John Hans Ulrich Bergey
- Born: 21 Apr 1700, Langnau Im Emmental, Canton Of Berne, Switzerland 78
- Marriage: Mary Clemens before 1726 in Pennsylvania
- Died: 11 Dec 1762, Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania at age 62 79,80
- Buried: Salford Mennonite Cemetery, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Noted events in his life were:
Ľ AKA: Hans. I was known as Hans in the "old county"
Ľ Religion: Mennonite. 2
Ľ Persecution, 1708. The persecution of Mennonites was getting increasingly worse. Authorities appeared at my grandfather's home and arrested him for teaching the Anabaptist doctrine. He was punished by the canton of Bern by being exiled from Switzerland.
In the meantime, the canton of Bern where I lived was making every effort to send Mennonites to America. A man named Ritter who planned to make a trip to America was interested in taking along some ôpoor Bernese Anabaptists familiesö. Bern was prepared to pay him 45 Taler for every Anabaptists he actually got to America. He was to take them to "Carolina." Correspondence was entered into with Great Britain in connection with these plans. The plans were to have everything in readiness for the journey on March 18, 1710. The necessary passes for the journey down the Rhine had been secured, all except Holland's that is. The Dutch were just as firmly decided not to assist in this evil enterprise as the Bernese were determined to carry it out. Bern was told outright that when a man set his foot on Dutch soil he was free. The Bernese ambassador wrote home telling his government how different matters were in Holland from Bern. He explained that in Holland the Mennonites were influential and beloved. He declared that he would rather fight with all the ministers of the allied powers, England excepted, than with the Mennonites alone. In addition, the States General addressed a letter to Bern, warmly defending Mennonites.
The Dutch Mennonites indeed spared no efforts to help us. In vain did the Dutch appeal to the queen of England for help; they also appealed to the English Baptists A deputation of eight influential Dutch Mennonites accompanied by four Swiss Mennonites went to The Hague to ask the State-General to renew their efforts on behalf of the Mennonites of Bern. Saphorin, the Bernese ambassador, did all he could to hinder their work. He repeatedly called attention to the refusal of Mennonites to fight for their country. In an attempt to overcome this point, the Dutch Mennonites went so far as to offer to furnish troops or to raise funds to compensate for a failure to bear arms. Saphorin replied that Bern had no system of substitute military service or of release for fee. He ventured the prophecy that the Mennonites would never be able to maintain their faith in Switzerland. On two subsequent visits the Mennonite deputation sought in vain to accomplish two aims: (1) to get Permission for the wives and children of those who had been sent on the abortive deportation to America, to leave Bern without difficulty; (2) to obtain kind treatment of those recently imprisoned, to gain permission for them to emigrate, and to put an end to tracking down Mennonites. The Bernese members of the deputation also left a statement vindicating their faith for the archives at Amsterdam. In the end, the Dutch Mennonites succeeded in having the States-General ask Runckel, the Dutch ambassador, in Bern to intercede with Bern on behalf of the Mennonites. The Dutch Mennonites hoped that Runckel would be able to persuade Bern to abolish the severe measures used against their Swiss brethren, to allow the Swiss Mennonite to Worship God undisturbed, and to be permitted to stay in the country where they had already lived for more than a century. If these requests were not granted, they should at least be given a few years' time to dispose of their property and then be granted the freedom to emigrate.
Runckel pursued his assignment with vigor. He reported that his obstacles were enormous. Runckel decided that the best he could do would be to find a refuge for the Mennonites, so that they could all leave Bern as a body. There were opportunities for Mennonites to locate elsewhere if they were artisans and tradesmen, but most of my fellow Mennonites made their living on the farm and with cattle.
King Frederick I of Prussia was willing to take Mennonites in with open arms. He offered us amazing economic advantages with the privilege of settling anywhere in his realm. He put at our disposal comfortable homes, farm equipment and etc. We were not enthusiastic about his offer. We feared the plague that had broken out there and we feared the feudal system that was still in vogue in Frederick's realm. Runckel proposed settling us on two large swampy areas of Bern. Brechbiehl, one of our leaders, opposed the plan. It was further dropped when an engineer made an unfavorable report and other options were dropped as well.
In the end only one place of refuge remained - the Netherlands. The Dutch Mennonites worked hard to make this possible by collecting 50,000 guilders to help us. They wrote a comforting letter to the 52 imprisoned Mennonites. On Dec. 10, 1710, Runckel made the following appeal to the Bern government: (1) to give the Swiss Mennonites the choice of Prussia or the Netherlands as their refuge; (2) to publish a general amnesty so that all Mennonites could come out into the open and dispose of their property; (3) to permit them to appoint agents to dispose of any property left behind after their exodus; (4) to release at once those in prison; (5) to permit Reformed partners who were married to Mennonites to emigrate with their spouses and children; (6) to exempt them from the emigration tax which had until then been in force against them.
Ľ Harsh Winter: Experienced a harsh winter, 1708. I was eight years old when Europe experienced a cruel winter that was beyond the precedent of a century. As early as the beginning of October, the cold was intense and by November 1st firewood would not burn in the open air. In January of 1709, wine and spirits froze into solid blocks of ice; birds on the wing fell dead and saliva congealed in its fall from the mouth to the ground. Most of Western Europe was frozen tight. The Seine and all the other rivers were ice-bound. On the 8th of January, the Rhine, one of the most rapid rivers of Europe, was covered with ice. The sea froze sufficiently all along the coasts to bear carts, even heavily laden. The Arctic weather lasted well into the fourth month. People huddled around their fires as they considered quitting their homes and farms forever. By early April, the land was still frozen and most of the Palatines' vines had been killed by the bitter weather.
To the curse of devastation from European wars was added an unkind prank of nature, when at the end of 1708 a winter, cruel beyond the precedent of a century, set in to blight the region. As early as the beginning of October the cold was intense, and by November 1st, it was said, firewood would not burn in the open air! In January of 1709 wine and spirits froze into solid blocks of ice; birds on the wing fell dead; and, it is said, saliva congealed in its fall from the mouth to the ground. Most of Western Europe was frozen tight. The Seine and all the other rivers were ice-bound and on the 8th of January, the Rhone, one of the most rapid rivers of Europe, was covered with ice. But what had never been seen before, the sea froze sufficiently all along the coasts to bear carts, even heavily laden. Narcissus Luttrell, a famous English diarist of that day, wrote of the great violence of the frost in England and in foreign parts, where several men were frozen to death in many countries. The Arctic weather lasted well into the fourth month.
The winter of 1708-1709 was very long and cold in the Rhineland. It was a very bleak period. People huddled around their fires as they considered quitting their homes and farms forever. By early April, the land was still frozen and most of the Palatines' vines had been killed by the bitter weather. Since 1702 their country had been enduring war and there was little hope for the future. The Thirty Years War lay heavy on their minds, a period in which one out of every three Germans had perished.
Mennonite Encyclopedia Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Settlers, Eshleman, H. Frank, (Muller, 287)
Ľ Appeal to Bern Government, Feb 1711. 81 In response to this appeal the Bern government issued the following amnesty on February 11, 1711: "All efforts up to this time to cleanse the land of Anabaptists have proved fruitless, and the sect has increased. They refuse to swear the civil oath of allegiance, and to bear arms. It appears that the reason for their not leaving the country thus far is that they have been unable to find any country where they would be free to enjoy religious liberty. Therefore, through Ambassador Bondeli and through Secretary Runckel we have entered into an agreement with His Majesty in Prussia and with the States-General of the Netherlands, respectively to receive these so-called Anabaptists persons into their lands. They will travel to Holland, but if they wish they can locate in Prussia. Free emigration does not apply to those who have already been judicially banished with the confiscation of their goods. Those now in prison will be released on bail. The emigration period allotted for the Annabaptist, which includes amnesty from paying emigration taxes will expire the end of June. Those emigrating shall pay for the trip. Reformed spouses and children may emigrate and take along their property; however, they will loose their citizenship. All property taken out of the country must be declared. That which is not declared promptly to the Anabaptists Commission will be confiscated. Meanwhile Anabaptists meetings are forbidden under heavy fines and the severest penalties will be meted out to those who return to the country after emigration."
The pressure of Prussia and the Dutch States-General accomplished these concessions. Bern issued a series of mandates in quick succession to expedite our emigration: Feb. 20, 1711; April 17; April 19; May 11; June 2; June 22; and June 24. The task of leading the emigration was assigned to George Ritter, who was to have led us out the previous year.
The date for our departure was set for July 13, 1711. The date of departure arrived with Mennonites and Amish filling four ships at both Bern and Neuchatel. The boats met at Wangen and continued on their journey to Basel, which they reached three days later. Mennonites, Daniel Richen and Christian Gaumann assisted Ritter Reist Mennonites escaped from the ships in Breisach and in Mannheim. Those who left the ships at Mannheim settled in the Palatinate and some returned to Bern, where they were imprisoned for life upon being apprehended.
The persecution of Annabaptist in Bern continued to intensify. Mandates were issued on September 30, 1711 and December 11, 1711 stating that any Anabaptists who failed to emigrate, or who returned to Bern, were to be imprisoned either with or without chains until he died or conformed to state church standards. This was made still more severe in the mandate of May 24, 1714, in which the Mennonite preachers were notified that if arrested they would be sent to the galleys or to life imprisonment. This applied also to those who had once been banished and who had returned
Ľ Life In The Palatinate, 1711. We were barred from many professions and occupations, so we pursued farming with religious intensity, and became pioneers in progressive agriculture. We introduced the cultivation of casparsette (a variety of clover), the use of the potato, improved feedlot practices, and the use of minerals as fertilizers.30 <http://www.swissmennonite.org/history/> Our concentration on dairying and cheesemaking was expanded in the direction of more general farming. We were also active in the milling industry and in linen weaving.31 <http://www.swissmennonite.org/history/>
Life was very simple, sometimes owing to economic necessity, and always because of Christian concern. There was a concern that material wealth would not be a distraction from spiritual values. Simplicity was the keynote in the house, home furnishings, and clothing. Food was also kept simple, with silent prayer before and after the meal. The clothing was homespun (from hemp), and homemade.32 <http://www.swissmennonite.org/history/>
We tended to live high moral lives characterized by industriousness, honesty, and hard work. We shunned profanity, swearing, drunkenness, or other deeds of "the flesh." We attempted to maintain peaceful relations with our fellowmen, were obedient to the government, and approached life with a religious intensity.33 <http://www.swissmennonite.org/history/>
We were subject to greater restrictions, with the emergence of a Catholic line of princes. The restrictions included additional taxes, a reduction in the number of families to two hundred, and the Redemption Act. This Act stated that land having been sold by a non-Mennonite to a Mennonite could be repossessed by the non-Mennonite at the initial purchase price.34 <http://www.swissmennonite.org/history/>
During the course of the seventeenth century, those of us who migrated to the Palatinate gave up our Swiss dialect and many Swiss aspects of our culture, adopting the South German dialect and High German, and German culture.35 <http://www.swissmennonite.org/history/>
Life in the Palatinate during the eighteenth century was so burdensome and difficult that tens of thousands sought a more favorable place in which to live. During this time, one hundred thousand Germans, largely from the Palatinate, including two thousand, five hundred Mennonites, found their way to Pennsylvania. The Mennonite migration to Pennsylvania took place during the first half of the century.36 <http://www.swissmennonite.org/history/>
Immigrating to America was not a decision made lightly. Our homeland made it difficult for us to remain for the following reasons: First, there was a scarcity of land due to increased population in Europe. Secondly, the countryside was constantly ravaged by war, which was paid for on the backs of the taxpayers. The high taxes placed the farmer under a crushing financial load. Third, the farmers were annoyed by the restrictions prohibiting them from hunting the wild beasts of the forest, which destroyed their crops. Finally, the nobility were unconcerned about the losses to a farmer, and in fact did what they could to retain their game preserves.
