GERMANNA History Notes Page #049

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This is the FORTY-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 1201 through 1225.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 49

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Nr. 1201:

Recently, there was a discussion as to where the Germanna Colonies are, or were.  The answer to this question depends on who you are, and what you doing.  If you want to search courthouse records, then you might want to start with Essex County, where there are a few records of our Germanna people.  If you want to pull out a map and find the physical area where the Germanna people lived, then telling you Essex County would not be appropriate.  Today's Essex County misses the mark by a good sixty miles.

It was about 1720 that the legislation creating Spotsylvania County came into existence (but it was not a functional county for another couple of years).  Certainly there are records there that pertain to Germanna's citizens, including head right applications, naturalizations, and the infamous lawsuits by Spotswood against members of the Second Colony.  Along about 1733, when the Germans at, or near, Germanna had left already, the records would be found for a while in Orange County.  The First Colony never lived in Orange County (excepting a few of them).  In general they had moved to Stafford County before Spotsylvania was created.  Germantown found itself next in Prince William County, and finally, about 1759, in Fauquier County.

A few members of the First County found themselves in Spotsylvania, Orange, and Culpeper Counties when they took up land in the Little Fork, on the opposite side of the Rappahannock River from Germantown.  About the middle of the century, Culpeper County was created, which consisted of today's Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock Counties.  This was the end of the division into smaller counties in this region.

So we say the Germanna people lived in today's Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties to define the physical area where they lived.

What about Boone County, Kentucky, or Rowan County, North Carolina?  These are secondary sites.  Our Germanna people had lived in one of the primary counties in Virginia before they moved there.  Including the secondary, tertiary (that's my limit of spelling knowledge), or still later ones, in the definition does not help.  We are interested in where it started.  If it were known, I would bet that the majority of the counties throughout the U.S. have a Germanna descendant.  Our basic question is not where they went, but where they started.

Still, for discussion purposes here on the Germanna Colonies List, we take a very lenient attitude, just because we probably would never know the full extent of Germanna people without considering geographical areas outside of the narrow definition above.  Some people lived in the narrowly defined area for a short period of time, but they had to come from somewhere and go somewhere.

Nr. 1202:

Essex County, Virginia, does not have many records that pertain to the Germanna Colonies, but two that are less frequently quoted are given here.

From Order Book #5, 18 Aug 1719, on page 338:

"It is ordered by the court that Francis Hume and the Germans clear a road from Wilderness Run away to Difficult Run and be the surveyor of the same and keep it in constant repair making bridges where he shall think necessary."

Now Wilderness Run is about four miles southeast of Fort Germanna, and flows into the Rapidan River.  I have had some difficulty in finding Difficult Run; in fact, I never did find it.  It is only fair to assume that it is the neighborhood.

The First Colony moved into Fort Germanna about five years previous to this.  Roads are still being built.  (Road building was a continuous process.)

There are two points of difficulty in the court order.  Neither Francis Hume nor the Germans were existing then.  But in these very large counties, and especially in the frontier region, the court was not always well acquainted with the particulars.  The problem with naming Francis Hume is that he has been dead for a year.  He has been discussed here.  He rebelled against the English crown, was caught and tried, and sentenced to transportation for his treasonous acts.  In Virginia, he was fortunate that a relative of his was there, namely Alexander Spotswood.  Spotswood sent him to Fort Germanna about 1716 to oversee the Germans there (and to keep Hume out of the public eye).  But, according to the Hume family, he died within the year.

As regards the First Colony of Germans, they had left for their new homes, probably about the start of 1719 (new style).  So they weren't there to work on the roads.  It could hardly have been the Second Colony Germans that the court was referring to, since these Germans lived up to ten miles away from Wilderness Run.  So the court was in for a surprise.  Their information was no longer valid.

In another record, which is slightly off of the mark, William Barnes, a servant man belonging to the Iron Mine Company on Rappahannock, was brought before the court for absenting himself from the Company for thirteen days.  The Company was also out two hundred pounds of tobacco in taking him up.  It was ordered that William Barnes serve his masters, the Iron Mine Company, for his said absence and the costs according to the law.  (I believe there was a provision for something like double time.)  The date of this action was June of 1720.  Again, this is after the First Colony had left for their new homes.  Spotswood and his partners had been forced to "hire" British labor to build the iron furnace after the Germans had discovered and developed the iron mines.
(05 Jul 01)

Nr. 1203:

I continue with some possible interactions which might have had an influence on how people relocated.  According to the research of Gene Dear, George Adam Ra�ser came to America on the ship Mary and Sarah, which arrived at Philadelphia on 26 Oct 1754.  There was another individual on this same ship who also came to the Robinson River area of Virginia.  This was George Ludwig Nonnenmacher.  Neither of these men came directly to Virginia.  George Adam Rieser married Margaretha Butlinger in Philadelphia on 6 May 1755 (at St. Michael�s Lutheran Church).  He then settled in Newton township, Sussex Co., New Jersey.

Apparently several years later he moved to Virginia to judge by his first land purchase of 100 acres from Frederick and Sarah Baumgardner in 1774.  The family appears in the German Lutheran Church (Hebron) records from 1776 on.  (I have been transcribing the communions lists and I have never seen a five or six letter name spelled so many different ways.) The name tended to become Rasor in South Carolina and Racer in Virginia.  Most commonly it is a variation of Risser or Reaser.

Is it just a coincidence that the Nonnenmachers also start appearing in the church register in 1776?  The two families arrive in 1754 and about twenty years later they both appear at about the same time in Virginia.

Let me add to this set of coincidences by noting that the ship Loyal Judith, which brought Andreas Gaar in 1732, also brought the two men, Georg Adam Riser and Hans Georg Riser.  Now Georg Adam Riser in 1732 may not be related to Georg Adam K�iser 1754 (don�t let the K and the R confuse the question; this is just a problem of reading the names from the list.)  It strikes me that the 1732 man and the 1754 man are probably related.

So I am inclined to think there is some relationship between Gaar, Riser, and Nunnenmacher.  It is not at all obvious from the known records, but it is extremely suspicious.

Again, I make the point that perhaps we have underestimated the relationships that existed outside of Virginia.  These relationships were important in influencing who moved to Virginia, and perhaps when.
(06 July 01)

Nr. 1204:

Two responses were received concerning Difficult Run.  It is living up to its name as both of them were in the wrong county.  However, George�s answer did serve as a nice demonstration of the new capabilities.  I suspect that the Difficult Run in Essex County was never a major water course or its name was changed very early on.

In response to other questions asked here on the list � Are there any remaining structures in the vicinity of where the Second Colony first lived, which was along the Rapidan River over a stretch of about five miles?  Dr. Sanford made a modest preliminary survey over a likely area, and did find one location which had evidence consistent with an eighteenth century habitation.  Since the spot was very close to what used to be Fleshman�s Run, it could even conceivably be the home of Cyriacus Fleshman and his wife Anna Barbara Sch�ne.

At the time we were expecting several homes to be "closely joined", as Spotswood put it.  This was for their mutual protection; however, it turns out that "closely joined" meant about a one half mile separation from each other.  So now we expect the home sites to spread out considerably more than had been anticipated at first.  An early lease shows the approximate location of two of these homes.  A serious search could possibly uncover ten of these twenty-odd sites.  An aerial infrared survey would be the first step.

