The sixteen hundred and twenty-sixth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
The third rule that Hank Jones gave was:
3. Use Original Sources.
To many of you, this will sound like preaching to the choir. You are thoroughly familiar with the principle and follow it. Unfortunately, there are many who don't know what an original source is. This is particularly true today when so much is available on the Internet. It looks like the information is laid out for us and all we need do is to copy it.
Finding the original sources is sometimes a problem. Some of them are buried quite deep and in the remotest places. Hank cites the Rotterdam embarkation lists in Rotterdam for 1709 and the London census of Palatines in 1709. This is even before the Germans got to New York. Then in New York there are the Hunter Subsistence Lists of 1710 to 1712 and the West Camp Census of 1710/11 and the Simmendinger Register. In addition to these are the church records. So there is a whole series of records to be compared.
One of my favorite examples, because I did the work with some help from James Brown, is the investigation into the story of the ship and or Captain that the Second Germanna Colony used in coming to America. Everyone was saying that the group came with Capt. Scott. When asked where they got the information, they might have said it was in the head right applications of a few of the peoples. They are correct so far; that is the only place in an original record that Capt. Scott is mentioned. When you look at these records though, they say "in Capt. Scott" which is a strange way of referring to the captain of a ship.
If you search through the original records of the time, there is no Capt. Scott as a man. There is a ship called the Scott. It would seem that the clerk misunderstood the Germans and got confused as to whether the Scott was the ship or the man. It seems more probable that the Scott was the ship than the man.
It was rather easy to check the record in the Spotsylvania Court House pertaining to the record of the Germans' arrival. Having read it, it would be hard to maintain that the Germans came with Capt. Scott. Don't feel too badly; as some big names in the field made the initial mistake and others repeated it.
Here on the list, I just recently asked how Zacharias Blankenbaker referred to Elizabeth in his will. A. L. Keith said he called her "my daughter." That is not what Zacharias said. He said Elizabeth "was the daughter of my wife." Technically, both statements could be true. If you search around a bit though, you could find evidence that Elizabeth was not his daughter.
Don't trust what people say. Try to see what the original records say.
The sixteen hundred and twenty-seventh note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Hank Jones' fourth rule was:
4. Remember Even the Original Sources May Be Wrong.
There was an instance of this in the last note when the clerk wrote, ". . . in Captain Scott." Of course, his own choice of words was a tip off that perhaps something was wrong about what he wrote. Here is another short one. Conrad Delph and his wife Margaretha attended a communion service on 16 April 1778. At every other communion service, Conrad's wife was Magdalena. The writer of the names was fair though. He gave Conrad's brother, Michael, a wife named Magdalena while in every other service he gave her the name of Margaretha. I have seen this happen with the older two Fisher brothers when on one Sunday their wives were switched around (or was it that the husbands were switched around?)
These are the outright errors in the original records and they are fairly easy to detect because we have many other records with the correct information.
It has always seemed to me that the Germans were inclined to simplify the story. Perhaps they had an aversion to wasting words, perhaps they figured it really didn't matter. When John Huffman applied for head rights, he said he and his wife Katrina came in 1714. Now you might think that this implies that he was married in 1714 but it does not. He was not married until 1721. They both came in 1714 but they were single people as yet unmarried. At the time of the application, they were married.
Here is a trickier one that would catch most people. John Becker and Elizabeth his wife brought the child Jesse for baptism. In fact, John and Elizabeth were described as "die Eltern" or parents. Now if you thought that John was the father of Jesse, you would be wrong. Elizabeth's first husband had died and she remarried before Jesse was born. She did ask the brother of the biological father to be a sponsor. Proving who the biological father was was not easy because it was an uphill fight to overcome the baptism.
The will of Christopher Barlow is recorded in Madison County, Virginia. Where did he die? (I think it was in Kentucky.)
A very typical failure is the recording of the step children of a man under his name. This happened in the head rights list of George Utz. It also happened when the Gebert/Gybert family came from Schwaigern.
Several of these, perhaps all of them, could be said to be the result of simplification. The story was a little more complicated that the first or second reading might indicate.
The sixteen hundred and twenty-eighth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Hank's fifth rule was:
5. Study Naming and Spelling Patterns.
I would say that he slightly misnamed this. The title suggests to me there was a habit or pattern of naming the children such as the first male child is named for his paternal grandfather. Fortunately this is not what he in mind which is good because it is not true. (I did a study of the naming pattern for the children in the German Lutheran church in the Robinson River Valley and reached the conclusion there was no pattern. I believe that I gave the results in a note here.)
One subtitle to the rule might be "Learn the German phonetics." Unfortunately, there was no common rule that applied to all German speaking lands. What was pronounced as a "P" in one area might be pronounced as a "B" in another area. Thus Plankenbuehler in Austria became Blankenbuehler in southwest Germany and in America the distinction was very hard to discern. The letters C, G, and K interchange rather freely. Thus Klaar/Klar in Germany became Clore or Glore in America. This is why the Soundex system came into use. It tries to capture these equivalents.
Many of the first names in Germany have obvious equivalents in English but Jacob to James is not so obvious. One of the Finks babies was named "Jacobus or James" in the baptismal register. Adolph could become Adam. Melchior could become Michael. Rarely would the reverse of these occur.
Perhaps the hardest thing for us to understand is the practice of giving kids in the same family the same names. I believe the Steinseifers had an example of this. The reuse of names after the death of the first one is very common. When we put the two examples or practices together we are never sure whether the first child has died or the name is being duplicated.
By now we are familiar with the pattern of use of the two first names. Generally, it is the second name which is used as the calling or speaking name. The use of both names is not uncommon, especially in formal documents. We had John Michael Smith and John Paul Vaught though women more typically did this as Anna Barbara Fisher did.
We also know that Junior or Senior do not mean then what they do today. It made perfect sense to them when they wrote Barbara Carpenter, Jun, Jun. Hank Jones summed it up by saying that we must not bring our twentieth century mind set to the problems of the eighteenth century. We must adjust.
The sixteen hundred and twenty-ninth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Rule number six from Hank Jones is:
6. Use Indices with Caution.
How many times have you tried to look up a name such as de Graffenried in an index? I have been trapped more than once among the possibilities of 1) de Graffenried, 2) deGraffenried, 3) Graffenried, and 4) even von Graffenried. Then there are the possibilities of spelling "Graffenried" differently but they should be with sight distance of the correct spelling.
