I am doing research about my 3rd GGF Henry Sprenckel. There is not much information, except land description of his that was sold in 1812. Other deeds reference Henry Sprenkel's land. (a Hottel deed for one).
This site is to reference both early settlers and 18th century settlers: any one who was a settler of Shenandoah Virginia between 1600's and 1800.
Thanks, Joan Nathan
European Exploration of the Shenandoah Valley Although "fur trappers and Indian traders" had known about the Valley since the mid-seventeenth century, and several Europeans had explored it during that period, serious attempts to examine and settle the Valley began in the early eighteenth century. Several Swiss, led by Lewis Michel, explored the northern portion in 1704 or 1705, hoping to establish there a colony of their compatriots. Simultaneously, one of Michel's associates, Chistoph de Graffenreid, proposed a colony on the Shenandoah River. Neither project materialized.20 Slightly more than a decade later, in 1716, British explored the Valley. Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, vigorous promoter of Virginia's expansion into the interior, led an expedition consisting of 62 men, "mostly gendemen" explorers, 14 men called "rangers," and 4 Indian guides beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Shenandoah 19. Robert D. Mitchell, Commercialism and Frontier: Perspectives on the Early Shenandoah Valley (Charlottesville University Press of Virginia, 1977), 19-25. 20. Ibid., 16, 25-26. 70 The Religious Development of the Early German Settlers River. "They took possession of the country, for Great Britain, by marking it with papers sealed in many wine bottles that they had emptied the night before." When the group returned to the capital, Spotswood gave each of the "gentlemen" who had accompanied him "golden horseshoes," some of which were "studded with valuable stones." Subsequently, the legend of Spotswood's "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe" helped to stimulate interest in "westward expansion."2 1
Germans' Settlements in the Shenandoah Valley The vast majority of the early Europeans who began to settle in the Valley during the mid-1720s did not come from Tidewater Virginia. They were Scots-Irish, Germans, and German-speaking Swiss whose previous homes were in Pennsylvania. Increasing population density east of the Susquehanna River, the rising cost of land, and difficulty in obtaining clear titles persuaded them to move south. Lower prices and available fertile land abandoned by the Indians attracted them to the Valley. 22 Many of the Germans traveled the "Philadelphia Wagon Road [that] ran west through Lancaster to Harris' Ferry on the Susquehanna River and thence through York to Williams' Ferry across the Potomac, where the road entered the Shenandoah Valley."23 Then they followed a major Indian trail which in the 1740s became the "Valley Pike," also known as the "Great Wagon Road" (the present Route 11), though some took routes farther east and west.24 Germans settled primarily in what were or became Frederick, Shenandoah, Rockingham, and Page counties, some spilling over into adjoining counties. Although settlement was slow during the 1730s and 1740s, it increased rapidly between 1750 and 21. Warren R. Hofstra, Land Policy and Settlement in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, in Robert D. Mitchell, ed., Appalachian Frontiers: Settlement, Society, and Development in the Preindustrial Era (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1991), 105: David Hackett Fischer and James C. Kelly, BoundAway, 101-102. 22. "Open Letter from Pennsylvania in America," November 25, 1738, in Donald F. Durnbaugh, ed., The Brethren in ColonialAmerica: A Source Book on the Transportation and Development of the Church of the Brethren in the Eighteenth Century (Eigin, Illinois: Brethren Press, 1967), 44; Carl Bridenbaugh, Myths and Realities: Societies of the Colonial South (New York: Atheneum, 1963, originally published in 1952), 122; Hofstra, "Land Policy and Settlement in the Northern Shenandoah Valley," in Robert D. Mitchell, ed., Appalachian Frontiers: Settlement, Society, and Development in the Preindustrial Era (Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1991), 114-115; and Mitchell, Commercialism 33-34. 23 Bridenbaugh, Myths and Realities, 129-30. 24. 'Extracts from the Dairy of Leonhard Schnell and Robert Hussey of Their Journey to Georgia, November 6, 1743 - April 10,1744". Virginia Historical Magazine, XI,4 (April 1904): 372, n.; and Mitchell, Commercialism, 149. 71 Pennsylvania History 1776 when approximately 20,000 to 25,000 German settlers lived among the Valley's approximately 50,000 residents.25 Indeed, the Germans' departure from their earlier homes was consistent with a tendency to migrate that some had demonstrated since their arrival in Pennsylvania. Lutheran pastor Henry Melchior Muhlenberg observed that half of the members of his Providence (Trappe) congregation located in what was then Philadelphia County, some thirty miles northwest of the city, had moved during the first five years of his ministry. He met them again as he traveled to the interior to preach and administer the Church's sacraments and rites.26 Bringing along traditional cultural patterns, the German-speaking settlers' new home in the Valley became known as "Greater Pennsylvania." 