANY emails sent to ANY Mailing List at Rootsweb, containing any of the "key words" that you have entered into your personal PML setup.  In other words, if you wish to be notified of any email, on any Mailing List at RootsWeb, that contains the word "Blankenbaker", you may do so by using the PML and setting up your personal filters.  It is kind of tricky to set up your "key words", and you must be able to use "boolean" searches, which is explained on the page where you "sign up". (If any of you ever need help on this subject, feel free to email me here.

To become a sponsor, or a supporter of RootsWeb, go to this URL:

Once you have subscribed, you can go to this URL to set up your PML settings the first time:

From then on, you can go here to make changes to the PML Search:]

There was a story on RootsWeb this morning that I am going to repeat here and it will take a couple of notes:

by John Palmer

"My mother had a rare name, DOXEY, and came from a place in the middle of Derbyshire, England, called Wirksworth.  In 1995, using the IGI, I traced her line back to 1595, still in Wirksworth.

I went to Lichfield Cathedral, where the Bishop in charge of Wirksworth used to live, and asked for the Bishops Transcripts.  Here they are sir, one-foot-wide and four-feet-long, in a roll of 350-year-old parchment.  Don't you have photocopies of these?  No sir, you'll have to use the originals to work from.  But that's terrible, they'll fall to bits.  Shrug.  Then I spoke the words that changed my life.  I'll do a deal, you send me photocopies and I'll transcribe them to computer, index them and send you the printouts.  A month later, ding-dong, the postman - a parcel for you sir.  My heart sank; there's a year's work here.

"I started typing, on my old computer.  It was hard work, but it got interesting.  Six months later I finished the job and posted printouts to Lichfield.  But I was hooked.  I'd gotten to know names and places from old Wirksworth -- they were like my family.  How about doing the Parish Registers, and get everyone in Wirksworth 1600-1900 on computer?  I contacted the IGI HQ in England and asked will you lend me microfilm of the Registers to use at home, here's what I'm trying to do.  Sure thing, but we'd like you to send us a progress report every six months, and a copy of your final results, for free.

"I bought a bigger computer and a fiche reader and started typing again.  Three years of very hard work later I'd finished 70,000 Register entries.  A friend had a Web site, so I got myself an ISP and bought a paperback about HTML.  Soon I had all the Parish Register entries on my own Web site and was getting a flood of e-mails from around the world, inquiries, and fan-mail.  Now I was really hooked on Wirksworth."

[To be continued]

Nr. 777:

[Continued the quotation from the last note]

"Soon I realized I wasn't studying one name, but all names from one place, together with its local history -- much more satisfying.  I added everything else I could find about Wirksworth.  A group let me scan and OCR all their Memorial Inscriptions.  I transcribed a lot of Church Wardens' Accounts from 1650 -- absolutely fascinating.  Then I added the census.  Another friend sent me local histories from 1830, another sent old photos including an aerial photo of the town in 1840 (no, I'm not going to tell you how that was done, you'll have to browse my Web site to find out).  Now I'm transcribing a handwritten book of 700 local pedigrees that used to be in the Duke of Devonshire's Library at Chatsworth House.  It's tremendous fun.

"Want to see the results of five years hard work?  Browse the Wirksworth Web site at  Better still, why not start a "One-Place" Web site as your Millennium Project?  Put your favorite place on the map, and leave the next generation something really useful."

[End of quotation]

PERMISSION TO REPRINT articles from MISSING LINKS is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, PROVIDED:  (1) the reprint is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and (2) the following notice appears at the end of the article: Written by John Palmer,, whose URL appears in the above paragraph.  Previously published by Julia M. Case and Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, Missing Links, Vol. 4, No. 51, 15 December 1999.  RootsWeb:

It's worth a visit to John Palmer's web page to see what he has done.  Check his personal history also.

Nr. 778:

Dr. Elmer Smith once noted that he had lived for twenty years in areas where the populations consisted primarily of people of German descent.  Ten of these years were among the Pennsylvania Dutch in Pennsylvania, and the second ten were among the German descendants in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.  He made some studies of surviving cultural traits to be found among these people.  The Pennsylvania folk preserved the language the best, but he believed that more of the old ways of the German past had survived in Virginia.

In both areas, the Germans faced the prejudices of their English-speaking neighbors, who confused the language barrier with illiteracy and with stupidity.  Thus arose the erroneous epithet, "The dumb Dutch."  The Germans did not help their case by their political inactivity and their opposition to public education (as opposed to church-sponsored education).

Also, the Germans tended to be a modest people.  A New England tavern might advertise, "The best food in the world."  Compare this to what a German proprietor of an inn said, "Some say our food is good."

German origins were considered by some Germans themselves as a mark of inferiority and they went out of their way to try and hide their backgrounds.  They should have been emphasizing the contributions made by their forefathers, such as:

The first Bible printed in America
The first paper mill in America
The first original scientific work
The first school for girls
The first teachers school
The first flint glass maker

In the 1740's, at Ephrata Cloister (Seventh Day German Baptists), in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, printed The Martyrs Mirror, a book of the sufferings of the Anabaptists.  This was the largest book (even larger than the Bible) printed up to that time in America, and the press run of 1200 copies set a new standard also.

Many modern names are not recognized for their German origins.  Charles Goodyear, Frank Woolworth, Milton Hershey, S. S. Kresge, and John Wanamaker left indelible marks on the commercial landscape.  History books fail to mention that Molly Pitcher was born Maria Ludwig.  The recognition has not lived up to the heritage.

Nr. 779:

Dr. Smith recounted some of the rich heritage of the Germans in the previous note.  In this note, let's look at some continuing practices (he was speaking not much more than thirty years ago), which show how difficult is to change all aspects of a culture.  Another man, not of a German heritage, had a daughter who suffering from a severe case of whooping cough.  His dialect-speaking neighbors (meaning Germans) suggested he take her to the local mill and have the miller place her in the hopper while the mill was in operation.  Following this advice, the man was amazed that the treatment helped cure her of the cough.  Prof. Smith, with Prof Stewart, surveyed mills in Augusta, Highland, and Pendleton Counties, in Virginia, and found five where this was once a common practice.  In Pennsylvania, an 1869 publication had recommended this cure, but it has been extinct in Pennsylvania for a century.  In Virginia it flourished up to the past thirty years or so (say 1930 to 1960).  Other Virginia Germans used the mill hopper to prevent stuttering and to help children who were slow in talking.  The rationale for this was the gentle rocking of hopper would shake the cough from the body, and help the words flow from the body.

Other common cures for whooping cough were:

  1. Put the child around a bed post three times,
  2. Put the child around a table leg three times,
  3. Put the child through a horse collar three times,
  4. Put the child three times around a briar bush that had taken root from its upper branches, or
  5. Take a mouse and cook the hind legs and give the meat to the afflicted child to eat.  (The mouse cure has a history going back ten centuries in areas that are now Germany.)

