GERMANNA History Notes Page #027

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This is the TWENTY-SEVENTH 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 651 through 675.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 27

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Nr. 651:

At the start of the half-centuries in these notes, it is customary to expand upon their philosophy.  First, the framework in which they are placed is the Germanna Colonies "Mailing List", a means of communication among people about their common interest, the people of Germanna.  This list exists primarily for the purpose of asking and answering questions by all of the subscribers.  Thus, the list is for the mutual exchange of information.

A harder subject to define is the question of what constitutes a Germanna citizen.  If we set out to enumerate the individuals, we might never end the listing.  Certainly we could never end it with any certainty.  In "Beyond Germanna", we have had the first part of a two-part article on the Burdyne/Burdine family.  Apparently Richard Burdyne was the first male member of the family at Germanna, and his wife was Catherine Tanner, a young German lady.  They lived in the area we associate with Germanna families so we have a Germanna family here.  A story that is unfolding in "Beyond Germanna" is the history of Charles Frady who was known in Germany as Karl Wrede.  This "Hessian" soldier decided that life in America was good and he became a part of the Robinson River Valley community.  Nor was he the only one who did a similar thing.  Finding these individuals is not easy because names became Anglicized, or because the marriages are not explicitly given.

Searching for the new individuals who should be added is fun.  It is a delight to me to be able to assist in this process.  It is also a pleasure for me to be able to assist in correcting the history, both the general history and the history of the individuals.  The general history has certainly been told with many errors.  Some of the family histories (all?) are in the need of serious corrections.  (As an example of the later, the recent notes on the Rector family have reported on the new information that has been found in the last ten years or so.)

With such general principles as outlined above, you can understand why I like to interpret Germanna very broadly.  We need help in achieving our objectives.  (Notice that in switching from "I" to "we", I am trying to enlist you.)  One never knows where this help will be found.  So I write about subjects which are very broadly defined, trying to make the notes have a general appeal, besides the specific comments.

When Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood settled some forty-odd Germans at a place he called Germanna (and which retains the name, even today), he had no idea (nor did the Germans) as to the history which would unfold from this locality.  He compounded the possibilities when he imported a ship load of other Germans with which to further his plans.  But the Germans quickly became the dominant factor in setting the future course, independently of his aims.  A very rich history it is too.

Nr. 652:

I return now to John Rector who died in 1742, in Prince William County, VA.  He was the documented father of two children, John and Nathaniel.  He was probably the same as Johannes Richter who arrived in Philadelphia on 23 Sep 1734 (on the ship "Hope") along with 19 other Nassau-Siegen colonists.  Having the name Richter and being from Nassau-Siegen, B.C. Holtzclaw reached the conclusion that, "He was almost certainly a nephew of John Jacob Rector, the 1714 immigrant, but his exact parentage has not yet been determined from the Nassau-Siegen records."

James F. McJohn examined Nassau-Siegen records with a view toward determining the truth or falsity of Holtzclaw's statement.  In short, McJohn concluded that it is impossible, and even improbable, to reach the conclusion of an uncle-nephew relationship.  In fact, he could find no relationship between the two John Rectors.  The birth certificate for the younger John Rector was found without difficulty because of the known age of the man.  He was born 31 Mar 1707 at Siegen, and baptized at the Evangelical Church in Siegen, on 10 Apr 1707.  His father was J�rge Heinrich Richter and his mother was Anna Maria.  The godfather was Johann Jacob Dr�pler, single.

A marriage record for J�rge Richter and Anna Maria Dr�pler was found.  They were married on 20 July 1706.  The groom's father was Christoff Richter, formerly a citizen of Magdeburg, foot soldier in the royal palace guard at Siegen.  The bride's father was Daniel Dr�pler, citizen of Siegen.  The maiden name of Anna Maria and the godfather for Johann Jacob Richter are the same, so the marriage record is most likely for John Rector's parents.

J�rge Richter, married 20 July 1706, has not been identified as related to the 1714 Richter, Johann Jacob.  Since J�rge Richter's father was born in Magdeburg, and J�rge Richter himself may have been born there, very positive evidence would be needed to assert that the two Rector branches were related.  Holtzclaw's conclusion was based on the similarity of names, but the dates and occupations do not agree.  Until more evidence is found, the two Rector branches should be regarded as independent.  The name Richter is a common name in Germany and might be likened to "Smith".  We should be hesitant to say two Smith men were related until we had positive evidence of a relationship.

Anna Maria Dripler was born in 1685, an exact date not recorded, at Siegen and was baptized at the Evangelical Church in Siegen on 13 Dec 1685.  Her father was Daniel Dripler and her mother was Anna Barba.  The godmother was Anna Maria, daughter of Herman Dr�pler.

Mr. McJohn gives credit to William H. Rector for assistance in this research.

Nr. 653:

[Forgive my absence from these notes for the past few days.  Every couple of years or so, my back will "give out" and I have to take the bed rest cure with a heavy emphasis on the "rest".]

We have just about finished with Rector corrections.  We had decided that John and Harmon, Jr., were sons of Harmon, Sr., and we decided that Uriah and Maximilian belonged to John (John, Hans Jacob).  Harmon, Sr., used the phrase, "my three sons", in his will.  Some people had believed that this meant he had three and only three sons.  Others took it to mean that out of all of his sons he was specifying a subgroup of three without naming them.  This required the assumption that Harmon was expecting his executors to know which three sons he had in mind.  John Alcock, in his analysis, assumed that the meaning was what most of us would assume, namely he had three and only three sons.

John looked at all of the individuals who had a possible claim (and this was before the true parentage of Uriah and Maximilian was found), and concluded that Henry, the younger, was the third son besides Harmon, Jr., and John.  His claims, even though circumstantial, were better than any other candidate.  There were Daniel Rectors in the community whose identity and placement were uncertain, but nothing hinted at their placement with Harmon, Sr.  Henry had traditionally been assigned to Harmon, Sr.

John McJohn made another correction to the Rector history.  First, he observed that B.C. Holtzclaw, in Germanna Record 4 had assigned Lucinda Rector to either Moses Rector or William Rector.  In Germanna Record 5, he assigned Lucinda to William, but only as a probability, not a certainty.  McJohn found that Lucinda was the daughter of Joel Rector.  His evidence was quite good as the heirs of Joel Rector, on 15 Dec 1845, agreed to sell a parcel of land (this being in Campbell Co., KY).  Among the sellers were Daniel Moffett and his wife Lucinda Rector of the county of Edgar in Illinois.  A marriage record for Lucinda and Daniel is to be found in Fauquier Co., VA, on 24 Mar 1817.  A source of information about Joel Rector and his daughter Lucinda is the book by Thomas Woodyard, "A Hanna-Moffett Sims-Hybarger History", printed at Riverton, Wyoming in 1980.

Nr. 654:

I would like to give thanks to all of the people who have contributed to the Rector research that I have been writing about.  It all started with John Gott who rummaged around in the loose papers and found material that had been forgotten.  This showed that what had been accepted truth was, in fact, false.  This is the first step in improving any theory.  Find and highlight the flaws and don't cover them up.

Before the problem was solved, it grew more complex.  Barbara Vines Little found there was another John Rector who needed a home.  The records that Barbara used were all public information that was available to all.  No one had ever put it together and come up with the correct answer until she did so.

John Alcock located where this "newly found" John Rector should be placed, which only compounded a problem as to who Harman Rector, Sr.'s, sons were.

Through the years, Tommie Brittain had been asking questions, gathering data, and hoping to place her Uriah Rector.  She had been led down a false path by B. C. Holtzclaw but her problem was eventually solved by John Alcock who found the necessary information in the records.

