Jerg WILLHEIT History

(This Page Was Last Modified Monday, 21-Feb-2011 16:32:17 MST.)

                  Page 01 - Generations 1 through 4.
                  Page 02 - Generations 5 through 6.
                  Page 03 - Generations 7 through 8.
                  Page 04 - Footnotes.

This is the SECOND page of TERRY HATFIELD's Genealogy Report on the Descendants of Jerg WILLHEIT (Gerg WILLERT), which he has allowed to be placed on this web site.  We have attempted to divide the pages by generations of descendants.

(NOTE:  The genealogy data contained in these Pages is the work of Terry HATFIELD.  It is not thoroughly documented and is not meant to be an authoritative source of the WILHITE/WILHOIT genealogy.  It is meant, instead, to be an aid, or starting point, for further research on the lines/branches contained in the History.  If readers find data that conflicts with proven documented material, please let us know.  There is a link below that you may click to send both Terry and me a message.  In the data below you will see "WFT Est." with a range of dates.  Those items are estimates made by a genealogy program, and are generally useless; the ranges of these "estimates" are from a year or two, to almost 100!!!!!)

This Page Contains Generations 5 through 6.

Jerg WILLHEIT History

Generation No. 5

JOHANN MICHAEL (WILHOIT/WILHITE)5 WILLHEIT (HANS MICHAEL4, JOHANN GEORGE3, JERG (GEORG)2, GERG1 WILLERT)165,166 was born January 25, 1671 in Schwaigern, Württemberg, Germany167,168,169, and died November 26, 1738 in St. Mark's, Orange Co., Virginia169.  He married (1) ANNA DOROTHEA MÜLLER January 29, 1696 in Schwaigern, Germany170,171.  She was born 1668 in Schwaigern, Württemberg, Germany172, and died August 6, 1705 in Schwaigern, Württemberg, Germany172.  He married (2) ANNA MARIA HENGSTELLER173,174 February 16, 1706 in Schwaigern, Germany175,176, daughter of MATTHIAS HENGSTELLER and MARIA MÜLLER.  She was born October 9, 1685 in Oberbaldingen, Villingen, Baden, Germany177,178,179, and died WFT Est. 1727-1780180,181.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 7 , Note Nr. 151.

The county of Spotsylvania, Virginia came, into being in 1720-1721.  Initially, it included all of the following modern counties:  Spotsylvania, Orange, Culpeper, Madison, Greene, and Rappahannock.  It ran from east of Fredericksburg (which did not exist then) to the Blue Ridge Mountains, or for about fifty miles east to west.  Along the Blue Ridge, it ran for about the same distance.  In the eastern parts, the extent was much less in the north-south direction, making for a very roughly shaped triangle.  At the time, there was no settlements or towns in this region.  Except for the eastern region, the area was not settled.  Toward the west, the First Germanna Colony had been at Germanna (sometimes called Germantown), and the Second Germanna Colony was still at New German Town, about two miles west of Germanna.  These were the pioneers of the frontiers.  The First Colony could be said to be the first settlers of modern Orange County, while the Second Colony became the first settlers of modern Culpeper County.

All of Virginia was divided into religious parishes by the Assembly.  The government was responsible for the administration of the affairs of the church, in the absence of any bishops who lived in Virginia.  The religious parishes were solidly embedded into the fabric of the government.  When Spotsylvania County was created, it simultaneously decreed in the Legislation that the Parish of St. George would extend throughout Spotsylvania County.  This St. George's Parish is to be distinguished from the older, and much smaller, Parish which had been created for the benefit of the First Colony Germans (or for Spotswood's benefit?).  This first St. George's Parish was dissolved when the new St. George's was created.

Church attendance at least once a month was legally required of every person 21 years of age or older.  This was a burden on many residents of St. George's Parish because the only church was located at Germanna.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 7 , Note Nr. 152.

When the (new) Parish of St. George's was created, it was necessary to elect a Vestry of twelve men to govern it.  These men were chosen by the vote of the parishioners.  (Besides the first election to the vestry, citizens voted for two members of the House of Burgesses, their only other democratic opportunity.)  After the first Vestry was elected, it was self-perpetuating.  The Vestry has been likened unto a board of supervisors, with full autonomous power, including the ability to tax.  The work was not hard though, as in many years only one meeting was required.  When a new church was being built or a new minister was being hired, more meetings might be required.