2 7 In their former lands to the north, the Germans had lived among or near Scots-Irish and English inhabitants. They did so to an even greater degree in the Shenandoah Valley.28 Germans constituted the vast majority of the inhabitants of Northampton, Berks, Lancaster, and York counties during the mid-eighteenth century, 29 alarming the colony leaders including Benjamin Franklin and William Smith.30 Initially, they prevailed numerically in the northern portion of the Shenandoah Valley also. The Scots-Irish were more numerous in the southern area. In time, English settlers moved west from the Tidewater and added to the ethnic mix as they had in Pennsylvania. By the 1770s, the population of the northern Valley's Frederick County was one-third German and one-fourth Scots-Irish. Most of the rest was English.3 ' The physical characteristics of the Germans' Virginia settlements 25. Wust, Virginia Germans, Hart, Valky of Virginia, 34, n. 3; Bridenbaugh, Myths and Realities, 121. 26. Theodore G. Tappert and John W Doberstein, eds., The Journals of Henry Mekhior Muhlenberg, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1942-1958), Vol. 1, 142, 261. 27. Bridenbaugh, Myths and Realities, 136. 28. Richard K MacMaster, "Religion. Migration, and Pluralism: A Shenandoah Valley Community, 1740-1790," in Puglisi, ed., Diversity andAccommodation, 83; Sally Schwartz, "Religious Pluralism in Colonial Pennsylvania," in Mitchell, ed., Appalachian Frontiers, 52. 29. Scott Swank, 'The German Fragment," in Scott Swank, ed., The Arts of the Pennsylvania Germans: A Winterthur Book (New York. W.W. Norton, 1983), 16; David J. Cuff, et al., eds., Atlas of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989), 88. 30. Leonard W. Labaree, et al., Papers of Benjamin Franklin, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961-), Vol. 4, 234; Horace Wemyss Smith, ed., Life and Correspondence ofthe Rev. William Smith, D. D... (Philadelphia: S. A. George, 1879), 29-31. 31. Wust, Virginia Germans, 37; and Hofstra, 'Land Policy," in Mitchell, ed., Appalachian Frontier, 118. 72 The Religious Development of the Early German Settlers were similar to those in Pennsylvania. The rolling hills of the Valleys floor resembled those in southeastern Pennsylvania that they had left. In Pennsylvania and later in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley they usually purchased tracts of significant size and lived on comparatively isolated farms. There they constructed dwellings, barns, and out-buildings in a distinctively Pennsylvania German style. Only after a generation or so had lived in the Valley did towns such as Winchester, Harrisonburg, Woodstock, and Strasburg emerge. The founder of Strasburg, Peter Stover, named the town for his native city in Alsace; Woodstock originally was Millerstadt.32 Of course, the Germans spoke their own language. Although the settlers' European homes had been in different parts of what is now Germany and Switzerland, their provincial dialogues and differences blended rapidly. Most understood standard German, the "Hochsprache," which was used in much verbal and all written communication. Nevertheless, the settlers' local dialects blended into "Valley Dutch" which some continued to use even in the twentieth century. Seldom in the eighteenth century and only gradually in the nineteenth century did the German settlers add English to their linguistic skills.
The heavily traveled Great Wagon Road was the primary route for the early settlement of the Southern United States, particularly the "backcountry". Although a wide variety of settlers traveled southward on the road, two dominant cultures emerged. The German Palatines and Scotch-Irish American immigrants arrived in huge numbers because of unendurable conditions in Europe. The Germans (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) tended to find rich farmland and work it zealously to become stable and prosperous. The other group (known also as Presbyterian or Ulster Scots) tended to be restless, clannish, and fiercely independent; they formed what became known as the Appalachian Culture. Partly because of the language difference, the two groups tended to keep to themselves. Beginning at the port of Philadelphia, where many immigrants entered the colonies, the Great Wagon Road passed through the towns of Lancaster and York in southeastern Pennsylvania. Turning southwest, the road crossed the Potomac River and entered the Shenandoah Valley near present-day Martinsburg, West Virginia. It continued south in the valley via the Great Warriors' Trail (also called the Indian Road, as on this map), which was established by centuries of Indian travel over ancient trails created by migrating buffalo herds. The Shenandoah portion of the road is also known as the Valley Pike. The Treaty of Lancaster in 1744 had established colonists' rights to settle along the Indian Road. Although traffic on the road increased dramatically after 1744, it was reduced to a trickle during the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) from 1756 to 1763. But after the war ended, it became the most heavily traveled road in America.
