Thursday, April 15, 2010

Germana Colonies... miners

My thoughts exactly! There may not have been "miners" in the First Colony,
but I can assure you that many of them had the mining industry in their
blood. Jacob Holtzclaw's ancestors were involved in mining, mines and iron
hammers from the early 1400's as were the Fischbachs.

I think that what we had with the 1714 Immigrants was a community, if you
will, with carpenters, a blacksmith, a school teacher, a pastor, farmers along
with their involvement with the mining industry, and their ancestor's
involvement. Jacob Holtzclaw's father was a schoolteacher, but he was also a member
of the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths, so was his grandfather. I also
think that we have to keep in mind that being in the iron industry, such as
a hammersmith, was probably not the only job that they had as they could not
always work at that job. I was conducting research a couple of years ago
about Buschhuetten, the Iron Hammer owned by Jacob Holtzclaw's ancestors from
1486 to 1746, that's 260 years! The hammer did not operate every day, in fact,
its operation depended on enough water, enough charcoal, enough pig iron and
enough money. The operation of the hammer could also be limited by the
Prince in power, he controlled the number of hammer days. If he thought that the
hammer was requiring too many trees to be cut down to operate the blower, he
would limit the number of days of operation. Hence, many of the ironworks
owners were farmers, too, which balanced the economy of the area as well.

Here's the list of the men from the First Colony, their occupations and
their involvement with the mining industry:

Brombach/Brumback, Melchior/Melcherd, b. 1685 at Musen (came as a bachelor)
I'm not sure of his occupation, but his grandfather was a carpenter and

Cuntze/Koontz, Jost b. 1674 at Nierderndorf

Member of the Steelsmiths and Toolmakers Guild of Ferndorf. His father was
a toolmaker and so were his 3 brothers.

Fischbach/Fishback, Philip b. 1661 at Seelbach--not sure of his occupation,
but his ancestors owned Hammers in Nierderndorf from the 1400's, Tyl van
Fispe, his earliest ancestor and they were active in the iron industry for

Haeger/H├Ąger, Rev. Johann Henrich b. 1644 at Antzhausen

Heide/Heite/Hitt, Peter/Deiter b. ca 1680-83 at Rehbach--occupation unkown

Hoffmann/Hoffman/Huffman, Johannes b. 1692 at Eisern (came as a bachelor
to VA) Eisern--not sure of his occupation, but father was a fuhrmann, an
exporter of iron goods and his ancestors were all admitted as smelterers to the
Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths.
-BC Holtzclaw states that this means that they were part owners of a
smelter or ironworks, possibly the iron works at Eisern

Holzklau/Holtzclaw, Hans Jacob b. 1683 at Trupbach-- His occupation was
schoolteacher, but his father was first admitted to the Guild of Smelterers and
Hammersmiths in 1664, later he quit this job and became a schoolmaster.
Jacob's grandfather, and several of his uncles, were members of the Guild of H
ammersmiths and Smelterers, and he was also a schoolteacher. Jacob's
grandmother, Hebel Muess, was descended from the Busch and Flender families,
associated with iron and ironworks from the 1400's, his ancestor, Gotthard Busch, was
"one of the wealthiest and most enterprising iron-masters of the 16th
century in
Nassau-Siegen" per BC Holtzclaw. He's also descended from the Patt and Fick
families, also associated with the iron industry from the 1300's.

Kemper/Camper, Johannes b. 1692 at Muesen (came as a bachelor)--Not sure of
his occupation, but his father was a church elder at Musen and his
grandfather was
a smith as was his great grandfather and his ancestors prior to that. Their
name was Schmith, Smyt and Schmidt because of their trade.

Merdten/Martin, Johnan Jost/John Joseph b. 1691 at Muesen --I don't know his
occupation, but his grandfather, Jacob Merten, was an Associate Justice of
the Court of the Mines. Several of his ancestors were connected with the
customs service.

Otterbach/Utterback, Johann Hermann b. 1664 at Trupbach--His occupation was
Fuhrmann, or a middle man in the export of iron. His grandfather was a
member of the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths as a Huettenknecht, a
handy man around the forges.

Richter/Rector, Johann Jacob b. 1674 at Trupbach--Admitted to the Guild of
Steelsmiths and Toolmakers of the Freudenberg District as a Toolmaker on 7
Jan 1712 per BC Holtzclaw.

Spielmann/Spilman, Johannes b. 1679 at Oberschelden--I'm not sure of his
occupation, but his ancestor was a window maker.

Weber/Weaver, Johann Henrich b. 1667 at Eisern--I'm not sure of his

Half of the First Colony had some involvement with the iron industry and
like I said before, they may not have been actual miners, but I can't help but
believe that they knew the industry.

Barb Price

In a message dated 11/9/2008 19:42:43 Pacific Standard Time, writes:

How do you understand Hans Jacob's ancestor's connection to
the Haardt Ironworks (Ancestry and Desendants ..Pg.230 ff)?
I am not suggesting that the First Colonists were miners,
just that ironworks appear to be a family business back
several generations especially on the maternal side.

----- Original Message Follows -----
> I am not throwing Albrecht, Alexander Spotswood or de
> Graffenried into the trash. I don't think John is
> either-but he can answer for himself.
> Albrecht may be the only one who could have claimed to be
> a miner. I doubt Spotswood ever did any mining work on
> his own. No doubt he was looking for silver-but with
> others supplying the labor. My understanding of John's
> statements was that the First Colony people themselves
> were not miners based on the known information about their
> livelihoods before their arrival in the Virginia Colony.
> Speaking specifically of the Holtzclaw/Holzklau family:
> Hans Jacob Holtzklau was a school teacher as were his
> grandfather, father and brother Johannes. Going back into
> the records at the Munster archives, it seems the
> Holzklaus were farmers and/or overseers on land owned by a
> Catholic convent near Oberholzklau, plus a few who were
> beer sellers and bakers. The direct line ancestors seemed
> to be in other jobs than smelting iron ore.
> Has anyone researched the amount of iron ore produced in
> the Siegen area by year? It might be interesting to
> discover when the ironworks were most active.
> Suzanne Colliins Matson
> ________________________________
> From: Craig Kilby
> To:
> Sent: Sunday, November 9, 2008 12:45:59 PM
> Subject: [GERMANNA] First Colony Not Miners?
> Whoah! Back up the bus!
> I seem to recall John Blankenbaker, some years ago on this
> same list, in one of his thousand + notes, gave a lot of
> thought and research into this very topic, particularly
> about Joseph Albrecht, Gov. Spottswood and the imposter
> "Baron" de Graffenried, (the founder of New Bern,
> NC)....are we now throwing all of this into the trash?
> Craig Kilby
> On Nov 9, 2008, at 3:00 AM,
> wrote:
> > Subject: Re: [GERMANNA] Miners in the First Colony?
> > (Part II) To:
> > Message-ID:
> > <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 >
> > Are the sources Willis Kemper used known?
> >
> > Rev. J. Silor Garrison gave the same information in his
> > book History of the Reformed Church in Virginia,
> > 1714-1940 which was published in 1948.? Rev. Garrison
> did not give his sources. >
> > Since no one has responded, perhaps there is no proof
> > that they were miners.
> >
> > Suzanne Collins Matson

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