Dr. Smith said that within the last few months an elderly woman in an isolated mountainous area showed him cures for young children who had developed ruptures.  One remedy included the use of an onion which was rubbed gently over the rupture.  The onion was taken to a place in the brush where the child was least likely to go and was buried before sunrise.  The other method involved splitting a tree, and this cure was known in both England and Germany.

A cure for a sore mouth, with similar cures in Germany and England, involved three straws, or rushes.  In the German version, three straws from the stable manure were passed through the child's mouth and then returned to the exact spot from which they were taken.  Another cure for this involved blowing into the child's mouth, but only a person who had never seen his father could do this.  (In England, the power to do this was in a "left" twin, i.e., one who had outlived the other twin.)

What has this to do with genealogy?  Without these cures, you might not be here.  They perhaps saved the life of an ancestor before your branch sprouted.  More exactly, these practices were a part of life in days gone by.

Nr. 780:

Some of the popular remedies of the past included the asafetida bag worn around the neck; poultices for croup; the spider web, or cobweb, placed on the open cut to stop the flow of blood; the axe placed under the bed to relieve leg cramps and pains; hog manure placed on the throat for mumps; the carrying of a horse chestnut to ward off rheumatism; and the dirty sock wrapped around the throat for quinsy.  Some of these ancient practices persisted until modern times according to Dr. Smith.

(Note: Asafetida=An acrid, lumpy gum resin; formerly used as a carminative and antispasmodic; Carminative=Expelling gas from the stomach and bowels; Quinsy=An abscess located between the tonsil and the pharynx, accompanied by a severe sore throat and fever.  GWD)

Then there were plant medications.  It was stated that God created all things for good and it behooved man to find the useful purposes.  Peppermint, catnip, pennyroyal, and elderberry were dried and kept available.  Wild carrot was used for backache; sumac berries for bed wetting; sassafras as a blood builder; burdock root for boils; slippery elm for bruises; and boneset was used to heal broken bones.

Salves were made from most animal fats; the hog, goose, bear, and groundhog were in common use for greasing, and even the hop toad and the rattlesnake were used.  Manure became a medicine especially as a poultice as well as a tea.  Measles were commonly treated with a tea made from sheep dung.

Were these the mark of poor, illiterate Germans?  George Washington carried a horse chestnut in his pocket for years, in the belief that it prevented rheumatism.  George even consulted a self-styled German doctor in Pennsylvania about a cure for persons bit by wild animals.

Among the preventive measures of the Germans were Haus Sagen (literally, House Sayings), blessings framed and hung on the wall to protect the inhabitants.  Sometimes they were printed, but might be carved also.  The Himmelsbrief (letter from heaven) was popular for protecting the bearer against wounds.  This dates back to 1523, when the original dropped from heaven.  Copies were made and widely distributed.

Bothered by animals such as rats, moles, moths, or skunks?  You could write a letter to the offender and suggest that he might be better off at a neighbor's home.  It was considered impolite to simply ask the animal to leave; you should offer it a better alternative.  If the moles were bothering you, your note would be tied to a stake and driven into the ground where the moles were busy.  One even wrote letters to bedbugs, but, to help them make their exodus, one constructed bridges over the waterways.

The groundhog tradition was slightly different in Germany, where the animal was the badger and the time to observe him was four weeks after Christmas, not forty days.

Nr. 781:

On a couple of occasions in the last month I have suggested that one could do something to change the world for the better.  I want now to tell the story of one woman who did her part.  My information comes from the Bulletin of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon.

[At the age of 66, Mrs. Tabitha Brown yoked her ox team and joined a caravan of 1846 en route to Oregon.  She wrote letters home after her arrival, and they form a major basis for the description of her adventures.]

"At Fort Hall three or four trains were decoyed off by a rascally fellow, who came out from the settlements in Oregon.  Our sufferings from that time no tongue can tell.  We were carried hundreds of miles south of Oregon, lost nearly all our cattle, and passed the Umpqua Mountains, nearly twelve miles through.  I rode through in three days at the risk of my life on horseback, having lost my wagon and all that I had was the horse that I sat on.  The canyon (Cow Creek) was strewn with dead cattle, broken wagon beds, clothing and everything but provisions, of which the latter we were nearly destitute.  Some were in the canyon two or three weeks before they got through; some died from fatigue and starvation, while others ate the flesh of cattle that were lying dead by the wayside."

[She tried to overtake an invalid brother-in-law and finally caught up to him.]

"His senses were gone, covering him up as well as I could with the blankets, I seated myself on the ground behind him, expecting he would be a corpse before morning.  Worse than alone in a savage wilderness, without food, without fire, cold and shivering, wolves fighting and howling all around me, dark clouds hid the stars.  All was solitary as death.  But that same Providence that I had always known was watching over me still."

[On Christmas Day, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, Mrs. Brown entered the house of a Methodist minister in Salem:]

".....the first house I had set my foot in for nine months.  For two or three weeks of my journey down the Willamette (River) I had felt something in the end of my glove finger which I had supposed to be a button.  On examination at my new home in Salem I found it to be a six-and-a-quarter-cent piece.  This was my whole cash capital to commence business with in Oregon."

Nr. 782:

Mrs. Brown, who arrived at Salem, Oregon, on Christmas Day in 1846, found that she was richer than she had expected, for in her glove was a coin worth one-sixteenth of a dollar.  That was the only cash that she had, and with it she bought three needles.  Then she traded some of her old clothes to a Native America for some buckskins, and worked the skins into gloves for gentlemen and ladies which she sold for thirty dollars.

A little later, she accepted the invitation of Rev. Harvey Clark and his wife to spend the winter with them.  Arriving there, she saw the necessity for some kind of school for the children in the community.  She proposed, and it was accepted, to use the log meeting house as a school.  She volunteered to work one year for nothing, with the patrons to meet the expenses.  Children came from some distance, so it was necessary to have a boarding school, with the cost set at one dollar per week.

By the summer of 1848, she had thirty boarders of both sexes, who ranged in age from four to twenty-one.  She managed them and taught the school with the assistance of a missionary's wife.  Rev. Clark donated 200 acres of his land claim for town lots, with the proceeds to go to toward the school.  Thus, was the City of Forest Grove born, and, with it, Tualatin Academy.

The Academy was organized 21 September, 1848, and it became Pacific University, which was incorporated in January 1854.  Nine years later, the University awarded its first degree to one Harvey W. Scott.

Thus, did the work of Tabitha Brown bear fruit.  Forest Grove and Pacific University are still there.  But Tabitha Brown would measure the results, not by the buildings, but by the students.

As we approach the New Year, will we resolve to do something to make this a better world?

Glad Tidings to All.

Nr. 783:

Two men arrived in the Robinson River Valley around the middle of the eighteenth century.  Their German surname was Hirsch, which means Deer.  They adopted the latter name for use in America, with most of the descendants spelling the name as Deer and some as Dear.  Down at the German Lutheran Church, it was spelled as Hirsch until the time of the Revolution.  The two men were Martin and John.