What is the record for the most misspellings of a Germanna name? Aylor may get the brass ring. One variation of it, Collier, went undetected for more than two hundred years until Nancy Dodge put her bloodhound onto the trail. Reading some land patents, I came across the names Plunkepee for three men whose first names were Matthew, Paul, and Nicholas. That caught me by surprise because I knew three men by the names of Matthew, Paul, and Nicholas. They were the Blankenbaker immigrants.
H. Jones reports that John P. Dern studied the 1850 Frederick County, Maryland, census index and found that 36% of it was in error. That was better than the 1830 index census index for Maryland which had a 52% error rate by misspellings or omissions. Both of these instances were compiled by computers but the problem was garbage in. The computer can't clean up the mistakes that we make.
What I usually do is to take my time and read the index as a story, name by name. I spot some names this way that I probably would never think of looking for. This is especially useful in the land records. Read the index and make lists of interesting names to investigate.
With the lists of German names we have a special problem. The best thing to do here is to read the name aloud and see if it suggests something. Pay attention to the given names as they may be helpful. This is where a simple knowledge of German phonetics and equivalents may be useful.
The sixteen hundred and thirtieth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
We are up to rule number seven of Hank Jones:
7. Use Family Traditions as Guides, Never Gospel.
How often have you encountered beginning genealogists who say, "We have always been told that . . . ." They then proceed to tell you a story which you can recognize immediately as having little chance of being correct. We have a few in the Germanna community though by now most of them are being weeded out by the knowledgeable people. The one that comes to mind most quickly is Baron Ludwig Fischer. And to go with his title, he would have owned the land of Hanover, besides his castle on the Rhine River.
Hank estimates that 70 to 80 percent of the Palatine German families that he has investigated in New York have a tradition that they are of a Dutch not German origin. That is a rather common belief for descendants of most eighteenth century Germans.
Another popular belief is that there is Indian sap in the tree. Some of these stories are correct but I doubt that it occurs to the extent that it is claimed.
Another popular claim is that three brothers came to America. Some of these are true as with Balthasar, Matthias, and Nicolaus Blankenbaker. So far, so good, but the story failed completely to convey the full sense of the immigration. The story did not mention that their sister, their mother, their step-father, assorted half-siblings, and a small collection of children also came at the same time. In addition there were associated people, probably more remote relatives.
Another fallacy is that people often fall into the trap of believing that their name was spelled in a particular way. "We couldn't be related to them. They spell their name Kindig and we spell it Kendig."
The claim to have come from a noble family or to be related to royalty is a very popular theme. As Hank has said, he has investigated thousands of German families and he has yet to find one for which this was a documented fact. Are we related to royalty? Yes, probably every one of us is related to some degree. There would be very few of us who could not claim a king or queen for an ancestor if the facts were known.
Hank summarizes his views as, "So family traditions, so often warped, changed and even fabricated over the years, should be used as guides to point us in directions for searching, but never as unimpeachable truth!" If it is older than one hundred years, probably it has been retold too many times to remain faithful to the truth. At the core though, it may retain elements of the truth.
The sixteen hundred and thirty-first note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Perhaps the favorite rule of Hank Jones is:
8. Follow Your Intuition as Well as Your Intellect in Genealogical Searches
Hank loves to talk about this rule which has drawn a tremendous response from the listeners. So many readers have responded that he has put out books with their stories. It seems that everyone has an eerie story to tell as though a supernatural hand were guiding them in their research. Case in point: John Alcock was looking for a particular Rector. Lunch was late so he pulled one of the courthouse books out for a quick look. The book opens at a page of its own choosing and there before John's eyes is the direction to the Rector in question. With this information, it was finally possible to enumerate the sons of Harman (Hans Jacob) Rector.
As someone becomes an expert in a field, little clues mean a lot. They may not always be aware that they are even thinking of the procedures and steps which would lead one to a tentative conclusion. Jones encourages one to follow through on the ideas. Perhaps one cannot formulate the conclusion so that it stands on solid logic but one can use the idea and search for more information.
I was aware that George Scheible, early settler in the Robinson River Valley, had land in the middle of the Blankenbaker, Thomas, and Fleshman patents. I know that George Scheible came from Neuenbuerg, the home of the three families above. Imagine my shock when I stood at the farm Plankenbichl in Gresten-Land, Austria, and looked down into the valley about one half mile away. I could see the Scheiblau farm. I have no proof now but I do have a very solid hunch that I was looking at the ancestral home of the Germanna Scheibles. There are other families about which I am suspicious for having a similar history.
Jones quotes Carl Jung, "We inherit the wisdom of the experience of our ancestors without ourselves having personal experience. All knowledge and wisdom are contained in our minds, and when we discover something 'new,' we actually are only discovering something that existing in ourselves all along!"
To close with a quotation from Jones, "I cannot tell you how many times following a 'hunch' has led to all kinds of amazing discoveries! The gift of this 'sixth sense' has been given to all of us and can be nurtured and developed if only we learn to trust our intuition."
The sixteen hundred and thirty-second note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
This note is a series of questions and I hope that the answers (from you) will serve to enlighten us all. George Clore wrote his will on 23 Nov 1750. He names his wife Barbara [who was his first cousin once removed], eldest son Michael Clore, second son Peter Clore, and a daughter Alesabet (Elizabeth). His loving friends, John Clore [who was his brother], and Michael Rossal [Russell?] were nominated as executors.
The witnesses to the will were Mical Holt who signed with the mark M, John Clore, and Michael Russel.
My first question is, "How does this Michael Holt fit into the Holt picture?" Is he a son of the immigrant Michael Holt?
About one year later the will was submitted to the court and proved by the witnesses (Michael Rossel renounced the executorship). The court assigned Peter Weaver [the father of Barbara Clore] as the guardian of Michael Clore. Then the court asked Peter Weaver if he had any objections to the will on behalf of his charge Michael. He had none.
My second question is, "Would not the two younger children have had guardians appointed and why aren't the guardian(s) for them named?"
I presume, from the statements, that Peter Weaver was appointed and asked if he had objections because all of the children were minors and could not object in their own name. In order that someone could object, at least one child had to have a guardian and that guardian was given a chance.
Going back to the will and its details, wife Barbara was given the use of the house and plantations during her natural life [there was no limitation expressed if she should remarry]. This could go for another fifty years, so perhaps the court felt that the children should have a chance to object. The will goes on to say each of the children was to be given a hundred acres of land. In a sense, the will is not clear because the clauses sound contradictory.
Can anyone say something about the Russells? Are they German or English? Maria Rossel attended one communion service. Was she a German who married an English Russell?