Historic marker for the Carolina Road, Franklin County, Virginia South of the Shenandoah Valley, the road reached the Roanoke River at the town of Big Lick (today, Roanoke). South of Roanoke, the Great Wagon Road was also called the Carolina Road. At Roanoke, a road forked southwest, leading into the upper New River Valley and on to the Holston River in the upper Tennessee Valley. From there, the Wilderness Road led into Kentucky, ending at the Ohio River where flatboats were available for further travel into the Midwest and even to New Orleans. From Big Lick/Roanoke, after 1748, the Great Wagon Road passed through the Maggoty Gap (also called Maggodee) to the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Continuing south through the Piedmont region, it passed through the present-day North Carolina towns of Winston-Salem, Salisbury, and Charlotte and sites of earlier Indian settlements on the historic Indian Trading Path. The Great Wagon Road ultimately reached Augusta, Georgia, on the Savannah River, a distance of more than 800 miles (1,300 km) from Philadelphia. Despite its current name, the southern part of this road was by no means passable by wagons until later colonial times. The 1751 Fry-Jefferson map on this page notes the term "Waggon" only north of Winchester, Virginia. In 1753, a group of wagon travelers reported that "the good road ended at Augusta" (now Staunton, Virginia), although they did keep going all the way to Winston-Salem. By all accounts, it was never a comfortable route. The lines of settlers' covered wagons moving south were matched by a line of wagons full of agricultural produce heading north to urban markets; these were interspersed with enormous herds of cattle, hogs, and other livestock being driven north to market. Although there surely would have been pleasant areas for travel, road conditions also could vary from deep mud to thick dust, mixed with animal waste. Inns generally provided only the most basic food and a space to sleep. Today, it is possible to experience many segments of the old road by car, by bike, or even on foot. Although most of the road has seen profound changes, some areas retain scenery much as the pioneers encountered it. Great Wagon Road: Philadelphia to Roanoke, Virginia (Circa 1754) -- Approximately 395 miles (636 km) (Click here for a map from Google. "Philadelphia/Roanoke Map". Then zoom in and drag for details; also click on the small inset in the map to get a satellite view.)
Virginia Marriage Records, including Ministers’ Registers and Diaries Posted on May 27, 2015 by admin Curry, Cora C. “Marriages Performed by Rev. Paul Henkel in Rockingham, Shenandoah, Augusta, and Botetourt Counties Virginia and other Localities,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 12 (1923-24): 30-31; 9 (1920-21): 46-47.
Harter, Mrs. Bert. “Some Marriages of the Rev. Paul Henkel, 1790-1810,” Virginia Genealogist 17 (1973): 243-45.
“Marriages 1755, 1781-94, Performed by Reverend John Brown from the Staunton Spectator,” Vol 43 #26 (18 Dec 1866). FSLibrary #1490899, item 10. Item 13, typescript reprint.
Vogt, John, et al, Marriage Records in the Virginia State Library: A Researcher’s Guide. Athens GA: Iberian Publishing Company, 1988.
West, Klaus, trans. Shenandoah Valley Family Data 1799-1813 from the Memorandum Book of Pastor Johannes Braun. 1978. Manuscript volume discovered 1972 by the German Reformed Church in Virginia.
Look for genealogies and family histories in libraries where you research. And no matter the location of the library, always check to see what they have on Virginia. Amazing finds show up in places where you least expect a Virginia item to be. Authors and publishers catalogs or special bookstores you frequent while shopping or on trips. Or at genealogy conferences, vendors will have a new Virginia book that may catch your eye. Or a used book that other searchers have passed by.
Look especially for family histories written by people no one has ever heard of—their first and often only book, one into which they have put their whole heart. Use older printed works as an index to sources which may no longer survive. Older family histories and genealogies compiled before the Internet age have a lot to recommend them. Remember they were published before publication on paper became so expensive.