Ľ Events leading up to Immigration, 1717. 82,83,84,85,86 Rev. Hans B. Burkholder, Benedict Brechbuhl, Melchoir Zahler, Hans Rupp and Peter Donens met with the Elders at Mannheim in 1717. It was decided at this meeting to call upon the Mennonite brethren in the Netherlands for help in carrying out the project of going to Pennsylvania. The plan was that we would board another ship in Rotterdam that would either go directly to Pennsylvania or travel from Rotterdam to London or Rotterdam to Cowes, England to Pennsylvania.
The ocean voyage was harsh; our ship was over-crowded, under-supplied, and unsanitary. The provisions that were provided by the ship's master were of the lowest quality. Our water and food supplies ran out before our arrival in Pennsylvania. The mortality rate on our ship was frightening. In addition, we were robbed, and deceived by those who worked on board.
I arrived in Pennsylvania with Dillman Kolb on August 10, 1717. Prior to September 17, 1717, many immigrants landed at the port of Philadelphia and immediately traveled inland without official registration of their names and place of origin. However in that year, Governor Keith and the Provincial Council became alarmed at the increasing influx of Germans and other Continental immigrants. On September 17, they passed a resolution requiring all ship Captains to file a list of all men of sixteen years and upwards who were entering the port; the names of women passengers was not required. In addition, all immigrants were required within one month of their arrival to present themselves to a Magistrate to take an Oath of Allegiance to the British sovereign and another to the Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania. This resolution was repeated in 1727 when fresh waves of European immigrants, mostly Germans and Swedes, arrived at the Port of Philadelphia.
Ľ Probate, Between Nov 1762 and 11 Dec 1762. John's name appears in his probate of December 1762 as John Wollery Berge. It is thought with an German accent the Ulrich may have sounded like Woolery.
November 9, 1762:
The date of his will bore the date November 9, 1762. Below is a copy of his Last Will and Testament:
BARKY, JNO. WOOLERY. Salford, Co. of Philadelphia. Yeoman. (farmer) November 9, 1762. December 11, 1762. M.448. Wife: Mary. Children: Michael, John, Samuel, Mary, Salome, Isaac, Elizabeth, Christian, Abraham, Ana and Fronica. Exec: Sons John and Michael. Wit: Andrew Ziegler, Henry Ledraugh, and Abraham Clemens.
"In the name of God, Amen. Whereas I, John Woolery Barkey of Lower Salford, in the county of Philadelphia and Province Of Pennsylvania, Yeoman, do find myself weak in body, but praised be God, of sound memory and understanding therefore I do herewith this ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and sixty-two make my Last Will and Testament, in manner and form that is to say I give and devise my immortal soul in to the Hands of the Almighty God through the mercy of his son Jesus Christ and my body unto the earth to be decently Buried according to the direction of my hereafter named executors and concerning my worldly estate I will the said disposed according to my direction following; viz.: I will that all my legal debts and funeral charges shall be paid after my decease by my Executors hereafter named. Item I give and devise unto my loving wife Mary the sum of one hundred lawful money of Pennsylvania to be paid to her directly after my decease, besides a complete new feather bed, Pillows with double cases to the beds and Pillows and bedstead and all the furniture belonging to it. Item all her clothes and one equal share with my eleven children of all sorts of linnens, sheets, towels and table cloths and one cow to be kept for her at free fodder and pasture (on the place whereon I now dwell) by my hereafter mentioned son Michael or his assigns during such time as she pleaseth in case she remaineth my widow, besides free lodging and wood on the said Place during the aforementioned conditions and Term and one Iron Pott, a frying pan, besides two Pewter dishes, all which I give unto her in lieu of her thirds, besides that I give unto her the further sum of one hundred pounds which shall be left on my place and the interest at the rate of five per cent. Annually paid to her as long as she remaineth my widow during her natural life, but in case she marrieth again then said sum shall be divided directly among all my children by equal shares as well as after her decease, provided my said children are then all of age.
Item I give and devise unto my son Michael my Plantation and Tract of Land situate in Lower Salford aforesaid containing about one hundred and sixty acres (be said more or less) Together with all and singular ye Buildings, Improvements thereto belonging or in any wise appertaining with the appurtenances thereof, to have and to hold the said one hundred and sixty acres (be said more or less) according to meets and bounds conveyed to me by Hugh Roberts and his wife. Together with all and singular the improvements and appurtenances thereof unto the said my son Michael and to his heirs and assigns forever, for which said my plantation my said son Michael and his heirs or assigns is to pay the full sum of Six Hundred Pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania in manner and forms following; vize, first the sum of One hundred pounds or better say the interest thereof at the rate of five per cent to my wife annually during her life if she remaineth my widow according as above already directed concerning the said sum of one hundred pounds and the Residue of five hundred pounds he is to pay fifty pounds thereof annually to my heirs without interest. Thus he is to pay one hundred pounds thereof as soon as my wife marries again or dieth (But in ye meantime said interest to Her) to my said children and annually fifty pounds to them without interest until that part of the five hundred pounds of the sum of Six Hundred Pounds is fully paid which will make ten annual payments commencing directly at the time of my decease besides which said sum my said Son or his heirs or assigns is to allow unto my wife on the said Place free and convenient lodging sufficient firewood one Cow in free keeping as above already Provided and reserved for these articles concerning ye said my Wife Mary. Then I bequeath to my oldest son John the sum of ten Pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania as advance before my other children because of his age and to my son Samuel I give the sum of Eight Pounds of the said money for each year he has worked for me since he is past his lawful age he being at present still with me and now past his twenty-sixth year of age, and to my daughter Mary I give the sum of Ten Pounds advance in consideration of her working for me after her lawful age all the rest of my real and personal estate I give and devise unto my eleven children; namely, John, Michael, Isaac, Samuel, Mary, Elizabeth, Christian, Abraham, Ana, Fronica and Salome in equal shares to every one of them and to the heirs of their body legally begotten forever. But whereas I gave to my son John after he was married in value ye sum of seventy eight pounds nine shillings and three pence and to my son Isaac in value the sum of thirty-six pounds nineteen shillings, and to my daughter Elizabeth ye amount of Twenty seven pounds fourteen shillings besides what ye have borrowed of me therefore the said sums are to be charged to the estate and deducted of their proper equal share at the time of the first dividend which is to be made between my children one year and one day after my death and to be paid to every one of my children which are at that time of age and to the minors when they arrive to their age. But whereas at the time nine payments of my son Michael (for my real estate) are not elapsed I will that afterwards annually ysd payments of fifty Pounds after the same is paid shall be equally divided among ye said my eleven children or theirs, and I by virtue of these presents constitute and appoint my two sons John and Michael sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament revoking and annihilating herewith all my other Wills and Testaments formerly made by me Ratifying and declaring these presents for my True and Effective last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and
Seal the day and year first above said. John Woolery Barky (seal) Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of Andrew Ziegler Henry Ledraugh Abraham Clemens
Philadelphia 11th December, 1762, Then Personally appeared Andrew Ziegler and Abraham Clemens, two of the witnesses to the foregoing Will and on their solemn affirmation according to law did declare they saw and heard John Woolery Barkey the Testator therein named sign seal and Publish and declare the same Will for and as his Last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge.
Coram Wm. Plumsted Rgr. Gen.
Be it remembered that on the 11th day of December 1762 the Last Will and Testament of John Woolry Barkey decided in due form of law was Proved and Probate and Ltrs. Testamentary were granted to John Barkey and Michael Barkey, Executors, in the Said Will named being solemnly affirmed well and truly to administer the said dec'd estate and bring an Inventory thereof into the Regr. Genl's office at Philadelphia on or before the 11th of January next and render a true account when thereunto legally required given under the said
Wm. Plumsted, Regr. General.
John Ulrich Barky is buried at the Salford Mennonite Cemetery in Montgomery County Pennsylvania.
Ľ Immigration, Bef 1717. John came on the Mary Hope with Captain Richard's Captain Tower's, Captain Ayers ship or captain Well's ship.
Ľ Settling in America, Abt 1717, Pennsylvania. 87,88 The majority of us who immigrated were very poor having lost all of our valuables when we were expelled from Switzerland. When we docked in Pennsylvania, a market was set up on board the ship. Every day the English, Swiss and Germans came from Philadelphia and surrounding areas as much as 20-40 hours away. They came on board the ship to look the immigrants over selecting those they wanted to hire bargaining with the ships captain for the best price. The purchaser's payment covered the cost of their passage plus a tidy profit to line the captain's pockets. The adults typically agreed to serve three, four or five years for the amount that was due; but young children served ten to 15 years until they were 21 years old as a rule. Parents had to sell and trade their children like cattle. A woman had to stand good for her husband's passage if he arrived sick. Family members had to pay for any passenger that died if the person died halfway over or more; but if the person died less than half way, they were free.
All immigrants traveled through Germantown on their way to the interior of Pennsylvania. The first settlers of Germantown came from the country of the lower Rhine, not far from the borders of Holland. They purchased their land through the Frankfort Company.
Germantown consisted of a long, straggling village extending for nearly two miles along the Main Street. The appearance of the town was thoroughly German. The homes were either made of logs or of rough, dark, native stone. Homes were built with their gables in the road, with over-hanging hipped roofs and a projecting pent over the doorstep. The front door was divided in the middle to keep out stray animals, but with the upper portion open to admit air and light. On either side of the front door were little benches; the windows were small, usually swinging on hinges. The houses had an air of comfort about them, appearing to be solidily built and painted with somber colors. Orchards and spacious farm buildings could be seen behind the homes. Trees lined the streets in rows.
At the center of the town was the market place and continueing on passed one of the two public burial grounds that were located at the upper and lower ends of the town. On the east and west sides of the town were several mills run by the waters of the Wingohocking, a considerable stream. The cross roads of the town connected it with these mills and the ferry over the Schuylkill.
The Germantown Road was called the worst road in the United States. The soil was of such a nature that in summer it was ground to fine, choking dust, while in winter and spring it was almost impassable, on account of the mud, for wheeled vehicles. It's said that a gentleman who was building a house on the other side of the road from his home, saddled his horse to ride across in safety.
The common road through Germantown at the breaking up of winter, as well as at some other times, was impassable for wheel carriages. To that cause it was that most of the marketing, going through the place to Philadelphia, was all carried on horseback with side panniers and hampers, and most of the horses were ridden by women. It is a well-known fact that horses and carriages have been swamped and lost! In going through the town, horses would enter the mud to their knees at every step and not being able to progress faster than two or three miles an hour.