Your comments are welcome. You do not need to reply with the whole text of this note.
The sixteen hundred and thirty-third note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Cleo writes that the Michael Holt who witnessed the will of George Clore was probably the son of the immigrant Michael Holt. She goes on to say that he married, first, Elizabeth Margaret O'Neill. The immigrant Michael Clore had a daughter Agnes who married Michael O'Neill or O'Neal. Assuming Elizabeth Margaret O'Neill was a daughter of Agnes, then Michael Holt who witnessed the will of George Clore was a nephew (by marriage) of George. We saw there was another relative who witnessed the will of George and that was John Clore, his brother. We are left with Michael Russell or Rossel.
Michael Russell left a will in 1777 which names a wife Maria, sons Elijah, John, and William and daughters Hanna Rice, Elizabeth Russell, Frances Lakey, and Millie.
Hanna Rice and her husband Benjamin had a child, namely Franke, baptized in 1777 at the German church. The sponsors were Michael Schneider and his wife Mary Delph. Michael Schneider was an executor of the will of Conrad Delph who had married Anna Magdalena Castler.
Back to the will of Michael Russell, it was witnessed by George Hume, Michael Delph, and Geo. Resor. I believe that George Hume married a Crigler girl so the witnesses have the look of Germans which tends to make Michael Rossel look more German. Michael Delph, witness to Michael Rossel's will, was a brother to Mary who married Michael Schneider.
Out of all of this, these names tend to occur together: Rossel, Delph, Castler, Klug (Rev. Klug married a daughter of Castler), Schneider, and perhaps the Resors and the Deers. There was another way in which the Klugs and the Rossels were associated. Ephraim Klug was the father of Sara by an unspecified Rossel girl (Elizabeth or Millie?). At the baptism of this child by Rev. Frank, one of the sponsors was Maria Rossel which would appear to be the mother of the girl. Another sponsor was Johannes Frey who might be related to the Mary Frey who married Peter Clore, a son of George Clore with whom we started above.
It is obvious that we have a complex of families where we do not understand the relationships which seem to exist.
I was hoping to have more of a response on the guardianship of Peter Weaver. There is still time to send your comments.
The sixteen hundred and thirty-fourth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Jeff Aylor asked some questions. I would assume that Franke Rice is a female but I do not know for sure. The Rices have a presence in Madison County, Virginia, up to 1816 to judge by the marriage licenses but there is no name that would be related to Franke.
There were three Schneider lines in Germanna, all of whom lived in the Robinson River Valley. I suspect that the line of John Snyder came from the Siegen area. Certainly the Schneider name is well known around Siegen if today’s cemeteries are any guide. (Two or three Schneider families lived in Trupbach in 1713.) John Snyder had three sons, John, Adam, and Michael, and five daughters, names not known. I believe he lived out to the east of today’s Madison Court House. This family is not found very often at the Lutheran church.
The line of Philip Snyder left eight children, Michael (m. Mary Delph), Joseph (m. Mary Christopher), Philip (no marriage), Samuel (m. Elizabeth Cook), Mary (no marriage), Susanna (m. Jacob Rasor), and Elizabeth (m. George Conrad Delph), Mary Margaret (m. Michael Delph). Several of these names occur frequently at the Lutheran church. Philip Snyder, the father, married Margaret Cook. Probably this family came from the area from where the Second Colony came.
The third line of Snyders left no Snyder heirs. (This is Jeff Aylor’s line.) Henry Snyder and his wife Dorothy came in 1717 (from the Second Colony area in Germany). A few years later, their daughter Anna Magdalena came with her Aylor husband (no proof of this last fact?). This last marriage had taken place before 1717. Anna Magdalena married second John Harnsberger but there were no known children by this marriage. The Aylor children were Elizabeth who married Christopher Tanner and Henry who married Margaret Käfer. The Tanner children are very well represented in the Lutheran church records where they married Zimmermans, Rouses, Cook, Burdyne, and an unknown.
There is no known relationship between Philip Snyder and Henry Snyder. The name Schneider is a common in Germany and could easily originate in different parts of Germany.
Three daughters of Henry Aylor married English men, Murray, Newman, and Bohannon. I will come back later with more questions about the Bohannons. Jeff perhaps could fill us in on some of the details that I glossed over here.
The sixteen hundred and thirty-fifth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
There are some familiar names among the photographs that Gene Wagner put up. Let's take a few of them for further discussion.
Ephraim Tanner was the son of Frederick Tanner and Mary Rouse. He was born 17 Oct 1778 to Friederich and Maria. He had the honor of being the last child baptized by the Rev. Franck before he returned to Philadelphia. Friederich's father and mother were Christopher Tanner and Elizabeth Aylor (she was mentioned in the last note). Christopher was born in Germany and came with his parents about 1720. Mary Rouse was the daughter of Mathias Rouse and his wife Elisabeth, maiden name unknown. Mathias was one of the three sons of the immigrant John Rouse.
Jeremiah Carpenter was the eldest son of (Rev.) William Carpenter, Jr. and his wife Maria Aylor. Mary Aylor was the daughter of Henry Aylor and Barbara Carpenter. This Barbara Carpenter was a cousin of the Rev. William Carpenter, her father being Andrew and his father being his brother William, Sr. So the Rev. William married his first cousin once removed. Ephraim Tanner and Jeremiah Carpenter were remotely related, being second cousins, once removed. Jeremiah was born in 1795.
The Susanna House was born a Tanner and she married Jacob House. Her father and mother were Christopher Tanner and Margaret Cook. Christopher was the brother of Frederick Tanner above who was the father of Ephraim. Thus, Susanna House and Ephraim Tanner were first cousins. Margaret Cook's parents were George Cook and Mary Sarah Reiner.
Not having all of the information or time necessary to research the other names, I can say though that the people who went to Boone County, Kentucky, from Madison County, Virginia, did tend to be related. It might be said that any random sample of Madison County people by 1800 would be related but that is not true. Here the strains of Tanner, Rouse, Carpenter, House, and Aylor are heavily weighted. There are others also but still, if the immigrant Tanner had fallen overboard on the way here, there probably would not have been a Germanna settlement in Boone County.
The Surface name comes, I think, from the Zerfass family in the Shenandoah Valley. I am not sure how they got into the picture.
Gene should keep the pictures. Most of them are cousins of his wife, Leatrice (Tanner) Wagner.