One such example is: William Everett Brockman, Orange County Families and their Marriages: A Supplement to and Including Virginia Wills and Abstracts. A Genealogy of Colonial Virginia Families with a Thousand Marriage Bonds to 1800. Minneapolis MN: Burgess Publishing Co., 1949. Brockman is not a surname that I am currently researching (although a close friend of mine has the surname in her ancestry). The 1,000 marriage bonds to 1800 are what you want–so check the index for names in Orange County that you are tracing—and copy the entries for each of your names.
This strategy works especially well for burned counties, counties formed later from the original county, and families that are constantly on the move who may not stay put until the census enumerator comes by. Older works were published when the costs were reasonable to print full transcriptions of the documents. Today, we settle for short abstracts or just a citation, because each page is counted separately and charged. A mention in passing of the very name you are seeking, however, can save you endless hours of research. Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS And if you are lucky enough to have a digital device which can capture any name or word, you’ll find names and marriages of interest in many selected volumes as well.
Early Settlers of Augusta
FSSV FIRST SETTLERS SETTLER SPOUSE THRU CHILD SETTLEMENT EARLIEST DATEOCCUPATION ALEXANDER, William Long Glade, Augusta Co, VA 1751 Farmer ANDERSON, James Agnes Craig Sarah Augusta Co, VA 6 Mar 1746 Farmer BABB, Benjamin Mary ___ Mary "Polly" Berkeley Co, VA/WV 1787 Farmer BABB, Peter Mary Beeson Benjamin Berkeley Co, VA/WV 1787 Farmer BARR, Philip Mary Bond Stephen Bond Shenandoah Co, VA 1787 Farmer BEELER, Elizabeth John Hurst Orange Co, VA (Spouse) BEESON, Mary Peter Babb Benjamin Berkeley Co, VA/WV 1787 (Spouse) BESS, William Rebecca Hamilton Hamilton Botetourt Co, VA 1776 Shoemaker & Military-1812 Vet BOGGS, Rebecca Henry Miller William Rockbridge Co, VA (Spouse) BOND, Mary Philip Barr Stephen Bond Shenandoah Co, VA Mar 1776 (Spouse) BOWYER, "General" John Margaret Mary BECKER/BAKER Peter Rockbridge Co, VA Farmer BOYER, Peter Elizabeth KELLER Margaret Shenandoah Co, VA 1793 Teacher/Farmer CHAMBERS, Catherine John Wiley Peter Botetourt Co, VA 1760 (Spouse) CHRISMAN, Jacob Chrisman Springs, Frederick Co, VAFall 1731 Planter CRAIG, Thomas Augusta Co, VA a1753 CROCKETT, David Elizabeth ___ (?Hedge) John Frederick Co, VA 3 Aug 1748 CUTRIGHT/CARTWRIGHT, John "the bear hunter" S Branch Manor, Augusta Co, VAc1747 Land Speculator/Planter DeLAPT/DUNLAP, Jane Bell Richard DeLapt/Dunlap Nancy Winchester, Frederick Co, VA 1735 (Spouse) DOSHER, Adam Christine Urback Susannah Shenandoah Co, VA 1783 Farmer DOUGLAS, Mary Agnes Richard Rankin James Naked Creek, Augusta Co, VA 1780 (Spouse) EBERMAN, Hans Jacob Barbara ___ William Augusta Co, VA c1750 Farmer FRIDLEY, George Margaret ___ Lewis Augusta Co, VA 1753 Farmer GFELLER, Adam Magdalene "Mary" Huber Dunmore Co, VA 1776 Farmer GRAVES, Anne Spotsylvania Co, VA 1722 (Spouse) GREATHOUSE, John Elizabeth ___ Harmon Shenandoah Co, VA 1778 Farmer HAWKINS, Mary Daniel Windle Andrew M. Shenandoah Co, VA 1774 (Spouse) HENGERER, Johan Frederich Frederick Co, VA 1764 HEUSCHKEL (HEISKELL), Benjamin Anna Margaretha Spessard George Hagerstown, MD 1769 Tinsmith HITE, Joist Anna Maria duBois Elizabeth Augusta Co, VA c1730 Farmer HOTTEL, Johannes "John" Elizabetha ___ Johan Carl "Charles" Shenandoah Co, VA a1745 Farmer HOUSTON, Purnell Mary Cary Robert L. Monongalia Co, VA/PA 1795 Sadler, Store owner-dry goods HUBER, Magdalene "Mary" Adam Gfeller Dunmore Co, VA 1776 (Spouse) HURST, John Elizabeth Beeler Orange Co, VA FSSV FIRST SETTLERS JAMESON, Jane Augusta Co, VA a1753 (Spouse) KELLER, Dr. George