(Editor's Note:  I guess "closely joined" is a subjective term; a "half mile" is 2640 feet, or 880 yards, or about 9 football field lengths.  Out in the country, a "half mile" would still be fairly close.  GWD)

It is not clear where either of the Germanna Colonies landed in Virginia.  Sometimes ships headed for one of the major rivers and unloaded goods and took on tobacco.  My guess though is that Jamestown is the most likely first stop.  In Virginia, there never were any records of passengers.  There were hardly any records of the ships.  The question would be akin to asking how many 18 wheeler trucks pass by a point on Interstate 95.

Where would one find information on the membership of the Germanna Colonies?  The information available for the First Colony is good, though not absolutely complete.  On the contrary, the information for the Second Colony shows too many candidates for the limited number of positions.  After that, the information goes downhill, as some as the later arrivals tended to stay a shorter time.  A lot of information has been published here on the list.  The Germanna Foundation has published a list of books.  On the whole, very few groups have had more information published about them.

It is hard to believe, but tomorrow is another one of my monthly stints at the Hans Herr House.  Then, the week end following will be at Crockett Park in Fauquier County.  Let�s hope the weather is reasonable.  At the Park, we will probably be in one of the shelters.
(07 Jul 01)

Nr. 1205:

The Hans Herr House has a "basement" under about half of the house.  Now, in different parts of the country, these are called root cellars, or storm shelters.  In the root cellars, the ground is exposed so that the floor of the basement is dirt.  With controlled air circulation, the temperature in this space stays remarkably constant the year around, say around 55 degrees F, or 15 degrees C.  At the Herr House, the purpose of the basement was food storage.  When I take visitors to the basement, we try to visualize the foods that we would find there, say about the first of February.

A wooden rod hanging from the ceiling suggests hanging something, and most people can easily guess that meats hung here.  The primary meat here would have been pork, especially hams, sides of bacon, and sausages.  Butchering usually took place in the late fall.  The meats were smoked by hanging them on rods in the chimney of the large fireplace which took advantage of the smoke from the fires used for heating and cooking.  The process had to preserve the meats for a year because butchering was done only in the fall.

(A second source of meats was fowls, the chickens, geese, and ducks.  Geese were usually holiday treats at Christmas and New Years.  Chickens were a flexible source of food, in that the chicken was usually killed the morning of the need.  Other animals on the farm were cows and sheep.  I do not know what use was made of the meat from these.)

Apples were widely in abundance in the basement.  For a couple of months after picking, there would be fresh apples.  For long term storage, the method was to cut the apples up in the fall and dry them.  They could be munched on as dry food, but most often they became an ingredient in prepared food.  Apples were definitely present in another form, namely as liquids.  Making cider was another major fall activity.  Some of the stored juice would be fresh, but a lot of it would naturally acquire a bit of a nip (alcohol).  Some of it would acquire a lot of nip, as it was run through a still to remove some of the water.

Christian Herr had two stills for this purpose.  Many of the estate inventories of our Germanna ancestors show that they also had stills.

As fresh food, fruit was beloved.  Plums were a favorite from Germany, where they made plum butter.  In America, the Germans found that the apple made better "butter" than the plums, so they switched from plums to apples.  In season, cherries were a delight as one of the first fruits of the year.  But, the long term, day in and day out, fruit was apples.  Because the Germans took such a delight in their apples, they tended to keep good orchards with perhaps hundreds of trees in them.

I am just getting around to the vegetables but they will have to wait.  Meanwhile, you can be deciding what the top two vegetables were.  In the early eighteenth century, which vegetables did our German ancestors favor?  You needn't be bashful; you can announce your answers here.

(John is referring to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List at Rootsweb.  To become a subscriber to the List, click here.  To search all the posts to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List, click here.  (Just type in your search word, words, string, etc., select the year, and GO.)
(09 Jul 01)

Nr. 1206:

The choice of vegetables to grow in the early eighteenth century was determined in part by which ones kept the best.  Cabbages were one of the best vegetables in this regard, and, therefore, it was a mainstay of the cook.  There were two ways that cabbage could be kept.  Outside, holes were dug, and cabbage was buried underground with, leaves and straw for insulation.  In this way, a head of cabbage could be kept for several months when protected from the cold and oxygen.

There was another way to preserve cabbage, and that was sauerkraut.  At one time it had a low reputation for being the food of peasants, but it gained in popularity.  To make sauerkraut, the cabbage was shredded into a large crock with lots of salt between the layers.  With an instrument like an old-fashioned potato masher, only larger, the shredded cabbage was stomped down firmly, which broke the fibers and released the juices.  When the crock was full, it was usually covered with boards, and stones were applied on top of this.  The fermentation which took place would preserve it for a long period of time, say for the winter.  The top layer of the cabbage which came in contact with the air would blacken.  To avoid waste, it was best to keep eating it on a regular cycle.

There were many ways to use the fresh cabbage.  It could be added to the "stew", as one of the ingredients.  Here is another dish using cabbage:  Cook the cabbage, and then add sour cream to it.  At the table give the diners a little vinegar to add to it.  Or, steam the cabbage until tender, and add a little pickle juice or vinegar.

Some other vegetables, such as cauliflower, carrots, and beets, could be buried underground as the cabbage was.  Root vegetables were a major element in the food supply.  A very popular root vegetable was the turnip.  I have read in the will of a colonial German that a son was instructed to provide his mother with a quarter acre of turnips each year.

Two major vegetables of the early Germans were cabbage and turnips, but definitely NOT the potato.  At the start of the eighteenth century, Europeans did not trust the potato, as they thought it was unhealthy to eat it.  It is a member of the nightshade family.  Later in the century, Europeans grew rather fond of the potato, in fact, overly fond of it.

A historian said once that, in the first part of the eighteenth century, it was bread, bread, and bread for breakfast, lunch, and supper.  At the end of the century it was potatoes, potatoes, and potatoes for the three meals.  In the early part of the century, though, the old world would not touch the potato, or the tomato (they were both thought to be poisonous).
(10 Jul 01)

Nr. 1207:

Last summer, when Eleanor and I were in Sch�nenberg, which is just across the railway tracks from �tisheim, we took a picture of the statue of a pastor from an earlier age.  Pfarrer Henri Arnaud lived from 1643 to 1721, and he is remembered in a church yard with a life size bronze casting.  He is depicted with a book, presumably the Bible, but what he is remembered for is something quite different from anything that is depicted.

A plaque beneath him makes the whole purpose of the memorial very clear:  "Arnaud planted here the first potato."

I do not know how quickly the potato caught on and was adopted.  From a viewpoint that it was dangerous and to be avoided, it evolved into a mainstay of the diet.  It was less than a century, because it was verboten at the start of the eighteenth century, and widely used at the end of the century.  As one member on the list commented, it had a profound effect on the economy, because it could more efficiently produce food energy than the grains could.  It produced abundantly and simply, and it freed labor for other purposes.

Corn was known and used as human food in America before the Germans came.  It appears that they adopted this as a food in their diet.  Squash was another New World food which was used.

Peas and beans were known and used.  They had the desirable advantage that they would keep very well.  The storage characteristics of a food were as important as its taste.  Peas and beans appeal in taste to many people, so they were very important.

All kinds of small grains were grown.

Fresh food that was available the year around included milk, cream, and butter.  Eggs were not as uniformly available.

So now that we have a few foods to use, what shall we have for dinner?  The chances are that the meal would be cooked in one pot.  The Germans were masters of "crock pot" cooking.  They might put two or three kinds of vegetables into the pot, perhaps some dried apples, perhaps a little meat, and maybe even a few dumplings.  Some butter, or drippings from meat, would add some seasoning.  When done, this would be the meal.  This could be done early in the morning, to be ready for the midday meal, the big meal of the day.  A close variation of this was soup, for which there might not be any fixed recipe.
(11 Jul 01)

Nr. 1208:

David Schultze (any guesses about his nationality?) kept a journal, in which he entered his major activities.  Besides farming, he surveyed land in and around Montgomery County in Pennsylvania where he lived.  From this journal for the year 1750, I will extract entries which have some bearing on food.