The sixteen hundred and thirty-sixth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Last Tuesday, the first of April, the Hans Herr House opened for the 2003 season. It will be open every day except Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. There is a small admission charge but there is a lot to see, hear, and learn. For a few years now, it has been my practice to volunteer there on the first Saturday of the month. So come out and we can chat this Saturday. Like many organizations, there is no endowment and the work of the Hans Herr House depends heavily on volunteers. One of the things that I liked about the place was the work of the volunteers. The house is located west of Strasburg and south of Lancaster. See their web page with the obvious address, hansherr.org.
The house is a classical German floor plan of the eighteenth century though one architectural historian told me, "There are very few that follow the classical pattern so this one is unusual."
Over the course of the season, I will expect to see visitors from abroad (if they are traveling), especially from Germany. More than once, having detected that the visitor might be foreign, I have asked when they got to the U.S. and received the answer, "Less than 24 hours ago." On pursuing the matter farther, I have found that the Hans Herr House has a good write up in the German tourist guide books to America. And all of them have told me that it deserved the favorable mention it had been given.
The house is in the middle of the Pennsylvania Dutch country and that helps to attract visitors. Visitors find it difficult to believe that some of the people choose to live in a manner which they find "difficult." It is certainly a trip to another age and world.
The house was the home, as a guest, of Hans Herr. (The house belonged to his son, Christian.). It is the oldest building in Lancaster County. Because the Mennonites (the Herrs were Mennonites) used their homes as meeting houses ("churches"), it occupies a special place in Mennonite history. It is believed to be the oldest extant Mennonite meeting house in the Americas. There was an earlier group of Mennonites at Germantown, but their original meeting house has lost its identity.
Allow about one and a half hours for the tour and you still won't see everything. Mostly it is a guided tour. You can explore a lot on your own.
I strongly recommend it. If you can't come just immediately, put it at the top of your list of places to visit.
The sixteen hundred and thirty-seventh note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
The northern fork of the Rappahannock River was called the Hedgeman or Hedgman River over the stretch from the junction with the Rapidan to the junction with the Hazel River. The junction of the Hedgeman and the Hazel starts the Little Fork, now in Culpeper County. To the east of the Hedgeman River (which generally flowed north and south in this region) lay the county of Fauquier.
In the third quarter of the eighteenth century, a new strain of religious thought entered Virginia life. Adherents were called Baptists and were much persecuted for violating the established (by law) church of Virginia. The fact that the Baptists stood for independence in church government was enough to excite the authorities. The Baptist ministers were insulted, abused, interrupted during service, beaten, threatened, and lodged in jail on diets of bread and water for extended periods of time.
Two men who were imprisoned this way were Elijah Craig (in Culpeper) and John Pickett (in Warrenton). At one time, James Madison said there were no less than six Baptist ministers imprisoned in the Culpeper jail. A typical warrant for their arrest might read, "Teaching and preaching contrary to the laws and usages of the Kingdom of Great Britain, raising sedition and stirring up strife among His Majestie's liege people."
Persecution seemed to increase, rather than retard, the spread of the Baptist faith. It may not have hurt that the imprisoned Baptist ministers, sometimes for months, continued to preach while in jail. At first, meetings were held in private houses, in the open, or in any building large enough for the crowd of listeners.
John Pickett was a dancing master and a lover of gaming and sports. He went to North Carolina to engage in business and there he heard the preaching of Joseph Murphy which convinced John of the "error of his ways." He returned to Fauquier in 1767 and exhorted his friends privately, then instituted family worship, and began to preach more publicly. The next year, having made many converts, he organized Carter's Run Church. Four years later, when he was ordained, he became the preacher in Carter's Run Church.
His work came to the attention of the authorities. They excited a mob who broke into the church while Pickett was preaching, split up the pulpit and table, and took Pickett to jail in Warrenton for three months. Pickett regarded this as an opportunity for further preaching to any who cared to come to the jail. When released from jail, Pickett extended his labors further. The membership of Carter's Run grew rapidly and it became the mother of several other churches such as Mill Creek, Battle Run, Fiery Run, and Upper Goose Creek. (Early Baptist churches were often named after the water courses which were the principal landmarks of the time.)
The sixteen hundred and thirty-eighth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
In starting this thread, I had in mind outlining the origins of the Jeffersonton Baptist Church in Jeffersonton. The origins are complicated and so it was necessary, and still is, to give some of the background leading to the origin of the church. It actually started some distance away in another county.
Jeffersonton, as it now exists, is in Culpeper County in the Little Fork on land originally owned by Germans. Across the Hedgeman or Rappahannock River lies the county of Fauquier. Carter Run Baptist Church is in Fauquier County and it was founded by John Pickett. Elijah Craig was preaching in Orange County (1760s) at Blue Run Church. His work spread to Culpeper County where he encountered much opposition and he was jailed. His jailers, after hearing him preach from his cell for a month, released him on his promise of good behavior and his promise to leave the county.
On the eastern or northern banks of the Rappahannock River, i.e., in Fauquier County, the work of Craig and Pickett came together. Craig organized a group and Pickett assumed the responsibility for their care as a branch or daughter church of the Carter's Run Church. At first there was no church but they met in private homes. The general locality is pegged by Freeman's Ford which is about two miles north of the start of the Little Fork.
The Fauquier County court records show that land was conveyed in 1790 to Trustees for the Hedgeman River Baptist Society. Whether a church building existed already or not is unknown though the church had been functioning for some time. The important point that survives is that this fixes the location of the church. There is no information about what the early church might have looked like. But it has been reported that the meeting houses of the early Virginia Baptists were commonly plain weather-boarded structures, with no paint on either the outside or inside. There was no heat. The seats were crude benches without backs. Occasionally, the building was expanded outward on the sides by the addition of "sheds."
By 1819, the majority of the members of the church lived in the Little Fork on the opposite side of the Rappahannock River. Crossing the river was an inconvenience for them and they desired a church which was closer to them.
The source of my information is "Bicentennial Sketch, 1773-1973, Jeffersonton Baptist Church," a booklet which was the gift of Marylee Newman. This was written by Woodford B. Hackley, a friend of B. C. Holtzclaw as they seemed to engage in some projects together.
The sixteen hundred and thirty-ninth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
I now turn to the political history of Jeffersonton. In 1798, the legislature established the town of Jefferson (notice the difference in spelling). This was laid out on the property of Joseph Coones. Twenty-five acres in half acre lots were to be sold to the highest bidders. If today you were in Jeffersonton, the original Jefferson would be the south part. At about the same time, about one mile to the south, down the main road, the town of Springfield was also established. It was on twenty acres of land belong to John Spilman.