Barbara ZIMMERMAN Mary & Elizabeth Powell's Fort, Shenandoah Co, VA 1762 Physician/Croner, Pharmacist KEYSER, SR., Charles Elizabeth Grossgloss Charles, Jr. Frederick Co, VA 1765 Farmer/Butcher LACKEY, Thomas Agnes Leech James Augusta Co, VA 1778 Wheelwright/Cooper LEECH, Agnes Thomas Lackey James Augusta Co, VA 1778 (Spouse) LEWIS, John Margaret Lynn Margaret Lynn Alice Staunton, Augusta Co, VA 1732 Landowner LEWIS, John Margaret Reese Mordicai Little N Mt., Shenandoah Co, VA LINSEY, Edmund Elizabeth Beasley Jacob Orange Co, VA 1733 Farmer LONG, William Elizabeth Penn John Crow Augusta Co, VA 4 Mar 1755 LYON, SR., Humberstone UNK Mary Augusta Co, VA McCLANAHAN, SR., Robert Augusta Co, VA 27 May 1741 Planter McKAY, Robert Ann Brown Hannah Orange Co, VA 1732-4 Farmer/Land Speculator MILLER, Henry Rebecca Boggs William Augusta Co, VA (Spouse) NAME of FIRST SETTLER SPOUSE THRU CHILD SETTLEMENT EARLIEST DATEOCCUPATION OLINGER, John Nancy Townhill New Market, Shenandoah Co, VA Miller/Farmer PARKS, John UNK Joseph Augusta Co, VA PEARMAN, Sarah Stephen Pearman Stephen, Jr. Rockbridge Co, VA by 1792 (Spouse) PIKE, John Abigail Overman Rachel Frederick Co, VA 1738 Blacksmith RANKIN, SR., Richard Mary Agnes Douglas James Naked Creek, Augusta Co, VA 1780 RICHARDS, George Rockingham Co, VA 1759 Indian Spy SALLING, George Hannah ___ George, Jr. Augusta Co, VA 1776/8 Landowner SAMPLE(S), Samuel Frederick Co, VA 1759 Landowner SCOTT, Ann Frederick Co, VA 1759 (Spouse) SHARKEY, Patrick Anne ___ Mary Botetourt Co, VA 1745 Burhman Bottoms, Botetourt Co, VA SHEARMAN, JR, Philip Adam Mary KELLER Jacob, SR. Shenandoah Co, VA 1762 High Sheriff SHEARMAN, SR, Philip Adam Maria Catharina ___ Philip Adam, JR. R'ham/Shenandoah Co VA 1778 Ordinary/Tavern Keeper SHERMAN, SR., Jacob Margaret BOYER Jacob, JR. Shenandoah Co, VA 1792 Miller SMITHERS, Stephen Sarah "Sally" Pearman Stephen, Jr. Augusta Co, VA c1776 Military STEELE, Daniel Jane ___ David Rockbridge Co, VA 5 Jun 1798 Farmer STICKLEY, Benjamin Ann Stover David Strasburg, Shenandoah Co, VA 1750 Farmer STOVER, Jacob Sarah Boone Barbarra Strasburg, Shenandoah Co, VA 1730 Landowner (10,000 ac) TOSH, Mrs. Mary Thomas Tosh Jonathan Botetourt Co, VA 1747 (Spouse) TOSH, Thomas Mary ___ Jonathan Botetourt Co, VA 5 Mar1747 Landowner TOWNHILL, Nancy John Olinger New Market, Shenandoah Co, VA (Spouse) VAN LEAR, Jacob Margaret ___ John Augusta Co, VA 1758 FSSV FIRST SETTLERS WILEY, John Botetourt Co, VA 1760 Planter WILSON, Benjamin Ann Ruddell Mary Frederick Co, VA 1747 Military WILSON, Edward Ann ___ Priscilla Shenandoah Co, VA 12 Aug 1775 Farmer WINDLE, Daniel Mary Hawkins Andrew M. Shenandoah Co, VA 1775 Tavern Keeper ZIMMERMAN, Barbara Dr. George KELLER Mary & Elizabeth Powell's Fort, Shenandoah Co, VA 1762 (Spouse)
______________Author and historian Daniel Bly's book "From the Rhine to the Shenandoah" Vol.1, plus his plat map which shows the various landholders in the N.West corner of the Davis Magisterial District in Shenandoah County, present the homogenous nature of the Germanic inter-related families in that corner of the county. This is meaningful in that, according to Bly, Sarah Baker was the daughter of Johann Georg Baker and Maria Charlotta Vo:lkner (Felkner). Johann Georg Baker was the son of Heironymus Baker and Maria Gertraut Puntstein, both formerly of Framersheim, Germany. Author Bly also declares Charlotta Baker to be a daughter of Henry Vo:lkner (Felkner) and his wife Rosena. Sarah (Baker) Abnet had 11 siblings - Catherine (Baker) Wygle, George Baker Jr., Abraham Baker, Margaret (Baker) Brubeck, Henry Baker, Daniel Baker, Rosena (Baker) Sonner, Rebecca (Baker) Brubeck, John Baker, Rachel (Baker) Rosenberger, and David Baker. It is known that Sarah's brothers, Daniel Baker who married Rebecca Fravel, and John Baker also went to Ohio and at one time lived near Jacob Abnet's descendants. In August 1821, in Shenandoah Co., VA Deed Book "BB", pp. 107-108, the whereabouts of many of these children are mentioned as they disposed of the 194 acres that had been willed to their father, George.
From Bly's chapter on the Bakers, we know that:
"Framersheim is a village in the German state of Rheinland-Pfulz (the Palatinate) near Alzey, about half way between the cities of Bingen and Worms. The is the famous wine producing region of Germany, a land of ruined castles and picturesque villages amidst rolling hills covered with vineyards." In Virginia, the Baker family was very well respected and quite well-known. Bly goes on to say:
". . . instrumental in establishing the Lutheran Church in Strasburg and took an active role in civic affairs. Many of the second and third generation fought in the Revolutionary War and were among the pioneers who pushed on into the counties of western Virginia and western Pennsylvania." Families which became closely associated with the Bakers include the Wendles, Snapps, Speagles, and Fravels - to name a few.
For a very detailed record of the BAKERS, see From the Rhine to the Shenandoah, Volume I, page 6, by Daniel Bly.
Maps on this page
The original maps can be found in the various books of Daniel Bly, author, historian and professor at Bridgewater College. He has graciously given us permission to use them. The maps have been modified for this page to show our particuliar families and specific locations and are therefore not complete in all details. Books and References
Bly, Daniel; "From the Rhine to The Shenandoah -Eighteenth Century Swiss & German Pioneer Families in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and Their European Origins" (Volume II) Wust, Klaus, "Saint -Adventurers of the Virginia Frontier - Southern Outposts of Ephrata" (Shenandoah History Publishers of Edinburg, Virginia, 1977) O'Dell, Cecil; "Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia" (Marceline, MO, Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995) "Life and Conduct of the late Brother Ezechiel Sangmeister" translated from the GermanLeben and Wandel by Barbara M. Schindler. (Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley, Ephrata, PA 1986) For ordering instructions, please e-mail Liz or myself (Ann). Gilreath, Amy, "Deeds Of Shenandoah County" Clark, "1786 Survey of Powell's Fort Valley unpublished Manuscript" (Eastern Mennonite College Library, Harrisonburg, VA) "Some Marriages of the Rev Paul Henkel in The Virginia Genealogist" Vol 17 #4 Oct-Dec 1973 (Editor John Frederick Dorman, Washington, DC) Ashby, Bernice M., "Shenandoah Co., VA Marriage Bonds" (VA Book Co, Berryville, VA, 1967) Wayland, John W. PH.D., "A History of Shenandoah County Virginia" (Shenandoah Publishing House, Strasburg, VA, 1927) Keister, E. E., "Strasburg, Virginia and The Keister Family" (Shenandoah Publishing House, Strasburg, VA, 1972) Internet Sites and Newslists
Frederick Co., VA GenWeb - organized 1738-1743 from Orange and Augusta Counties. This was a vast county at this time composed of Augusta, Botetourt, Clarke, Craig, Frederick, Nelson, Page, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren. The county seat is Winchester. To subscribe to the Old Frederick Co., VA Newslist, click here. To subscribe to the present-day Frederick Co., VA Newslist, click here Shenandoah Co., VA GenWeb(1) - organized 1772 from Frederick Co., VA and until 1778 was known as Old Dunmore Co., VA. Another site for this county is Shenandoah Co., VA GenWeb(2). The county seat is Woodstock. To subscribe to the Shenandoah Co., VA Newslist, click here. Berkley Co., VA GenWeb -organized 1772 from Frederick Co., VA (present-day WV). The