Gerhart (Gerhard) Clemens 652,653
- Born: 1680, Niederfloersheim, Pfalz, Germany 425
- Marriage: Anneli (Anna) Reiff in Aug 1702 in Weissenan, Mainz, Palatinate, West Germany
- Died: 1745, Hanover Township, Pennsylvania at age 65 654
- Buried: 1745, Lower Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse 655
Noted events in his life were:
• Occupation, 1702. My occupation was that of a husbandman and vinedresser as well as a linen cloth weaver.
• Keeper: was the first generation keeper of the Clemens Account Book, 1709. 78,656,657 I kept a diary in which are entered many notes.
“Anno 1709, March 8, I, Jacob Clemens, gave my son Gerhart by my own hand on account 126 guilders.” Then the following: “anno 1709, March 3, I, John Clemens, have settled with my brother Gerhart Clemens and made every thing balance regarding his purchased goods.
My father-in-law reckoned to me for the horse rix dollars and for the cow 12 rix dollars. Is that now right?
“Anno 1709, October 10, I bought a horse from Heinrich Kassel for L3 7s 6d and it is to be paid by next May.”
I bought a cow of Abraham Heistand, April 15, 1726, for L3 ts.
Anno 1713, I was with Mathias Van Bebber in Maryland.
Anno 1723, November 15, I, Gerhart Clemens bought from Hans Michael Wegley, a mare with a young colt for L5.”
June 2, 1726, I borrowed L14 from Dringen Sprogel.
November 11, I again borrowed from her in gold five pounds eight shillings four pence and three farthings.
Anno 1726, June 4, Jacob Galman received for the work L8 from me.
Anno 1726, March 31, I made a piece of cloth, altogether thirty yards, nine yards of tow and twenty-one yards of flax for Jacob Garman
John Lederach's flaxen cloth is thirty-six yards at six pence per yard. The piece of tow cloth, which I made, is fifteen yards and a half at five pence per yard.
No date written” For Paul Friet I made a piece of flaxen cloth. It is twenty three yards at five pence per yard.”
In 1726 I built the first gristmill in Salford Township on the creek. I made a contract with Jacob Souder, March 1726, to build a mill to be well made and to give good satisfaction, for which I was to receive L33, one half thereof to be paid when the mill was finished and the other half in six months afterwards. I remain in debt to Souder Lll. Anno 1726, February 26, Jacob Souder again received L3 and I remain in debt yet eight pounds and eight shillings.
Notes: According to tradition, the brother, John that was mentioned was a merchant, unmarried, in the city of New York. Tradition also has it that there was another brother, Jacob, who lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
The money he mentions was formerly the money system used in Holland. Two and a half guilders made one rix dollar, which was equal to one-dollar United States money.
The mill that Gerhart refers to This mill stood until 1823, nearly 100 years, when the foundation for the present (1922) mill, now known as Groff's, was laid.. The original building stood against the hill, about one hundred and fifty yards farther up the stream from the present site. "It was built in the most economical manner, two stories high. There were no elevators in it, everything which was to be ground twice had to be carried up stairs to the second story. Customers bringing in grist there to be ground drove their teams up hill and unloaded on the second story, while those who fetched their grist, which mostly consisted of flour and bran, received them from the first floor.
• Immigration, 1709. The conditions in the Palatinate were intolerable. I heard William Penn speak about a place called Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania colony promised a better future than what my current circumstances would ever afford. My brother, John had already immigrated to New York and had written urging me to come to the American Colonies. I left Holland in the fall of 1708 to visit my brother and to explore Pennsylvania. In March of 1709, I purchased the supplies that I would need to establish a plantation in the Pennsylvania Colony from my brother who owned a General Mercantile Store. The bill of sale from my brother was dated March 8, 1709 and settled in New York.
I made arrangements along with my step-father-in-law for passage on a ship to London as soon as I returned to Holland. My wife's entire family decided to immigrate to Pennsylvania. We all arrived safely in London on May 6, 1709.
“A list of all the poor Germans lately come over from the Palatinate to this kingdom taken in St. Catherine's the sixth May 1709:”
“Clemens, Gerhard; age 28; married and wife living; son age 5, son age 1 ½ occupation husbandmen, vinedressers and linen cloth weaver.”