Meanwhile, James McJohn, with the assistance of William H. Rector, found that an assumed relationship was not supported by the records. He also found the correct placement for Lucinda Rector.

My role in this was to provide a place where the information could be published and made available to the public.  As a result it is now stored in major libraries throughout the nation.  In these notes I have given the highlights of the information but generally there is more detail in the printed format than has been given here.  The full set of information, in the court case that John Gott found, is available from me for the cost of mailing, i.e., an SASE (business size with 55 cents of postage).

NOW, in all of this there is a lesson for researchers of all families.  One should never be complacent about the history that is given to you.  Many major researchers worked on the Rector history prior to the research that I have recently outlined.  There were some major mistakes yet it looked good on the surface.  It should humble us to realize how incomplete is our data, and how insecure are the conclusions that we draw from.  More effort should be devoted to improving the quality of our information rather than the quantity of it.

Nr. 655:

The record of vessels arriving at Philadelphia in the eighteenth century shows a variety.  Here are a few:

The ship Pink John and William, 170 passengers, 17 Oct 1732.
The ship Samuel, 291 passengers, 17 Aug 1733.
The ship Eliza, 190 passengers, 27 Aug 1733.
The ship Hope, 389 passengers, 28 Aug 1733.
The brigantine Pennsylvania Merchant, 191 passengers, 18 Sep 1733.
The ship Pink Mary, 171 passengers, 29 Sep 1733.
The brig Mary, 41 passengers, 28 Jun 1735.
The ship Billander Oliver (from South Carolina), 45 passengers, 26 Aug 1735.

This is a sample taken from Rupp's "Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants".  Vessels fell into categories such as bilander, brigantine (brig), pink, schooner, ship, sloop, or snow, not all of which are represented in the sample above.  The phrases such as ship Pink or ship Billander, used above, should be considered as a redundancy.  More properly it would be the pink "John and William" and the bilander "Oliver".  The word Pink or the word Billander (Bilander) is not a part of the name of the vessel but is the type of vessel.  One type of vessel is "ship".

The construction of the vessel, or how it is built, especially the sail configuration, defines the type of vessel that it is.  Specifically, the word ship defines a large seagoing vessel with a bowsprit and three (sometimes more) masts which carry square sails.  This is probably the image that most of us have when we think of early sailing ships.  But not all vessels were of this construction.

The bilander, such as the infamous Oliver, was a small two-masted vessel, having a lateen mainsail.  A lateen sail is triangular and used with a spar at right angles to the mainmast.  This type of sail is often seen on racing yachts.  The bilander design was intended for coastal work (note the Oliver above came from South Carolina).  In 1738, the Oliver was used in transatlantic work, and, on its voyage to Virginia, was greatly overloaded.  It was wrecked off the coast of Virginia with the loss of many lives that would have augmented the First Germanna Colony.

The brigantine or brig was another two-masted vessel, square-rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged on the mainmast.  The pink had a hull which was pointed or pinched at the stern.  It could be rigged or equipped with a variety of sail configurations.  Sloops had a single mast, which was rigged fore-and-aft with a jib at the bow.  Basically, this is a modern sporting configuration.  The snow was two-masted.

As shown above, the vessels properly called ships carried the most passengers.  The pinks, snows, and bilanders generally carried fewer people as they were smaller.

If a reader has more of a nautical bent than I do, please join in and amplify upon the descriptions.

Nr. 656:

Before leaving the topic of ships, let's make some general observations.

Even in the small sample given in the last note, one can see the seasonal nature of the Palatine shipping season.  If I speak of the Palatines (Germans) as freight, that was exactly how the shippers thought of them.  The Palatine shipping season commenced about May or June at Rotterdam.  The first of the ships would be leaving then and, after a stop in England (required by the navigation laws), would proceed on to America, usually to Philadelphia.  Ten weeks on the high seas was typical.  The early ships would start arriving at Philadelphia in August, but September and October saw more ships.  Beyond this time, the ships were usually considered late.  The ship Oliver, though it had an early start from Rotterdam in 1738, did not arrive in American waters (off Virginia) until after January 1.

Besides conceiving how slow ship travel was across the Atlantic, we cannot easily imagine how small the ships were.  Very typically there were in the category of a few to several hundred tons in rating.  For the following discussion we will take a ship of 400 tons.  (There are many methods of rating ships by tonnages and I am not sure what system the ratings of the eighteenth century were based on.)

The displacement tonnage is the weight of the water which the ship displaces.  What volume of water weighs 400 tons? Four hundred tons is 800,000 pounds.  Putting this into metric terms, it would be about 364,000 kilograms.  And one kilogram of water takes one liter (as in a one liter bottle of soda).  I will say, for these rough calculations, that one liter is equal to one quart.  This displacement means the ship displaces about 90,000 gallons of water.  I seem to remember from days long past that a cubic foot of water is about seven gallons of water.  So we are talking about 13,000 cubic feet of water.  How much space is this? It is a volume about 23 feet by 23 feet by 23 feet.  This is not a lot, but this is the space below the water line.  Much of the volume of a ship is above the water line.  In fact, what one sees looking at a picture of a ship is the space above the water line.

Another way of rating passenger ships is one hundred cubic feet per ton.  So, for our assumed ship of 400 tons, the space inside the ship (below the decks) is 40,000 cubic feet.  This is a space about 33 feet by 33 feet by 33 feet.  To understand this better, a house with a floor plan of 2,000 square feet with 8 foot ceilings contains 16,000 cubic feet.  So our ship of 400 tons might have an interior space that is about equal to two and a half homes.  In this space the shippers might place 250 people (or more), with their goods, and the food to feed them for ten weeks.  This would be about 100 people per "home".

Do you want to go to America?

Nr. 657:

In the Robinson River Valley of present day Madison County, Virginia, there were two families of the early eighteenth century who are often confused.  The German name of both families was Zimmermann.  The first to arrive in Virginia, in 1717, was Christoph Zimmermann, and he and his descendants kept the name Zimmerman.  A few years later, Wilhelm and Johann Zimmermann came.  Whether to distinguish themselves from the earlier family, or whether they wished to adopt English customs and name, is not clear, but they almost immediately took up the name of Carpenter in lieu of Zimmermann.  In the civil records, I believe they are were always referred to as Carpenter.  The confusion arises because down at the German church the records were often kept with the German version of the name, not the anglicized version of the name.  Thus, the Carpenter family at the church is sometimes called Zimmermann but not always.  Sometimes they are Carpenters and this has been the source of confusion.  One has to study the records for a while to learn the first names that distinguish them.  Even experts such as B. C. Holtzclaw have confused the two and called some of the Carpenters "Zimmermans".

I will discuss the Zimmerman family for a few notes.  They did drop the second "n" but otherwise they kept the German name.  Strangely enough, one part of this family, with the German version of the name, was among the first to adopt the English language, customs, and religion.  This came about because the immigrant patriarch, Christopher, did not live in the Robinson River Valley, but lived southeast of Mt. Pony, with only a few other Germans in the neighborhood.  When surrounded by English neighbors, German families usually adopted English customs very quickly.  As an example, within ten years of settling in the Mt. Pony area, one of the Germans was a Lt. in the militia.

One part of this family moved from the Mt. Pony area to the Robinson River Valley.  Members of this branch appear in the Evangelical German Church records, i.e., the "Dutch" church now known as Hebron Lutheran Church.  This branch is headed by John Zimmerman, the son of Christopher.  Why should this physical separation have come about?  It perhaps originated with the fact that John, the eldest child, was a son of the first wife, while his siblings had a different mother.  There is no evidence, other than the physical separation, that there may have been some strong feelings.  Maybe John did not wish to adopt the English ways and wanted an environment that was more German.