  • Jan 22 & 23.  Finished threshing wheat and got 87 bushels in all.  (Some of this would have been sold for cash.)
  • Jan 24.  Butchered a calf (so there was veal).
  • Jan 31.  Butchered the old sow, but the meat return was poor.
  • Feb 10.  Butchered another calf.
  • Feb 13.  Oats threshed (animal food?).
  • Mar 1.  Threshed more oats and cleaned 16 bushels for seed.
  • Mar 20.  Repaired the kitchen garden fence (to keep animals out).
  • Apr 4.  Sowed oats (9 acres for "ourselves").
  • Apr 18.  Sold 30 bushels of wheat in Philadelphia.
  • Apr 25.  Fed the last turnips to the cows (everyone ate turnips).
  • May 2.  Received a bee swarm! (His exclamation point).
  • 2 May.  Sheared sheep.
  • 3 May.  Plowed land for buckwheat (later sowed more than five acres).
  • 25 Jun.  Cut 580 sheaves of grain (probably winter wheat).
  • Jun 30.  Now have 1240 sheaves with 1100 of them in the barn.  Also, have put up 140 bundles of hay.
  • July.  Cut grain, picked (pulled, more exactly)flax (not a food, but I had to show he was staying busy).  Mowed oats.  Plowed.
  • Aug.  Finished the second plowing.  Moved the fences.  Threshed wheat.  Began to sow some.
  • Sept.  The brown cow had a calf.  Finished sowing rye and wheat.  Mowed buckwheat.  Rode to Philadelphia (30 miles one way) for the election.
  • Oct.  More haying, cut buckwheat, threshed buckwheat.  More haying.  Made cider from the apples.  Dug out the turnips.  Brought in the cabbage.
  • Nov.  Made a new bake oven.  Worked the flax.
  • Dec.  Cleaned rye.  Butchered the first hog (95 pounds of meat).  Cleaned wheat and sold some.

In animals, we heard a mention of cows, calves, sheep, horses (by implication), and bees.  In vegetables, turnips and cabbage were mentioned.  Apples were the only fruit mentioned.  Several small grains are mentioned, including wheat, oats, rye, and buckwheat.  The wheat seems to be a cash crop.  The flax was to make linen.

A large percent of the effort went into animal food to feed to the animals.  There was NO mention of potatoes.
(12 Jul 01)

Nr. 1209:

We can't be eating all the time; we need a break for refreshing the soul.  More exactly, I need to tell you a little about Crockett Park, which is funded by Fauquier County.  Our interest in it is heightened by the fact that it lies on the Germantown land where the First Colony had their initial permanent homes.  I think there is merit in having the park there, for it puts a nice appearance on the area, and preserves it against lots of bad things that could overtake the land.  Of course, the Park itself has made one major alteration to the site.  They dammed up Licking Run, and made a lake for recreational purposes (no motor boats).  So to "see" some of those early homes one has to peer down into the water (I am speaking metaphorically here; don't bring your scuba gear).

Normally, an admission is charged to use the park, but this Saturday you can give a password and you may enter without paying.  The password is "John Blankenbaker".  I kid you not.  This is what John Gott worked out with the Board of Recreation and Parks, Larry Miller Chairman.  We appreciate their willingness to cooperate, so that you can view the site and talk to friends.  I will bring some maps of the area, and specially some from Siegerland-Wittgenstein.  And I will bring some photos from that area.  I will arrive in the later midmorning, having driven down from Pennsylvania.

If you are wondering where Crockett Park is located and how to get there, I offer this:

From Culpeper:  East (or think of it as North) on Hwy 29, to just past Remington.
Right (East) on Rt. 28 past Midland.
Left on Rt. 643 (Meetze Road).
Left on 602 (Rogues Road).
There should be a sign saying "Germantown", and announcing the park at the corner of Meetze and Rogues Road.
Drive into the parking lot and give the attendant the password, and he will waive the admission.

From the North:  On Route 29, as it bypasses Warrenton, look for Meetze Road (Rt. 643), and head South on it.
After about six miles, Rogues Road, on the right, leads into the Park.  Again, watch for the Germantown sign.

Either before, or after, you are invited to visit the Fauquier Heritage and Preservation Foundation in Marshall.  That is found from Warrenton by taking Rte. 17 north.  They have a new "old" building, which is being fixed up and adapted for multiple uses.  It is being improved very nicely, having had a long history on the site as a church, school, and bank.

Many of you may prefer to attend the Germanna Foundation's Seminar, at Germanna Community College, on Saturday.  This is located on Route 3, the Germanna Highway, about halfway between Fredericksburg and Culpeper.
(13 Jul 01)

Nr. 1210:

Today I will be at Germantown trying to answer a few questions.  Germantown got its name in the same way that all of the many Germantowns did.  Wherever people saw a few Germans living close together, they called it Germantown.  Or, perhaps, they called it Dutch Town, or something similar to that.  The Germantown to which the First German Colony moved started as a well-defined piece of land (even though the different surveys did not agree).  It consisted of a rectangular piece of ground which, theoretically, contained 1805 acres.  It was larger in practice than the survey said.  We might say it contains three square miles configured as one mile by three miles.

For the fourteen families, they divided it into twenty parcels by running lines across the short dimension, as though they were slicing bread.  Why it was twenty parcels is a mystery.  In the end, they divided these additional lots into two parts, and some families had one and a half lots, using the original division as the definition of a lot.  The division this way tended to divide the physical features most equitably.  For example, Licking Run flows in the long direction so the cross cuts gave everyone a part of Licking Run.  The northern lots tended to have more hills than the southern ones so the lots were not entirely equal.  It is said that the actual assignment of the lots was by chance.

With a church and school at the center, the distance from the ends of the total tract was a mile and a half.  Though we would be inclined to think this was a long distance to walk to church, the people were used to going these distances by foot.  Apparently, every lot had its own home.  Instead of the village concept from which one went to one's fields, people were living on their own land.

Before many years had passed, the residents were buying additional land.  In some cases, this was at a considerable distance from the original Germantown.  One of the first to leave physically was John Hoffman, who moved to the Robinson River Valley, just shortly after the Second Colony had moved into this district.  Then Jacob Holtzclaw and John Fishback took up land on the other side of the Rappahannock River.  One of the motivations of all three of these men may have been the land which was free in Spotsylvania County for a limited time.  The Rectors tended to go to the north, and left a reminder of their presence in Rector Town.

This exodus was motivated in part by the scarcity of land at Germantown.  "King" Carter owned 10,000 acres on three sides of Germantown which limited expansion in these directions.  Also, the growth in the number of settlers meant there was a competition for land.

A native of northern Virginia has said that the land they had chosen was not the best land.  There was better land; however, the Moravians, in the middle of the eighteenth century, commented on the Germantown community, which appears to have been vigorous, even though without a church leader.  Descendants of some of the original settlers continued to live indefinitely on the Germantown land.

Whether there was a communal cemetery as opposed to multiple private cemeteries is a debated question.  Some people believe that what is called the Martin cemetery is really a community cemetery.
(14 Jul 01)

Nr. 1211:

Marc Wheat, one of the Trustees of the Germanna Foundation, is very interested in building the resources in the Germanna Foundation�s new library.  He has started in a small way with some in-depth research on an ancestor of his, the Rev. Johann Henrich H�ger.  He has uncovered several situations where it would be desirable to obtain some more information.