Names of Ship Passenger Name Birth Year Birth Place
Ship Departed on 1709 Hans Stauffer 1644 Eggiwil, SW
Kinget Hiestand (W) 1658 Richterseill, SW
Jacob Stauffer 1696 Ibersheim, Gr
Daniel Stauffer 1697 Ibersheim, Gr
Heinrich Stauffer 1700 Ibersheim, Gr
Paul Friedt 1685 Germany
Elisabeth Stauffer (W) 1688 Ibersheim, Gr
Anna Friedt 1708 Alsheim, Gr
Gerhard Clemens 1680 Dittelsheim, Gr
Anna Reiff (W) 1682 Mettenheim, Gr
Abraham Clemens 1707 Niederflorsheim, Gr
Jacob Clemens 1709 Niederflorsheim, Gr
Jacob Stauffer 1685 Switzerland,
I found work in England to sustain my family and to set aside funds for the rest of our journey to Pennsylvania. I was able to secure a place for my family on a ship to New York with the estimated arrival of September 1709. We arrived in Philadelphia in October and settled in Germantown on October 10, 1709.
• Petition, 1713. 658 A petition was circulating requesting the Governor of Pennsylvania for a road from Skippack to Whitemarsh Township where Farmer's Mill was situated on the Wissahocken Creek. I signed the petition in 1713. I've included a list of those who signed: Derick Rosenberg, Henry Frey, Gerhard Indehoffen, Claus Janson, Gerhard Clements, Henry Pennypacker, John Umstat, John Kolb, Jacob Gotschalk, Mathias Tyson, Jacob Kolb, William Rosenberg, Herman Kuster, Martin Kolb, John Scholl, Henry Kolb, Jacob Opdegraff, Peter Sellen, Herman Indehoffen, John Newberry and Daniel Dismant
• Property: 690 acres of land, 1718, Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. 97 On February 14, 1718, I purchased from David Powell six hundred and ninety acres of land, located on the Northeast branch of the Skippack River near Lower Salford, Pennsylvania. David Powell, who was granted a warrant for land on September 10, 1717, was the earliest known owner of land in Lower Salford. David Powel originally purchased 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. Here upon the west side of the creek he built a log house, where his family lived while he cleared away the forests.
• Sold, 1718, Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. In 1718, I sold 250 acres of land to my son Abraham
• Sold, 1718. I sold 86 acres of my land to my son Jacob.
• Sold, 9 Dec 1722. On December 9, 1722, my wife and I sold fifty acres of our first purchase of one hundred acres in Bebber's Township to Michael Ziegler, one of the earliest ministers of the Mennonite Church at Skippack.
Note: Bebber's Township was later known as Skippack.
• Signed a Petition, 1726. In 1726, I signed a petition to the Philadelphia court, asking that the Township of Salford be set apart as a separate Township from Bebberstown, so that we could elect our own representatives. The petition was granted.
• Built, 1726. In 1726, I built a mill on the branch of the Perkiomen that went through my land. The mill stood until 1823 and was known as Alderfer's Mill. I was also known to be a farmer.
• Petition, 1728. 659 On May 10, 1728, I signed a petition to the Governor of Pennsylvania asking for relief of suffering at the hands of Indians at Falkners Swamp near Goshaphopin.
Signers of PETITION OF INHABITANTS OF COLEBROOKDALE, 1728:
Petitioning May 10, 1728 for relief of suffering at the hands
of the "Ingians". Location: Falkners Swamp, and near "Coshahopin". PETITIONERS:
John Roberts, Jn. Pawling, Henry Pannebackers, W. Lane,
John Jacobs, ____D. Bais, Israell Morris,
Benjamine Fry, Jacob Op den graef, Richard Adams, George Poger,
Adam Sollom, Dirtman Kolb, Martin Kolb, Gabriel Showler,
Anthony Halmon, John Isaac Rlein (Klein?), Hanss Detweiler,
William Bitts, Heinrich Rutt, Hubburt Castle, Henry Fentlinger,
Christian Weber, Gerhart De Hesse, Lorentz Cinzamore,
Richard Jacob, Herman Rupert, 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,
• Naturalization, 9 Jan 1730.
• Property, 15 Apr 1734. 50 On the 15th of April 1734, I was granted by patent a tract of land containing six hundred and ninety acres. I sold parts of this land to my sons Jacob, Abraham and John. I sold 250 acres of my land to my son Abraham and 86 acres to my son Jacob.
• Error, 23 Jun 1735. Owing to an error in the original survey made to David Powel as to the exact quantity of land contained in my tract of land, I again applied to the land office and was granted a second patent for this additional tract on June 23, 1735. My entire tract at this time comprised about a mile square and among the adjoining landowners are noted Andrew Lederach and Dillman Kolb. My land was entirely cleared by 1735 and the entire tract comprised about a mile square. My neighbors were Andrew Lederach and Dillman Kolb. God blessed my family with prosperity and success in our community. We lived for some time in the first house built on the west side of the Branch Creek, but later he erected a larger and more commodious residence on the east side of the same stream.