Two adjacent towns were not enough. In the year 1807, the General Assembly saw fit to establish a third town within a stone's throw of Jefferson. The new town was called Wealsborough. The remains of it constitute the upper or northern part of the present town of Jeffersonton. Wealsborough was laid out on ten acres of land belonging to Martin Fishback, Mourning Hurt, Richard Mauzy, John Lampkin, and James Newman. Apparently the existence of two other villages within a mile and a half of Wealsborough did not discourage the promoters or the buyers who paid as high as $350 for a lot in 1807.
Between Wealsborough and Jefferson, there was some undeveloped land and still is (I think). Each of the two towns developed to a certain extent. The post office would not provide two offices. The post office gave the locality it served the name Jeffersonton. Actually, the post office came before Wealsborough did so it was located in Jefferson. In the course of time, the name Jeffersonton became the name for the entire developed area. The new name was not immediate. Even after the Civil War, the names Jefferson and Wealsborough were still used.
The first postmaster for Jeffersonton was Joseph Coones who was appointed in 1799. In 1825, the Assembly appointed new Trustees for the town of Jefferson and then did a similar thing for Wealsborough in 1835. It took a while before the name Jeffersonton became fixed. The Baptist church minutes speak of the Baptist church in Wealsboro, then in Jefferson, and then in Jeffersonton. The church didn't move; only the designation changed.
In 1835, the town (Jeffersonton) was said to be on the Washington to Milledgeville, Georgia, road. It had one street with 43 dwelling houses, 1 Baptist house of worship, 1 Female association for the purpose of educating young men for the ministry [sounds interesting], 1 elementary school with 50 students, 3 mercantile stores, 3 taverns, 1 tan yard, 1 hat manufactory, 3 boot and shoe factories, 1 wagon and carriage maker, and 3 house carpenters. The population was 300 of whom two are doctors.
The sixteen hundred and fortieth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
In the previous note, there was a reference to a young women's association to educate ministerial students. The nature of this is just what the name says. A group of young women organized to raise money to help the Virginia Baptist Seminary in Richmond which was training ministers. (This school later became the University of Richmond in 1840.) The Jeffersonton ladies were effective and held some of the annual records for the amount of money raised (as compared to similar organizations in other towns).
As the discussion on the list here showed, the early Baptist ministers were filled more with spirit than with education. After a period of time, the church began to feel the need for better educated ministers and so a school was established. This is what the ladies were supporting.
Looking at some of the early names in the community, the first trustees for Jefferson were John Fishback, Thomas Spilman, John Dillard, Philip Latham, John Spilman, Sr., Robert Freeman, Francis Payne, William Ferguson, and Thomas Freeman. In Springfield, Thomas Spilman, John Spilman, Sr., John Fletcher, William Tapp, and Elisha Matthews. In Wealsborough, John Fuller, Thomas Spindle, Thomas Spilman, John Fishback, and William Tapp.
In 1825, the legislature appointed new trustees for Jefferson who were William Freeman, Jr., William Helm, Thomas Read, Peter B. Bowen, and Conway Spilman. Then in 1835, the new trustees for Wealsborough were Frederick Fishback, Daniel Ward, Conway Spilman, William Hurt, Pickett Withers, and George W. Latham. According to Woodford Hackley, none of these surnames were in the community in 1932.
In 1974 when Hackley updated his earlier remarks from 1932, it was believed that the Jeffersonton Baptist Church had occupied five buildings. The first two were on the other side of the Rappahannock River. Some believe that the church first received permission to build a church in 1775 after having met in homes for a period of time. (Without any particular proof, the church organization is dated from 1773.) This was in Fauquier County. This was on the lands of John Kelly and would seem to be located close to Kelly's Ford. The second location in Fauquier County was near to Freeman's Ford.
Then the big move was made to Jeffersonton where the first building there sat in front of the present Baptist church. The fourth building was built behind the first church. It burned down in 1877 when the church was being warmed for a Sunday service. The fifth church was built on the same foundation and is still to be seen today.
The sixteen hundred and forty-first note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
The records of the Jeffersonton Baptist Church were destroyed in the fire of 1877. They immediately tried to reconstruct a list of members drawing on the living people and on their memories. In addition, Prof. Hackley searched in the minutes of other churches for mentions of Jeffersonton members. The following are some of the names most likely to be Germanna names.
James M. Button died in 1868. Joseph W. Button, Mrs. Jane H. Button, and Henry Button joined the church in 1868 (Joseph was a delegate to conventions). James William Coons joined and died as a youth. Martin Fishback was born in1763 and died in1842. This last man was born, married, and died in the same room. He served the church very faithfully. Mrs. Sophia Ann Fishback was the wife of Col. Frederick Fishback and the mother of Gov. William Meade Fishback who was said to be a member by a relative. Capt. Conway Spilman was baptized in 1825. His wife, Nancy, died in 42 year in 1835. Luther Spilman transferred from Jeffersonton to Richmond. Mrs. Susan (Fishback) Young was described as an "ornament of the church."
Harmon Button was a trustee in 1819. James M. Button was a trustee in 1852. T. Fishback was a delegate to a convention in 1841 (taken from the minutes of the convention). John M. Young was a trustee in 1852. F. Wayman was convention delegate in 1869.
The church was predominantly English, not German. Even those above with German names might not have thought of themselves as German. In the case of the Spilmans, I not certain about their nationality. There were German Spilmans in the Little Fork.
In 1959, Prof. B. C. Holtzclaw "stumbled" on the diary of Matthias Gottschalk, a Moravian missionary who stated that in 1748 there was a colony of Germans in the Little Fork. This was news to Holtzclaw and he, with Hackley, started a search for the Little Fork Germans. They found land patents and grants plus transfers of land which fixed the names of many people in the Little Fork. Gottschalk had said there was a "small, neat and suitable church" which the Germans had. Being so few in number, they could not get a minister. John Jung (Young) served as a reader and conducted services every Sunday. The German chapel was never located positively but it was thought to be about a mile south of today's Jeffersonton. Without a regular German minister, the congregation was certainly open to the invitation of the Baptists to join them.
The sixteen hundred and forty-second note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Alexander Spotswood sued some members of the Second Colony but not all. The number of Germans in total was put at seventy-odd by Spotswood and at eighty by the Germans. But Spotswood only paid for the transportation of forty-eight of these people. His partners, including Robert Beverley, paid for the others. Therefore, when Spotswood sued the Germans his actions were generally limited to those for whom he had paid the transportation costs.