county seat is Martinsburg. To subscribe to the Berkley Co., WV newslist, click here. Ancestors of Daniel Bly - Mr. Bly's personal homepage which includes 7 generations of direct Shenandoah Co., VA families. These include the surnames of Bly, Hockman, Racey, Funkhouser, Orndorff, Cullers, Beydler, Hamman, Spiggle, Baker, Snapp, Keller and Wendle - to name just a few. Calvin Sonner's Frederick County Home Page -Mr. Sonner has several excllent links of pages of actual data and vital stats on Strasburg, VA families. This is a must site to visit for anyone researching the Bakers or any of these many related families. Sonia's Families of the Shenandoah Valley Her families include Bowman, Rinker, Miller, Dodson and Swartz. Shenandoah Co., VA Rootsweb Co-operative Resources sites Here you can find any of the many related sites to this county that are on rootsweb. VA GenWeb Project- Entry Page for ALL of VA counties! This is a MUST PAGE for anyone researching any VA county! VA Visitor Centre - GenConnect Boards -Click on County researching! A River Runs Through It - A History of Shenandoah County - history, interviews, multimedia landmarks, poetry, statistics, towns and communities, more links The Ancient Shenandoah Valley, It's legend and It's Future - a private personal page with thoughts to meditate on, beautiful music, poetry, legends, etc. Personally, this is one of my favorite sites! VA FlowerThe Journey ContinuesVA Flower If somehow you got to this page and haven't taken the first VA Walk, please visit - SANDY HOOK - Shenandoah Valley (Seven Bends). Here you get to visit with Hildebrand and Anna during their last year. Also you discover what becomes of Hildebrand's VA land! On our third Virginia page, "Terror In The Massanutten", we have a special treat as our own Louis Moses guides us on a present-day quest back to the Seven Bends, Sandy Hook, the North Fork and Hildebrand's land. The realism, humor, fantastic pictures and his unique discovery makes this a story that you'll return to often. Then when you have finished your Virginia Walks, don't forget to return to our main IN AEBNIT PAGE - as there are many more 'walks' to take, cousins to visit, records to view and an outline of the first few generations of the In Aebnit boys!
Any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail Liz Marcello or myself Ann Brown. Any questions about the ABNET or BAKER families, I'm sure that Louis Moses would love to hear from you! ________
The Valley's Palatine Pioneers
by Don Silvius
An understanding of who the Palatines were must begin with where they came from and why they left. The Rhineland Palatinate is located along the middle Rhine River in Germany. In the 13th century, when the German monarchy declined and the governing rights reverted to local dukes or bishops, the local count palatinate kept his title to pass on to his descendants. The Rhineland Palatinate was on both sides of the Rhine River with its capital at Heidelberg.
Previously an entirely catholic region, the Palatinate accepted Calvinism during the 1560's. In the next century, the Thirty Years War resulted in the Palatinate becoming a spoil to be fought over by other states. Under Louis XIV, France ravaged the Palatinate, resulting in the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, which lasted from 1688-1697.
The inhabitants of the Rhineland Palatinate, the "Palatines", were heavily taxed and forced to endure religious persecution from the French. In 1677, William Penn had visited the Palatinate to encourage people to go to Pennsylvania in America. It was a place where a family could escape just the kind of persecution they were enduring. In the early 1700's many of the older Palatinates who remembered Penn's visit retold of his promise of freedom from persecution.