The following are the names of those who settled in Lower Salford:
Garret Clemmens, 150 acres Jacob Clemmens, 100 acres John Clemmens, 50 acres
Christian Allebach, 150 acres Henry Ruth, 100 acres Gabriel Schuler, 150 acres
Hans Reiff; 100 acres Jacob Reiff, 150 acres George Reiff, 100 acres
Andrew Lederach, 110 acres John Lederach, 150 acres Jacob Hoffman, 100 acres
Nicholas Haldeman, 100 acres Christian Croll, 50 acres Christian Moyer
Jacob Price, 150 acres John Henry Snyder, 100 acres John Johnson, 150 acres
Dillman Kulp, 150 acres John Isaac Klein, 130 acres Henry Slingluff, 50 acres
George Boochard, 100 acres Andrew Swartz, 150 acres Christian Stauffer, 120 acres
Jacob Landis, 150 acres Galy Hefflyfinger, 150 acres Hans Clemmer, 100 acres
John Vincent Meyer, 100 acres Hans Meyer, 150 acres John Scholl, 100 acres.
John Umstat Claus Janson John Kuster
John Jacobs Edward Beer Gerhard Indehoffen
Herman Indehoffen Derick Rosenberg William Rosenberg
John Newberry Thomas Wiseman Herman Kuster
Henry Pannebeeker Cornelius Dewees William Dewees
John Scholl Daniel Dismant Christopher Zimmerman.
John, Jacob and Martin Kolb Solomon Dubois Valentine Hansicker
Paul Fried Valentine Keely Peter Beller
• Sold: grist mill, 25 May 1764. 50 John Clements owned and operated the mill property to May 25, 1764, when he sold it to Frederick Alderfer, who conveyed it to his son, John, July 1, 1776.
• Sold, 20 Jun 1738. On June 20, 1738, we gave to our son Jacob two tracts containing together one hundred and eighty-five acres.
• Sold, 21 Jun 1738. On the following day, June 21, we transferred to our son Jacob another large tract containing one hundred and thirty-six acres.
• road, Sep 1738. September 1738, the Township of Salford pursuant to an order of the court dated June 1738, laid out a road for public use that began at Hankatrants Smith's and intersected with a new road that extended from Jo Grone's Mill to the Clemens Mill.
• Sold, 6 Sep 1738. On September 6, 1738, I sold the gristmill messuage, the plantation and a tract of land on a branch of Perkiomen Creek to my son John. The tract of land contained one hundred and forty-one acres. Jacob Souder worked for my son as the millwright and received for his labor thirty-three pounds.
• Sold, 30 May 1741. We sold to our son, Abraham two hundred and thirty-six acres of my vast holdings, four acres of which the latter sold ten days later to his brother Jacob.
The remainder of this land, I sold to various persons, in all about eight hundred and twenty-four acres. After disposing of all my land, my wife and I retired even though Iwas only sixty-one years old at that time.
• Friend: Dillman Kolb was his neighbor. See John Ulrich Bergey's Biography
• Friend: Jacob Kolb. 660 Jacob Kolb was the son of Dielman Kolb born May 21, 1685. He came to America in 1707 and settled at Germantown; was married to Sarah Van Sintern in the year 1710, May 1nd in the old log Mennonite church, at Germantown, in the presence of the full congregation. Dirk Keyser officiated.
An obituary notice of his says: On the 4th instant, October 1739, Jacob Kolb of Skippack. As he pressing cider the beam of the press fell on one side of his head and shoulder and wounded him so that he languished about half an hour and then died, to the exceeding grief of his relatives and family, who are numers and concern of his friends and neighbors, among whom he lived many years in great esteem. Aged 54 years. he was also a trustee, in connection with his brother, Martin of Skippack mennonite Congregation as early as 1717 where he moved in 1709.
• Friend: Andrew Lederach his neighbor. 103 The greater part of the village of Lederachville is built on land originally belonging to the farm of Andrew Lederach. The village is located on a high ridge, at the intersection or crossing of three roads, and at the terminus of the Harleysville and Lederachville Turnpike. One of the roads passing through the town is the ancient highway known as the Skippack Road, which was opening 1728, being the first leading from this section to the city of Philadelphia.
The village owes its origin to Henry Lederach, great grandson of Andrew Lederach, who built the first house here in 1827. He put up a blacksmith shop and carried on smithing for several years.