One of the general questions that he has posed is the extent of the involvement by people from Siegen in the exodus of 1709 from Germany.  Not all of the people in this exodus of ten to fifteen thousand souls made it to America, the hoped-for destination.  Many of them did go to New York, while some of them went to Ireland.  Some of them were distributed throughout England, some of them went to North Carolina, and I believe some of them went to Bermuda, though I could be wrong on this last point.  Thanks to the work of Hank Z. Jones, the story of these Germans in New York, and in Ireland, has been told in the most detail, even though he is not the only worker in this field.  The New York story is detailed by Jones in "The Palatine Families of New York 1710".  I have given a sketch here in these notes on the participation by Siegen-area families in the New York operation.  It is a question that has not been answered.  Did some of the Siegen area people go to Ireland, England, North Carolina, or other place?

Lists of names of people who left Holland for London were made by the Dutch, and copies (maybe the originals) of the lists are maintained in the Public Record Office in England.  Knittle, in "Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration", gives about 10,000 of these people (most children are not named).  [The lists in Knittle have been alphabetized, which is a no-no because of the destruction of relationships between relatives and friends.]  I understand the Public Record Office lists are not alphabetized.  Using the lists is a bit of a challenge, since they were prepared by the Dutch, who have their own rules of spelling.  For example, Sebastian Fischer in Germany is Sebastiaan Vischer in Holland, is Sebastian Fisher in America.  Knittle also gives lists of German Catholics returned to Germany (because they were Catholic).  He also gives the New York subsistence list, which includes names such Johann Friderich H�ger.  The Simmendinger list of New York German names is also included in Knittle.

Two books that I recommend for the library are:

1. Hank Z Jones, "The Palatine Families of New York 1710".
2. Walter Allen Knittle, "Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration".

The Foundation library is just being cataloged; however, a number of people have been working hard to organize it, and they are making good progress.  Maybe someone has copies of the above two books that they would like to donate to the library.  I believe that the books can be readily obtained.  If you would like someone to talk to at the Foundation about your donation, let me suggest Marc Wheat, whose email address is, or his wife Marie at  Maybe he will have a better suggestion for a contact.
(17 Jul 01)

Nr. 1212:

There are several reasons for studying the emigration from Germany in 1709, even for students of the later emigrations.  What reasons did the Germans have in 1709?  If several people have left your neighborhood in 1709, and if a man appears in 1710 seeking people to work in America, do you think the people in 1710 will pay more attention?  Probably the reasons that people left in 1709 are still valid.  Whereas, those who left in 1709 had no firm promise or commitment for their future support, the man who appeared in 1710 appeared to be making firm promises.  Are the people who left in 1709 your friends and relatives?  In the Siegen area, we know that one of the people who left in 1709 would prove to be the son of a man who left later for America.  Would there be other cases similar to this?  What happened to this particular Siegen emigrant of 1709?  Why did he go to America?

What were the motives of the man who appeared in Siegen in 1710, seeking miners to work in the silver mines in America?  Was he acting on his own, or was he an agent for someone else?  When you dig a bit, you will find that he was in the employment of George Ritter and Company, of which Christoph von Graffenried was field director.  So, why was Graffenried trying to hire miners?  Was he in the mining business?  He admits that he was influenced by the writings and conversations of Franz Michel.  What did Michel say that inflamed Graffenried?

So we need to know more about Graffenried and Michel.  We will learn as we dig, that Michel had been in America, probably twice, and he thought he had made important discoveries.  What had Michel been looking for?  By a solid implication, he was looking for a place to put a colony of Anabaptists, in order to get them out of Switzerland.

What I am saying is, if you want to know why your ancestors came to America, you will have to dig into history for many years prior to their departure from Germany.

To change the subject slightly, but only slightly, because, in a general sense, we are talking about the Evelyn C. Martin Library in the Germanna Visitor's Center.  Some of you who were not present last Sunday (July 15) may have missed part of the story.  The Evelyn C. Martin Library in the Center was made possible by a gift of Mary M. Bourland, in honor of her mother.  The library now has bookcases, filing cabinets, and computers for researchers to use as a result of her generosity.  Mrs. Bourland, with others, worked hard last week to transfer materials from the Germanna Community College Library, and to check them into the new library.  Also, reference material from the old Foundation office building is being incorporated.

This is the physical library that the Foundation is hoping to build into a useful research tool, in probably two ways.  One is by actual books and documents that we would expect to find in a library.  Second, could be a digital data base of history and genealogy.  Using some of the suggestions of Marc Wheat, I am naming a few books that could prove to be useful to a serious researcher.
(18 Jul 01)

Nr. 1213:

Here are three reference works which would be valuable to have in a library.

  • Franz Michel wrote letters to his brother in Switzerland describing his trip to Virginia.  These are in French and are located in a library in Switzerland, but fortunately Prof. Wm. J. Hinke translated them, and published them in the "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography", starting with the January 1916 issue.  It might not be possible to have the VMHB itself, but perhaps a copy can be procured.

  • Christoph von Graffenried left three manuscripts in Swiss libraries which tell of his experiences in America.  The essence of these has been captured by Vincent H. Todd, and his original publication has been reprinted by Heritage Books.  The title of this is "Christoph von Graffenried�s Account of the Founding of New Bern, (North Carolina)".  This will help to clear up many of the misconceptions about what Graffenried was doing.

  • Another useful reference work is "The Official Letters of Alexander Spotswood", from the Collections of the Virginia Historical Society, New Series, v.1 (1882).  This is not complete, and can be augmented by the Colonial Documents Collection on microfilm at the Virginia State Library.  In back of this are the original documents in the Public Record Office and other repositories in England.  (Please note that the PRO is a bit "sticky" about copies of their documents being reproduced, even if they are three hundred years old.)

Collectively, these works will help one obtain a good background on why the Germanna Colonies came about and what the early colonists did do in America.

Marc Wheat mentioned the book "The Book of Names, Especially Relating to the Early Palatine and the First Settlers of the Mohawk Valley" in a reprint by the Genealogical Pub. Co., 1969, �1933.  I am not familiar with this book.  It may duplicate some other works or it may have improved information.

Marc has itemized several unique items which are of interest.  For example, he observes that the Rev. Frederick Haeger appears in the records of the Church of England Missionary Society records (called the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts for a while).  Copies of these records would be of interest to Germanna historians, and especially to H�ger descendants.  As a result of the contact between Rev. Frederick H�ger and the Society, the Rev. appears to have been sponsored by them for work with the Germans in New York.  Before he was approved, there were several items which the Society considered and made notes of.
(19 Jul 01)

Nr. 1214:

Marc Wheat has located a number of very specific documents (or, of references to the documents) which are of interest.  To me, the minutes of the October 2, 1713, meeting of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts are extremely interesting for the information they contain.  Rev. Henry H�ger, of what would be the First Germanna Colony, had asked for the support of the Society in the New World.  The Society declined its help as, "...the case of Mr. Hager does not properly lie before the society."

This shows that the group must have been there at that date (unless you want to assume that Rev. H�ger had gone on ahead of the others).  At this particular moment, the group was in trouble, for they had journeyed from Siegen to London expecting to find Graffenried there.  They expected that he would finance the trip to America.  When they got there, Graffenried was not there.  With the state of communications being what it was in those days, the Germans were in the dark concerning their future.