Since any migration noticed by the German Elector would be stopped, a mass exodus was the only way to escape the government's oppression. Going to America meant a long ocean voyage to an unknown land, far away from their families. Many of the Palatines wondered how they could finance such a journey. Small boats, or scows, would be required for the trip down the Rhine River, after which the price had to be paid for the ocean voyage. Despite the impending perils, by April of 1709, the first Palatines were afloat on the Rhine, many with only their most basic possessions and their faith in God. It took an average of 3-6 weeks to travel the length of the Rhine River, often in cold, bitter weather. The Elector, as expected, forbade the migration, but his edict went unheeded.
By June, 1,000 Palatines arrived in the city of Rotterdam each week. By October, more than 10,000 Palatines had made the journey down the Rhine River. Queen Anne of England assigned the Duke of Marlborough to transport the immigrants to England, often on British troop ships. This English sponsored assistance to the Palatines had its motives. These Protestant Germans were wanted in the American colonies to counter the number of Catholics there.
In a statement published in London in 1709, the Palatines told of their plight upon their first arrival there.
"We the poor distressed Palatines, whose utter Ruin was occasioned by the merciless Cruelty of a Blood Enemy, the French, whose prevailing Power some years past, like a Torrent rushed into our Country, and overwhelmed us at once; and being not content with Money and Food necessary for their Occasions, not only dispossest us of all Support but inhumanely burnt our House to the ground, where being deprived of all Shelter, we were turned into open Fields, and there drove with our Families, to seek what Shelter we could find, being obliged to make the cold Earth our Lodgings, and the Clouds our Covering."
This was a pretty harsh statement of the treatment of the Palatines by their French conquerors.
When the refugees arrived in England they were sent to one of three camps outside the city of London. Some Londoners welcomed the Palatines, but the poor felt their English food was being taken from them to feed the Germans. The English newspapers both praised and cursed the Palatines. The English government sent over 3,000 Palatines to Ireland to reinforce the Protestant faith. Some of these Irish Palatines later immigrated to New York in the mid-1700's.
Officials along the Palatines' route to America held them up many times for various charges and fees. Before boarding the ships, they were forced to sign contracts which, of course, were in English. Since many could not read German, let alone read English, they were told that they would be required to a time of servitude after reaching their destination. In fact, however, the contract stated that they were to pay a certain amount of money at their point of disembarkation. If a man or woman died on board the ship, the spouse was responsible to pay their fee. If both parents died on board, the children were obligated to pay for their parents' passage.
Despite the miserable conditions, most of the Palatines braved the ocean voyage to America. The ships were under-supplied, overcrowded and unclean. The provisions were, for the most part, the least expensive available to the ship's captain. In addition to starvation and disease, the Palatines faced robbery, deception and even worse from those who transported them to America. As could be expected, many of the refugees did not survive the ocean voyage. It is estimated that during one year, over 2,000 died en route to America. However, best estimates place 10,000-15,000 Palatines in America by 1727, and 70,000-80,000 by 1750.
When a ship carrying Palatines reached its destination, those who could pay their fees were allowed to leave the ship immediately. Those who were healthy and could not pay the fees were kept on the ship until someone would buy the bond for the full amount of money owed. The bonds were bought only after the prospective buyer came onboard the ship and examined the person for whom the bond was owed, much like buying slaves. Once all the healthy people were sold at full price, the sick were auctioned off for whatever price could be gotten. In addition to these trials, the port of New York charged its own disembarkation fees.
The usual amount of time that a Palatine "redemptioner" spent in bond was four years, but the time varied. Many children were orphaned or separated from their families and had to serve until they were 21. Some bondholders kept the immigrants until their bond was paid off in full, even charging them for such things as room and board.
Once the Palatine emigrants established themselves in the colonies, they started helping out other emigrants. They monitored the schedules of ship arrivals, and often met the ships which were due to have Palatines on board. Many were able to pay for the passage of relatives and literally buy them out of slavery.
Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York were the major destinations of the Palatines. Washington County, Maryland, between central Pennsylvania and the northernmost Shenandoah Valley, was discovered by Palatines who traveled back and forth between Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Palatines were attracted to this area for its rich farmland and many streams to power mills for grinding flour as well as its similarity to their homeland.
So who were the Palatines? They were Protestant Germans, for the most part from the Rhine River region, who left Germany under the persecution of the French in the early to mid-1700's. They came to America by way of England, where they were taken advantage of at every opportunity along the way, and again when they arrived at ports in America such as New York and Philadelphia. Many of these Palatines, such as my Silvius ancestors, migrated south to the rich and fertile Shenandoah Valley from Pennsylvania.