The source of the Zimmerman family in Germany is known.  When one looks in the records there, it is found that they had immigrated to Germany from Switzerland.  (Several of our Germanna families have a connection to Switzerland as they moved from there after the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648.)

Nr. 658:

In studying the Rector family, we saw that the history had to be revised when more evidence was discovered.  There is a similar situation with the Zimmerman family, about whom B. C. Holtzclaw wrote in "Germanna Record Six" (about four pages).  [He left later notes and admitted that identifying John Zimmerman and wife Susanna with the Zimmerman family was a mistake; he was a member of the Carpenter family.]  In these later notes, he wrote that Christopher Zimmermann was born in Germany about 1685-90 and came to America in 1717 with his wife Elizabeth and two sons, John and Andrew.  Without information from Germany, these suppositions or guesses were very good.  But, when the German information became available, some modifications were necessary.  Like John Rector, Christopher Zimmerman was married twice, and Elizabeth (actually Anna Elisabetha) was his second wife.  John was the son of the first wife and Andrew was the son of the second wife.  [Again, this is a lesson for us about the probability that our information is correct.]

The son John, when he was naturalized, said that he was born in a place in Germany which has since been identified as Sulzfeld.  German locality spellings, especially as written by an English clerk in the eighteenth century, are sometimes a problem to match with the current names.  The problem is compounded by many similar names in a German atlas.

Margaret James Squires was able to identify the village and she examined the church records.

She found that Hans Christoph Zimmermann had been born there on 16 Mar 1692.

His parents were Christian Zimmermann and Eva D�nster (or D�nstler) of "Langenbruck," the daughter of Michael D�nster.

Christian Zimmerman was born (more exactly, christened) 30 Dec 1669 in Sulzfeld.

Eva D�nster was born about 1662.

They were married 28 Jan 1688 at Sulzfeld.

They were the parents of four children.

Johann Georg was born 23 Apr 1688 and he died two weeks later on 8 May.

Johann Conrad was born 22 Jan 1690 and he lived until 18 Apr 1700, not long past his tenth birthday.

Then came (16 Mar 1692) Johann (Hans) Christoph, the Virginia immigrant.

A girl, Maria Eva, was born and christened on 15 May 1697.  No further records appear for her and the christening on the day of birth may indicate that she was not expected to live.

The mother, Eva D�nstler Zimmermann, died six months later on 15 Feb 1698.  Christian Zimmermann was a widower at 28 years of age with two young sons.

He married, later in the year on 22 Nov 1698, Maria Barbara Edel.

Christian died 22 May 1735 at 75 years of age.  (This does not compute correctly.)  [I have no information about Maria Barbara Edel or any family that she and Christian may have had.]

The ancestry of Christian can be carried back for two generations and I will do that before following the life of Christopher, the Virginia immigrant.

Nr. 659:

Christian Zimmermann's father was another Christian, so we will use the designation of Junior and Senior though the German records do not make this distinction.

Christian, Jr. was the father of Christopher, the 1717 Virginia immigrant.

Christian Zimmermann, Sr., married Maria Schuchter on 25 Jan 1669 in Sulzfeld.

Christian, Sr.'s father was Michael, and his mother was Benedicta unknown.

Maria Schuchter's father was Johann (Hans) Schuchter, and her mother was Maria unknown.

Maria Schuchter, the wife of Christian Zimmermann, Sr., was born 21 May 1648.  She lived until 13 Aug 1708, when she died at the age of 60 years and two months.

Christian, Sr. lived until 26 Mar 1703, but we do not know his birthdate.

Christian, Sr. and Maria were the parents of nine children:

1. Christianus, b. and chr. 30 Dec 1669. (This is our Christian, Jr.),
2. Johann Petrus, chr. 24 Dec 1672, d. 1 Apr 1673 at 13 weeks,
3. Anna Maria, b. 9 Mar 1674, chr. on the 10th, d. 15 Jan 1675,
4. Anna Margretha, b. 29 Oct 1677, nfi,
5. Anna Catharina, b. and chr. 10 Mar 1680, d. 25 Jun 1685,
6. Jacob, b. and chr. 26 Nov 1682, d. 27 Nov 1682, bur. 28 Nov 1682,
7. Johannes Andreas, b. 4 Nov 1683, nfi,
8. A boy, b. and d. 14 Feb 1686,
9. Andreas, chr. 6 Feb 1687, d. 25 Feb 1691, b. 26 Feb 1691.

Of the nine children, only one lived past five years of age (assuming that the nfi probably means death occurred).  That was Christian, Jr., the father of the Virginia immigrant, Christopher.  This case, in an extreme way, shows how bad infant mortality could be.

Michael Zimmermann, the great-grandfather of Christopher, was born in Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland in the year 1607.  It was he who emigrated from Switzerland to Germany.  He had married Bendicta (unknown), who died on 4 Oct 1665 at Sulzfeld.  On the next 1 May, he married Elisabetha Albrecht (she was the widow of Hanns Lehemann).  Michael had immigrated rather early in life from Switzerland to Germany because his first child, Johannes, was born in Sulzfeld in 1636.  (Johannes married Regina Wegmon or Wegmann.)  Several children probably followed Johannes before Christian (Sr.) was born but we have no record of them.  Christian had at least one younger brother, Michael, who married Maria Spengler.

It is surprising to me that Michael moved to Sulzfeld in the period of 1607 to 1636 (his birth to his son's birth), because the Thirty Years' War went on from 1618 to 1648.  This was a most unsettled period in Germany and it would hardly have been an inviting time to move.  It could be that the move was made by Michael's father in the period 1607 to 1618.

All of this Zimmermann history is fascinating to me because it is contemporaneous with major events in European history.  Another reason is that many of the surnames that one reads in the Zimmermann history occur in the Germanna history.  Were they accidents or were they deliberate?

Nr. 660:

We have encountered a few names connected with the Zimmermann family in Germany that appear in the Germanna community.  The name Wegman is not known well in the Germanna community, and, when it does occur, it is often confused with Wayman.  In Germany, the first born son (Johannes) of Michael Zimmermann, the immigrant from Switzerland to Germany, married Regina Wegmon or Wegmann.

Michael himself, as his second wife, married Elisabetha Albrecht.  Albrecht is a common name.  The only reason for perhaps taking note of the name is that Christoph von Graffenried hired Johann Justus Albrecht to recruit miners.  Graffenried was a citizen of Bern, the general region of Switzerland from which Michael Zimmermann came.

The grandfather of the Virginia immigrant, Christopher, was Christian (Sr.), who married Maria Schuchter.  Anna Barbara Sch�n, whose first husband was a Blankenb�hler, married, as her second husband, Johann Jacob Schluchter.  Now the difference between Schucter and Schlucter is not much, just one letter, which might almost be considered redundant.  It is interesting to note the physical distance between Sulzfeld (church of the Zimmermanns) and Neuenb�rg (home of the Blankenb�hlers).  One could walk between the villages before breakfast (the actual distance is about eight miles).  One thing that makes this thought worth considering is that the eldest son of the immigrant Christopher Zimmerman married Ursula Blankenbaker in Virginia.  Was there a connection in Germany?  Did the Zimmerman and Blankenbaker families know each in Germany?