Cerny and Zimmerman found the origins of the two men in Germany and give a short report in volume 11 of Before Germanna.  Martin was older and his baptismal name was simply the name Martin.  He was born 16 Aug 1715.  It was a bit unusual to have only the one given name, but none of his six brothers had two given names.  He had two brothers named Johannes, one of whom went by the name Hanns, and the other who went by the name Johannes.  The latter Johannes, born 2 Nov 1718, is the John that we know in Virginia.  There was one girl in the family, Anna Maria, born 2 Mar 1705, who is noted in a parish record as "moved to England."

Geography was not a strong point of the Germans and "England" might mean two things.  It might mean England as we know England.  It might also mean any of the English colonies or possessions, and, so, could include the New World.

Why Martin and John emigrated to the New World, and why they chose Virginia is not known.  I believe that the village of their birth, Dautmergen, is not associated with any other emigrants to the New World and, in particular, Virginia.

The arrival times of the brothers in Virginia must be judged by the earliest records, which are land transactions.  George Long deeded Martin Deer 300 acres in 1751, and Cerny and Zimmerman say that the wording of the deed suggests Martin was George Long's son-in-law.  B.C. Holtzclaw simply notes that Long sold 300 acres to Martin Deer.  Descendants generally make no claim of relationship to the Long/Lang family.

John Deer married the widow of Frederick Baumgartner.  Frederick wrote his will in 1746 and it was probated in 1747.  Very probably, Martin and John had traveled together to Virginia, and they would have arrived before 1747.  At that time they would have been 32 and 29 respectively.  Whether they were married when they came is unknown; no marriages have been found in Germany.  Considering that widows often married without a short time of their widowhood, the Deers probably arrived in the late 1740's, and John was probably married soon after his arrival.  The marriage of John and Catherine is the only marriage for John that we know.

Attempts to connect these families to the more famous John Deere family were misguided.

Nr. 784:

Frederick Baumgartner left a will in which he named a daughter Dorothy, but not a daughter Eve.  (There were also four sons:  Adam, George, Frederick, and Joel.)  After the father Frederick died, the mother, Catherine, married John Deer.  There are no clues as to Catherine's maiden name.  John Deer left a will and in it he left three pounds each to Dorothy and Eve (given by their married names in 1781).  This has resulted in some confusion as to the status of Dorothy and Eve, with respect to John Deer, who did not state the women were his daughters.  Dorothy is known, from the will of Frederick Baumgartner, to be Frederick's daughter.  Eve gave a disposition once that Dorothy was her sister, and the current belief is that Eve was a daughter of Frederick Baumgartner, but was born after he died.

Six children are named by John Deer, who are believed to be his children: John, Catherine, Susannah, Moses, Mary, and Elizabeth.  Mary and Elizabeth were apparently unmarried in 1781, the year in which the will was written.  Catherine is named as Catherine Rider, and Susannah is named as Susannah Brown.  At present, this is the extent of the knowledge about the four daughters of John Deer.

In the following, reliance is placed on information furnished by Gene Dear, a descendant of Simeon Dear.  John Deer married Mary Blankenbaker, the daughter of Christopher Blankenbaker and his wife Christina Finks.  Mary was born 29 Sep 1754.  The husband of Mary had not been known until Gene Dear found a Supreme Court case in Virginia, which named all of the children and, for the women, their husbands.  It seems probable that John Deer, Jr., was the eldest son (and probably child) of John, Sr., and Catherine Deer, and he was born about 1749.

Gene has given me the children of John, Jr., and Mary (Blankenbaker) Deer as follows (I am using numbers to help identify them):

  1. Reuben (1775 � 1882) m. Elizabeth Gaar (1775 � 1830) on 15 Dec 1795 in Madison Co., VA and the family moved to Kentucky.  The children are given in the Garr Genealogy.
  2. Lewis (1777 � ), m.1 Peggy Crisler in 1801, and m.2 Nancy Wilhoit.
  3. Ephraim (1783 � ).
  4. Simeon (1786 � ), m. Lucy Major in 1802.
  5. Elizabeth m. Amos Roberts in 1802.
  6. Jeremiah (1788 � ), never married.
  7. Sarah (Sally) m. Jeremiah Clore in 1808.
  8. Abner (1793 � ), m. Rosanna Weaver in 1815.
  9. Jonas (1797 � ), m. Elizabeth Crigler in 1818.
  10. Mildred, nfi.

If anyone can add details, please do so.

Nr. 785:

John Deer, who married Catherine, the widow of Frederick Baumgartner, had six children by her.  The four daughters are basically unknowns except for the married names of two.  The children of the two sons are known.  In the last note, the children of #3. John (and Mary Blankenbaker) were given. The wife of the other son, Moses (#6), is unknown. They had eight children:

  1. Lucy, m. William French in 1811.
  2. John, nfi.
  3. Elizabeth, m. John Ford in 1816.
  4. Mary, m. John Dawson in 1815.
  5. Larkin, who was born about 1794.
  6. Moses (Jr.), who was born about 1797.
  7. Thomas, who was born about 1799.
  8. Jermima, nfi.

Moses, Sr. (#6) is usually given the birth year of 1760 and the death year of 1812.

There are a number of tantalizing references to the Hirschs in the German Lutheran Church.  For example, when Daniel Diehl (Deal), and his wife Elizabeth, had their daughter, Margaret, baptized on 12 Mar 1775, the sponsors were Rudolph Crecelius and Catharina Hirsch.  The chances are that Catharina was related to one of the parents, but not enough is known about them to answer the question.

Andreas Hirsch, and his wife Susannah, brought Andreas for baptism (date not given), but his birth was given as 23 Feb 1780.  The mother, Susannah, was probably a Reser, but not proven.  The sponsors were Martin Hirsch (probably Andrew's brother), Jacob Reser (he is part of the evidence that the mother was born a Reser), and Veronica (no last name given, but at other places there is a Veronica Hirsch).

We have not discussed the children of Martin Deer/Hirsch yet.  These children are less certain than the children of John Deer, who left a will.  Martin did not leave a will, and his family is reconstructed by gathering up all of the Hirschs who are not children or grandchildren of John Deer.  Thus we have introduced (by naming him) Andrew, who was a son of Martin.

Martin, the immigrant, had more than one wife.  It is possible to find evidence that he may have had three wives:  Frances, Veronica, and Anna Maria, in that order.  We know that he had at least two sons, Andrew and Martin, who are mentioned in a baptismal record, but there is no evidence for other sons.  The evidence for his daughters is very weak.

Nr. 786:

Two sons of Martin Deer are known.  Martin left no will, so the records of his children come from a variety of sources.  John Deer's children are known from his will, so the leftovers are assumed to be Martin's.  In the last note, reference was made to two sons of Martin, Andrew and Martin (Jr.).