Situated as it is, on the top of a high ridge, the view from the house facing the village street is beautiful. Goshenhoppen Valley is magnificent. A person can stand on the Spring Mill Road looking across the fields and orchards to see rising over the tops of the trees, on a high hill, the tall white spire of the old Goshenoppen Church. Winding its way across the fields in the valley is a branch of the Perkiomen Creek, which passes under the bridge just above Groff's Mill near where the old Gerhart Clemens Mill used to be. The road which crosses over the bridge leads from the Goshenhoppen Church, making a sharp turn, winds up the hill, passing by the Mennonite Meeting House and separating the church property from the old Jacob Clemens house, ending at the pike about a mile beyond the village. Turning in the other direction and looking back towards Skippack, one can see the remodeled Dielman Kolb house standing near the pike about one quarter of a mile away. Over to the immediate left, but shut off from view by buildings, is the original Andrew Lederach homestead, while still to the left and towards the valley stands the ruins of the Michael Ziegler house in the midst of the twelve acre plot which comprised his inheritance.
Andrew Lederach died in the winter of 1759. He is buried in the old Lederach family burial place on the farm, but no tombstones show their last resting place
• Friend: Mathias Van Bebber. In the year 1702 the Mennonites commenced to settle in Skippack. On February 22, 1702, Mathias Van Bebber, a Mennonite, bought a tract of land containing 6166 acres in Skippack, at that time called Bebber Township. Van Bebber bought the tract for the purpose of selling it again to the Mennonites and to form a colony of that sect.
• Friend. 661 Heinrich Kassel was a Mennonite minister in the Palatinate or on the Upper Rhine. He wrote a pamphlet on the history of the Quakers to which Peter Hendricks and Jacob Claus, of Amsterdam, wrote a reply in 1679, which was the property of Daniel Francis Pastries, and is now in the fireproof of the Pennsylvania Historical Society at Philadelphia in the Abraham h. Castle collection.
History also mentions a Henrich Kassel, preacher of Lambersheim in 1689 also Henrich Kassel preacher Gerolsheim in 1690. A Henrich Kassel is also mentioned in Rupp's 30,000 names on page 432 as being among the first settlers of Germantown. In 1708, A Heinrich Kassel is mentioned among the fifty-two members of the Mennonite Church at Germantown, when the first Mennonite meetinghouse was built.
• Biography: of Gerhart Clemens. 662 Gerhart Clemens, a Mennonite, born 1680, probably in Switzerland, was the son of Jacob Clemens and came to Pennsylvania in 1709, settling first in Skippack, where in 1711 he purchased of Matthias Van Bebber a farm of one hundred acres. Matthias Van Bebber had received from the Proprietary, William Penn, six thousand acres of land situated in what was then Philadelphia, but now Montgomery County. This great tract was known as Bebber's Township and comprised all of the present Perkiomen and Skippack Township.
In 1718 Gerhart Clemens purchased of David Powell another tract of land consisting of three hundred acres "on the northeast branch of the Perkahomy Creek," in what is now Lower Salford Township. Here upon the west side of the creek he built a log house, where he lived while he cleared away the forests. On December 9, 1722, Gerhart and his wife Ann sold to Michael Ziegler, one of the earliest ministers of the Mennonite Church at Skippack, fifty acres of his first purchase of one hundred acres in Bebber's or Skippack Township. Thereafter, by purchase and patent, he acquired additional tracts until he had six hundred and ninety acres which he claimed as his own.
Gerhart Clemens kept a diary, or notebook, in which are entered many notes, none, however, in his own handwriting after 1740. While there are entries made in the same book later on, they appear to have been made by his son, Jacob, with whom, according to tradition, he lived during the latter years of his life.
Gerhart Clemens says in his diary that he was born in 1680 and came to Pennsylvania in 1709. From the following entry we learn that his father's name was Jacob:
"Anno 1709, March 8, I, Jacob Clemens, gave my son Gerhart by my own hand on account 126 guilders." Then the following: "Anno 1709, March 3, I, John Clemens, have settled with my brother Gerhart Clemens and made every thing balance regarding his purchased goods."
According to tradition, this brother, John, was a merchant, unmarried in the city of New York. It is also said that there was another brother, Jacob, who lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Another item of interest in this notebook, no date, but apparently made in Holland: "My father-in-law reckoned to me for the horse ( ) rix dollars and for the cow 12 rix dollars. Is that now right?" This was formerly the money of Holland. Two and a half guilders made one rix dollar, which was equal to one dollar United States money.