However, he did sue several others and that came about because he had bought out some of his partners in the partnership who had agreements with the Germans. He picked up, by this route, the contracts for Germans such as Amberger, Ballenger, Broyles, Moyer, Paulitz, Snyder, and Yager. We can be fairly sure that this is the background of the lawsuit against Moyer, for example, because the son of Robert Beverley came to court to testify for Spotswood in the suit against Moyer.
There were nineteen lawsuits, all brought by Spotswood. The Germans did not sue Spotswood as some historians have said. Spotswood initiated the actions which were spread over time.
At no time, was the argument in the suits over the length of time the Germans were to serve. Nor did the suits require the Germans to work an extra year. The suits were brought for monetary damages and the awards, if there were any, were in money, not in service.
The basis of the lawsuits, that is, the reasons that Spotswood thought he was entitled to money, is murky. There seems to be no pattern to the amounts that Spotswood sought and the amounts that the juries awarded him. The very first suit, against Jacob Crigler, was ended with the defendant agreeing to pay court costs. This is rather remarkable when one considers that the amount sought was thirty-four pounds. How Spotswood could have thought he was entitled to such a princely sum of money and then back down with nothing is hard to fathom. In all, the suits against Crigler, Bellenger, Holt, Utz, Clore, and Fleshman were dismissed.
Many of the awards in the cases that went to the juries were sharply reduced from what Spotswood had sought. Conrad Amberger was sued for thirty-two pounds and the jury awarded Spotswood two pounds thirteen shillings one and a half pence. This was in the county named for the plaintiff with judges appointed by the plaintiff and with jury members who were friends of the plaintiff (well, some of them were). Surely the court room was packed against the defendants.
The sixteen hundred and forty-third note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
The Second Colony members were probably in the service of Alexander Spotswood for seven years. There is no written statement that specifies the length of the time and we are left with asking the questions, "When did they arrive?" and "When did they leave?" We do not have definitive answers to these questions either but we do have some information.
We know that the Second Colony left their homes in Germany among the middle of July in 1717. The Gemmingen pastor recorded the departure of six families from his parish and implied that they were just leaving at that time. It would be August before they were in Rotterdam and there would be a delay finding a ship to London. In London, the biggest delay was the wait for the captain of the ship they had contracted with to be released from debtor's prison. Some say this was eight weeks. A departure from London could hardly occur before the first of November or perhaps even December. Ten weeks was a good crossing time westward on the Atlantic. It is very unlikely that they arrived before December 31, 1717.
But you might ask, "Didn't they arrive in 1717?" At that time, until March 25, the year remained at 1717. They might have arrived in February (of what would be 1718 by our calendar today) and they would say they arrived in 1717 if they used the calendar in effect in Virginia at the time.
Counting out the years of servitude, 1718, 1719, 1720, 1721, 1722, 1723, and 1724 would make seven years. They probably left in the winter of 1725 (by the modern calendar) as this would give them time to clear ground, plant crops, build shelters before the growing season started. If they left early in the year of 1725 (modern calendar), then they would have put in seven years (plus perhaps another month or two) of service for Spotswood.
Did they move in 1725? According to the petition of Stoever, Smith, and Holt (in London) in 1734, they moved in 1725 to the very borders of the country under the Great Ridge of Mountains. What calendar were they using? The old style was in effect. What season was it? These are the difficulties of pinning a date for the move as we do have some numbers but the reference frame is not clear.
Road making activity in the region from Germanna to the Robinson River Valley suggests that the Germans were at the Robinson River in 1725. Putting it all together, the Second Colony members probably worked for Alexander Spotswood for seven years. It would be a mistake to count any part of the year 1717 (by the modern calendar) in those years of servitude.
The sixteen hundred and forty-fourth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
This past Saturday, Eleanor and I went to the Pennsylvania chapter of the Palatines to America Spring Conference (in New Holland at Yoder's). There were to be two speakers, but in the days before the meeting the father of one speaker came into a life threatening situation. The conference chairman was lucky in that the other speaker also delivers talks on the same subject as the speaker who could not attend. So, Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer became the speaker for three talks and fortunately she is a very capable speaker.
Her biggest impact was perhaps with "Long-Distance Genealogy." One of the tools in this is the research letter requesting information. It actually applies to us here because our list is a tool itself and it is certainly long distance. We actually see "letters" on the list here requesting information. In addition to those addressed to the list, I receive some privately by email and by USPS.
People would be more effective in obtaining information if they observed the following items.
First Impressions Count. I am not inclined to answer someone who does not follow a few rules of Standard English usage. Thoughts should be expressed in sentences. Capital letters should be used where appropriate (which is certainly not everywhere). Punctuation is used. Look at the comments of E. W. Wallace on the list for good examples of how it should be done.
Keep It Short! Some people ramble. Writers should not tire out the readers while they come to their point. Do not send the entire original message back to the sender. She has probably read it already.
Be Sure It's Legible. We don't have much problem that way here because of the standard fonts used. Don't blame the writer for using umlauts. They are almost a necessity here and your email program should be adjusted to receive them correctly.
Include full contact information. We do accept email addresses without snail mail addresses. But did you give your real name? Hiding behind a mask does not encourage people to answer. I hate to write, "Dear noname @ isp . com." Are you a person or a series of code letters?
Be specific in your questions. "Are your Smiths related to my Browns?" does not suffice. Names are incomplete, no place is mentioned, no time is given. I personally and the list in general get too many questions of this type.
The sixteen hundred and forty-fifth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Recently Susan Snyder asked some questions about John Deer 's will. Let me make a start on these questions by going back to volume 3, the number 4 issue (that was back in 1991) of Beyond Germanna where an article appeared by Sally T. Baughn on "Eve Baumgardner Boughan." Sally related she and her husband had been looking the surname of his great (x4) grandfather's wife. Family members had been searching for more than sixty years.
In reading BG:1:5, Sally noted that Eve Baumgardner married probably Ambrose Bohannon. In all of Sally's research, she had found only one Eve, the wife of Mordecai Boughan. In the BG article, the Eve had siblings Joel, Moses, half-sisters Catherine and Susanna. Sally's Eve had children named Joel, Moses, Catherine, and Susanna. There was a Jeremiah and a Simeon Deer who could go with Eve's sons Jeremiah and Simeon.