Ľ Founding of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was founded in the 1680s as a "proprietary" colony of Great Britain. This means that all of Pennsylvania was owned by one man, the "proprietary": William Penn (1644-1718). William Penn was given the colony as a repayment of a debt King Charles II owed to Penn's father. Penn saw the colony as an opportunity to provide a place of safety for people with unusual religious beliefs, as well as a means of making profit for himself. The colony worked very well as a place of safety; Penn made very little profit from the venture.
One of Penn's great concerns was to ensure that land in the colony was purchased fairly from the indigenous people, the "natives" or "Indians". The King of Great Britain gave Penn a charter, but this did not mean that the King had paid the people who were already living on the land for the land in the charter! Piece by piece, treaty by treaty, William Penn and his sons after him purchased lands, first along the Delaware River, then along the Susquehanna, until by the time of the American War of Independence about two-thirds of the present state was recognized by indigenous people as purchased lands. Quakers and Mennonites
Another great concern of Penn's was to protect people who had been persecuted for their religious beliefs. Penn was a convert to "Quakerism", a Christian sect which rejected outward sacraments. This means that Quakers did not practice such rituals as baptism or communion. Because of his beliefs, Penn, along with many other Quakers, was jailed several times. Some Quakers in England and in New England were executed because of their beliefs.
The Mennonites are a Christian sect whose beliefs are very similar to those of the Quakers, although the Mennonites do practice some outward rituals. Because the Mennonites do not believe that infant baptism is proper, they are classified as "Anabaptists", meaning "re-baptizers".
Throughout Europe, Anabaptistry was considered a heresy (wrong belief) punishable by imprisonment or death. Although the Mennonites had occasionally found refuge from religious persecution, William Penn's offer of a home in which all monotheists (believers in a single God) would be free to practice as they pleased was very welcome. The Mennonite Settlement in Pennsylvania
The earliest Mennonite settlement in Pennsylvania was just outside Philadelphia in Germantown. The group of Mennonites, which settled in what became Lancaster County, passed through Germantown on their way west and continued to associate with the Mennonites there throughout the colonial period. The "Conestoga" Settlement of Mennonites (so called because of its location near the Conestoga River), however, was remote from most other settlement in Pennsylvania. The nearest neighbors of the Conestoga Mennonites were the Conestoga people, an indigenous group who held legal title to a "Manor" between the Little Conestoga Creek and the Susquehanna River, about five miles to the west of the Mennonite settlement. The closest European settlement was about twenty-five miles to the south-south east. This was called the "Nottingham Lots", granted by Pennsylvania, but including a number of tracts in what is now Maryland.
In 1711, what is now Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was part of Chester County, the westernmost of the three original counties of Pennsylvania. Lancaster County was founded in 1729, almost nineteen years after the grant of lands near the Conestoga to the Mennonites. The county seat of Lancaster County was established at the newly created town of Lancaster. By 1733 a "King's Highway" from Philadelphia and Chester to Lancaster was completed, replacing the Great Conestoga Road as the main route to the west. The original Mennonite settlement, once centered on the "main drag", was now a backwater. But for ten years or more, virtually anyone passing to the west of the Province would have walked under the shadow of the 1719 Herr House.
Their particular renown in American history is that in 1748 they printed and bound the famous Martyr Book for the first time in America, from their own hand-made types. This feat (requiring 15 men for 3 years) by colonists who had to hew their timber, clear their land, and carve a subsistence out of the primeval forest, still inhabited by Indians, is certainly one to marvel at.
The ethnic group known as the Pennsylvania "Dutch" (from Deutsch) has left an indelible impress upon the American way of life. They are a group of people (of Swiss, Alsatian, and Palatine origin) who earlier shared and still share to a certain extent a common High- German Palatine dialect. All the Dutch country in Pennsylvania was pure forest land when the emigrants tackled it, and is in sections mountainous and difficult. The Dutch had to clear it and cultivate it, build roads, schools, churches precisely as did other pioneers settling in America. They colonized in Bucks, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster counties, and later in York, Cumberland, Northampton, Dauphin, Lebanon and Lehigh counties. Virtually the entire southeastern quarter of Pennsylvania is Dutch territory, except for the extreme southeastern tip, which is Quaker.
Fortune favored the Dutch not only in the kind good friend they found in William Penn, but also in the opportunity they had to take title to the splendidly fertile eastern Pennsylvania lands. Their cleverness was demonstrated in the fact that they picked the most heavily wooded tracts, knowing that these were the most fertile. Willingly they cut down these forests and dug out the stumps, while less agriculturally intelligent Scotch-Irish farmers picked more open but less fertile ground. As luck would have it, the limestone character of the soil, and even the climate, was approximately what it was in the Rhine Valley. Their practical lore, not only in farming but in a great many arts and crafts, was of a very high order. Their personal qualities of thrift and industry were prodigious. As early as 1747 Governor Thomas of Pennsylvania admitted that the Dutch had mainly been instrumental in "raising the state beyond any of His Majesty's colonies in North America."
It is perfectly true that the Dutch carried thrift and saving and industry to a fault; selling everything and living on little; but when one understands their origins and what for centuries they had been through in the Palatinate, one realizes how it was with the Dutch. The long deprivation and devastation they had endured in the old country trained them to the point almost of neurosis, to waste nothing and to make full use of opportunity. The Scotch in their stony and much fought-over Scotland, and the Jews in their long persecution everywhere, have had the same qualities built into their characters, for precisely the same reasons.
Unfortunately it must be recorded that because of this intense concentration on pioneering coupled with language isolation, the Dutch for over half a century entered into a kind of retrogressive backward period, very much like that experienced by settlers in isolated western and southern regions. The Dutch were not isolated by distance, but they were by language and pioneering necessity. They had a long job of clearing the soil and building themselves up to the more bountiful standards of physical well-being they had known in better days, and they suffered enormously from lack of education and contacts. They had desperately little chance for culture after the original emigrants died. Having sought the farms, not the towns, and since, until after the Revolution, these farms were far apart, schooling meagre and difficult, and labor very onerous, (as each farm and family had to be almost completely self-sustaining). The new generations of Dutch had to live by tradition, religion and instinct. In practical arts they were adept indeed; it has been calculated that a Dutch farmer of the period and his wife were masters of a total of 132 separate techniques. Every farrner was his own blacksmith, veterinary, miller, shoemaker, butcher, baker and candlestick maker, and every farmer's wife her own textile mill, canner, soap-maker, preserver, dairy, gardener, etc. Perhaps once or twice a year a visit was made to a city, and perhaps in the spring a pack-peddler came with sundries.
Their culture had virtually to be confined to handicraft. And never was there a more superb opportunity for the use of practical arts and skillsl The Pennsylvania Dutch rose to this opportunity in a manner which makes their accomplishments a very prominent part of American history in such matters. They needed furniture, so they made it for themselves--and in so doing developed an authentic furniture period-Early Pennsylvania Dutch. They needed pottery and glassware and they revived what the Romans, the Syrians and the Persians had taught their ancestors and made brilliant use of it, as exhibits in great museums now abundantly testify. They needed great wagons, and so they developed Conestoga wagons. And so on down the line of many crafts and arts.
Christian Sauer in Germantown in 1843 printed the first Bible in German in America. In their churches they heard (and to some extent in remote rural sections still do hear) only high German language sermons. Their own everyday idioms were for week days. With their Sunday clothes on, at church, they tried to follow the preacher in high German. Their everyday language, Pennsylvania Dutch, had no literature; indeed had some sectional variations. The language which they were taught in school (in the few months of the year they could go) was for nearly a century German and English.
Before about 1880 the Dutch were like a nation within a nation, with a folklore and habits and characteristics quite peculiar to themselves, especially in the rural and semi-rural districts. Their festivals, their cookery, their superstitions, their marriage and funeral customs, their handicraft and decorative ideas being quite sharply marked and unique. They had little intercourse with the rest of the nation; indeed little with the cities of their own Pennsylvania Dutch section.
Even going to school or church required a good deal of energy, for Pennsylvania is hilly and in the winter bad roads, snow-drifts and other difficulties often prevented very regular attendance at the few and widely separated schools.
Another important distinction to make about the Pennsylvania Dutch is that they did not, like the New Englander, turn to manufacture and seafaring; nor did they lean, like the southerner, upon slave labor. They have remained a self-reliant agricultural people to the last, even today, when farming in most other sections of the country has been bankrupt. Through panic and war and pestilence the Pennsylvania Dutch not only maintained themselves and prospered, but what is more difficult, retained their essential virtues and characteristics; even their sectarian religions; even their stubbornness and their dialects; both of these latter being, of course, severe cultural handicaps, making for isolation. But this is passing.
Take color, for instance. The woodwork in their farm houses were painted in the most thrilling colors-a gay peacock blue; while the walls were painted a combination of pink and blue. Red, too, was abundant. Never had I seen before a home so colorful. Even in their barn yards they had peacocks because they loved their color. The Dutch bright red barns are also famous. You rarely see them anywhere else, from coast to coast. Yellow and green were also to be found. As for the bridal chests and other objects of furniture, they were all superbly decorated. Go to the Metropolitan Museum, New York, or Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia, and see the roomsful of authentic Dutch objects, now held very high in art value. The sgraffito pottery and the Fractur work represent work of authentic high artistry. The English called the specially highly colored China they made for the Dutch by the generic name "gaudy Dutch," since in no English speaking country of the time was high color so deeply loved as by the Dutch. The Dutch made stone china of red and white and blue; plates with hand-painted tulips and pomegranates with orange-yellow, black and olive green; at their own early potteries they fashioned earthen pie plates, red and white and black, and a wide variety of glass and pottery ware, decorated woodwork, rugs, textiles, all testifying to the uninhibited response to gay color by the Dutch. Even the religious sects among them were not at all afraid of it-the only reservation by the Dutch being against putting gay colors on their persons.
Particularly the Dutch wornen loved color and always had plenty of it about them. They loved peacocks and tulips to distraction for their gorgeous color, and luxuries though they were, they possessed them, and wove them into many of their art motifs, in textiles and wood. Even their birth or christening certificates (taufchein) were made into elaborate color and design; angel women with golden wings; birds with green, crimson and yellow plumage. Their rag carpets, with colored wool warp, rival the rainbow. Even the mirrors, clocks, chairs, settees, chests, etc., are stenciled in colors. The bed spreads, quilts, etc. are alive with color-as are the names of some of their designs "Last Rose in the Wilderness," "Flower Pot" "Bird of Paradise," "The Pierced Pineapple," "Full-blown Tulip," "The Garden Basket," etc.
In industry too the Dutch early showed great facility. William Rittenhouse in 1690, only seven years after the first landing of the Dutch, set up America's first paper mill on a little stream called Paper Mill Run. Here paper was made by hand-250 pounds per day. A dozen other paper mills were started by the Dutch a little later, and some of these are still running, making particularly high grades of paper; for instance the old Van Reed mill on the Tulpehocken.
In flour milling the Dutch were also the best, the roller mill flour made at Wertz' mill along the Tulpehocken being shipped a hundred years ago by canal to the entire East. There exist today many very picturesque flour mills in the Dutch country. Daniel Boone, coming back to the Dutchland of his birth before he died, desired to see the old Hans Schneider mill in Exeter, remembered of his boyhood, and built in 1734. It was indeed Daniel Boone's grandfather, George Boone, who set up the first mill in Berks county (1726).