The Legislation creating Spotsylvania County and St. George's parish specified that the county seat and the church would be at Germanna, the home of Spotswood.  It was some time before a church was built at Germanna, and apparently use was made of the blockhouse that the Germans used for church services.  The problem with Germanna, though it was the home of Spotswood, was that hardly any of the English lived to the west of Germanna.  Spotswood had used his influence to have these functions set up on the very frontier, at Germanna, because he was the owner of 40,000 acres (it plotted more closely to 65,000 acres though) to the west of Germanna.  He wanted the action to be near his land, which he hoped to lease to tenants.  It is for this same reason that he built his home, later called the Enchanted Castle, at Germanna.  It was nearer to his vast land holdings.  At this time, he knew there was money to be made in land, but he was only speculating on iron which was unproven.  Hence, he did not build close to his iron furnace, but he built closer to the center of mass of his land holdings.

The citizens and Vestrymen were very unhappy with the choice of Germanna as the site of the Parish church.  One of their first acts was to establish a new place of meeting to the southeast.  It just happened to be home of one of the Vestrymen, Larkin Chew, an enemy of Spotswood.  (One can't help but notice that many political decisions were based on personal considerations, not on public needs.)  In 1724, two new permanent church sites were selected to the south and east of Germanna.  The buildings were primitive, in part because Spotswood had control of the colonial funds designated for building a church.  A minister was hired, but he found life on the frontier to be hard and unpleasant and he did not stay.  In part he had to cover too much territory and he spent too much time in the saddle.  He was unhappy, and his parishioners were unhappy with him, and they parted company in 1728.  By then, there were chapels in the Great Fork of the Rappahannock River, to the west of Germanna, for the settlers who were beginning to move in there.  These were serviced by readers.  For seven years there was a succession of temporary ministers, showing that it was not easy, even in the English community, to obtain ministers.

The Vestry was required by law to provide a glebe, or farm, for the minister, of 200 acres.  How the funds were obtained for this, the church building, and the care of the poor will be discussed in the next note.  Ultimately, the funds came from the parishioners under the taxing power of the church.  This is why our German ancestors complained so bitterly.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 7, Note Nr. 153.

The Vestry, which governed the Parish, cooperated very closely with the Court, which governed in civil life.  The Court prepared an annual list of tithables by delegating Justices to cover each precinct.  Then the Vestry paid the clerk of the court a small fee to make an extra copy for its own use.  (These lists of tithables, where they have been preserved, are extremely important to us as genealogists.)

The Court and the Church cooperated in other ways also.  If a woman bore an illegitimate child, her punishment was inflicted by the Court.  The usual fine was 50 shillings, or, if she couldn't pay this, then 25 lashes at the public whipping post.  The Vestry elected two Church Wardens each year, who had the duty of making a presentation to the Court, at the end of their term, of any misdemeanors which had occurred during their term.  Misdemeanors included "swearing, abusing (God's) word and commandments, adultery, whoredom, fornication, drunkenness, or absence from church".  The first Grand Jury in Spotsylvania County had two cases of adultery, two for swearing, and three for absence from church.

The Church was responsible for the ill and the indigent, and made annual appropriations to those who had to have help.  Often in emergency cases, Vestry members gave help from their own means, and submitted a statement to the Vestry for reimbursement.  This might include burials, doctors' fees, nursing, boarding bastard infants, and caring for the helpless and incompetent.  In the early days of the Spotsylvania Vestry, these costs were low, less than 5 percent, which was typical of frontier communities.  As settlement increased, the figure commanded a larger percentage.

All of the expense of the Parish was paid by a levy upon the tithables in the Parish.  The Vestry met, usually in the fall of the year, and drew up a budget, a combination of expenses from the past year which had not been budgeted, plus anticipated expenses for the next year.  Expenses were denominated in pounds of tobacco, the working currency of Eighteenth Century Virginia.  From the levy of 1734, some expenses were:  1000 pounds of tobacco to George Carter, for being the reader at the Mattapony Church in the year past; 1000 pounds to Zachary Lewis, for being Clerk of the Vestry; 200 pounds to Thomas Hill, for burying a poor man; and 500 pounds for the support of Catherine Rice.  The total charges in 1734 were 74,520 pounds of tobacco.  There were 1035 tithables that year.  By a simple division, the Vestry decided that each "poll" owed 72 pounds of tobacco.

A poll was a white male 16 years of age or more, or a slave or indentured servant.  The exempt category was the very young and the white women.