Andrew married, ca 1779, Susanna Reser, who was born ca 1762, in Sussex Co., NJ.  They had nine children:

  1. Andrew, b. 23 Feb 1780 in Culpeper Co., VA; he married Susanna Delph, 14 Aug 1799, in Madison Co., VA.
  2. Susanna, b. ca 1781 in Culpeper Co., VA; she married Aaron Delph, 30 Apr 1800, in Madison Co., VA.
  3. Frances, b. 3 Dec 1782 in Culpeper Co., VA; married Israel Clore, 17 Feb 1805, in Madison Co., VA.
  4. Rosanna, b. 31 Jul 1784 Culpeper Co., VA; never married.
  5. Elizabeth, b. 25 Aug 1787; married John Ford, 22 Jun 1816, in Madison Co., VA.
  6. John, b. 4 Mar 1786 in Culpeper Co., VA; married Margaret Clore 28 Nov 1809, in Madison Co., VA.
  7. Joel, b. 7 Feb 1789 in Culpeper Co., VA; married Sarah Garnet, 15 May 1817, in Boone Co., KY.
  8. Barbara, b. 1790 in Culpeper Co., VA; married Christopher Wendel, 7 Mar 1837, in Boone Co., KY.
  9. Simeon, b. 30 Dec 1792 in Culpeper Co., VA; married Mary E. Clore, 26 Dec 1819, in Boone Co., KY

There seem to be three daughters of Martin Deer and his wives.  These were Veronica, Barbara, and Francis.

Barbara has a marriage license in 1795 for a union with Ephraim Rouse (1765 � 1851), and perhaps she was born about 1767.  She and Ephraim moved to Boone Co., KY.  Ephraim had been married first to Maria Hoffman, who died in 1793.  The book, John Rouse of Virginia and His Descendants, 1717 � 1980, lists eleven children for Ephraim and Barbara.  Their children married members of the Yowell, Fleshman, House, Rouse, Tanner, Lipp, and Edins families.

A Susanna Hirsch was confirmed at the church in 1792.  The #30 Susanna above would be too young for confirmation if her estimated birth year is correct.  The Susanna who married Mr. Brown was married before this date.  This leaves only the Susanna who married Andrew Deer (Susanna Reser), and the Susanna who married Martin (Susanna Unknown), but both of these would have been late in life.  The best bet is the #30 Susanna who may have been a little bit older than has been estimated.

[I woke up with a very sore throat this morning so you may not hear from me until next year.]

Nr. 787:

A short review of the information on the Deer families is warranted.  There were two families, headed by brothers, John (#1) and Martin (#2), who were born in Germany in 1717 and 1725, respectively.  John (#1) left a will which identified six children:

  • John (#3),
  • Catherine (#4), who married ? Rider,
  • Susannah (#5) who married ? Brown,
  • Moses (#6),
  • Mary (#7), and
  • Elizabeth (#8).

Martin (#2) did not leave a will so his children are less certain.  Two sons are clear:

  • Andrew (#9) and
  • Martin (#10).

Potential daughters of Martin, Sr. (#2) are:

  • Veronica,
  • Barbara, and
  • Francis.
Who have not been assigned numbers to these potential daughters.  Barbara seems to have married Ephraim Rouse, and Francis seems to have married Peter Racer/Rasor.

John Deer (#1) married the widow of Frederick Baumgartner, Catherine, who maiden name is unknown.  This marriage was probably about 1747.  Two of the Baumgartner daughters, Dorothy and Eve, are mentioned in the will of John Deer.  Martin Deer (#2) was married perhaps as many as three times, first to Francis (in 1756), second to Veronica, and third to Anna Maria, with no maiden names known for any of them.

The family of John Deer (#3) was given in note 784.  The family for Moses Deer (#6) was given in note 785.  The family of Andrew (#9), who married Susanna Reser, was given in note 786.  The family of Martin (#10) has not been given.  He, too, married a Susanna, but her maiden name is unknown.  Their children were:

  1. Sarah, b. 1791, no marriage,
  2. Margaret, b. 1793, m. 1822 Felix Yager,
  3. Frances, b. 1795, m.1 1817 William Zachary, m.2 ? Skinner,
  4. Nancy, b. 1796, m. 1817 John Loyd, Jr.,
  5. Absalom, b. c1801, m. Elizabeth Wilson, and
  6. Fielding, b. c 1809, m.?

The births of the four daughters are recorded in the Hebron Church Register.  Only a narrow set of sponsors appears.  On two occasions, Andrew Hirsch and his wife Susanna are sponsors.  He was the brother of the father.  At the baptism of Sara in 1791 (born 1 Mar), one of the sponsors was Barbara Hirsch (i.e., Deer).  It seems best to interpret her as a sister, unmarried at the time, of Andrew.  In a few years she married Ephraim Rouse.  The sponsors furnish no clues as to the maiden name of the mother, Susanna.

In searching for the records of the Deers at the church, one must generally use the German form of the name, Hirsch.

Nr. 788:

Communicant lists begin in 1775 at the German Lutheran Church (now called Hebron and located in Madison Co., Virginia).  In the first list, Martin Hirsch and wife Pheronika were present.  I interpret this as Martin Deer (#2) and his second wife Veronica.  At Christmas time, in the "single" men's section (balcony, actually), there is this sequence of names:  Joseph Rouse, Andrew Deer, Joseph Snider, Martin Deer, and Henry Blankenbaker.  Andrew and Martin are interpreted as sons of Martin Deer.  The odds are that they are not yet married.  Single men often sat with cousins or other relatives that they did not see on a daily basis.  Since the maiden name of the mother of Andrew and Martin is unknown, the Rouse, Snider, and Blankenbaker families are possible families to consider.  In the "single" women's section (the other balcony), there was a Veronica Deer in this sequence:  Magdalena Cook, Barbara Cook, Veronica Deer, Elizabeth Reiner, and Margaret Snider.  The unanswered question is whether this Veronica is the wife of Martin (#2), or the daughter of Martin.  If the wife attended without Martin, she would normally sit in the single women's section, not on the main floor with the married couples.

At Pentecost, in 1776, in the single men's section, there was this sequence:  Jacob Rasor, John Smith, Martin Deer, John Reiner, Andrew Deer, Henry Blankenbaker, and Joseph Snider.  In the single women's section:  Mary Snider(?), Barbara Smith, Veronica Deer, Elizabeth Snider, and Margaret Smith.

At Christmas, in 1776:  Lewis Gaar, John Carpenter, Sr., Andrew Deer, George Carpenter, and William Snider.  Also:  Lewis Neuenmacher, Jr., Aaron Yager, Martin Deer [end of male list].  And also:  Catharine Crisler, Elizabeth Smith, Veronica Deer, Margaret Smith, and Barbara Smith.

At Easter, in 1777: Martin Deer and wife Veronica attended, but none of the children were present.  The next year (1778), at Easter plus one week, the single men's section shows:  Adam Yager, Sr., Joseph Rouse, Martin Deer, Jr., Andrew Deer, Jacob Blankenbaker, and Samuel Blankenbaker.  In the women's section:  Elizabeth Boehm, Barbara Smith, Veronica Deer, Elizabeth Cook, and Elizabeth Smith.