There is another name in the Zimmermann history that appears in the Germanna community much later.  That is the name Lehman (as it usually appeared in the Germanna community), and the name Lehemann in Sulzfeld.  Michael Zimmermann's second wife was the widow of Hanns Lehemann.  The Germanna Lehman is considered by his family to be a descendant of Swiss Anabaptists.

In Sulzfeld, there is at least one family name other than Zimmerman which appears in Virginia.  That is the Kappler family, known by a variety of spellings in America, but in the earliest days was most often Kabler (later Keebler?).  The Kabler and Zimmerman families were neighbors in the Mt. Pony area and both were called coopers at least once.  Both came from Sulzfeld.

The eldest child in the second family of Christopher Zimmerman (immigrant to Virginia) was Johann Martin.  At his baptism, one of the witnesses was Ludwig Fischer (or Lewis Fisher as we would spell it).  Now the Ludwig Fischer in Germany would be too old to be the Lewis Fisher who married Anna Barbara Blankenbaker in Virginia, but were they related?

Nr. 661:

The name of the village from whence came the Virginia immigrant, Christopher Zimmerman, has been given here as Sulzfeld which is the spelling that I see on modern maps.  Through history, it has had other spellings such as Sultzfeld and S�lzfeld.

Christoph was born 16 May 1692 in Sulzfeld, and before he was grown he had experienced death many times in the Zimmermann family.  When he was barely past his eighteenth birthday, he married Dorothea Rottle who was a few years older than he.  Their first child was Johannes, born 11 Apr 1711.  He was an immigrant to Virginia.  A second child in 1713 was stillborn, and the first wife, Dorothea, died 16 Jan 1714.

Christoph married again in 1714, to Anna Elisabetha (surname unknown).  Nothing more than her given names are known.  They were the parents of seven children:

The first was born in Sulzfeld;

The second appears to have been born enroute to Virginia;

The other five were born in Virginia;

The first of the seven, Johann Martin, died very young.  It was this child who had a Ludwig Fischer as a sponsor.

The other children were:

Andrew (born enroute, apparently);
Elizabeth, and,

As the family arrived in Virginia, there was Christopher; Anna Elizabeth; John, who was now six; and Andrew, who was less than a year.

Christopher was not sued by Alexander Spotswood (as were most of the other 1717 immigrants), but we do know he came in 1717 because he gave this date in his naturalization.  He did have a land patent for 400 acres at an early date, and he added other land patents within a few years.  Christopher was one of a few Germans who chose to live in the Mt. Pony area, actually a few miles to the southeast of the Mt. Pony area, on Potato Run.  This was at a considerable distance from the Robinson River Valley, where the majority of the Second Colony moved.

A neighbor of Christopher was Frederick Kabler, who was also from Sulzfeld.  Each of the men appears in the records as a cooper.  The choice of Mt. Pony as a home may have been influenced by the trees used in barrel making.  But, perhaps more likely, they were closer to their markets for the casks.  Virginia needed tens of thousands of barrels, or casks, each year to ship tobacco back to England.  Living and working in the Mt. Pony area put them at least twenty-five miles closer to the market for their products (than the Robinson River Valley would have).

Christopher was a Lieutenant in the militia in 1735 and 1742, showing that he adapted to his English neighbors very quickly.  His will, dated 30 Nov 1748, and probated the next spring, mentions his wife, Elizabeth, and his six children, Christopher, Jr., John, Barbara Ziegler, Frederick, Elizabeth, and Catherine.  The last two girls were unmarried.  Andrew, or descendants of Andrew, are not mentioned.

Nr. 662:

John Zimmerman, the eldest son of Christopher Zimmerman, was six years old when he came to Virginia in 1717.  He obtained his first land patent in 1735 when he was 24 years old.  Whereas his father lived in the Mt. Pony area, John took his land, 400 acres, in the Robinson River Valley.  This was about twenty miles west of his father.

John married Ursula Blankenbaker, the daughter of John Nicholas Blankenbaker.  From the record of people imported by Spotswood in 1717, we know that, in 1717, John Nicholas and Apollonia were not yet the parents of Ursula.  Whether Ursula or the land came first for John, we do not know.  Probably the land was first.  With John's acquisiton of the land in 1735, and with Ursula just up the road, the union probably came not long after this date.  John was aggressive in his land acquisitions, and he had, in the end, more than 1700 acres.  (John Hoffman, his immediate neighbor to the south, was even more aggressive as he acquired about 3500 acres, but Hoffman had a very large family.)

Thus, John moved from a community, which was definitely English, to a community which was definitely German.  This may have been his reason for moving.  Maybe he liked the women better.  Possibly, he was not on the best of terms with his stepmother and had moved out of the home earlier.

John was naturalized in 1743 with several other Germanna settlers.  He died in 1796 or 1797, when he was about 85 years of age.  In 1759, he and Ursula gave 200 acres of land to their son, John.  This was a pattern that continued.  The parents gave 150 acres to Margaret Zimmerman; 200 acres to their daughter, Dorothy Tanner, and her husband Jacob; 150 acres to their son Christopher; 150 acres to their daughter, Mary Zimmerman; 300 acres to their daughter, Rosanna Zimmerman; and 200 acres to their daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband Joseph Holtzclaw.  Thus, he and Ursula were generous in giving away their land before death, even unto the unmarried daughters.

The children of John Zimmerman and Ursula Blankenbaker were:

  1. John.  He was probably born about 1736-38, as his son seemed to be of age by 1779.
  2. Dorothy.  Perhaps she was born about 1740 or shortly thereafter.  She married Jacob Tanner.
  3. Elizabeth.  She became the second wife of Joseph Holtzclaw.
  4. Christopher.  He was born in the mid-1740's, as his child was born in 1769.
  5. Mary.  She seems to have never married.
  6. Margaret.  Though some people say she married Jacob Lipp, there are reasons, based on age, to doubt this.
  7. Rosanna.  She married Moses Samuel 16 Oct 1788.

Nr. 663:

The immigrant Christopher Zimmerman came to Virginia with his eldest son, John, (and his second wife Anna Elizabeth, and their son, Andrew).  John married Ursula Blankenbaker and their seven children were given in the last note.  The eldest of these seven children was another John who was married three times.  The first wife was Katharine (surname unknown); the second was Elizabeth Fewell; and the third was Jemima Rivercomb.  I am not sure how the wives are to be associated with the following thirteen children, of whom John was the father.  The children, in the order in which they are mentioned in John's will, are:

  1. Michael, born about 1757, married, first, Sarah (surname unknown), and then Elizabeth Huffman, on 28 Apr 1791.  She, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Michael, son of John Huffman, the 1714 colonist.  Michael is on the Culpeper/Madison tax lists until 1795, and then he disappears; however, he is mentioned in his father's 1812 will.
  2. Elizabeth, married William Panagar or Pennager.
  3. Margaret is sometimes not given a husband, but I have wondered if this was the Margaret (instead of her aunt Margaret) who may have married a Lipp.
  4. Reuben married Elizabeth Ziegler, who was perhaps his cousin (once removed).  Reuben is hard to distinguish from his older cousin (once removed), who was the son of Frederick.
  5. Nancy married Leonard Ziegler but she appeared in her father's will as Nancy Zimmerman.
  6. Jemima was confirmed at age 16 in 1782, but she does not appear in her father's will.
  7. Sarah married Mr. Scott, and she was dead by 1812, leaving four children:

    1. Henry,
    2. Catherine,
    3. Nancy, and
    4. Mary Scott.

  8. Susannah may have married James Ziegler, but some say she married James Brown.
  9. Mary.
  10. Catherine.
  11. Lucy married James Fewell.
  12. Eleanor (Nelly) married George Chilton 6 Feb 1807 in Culpeper Co.
  13. Mildred married Thomas Sutton 23 Feb 1803 in Culpeper Co.