If a man had nine tithes, perhaps himself, two sons, and six servants, then he would owe 648 pounds of tobacco, which was worth perhaps three or more pounds of currency.  This would have bought quite a bit of land, even a new town lot in Fredericksburg.

The Germans felt that the tithe to the Colonial Church left them with little discretionary income to support their own Church.  So they were constantly seeking exemptions from the tithe.  The numbers quoted above for the year of 1734 would not have applied to the Germanna Colonies, for they were living outside Spotsylvania County that year.  They are cited here as typical.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 7, Note Nr. 156.

Spotsylvania County was formed in 1721 and 1722.  By this time, the First Germanna Colony had left Germanna for their new homes in Stafford County, now Fauquier County.  The Second Germanna Colony remained near Germanna until after the formation of Spotsylvania Co.  And, when they moved to their permanent homes, they were still in Spotsylvania Co.  In this new location, they were at a considerable distance from the Courthouse.  In terms of today's counties, they would have had to travel east across a portion of Madison, the full length of Culpeper, and into Orange, where Germanna is located; however, the population center of the new county of Spotsylvania was to the east of Germanna, and pressures soon developed to relocate the seat of the Government from Germanna to the east.  This only increased the distance for the Robinson River people.  Going to Court was not an easy matter.  They had to leave early in the day on the day before they appeared at Court.  The First Colony people, who had moved from Germanna early in 1719 (new style), to Stafford, continued to come to Germanna and Spotsylvania to transact some of their business.  For example, their proofs of importation were made at Germanna, not at the county seat of Stafford.  Also Jacob Holtzclaw filed his proof of naturalization in Spotsylvania Co., not in Stafford.  This use of the Court at Germanna was probably because of their familiarity with the location.

The formation of Spotsylvania County was not a clean, neat event.  In the fall of 1720, the House of Burgesses, under the sponsorship of Spotswood, created two new counties, Brunswick and Spotsylvania.  The Legislative Act gave as a reason for their creation, that they would be a means of increasing the security of the frontier.  These were not routine creations though.

The Acts contained clauses reducing the requirements for acquiring land in the new counties.  The act stipulated that settlers would be "free from public levies" for ten years.  This, in itself, was an ambiguous and undefined statement.  Did the language mean free of the quit rents AND of the purchase fee?  Also, there were no size limitations placed on the amount of land that could be acquired.  And, the act was mute on the treatment to be accorded land already acquired in the county.  Could this be re-patented under the new terms?  It was very clear that the sponsor of the bill, Spotswood, could profit handsomely under the terms of the Act, especially as he already owned much land in the new county.

The law was to take effect in May of 1721, but as soon as the measure was signed by the (Lt.) Governor in December, the Council began accepting and approving applications for patents.  Immediately, ten applications, the smallest for 3,000 acres, and the largest for 20,000 acres, were approved.

But Spotswood knew that the special features of the legislation needed approval from London (as "unusual acts").  Therefore, he did not sign the patents approved by the Council.  And, the new county of Spotsylvania was not installed at the date specified for its creation.  A full year went by, and in the Spring of 1722, Spotswood was sure that he would be replaced as Governor.  Since the new Governor might balk at signing the patents, Spotswood proceeded, in May 1722, to sign the patents, including those of which he was the hidden beneficiary.  One of latter ones was for 40,000 acres, and included the land where the Second Germanna Colony was living.  More than 138,000 acres of land were patented, plus 9,000 acres of old Spotswood patents.  From this land, Spotswood was found to be the owner of more than 85,000 acres of land in the new county.

More About JOHANN MICHAEL (WILHOIT/WILHITE) WILLHEIT: Christening:  January 25, 1671, Schwaigern, Württemberg, Germany182

Names (Facts Pg):  One record says "Wilhoit", which a variant of the name "Willheit".
Relationships:  Some records have indicated a spouse named "Mary Margaret Blankenbaker."


  1. MARIA DOROTHEA6 WILLHEIT183,184, b. October 27, 1696185,186; d. WFT Est. 1697-1790187,188.
  2. HANS MICHAEL WILLHEIT189,190, b. May 19, 1698191,192; d. WFT Est. 1699-1788193,194.
  3. HANS GEORG WILLHEIT195,196, b. July 4, 1700197,198; d. WFT Est. 1701-1790199,200.