Reading on, Sally was excited to find that John Deer had left a legacy to Eve Bohan who was presumed to be the wife of Ambrose Bohannon, the co-executor of John Deer's will. Sally decided that Bohan was another version of the name Boughan. Sally enlisted the aid of the article, Ardys Hurt, who could confirm (after a delay) that Eve Baugh was the daughter of Frederick and Catherine Baumgartner. The proof was a disposition made by Eve Vaughan/Baughan in March of 1828 wherein Eve stated she was a sister of Joel Bumgarner and Dolly Fleshman. This seemed to be the first that the disposition had come to light, perhaps because it was filed under "Pumgarner vs. Weaver." (Ardys gave credit to Gene Dear for finding this.)
Eve Baumgardner married Mordecai Boughan about 1771 as their first child was born in 1772. He died in 1792 and Eve did not remarry but continued to operate and to improve his estate. Her will was written in 1829 and proved in 1835 with a settlement in 1838. Their children, named in both wills, were:
1. Henry Boughan, b. 4 Oct 1772, m. Elizabeth Wall,
2. Sarah Boughan, b. c 1772, m. Michael Aylor,
3. Susanna Boughan, b1775, m. Robert Jones,
4. Lystra Boughan, b. 1777, m. Margaret Hitt,
5. Mordecai Boughan, b. 1782, m. Mary Zimmerman,
6. Moses Boughan, b. 9 Feb 1783, m. Sarah Yowell,
7. Catherine Vaughan, b. c 1790, never married,
8. Jeremiah Vaughan, b. 1788, m. Molly ____,
9. Simeon Boughan, b. 8 Jul 1786, m. Lucy Haines,
10. Joel Vaughan, b. c 1785, m. Frances _____.
Notice that not all of the children adopted the same spelling of the surname.
The sixteen hundred and forty-sixth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
To help understand the will of John Deer, we should remember that he married a widow, Catherine ____ who had been married to Frederick Baumgardner. They apparently had five children before he died. Adam, George, Frederick, and Joel received 100 acres each and a daughter Dorothy received the value of her share. After he died, it is believed that Catherine had another of his children, Eve.
The evidence that Eve was another child of Frederick Baumgardner comes in the will of John Deer. John Deer and Catherine had six children also, John, Moses, Catherine, Susanna, Mary, and Elizabeth. When John Deer wrote his will he left nothing to the Catherine Baumgardner 's sons who had each received 100 acres of land. From the residue of John's estate,three pounds cash were left to Dorothy Fleshman and to Eve Boughan. These last two were his step-daughters.
Dorothy Fleshman married Robert Fleshman, the son of Peter Fleshman and grandson of Cyriacus and Anna Barbara Fleshman, the 1717 immigrants. They moved to Greenbrier County in 1790. Adam Baumgardner married Elizabeth Clore and he died as a young man. After he died his son Jesse was born and Elizabeth and her husband John Becker brought Jesse for baptism. The record at the church does not note that his father was a Baumgardner and one might assume, incorrectly, that he was a Becker. (One of the sponsors of Jesse was the brother of the father.) George and Joel Baumgardner never married. Frederick Baumgardner married Sarah Swindell.
I don't have the spouses of John Deer's own children except the son John did marry Mary Blankenbaker, the daughter of Christopher and Christina Blankenbaker. This is proven by a lawsuit that went all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court and turned upon the decision of which laws were in effect at the time of the Revolution. John Deer's daughter Catherine married ___ Rider and his daughter Susanna married ___ Brown which is known from John's will. The spouses for the other children are blanks in my book.
It would be nice to know the maiden name of Catherine who married first Frederick Baumgardner. We do know that Frederick was baptized Johann Frederick Baumgardner in 1706 in Schwaigern as the son of Hans Jacob Baumgarter and Catherine Willheit. She, Catherine, was the sister of Johann Michael Willheit, early Germanna pioneer. Michael Willheit's children were first cousins of Frederick Baumgardner.
These families have been difficult to sort out with two posthumous births and a similarity in the married name of one daughter to an executor. The Moses Fleshman who was a witness to the will of John Deer was the son of his step daughter, Dorothy. I don't know who Reuben Fleshman was unless it is a mistake for Robert Fleshman, Dorothy's husband.
The sixteen hundred and forty-seventh note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Johannes Steinseifer, who lived in Eisern a few miles southeast of Siegen, received a letter in 1749 from Johann Henrich Hoffman, a former resident of Eisern who had moved to America in 1743, specifically to Doppel Dab (Double Top?) in Orange County, Virginia. Hoffman requested that Steinseifer bring the balance of money due to him from the sale of goods to Heinrich Jung of Eisern.
We have knowledge of this letter because Heinrich Jung wished to have it on record that he was paying the money which he owed. He did not want to be dunned again in case the money failed to reach Hoffman. A copy of the letter was made and filed at an official office (Steinseifer did not want to turn in the letter). A receipt was issued to Jung for his records. The date of this letter was 10 May 1749.
Almost immediately, Steinseifer left for America since he arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Patience the following September 19.
Information about Johannes Steinseifer and his family has been found in the church books in Germany. He was born 6 July 1698 at Eiserfeld (next door to Eisern), the third son of Johann Steinseifer and Anna Gehla Grebe. On 3 Aug 1723 he married Elisabeth Schuster of Eisern. They lived in Eisern and had nine children baptized in the parish of Rödgen. From the church records:
Johannes Henrich, * 1 Oct 1724
Elisabeth, * 24 Nov 1726 (died 1727)
Johann Heinrich, * 18 Jul 1728
Elisabeth, * 17 Jan 1734
Agnes Catharina, * 26 Aug 1736
Henricus, * 2 Aug 1739
Maria Agnesa, * 14 Jan 1742
Johannes, * 2 Feb 1744
Anna Margaretha, * 7 Apr 1748
The oldest son, age 25, did not come with the parents but came in 1753. The father wrote his will 2 Apr 1754 and it was probated 21 Jul 1757. The four sons are named as John, the Elder; Henereous; John, the Younger; and Henry. John Hoffman and John Towles were witnesses to the will.
Neighbors were Michael Smith, John Kains, Major William Roan, Henry Hoffman, and Jacob Manspile. It may be of interest that the maiden name of Henry Hoffman’s wife was Schuster, the same as the maiden name of John Steinseifer’s wife. However, the given names of the two Schuster men were different so perhaps the wives were cousins.
Velvet told us here that Agnes Catherine married Edward Smith in the late 1750s.