The Rev. H�ger had applied for aid for himself and perhaps it would have been his intention to go on even if the rest of the group could not.  He thought of the Society as a possibility because his son had secured aid from them.  We can only speculate how much before October 2 the Germans had arrived.  It might have been some number of weeks, and a little note of desperation might have been coming in.  We do not know when Graffenried arrived, but it was probably not long after this date.  We do know that he was home in Switzerland in December.

In his memoirs, Graffenried left a marginal note saying that he had heard the Germans left London in January.  So it is very easy to imagine the Germans were in London for at least four months, and possibly longer.  This much we can determine from a few scraps of information.  This is why the various documents can be so important.  Individually, they may not mean much, but taken together, they help tremendously in putting the picture together.

All of the Germans had a problem in supporting themselves.  Graffenried helped in finding work for them, though he implies that the work he had found for them in building a dike or dam was overturned by flood waters.  Probably all of the men that could work did work.  But this would not have included Rev. H�ger, who was retired because of his health.  The Germans did have a strong sense of cooperation and apparently all of the money they had or earned was used in a common pool to support everyone.

We will never a full understanding of the events in London, but the items which help us certainly include some of the dates.
(20 Jul 01)

Nr. 1215:

There are many documents which have a bearing on the Germanna Colonies.  In some cases, one may not appreciate their significance, or where to find them.  When one is getting started, a good thing to do is to look at the bibliographies of the writers in the field.  One of these writers is Klaus Wust, who wrote the book "The Virginia Germans", which won awards for its excellence.  Since his established credentials are excellent, you will want to search for everything that he has written.

Many times the best parts of an article are the notes or bibliography telling where the author found his information.  To give an example, in the Yearbook of German-American Studies, Klaus wrote an article entitled "Palatines and Switzers for Virginia, 1705-1738:  Costly Lessons for Promoters and Emigrants".  This appears in volume 19 in 1984, pp. 43-55.  Maybe I will review this article later.

One reference that he gives in it is Charles E. Kemper, ed., "Documents Relating to Early Projected Swiss Colonies in the Valley of Virginia, 1706-1709".  This appeared in "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography", vol. 29 (1921).  Now your first thought might be that this has nothing to do with the Germanna Colonies.  As you examine the available material, you will realize that the Germanna Colonies are one branch of the successors to these proposed Swiss colonies.  You will see that the Germanna Colonies did not spring forth from nothing; there was a history prior to them.

(I have always wondered if Charles E. Kemper was trying to correct the mistakes that his kinsman, Willis M. Kemper, made.  There is a lesson to be learned when reading someone else�s story or history.  How well is it documented?  Does the interpretation of the facts seems reasonable?  Incidentally, ask these questions of the material to be found on the Internet.) 

[Note from Editor and Web Site Manger:  If you don't remember anything else in the above paragraph, you MUST take heed of John's question about information found on the Internet, especially information found in databases submitted to various services by individual researchers!  If you find data on,, the LDS web site, or any other site where databases are available, YOU MUST KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE DATABASES WERE PREPARED AND SUBMITTED BY PEOPLE WHO USUALLY DO NOT VERIFY NAMES, DATES, PLACES, OR EVENTS WITH SOURCE DOCUMENTS !!!!!  And, much of the data in these databases is based on information that was available decades ago, and which has since been proven to be erroneous.  This Internet/Web data IS useful for finding links or tie-ins in one's family tree, but the actual data is to be taken as approximations, or even guesses.  GWD]

Here are some other references from Wust:

  • Franz Michel�s account, "Kurzer Bericht �ber die Amerikanische Reiss", which was printed in J. H. Graff, "Franz Michel von Bern und seine Reisen nach Amerika 1701-1704", in the Neues Berner Taschenbuch auf 1898 (Bern, 1897).  I have previously mentioned W. J. Hinke�s English translation with annotations.

  • The Gewerckenbuch was the plan of Johann Justus Albrecht to establish a mining company in America.  The original of this is the Spotsylvania Court House, and a translation of it from the German was made by Elke Hall in Beyond Germanna, v.5, n.1 (1993).

Speaking of Beyond Germanna, there should be copies of this in the new Germanna Foundation Library.  I looked last Sunday and not a single copy was to be seen.  I suspect the copies disappeared from the Germanna Community College Library.
(21 Jul 01)

Nr. 1216:

In the last note, Charles Kemper was mentioned for his series of articles which pertained to the proposed Swiss colonies in the Valley of Virginia (the Shenandoah Valley).  The report that we have from him is a secondary report.  That is, we are not reading the originals of the underlying documents.  I am a believer in reading the underlying documents whether it is a court house document, or a record on file in the Public Record Office in England.  Sometimes, just seeing one word in the original document will change the interpretation of an event.

[Another Note from the Editor and Web Site Manager:  When John refers to "underlying" documents, or "original" documents, he is referring to "Primary Source Documents".  There are very few of us who can document every name, date, place, or event in our databases by actually reading a Primary Source Document, or a photocopy or Xeros copy of it.  Most of us depend on what are called "transcriptions", or "secondary" documents.  A "secondary" document is one that is produced by someone looking at a "Primary" document and copying it down on paper and re-typing it.  You should be able to see that merely "copying" from a Primary to a Secondary document can, and often does, lead to mistakes.  There are often passages where the original handwriting just can't be read -- this leads to interpretations or "guesses" by the transcriber.  Other problems with transcribing are misspellings, abbreviations, and translating from a non-English language.  GWD]

As an example, for years, i.e., indefinitely, it was reported that a court house record(s) reads "...the Second Germanna Colony members came "with" Capt. Scott.  If one gets the original of this, you will find that what is written is not "with", but "in" Capt. Scott.  Just that slight little difference raises a lot of questions, in fact, enough questions that one begins to question the original interpretation.  In line with using the original documents, the Library of Virginia has microfilmed many records from the Public Record Office.  And something else they have, which is very useful, is that they have indexed the material, so that one can do a search by the name of a ship's Captain or by the name of the ship.  So, it is easy to do an on-line search from your own computer for ships of the name of Scott and for Captains of the name of Scott.  The former exists in the right time frame while the latter, Capt. Scott, does not exist.  If one wants to see some of the underlying documents in this case, you either have to go to Richmond, where the microfilm is, or you can order a copy from England by email and pay by credit card.  (This fascinates me; it is hard for me to yet believe that without getting out my chair I can a copy of a three-hundred-year-old document.)

Going back to Charles Kemper, he based most of his results on documents from the Public Record Office.  Some of these, and I have a copy of one, are in French.  Why French?  It was because Franz Michel and his partners in Switzerland knew French better than English.  So, they submitted their petition in the French language; these petitions asked for land in Virginia for a proposed colony of Switzers.  The history behind our Germanna Colonies is international.  There are few groups of Germans that have such a rich historical background.

Here is another secondary source, a reference in Wust's writing, which is close to the original:

  • Gottlieb Kurz, "State Archives of Bern", in a book "List of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century", edited by A. B. Faust and G. M. Brumbaugh, 1925.  Our colonists included people, either directly from Switzerland, or indirectly with a slight delay from Switzerland and Austria.  More international intrigue.