  1. ANNA CATHARINA6 WILLHEIT201,202, b. March 28, 1707203,204; d. WFT Est. 1708-1801205,206.
  2. TOBIAS WILHOIT, b. July 15, 1708, Schwaigern, Württemberg, Germany; d. Abt. 1762, Orange Co. Va..
  3. HANS MICHAEL WILLHEIT207,208, b. April 12, 1711209,210; d. WFT Est. 1712-1801211,212.
  4. JOHANNES (WILHITE) WILLHEIT213,214, b. July 1, 1713, Mainz, Germany, 25 miles West of Frankfurt.; d. Abt. 1797, Orange Co. Va.; m. MARGARET215,216; b. WFT Est. 1709-1729217,218; d. WFT Est. 1730-1813219,220.
  5. JOHANN CHRISTIAN WILLHEIT221,222, b. December 13, 1715, Germany223,224; d. WFT Est. 1732-1805225,226; m. MARGARET WEAVER227,228; b. Abt. 1717, Germany; d. July 21, 1763, Orange Co. Va.
  6. ADAM (WILHITE) WILLHEIT, b. Abt. 1719, Spottsylvania, Virginia; d. July 21, 1763, Culpeper, Virginia.
  7. EVA (WILHITE) WILLHEIT229,230, b. Abt. 1721, Spottsylvania, Va.; d. WFT Est. 1737-1817231,232; m. NICHOLAS HOLT233,234, Abt. 1739; b. Abt. 1719, Va.; d. WFT Est. 1740-1812235,236.
  8. MATHIAS (WILHITE) WILLHEIT, b. Abt. 1723, Spotsylvania, Va.; d. WFT Est. 1738-1811.
  9. PHILLIP (WILHITE) WILLHEIT237,238, b. Abt. 1725, Spotsylvania, Va.; d. March 6, 1801, Va.; m. RACHEL239,240, Abt. 1746; b. Abt. 1727, Va.; d. WFT Est. 1742-1825241,242.

Generation No. 6

TOBIAS6 WILHOIT (JOHANN MICHAEL (WILHOIT/WILHITE)5 WILLHEIT, HANS MICHAEL4, JOHANN GEORGE3, JERG (GEORG)2, GERG1 WILLERT)243,244 was born July 15, 1708 in Schwaigern, Württemberg, Germany, and died Abt. 1762 in Orange Co. Va..  He married CATHARINE (WALK) WALKYE245,246 Abt. 1734 in Orange Co. Va., daughter of MARTIN (WALK) WALKYE.  She was born Abt. 1715 in Mainz, Germany, and died WFT Est. 1746-1809247,248.

[Veltin Fleisshman, Vol. 11, #2731.FTW]

[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 11, Ed. 1, Tree #2731, Date of Import into This History:  Mar 16, 1999]

TOBIAS WILHOIT  B. 15 July 1708 in Schwaigern, Neckarkreis, Württemberg Germany, d. 1762 in Culpeper County, VA, will dated 1 Sep 1761.  Son of Johann Michael Willheit.  Married 1733 in Virginia.  Will lists children as Michael, Conrade, Jesse, William, & Mary Broil, wife of Adam Broil.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 2, Note Nr. 47.

The Rev. Hugh Jones came to Virginia in 1717 and returned to England in 1722.  In 1724, he wrote a small book, "The Present State of Virginia".  It is considered that he was writing of events that occurred no later than 1722.  He was at Williamsburg associated with the College of William and Mary, and he was a friend of Spotswood.  On some occasions he goes overboard in his praise of Spotswood.

Suppose that we want to go into the business of raising tobacco.  Here is how to go about it (as described by the Rev. Hugh Jones):

"When a tract of land is seated, they clear it by felling the trees about a yard from the ground, lest they should shoot up again.  What they have occasion for they carry off, and burn the rest, or let it lie and rot upon the ground.  The land between the logs and stumps they how up, planting tobacco there in the spring, inclosing it with a slight fence of cleft rails.  This will last for tobacco for some years, if the land is good; as it is where fine timber, or grape vines grow.

"Land when tired is forced to bear tobacco by penning their cattle upon it; but cow pen tobacco tastes strong, and that planted in wet marshy land is called non burning tobacco, which smokes in the pipe like leather, unless it be of a good age.  When land is tired of tobacco, it will bear Indian corn, or English wheat, or any other European grain or seed, with wonderful increase.

"Tobacco and Indian corn are planted in hills as hops, and secured by worm fences, which are made of rails supporting one another very firmly in a particular manner.  Tobacco requires a great deal of skill and trouble in the right management of it.  They raise the plants in beds, as we do cabbage plants; which they transplant and replant upon occasion after a shower of rain, which they call a season.