Very early too the Dutch developed charcoal iron furnaces, and dozens of these were in operation throughout the Dutch territory for 150 years. In the Revolution the iron furnaces of Baron Stiegel, Ege, Udree and others were of incalculable value to the American cause. Thomas Rutter and Thomas Potts built the first blast furnace in Pennsylvania at Colebrookdale in 1720, and some of the artistic stove plates which are now collector's items were made here. It was John Fritz, a Dutchman, who founded the Bethlehem Iron Company, which today is the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, headed by another Dutchman, Charles F. Schwab. B. F. Fackenthal also became a very prominent ironmaster, as did George F. Baer. The great steel man Henry Clay Frick was Dutch. The early cast iron stoves of the Dutch are now eagerly collected, for the Dutch applied art design on the stove plates, making the stoves things of beauty. (Read The Bible in Iron).
In printing we find the work of Billmeyer and Christian Sauer. Billmeyer and christian Sauer made the Germantown press setting up the Bible in German in 1743. Conrad Beisell's Ephrata press in 1745, using hand made types for a 1512 page Martyr Book, was most notable.
Later in textiles the Dutch developed special facility, helping to make Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown and other cities great textile centers in silk, hosiery, carpets, etc.
In glassware of course Baron Stiegel and Wistar are very famous names of the very highest rank.
Ľ Montgomery County: Montgomery County. Schuylkill Township is regular in form, being nearly square, and is bounded on the northeast by Bucks County, southwest by Gwynedd, southeast by Horsham, and northwest by Hatfield and west by the borough of Lansdale. Its length is about three and a half miles and width three, with an area of seven thousand one hundred and seventy acres. Its surface is elevated and slightly rolling. The soil is composed of loam and red shale, with the rock near the surface, and it consequently is not well adapted to the growth of wheat and corn. It is drained by the Wissahickon, which has its source near Montgomeryville and the west branch of Neshaminy creek. The former stream flows south to the Schuylkill and the latter towards the cost, and near the Horsham line propels a grist and saw-mill.
As a name, Montgomery has been taken from a county in North Wales. It originated from Roger de Montgomery, a Norman knight who, in 1067, was made Earl of Arundel, Sussex and Shrewsbury, and built a castle which was destroyed by the Welsh in 1095, but afterwards rebuilt by Henry III., who granted it the privileges of a borough. From this came the name of this township through its early Welsh settlers, and fully three-quarters of a century later it was applied to our present county. The earliest mention we have found of the name here is in a letter from the Rev. Evan Evans to the Bishop of London, in 1707, wherein he mentions a "Welsh settlement called Montgomery, in the county of Philadelphia, twenty miles distant from the city, where there are considerable numbers of Welsh people." From what has been stated we may justly conclude that it was called by its present name quite early and we know from the records the township was so-called in March, 1717, and may have been thus organized several years before, though the population must have been sparse.
The earliest survey made in the present township was September 3, 1684, by Thomas Fairman, for William Stanley, of two thousand five hundred acres purchased of William Penn. This was conveyed February 25, 1688, to Isaac Jacobs, who sold eleven hundred acres of the same which lay in the vicinity of Montgomeryville, to Alexander Edwards, of Wales. In this neighborhood Thomas Fairman, the surveyor-general, had also taken up a large tract, as well as Job Bates and Thomas Evans, before 1702. Alexander Edwards, Jr., in 1707, became owner of a considerable part of his father's land. David Hugh Griffith, at this date, made a purchase of one hundred acres. John Bartholomew purchased one hundred and fifty acres at the present Montgomery Square in 1716, where he established the first inn and resided until his death in 1756. John Evans and wife settled in or near this township in 1710, and in the following year John James and wife, the ancestors of a numerous family of this name in Bucks County. James Davis arrived from Wales in 1719, and was a useful man in the settlement.
Ľ Signed a Petition, 12 Oct 1721. On the 12th of October of 1721, we wrote a petition setting forth the reason for removing ourselves into this province and praying leave to bring in a bill for our naturalization and exemption from swearing and bearing arms. We presented the bill to the House.
Ľ Property: land along Perkiomen Creek, 15 Mar 1726, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. 89,90 Mary and I were able to purchase land from Hugh and Rachel Roberts on March 15, 1726.
"This Indenture made the Fifteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty-six, Between Hugh Roberts of the City of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania Cooper and Rachel his wife of the one part and John Ulrick (???) near Perkeomy Creek in the county of Philadelphia in the said province, Yoeman of the other part WITNESSETH, That the said Hugh Roberts and Rachel his wife for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings lawful money them in hand paid by the said John Ulrick (???) the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge, have bargained and sold and by these presents Do bargain and sell unto the said John Ulrick (???) A certain Tract of Land on Perkeomy Creek aforesaid in the said county of Philadelphia beginning at a black oak at a corner of Garrett Clemens' land southwest one hundred and four perches to a post in a line of Reese Williams' land. Then by the same North West North West thirty eight perches to the said Reese's corner, then South West by said Reese's land forty perches to a post. Then North West two hundred and sixty perches to a post. Then North East one hundred and forty perches to a post. Then by said Garrett Clemens' land South East three hundred perches to the place of beginning containing two hundred and fifty acres with allowance together with all and singular ways, woods, waters, watercourses, fishings, fowlings, huntings, hawkings, rights, liberties, privileges, hereditaments and appurt's, whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the revisions and remainders rents issues and profits thereof, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said tract of land hereditaments and premises hereby bargained and sold or mentioned to be bargained and sold with the appurt's unto the said John Ulrick (???) his executors, administrators or assigns from the day of the date hereof for and during and unto the full end and term of one year from thence next ensuing, and fully to be compleat and ended to the intent and purpose that by virtue hereof and of the statute for transferring of uses unto possession, the said John Ulrick may be in the actual possession of all and singular the premises, hereby bargained and sold or mentioned to be bargained and sold with the appurt's and may be enabled to take and attest of a release and confirmation thereof to him, his heirs and assigns for ever. In Witness whereof the said parties to these presents have interchangeably sett their hands and seals hereunto the day and year above written.
Hugh Roberts (seal) Rachel Roberts (seal) Sealed and Delivered by the above named Hugh Roberts in the presence of Nicholas Scull Gabriel Hinton Sealed and delivered by the above named Rachel Roberts in the presence of Henry Pennebeker Gabriel Hinton
The address for our Homestead was 1983 Camp Wawa Road. It was near the east branch of the Perkiomen. To get to the homestead from Souderton take 113 South into Lederach, at five-road intersection take Salfordville Road (second right), then left on Camp Wawa Road
Ľ Occupation: farmer. My occupation was that of a farmer and I used my land for this purpose
Ľ Neighbor, 1726. 91 Our neighbors were Jacob Clemens, Andrew Lederach, Dielman Kolb, George Wagely and John Clemens.
Ľ lived: Salford. 92 Salford was formed into a separate township in 1727, or probably earlier, and then comprised about three thousand acres. The earliest known puchase was a warrant granted September 10, 1717, to David Powel, of Philadelphia, for three thousand acres of land to be located between the Skepeck and a branch of the Parkyooman. This whole tract was very irregular in shape. From it six hundred and ninety acrs located on the northeast branch of the creek, were sold February 14, 1717-1718, to Gerret Clemens. Of this tract Andrew Lederach purchased about one hundred and twenty acres, John Lederach one hundred and fifty acres and Dielman Kolb about three hundred acres.
Van Bebber (Perkiomen) and Salford Townships at this tie were but sparsely settled. The farms in these outlying districst were frequently located far apart and this condition constantly exposed the inhabitants to the danger of attack by the Indians. While the savages would not venture to molest the cities and larger villages, where numbers were a force to be reckoned with, they would take advantage of the defenseless position of the frontiers man, appearing suddenly and without warning and only too frequently would massacre a whole family, or perhaps carry off as prisoners those they did not kill, stopping only long enough to burn the house and barn, thus completing the destruction.
In 1728 such an attack had occurred near Falkner's Swamp and Goshenhoppen and fearing a like fate might befall, the, the inhabitants of Van Bebbers Township and those adjacent presented the following petition to the Governor General:
"To his Excellency Patrick Gorndon Esq. Governor Generall in Chief over the Province of Pencilvania, and the Territoris therunto Belonging Ben brenors township, and ye adjaceneces belonging May ye 10th 1728.
We think, it fit to address your excellency for Relief for your Excellency must knowe that we have suffered and is like to sufer by the ingians, they have fell upon ye Back Inhabitors about falkners Swamp & near Coshaphopin. Therefore we the humble petitioners, with our poor wives & children Do Humbly Beg of your Excellency to take it in consideration and relive us the Petitioners hereof, whose lives lies at stake with us and our poor wives & children that is more to us than life. Therefore, We the humble Petitioners hereof, do desire an answer from your excellency By ye Bearer With speed, so no more present from your poor afflicted People whose names are here subscribed:
Dirtman Kolb Martin Kolb Jacob Kolb Garrett Clemens Christian Aliback Jacob Opden Graef Jacob Marieke Michael Ziegler Heinrich Kolb John Ulrich Bergy and numerous others
Ľ Sold: 100 acres of land to Jacob Enger, 26 Jan 1728. In 1728, I conveyed 100 acres of land to Jacob Enger. I signed my name on the deed as Hans Ulrich Burgy. We retained the remainder of our land as our homestead. On this land we erected buildings near the northeast branch of the Perkiomen Creek.
Ľ Petition: Faulkner's Swamp Petition, 10 May 1728. 93,94 I signed my name to the Faulkner's Swamp Petition that was presented to Governor Gordon of Pennsylvania dated 10 May 1728. The inhabitants of the frontier signed the petition to plead our case for protection against possible danger from Indians. I've included a copy of the petition that I signed:
"To His Excellency Patrick Gordon Esq., Governor General in Chief over the Province of Pennsylvania, and the Territories thereunto Belonging, Benbrenors Township and the Adjacencies Belonging May ye 10th 1728.
We think It fit to address your Excellency for Relief, for your Excellency must knowe That we have Suffered and is like to suffer By the Ingians, they have fell upon ye Back Inhabitors about falkners Swamp, & near Coshapopin. Therefore, we the humbel Petitioners, With our poor Wives & Children Do humbly Beg of your Excellency To Take It into Consideration and Relieve us the Petitioners hereof, Whos Lives Lies At Stake With us and our poor Wives & Children that is more to us than Life. Therefore, We the humble Petitioners hereof, Do Desire An Answer from your Excellency by ye Bearer With Speed, so no more at present from your poor afflicted People Whose names are here Subscribed."