Starting with John the father, and continuing with the children, one sees that there were several marriages outside the German community; however, there was a strong connection to the Zeigler family, whose members generally adopted the spelling of Ziglar.  Many of these Ziglars moved to the South.

The senior John (who married Ursula) had a half sister, Barbara, who married Leonard Zeigler.  Thus, it would be desirable to study the Zeigler family, but first we will discuss the other son of John and Ursula, Christopher, who was named for his grandfather.

Nr. 664:

The eldest son, John, of the immigrant Christopher Zimmerman, married Ursula Blankenbaker, and had two sons, John and Christopher.  Young Christopher was probably born about 1746, and he married Mary Tanner.  Christopher was very active in the Hebron church and when many members of the church moved to Boone Co., Kentucky, he and Mary joined them, though they were not in the first wave of emigrants.  Mary was the daughter of Christopher Tanner, and the granddaughter of the immigrant Robert.  The births of the children of Christopher and Mary are recorded at the Hebron Church.

  1. Susanna, b. 7 May 1769, m. 8 Dec 1789, in Culpeper Co., VA, Michael House, who was born in 1763 or 1764, as he was confirmed at 18 in 1782.  Susanna and Michael continued to live in Virginia and they had eleven children.

  2. Joshua, b. 22 Aug 1771, m.1 Susan Tanner, 13 Feb 1798; m.2 Lucy Snyder, widow, 5 Sep 1844.  No children are known for Joshua.

  3. Elizabeth, b. 1 Nov 1773, m. George Rouse, 29 Jul 1794.  They moved to Boone Co., KY.  Nine children, see Rouse genealogies.

  4. Frederick, b. 30 Nov 1775, d. 28 Feb 1833, in Boone Co., m. Rosanna Crigler, 17 Dec 1801.  Nine children, see Rouse genealogies.

  5. Mary, b. 14 Apr 1778, d. 1857, m. Lewis Crisler, in Boone Co., KY, and moved to Shelby Co., IN.  Their seven children appear in Rouse and the Garr genealogies.

  6. Nancy, b. 14 Jan 1780, d. 22 Jun 1866, in Boone Co. m. John Rouse, 16 Feb 1804.  Their eight children are shown in Rouse genealogies.

  7. Margaret, b. 1 Aug 1782, m. John Beemon, moved to Boone Co., KY.  Six children.

  8. Leah, b. 16 Apr 1786, m. John Crisler, 14 Jan 1811, in Boone Co., KY.  John was the brother of Lewis, who married Mary.  As did Lewis and Mary, John and Leah moved to Indiana to Randolph Co.  Five children.

  9. Milly, b. 14 Jun 1788, m. Carter Taylor, 31 Dec 1807, and moved west.

With the exception of Milly, all of the children married Germanna descendants, and often good information exists about their descendants.

Nr. 665:

A family which became closely associated with the Zimmermans was the Zieglers, who often became Ziglars in some of the later generations.  It is believed that the Germanna family entered the colonies at Philadelphia in 1732, in the person of Johann Leonhart Ziegler.  He moved to Virginia and became the husband of Barbara Zimmerman, the daughter of the immigrant Christopher Zimmerman.  He lived in the Mt. Pony area, where he had land on Stoney Run, adjacent to Frederick Zimmerman, son of Christopher Zimmerman.

Johann Leonhart Ziegler died as a younger man, age 46, in Culpeper Co., VA, where his will is recorded in Will Book A for 1757.  Children who are mentioned are Christopher, Leonard (Jr.), Elizabeth, Ann, and Susanna.  One of the appraisers of his estate was Nicholas Kabbler, another Mt. Pony neighbor.

Leonard, Jr., also died as a young man, in 1772, and his will, not mentioning children, leaves all of his estate to his wife Ann.  A Revolutionary War application (W 4107) exists on behalf of Leonard Ziglar (or his widow), who was born 2 Jul 1762.  Presumably this was Leonard III.  Leonard III married, 1783/4, Nancy Zimmerman, born 3 Jan 1766, the daughter of John.  This John was the son of John who was the son of the immigrant Christopher.

John Zimmerman, the father of Nancy, lived in the Robinson River area, whereas the Ziglars lived in the Mt. Pony area.  I had suggested that the physical separation between the branches of the Zimmermans might have been due to son-step mother dissension; however, the marriage of Nancy, from the Robinson River community, with Leonard Ziglar, in the Mt. Pony, area suggests that the Zimmermans did maintain contact.

In 1787, Leonard (III) and Nancy moved to Surry Co., NC.  The area later became Stokes Co., in 1789, and Forsyth Co., in 1849.  Leonard and Nancy had fourteen children:

  1. Elizabeth,
  2. John
  3. Anna,
  4. Christopher,
  5. William,
  6. Leonard (IV),
  7. Susanna,
  8. Mary,
  9. Reuben,
  10. Michael,
  11. James,
  12. Daniel, and
  13. Benjamin.

     This is only thirteen children and my notes say that the fourteenth child was named Zimmerman, an unusual first name.

A Johann Leonhardt Ziegler, of Sinsheim in Germany, was denied permission to emigrate in 1750.  The relationship of these two individuals of the same name is not clear, but it would appear that the origins of the family have been found.  It was from the same area that the Pinnegar (Benninger) family originated.  They were associated with the Zieglers in Virginia.  Thus, research on the Ziglar and Pinnegar families should be directed to the records in the Sinsheim area, which is a good day's walk from Sulzfeld, the home of the Zimmermans.

Nr. 666:

The general framework recently of the discussion has been the Zimmerman family.  We introduced the Ziglar family (as the name developed) which in turn led to the Pinnegar family.  We continue on this detour before returning to the main line on the Zimmermans.  On 12 Aug 1778, Peter Pinnegar purchased 275 acres in the Gourd Vine Fork of the Rappahannock from John Deer, and his wife, Catherine, of Culpeper County, Virginia.  The land had been a part of a grant to Francis Brown in 1749.

Peter Pinegar (Jr.) married Anna Magdalena.  One of their sons was William, Sr., who married Elizabeth Zimmerman, the daughter of John and Ursula (Blankenbaker) Zimmerman.  Another son of Peter was Matthias, Sr.  There was a daughter, Mary, who married Robert Flincham.  The Pinegars moved to Stokes Co., North Carolina, in the company of Finchams, Zimmermans, and Ziglars, where they lived together and intermarried.

The German origins of Peter Benninger (Sr.) of Epfenbach (Kreis Sinsheim) are given in Don Yoder's "Rhineland Emigrants".  Peter was permitted to emigrate in the year 1751 with wife and four children.  In the previous year, the blacksmith, Leonhardt Ziegler of Sinsheim, was denied permission to emigrate to Pennsylvania.  The coupling of the family names in the same locality in Germany, and in Virginia, increases the probability that the families have been identified.  Epfenbach is about fifteen miles north of Gemmingen and Schwaigern, the homes of many Germanna families.  Sinsheim, the town, is only five miles from Gemmingen.

Peter (Jr.) Pinegar's father and mother were Peter Beninger and Anna Christina Ziegler.  This gives us a connection between the Beninger and Ziegler families.  Names in the ancestry of Anna Christina include Sch�tz and Stein.  Peter, Jr., was born in 1735 at Epfenbach, and arrived at Philadelphia on the ship St. Andrew.  He was in Page Co., VA, by 1755.  He died in Stokes Co., NC, in 1794.  Peter's (Jr.) maternal grandfather was the mayor of Epfenbach, but this was only a part-time activity, as he was a farmer.  Peter's great-great-great-grandfather, Michael Stein, was mayor of Spechbach.