"When it is grown up they top it, or nip off the head, succor it, or cut off the ground leaves, weed it, hill it; and when ripe, they cut it down about six or eight leaves up a stalk, which they carry into airy tobacco houses; after it is withered a little in the sun, there it is hung to dry on sticks, as paper at the paper-mills; when it is in proper case, (as they call it) and the air neither too moist, nor too dry, they strike it, or take it down, then cover it up in bulk, or a great heap, where it lies till they have leisure or occasion to stem it (that is pull the leaves from the stalk) or strip it (that is take out the great fibers) and tie it up in hands, or straight lay it; and so by degrees prize or press it with proper engines into great hogsheads, containing from about six to eleven hundred pounds; four of which hogsheads make a tun, by dimension, not by weight; then it is ready for sale or shipping.

"There are two sorts of tobacco, viz. Oroonoko the stronger, and sweet scented the milder; the first with a sharper leaf like a fox's ear, and the other rounder and with finer fibres; but each of these are varied into several sorts, much as apples and pears are; and I have been informed by the Indian traders, that the inland Indians have sorts of tobacco much differing from any planted or used by the Europeans."

When our Germanna ancestors came to Virginia, it was essential to learn how to do this to have a cash income.  I made the observation here that, on the average, each militia man would have grown two hogsheads of tobacco.  I didn't mean to imply that each man would have grown tobacco; the quotation was only an average.  From the size of the hogshead above, this is a lot of tobacco.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 2, Note Nr. 48.

We have seen the principal means of earning cash in early eighteenth Virginia. Now we examine Jones' comments upon raising food.

"The Indian corn is planted in hills and weeded much as Tobacco.  This grain is of great increase and most general use; for with this is made good bread, cakes, mush, and hommony for the Negroes, which with good pork and potatoes (red and white, very nice and different from ours) with other roots and pulse, are their general food.  Indian corn is the best food for cattle, hogs, sheep and horses; and the blades and tops are excellent fodder, when well cured, which is commonly used, though many raise good clover and oats; and some have planted sanfoin, etc.

"In the marshes, and woods, and old fields is good range for stock in the spring, summer, and fall; and the hogs will run fat with certain roots of flags and reeds, which abounding in the marshes they root up and eat.  Besides, at the plantations are standard peach-trees, and apple-trees, planted out in orchards, on purpose almost for the hogs.

"The peaches abound, and are of a delicious taste, and apple-trees are raised from the seeds very soon, which kind of kernel fruit needs no grafting, and is diversified into numberless sorts, and makes, with good management, an excellent cyder, not much inferior to that of Herefordshire, when kept to to a good age; which is rarely done, the planters being good companions and guests whilst the cyder lasts.  Here cherries thrive much better (I think) than in England; though the fruit trees soon decay, yet they are raised to great perfection.

"As for wool, I have had near so good as any near Leominister; and it might be much improved if he sheep were housed every night, and foddered and littered as in Urchingfield, where they have by such means the finest wool; but to do this, would be of little use, since it is contrary to the interest of Great Britain to allow them exportation of their woolen manufactures; and what little woolen is there made might be nearly had as cheap, and better from England.

"As for provisions, there is an excellent variety of excellent fish in great plenty easily taken; especially oysters, sheepheads, rocks, large trouts, crabs, drums, sturgeons, etc. They have the same fowl as in England, only they propagate better; but these exceed in wild geese and ducks, cohoncks, blew-wings, teal,swans, and mallards.

"Their beef and veal is small, sweet, and fat enough; their pork is famous, whole Virginia shoots being frequently barbecued in England; their bacon is excellent, the hams being scarce to be distinguished from those of Westphalia; but their mutton and lamb some folks don't like, though others extol it.  Their butter is good and plentiful enough.

"Their venison in the lower parts of the country is not so plentiful as it has been, though there be enough and tolerably good; but in the frontier counties they abound with venison, wild turkeys, etc., where the common people sometimes dress bears, whose flesh they say, is not to be distinguished from good pork or bacon.  They pull the down of their living geese and wild and tame ducks, wherewith they make the softest and sweetest beds.

"The houses stand sometimes two or three together; and in other places a quarter, half a mile, or a mile, or two, asunder, much as in the country in England."

The food picture above probably reflects the German tastes also but it does not show the vegetable preferences where there were differences.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 2, Note Nr. 49.