John Roberts, Jn. Pawling, Henry Pannebeckers, W. Lane, John Jacobs, _______ D. Bais, Israell Morris, Benjamine fry, Jacob opdengraef, Richard Adams, George Poger, Adam Sollom, Dirtman Kolb, Gabriel Showler, Anthony halmon, John Isaac Rlein, Hanss Detweiler, William Bitts, Heinrich Rutt, Hubburt Castle, Henry Rentlinger, Christian Weber, Gerhart de hesse, Lorentz Cinzamore, Richard Jacob, Herman Rubert, Peter Bun, Jacob Cugnred, Christian Nighswanger, Conrad Cresson, Jacob Kolb, Hans Wolly Borgy, John Mier, Henrich Kolb, John Frot, Paul Frot, Wm. Smith, Peter Rambo, David Young, Christopher Schmit, Garrett Clemens, Mathias Tyson, Peter Johnson, Yost Hyt, Christian Aliback, Hans Rife, Daniel Stowfard, Abraham Schwartz, Johann Valentine Kratz, John Johnson, Ulrich Heffelfinger, Nicholas Haldeman, Michael Ziegler, Christian Stoner, Johannes Garber, John Haldeman, Claus Jansen, Nicholas Hicks, Johannes Leisher, Jacob Sheimer, Michael Krause, Peter Reiff, George Reiff, George Meyer, Bastian Smith, Edward In de Hoffen, Christian Kroll, Jacob Grater, Jacob Stauffer, Henry Stauffer, and Paul Friedt Jr.
This message was taken to the Governor with speed, who on the same day, April 15th hastened to Manatawney where he remained until the 14th. He found the country in great disorder and angry feelings rife. Many of the remote inhabitants had quitted their houses and were in great apprehension that numerous bodies of Indians were coming to attack them. Several German families were collected at a mill near New Hanover in order to defend themselves, and there he saw the man that was reported killed, "but he appeared to be only slightly wounded in the Belly." After investigating the occurrence, he concluded that the settlers were as much responsible as the Indians. He issued a commission to *John Pawley of Bebbers Township, Marcus Huling and Mordecai Lincoln , authorizing these persons to organize the settlers for defence and protection and he distributed some powder and lead among them. Some of the people were so much incensed that they threatened to kill all of the Indians they could find.
John and William Winter acted upon the impulse to take revenge upon the Indians by killing Toka Collie and two Indian women. In addition, the brothers brought two Indian girls to Justice George Boone demanding a reward for protecting the citizens. Walter Winter later made a statement in which he said that on May 10th he heard from a Dutchman at Tulpehocken that the Indians had killed two Dutchmen, and wounded three others. He reportedly proceeded by informing the neighbors that they should get together for defence. That night at his own house, he was fastening down the windows when the son of John Roberts came to him for assistance, saying that some Indians with a bow and a great number of arrows were at his father's house. John Roberts' son was worried that his father was in danger of being killed. Walter then went on to say that he grabbed a loaded gun and started for the Roberts' home along with his father-in-law, Morgan Herbert, and John Winter who were also armed. When they arrived at the Roberts' cabin, they saw an Indian man with some women and girls sitting on a wood pile before Roberts' door. He went on to claim that the Indian took his bow, drew an arrow, and put it to the center of his bow. Walter claimed he shot the Indian, and John Winter shot one of the women and knocked the brains out of the other. The girls ran away in fear, but he overtook one of them after shooting at her with an arrow and later found the other with injuries about the head and face.
Toka Collie, the Indian who had been killed, was an old man who was friendly to the settlers and closely related to several powerful chiefs. Therefor, Governor Gordon feared the chiefs would endeavor to take revenge for his death. The Governor immediately sent a messenger with some presents to the Indian girls, who had been injured, with instructions to employ a skilled person to dress their wounds and to assure them that their assailants will not be permitted to escape punishment. He also sent John and Nicholas Scull, who were interpreters, to the chiefs Allummapees, Opekassel and Manawkyhickon. They were to inform the chiefs that measures had been taken to arrest the Winters and to request that the chiefs meet him in council at Conestoga. On the 22nd of May, the Governor departed fromm Philadelphia accompanied by about thirty of the principal men of the colony and wagons carrying as gifts twenty-five matchcoats, twenty blankets, twenty duffels, twenty-five shirts, one hundred weight gunpowder, two hundred weight of lead, five hundred flints, fifty knives, Rum, Bread, Pipes and Tobacco. On the way, he visited the Indians that lived along the French Creek. He then continued his journey to Conestoga where he found seventeen chiefs representing the Delawares, Ganawese, Shawanese and Mingoes waiting for him. The council lasted two days in which presents were mutually given and promises made by the Indians that they would do all in their power to capture the hostiles who had attacked the settlement and on the part of the Governor he assured them that the perpetrators of the outrage upon the Indians should be treated as they deserved. The Winter brothers were afterward tried for murder, convicted and hanged and in this way terminated the conflict.
The Chief of the Shawneed later reported that the hostile Indians that were seen were none other than a band of Shawnees on their way to aid the Delawares in their war with the Flatfeet. This conflict left five of the settlers and several Indians wounded, but none were killed. , ,
Ľ Living, 1728, Perkiomen, Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Ľ Robbers in their Neighborhood, 12 Apr 1729. 95 Robbers harassed my neighbors and me in 1729. An article in the Gazette of April 12, 1729 reads as follows: " We hear there are associated together a company of Irish robbers, the chief of whom are said to be one Bennet, who they call their captain; and one Lynch, who they call their Lieutenant, with Dobbs, Wiggins and many others who skulk about this and the neighboring provinces; their villainies being to steal the best horses and load them with the best goods, and carry them off before people's faces, which they have lately done in or about Conestoga. It seems their usual practice has been to steal horses from this province and the Jerseys and carry them to sell in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina."
Ľ Signed a Petition Requesting Citizenship, 1731. 96 In the beginning of 1731 my neighbors and I sent a petition to the Assembly that read: ôWherein they pray, that they may be permitted to enjoy the right and privileges of English subjects." Among the names are those of Peter Wentz, *Michael Zeigler, Valentine Hunsicker, Nicholas Lesher, John Nicholas Kressman, Johannes Langnecker, Antonius Hallman, *John George Reiff, *Peter Reiff, *Conrad Reiff, Gerhard Peters, Johannes Schaffer, Henry Pennebacker, John Snyder, George Merkle, and Daniel Langnecker.ö
Ľ Founded the Salford Mennonite Church, 1738. 97 Mary and I were charter members of the Mennonite congregation in Salford in 1738. The ministers and deacons of the Salford congregation transferred the meetinghouse, and tract of land on which it stood, into Hans Ulrich's name as well as the names of other leaders. The graveyard behind the church is large and many have been buried there. The oldest tombstone observed bears the date of 1741 and another of 1760. The surnames that appear upon the stones are:
Alderfer Kolb Oberholtzer Frederick Lederach Freid Detweiler Gottschall Hoering *Clemer Benner Ritter Kratz Saylor *Zeigler
Neisz *Shelly Schlafer Krupp Scholl Metzger Bean Moyer Clemense Lukens Heckler Greisz Sleiber Merkle Musselman
Stoll Kensey Schultz Sauder Groff Snyder Cassel *Berge Springer
Schott Halteman Weber Custer Pannebacker Weil Metz Deterey Hunsberger Hendricks Rosenberger Wampole Richards Hose Nyce Delp Bealer Lower Wierman Strunck Butterweck Trumbauer Tyson
In the year 1738, the Mennonites of the Salford area built a meetinghouse for worship on a tract of land Henry Funk, Christian Myre, Jr., Abraharn Reiff, of Franconia Township, and Dielman KoIb of Salford Township purchased from Henry Ruth. They in turn executed a deed of trust to seventeen members of the congregation: Nicholas Haldeman Christian Allebaugh, Henry Ruth, Hans şUlrich Berge, Hans Wyerman, Garret Clements, Feltus Kratz, Jacob Clements, Johannes Clements, Hens Reiff, Frederick Alderfer of Salford Township, and Christian Myre, Sr., Andreas Swartz, Henry Clemmer, Jacob Hackman, Ulrich Hunsberger, and Jacob Landes of Franconia Township.
Ľ Witness: Witness for Gearhart Clemens, 1741. In 1741, I was one of the witnesses to a deed for land conveyed by my father-in-law, Gerhart Clemens to his son, Abraham Clemens.
Ľ Naturalization, 12 Apr 1743. 98,99,100 12th AND 13th OF APRIL, 1743: (age 43)
At a session of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, held in Philadelphia on the 12th and 13th days of April 1743, I was naturalized. I was affirmed rather than taking an oath, because I had conscientious scruples against oath taking. In 1743, the government of Pennsylvania was nullifying the ownership of land by those who did not affirm to be loyal to the crown of Britain. I decided to become naturalized in order to safeguard my property. My German and Swiss neighbors in Pennsylvania were naturalized by virtue of acts passed by the Assembly and the Governor of Pennsylvania. In 1743, Great Britain herself passed an Act of Parliament to naturalize German-Swiss immigrants in Pennsylvania and in other parts of America.
The account of my naturalization was reported in the Pennsylvania Gazette The Pennsylvania Gazette under the date of April 14, 1743 reports as follows: ôAt the Supreme Court held here (Philadelphia) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last, 304 Germans Protestants were naturalized by virtue of a late act of Parliament, having resided in this province upwards of seven years.ö
An Act had been passed on February 1743, allowing Protestants settled in Pennsylvania to be naturalized on an affirmation instead of oath. It also stated that after June 1, 1740 all persons who have resided for seven years or more in American colonies, and shall not have been absent more than two months at a time, and should take an oath and repeat the declaration of allegiance and subscribe and set forth their Christian belief before the judges, shall be adjudged to be the same as his Majesty's natural born subject. This Act goes on to say, that any foreigners desiring to be naturalized who were not Quakers; but who conscientiously refused to take an oath could do so on an affirmation instead of an oath as long as they have lived here seven years.ö
My refusal to bear arms or to take an oath did not prevent me from being active in Politics, from submitting letters to the Governor or from voting in the elections.
I was not allowed by the Pennsylvania government to write a will or to go to court to recover the legacy in court until 1743. After 1743 only those who were naturalized were able to write wills or receive an inheritance.
Ľ French and England at War: England declared war against France, 1744. In 1744, England declared war against France, which involved the colonies as well. My servants whom I had paid in advance for their labor of three to seven years ran away to join the war. These servants were redemptioneers just as I once was when I came to the colony. Many immigrants came to Pennsylvania not having money to pay the expense of their passage; so my German and Swiss neighbors and I were constantly buying these persons who were sold for a term of years to pay those expenses. When war was declared and the servants found they could obtain ready cash for their services in the British army, they joined up.
Ľ Epidemic: Malignant epidemic spread through the area, 1745. In 1745 a malignant and fatal epidemic swept through Montgomery, Pennsylvania.
Ľ appointed: trustee for his neighbor and good friend, Rev. Dilman Kolb, 8 Jul 1748. 91 On July 8th, 1748, I was appointed one of the trustees for the administration of the estate of my neighbor and friend, Rev. Dielman Kolb by the provision of his last will and testament. Dielman Kolb nominated his loving and trusted friend, Hans Ulrich Bergy as trustee
Ľ Gregorian Calendar: Gregorian calendar, 2 Sep 1752.
Britain and the colonies under its control adopted the Gregorian calendar on September 2, 1752.
Ľ appointed: overeer for the poor, 1756. In 1756, I was one of the overseers of the poor in Lower Salford township
Ľ Property: his home and provided a free room and board for a women in the township, 1756, Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Our family provided free room and board for a woman in need. I was one of the overseers of the poor for Lower Salford Township.