In 1782, there is more of a challenge presented to us.  In the single women's section:  Caty Carpenter, Veronica Blankenbaker, Catherine Deer, Elizabeth Smith, and Christina Blankenbaker.  One problem for us is that the Blankenbaker history does not have a Veronica.  The fact that there was once a Veronica Deer, who disappears, while a Veronica Blankenbaker appears and sits next to a Catherine Deer, suggests there may have been a marriage between Veronica Deer and an unknown Blankenbaker.

Nr. 789:

At the same church service where Veronica Blankenbaker was sitting next to Catherine Deer, Martin Deer and his wife, Anna Maria, attended.  Also, at this same service, Martin Deer, Jr. and his wife, Veronica, attended.

The church records provide evidence that Martin Deer, Sr., was married at least two times.  I have a note that he appeared with a wife Frances in 1756, but I cannot say now what the source was for this information.

A Barbara Deer was confirmed in 1785, at age 17.  She must surely be a sister to Andrew and Martin.

As one read the genealogies of other Germanna families, many Deers are encountered.  Families into which they married include:  Clore, Kabler, Yager, Weaver, Gaar, Wilhoit, and Wayman, to name at least a few.  There are many Deer families in the Gaar Genealogy.

One more shred of information comes from "Rhineland Emigrants", by Don Yoder.  Talking about an Anna Eva J�ckel's husband's death, it is noted that he was buried on Martin Deer's place.  This was in 1751, and in 1756, she died and was buried on Martin Deer's place.  Also, Johann Jacob Detweiler was born 5 Sep 1756, and died the following 25 February, with his burial place being on the burial place of Martin Deer, his grandfather.  These items come from the Old Goschenhoppen Lutheran Burial Register of 1752 to 1772.  This is about midway between Pottstown and Allentown, in Pennsylvania.  This may all just be a coincidence of names, but still the combination of Martin with Deer arrested my attention.

Gene Dear found new information for the Deers, and better organized a lot of what had been known.  Still, it is my feeling that more work would be profitable on the Deers.  There are unanswered questions, including whether their history in America started in Pennsylvania or in Virginia.

Nr. 790:

(I am starting a new mini-series of notes in which I will attempt to list the places in "Germany" associated with the Germanna immigrants.  I will start with the First Colony, i.e., those that came to Virginia in 1714.  One of the points of difficulty is a lack of information, i.e., we could wish there were more.  But let's have a go and see how it comes out.)

Hans Jacob Holzklau, the immigrant, was born in 1683, at Trupbach, and was christened at Siegen.  This is a typical pattern, in that more than one geographical locality may be associated with one person.  In this case, the village of Trupbach is about three miles west of the center of the old city of Siegen.  With growth through the centuries, the area between these two is almost filled in, which obscures the separate identity of the geographical locations.  Still yet another village to be associated with Jacob Holtzclaw is Oberfischbach (about three miles west of Trupbach), where he succeeded his brother, Johannes, as schoolmaster, in 1708.  This same year, he married Anna Margaret Otterbach, of Trupbach.  Two children, Johannes and Johann Henrich, were born at Oberfischbach, in 1709 and 1711.  Hans Jacob lived at Oberfischbach up to the time he left for America.  So, for the Holtzclaw family, we could list Trupbach, Siegen, and Oberfischbach as three locations of immediate interest.

Hans Jacob Richter, the immigrant, was born in 1674.  His parents were living in Trupbach, where the father, Christopher, was a clockmaker.  Hans Jacob married Elisabeth Fischbach at Trupbach.  She was the daughter of Philipp Fischbach.  They continued to live at Trupbach, for he sold his house (under the name of Hans Jacob Fischbach) in 1713 to his brother, Johannes Richter.  Hans Jacob was admitted to the Guild of Steelsmiths and Toolmakers of the Freudenberg District as a toolmaker.  Apparently, he specialized in clocks and did some work with locks, for members of Guild of Locksmiths complained, i.e., sued, to have him forbidden from making locks.  For the Rectors, a visit to Trupbach is essential.  (I believe that their home was identifiable but that it has been destroyed within the last sixty years.)

The Philipp Fischbach family was also from Trupbach.  Though they came to Virginia as one family, the two sons were each the head of a family within a few years in Virginia (before the move to Germantown), while the father, Philipp, died (and is not represented at Germantown).  Philipp Fischbach himself was born at Seelbach, in 1661, and he married Elsbeth, daughter of Johannes Heimbach of Trupbach.  Of seven children born to the parents at Trupbach, five of them were immigrants to Virginia.  The other two children are believed to have died young, for no later records of them have been found.  The village of Seelbach is very close to the villages that have been mentioned.  It is a few miles south of Trupbach, and about halfway between Siegen and Oberfischbach.

Nr. 791:

The Fischbach family had five adult children.  In Germany, one of them, Elizabeth, is believed to have married Hans Jacob Richter, in 1711, and they came on to Virginia.  Two other Fischbach daughters had the same name, Maria Elisabeth, which has made the positive identity of them more difficult.  The two are believed to have married Johann Speilmann and Melchoir Brombach.  B.C. Holtzclaw made the assumption that the older one married Melchoir Brombach, and the younger one married Johann Spielman.  The two sons have already been mentioned, so five families can trace a connection to the village of Trupbach through the Fischbachs.  Six members of the Fischbach family (counting the parents) came as Fischbachs, and one came as the wife of Hans Jacob Richter.

When one attempts to count the individuals who constituted the First Colony, the known names do not account for the 42 people which the records say came.  More names are needed in the form of one or more families.  One family has been proposed for this.  The evidence for them is entirely circumstantial, but still it is good evidence.  About eight people are required, especially with several females.  It might seem likely that the family came from the same village as some of the other members, and perhaps were even related.  They should also disappear from the Germany records.

The Otterbach family meets the requirements, with only one drawback.  They had four daughters who were unmarried at the time.  They came from Trupbach.  A fifth daughter was already married to Hans Jacob Holzklau.  The drawback to their nomination as the missing family is that there is no record of the two sons in Virginia.  Therefore it is necessary to assume that they died in Virginia, probably before the move to Germantown, since they had no land there.

One daughter, Ellsbeth or Elisabeth, is assumed to have married Peter Heide, as his second wife.  Elisabeth Catharina, about 16 when they came, married John Kemper in Virginia.  Maria Catharina, about 14 when they came, married Johann Joseph Mardten.  Anna Catharina, only about 8 when they came, later married Harman Fischbach.  Thus, five families, Holtzclaw, Hitt, Kemper, Martin, and (Harman) Fishback can trace a connection to Trupbach through the distaff side.  There are more people to consider, but Trupbach is in the lead for the number of family connections.  This analysis also shows that a number of the people at Germantown were related to one another.  All of the villages that have been mentioned so far, Trupbach, Seelbach, and Oberfischbach, are close together and not too far from Siegen.