The confusion of the letters "P" and "B" shows quite clearly in the Pinegar history.

Nr. 667:

A question about the Zieglers suggests that a review would be desirable.

Johann Leonhart Ziegler was born in 1711 in Germany.

He came in 1732 to Philadelphia at the age of 21.

In the Mt. Pony area of Virginia (in today's Culpeper Co.) he married Barbara Zimmerman, the daughter of Christopher Zimmerman.

Leonard and Barbara had five children:

1.  Christopher, m. Elizabeth _____,
2.  Leonard, m. Ann _____,
3.  Elizabeth who received 200 acres from her mother,
4.  Ann, m. Bohannon Rice, and
5.  Susanna.

Christopher and Elizabeth had perhaps three children:

A.  Leanna, who m., in 1788, Elisha Thomas,
B.  Elizabeth who m., in 1783, Reuben Zimmerman, and
C.  James who married Susanna Zimmerman.

Leonard, Jr., died in 1772, and his will does not mention any children (who were all minors).  Instead he left everything to his wife Ann.  Leonard (Jr.) and Ann had two children who are known:

A.  Leonard (III) b. 1762, who married, in 1783, Nancy Zimmerman, and
B.  Elizabeth, who never married.

Leonard III (or his widow) made a pension application (W4107), in which he says he was born 2 Jul 1762.

He married Nancy Zimmerman, the daughter of John, in 1783/4, and in 1789 moved to Surry Co., NC, to an area which became Stokes and Forsyth.

They had fourteen children:

  1. Elizabeth (b. 1786),
  2. John,
  3. Anna,
  4. Christopher,
  5. William,
  6. Leonard (IV), who married Elizabeth Gates Smith,
  7. Susanna,
  8. Mary,
  9. Reuben,
  10. Michael,
  11. Zimmerman (?),
  12. James,
  13. Daniel, and
  14. Benjamin.
(The latter two had died before 1849.)

In 1851 these people lived in Forsyth County:

Elizabeth Ziglar, b. ca 1765, the sister of Leonard III, never married,
James Ziglar, b. ca 1771, a cousin of Leonard III,
Susanna Ziglar, b. ca 1776, a sister of Nancy, and
Nancy Ziglar, the wife of Leonard III.

In preparing these notes on the Ziglars, I have used work from Margaret James Squires, Gene Dear, and Kathy Sullivan.  The last person was introduced to me accidentally as my wife was attending a talk by Kathy on quilts.  She mentioned some old quilts in her family, giving some names, which my wife brought home to me, and I recognized the family, which led to a short correspondence with Kathy.  Unfortunately, quilts won out over genealogy and there is still a void in documentation for the Ziglar family.  Contributions would be welcomed.

Nr. 668:

In reviewing the Ziglars (Zieglers) in the last note, we were reviewing the Zimmerman family also, for Leonard Ziegler married Barbara Zimmerman.  Her father, Christopher, the immigrant, gave Barbara Ziegler 200 acres of land on 25 Aug 1737.  She was less than twenty years old then, for she was born after the family arrived in Virginia.  Leonard died in 1757, so Barbara was less than forty years old, and she probably did remarry.  She gave 200 acres to her unmarried daughter, Elizabeth, on 16 Nov 1758.  Less than a year later, "Tebald" Fite and Barbara, his wife, deeded 100 acres of land to John Zimmerman, Jr., on 20 Sep 1759.  This was her nephew, son of John of the Robinson River community.  (It might be profitable to study this land transaction in more detail.)

Tebald Fite has not been identified satisfactorily.  The name "Tebald" suggests a German.  "Fite" might be Vite, Wite, or White.  The family, if any, of Tebald and Barbara is unknown.

Another son of the immigrant Christopher was Frederick, who was born perhaps about 1721, probably after Barbara.  The eldest son of Frederick, Reuben Zimmerman, was perhaps born about 1745 to 1750.  Frederick appears in the personal taxes of Culpeper Co. until 1798.  He was freed from levies by 1794.  Deeds show that his wife was Sarah, otherwise unknown.  B.C. Holtzclaw made the comment once that Frederick did not appear in the records of the German Lutheran Church (Hebron) as did his brother John.  He did not realize that the two (half) brothers lived apart from each other.  Frederick was about twenty miles from the church, living in a neighborhood of very few Germans.  He and his full brothers and sisters adopted the culture of the neighborhood, which was English.  Very likely, Frederick's wife Sarah was English.

Frederick did not leave a will, so his family has to be reconstructed from other evidence.  He seems to have had three sons, Reuben who was probably the eldest, Frederick, and Christopher.

Christopher Zimmerman, the immigrant, had a son Christopher who was born about 1725 and died in 1781 as a single man.  The younger Christopher's will left his property to Pollard and Robert Brown, and appointed his friends Thomas and Robert Brown executors.  It was witnessed by Nicholas Kabler, John Brown, and William Kabler.  Christopher had owned land (some at least from his father's original patents) and he deeded some of this away in 1757 and 1776 (on the last date to William Kabler).

Elizabeth, a daughter of Christopher Zimmerman, married James Conner.  On 21 July 1757, James Conner and Elizabeth deeded 102 acres that she had inherited from her father.  The family is unknown at this time.  Elizabeth had a sister Catherine who may have married William Slaughter, but again no family is known.

Nr. 669:

The previous note referenced a land transaction in which Theobald Fite and his wife sold land.  I had suggested in a tentative way that the wife was Barbara Zimmerman who had earlier married Leonard Ziglar.  Craig Kilby sent me information which suggests that Theobald's wife may not have been Barbara.

Barbara had a brother Frederick, and they were children of the immigrant Christopher Zimmerman.  Frederick had a son Frederick.  The grandson Frederick, or more exactly his widow, applied for a pension (W8374) for services during the Revolutionary War.  Frederick served from Culpeper County, Virginia, from January 19, 1779, to June 1, 1780, in the western campaigns, under George Rogers Clark.  Several people from the Germanna community had gone to Kentucky around then.

On 14 Jun 1784, Frederick obtained a Culpeper Co. license to marry Judith Bourn, daughter of Andrew and Jane (Morton) Bourn(e).  They were married by John Leland, a Baptist minister.  During some of the time after marriage, Frederick kept a school.  He moved his young family from Culpeper Co. to Jessamine Co., KY, about 1792.  Several other Culpeper families, including the Finneys, Lowens, and Bourns, may have moved about the same time.  In Kentucky, Frederick is known to have had surveying assignments.

On 10 Dec 1804, Frederick was riding his horse to Lexington when he was thrown and killed.  He was buried the next day in Jessamine Co.  Frederick and Judith had nine children:

  1. Sarah Zimmerman, b. ca 1785, m. Andrew Bourne,
  2. William Zimmerman, b. ca 1787, m. Frances Reed,
  3. Morton Zimmerman, b. ca 1797, m. Mildred Barnett,
  4. Polly Zimmerman, m. John Lessley,
  5. Jane P. Zimmerman, m. Thomas C. Jennings,
  6. Fanny Zimmerman, m. Robert Dinwiddle,
  7. Agustis Zimmerman, m. Betsy Barnett,
  8. Nancy Zimmerman, m. John Coiner, and
  9. Judith Zimmerman, m. Francis H. Combs.