The Rev. Hugh Jones had a few comments about our German ancestors.  Quoting him:

"Beyond Colonel Spotswood's furnace above the falls of Rappahannock River, within view of the vast mountains, he has founded a town called Germanna, from some Germans sent over thither by Queen Anne, who are now removed up farther; here he has servants and workmen of most handicraft trades; and he is building a church, court-house and dwelling-house for himself; and with his servants and Negroes he has cleared plantations about it, proposing great encouragement for people to come and settle in that uninhabited part of the world, lately divided into a county."

Jones errs slightly in some of the facts.  The Germans who settled at Germanna had been invited over by Baron de Graffenried to come to Virginia to a colony which he was planning to form, but which failed (see earlier notes).  Queen Anne had authorized the governor to furnish the Baron's company, or enterprise, with land upon their arrival, but it can hardly be said that she sent them over.  The passage of the Germans was paid in part by the Germans, and in part by Spotswood, in return for which they agreed to work four years for him.

Jones wrote this in 1724, but he left Virginia in 1722, and most commentators believe he is describing Virginia as he understood it in 1722.  This is consistent with the building activity he describes at Germanna.  Jones continues with a new paragraph:

"Beyond this are seated the colony of Germans or Palatines, with allowance of good quantities of rich land, at easy or no rates, who thrive very well, and live happily, and entertain generously." In this last paragraph Jones is describing the Second Germanna Colony who were at New Germantown on the north bank of the Rapidan River about two miles west of Germanna.  At this time, Spotswood was still hopeful that the Germans would remain on his land and lease it from him.  Jones makes it clear that this 'colony of Germans or Palatines' was involved in wine making and the naval stores programs which Spotswood himself had described as the activities of the Second Colony.  (See Page 1, Note 22, for additional comments.)

A little bit about the Government of Virginia follows.  Each county elected two Burgesses (by the freeholders), plus another for James Town and for the College.  These proceeded, as a General Assembly, in many ways similar to the House of Commons in England.  The equivalent of the House of Lords was the Council (of 12), appointed by the King, who advised the Governor and approved Legislation.  While Virginia was self-governing, the King did not forfeit his right to veto Legislation.

EARLY HISTORY OF GERMANNA, VIRGINIA: Who are considered Colonists?
From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 8, Note Nr. 176.

This note starts another set of twenty-five and I like to review the term, Germanna Colonies.  In the narrowest sense, the Germanna Colony was a group of 42 Germans who came to Virginia in April of 1714 and were settled on the frontier in a "fort" called Fort Germanna.  The transportation of the Germans was paid, in part, by Lt. Gov. Spotswood.  In return for this, the Germans were to work four years for him.

In 1717 (by the modern calendar, it was very probably 1718), another group of seventy-odd Germans came, and their transportation costs were paid by a partnership, of which the principal partners were Spotswood and Robert Beverley.  This group was settled about two miles from Germanna, across the Rapidan River, in a community called New German Town (the alternative name for Germanna, widely used, was German Town).  This second group had no fort, but their defense was the number of people and the Rapidan River, which could be forded at their doorstep.  Since this group was only two miles from Germanna, it is customary to consider them as Germanna colonists also.  To distinguish the two groups, they are called the First and Second Colonies.  (Sometimes, Germanna 1 and Germanna 2.)

More Germans came early on, but mostly as individuals, and at different times, not as a group from one locality in Germany.  Collectively, they have been called the Third Germanna colony, but it is a misnomer, as they were not a group.  The number of people has also been overestimated.  By 1724, the Second Colony had grown from seventy-odd to about 100, per a statement by Spotswood .  Since many of these people were living with the Second Colony, it seems as if they should be called Germanna colonists also.  Some of the immigrants were scattered throughout Virginia.

After 1719, essentially no Germans were at Germanna proper.  After 1725, there were no Germans at New German Town.  But the Germans kept coming, right up to the time of the Revolution, when the war stopped immigration, and relocation within the colonies slowed down.  These later Germans usually lived in the neighborhoods of where the First and Second Colonies made their permanent homes away from Germanna.

What is the requirement to be called a Germanna colonist?  Was it to have lived at or near Germanna?  The definition that has evolved included anyone who lived in the neighborhood of the original German immigrants, whether at Germanna, or in the larger surrounding community.  Generally, this larger community is taken to be the modern counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, and Rappahannock in Virginia.  All of these counties are east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  This area is also in the Piedmont of Virginia.  There are alternative phrases.

EARLY GERMANNA HISTORY: Who were the Palatinates?
From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 8, Note Nr. 186.