More of the individuals in the First Colony had an association with this same small geographical area.  We'll look at these in the next note.

Nr. 792:

So far we have looked at who emigrated from a series of small villages, not very far apart, just to the west of the modern town of Siegen.  The three villages were Trupbach, Seelbach, and Oberfischbach.  Just a short walk to the southwest from Oberfischbach, perhaps a stroll before breakfast, is Niederndorf.  This was the home of the Kuntze family.  Jost Kuntze, the 1714 emigrant, was christened at Oberfischbach.  His godfather was the mother's brother from Niederndorf.  Jost married Anna Gertrud Reinschmidt of Wilden, which is about six miles southeast of Siegen.  Two of their children had godparents from Niederndorf and Wilden.  (Niederndorf is not far from Freudenberg, a village I will be mentioning later.)

Another family who had an association with Oberfischbach is the H�ger family.  Rev. H�ger was the pastor for a period at Oberfischbach, where he is listed in the census of 1708.  The youngest child in his family, Johann Jacob, was born at Oberfischbach, in 1704.  (The boy died less than a year later.)  The eleven other children were christened at Siegen.  The Rev. H�ger, as an infant, was christened at Netphen, a village about four miles to the northeast of Siegen.  Rev. H�ger's father was a teacher at Anzhausen, a small village about four miles to the east of Siegen.

Another person from the area to the west of Siegen is Johannes Spielmann, whose family is associated with Oberschelden, a village about a mile away from Seelbach.  Johannes was living, as a bachelor, at Oberschelden in 1708.  In Virginia, he probably married one of the daughters of Philipp Fischbach.

Identifying any locality with Peter Heite is not easy.  The most quoted record is the marriage of Peter Heite, son of Jacob Heite of Rehbach, to Maria Liessbeth, daughter of Johann Henrich Freudenberg of Ferndorf.  The village of Ferndorf is about six miles north of Siegen.  After the marriage in 1707, there are no mentions as parents at either Ferndorf or at Siegen.

In the next note I will go slightly farther afield from Siegen, though not by much, to identify the homes of others of the 1714 emigrants.  At some later time, I will discuss the later immigrants, many of whom came from the same villages as we have mentioned.  So far we have seen that we could draw a circle of a few miles radius around Seelbach and the net would catch about half of the 1714 immigrants.

Nr. 793:

Next we come to a set of 1713 emigrants who came from another village, outside of the area of the previous emigrants.  This new set consisted of bachelors.  The village they came from was M�sen, about seven miles due north of the town of Siegen.

Melchoir Brombach was a first cousin of Johannes Kemper, fellow emigrant in 1713.  The age of Melchoir is uncertain, as no christening record has been found for him.  B.C. Holtzclaw estimated a birth of 1686, which would make him 27 years of age when he emigrated.  Apparently, he had not obtained approval and had not paid his taxes when he emigrated, so the authorities attempted to recover the taxes from his inheritance.  As a consequence of this action, his identity is proven.  He left no male children in Virginia, so the Brombachs are not direct descendants of his.

Johannes Kemper was a 21-year-old bachelor when he emigrated in 1713.  Later a brother and a half-sister emigrated to Pennsylvania.

Ancestors of the Merten (Martin) family of M�sen seem to have lived at Ferndorf, the next door village to M�sen.  The 1713 emigrant, Johann Jost Merten, was a 22-year-old bachelor when he left.

Probably the three bachelors we have been discussing were similarly motivated.  Economic conditions were not good and perhaps the young men did not have good prospects for jobs.  Two of them, at least, probably had no marketable skills as a result of an apprenticeship program and journeyman experience.  So the trip was perhaps an attempt to break out into new endeavors.

A village, Eisern, to the south of Siegen about three miles, sent two families.  The area was controlled by the Catholics and the Reformed people were under duress.  Whether this was the motivation for Johannes Hofmann we do not know.  The diary of his brother, Johann Wilhelm Hofmann, a later emigrant to Pennsylvania, would indicate that it was a factor.  Johannes Hofmann may have been facing the same problem as the bachelors from M�sen.  He was a 21-year-old bachelor with perhaps poor immediate economic prospects.

The Weber family was perhaps related to the Hofmanns but the exact relationship is not clear.  The Webers have an association with Eiserfeld, adjacent to Eisern.  The church where the records were kept is at Roedgen, a couple of miles from Eisern.  The Reformed people who lived in this area also seemed to have attended the church in Siegen.  Apparently, the Weber family, when they left, consisted of Johann Henrich Weber, his wife Anna Margaretha Huttmann of Eisern, a son Johannes, 20, a daughter Cathrin, 16, and Tillman, 12.

There was one more member of the group who came in 1714 and that was Johann Justus Albrecht.  His origins are entirely unknown and there is no reason to believe that he originated in the Nassau-Siegen area, though that is where he recruited the other members.

Nr. 794:

I will attempt to follow a chronological sequence in visiting the villages in Germany from whence the Germanna Colonists came.  The next group, after the First Colony, was the Second Colony, where the constituent membership has its uncertainties.  I have discussed the claims of many potential members of the Colony without resolving the questions.

One group with a very solid claim came from the small village of Neuenb�rg in the Kraichtal, which is not to be confused with a nearby area called the Kraichgal.  Because of the shifting political winds in the areas which became Germany, it is possible to have nearby villages with the same name.  Neuenb�rg exists as two locations, only about twenty miles apart.  The one that we want is the smaller of the two.  Some confusion has arisen because the smaller Neuenb�rg has only a Catholic church in the village.  The church records which Margaret James Squires found are for a Evangelical Church, i.e., a Lutheran church.  Yet I feel confident that this is the correct location because of the statement made by Zacharias Blankenbaker in his naturalization.  He said he came from land of the "Bishops of Speyer".  That is, he had been born on lands belonging to the Catholic Church.  Looking at maps of the time (early eighteenth century), the smaller Neuenb�rg was on just such lands, while the larger Neuenb�rg was in Baden.

This Neuenb�rg is very small.  Even today it is hardly more than a wide spot in the road.  So when the 1717 emigrants left, it was quite noticeable (assuming they actually did live in town).  Two "families" left.  One was headed by Anna Barbara Sch�ne who was now married to her third husband, Cyriacus Fleischmann.  By her first husband, Johann Thomas Blanckenb�hler, four children came.  Hans Balthasar, Hans Matthias, Hans Nicholas, and Anna Maria.  By her second husband, Johann Jacob Schluchter, a son, Heinrich Schluchter, came.  By her third husband, there were two children, Maria Catharina and Hans Peter.  To the best of our knowledge, these were all of her children.

Some of Anna Barbara's children were already parents themselves.  Anna Maria had married Johannes Thoma[s].  They brought two children with them, Hans Wendel and Anna Magdalena.  Hans Nicholas had married Apollonia K�fer and they brought Zacharias.  Hans Matthias has married Anna Maria Mercklin and they were the parents in Germany (at Oberderdingen) of Hans Jerg (George).  No marriage was found for Hans Balthasar in Germany but he entered Virginia with a wife.  Apollonia K�fer's brother, Wolf Michael, apparently was a member of this subgroup also.  He entered Virginia at the same time as the rest of the group. (Within a few years he became the husband of Anna Maria Blanckenb�hler, after her husband, Johannes Thomas, died).