Judith remained unmarried for a few years, then married George Bourn by whom she had one child, who died in infancy.  Judith died 29 Jun 1844 in Jessamine Co., and George died 12 May 1836.

On 25 June 1839, Morton Zimmerman, William Zimmerman, and John Coiner were in Green Co., IL.  In 1855, Sally, William, and Morton were the only living children of Frederick and Judith.  (I have some names for the children of deceased children.)  The information here comes principally from Gene Dear, using the pension application.  Other descendants contributed information to Gene.

We have the larger Zimmerman family, that, within two generations, lived in many different states in the south and west.  Their motives in choosing a state were probably very mixed, and other individuals might have chosen different states.  We have diversity in the United States and it does no good to cast aspersions on someone else's choices.  Rather we should enjoy our differences.

Nr. 670:

The parish of St. Mark's was formed in 1730 from St. George parish.  The latter had been coterminous with the county of Spotsylvania, which meant that it covered the area of present day Spotsylvania, Orange, Greene, Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock counties.  The principal church building was at Germanna, where Alexander Spotswood had decided that the county seat and church would be located.  With Spotswood in residence, and with the courthouse either in his home or nearby, and with the church close by, Germanna was a thriving frontier community.  There was only one problem.  Except for the Germans who lived to the west of Germanna, most of the citizens of the county lived to the east.  That is, the county seat and the church were not centrally located in a colony where attendance at church was compulsory.  In short, Germanna was very inconveniently located for St. George Parish.

When St. Mark's was created it was to consist of the present counties of Orange, Greene, Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock.  The parish of St. George was limited to the area which is now Spotsylvania County.  Germanna fell into the new parish.  In 1735, Orange County was formed and it was made conterminous with St. Mark's, except that the area was extended across the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Shenandoah Valley.  At least briefly, the church at Germanna was the principal church in St. Mark's parish, which was larger in area than the present state of Rhode Island.  (Though this church was built after the First Colony had left Germanna, the Second Colony, for a few years, was located within a few miles.)

Attending church was not easy, so there were subsidiary churches or chapels.  These usually did not have regular ministers, but employed readers, a lay person who read sermons.  There were also Houses of Ease, where attendance fulfilled one's legal obligations for church attendance.

The parish was run by a Board of Vestrymen.  These men, usually twelve, were appointed by the colony to launch the Vestry, but thereafter the board elected its own replacements.  This was a position of honor and one served without pay.  The duties were not all that strenuous, as the Vestry met only a few times each year.  The Vestry was both an agent of the colony and an agent of the church.  Separation of church and state was an idea which would not come to Virginia for another fifty years.  The Vestry had the power of taxation, with the full support of the colony, to raise its monies.  Among its functions, which today we would think of as civil functions, the established church (the Church of England) was to record births and marriages and to take care of the poor.  The Vestry kept minutes of the decisions of the Vestrymen and several books of the minutes have been preserved in Virginia.  A few records of births and marriages have been maintained, but not nearly as many as the minutes.

I have a transcription of St. Mark's Vestry Minute Book and I will use it in making some comments here.

Nr. 671:

In the last note I erred in saying that the first set of Vestrymen were appointed.  They were elected by the citizens.  To be eligible to vote, one had to be, at minimum, a white male, and a person's vote was not secret.  It was posted in a public place so everyone could see for whom you voted.  A voter might have one or two opportunities in a lifetime to vote for Vestrymen.  The only other office for which one could vote were the two Burgesses elected from each county.  These were the legislators who sat in Williamsburg as the General Assembly.

The opening paragraph of the Saint Mark Parish Vestry Book reads:

"Persueance to An Act of the General Assembly holden at Williams Burgh the twenty-first day of May 1730 Intitaled an Act for Dividing the Parish of Saint George in the County of Spotsylvania and that all the other part of the said Parish which lies above the said bounds shall there after be Called and Known by the Name of Saint Mark and according to the said Act the free holders and house keepers of the said Parish of Saint Mark did Meet at the Church at Germanna in their said Parish on the said first day of January and there did Elect and Choose twelve of the most able and Discreet persons of their Parish to be vestry Men for their said Parish (viz) GOODRICH LIGHTFOOT, JAMES BARBER, THOMAS STANTON, HENRY FIELD, ROBERT SLAUGHTER, BENJAMIN CAVE, JOHN FINLASON, ROBERT GREEN, FRANCIS KIRTLEY, FRANCIS SLAUGHTER, SAMUEL BALL, WILLIAM PAYTON haveing taken the oaths appointed by Law and Subscribed to be Conformable to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England Doe Act as vestry Men for the Parish of Saint Mark."

These elected Vestrymen came together on Saturday, January 9, 1730, for the first meeting.  This latter date must be an "old style" date, otherwise the first meeting would have taken place before the parish was created by the Assembly.  At the first meeting, all twelve of the elected Vestrymen met, which was probably the only time that occurred.  One of the first items of business was to elect William Payton as "Clark of the said vestry".  For his work in doing this, he was to be allowed six hundred pounds of tobacco Convenant [?] for his Service.

The next item was to elect Robert Slaughter and Francis Slaughter, Gent., as "Church wardens for the said Parish for the Insueing Year".

Then, William Payton, William Phillips, and John Macmath were approved to continue to be "Readers at the Several Churches and Chapels they formerly read at and that they be paid one thousand pounds of tobacco Casque and Convenuncy Each for this Insueing Year". Signed Robert Slaughter and Francis Slaughter.

Nr. 672:

Some interest was expressed in the form and manner of colonial elections, so I will take a one-day detour from St. Mark's Parish.  The major election in the colony of Virginia was for the members of the House of Burgesses, two from each county.  The actual election was at the courthouse, so that, in the early days of Spotsylvania County, this could mean traveling a considerable distance.  In cases where there was not much excitement about the election, candidates, favored by people living near the courthouse, stood the best chance of election.  Our Germanna people could not vote until they were naturalized.

Daniel J. Boorstin wrote about the elections in his "The Americans: The Colonial Experience", where he described them as a combination of protocol and conviviality.  Debate on the issues seldom occurred.  What counted more was whether the candidate had mingled with the voters.  Or more strongly, the candidate was expected to treat the constituents.  Often this took the form of a drink just prior to the actual voting.  (For twenty-one years, I lived in California, where no campaigning, including signs, was allowed within 500 feet of the polling place.  It was a shock to find campaigning here in Pennsylvania right up to the door of the poll.  One has to run a barrage of signs and people urging a vote for a candidate.)

The actual voting took place in the County Courthouse, or, if the weather was very good, in the yard in front of the Courthouse.  At one table sat the sheriff, the candidates, and the clerks.  (Each candidate could have a clerk of his choosing.)  The voters came up, one at a time, to announce their choices, which were recorded publically, almost like the scores in ball game.  Generally, the totals were displayed throughout the day.  The betting odds would change through the day as the counts changed and shifted.  As each vote was announced, there would be cheers from the supporters of one candidate and boos from the opposition supporters.  The candidate might even rise and bow to the voter who had just cast his vote for him.  A candidate who was behind in the count would have his supporters attempt to find voters who favored him.

The sheriff was the manager of the election.  It was he who decided if a man were entitled to vote.  The sheriff also set the date of the election and the hours of the election.  If the candidate favored by the sheriff was behind, the sheriff could defer the closing in the hopes that more favorable voters could be brought in.

One could vote in multiple counties.  It was permitted, if you owned property in the county where you voted.  A person could run for the Assembly in any county, where he owned property; he did not have to live in the county.  Some of the great names in our history (George Washington, for example) took advantage of their property holdings to choose a county where their prospects were the best.