Ľ appointed: Supervisor of roads for Salford Township, 1760. 97
In 1760, I was a supervisor of roads for Salford Township. Salford Township may be regarded as one of the central Townships of the county, and is bounded on the north and northwest by Franconia; south, by Perkiomen; northwest, by Upper Salford; and southeast, by Towamencin. In form it is nearly square, the greatest length and width being about four and a half miles, with an area of eight thousand nine hundred and thirty-six acres. The surface is rolling and the soil red shale and loam. It is a fertile and productive Township, under good cultivation and abounds in excellent farm buildings. The Northeast Branch flows near its western boundary nearly four miles, receiving Indian Creek as a tributary. The Skippack has a course of two miles across its eastern corner. Into that stream Little Branch empties just outside the Township, but near its southern boundary. These streams all furnish mill-power, which, in seasons of drought, through the want of unfailing springs, become seriously impaired. It is no unusual circumstance for the Skippack, although it has its origin in Bucks County, over five miles distant, to become entirely dried up a short distance above Mainland.
Salford was formed into a Township in 1727, if not earlier, and then comprised thirty thousand acres of land. The name was given to it from a town and several parishes of this name in England. By order of the Court of Quarter Sessions, in March 1741, its territory was divided into the Townships of Lower Salford, Upper Salford and Marlborough.
There is no doubt that some settlement was made in the Township prior to any actual surveys or purchase. The earliest known was a warrant granted September 10, 1717, to David Powel, of Philadelphia, for three thousand acres of land to be located between the "Skepeck" and a branch of the "Parkyooman." This whole tract was very irregular in shape and from it six hundred and ninety acres located on the Northeast Branch, were sold to Garret Clemens, February 14, 1717-18. It has been supposed that Gabriel Shuler was one of the earliest settlers. His purchase from the Powel tract was five hundred acres, which has now become divided into no less than eleven portions. Henry Ruth came from New Britain, Bucks Co., and purchased, August 15, 1719, two hundred acres and John Isaac Klein's purchase comprised two hundred and fifty acres. Claus Johnson, of Bebber's Township, obtained two hundred and seven acres, and Conrad Custer about the same number; Hans Reiff, two hundred and forty-three acres; Andrew Lederach, about one hundred and twenty; John Lederach, one hundred and fifty; and Dillman Kulp about three hundred acres, which may have comprised the whole of Mr. Powel's original purchase. Claus Johnson and his wife, Catharine, "for the good will they bore to their son, John Johnson, granted unto him their aforesaid purchase.
I have included a list of those who owned land in Salford Township in 1734:
*Garret Clemmens, 150 acres*Jacob Clemmens, 100 acres*John Clemmens, 50 acres Christian Allebach, 150 acresHenry Ruth, 100 acresGabriel Schuler, 150 acres *Hans Reiff; 100 acres*Jacob Reiff, 150 acres*George Reiff, 100 acres Andrew Lederach, 110 acresJohn Lederach, 150 acresJacob Hoffman, 100 acres Nicholas Haldeman, 100 acresChristian Croll, 50 acresChristian Moyer 150 acres Jacob Price, 150 acresJohn Henry Snyder, 100 acresJohn Johnson, 150 acres Dillman Kulp, 150 acresJohn Isaac Klein, 130 acresHenry Slingluff, 50 acres George Boochard, 100 acresAndrew Swartz, 150 acres*Christian Stauffer, 120 acres Jacob Landis, 150 acresGaly Hefflyfinger, 150 acres*Hans Clemmer, 100 acres John Meyer, 100 acresHans Meyer, 150 acresJohn Scholl, 100 acres.
Ľ will, 9 Nov 1762, Salford County, Pennsylvania. 101 BARKY, JNO. WOOLERY. Salford, Co. of Philadelphia. Yeoman. November 9, 1762. December 11, 1762. M.448. Wife: Mary. Children: Michael, John, Samuel, Mary, Salome, Isaac, Elizabeth, Christian, Abraham, Ana and Fronica. Exec: Sons John and Michael. Wit: Andrew Ziegler, Henry Ledraugh, Abraham Clemens.
*Basis for his name and the names of his children is taken from this Will as he signed it himself. The following is a copy of the Will.
"In the name of God, Amen. Whereas I, John Woolery Barkey of Lower Salford, in the county of Philadelphia and Province Of Pennsylvania, Yeoman, do find myself weak in body, but praised be God, of sound memory and understanding therefore I do herewith this ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and sixtytwo make my Last Will and Testament, in manner and form that is to say I give and devise my immortall soul in to the Hands of the Almighty God through the mercy of his son Jesus Christ and my body unto the earth to be decently Buryed according to the direction of my hereafter named executors and concerning my worldly estate I will the sd disposed according to my direction following; viz.: I will that all my legall debts and funerall charges shall be paid after my decease by my Executors hereafter named. Item I give and devise unto my loving wife Mary the sum of one hundred lawful money of Pennsylvania to be paid to her directly after my decease, besides a compleat new feather bed, Pillows with double cases to the beds and Pillows and bedstead and all the furniture belonging to it. Item all her clothes and one equal share with my eleven children of all sorts of linnens, shects, towels and table cloths and one cow to be kept for her at free fodder and pasture (on the place whereon I now dwell) by my hereafter mentioned son Michael or his assigns during such time as she pleaseth in case she remaineth my widow, besides free lodging and wood on the sd Place during the aforementioned conditions and Term and one Iron Pott, a frying pan, besides two Pewter dishes, all which I give unto her in lieu of her thirds, besides that I give unto her the further sum of one hundred pounds which shall be left on my place and the interest at the rate of five per cent. annually paid to her as long as she remaineth my widow during her natural life, but in case she marrieth again then ysd sum shall be divided directly among all my children by equal shares as well as after her decease, Provided my sd children are then all of age.
Item I give and devise unto my son Michael my Plantation and Tract of Land situate in Lower Salford aforesaid containing about one hundred and sixty acres (be ysd more or less) Together with all and singular ye Buildings, Improvements thereto belonging or in any wise appertaining with the appurtenances thereof, to have and to hold the said one hundred and sixty acres (be ysd more or less) according to meets and bounds conveyed to me by Hugh Roberts and his wife. Together with all and singular the improvements and appurtenances thereof unto the sd my son Michael and to his heirs and assigns forever, for which said my plantation my said son Michael and his heirs or assigns is to pay the full sum of Six Hundred Pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania in manner and forms following; vize, first the sum of One hundred pounds or better say the interest thereof at the rate of five per cent to my wife annually during her life if she remaineth my widow according as above already directed concerncing the said sum of one hundred pounds and the Residue of five hundred pounds he is to pay fifty pounds thereof annually to my heirs without interest. Thus he is to pay one hundred pounds thereof as soon as my wife marries again or dieth (But in ye meantime ysd interest to Her) to my sd children and annually fifty pounds to them without interest until that part of the five hundred pounds of the sum of Six Hundred Pounds is fully paid which will make ten annual payments commencing directly at the time of my decease besides which sd sum my sd Son or his heirs or assigns is to allow unto my wife on the sd Place free and convenient lodging sufficient firewood one Cow in free keeping as above already Provided and reserved for these articles concerning ye sd my Wife Mary. Then I bequeath to my oldest son John the sum of ten Pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania as advance before my other children because of his age and to my son Samuel I give the sum of Eight Pounds of the sd money for each year he has worked for me since he is past his lawful age he being at present still with me and now past his twenty-sixth year of age, and to my daughter Mary I give the sum of Ten Pounds advance in consideration of her working for me after her lawful age all the rest of my real and personal estate I give and devise unto my eleven children; namely, John, Michael, Isaac, Samuel, Mary, Elizabeth, Christian, Abraham, Ana, Fronica and Salome in equall shares to every one of them and to the heirs of their body legally begotten forever. But whereas I gave to my son John after he was married in value ye sum of seventy eight pounds nine shillings and three pence and to my son Isaac in value the sum of thirtysix pounds nineteen shillings, and to my daughter Elizabeth ye amount of Twenty seven pounds fourteen shillings besides what ye have borrowed of me therefore the said sums are to be charged to the estate and deducted of their proper equal share at the time of the first dividend which is to be made between my children one year and one day after my death and to be paid to every one of my children which are at that time of age and to the minors when they arrive to their age. But whereas at the time nine payments of my son Michael (for my real estate) are not elapsed I will that afterwards annually ysd payments of fifty Pounds after the same is paid shall be equally divided among ye sd my eleven children or theirs, and I by virtue of these presents constitute and appoint my two sons John and Michael sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament revoking and annihilating herewith all my other Wills and Testaments formerly made by me Ratifying and declaring these presents for my True and Effective last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and
Seal the day and year first above said. John Woolery Barky (seal) Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of Andrew Ziegler Henry Ledraugh Abraham Clemens
Philada 11th December, 1762, Then Personally appeared Andrew Ziegler and Abraham Clemens, two of the witnesses to the foregoing Will and on their solemn affirmation according to law did declare they saw and heard John Woolery Barkey the Testator therein named sign seal and Publish and declare the same Will for and as his Last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge.
Coram Wm. Plumsted Rgr. Gen.
Be it remembered that on the 11th day of December 1762 the Last Will and Testament of John Woolry Barkey dec'd in due form of law was Proved and Probate and Ltrs. Testamentary were granted to John Barkey and Michael Barkey, Executors, in the Said Will named being solemnly affirmed well and truly to administer the sd dec'd estate and bring an Inventory thereof into the Regr. Genl's office at Philadelphia on or before the 11th of January next and render a true account when thereunto legally required given under the said
Wm. Plumsted, Regr. General.
The will of John Ulrich Bergey is recorded in Book M, p. 448, in the office of the Register of Wills at Philadelphia.
Ľ Friend: Rev. Dielman Kolb. Dielman Kolb, youngest son of Dielman Kolb, Sr., was born 10 Nov 1691, at 1:00 in the afternoon, in the Palatinate (Pfalz) at Wolfsheim. The following is taken from an old book, which was printed in Germany in 1581, and was brought over to this country by Dielman Kolb.
Anno, 1691, the 10th of November, I Dielman Kolb, was born into this world at one o'clock in the afternoon. Anno 1714, on St. Jacob's Day, in the 23rd year of my age, I was married to my housewife, Elizabeth. Anno, 1717, the 21st of March, we went to Ibersheim, in the Palatinate, on the journey to Pennsylvania and the 10th August 1717, arrived safely here in Philadelphia. This book belongs to me, Dielman Kolb, and I have received it from Jacob Schnebli of Manheim, in the Palatinate, Anno Dom., 1722 at this time dwelling in Solforth Township, in the County of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania.
Dielman Kolb was a Mennonite minister, living at Manheim, where he attended that congregation as a preacher. He made himself both useful and most valuable by receiving and lodging his persecuted fellow believers who fled from Switzerland, which is how I met him when my family fled Switzerland. Dielman in turn suffered persecution, which eventually led to his emigration to Pennsylvania to join his brothers, Martin, Jacob, Henry and John, who had preceded him ten years earlier.
Dielman Kolb purchased 225 acres of land on January 4, 1721 from Derick (Dirk Jansen) Johnson, weaver, and Margaretha his wife. This tract lay in that part of Philadelphia County that later became Salford Township. At a still later date, Salford was divided into Upper and Lower Salford.
According to the deed of Dirk Jansen to Dielman Kolb, the first land transaction that appears upon record, this tract adjoined other land of "Tilman Kolb. This other land was acquired by patent from the Commonwealth.