If you are in Bern, you can read about the desire of the city fathers to send "undesirables" to America in "Teutsch Missiven-Buch der Stadt Bern", No. 37, pp. 1023/4 (March 19, 1705).  Of course, one man's undesirables are another man's nobles.
(23 Jul 01)

Nr. 1217:

I mentioned a book, but without specifics, which is of interest.  The title tells all:

  • Robert A. Brock, ed., "The Official Letters of Alexander Spotswood, 1710-1722".
  • It was published a long time ago, 1882 to be exact.  I believe, though, that I have had a copy in my hands.  It is true, that what Spotswood wrote after 1722 was not official, in the sense that he was no longer governor; however, he did some of his best writing when he attempted to explain some of the things that he had done as governor.  Nearly everything he wrote from 1710 to 1730, or so, is in the Public Record Office and available at the Virginia State Library.

Here are a couple of more things by Klaus Wust.

  • "Jacob Stoever and his 147 Germans in London", which appeared in the Rockingham Recorder, 3, 20-23, 1979.
  • Or, "Guardian on the Hudson", New York, 1984.
  • Klaus has also told the story of the ship Oliver, which was the downfall of so many would-be Germannaians.  For this, he had to do his research in the notarial files of the City Archives of Rotterdam.  He published a shorter version of this in Beyond Germanna in v.10, n.1.

For a short time, I will follow Klaus Wust from his article, "Palatines and Switzers for Virginia, 1705-1738: Costly Lessons for Promoters and Emigrants".

Around 1700, many Huguenots went to Virginia, which aroused the interests of others in Europe.  Franz Michel took note of this, and decided to see for himself whether something similar might not be done with Swiss citizens, especially the Anabaptists, who, like the Huguenots, were not welcomed where they had been living.  Michel did not stay long in Virginia, but he did visit the Huguenot colony on the south side of the upper James River.  He wanted to see what the conditions were there, and whether he could do something similar for a proposed Swiss colony.

He was very encouraged about Virginia, and hurried back to Bern.  He might very well have been encouraged by the English in Virginia, who saw the settlements of foreigners on the frontiers as a way of protecting themselves from the Indians.  (This is an idea that was repeated in the next couple of decades, not so much with Swiss, but with Germans.  When Spotswood put Germans in Fort Germanna on the frontier, he had plenty of supporters, who saw this as a wise policy.)  What Michel saw in Virginia's physical features and opportunities encouraged him also.  So his report to friends back in Bern was very favorable.

Michel's two friends in Bern, Georg Ritter and Johann Rudolph Ochs, are names that appear again in Virginia's future, and in the future of Germans and Swiss.  The three men decided they should go into the business of "colonizing".  They would recruit people whom they would settle on land in the Americas.  Just to be sure that he had seen the best opportunities, Michel went back to America as quickly as he could.  On this trip, he wanted to explore more land and visit colonies other than Virginia.
(24 Jul 01)

Nr. 1218:

[Let me put a hold on the recent series so I can mention a few families who moved to East Tennessee.]

Lewis Wayland, Sr. moved, in two stages, from Culpeper County, Virginia, to Sevier County, Tennessee.  His father was Adam Wayland, who had married first Elizabeth Blankenbaker, a daughter of Balthasar Blankenbaker.  Elizabeth died not long after the birth of Lewis, and then Adam married Mary Finks, by whom he had two children.  (This was to lead to a famous lawsuit, since Adam had failed to update his will to take into account his second marriage.)

As a young man, Lewis moved to Augusta County, in Virginia, where he started his family with the help of Elisabeth Link.  His in-laws described him " a man of learning and culture with a desire for more."  Though he had inherited little, he was able to buy two pieces of property shortly after his marriage.  They sold these properties 20 Sept 1818.  In the civil records he is usually listed as Lewis Wayland, but in the church records he is Ludwig Wieland, harking back to his German origins of a century earlier.  The births of the children of Lewis and Elizabeth were recorded in her German Catechism.  There were ten children, one of whom died very young.

Elizabeth's brother, Capt. John Link, had established himself in Washington Co., Tennessee, by August of 1818.  (Originally, Washington Co. consisted of the whole state of Tennessee plus some more.)  The Wayland home in Tennessee was built on the old Stage Coach Road leading from Knoxville to Sevierville, and ir still stands along state highway 338.  (A picture of it was in Beyond Germanna in v.7, n.6, if you want to compare and to go searching for it.)

The move from Virginia to Tennessee was made with eight children and two slaves (Aunt Nancy and Uncle Billy) besides the parents.  After Lewis, Sen., died, Lewis, Jun., lived in the house until he was killed by a bull in the barn lot.  His widow kept travelers overnight, and the home became known as Wayland's Inn.

Besides being a large landowner, Lewis, Sen., organized and taught in the Rocky Springs Academy in Sevier Co.  The children were all educated in the home, or at this Academy.  Lewis, Jun., also taught in the Academy, besides farming and being the tax assessor.  The family wanted to remain Lutheran, but there were no Lutheran churches nearby, so they held services in the home in the German language.  Lewis, Sen., lived to be 83, and Elisabeth lived to be 90.  Some Wayland descendants still live in Tennessee.  One of these is Jane Crouch Williams, who lives in LaFollette.  Even if she only comes by herself, she can represent the Wayland and Blankenbaker families.  Let's hope she can find a few others and spread the word of the Reunion.
(25 Jul 01)

Nr. 1219:

Another family which moved to East Tennessee was a member of the Lotspeich family.  The earliest known member of this family is Johann Conrad Lotspeich of Frankenthal, a village a few miles northwest of Ludwigshafen.  Conrad was a tailor and church deacon there.  He married Catharina Elisabetha Wilhelminia Ladenberger and they had nine children.  Three of these moved to Virginia.

The one in which we are most interested in this note is Johann Christoph Lotspeich, who was born in Frankenthal in 1750.  He died at the age of 80 in Greenville, Tennessee.  So far we have observed that the air in East Tennessee seems to be good for your health, especially if you take note of the Wayland family in the last note.

On the land that Christopher owned in Tennessee, one of his next door neighbors was a Broyles.  Of his fifteen children (all by Rebecca Barbara Hartley), fourteen are named in his will.  One daughter, Barbara, married Matthias Broyles 18 Jul 1808, in Greene County.  Matthias was the son of Ephraim Broyles and Grace McCain.  He, Matthias, had been born in Greene Co. in 1789, so he would seem to qualify as an early resident.

Christopher was a Quaker who would not allow any work, even cooking, on Sunday.  His wife was a Methodist.  Two of the sons, Ralph and Samuel, became Methodist ministers.

A grandson of Christopher, Henry Whittenberg, married Eliza B. Rector.  Henry's brother, John, married Eglatine Broyles.  Maybe someone can fill in more about these two Germanna people.  Mary Ann Broyles, of Barbara and Matthias, married a Rector, but I have no other information.

From the number of children that Christopher Lotspeich had, and the size of the families of these children, there ought to be several descendants in East Tennessee, even though many of the people moved to other, generally westward, states.  Certainly they did spread out, for at the Lotspeich Reunion last summer in Greenville, Tennessee, there were about seventeen states represented with about five families from Tennessee itself.

A brother of Christopher Lotspeich, Johann Wilhelm, also came to Virginia, and he married Magdalena Klug, the daughter of Rev. George Samuel Klug.  Her sister, Eva, married Matthias Broyles.  Matthias gave a power of attorney from Greene Co., Tennessee, to William Lotspeich, to sell some land in Culpeper Co., Virginia.  William moved to Kentucky, not Tennessee, but the incident just cited shows that there were Klug family descendants in East Tennessee.  So, in this note we have added the Lotspeich family, the Rector family, and the Klug family to the Tennessee list.  Lots of ties among the families.  I am not counting the Broyles and Willheits who were mentioned much earlier.
(26 Jul 01)

Nr. 1220:

Here is another Tennessee family from the Germanna community.  The chances are that you have not heard of this family.  I don�t know that I have any descendants of this family on my mailing list but let�s hope for the best.