The decision to emigrate was very much a family decision, and the entire family, of two generations of descendants of Anna Barbara, came along.

Nr. 795:

Perhaps, the last note did not make clear just where Neuenb�rg was located.  "Ours" is just about 25 miles south of Heidelberg.  It is about the same distance almost due west of Heilbronn.  The population in the general vicinity is low. Besides the family of Anna Barbara Sch�ne, which, counting sons, daughters, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and Michael K�fer, had a total of seventeen people, there was another family, the Scheibles.  Besides the parents, Johann Georg and Maria Eleanora, there were three daughters:  Anna Martha, Anna Elisabeth, and Anna Maria.  Two other Anna Marias had died before the birth of the Anna Maria who survived.  Had there been sons, we might be better acquainted with the Scheibles.  The parents were older, almost as old as Anna Barbara Sch�ne, who was 53.  Since Alexander Spotswood described the Second Colony as seventy odd people (the Germans themselves used the number eighty), this means that Neuenb�rg, as small as it was, contributed over one-quarter of the people that made up the Second Colony.

The Blanckenb�hlers had not been long-term residents of Neuenb�rg.  Within a couple of previous generations they had moved from the East, so we can associate these earlier villages with the group also; but I will defer a discussion of these localities.  In passing here, I will mention that the K�fers were from Zaberfeld, about halfway to Heilbronn, and a little to the south.  Oberderdingen is where Matthias Blanckenb�hler met his wife, and where, apparently, they were living when the son Jerg was born.  This is about eight miles to the southeast of Neuenb�rg.  Some other relatively close villages were the home of other Second Colony members.  In general though, Neuenb�rg is on the western edge of the region from whence the Second Colony members came and is not centrally located.

One other village, Gemmingen, contributed about the same number of people to the Second Colony.  Some of the people from Gemmingen do not appear clearly in Virginia but, of those who do, they have an excellent claim to being members of the Second Colony.  The departure of six families from Gemmingen was recorded by the village pastor in the death register.  The six families are the Bekh (Beck?), Schmidt (Matthaus), Schmidt (Hans Michael), Weber, Klaar, and Mihlekher.  There were relationships among these individuals, as the two Smith families were headed by brothers.  Susanna Weber was a Klaar (Clore), so these two families were related.  The other two families are more mysterious.  The eventual fate of the Bekh family is unknown.  The Mihlekher family is on Spotswood's importation list, but that's the last time we hear of them by this name.

(NOTE from webmaster of this web site: Does anyone have any "guess" as to what happened to the MIHLEKHER family?  Does anyone have a "guess" as to what the actual German name might have been, and what it might have been changed into by English-speaking scribes?)

Nr. 796:

The last village being discussed was Gemmingen, which is in the Kraichgau.  [Any previous references to the Kraichgal should be read as Kraichgau.]  The Kraichgau is a region between the Rhine and Neckar River valleys, just southeast of Heidelberg, west or northwest of Heilbronn, and northeast of Karlsruhe.  Stream-carved valleys cut through the region, and limestone cliffs covered with loamy soil and red marl provide an uneven, but rich, topography.  Politically, the Kraichgau refers to a scattered collection of tiny, semi-independent territories strewn haphazardly across the landscape.  The territories united early in the modern period in a loose, voluntary confederation of Knights.  In 1599, membership in the confederation consisted of seventy-five knights, some rich and some poor, who owned seventy-two separate territories, the average size of which was less than fourteen square miles (less than four miles by four miles).  Thousands of Swiss immigrants (several of them Anabaptists), and French Huguenots, helped repopulate the area after the end of The Thirty Years' War in 1648.  There was no strong state in the area, and the Knights attempted to exact as much as they could in taxes.  The peasants resisted, sometimes forcibly.

Examinations of the parish and village records show that emigration was bunched by the same surname, the same village, and the same year.  And, very typically, they traveled on the same ship.  It was very rare for someone to emigrate alone.  Usually, families were involved, or a village sent several families, perhaps unrelated, but sharing a common background.  Very often these groups went at the same time.  Once the travel commenced, the people tended to stay together.  Recent notes highlighted this situation from the village of Neuenb�rg.  The last note hinted at this for the village of Gemmingen, which is very much in the Kraichgau.

Six families left Gemmingen in the year of 1717.  Four of these families are known to have reached Virginia together, as they appear on Spotswood's importation list.  One family was Matthaus Schmidt, his wife, Regina Catharina, and their two young children, Matthaus and Anna Margaretha.  They do not appear on Spotswood's importation list, but are known residents of Virginia.  Another Schmidt family includes Hans Michael Schmidt, Anna Margaretha (his wife), and two children, Hans Michael and Christoph.  The parish pastor also said that Michael's father-in-law and mother-in-law went.

There is a good reason that Matthew Smith may not appear on Spotswood's importation list.  Spotswood had formed a partnership with others for western land development.  Each of the partners paid for the transportation of some of the Second Colony members.  (Spotswood paid for only forty-eight of the seventy-odd.)  One well-documented case of this occurs with George Moyer, who appears to have his way paid by Beverley, the historian.  Since Matthew Smith turns up in Virginia later, we must assume that he was in a similar situation.

Nr. 797:

Starting back with Trupbach, all of the villages that we have been talking about are small.  At the most, they have one church.  Siegen, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, and their ilk are not villages, either in the eighteenth century or now.  These towns can be found on a respectable map but the villages require a detailed map and often an index to their locations.

Gemmingen is just such a village which has one church and three or four streets on each side of the main drag.  Besides the church, the town hall, and the market square, there was the "castle" of the ruling family, in this case, von Gemmingen.

When the pastor wrote, in 1717, that a number of the people from Gemmingen were going to Pennsylvania, he made it clear as to why they were going.  It was to improve their economic well-being.  He also took note that the emigration was not strictly a Gemmingen affair, but that many people from surrounding villages were planning on going.  The people from Gemmingen did not make it to Pennsylvania, as Capt. Tarbett of the ship Scott, abetted by Alexander Spotswood, shanghaied them and took them to Virginia.

The two villages of Neuenb�rg and Gemmingen contributed about one-half of the people in the Second Colony.  There is no evidence that the people in these villages were even aware that the others were going.  From the pastor's comments, there was a general awareness that many people were going, but specific details were probably lacking.

One other village was the source of several families or individuals who settled in the Robinson River Valley in Virginia, but these individuals did not come at the same time.  This village was Schwaigern, which was a little bit bigger, as it has two churches (it is not clear how many there were in 1717).  Schwaigern was down the road about four miles from Gemmingen.  Or, as the Germans of the time would have said, "It is one hour away."  By this they meant that it took one hour of walking to go between the places.  This measure assumed that one could walk about three of our miles in one hour.