On April 2, 1721, Dielman Kolb purchased of Nicholas Scull another 107 acres of land adjoining his other tract bounding on the lands of Andrew Ledrach, Gerhart Clemens and others. The village of Lederachville occupies part of this tract. On June 14, 1731, he added another 50 acres to his great tract. This last purchase he made of John Naglee. About this time, however, he sold 50 acres of his land out of the northwestern corner of his farm to Gally Heffelfinger. By a survey made for Andrew Ziegler, senior, his son-in-law, May 7, 1767, it appears that after selling these 50 acres he still had 559 acres and eight-eight perches. It is seen by this that Dielman Kolb was a man of means and owner of a considerable estate.
On October 10, 1733, Dielman Kolb sold 250 acres of his land to his stepson, Jacob Schnebli. Jacob was from the city of Manheim in the dominion or Principality of the Prince Palatine, on the Rhine in High Germany. He later came to this country and resided on this tract until his death.
Dielman Kolb, Jr., married Elizabeth Schnebli, a widow, in Germany in 1714. Elizabeth had several children by her first husband, Isaac, Mathias and the above-mentioned Jacob Snavely. Isaac settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
In 1728, the great road from Goshenhoppen to Skippack was laid out through Dielman Kolb's land and his residence was about three-fourths of a mile southeast of the village of Lederachville.
Dielman Kolb was a minister of the Mennonite church in Salford Township. He not only attended upon the Mennonite congregation at Salford, he also carried on extensive farming and he was a weaver as well. He was prominent in the affairs of the Mennonite Church and was noted for his religious zeal. He was very intimate with Henry Funk, a minister and bishop of that faith. It was through the perseverance and zeal of these two men that the Mennonite congregation in Salford was organized in 1738.
On the fourth and fifth of October, 1738, Henry Ruth and his wife, Modlena, of Salford, by deed of lease and release granted to Henry Funk, Dielman Kolb, Christian Moyer, Jr., and Abraham Reiff ten acres and forty perches of land, part of his homestead tract. Of the parties of the second part all were residents of Franconia Township, except Dielman Kolb, who was of Salford. Funk was a bishop, Kolb a minister, and Moyer and Reiff were deacons or "Vorsteher. It was not long before we were in our new church building.
Henry Funk, Dielman Kolb, Christian Moyer, Jr., and Abraham Reiff were considered as our trustees. Some of the members of our church were not satisfied that they should have the deed for the land with the meetinghouse thereon all in their name and power. Therefore, they had Robert Jones of Worcester write them a deed of conveyance, called a "declaration" or deed of trust, in which these four officials as "parties of the first part" convey it to the church as the "second part," the second part being represented by seventeen members of the congregation. This deed of trust was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds, Norristown, many years later.
Our church grew and prospered, however it was considered to the advantage of our church that a new congregation be organized at Franconia. A church in Franconia, which was also known as Indian Field would be ideal for those of the faith residing in that locality.
In connection with Bishop Henry Funk, Dielman Kolb supervised the translation of Jan Van Braght's "Bloedigh Tooniel" from the Dutch into the German language, and certified as to its correctness. "The Bloedigh Tooniel" is also known as ôBloody Theatreö or ôMartyr's Mirrorö. It is a history of Christians who suffered and were put to death for the testimony of Jesus their Savior, from the time of Christ until the year A.D. 1660. This book had been published in Dortrecht on July 23, 1659 and the author was T. Jan Van Braght. Many copies were brought to this country, but they were all printed in the Dutch language. It was considered necessary by all of us who were Mennonites that our young members should have the book to read to remind them of the faith and steadfastness of their forefathers in the principles of the church. The propriety of having it transcribed into the German script was a matter of consultation among prominent members of the church for some time. The great difficulty was to find a translator and a printer in the wilds of Pennsylvania, and naturally we turned to the older and wealthier churches of Europe for assistance.
On October 14, 1745, Jacob Godshall of Germantown, Dielman Kolb of Salford, Michael Ziegler, Yellis Cassel and Martin Kolb of Skippack, and Heinrich Funk of Indian Creek (Franconia), sent a letter to Amsterdam on the subject, applying for aid. This aid did not come, but after a great deal of trouble we succeeded in finding both a translator and printer. We found a printer in Ephrata on the Conestoga creek in Lancaster County where a little community of Dunkards had established themselves and introduced monastic institutions. They lived single as monks, friars and nuns, holding their lands and goods in common. About 1745, they secured a hand printing press and also had a paper mill. Here in this quiet valley they translated and published the "Bloedigh Tooniel." The first part was completed in 1748, the second part in 1749, the whole containing about fifteen hundred pages, and it took fifteen men three years to finish it. The price per single copy was 20 shillings.
Dielman Kolb made his will July 8, 1748, and it was proved April 30, 1757, nearly nine years later. In this will, he named as trustees his "loving and trusty friend Henry Funk and John Ulrich Bergeö. He provided well for his widow, Elizabeth, during her natural life. He bequeathed to his only child, Elizabeth, wife of Andrew Ziegler, Sr., all his lands, plantations and tenements, except for 50 acres of land adjoining the land he had sold to his stepson, Jacob Snebley, which he left to his grandson Dielman Ziegler. To his stepson, Matthias, and granddaughter, Catherine Ziegler, he left cash money and to the "Congregation of ye Dutch Mennonists in Salford" he bequeathed 2 pounds 1 shilling and to the Mennonists of "Perkyomin & Skepack," he left a like sum.
Dielman Kolb died December 28, 1756. David Shultze, the surveyor, entered upon his notebook the following under date of December 28, 1756: "Der alte Dielman Kolb zu Shippack is auch gestorben d. 28th xbr." And then on December 30: "Went to Skippack to the burial. He was in his sixty-seventh year, not quite having reached the allotted three score and ten. "Few men can lay claim to a nobler life and while no monument marks his last resting place, his name for all time will be indissolubly linked with that great historical work of the Pennsylvania Mennonites, the most durable monument of our denomination.
Ľ Friend: John and Jacob Landis. 102 It was from the vicinity of Manheim that the three brothers, Benjamin, Felix, and John Landis, in 1717, immigrated to Pennsylvania. The eldest brother, Benjamin settled in what is now Lancaster County. In 1718, he received by patent from the London Company a tract of two hundred and forty acres of land situated in East Lampeter Township. He was a Mennonite minister and his house became a refuge for many Swiss emigrants who enjoyed his hospitality until they were able to secure homes of their own.
Felix Landis, brother of Reverend Benjamin Landis, received a patent from the London Company in 1719-20. It was for four hundred acres of land on Mill Creek, also in East Lampeter Township. He died in 1739.
John Landis, the third brother, settled in Bucks County near what is now Shelly, where he died in 1749.
Ľ Friend: Andrew Lederach. 103 The Lederach family roots extend back to Switzerland. Andrew and Megdalena Lederach, Swiss Mennonites, left for the great experiment of William Penn in Pennsylvania. On September 2, 1718, they received a deed for 100 acres of land, about 35 miles north of Philadelphia.
Andreas Leddraugh and his brother, Johannes Leddraugh, immigrated to this country from the German Palatinate early in the eighteenth century. They settled in what is now Lower Salford Township, known in early days as Skippack. They were Mennonites and members of the Lower Salford Meeting House of that faith.
On September 12, 1718, James Steele and his wife Martha conveyed to John Lederach fifty acres of land. This land adjoined his other land and that of his brother, Andrew Lederach, Dielman Kolb and others. The land was part of five thousand acres that William Penn, Proprietor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, conveyed to William Bacon, October 12, 1681. John Lederach applied to the Land Office for a patent for his whole tract of one hundred and fifty acres, which was granted him August 22, 1734. He lived here for thirty years and died in the early winter of 1748.
He made a will, dated August 17, 1748, and proved December 12, following, in which he appointed his son, John Lederach, Jr., and his son-in-law, Jacob Groff, to be his executors, and Andrew Ziegler and Jacob Shoemaker trustees. They were to see that the provisions of his will were carried out. The executors advertised the farm would be sold at public auction.
The farm was eventually sold to George Weyker, or Weykert, for five hundred pounds, the deed of sale dated January 17, 1750, and signed by John Leddraff and Jacob Graff as executors and Andrew Ziegler and Jacob Shoemaker as trustees.
Andrew Lederach was a shoemaker by trade, but having acquired a large tract of land, followed the occupation of farmer. The Lederachs, the Zieglers, the Clemens and the Kolb's were all neighbors, owning large farms that adjoined each other.
John and Andrew Lederach were naturalized April 12 and 13, 1743. Being Mennonites and opposed to taking an oath, they subscribed to the qualifications.
Ľ Friend: Michael Ziegler. 104 Michael Ziegler, born about 1680 in Germany, came to America with his brother Melchior before 1717. In 1717, he was living in Perkiomen Township, then Philadelphia. This is where he died "far advanced in age"August 24, 1765.
He was appointed as one of the trustees of the land upon which was erected the Skippack Mennonite Church. He later served as minister to this congregation. He also preached at Germantown, however his occupation is given as that of weaver.
The Christian name of his wife was Catherine. In a number of deeds that she signed in conjunction with her husband she wrote her name in German "Catherinea Zieglerin," while Michael made his mark thus: M.Z.
In 1717, Van Bebber and his wife in consideration of "true love and singular affection bears to them and all theirs" conveyed one hundred acres of land to Henry Sellen, Claus Jansen, Henry Kolb, Martin Kolb, Jacob Kolb, Michael Ziegler and Hermanus Kuster in trust, upon which to build a school house and to fence in sufficient ground for a burying place for the use of the inhabitants of Bebbers Township. Pastorius and all the trustees who wrote the deed were Mennonites. Christopher Dock, ôthe pious school master on the Skippackö, conducted this first school
Ľ Friend: Jacob Gottshall. 105 Rev. Gottshall purchased 120 acres of land from James Shattuck in Towamencin Township. The deed bears date of February 30, 1713-14 and was acknowledged April 20, 1714.
At the same time his son Gottshall Gottshall purchased from the same party 120 acres, adjoining his father's tract. The consideration was the same and the deed bears the same dates as that of his father's.
In 1708, Gottshall joined with four other brethren in a letter to Amsterdam, asking for some catechisms for the children and little testaments for the young. He stated that only one Bible was among the membership of the church.
In 1728, the Mennonite confession of faith was translated into English and printed by Bradford, in Philadelphia. Gottshall was one of the signers testifying to the correctness of the translation.
Again on October 19, 1745, he joined with five others asking for assistance to translate Martyr's Mirror from the Dutch into German. Although, no answer came from Holland the brethren in America arranged for the translation and had the book printed at Ephrata. Gottshall and Dielman Kolb carefully read and corrected the proofs. Rev. Gottshall was a literary man and capable to use three languages, Dutch, German and English.
Rev. Gottshall made his Will in 1760, as to occupation he says, "Formerly while I was able I was a turner (a lathe worker). He died in 1763, aged about ninety-seven years. He was buried in the graveyard adjoining the Towamencin Mennonite Church, near Kulpsville. His wife died prior to 1706.