Rudolph Crecelius and his wife Maria Elisabeth were the parents of Johannes, born 14 Oct 1777, and baptized 30 Nov 1777 at the Hebron Lutheran Church, which was in Culpeper County at the time.  It would be worth mentioning the sponsors of Johannes, who were Johannes J�ger and his wife Maria.  Probably this Johannes was the one known as blind John, the son of Adam J�ger.  If so, his wife Maria was a Willheit.

Once Rudolph was a sponsor.  This was for a child, Margaret, born 12 Mar 1775, to Daniel Diehl and his wife Elisabetha.  Another sponsor was Catharina Hirsch (a.k.a. Deer).  An Elisabetha Crecelius was confirmed the fifth Sunday after Easter in 1777.  Probably, Rudolph and Maria Elisabetha Crecelius were middle-aged, and the Elisabeth who was confirmed was an older child, and Johannes, the infant mentioned earlier, was the youngest.

Apparently the family moved to Washington County, Tennessee, for tombstones there in the Old Dutch Meeting House cemetery have Rudolph Cretselious and his wife Elizabeth Cretselious.  These are not the only people of the Crecelius name mentioned in the graveyard.

The Bulletin of the Watauga Association of Genealogy, v.7, n.1 & 2, has a transcript of the Cretzelious-Walters Bible, with the family for Samuel, who was probably a son of the John above.  John operated a general store a few miles southwest of Johnson City, TN.

Other names in the Old Dutch Meeting House that suggest Germanna people are Swingle (Schwindle?), Harnsbarger, and Good.  The name Good is not as definitive as the first two.

This information came to me from Loraine Rae of Johnson City.  Loraine admits to Broyles, Yowell, Klug, Mauk, and Fleshman families in ancestry.  In the last note we saw how the Broyles and Mauk names could have come about.  If Loraine were to come to the East Tennessee Reunion, it would add three more names that we have not yet mentioned.

If you think the Crecelius name does not look or sound German, you would be correct.  The name is a Latin name.  Several well-educated Germans in the sixteenth century changed to a Germanic Latin form.  In this particular case, Hans Bahlow thinks the name might have been Kretzel.
(27 Jul 01)

Nr. 1221:

Bennett Rector found his way to East Tennessee, but it took a while.  To help place him in time, his two brothers, James and Jesse, were at Yorktown.  Bennett married a Glascock girl, and moved to Grayson Co. on the New River (from Fauquier Co., Virginia), where he raised his first family.  After his first wife died, he remarried and moved to East Tennessee, where he died.  Bennett was the grandson of the immigrant, Hans Jacob Richter, of Trupbach.  (Bennett's father was Jacob and his mother was a Hitt.) The story is sketchy but it merits mentioning how some of it came to light.

There is, in the Oldham Collection (#10), at the Arkansas History Commission, a letter from W. H. Rector, to Gov. H. M. Rector, dated 8 Nov 1850.  William Huff, by his full given names, was attempting to see if he and the Governor had an ancestor in common.  He tells that Bennett was his grandfather, and he mentioned his grandfather's brothers, who were in the Rev. War.  But, apparently W. H. could not carry his ancestors back to the immigrant.  He did not know his grandmother's given name.

W. H. himself married Augusta M. Cox in Tennessee.  Three children were born in Tennessee, and the family moved to Texas (another child born there), and then moved to Arkansas.  So it is not clear that W. H. left descendants in Tennessee, but his grandfather Bennett may have had other descendants who lived there.  Perhaps we could get a fill in here from more knowledgeable people.  These pieces of information came to me from Brenda J. Thomas.


Cumberland Rector was born in 1774 to Charles and Elizabeth Rector, in Fauquier County.  After this point, information for him is hard to obtain.  In fact, he was incorrectly identified, if at all, by Dr. Salmans, Dr. Holtzclaw, and Larry King.  In fact, Larry King, the latest in the sequence of Rector genealogies, does not even have a Cumberland in the index.  About 1800, he was living in Roane County, Tennessee, where he signed a petition asking for the creation of Gallatin (later Roane) County.  He appears in the civil records there several times in the first decade of the 19th century.  He bought land in Rhea County, and served in the War of 1812.  His family grew, but, by 1840, it had diminished to himself and apparently one son.  In 1842, he commenced selling land to his sons-in-law.  He did have sons.  He wrote his will in 1845, and it was probated in 1849.  In none of the documentary evidence is the name anything but Cumberland.

This information was found and relayed to me by Evelyn Rector Schmidt.  We have more Rectors to mention, and I apologize that I can do little more than mention them.

As we go through some of the names, some responses are being made adding or clarifying information.  Please send such information to the List.  I keep repeating that this is why we have a list.  (Note from Web Manager and List Manager:  John is ABSOLUTELY correct!  If you respond ONLY to a sender's private email address, the rest of the many hundreds of users won't get to see the information.  It is EXTREMELY important that replies come to the List, NOT only to the sender's email address.  You never know when someone will see a reply with information that will help him/her get past a "brick wall".  [GWD])
(29 Jul 01)

Nr. 1222:

Last week, while I was transcribing the Communion lists for the German Lutheran Church in Culpeper County (Hebron Church today, and located now in Madison County), I encountered some names that were not familiar to me.  Within two days, Bob Lotspeich � out of the blue � sent me some information about a family of this name.  Then a member of the family sent me more.  The family name is Ernst or Earnest, and they had a prominent place in Greene County, Tennessee.

The Ernst family originated in Switzerland and the pastor there left notes in which he explained that he had admonished several families who were thinking about going to America not to go.  They did leave, though, and most of the people do appear in Philadelphia, on board one ship in 1743.  The father, Hans Ernst, and the mother, do not appear on the list.  There were two children, Henry and Anna, who were "bound out" by an orphan�s court.  Apparently, for reasons that are not entirely clear, they were in Virginia.

Henry was in the home of a Lawrence Stephens, and later married their daughter, Mary Stephens, who was to be his partner for life.  They were married about 1761, and before long had moved to North Carolina and then Tennessee, settling in Greene County.  He built a substantial home there in 1784, the Earnest Fort House, which still stands today.  The name Earnestville marks where they lived.

Much less is known about Henry�s sister Anna, who came to America with him, arriving as orphans.  Some people have stated that Anna was never heard from again, and others have heard that she never married but did parish work in Virginia.

Now, the names that I found in the Communion lists at Hebron were:

  1. Ernst, Anna Maria in 1805, 1806, 1807, 1809;
  2. Ernst, Christina in 1796, 1799, 1805;
  3. Ernst, Elisabeth (same services as Anna Maria);
  4. Ernst, Jacob 1796.

This would appear to be a family perhaps of Christina and Jacob, with two daughters, Anna Maria and Elisabeth.  So, the match to the Earnest family story is not good, but I will not throw out the information yet.  Rupp records the names of seventeen Ernst men or families so the name is one of the more common names.  Until I am proven wrong, I will consider the Ernst family of Tennessee as an allied family.  And if they were present in Greene County for any length of time, then there were probably marriages to proven Germanna folks.

Incidentally, the Earnest family plans a big reunion in Greene County in 2002, at which time they expect to make a big donation of historical materials to the Greenville Library.
(30 Jul 01)

Nr. 1223:

The Lehman family is mentioned only a very few times in the Hebron Lutheran Church Register, but, fortunately, there is some other data to use with it.  George Lehman (21) and John Lehman (15) were confirmed at church on 22 May 1785.  This same day, another George Lehman was a communicant, i.e., already confirmed and taking communion.  Ten years earlier, on Christmas Day in 1775, George and Michael Lehman were communicants, but without any wives.