Johann Michael Koch married Barbara, daughter of Friedrich Reiner.  This is recorded in the Lutheran Church in Schwaigern in 1716.  They came in 1717 to Virginia, and appear on Spotswood's importation list as Michael and Mary Cook.  There were no children yet.

Though there were not a large number of people from Schwaigern in 1717, many came from there in the following years.  In fact, it would appear that the main export product of Schwaigern was people.

Nr. 798:

The prize for the smallest village from where our Germanna people came must go to Wagenbach.  It has no churches.  It isn't even a village in the true sense of the word.  More exactly, it is an estate farm with a few houses, bunched together, for the workers.  The people who came from Wagenbach were members of the extended Utz family.  This was a complex family, which started with Johann Michael Volck, who was married to Anna Maria.  They had children, perhaps as many as seven.  Anna Maria died and Johann Michael married Anna Barbara Majer (or Maier or Mayer).  They had three children, the oldest of which was Maria Sabina Charlotta Barbara, who was born 19 Mar 1710.  Johann Michael Volck died in 1714, and Anna Barbara married Johann Georg Utz, whom we know as George Utz of the Second Colony.

Maria Sabina was the second wife of John Hoffman of the First Colony who moved to the Robinson River Valley.  When John Hoffman wrote the information about the christening of his children by Maria Sabina in his Bible, he described one of the sponsors as, "the mother of my wife."  We were left in the dark as to who she was until Margaret James Squires found the church records in Germany.

Because Wagenbach has no church, these church records were in the nearby village of H�ffenhardt, which is less than two miles away.  Johann Michael Volck and Johann Georg Utz seem to have been workers on the farm.  Anna Barbara Mayer seems to have been from another place yet to be identified.  After she married Johann Michael Volck, it is presumed that she lived on the farm also.

Georg Utz had his origins in yet another locality, some distance to the east.

The Volck name was written by John Hoffman as Folg which is a sound alike name.

Wagenbach is almost due east of Heidelberg, and a little bit to the south, almost to the Neckar River.  A slightly larger town, not too far away, is Mosbach.  For the moment, I will say that Wagenbach is the northernmost location from where Second Colony members came.  Neuenb�rg, which we had earlier, was the westernmost village of those on the east side of the Rhine River.

Nr. 799:

Another family who appeared on Spotswood's importation list was Henry and Dorothy Snyder.  Not having any children with them, one might be tempted to think that they were a young family who did not yet have children (such as Michael and Mary Cook).  Actually Henry was fifty years old at the time.  The Snyder family was already grown.

There was only one daughter, Anna Magdalena Schneider, who was born in 1692 at Botenheim.  She married in 1712, at Botenheim, Hans Jacob �hler.  When Hans Heinrich and Anna Dorothea Schneider decided to go to Pennsylvania, Dorothea and Jacob �hler chose to remain in Germany.  This was a reversal of the usual pattern where one or more of the children decide to emigrate while the parents remain.  We wish that we knew whether there was any agreement between the parents and Magdalena about the future.

Botenheim is about nine miles southwest of Heilbronn and about six miles south of Schwaigern.  Schwaigern was about four miles east of Gemmingen.  It, Botenheim, is also about seven miles east of Zaberfeld.  These are villages that have already been mentioned.  Several people came from these villages.  The spread, geographically, is not extensive.

Botenheim is the classical one church village in the midst of similar villages.  One village, Brackenheim, is a little larger.  Dorothea's grandfather was born at Brackenheim and she was born at Cleebronn.  However, the different names should not imply that these locations were at some distance.  They were literally next door.

Hans Jacob �hler was born at Botenheim, the same village where he married Anna Magdalena Schneider.  Four known children were born to them there.  For one, no further information is known.  Another died as a very young child.  Two later ones, born in 1718 and 1720, after her parents had emigrated, were Georg Heinrich and Elizabeth Catharina.  Henry has a record in Virginia where he married Margaret K�fer (Kaifer), and Elizabeth married Christopher Tanner.  Anna Magdalena married John Harnsberger, as his second wife.  But there is a dearth of records for Jacob Aylor even to the extent, I believe, that his presence in Virginia is in doubt.  (Comments on this point would be welcome.)  The children stop after Elizabeth, in 1720, who had been the fourth in eight years.

We do not know the motivations, beyond what could be a desire to reunite the family, for the Aylors to come to Virginia.  It could be that Jacob Aylor died in Germany and Anna Magdalena came with the children to live with her parents.  (Please note the speculative nature of these comments.)

Nr. 800:

In discussing the villages in Germany from where our people came, we have reviewed the homes of the 1714 Colony and the villages of the people on Spotswood's importation (for the 1717 Colony).  This does not exhaust the 1717 Colony, but before I go on to some of the other names, let me repeat two families on the importation list.  The Wegman family consisted of Hans Jerich, Anna Maria, Maria Margaret, and Maria Gotlieve, on Spotswood's list.  Johni Cerny and Gary Zimmerman found this family at Zaberfeld, mentioned previously as the home of the K�fers, Michael and Apollonia (the wife of Hans Nicholas Blankenbaker).  The mystery about this family is what happened to them after they arrived in Virginia.  There are two theories.  Cerny and Zimmerman suggested that George Wegman died and the balance of the family married into other families.  We already have more than one example of this in the Second Colony, and another instance would not be unusual.  I have wondered if the family didn't feel that they were under no compulsion to stay in Virginia.  By moonlight they may have set out for Pennsylvania, their original destination until they were shanghaied.

Spotswood's list also recorded the arrival of Hans Michel Milcher (perhaps Milcker), Sophia Catharina Milcher, and Maria Parvara Milcher.  This family was recorded in Gemmingen by the pastor, where he gave the family as Hans Michael Mihlekher, Sophia Catharina, Anna Margaretha, Anna Catharine, and his wife's sister.  Unlike the Wegman family where the head of the family was older, this family was a young family.  Again, we do not know what happened to the family in Virginia.  The possibilities are the same as for the Wegman family.

Including the two families that I have been talking about, the German origins of all of the people on Spotswood's importation list have been found.  This does not include all of the Second Colony people but it does include those who have excellent credentials due to the importation list or due to the Gemmingen's pastor list.  We will continue, after the century break in these notes, with the homes of other candidates for membership in the Second Colony.

The information that we have been discussing is due to many people who have contributed.  Many private individuals, doing their own research, have found individuals in Germany.  I have mentioned Margaret James Squires.  Another one that I know is Mary Mickey who did so much in Schwaigern.  Others contributed also, and some people hired professional researchers.  Using some of the known results, Johni Cerny and Fred Zimmerman conducted an extensive research in the region known to be the home of some of the families.  Their results were reported in the Before Germanna booklets.  Other individuals, using their results, have reviewed the records and found that improvements and corrections could be made.


(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 THIRTY-SECOND set of Notes, Nr. 776 through Nr. 800.)

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