The sixteen hundred and forty-eighth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
I sympathize with the Huffman/Hoffman researchers because there were several large families and others came into the neighborhood also. Just seeing the name Hoffman does not ensure that another member of the families has been found. With some names, the mere appearance of a name is enough to justify saying he or she is a member.
In order of size and number of people, the family of John Huffman, the 1714 immigrant is the most numerous because he came early and had a very large family, fifteen living descendants by two wives. This family was very inclined to the Reformed faith even though there was a Lutheran church in the neighborhood. It was not entirely the Huffman's fault that they were so clannish. The Lutherans, at that time, restricted communion to baptized Lutherans. As a Reformed member, unless you underwent the baptismal process, you could not take communion at the Lutheran church. (Joseph Holtzclaw, Reformed, married Elizabeth Zimmerman and lived in the Robinson River Valley. He never appears in the communion lists though he could attend church and he could be a sponsor at baptisms.)
John Hoffman, the patriarch, seems to have taken the lead in building a Reformed chapel where Reformed people could worship. They never had a full time minister but preachers did come in. It is unfortunate that the Lutherans were so uptight about communion and that the Reformed were so inflexible; we might have had more church records.
The second largest Huffman family was also in the Robinson River Valley. This was the Henry Huffman mentioned in the last note. He was a younger brother, by about twenty years, of the 1714 John. Though he had a good sized family, he was later in getting started so the family was smaller. The members of this family seemed more inclined to switch or to join the Lutheran church. Even here, when one of them appears the Lutheran church records, he or she may be noted as Calvinist.
The third Germanna Hoffman family was the Henry Hoffman who lived in the Little Fork. These were mostly Reformed people also. This family is not as well documented. Confusion develops because two of the families are headed by "Henrys." Even after having three Huffman families into which stray Huffmans can be placed, B. C. Holtzclaw has to have section in his book entitled "unplaced Huffmans."
There was a question about a Diana Huffman. The only one that I can find is not even a Huffman but the daughter of Peter Weaver, Jr. and Maria Elizabeth Huffman, the oldest child of Robinson River Valley Henry Huffman. I can find a slightly later Diana Huffman, the granddaughter of 1714 John Huffman through his son (Rev.) Daniel. She was not born until 1784.
The sixteen hundred and forty-ninth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
There has been some discussion recently about Huffman/Hoffman marriages. I can add a little about some of the marriages.
Mary Huffman who married Ephraim Fry or Frey or Fray was the daughter of Tilman and Margaret ____. Tilman was the youngest son of 1714 John Huffman and Maria Sabina Volck.
Caty Huffman married her half cousin Reuben Huffman. Caty was the daughter of John, son of 1714 John and Maria Sabina Volck. Reuben was the son of 1714 John and his first wife Alice Fishback.
The Hannah Huffman who married Jacob Fishback was the daughter of Michael, an older son of 1714 John. Some say that Michael may have married Mary Fleshman but I doubt it as there seems to be no spare Fleshmans.
Elizabeth Huffman who married David Fultz (a spelling preferred by Fultz family researchers) was the daughter of George, the son of 1714 John. George's wife is unknown beyond the given name of Mary. There were a total of three Huffman-Fultz marriages in this family which took place, I believe, in the Valley.
Mary Huffman of Nicholas, son of 1714 John, and Nicholas' wife Elizabeth ____ married John Stonesypher/Steinseifer whose larger family was mentioned here recently.
The Susanna Huffman of Baltz Huffman, son of 1714 John, married John Camper/Kemper. This marriage was in 1791 and I was not aware that any Kempers were living yet in the Robinson River Valley. Baltz' wife was Catherine ____.
A first cousin marriage is indicated (22 Mar 1791) between Elizabeth Huffman (Baltz, 1714 John) and (Frederick, 1714 John). Whether this took place or not is unknown to me. There were not too many Elizabeth Huffman s and an Elizabeth Huffman married Michael Zimmerman in 1791. It was a second marriage for Michael Zimmerman (John, John, 1717 Christopher).
I could not find the 1792 marriage of Eve and Samuel Huffman. Perhaps that is because Samuel was a son of the Little Fork Henry and my records are weak on him.
Among the male Huffmans, there was no Elisha Huffman son of 1714 John. The date given for the marriage of Zachariah (1838) would say there is a generation missing in the sequence (Zachariah, Elisha, 1714 John).
The sixteen hundred and fiftieth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies
Correcting an error in note 1649, the third paragraph should read (to correct my mix up in the Johns):
Caty Huffman married her half cousin Reuben Huffman. Caty was the daughter of Jacob, the son of 1714 John and his second wife Maria Sabina Volck. Reuben was the son of John, the son of 1714 John and his first wife Anna Catherine Haeger. The son John married Alice Fishback.
George Adam Raüser (Käiser according to Rupp) came to America on the ship Mary and Sarah which arrived at Philadelphia on October 26, 1754. Also included on the Mary and Sarah was George Ludwig Nonnemacher who settled in the Robinson River area of what is now Madison County, Virginia.
George Razor, using a spelling which become popular in some branches of the family, lived first in New Jersey in Newton township of Sussex Co. On 14 May 1774, George bought 100 acres in the Robinson River Valley from Frederick and Sarah Baumgardner. Members of the family lived here about twenty years and some of them moved to South Carolina.
Considering the unknowns in the Germany origins of the Raüsers and the Nonnenmachers, I have always been intrigued by the passenger list of the ship Loyal Judith which arrived at Philadelphia in 1732. There are two passengers of note, to me, on this ship. The first name on the ship’s list is Andreas Gaar who shortly thereafter became a resident in the Robinson River Valley. A little farther down the list is a Georg Adam Riser and Hans Georg Riser.
I have wondered if the earlier Riser(s) was also a member of the family that we are talking about. (He has essentially the same name.) Andreas Gaar’s pastor in Illenschwang, Bavaria, recorded that Andreas was in a party of 300 people going to America. And Andreas’ comments in a letter home make it sound as if the group had traveled together. I believe that, if I were looking for the German home of the Racer or Razor family, I would first concentrate on the villages around Illenschwang.
George Razor married Margaret ____ in Pennsylvania or New Jersey before coming to Virginia. The eldest son of George and Margaret is Jacob who is to be found in the Madison County Lutheran church up to 1804. This is about the last appearance of any member of the family at the Lutheran church. The spelling of the name at the church shows a lot of variants such as Reser, Räser, Reiser, Rieser, Reaser, Risser, Raser, Raysor, and Racer.
This guy is either related or ocd... I think related.
Forbush Family Info
8 years ago