Deeds tell us something about the family, but a lawsuit tells us a little more.  In 1786, George and Elizabeth Lehman had sold to Lewis Baker, 205 acres of land, which later fell into Madison County.  George took a mortgage for twelve years, but at the due date the money had not been paid.  George transferred the mortgage to his son Jacob, who was living in Sevier Co., Tennessee, before he, George, died.  Jacob returned to what was now Madison Co., in the late fall of 1798, and brought a lawsuit against Lewis Baker.  Baker paid the money with interest, and the mortgage was cancelled.

The children of George Layman and his wife Elizabeth Bleistein were:

  1. George Michael, b. 1755;
  2. Jacob, b. 1759;
  3. George Fredeick, b. 1762;
  4. Elizabeth, b. c1763;
  5. John, b. c1769;
  6. Daniel, b. c1771;
  7. Ann, b. c1772.

The ancestor of the family was Peter Leman (Sr.), who was born, in 1680, in Switzerland.  He died 1741, in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania.  Married twice, he had a total of eleven children.  He was an Anabaptist.  The Lemans came, most likely, in 1717, a year of above average emigration.  A grandson of Peter, Sr., is believed to be the George who was the father in the Hebron Church Register.  Over the course of several years the family moved from Pennsylvania to the French Broad River in the eastern part of Tennessee.

A Jacob Layman (1759-1841) noted in his Rev. War pension application that he returned home to Culpeper Co., VA, after each tour of duty.  Researchers have been unable to find any Layman family in Culpeper Co., in the period 1778 to 1786, besides George Layman.  Therefore, Jacob is probably the son of George.

Not all of our Germanna families lived in the community for extended periods of time.  Many of them treated Culpeper County as a way point, where they stopped for a short while.  It would appear that they had no fixed objective in mind when they left their original home.  George Layman seems to have purchased several pieces of land, seeing if he could find one that appealed to him.  In the end he moved on.  One of the questions that we always have is whether they took any brides (or grooms) with them.
(31 Jul 01)

Nr. 1224:

The following family may not exactly meet the requirements of East Tennessee but at least they lived in Tennessee.  The important point is that it is a Germanna family.  The immigrant in the family is John Frederick Miller, who came from Freudenberg in 1738.  There is no doubt in my mind but that they came on the ship Oliver, which didn�t quite make it to a landing in Virginia.  Instead, it floundered off the shore with a great loss of life.  Only about one in three of the people who departed with the ship made it to Virginia.

The Millers (at least the father) was lucky and survived.  One of the children born in Virginia was Harman, the subject of the note.

Harman and Haman, his brother, received one shilling in the will of their father (1787).  It was not that the father had anything against Harmon but he had already given Harmon two hundred acres of land.  This land lay in Halifax County, Virginia, where John Frederick was living.  Halifax County is down in the southern tier of counties of Virginia.  Harman married Mary Hutcherson.  In 1806, Harmon moved to Williamson County, Tennessee, which is centrally located in the state (he appears on the tax list there).  The state was very rapidly filling up through these years.

Within a few years Harmon bought 220 acres in Maury Co., TN.  A son of Harmon, John, appears to have been there before his father.  The 1811 tax list shows Harman, John, Joseph, B. Daniel, and Stephen Miller.  Except for Stephen, these individuals were of the Harman Miller family.  By 1816, Harman�s brother Frederick has arrived in the county also.

In 1819, Harman wrote his will, but he seems to have lived several more years, for Harman, Jr., was not appointed the administrator of his estate until 1825.  This has been the cause for a puzzle, since the wife, and son William, were named in the will as executors.  The children are:

  1. Ann, who married William Hall,
  2. John, who was born about 1777 and married Catherine Hall.  He was a farmer and businessman who owned a cotton gin, and a part of a saw and grist mill, and thirty-two slaves, which he left to his wife and children.  John was married a second time to Esther Mangrum,

  3. Nancy, who was born about 1778, and never married,
  4. Mary who married Unknown Smith,
  5. Jamima,
  6. Harman, Jr., who was born about 1781,
  7. Joseph H., who was born in the early 1780's, married Maria Campbell and Mary Roundtree,
  8. Kerren S., born about 1788, and never married,
  9. Daniel B. born about 1790, and
  10. William R.

The name in Germany was not Miller, of course.  The pastor at Freudenberg wrote it as M�ller.  Don�t forget there are photos of Freudenberg on the Germanna History Web page.
(01 Aug 01)

Nr. 1225:

A family that I want to learn something about is the Pender/Bender/Painter family in Culpeper County, Virginia.  A short paragraph here recently added to what I do know, but I would be interested in more.

Addam Painter was in Culpeper Class 92, of which the other members were Lt. Michael Garr, John Wilhoit, John Slaughter, Elisha Yager, Matthias Smith, Andrew Finks, Wm. Bates, Wm. Bates, Jr., Jesse Vawter, Ephraim Klugg, Robert Baxter, and Matthias McDonald.  Addam was the selection, and no note to the records indicates that he hired a substitute.  So, I would presume he saw service.  This would be 1781.  There are no Painter, Pender, or Benders in the 1787 tax list.

Adam took communion at the Lutheran church on Christmas Day 1775, on Easter of 1776, Pentecost of 1776, and Christmas of 1776.  After being so attentive to the festival days, he makes no more appearances there.  Elisabetha Bender was there on Christmas 1775.  Demilia was there on Easter of 1776 (when she was confirmed), and on Christmas of 1776.  From the baptismal register we find that Adam and Demilia were husband and wife, for Hezeckiel, their son, was baptized on 28 Jul 1776.  The boy had been born 16 Jun.  This is a case of marriage before confirmation (perhaps even baptism).  The family was probably quite young then.  (There could be two Demilias.)

For what it is worth, the sponsors of the baby were Andrew Carpenter and his wife Barbara (Weaver), and Moses Broyl and Elisabeth Breil [consistency is not one of the hallmarks of the scribes at the Lutheran church].  A Moses Broyl had married a Barbara Carpenter, and there are too many Elisabeth Breils to even hazard a guess.  Though sponsors are often relatives, I suspect that in this case the Benders had no relatives in the community.  Again, they were probably in transit, trying different communities.

I have a note on the margin of some material that the maiden name of Johann Theobald Christler's mother was Bender.  Johannes Bender left Germany for Pennsylvania on 20 April 1719.  I do not know if Adam Bender has any relationship to the Christlers.  Certainly they did not show up in his choice of sponsors for his son Hezeckiel.

We have learned that Adam is buried on Horse Creek in Washington Co., Tennessee.

Whether the name Painter could be derived from Bender and Pender, the answer is, "Yes!"  The P and B are interchangeable.  The first "e" in Pender would be pronounced as the vowels in "hay."  The "d" and "t" are easily interchanged.  So it would be very logical to go from Bender to Painter.  (Bender > Pender > Paynder > Paynter > Painter.)
(02 Aug 01)

(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 FORTY-NINTH set of Notes, Nr. 1201 through Nr. 1225.)

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.

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(GERMANNA History Notes, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 John BLANKENBAKER.)
(GERMANNA History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 George W. DURMAN.)
This material has been compiled and placed on this web site by George W. Durman, with the permission of John BLANKENBAKER.  It is intended for personal use by genealogists and researchers, and is not to be disseminated further.

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

INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GENEALOGY COMMENTS

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

Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025