Nr. 673: The vestry of St. Mark's Parish did not meet after the organizational meeting on 9 Jan 1731 (NS) until New Year's Day, March 25.  (I have not seen any evidence that New Year's Day was a special day in that time.)  The meeting was held at the Fork Chapel, which was across the Rapidan River from Germanna.  The first order of business was to arrange, with a surveyor of Spotsylvania County, to run the dividing line between St. George's Parish and St. Mark's Parish.  For this, he was to receive not more than eight hundred pounds of tobacco.  Then Abraham Chambers was to tar the church at Germanna, using his own supplies, and he was to be paid one thousand pounds of tobacco Convenant.  Also Abraham Chambers was to repair the windows at the Germanna church and to sweep and clean the church.  For doing this until the next parish levy, he was to be paid four hundred and fifty pounds of tobacco.  John Carder was ordered to sweep and clean the Fork Chapel until the next levy, for which he was to be paid one hundred pounds of tobacco.  Mr. Benjamin Cave was ordered to find someone to sweep and clean the Mountain Chapel until the next levy.

All of the compensations for these activities were in tobacco, which was the medium of exchange in Virginia.  One could actually pay in the tobacco itself or one could use warehouse receipts.  (When one took his tobacco to a warehouse, he was given a receipt.  Then, one could sign the receipt over to someone else.)  One of the problems was that the price of tobacco fluctuated.  Within Virginia, this mattered little, but when the tobacco was sold in England, it did make a difference.  Typically, year in and year out, tobacco prices ran about fifteen shillings per hundred weight.  A skilled worker might earn two and one half shillings per day.  The surveyor above was to get eight hundred pounds of tobacco which would be about 120 shillings, or six pounds.  Many of the larger payments mention "Convenant", which I am guessing meant that the tobacco was to be in a cask.  Once the tobacco had been transferred, one had to arrange for its sale.

(The Rev. George Samuel Klug at the German Church was paid in tobacco.  The Moravians record that they missed seeing him on one of their trips through the region because he had gone to Williamsburg to arrange for the sale of his tobacco.)

The vestry met again on May 3, and the major item of business was to arrange the purchase of two hundred acres of land for a glebe.  The land was purchased from John and Mary Ashley, and they were paid fourteen thousand pounds of tobacco (about 105 pounds of money), in two equal payments, one half in the coming year and the other half in the year following.  The glebe was to be a place for the minister to live, and he was expected to provide for some of his needs from this land.  A minor item of business at this same vestry meeting was to discharge John Carder from paying his parish levy.  There were two reasons that were admitted as valid causes, age and infirmities.  The parish levy was distinct from other levies, and remission of the parish levy did not cancel the other levies.

Nr. 674:

All of the early meetings of the St. Mark's Parish were mechanical.  That is, the details of organizing and running the parish were attended to, but nowhere is there any mention of a minister or pastor.  Readers, who were laymen, were hired to read sermons in the chapels.  One of the items which was purchased was a book for parish use, for which they offered to pay 200 pounds of tobacco.  This would be about 28 shillings, at 14 shillings per hundred weight of tobacco.  A carpenter's wages were about two and a half shillings per day so by this measure paper was expensive.

The farm which had been purchased as a glebe was ordered surveyed.  Then came a really big expenditure.  John Hands was ordered to build a glebe house for 25,000 pounds of tobacco, one-half to be paid this year, and one-half the next year.  It was decided to add fifteen acres of land to the two hundred acres of land that had already been purchased.

An important meeting of the vestry was held on 8 Oct 1731 for the purpose of laying the levy.  The general process of doing this was to prepare a budget of the anticipated expenditures.  For capital expenditures such as the glebe house, the cost was divided over two years.  Sometimes, major costs were spread over three years.  The civil authorities supplied the number of tithes in the parish.  The vestry then had to take the total budget for the next year and divide by the number of tithes.  This was how much each tithe had to pay.

Our Germans complained bitterly that they had to pay this tithe even though they made little use of the Church of England.  The Lutherans in the Robinson River Valley felt that they could not pay the tithe to the Church of England and support their own church.  When John Casper St�ver came to the Robinson River, a couple of years after the founding of St. Mark's parish, the Lutherans decided to try fund raising in Europe.  The Virginia Assembly did make exceptions to the Church of England tithes in some periods of time for the Germans who were employing their own minister.

At the October meeting of the St. Mark's Vestry, the Rev. Purit was ordered to be paid six hundred pounds of tobacco, and a cask, for preaching this year at Germanna.  This could only have been a few sermons.  The Rev. Debutts was ordered to be paid 2,769 pounds for nine sermons this year.  It was further ordered that the Rev. Debutts be paid 922 pounds of tobacco for three sermons this year.  It appears that a sermon cost about three hundred pounds of tobacco, or about forty shillings.  Forty shillings would be about two pounds sterling in Virginia currency.

The levy was determined to be thirty-five pounds of tobacco per tithable.  According to the records, there were 704 tithables in the parish.

Nr. 675:

The tax base for St. Mark's Parish consisted of the tithes.  About 1732, there were seven hundred tithes in the parish, which physically covered the area of modern Orange, Greene, Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock Counties.

So, the tithables were not very dense.  A tithe consisted of white males, more than sixteen years of age, and all slaves, male and female, more than sixteen years of age.  If there were 100 slaves more than sixteen in that year, it would leave six hundred white male tithes.  Generally there were as many people below the age of 16 as there were above that age.  Very roughly, put the number of males at twelve hundred and double this for the number of whites.  So perhaps about three thousand people were living in the five county area.

At the start, St. Mark's Parish had the church at Germanna and two chapels, called the Fork Chapel and the Mountain Chapel.  The Fork Chapel was called that because it was between the Rappahannock and the Rapidan Rivers.  Actually, the Mountain Chapel was also, but it was much closer to the mountains.  Going to church could involve many miles of walking.

In this five-county area, the sum total of the coaches was probably zero (the roads were probably not suitable for coaches).  The majority of the households did not have a wagon.  And, if any did own wagons, they were unsprung, so that riding in them was back breaking.  Typically, there were not enough horses for everyone in the family to ride horseback.  Very often, one walked, and perhaps carried one's shoes, so as not to wear them out or get them dirty.  The time is 1730 and the area is very much on the frontier, and the density of people is low.  The only "town" is Germanna, where, beyond a meal and drink, it would be hard to buy anything.

The Vestry of St. Mark's Parish in these early years was mostly busy with establishing the physical plant for pastors and the congregation.  Several legal questions had to be resolved, and they employed the services of Robert Tanner, a lawyer.  That he shared the same name as one of the Germanna settlers, has led to some confusion.

One of the legal charges laid to the church was the care of the sick and needy.  At a meeting on 1 Nov 1731, the vestry ordered the wardens to find a doctor to recover the health of James Raines.  The wardens were also ordered to supply Raines with clothing.  The charges for these services were to be brought to the next laying of the parish levy (which would be in about a year).  The next meeting of the vestry was not until the next March, as winter was not a good time to travel.  At this meeting, the clothing for Raines, who had died, was ordered to be given to his widow.  The wardens were ordered to find someone to fix the doors and windows of the church at Germanna.  The clerk was ordered to take the returns of the processioners.  This was another obligation laid on the church by the civil government.


(To see John & Eleanor Blankenbaker's May, 2000, and May, 2002, Germany and Austria photos, click here.)

(To see maps of villages in Germany and Austria from which our Germanna ancestors immigrated, click here.)

(This page contains the TWENTY-SEVENTH set of Notes, Nr. 651 through Nr. 675.)

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