Ľ Friend: Jacob Oberholtzer. 106 Jacob Oberholtzer was born in 1687 in Switzerland. He settled in Franconia Township, Pennsylvania, which was also near Salford Township. He immigrated with the Bauer's, Bechtel's, Clemmers, Funk's, Kindig's, Moyer's, Schumachers, Stauffer's and Ziegler's in 1709. They all settled adjoining each other.
Ľ Friend: Nicholas Haldeman. 107 Nicholas Haldeman came in 1727 to Pennsylvania from the canton of Bern, Switzerland, by way of Holland. His wife and children and his two brothers, Hans and Michael, accompanied him. Hans and Michael Haldeman each purchased 150 acres of land in Chester County. The deed for Michael was purchased and recorded on February 8, 1734 and the deed for Hans was recorded on May 7, 1737. The land obtained by Michael was in Coventry Township.
Nicholas Haldeman purchased a tract of land in Salford Township. Salford was in the vicinity of Skippack. The records of the homestead are entirely complete, dating from the William Penn grant in 1695. The land went through several successive ownerships before being conveyed to Nicholas Haldeman. The land was deeded to him August 13, 1728. He held the property 14 years and in 1742 sold it to his son, Nicholas, Jr. In 1765, Nicholas Jr., transferred the title to Isaac Markley for the sum of 800 pounds sterling.
Nicholas Haldeman was one of the trustees in the founding of the Lower Salford Mennonite Church in 1738. His name heads the list of those to whom the meetinghouse and tract of land on which it stood, was transferred by the ministers and deacons of the congregation. He was also one of the 77 signers to a petition to Governor Patrick Gordon, dated May 10, 1728, in which we asked for protection from the Indians. We called ourselves, ôthe back inhibitors about Faulkner's Swamp and New Goshenhoppen.ö Nicholas Haldeman owned land and paid quit rents in Philadelphia County prior to 1734. One hundred acres are ascribed to him.
At a session of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, held April 12th and 13th, 1743, in Philadelphia, Nicholas Haldeman of Chester County, and Nicholas Haldeman, Jr., and Christian Haldeman, of Philadelphia County subscribed for naturalization. The latter two were sons of Nicholas.
After Nicholas Haldeman had sold his farm in Salford Township, Philadelphia County, he removed to Chester County, where he purchased on April 12, 1743, a tract of land containing 200 acres.
Nicholas Haldeman died in 1762, and his will shows that he and his wife, Mary, had seven children, four sons and three daughters: John, Christian, Nicholas, Jr., Christopher, Barbara, Mary, and Maley. Some of these children were born in the canton of Bern, Switzerland.
Ľ Friend: John Kratz. 108 John Kratz was married to my wife's sister Anna Clemens, daughter of Gerhart Clemens. He came from a noble and titled family of Switzerland that through religious persecution and exile lost their birthright. The family was driven to Alsace and later immigrated to Pennsylvania. He was 20 years old when he immigrated. The voyage took nearly four months. Here he braved the trials and hardships incident to a new and sparsely settled country, in which wild beasts and Indians abounded. They were among the original members of the Mennonite church of Salford.
He lived in a most trying time in the history of this country and was torn to determine the correct attitude to take regarding the arduous struggle of the colonies for freedom from crowned tyranny during the American Revolution. His Mennonite background influenced him toward non-resistance. However, he remained true and loyal to the American cause.
John Valentine Kratz settled in Salford Township, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania where he purchased three tracts of land. One tract contained 163 acres, 71 perches with allowance of six percent, for roads and highways, and for which he paid 25 pounds, 6s, 8d, and received a patent therefore on Feb. 14, 1736. It is located in Upper Salford. It extended on both sides of the Skippack road to the crossroad below Salfordsville. It was obtained from John Penn, Thomas Penn, and Richard Penn by their patent dated August 3, 1734.
A second tract containing 53 acres was purchased from Gerhard Clemens (also known as Gerret Clemens) for 53 pounds, by deed dated January 30, 1735. This tract is located in Lower Salford, and was adjoining his first purchase. The third tract of land purchased contained 68 acres and located in the same township.
Ľ Misc: Notes of Interest. NOTES OF INTEREST
John's family may have left Switzerland between 1710-1714 due to persecution. It is believed that the family may have lived in Breisach or Mannheim, in the Palatinate, Germany. It was Dielman Kolb, Sr. (1648-1712), who was a preacher at Mannheim and who assisted with preacher Hans Jacob Schnebelli, in the 1710 flight of Swiss Anabaptists down the Rhine River. It would have been while in Mannheim in the Palatinate that John made his acquaintance with Dillman Kolb, Jr., Hans Jacob Schnebeli, Daniel Richen, Christian Gaumann, John Landis George Ritter Dillman Kolb, Jr. and John Landis who became John's closest friends
1. The opinion that John immigrated before 1717 can be supported by the following facts:
a) Ships list were not kept consistently until after 1717. John is not listed in the few ships list that exist for arrivals before 1717 or those that were required after 1717.
b) After 1717, Governor Keith of Pennsylvania mandated that all immigrants were to see the magistrate within one month of their arrival to be naturalized. Colonist who immigrated prior to this date were not required to become naturalized. John didn't become naturalized until 1743.
c) His neighbors and frends (Daniel Richen, Christian Gaumann, Dielman Kolb and the Schnebelli's) were those who immigrated prior to 1717 and were most likely his shipmates
2. Immigrants headed to America in 1717, sailed either from Rotterdam directly to Pennsylvania or from Rotterdam to Cowes or London, England and from Cowes orLondon, England to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was the destination of choice for German/Swiss immigrants. Primarily they were attracted to Pennsylvania, because William Penn personally visited the churches in the Palatinate and Switzerland inviting them to his colony. Secondly, the first colonist from the Palatinate who immigrated to America reported back to their compatriots that New York was not favorable towards them and recommended Pennsylvania instead.
3. The Schenebelli's immigrated to the Pennsylvania Colony in 1717 according to Hans Schnebeli's Bible. Hans Jacob Schnebelli signed letters at Mannheim in 1706, 1717 and in 1727 as a Mennonite minister. In a letter dated 26 Jul 1710, Martin Egli, Hans Blimm and Christian Rupp of Alsace asked Hans Jacob Schnebeli and Dillman Kolb (probably Sr.) in the Pfalz to assist 30 Anabaptists prisoners from Switzerland. He signed a letter at Ibersheim in 1709 and a letter at Mannheim in 1715 as a leader of the Mennonites there. In 1710 he received a letter as a Mennonite elder in the Pfalz. Hans Jacob Schenbelli who lived at Mannheim and the Ibersheimer Hof assisted in the 1710 flight of Swiss Anabaptists refugees on their way down the Rhine River to the Palatinate.
4. Heckler says it is a tradition that Hans Ulrich Bergey's wife was Mary, the daughter of neighbor Gerhart Clemens
5. We know that Hans and Mary were married before March 15, 1726 when they bought a tract of land from Hugh and Rachel Roberts.
6. As early as 1726, John Ulrich Bergey purchased land in what is now Montgomery Co., Pa. The genealogy of his descendants comprises a book of over 1,000 pages in which more than 600 persons carrying the family name were listed in 1925. The family has been most prominent in eastern Pennsylvania (Franconia Mennonite Conference) and in Ontario, Canada.
7. John is the first ancestor where we have found an actual signature. In a deed, given in 1728, in which John Ulrich Bergey conveys 100 acres of his land to Jacob Enger he writes his name Hans Ulrich Bürgy (u with the umlaut). This is the earliest signature that has been found and it is presumed that this is the original spelling of the family name. John Ulrich's name as appended to his Will is either written with assistance or it is an attempt to anglicize it so as to make it more readily comprehensible by English speaking persons. It is important to remember that Pennsylvania although owned by William Penn was considered loyal to the King of Britain.
8 John Ulrich Bergey's sons used three different renditions, as Bergey, Berge, and Berky. By far, the greatest numbers of the descendants of John Ulrich write their name Bergey. Some of the descendants of John write the name Berky. A few of the descendants of Isaac and all the descendants of Abraham write the name Berge. Some of the descendants of Isaac also write the name Bergy.
9. When the name Burgy is pronounced in German it sounds like ôBarkeyö or even ôBergeyö. The spelling of the name changed to Barkey during Enos Barkey's generation. John Ulrich Bergey, who immigrated to the United States, can be found as John Ulrich Bergey, Barkey, Burki, Borgy, Berge and Burgy in the Pennsylvania archives. The variety of spellings for John Ulrich Bergey can be explained in that while John was literate in German he was not in English. The colony of Pennsylvania was under British rule with British subjects filling the capacities of recorders, lawyers etc. The recorder or lawyer would write Johns name according to its British English phonetic sound. Abraham Barkey spelled his name Birki. Abraham's father, John Barkey is found in numerous archives in Pennsylvania as John Bergey and John Barkey.
10. John Ulrich Bergey's name appears in many records, which indicate that he was a man of prominence in his community and was trusted by his associates and neighbors.
11. The Salford Meeting place is situated about one mile west of Harleysville, and was built in 1850 of stone, one story high, forty-five by fifty-five feet in dimensions. It stands on elevated ground with ample shedding attached and an open, unfenced woods adjoining. Josiah Clemmer, the bishop, resides in Franconia and his diocese extends also over Lower Salford and Towamencin. The ministers are Isaac C. Clemmer and Jacob C. Moyer and the Deacon is Jacob Kulp. The membership is upwards of two hundred and fifty. The services are still exclusively confined to the German. The grounds attached to the meetinghouse comprise ten acres, upon which is also erected a dwelling for the sexton.
The tombstones are of various sizes and designs, some being four and a half feet high, and the inscriptions are about as numerous now in English as in German. The Mennonites, though a plain people in dress, unlike the Society of Friends, permit individuals to exercise their own Judgment respecting the size, inscription and pattern of their monuments, as may be observed in any of their cemeteries.
The congregation possesses no early records; hence the time of the erection of the first house of worship here is uncertain. Some have made it as early as 1730, and it is probable that it goes back at least to 1741. Henry Ruth, whose residence was here from 1718 to 1747, mentions, in a deed to Christian Stouffer, that one-acre had been taken out for the use of a Mennonite meetinghouse ground, without giving any date. Some have supposed the present meetinghouse the third erected here. The one torn down in 1850 is represented as a very ancient-looking structure. Among the ministers here in the past have been Oberholtzer, Christian Haldeman, Isaac Alderfer, John Bergey and Jacob Kulp. The Mennonites are a numerous body in Lower Salford and the adjoining townships of Franconia, Hatfield, Towamencin and Perkiomen. As a people, they show a strong attachment to an agricultural life, being prudent managers, excellent farmers and supporting their own poor.
12. John's name appears in his probate of December 1762 as John Wollery Berge. It is thought with a German accent the Ulrich may have sounded like Woolery.
13. Basis for the spelling of John's name and the names of his children is taken from his Will as he signed it himself
14. There is a tradition in the family that Michael Bergey's mind became deranged such that he was unable to conduct his personal affairs.
John married Mary Clemens, daughter of Gerhart (Gerhard) Clemens and Anneli (Anna) Reiff, before 1726 in Pennsylvania. (Mary Clemens was born in 1709 in Rhineland-Pfalz (Palatinate) Germany,78 died in 1789 in Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania 109 and was buried in 1789 in Salford Meeting House Cemetery, Salford Township.)