Since the villages (in present day Germany) of many of the 1717 emigrants have been learned since I did my original research, a new search would probably find more.  All of the villages (in Notes 183 through 186, Page 8) are in the midst of the homes of many of the Second Colony emigrants.  I did no research in the region that was specifically known as the Palatinate (the home of the Palatines).  A few of the Second Colony people did come from the Palatinate.

The word Palatine has two meanings.  English people used it to mean all Germans.  This practice started at the time of the 1709 emigration, when so many of the Germans came from the Palatinate.  In writing about Virginia, the Rev. Hugh Jones, in his book (printed 1724) referred to the Second Colony as "Germans or Palatines".  In this sense it was interchangeable with the word, German.  More specifically, the Palatinate was only one region in the land which was to eventually become Germany.  Unfortunately, it did not always refer to exactly the same area, as the Palatinate grew or shrank, phenomena typical of many of the regions in Germany.  As an example of how principalities did change, Baden is noted as having extremes of area from a thousand square miles, to more than ten thousand square miles.

This confusion over where the boundary lines ran is even worse than the problem we have with counties here in America.  In order to provide a stable reference point for filing information, I believe it was decided to use the boundaries as of 1872 (I may be in error a few years) as reference marks.

Thus I could say that my Blankenbaker ancestors emigrated from Baden (now a part of Baden-Württemberg); however, at the time they left, they said they were from the lands belonging to the Bishops of Speyer, who were Catholic.  Early in the nineteenth century these lands were ceded to the civil authorities and today we refer to this area as Baden.


Sex (Facts Pg):  One record says E. Terrell is "male" (Ellis).  1850 Census Records lists Ellit Terrell as "female", but also, erroneously, lists David Terrell as "female."  Handwritten Census Records give the impression that the dot of the i slipped to make a letter t.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 3, Note Nr. 56.

When did the First Germanna Colony relocate from Germanna to their new home?  In 1718, they purchased over 1800 acres of land in the Northern Neck from the proprietors there.  (This future home was to become known as Germantown.)  This date is not proof of anything, but it does indicate that they were planning on moving in 1718.  It is unlikely that they would have purchased very far in advance of their intention to use the land.

They had agreed to work four years to pay the balance of their passage money.  Their time in Virginia commenced in April of 1714 and they probably did not arrive at Germanna until May or June.  There are good reasons that they might have preferred to stay at Germanna for a few extra months beyond the four years.  They were responsible for their own food, and they had crops and animals which would not be ready to harvest or butcher until the Fall of the year.  In the Fall, the larder would have been at its maximum, and this would have been the best time to commence life at a new location.

They testified that they worked at mining and quarrying until December of 1718, which would be a few months past the end of their service.  From this we know they were active in the general vicinity of Germanna until 1718, so this fixes the earliest date for moving.  Since no labor beyond 1718 was listed, it is unlikely that there were any services performed beyond 1718, especially in view of the other factors.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes ©, Page 3, Note Nr. 58.

To summarize the activities of the Germanna Colonists in Spotswood's iron industry, the First Colony developed the iron mines.  Probably they found the iron ore, but proof of this is lacking.  They had left the lands of Spotswood for their own land, in what is now Fauquier County, before the furnace was built.

The Second Colony had essentially nothing to do with the iron mines or the iron furnace.  They were engaged in other activities, principally farming, grape culture, and naval stores.  Still there is a hint that they may have been engaged in the iron industry briefly on a trial basis.  That is, they made charcoal.  This was "shipped" down the Rapidan River to the furnace site.  The clue that they may have done this lies in a comment of Spotswood in which he advised William Byrd not to make the charcoal at any great distance from the furnace.  He said he had tried to make charcoal across the river and it had not worked out (charcoal does not ship well).  The Second Colony did live across the river.  The activity is consistent with Spotswood's managerial characteristics as described by his furnace manager, Mr. Chiswell.

Who did build the furnace?  Probably workmen imported from England.  Some of the Germans who came after the First and Second Colonies might have been involved as labor.  Initially, the general labor at the furnace, when it was fired, could have been a mix of English and German workers.  Spotswood soon replaced these with slaves, saying he believed they could do all of the necessary tasks if they were properly trained.

So, the First Germanna Colony could say they started Spotswood down the path leading to an iron industry, though they did not build his furnace.  The Second Germanna Colony should not make any claim to having been involved in any part of the activity.  It is entirely unproven, but some of the later Germans (emigrating after 1717) may have worked at the furnace.


  1. MICHAEL7 WILHOIT249,250, b. 1735, Orange Co. Va.; d. July 6, 1804; m. MARY SHIRLEY, Abt. 1756; b. Abt. 1738.
  2. CONRAD REUBEN (WILHITE) WILHOIT, b. 1737, Orange Co.,Virginia; d. 1806, Campbell Co., Tennessee.
  3. JESSE WILHOIT251,252, b. Abt. 1739, Orange Co. Va.; d. September 1823, Jefferson Co. Ky.; m. MILDRED ? WILHITE, Abt. 1769; b. Abt. 1740.
  4. WILLIAM WILHOIT253,254, b. 1741, Orange Co. Va.; d. 1795, Washington Co. Tn.; m. ELIZABETH SHIRLEY, 1762; b. Abt. 1742.
  5. MARY WILHOIT, b. 1743, Orange Co. Va.; d. WFT Est. 1782-1838.

ADAM (WILHITE)6 WILLHEIT (JOHANN MICHAEL (WILHOIT/WILHITE)5, HANS MICHAEL4, JOHANN GEORGE3, JERG (GEORG)2, GERG1 WILLERT)255,256 was born Abt. 1719 in Spottsylvania, Virginia, and died July 21, 1763 in Culpeper, Virginia257,258.  He married CATHERINE BROYLE259,260,261,262,263 Abt. 1738 in Orange, Virginia, daughter of JOHN BROYLES (Johannes BREYHEL) and Ursula RUOP.  She was born Abt. 1720 in Spotsylvania, Virginia264,265.


  1. JOHN7 WILHITE266, d. 1814, Jefferson, Kentucky.
  2. MICHAEL WILHITE266, d. Abt. 1805, Madison, Virginia.
  4. GEORGE WILHITE266, d. Abt. 1840.
  5. MARY WILHITE266, b. Abt. 1739.

MATHIAS (WILHITE)6 WILLHEIT (JOHANN MICHAEL (WILHOIT/WILHITE)5, HANS MICHAEL4, JOHANN GEORGE3, JERG (GEORG)2, GERG1 WILLERT)267,268 was born Abt. 1723 in Spotsylvania, Va., and died WFT Est. 1738-1811269,270.  He married (1) MARY BALLENGER271,272 Abt. 1741 in Culpepper, Va..  She was born Abt. 1725 in Va., and died Abt. 1772 in Culpeper, Va..  He married (2) HANNAH ? WILHITE Abt. 1744.  She was born Abt. 1725.


  1. JOHN7 WILHITE, b. Abt. 1742, Culpepper, Va.; d. Abt. 1833; m. LACY STAPP; b. Abt. 1744.
  2. MATHIAS WILHITE, b. Abt. 1743.
  3. CATHERIN WILHITE, b. Abt. 1747, Va..
  4. TOBIAS WILHITE, b. October 15, 1750; d. Abt. 1839.


(This page contains Generations 5 through 6.)

Terry and George would like very much to hear from readers of these Jerg WILLHEIT 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 Terry's History pages, and about spelling, punctuation, format, etc.  Just click here to send us your message.  Thank You!

There are many Mailing Lists (also known as Discussion Lists or Discussion Groups) at Rootsweb, dealing with the GERMANNA_COLONIES and the immigrant families of these Colonies.  I, George W. Durman (AKA SgtGeorge, and the webmaster of this web site), manage five such Lists: BRILES, BROYLES, WILHITE, WILHOIT, & GERMANNA_COLONIES.

It is difficult to conduct research on ANY of the Germanna families without also conducting research on most of the others, due to their many inter-family marriages, both in Germany before immigration, and in America after their arrival in Virginia.  This pattern of inter-family marriages between various Germanna Families continued for many generations, even down to the middle of this century, and perhaps, to today.  Therefore, if you are researching ANY Germanna family, it behooves you to make queries to all the Mailing Lists for Germanna families, as you may find important data from researchers of families other than your main research area.

The above referenced Lists are open to all subscribers for the broadcast of their messages.  We urge more of you to make the Lists research tools for answering your questions, or for summarizing your findings, on any subject concerning the Germanna Colonies of Virginia.

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(Jerg WILLHEIT History, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Terry HATFIELD.)

(GERMANNA History Notes, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 John BLANKENBAKER.)

(GERMANNA History Web Pages & Jerg WILLHEIT History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 George W. DURMAN.)

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

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                  Page 04 - Footnotes.

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