The diary is written entirely in German, but the fact that all his financial dealings were transacted in the currency then in use in Holland leads one to believe that Gerhart Clemens was living in or near that country. About March 1709, when he was twenty-nine years of age, he apparently sold his possessions to his father, Jacob, and his brother, John, and to his father-in-law, whose name, unfortunately, he neglects to give us, and prepares to come to this country. From this same notebook we learn that by October of that year he had arrived in Pennsylvania.
By 1735 Gerhart Clemens' entire tract comprised about a mile square, and among the adjoining land owners are noted Andrew Lederach and Dillman Kolb. It was not long before Gerhart Clemens became one of the most prosperous and successful men in the community. He lived for some time in his first house built on the west side of the Branch Creek, but later erected a larger and more commodious residence on the east side of the same stream.
We learn from the numerous accounts that appear in his diary, or notebook, that Gerhart Clemens and some of his children were weavers and wove considerable homespun goods for his friends and others. This was, no doubt, one of the ways by means of which they made money to pay their debts.
In 1726, Gerhart Clemens built the first grist mill in Salford Township on the creek near the present (1922) site of Groff's mill. In the diary he left some matters on record relating to it, namely, that he made a contract with Jacob Souder, March, 1726, to build a mill "to be well made and to give good satis- faction," for which he was to receive 33 pounds, one half thereof to be paid when the mill was finished and the other half in six months afterwards.
This mill stood until 1823, nearly 100 years, when the foundation for the present (1922) mill, now known as Groff's, was laid. Part of the foundation of the old mill is easily discernible. The original building stood against the hill, about one hundred and fifty yards farther up the stream from the present site. "It was built in the most economical manner, two stories high. There were no elevators in it, everything which was to be ground twice had to be carried up stairs to the second story. Customers bringing in grists there to be ground drove their teams up hill and unloaded on the second story, while those who fetched their grists, which mostly consisted of flour and bran, received them from the first floor."
Two years after the first mill was built the Goshenhoppen road was opened, which added greatly to the convenience of the neighborhood. It crossed the stream just below the mill.
On September 26, 1738, Gerhart Clemens and his wife, Ann, conveyed to their son, John, the mill, the residence, and one hundred fifty-one acres thereunto belonging. On June 20, 1738, they gave to their son Jacob two tracts containing together one hundred and eight-five acres. On the following day, June 21, Gerhart and his wife transferred to their son Jacob another large tract con- taining one hundred and thirty-six acres.
Then on May 30, 1741, Gerhart Clemens and his wife sold to their son, Abraham, two hundred and thirty-six acres of his vast holdings, four acres of which the latter sold ten days later to his brother Jacob.
The remainder of this land, Gerhart Clemens sold to various persons, in all about eight hundred and twenty-four acres. After disposing of all his land it appears Gerhart and his wife retired, though he was only sixty-one years old at that time. He died about 1744-45, when he was about sixty-five years of age. There is nothing to be found in the records of Philadelphia concerning the settlement of his estate. Apparently he had prepared himself for the event of his death by his disposition of all his property. He and his wife, Ann, who he married in Holland, and whose surname is unknown*, are both buried at the Lower Salford Meeting House, but no stones are standing to mark their graves.
It is probable that Ann died first, as tradition says that Gerhart made his home during the latter years of his life with his son Jacob, for whom he had built the substantial stone house still standing, though many improvements and additions have been added to the original.
Children of Gerhart and Ann CLEMENS: 1. Jacob Clemens, died 1782; married Barbara Clemmer. 2. John Clemens, married Elizabeth Allebach. 3. Abraham Clemens, married Catherine (Catarina) Bachman.
• faith: Mennonite. Mathias Van Bebber conveyed by deed of trust on June, 8, 1717 one hundred acres of land to Henry Sellen, Claus Janson, Henry Kolb, Martin Kolb, Jacob Kolb, Michael Zeigler and Herman Kuster as trustees for the use of a Mennonite congregation. The meetinghouse built on this tract about 1725, is supposed to be the second erected by this denomination in Pennsylvania, a previous one having been built in Germantown in 1708. The old building stood in the northwest part of the graveyard. The present edifice is of stone, one story high, fifty by sixty-five feet in dimensions, and was erected in 1844. The building committee consisted of Garrett Hunsicker Abraham Tyson and Abraham Hallman.
My name along with the names of my sons John and Jacob Clemens appear on the 1739 membership list for Salford Mennonite Church. In its early days, the congregation was sometimes referred to as the “Clemens congregation”., Christopher Saur from Germantown printed the Bible that was used at the church..
The graveyard is opposite the present meetinghouse, and contains about four acres of ground and contains a large number of interments. The inscriptions of some of the oldest stones have become illegible. The earliest observed was to the memory of seven-year-old Paul Engle who died in 1723. The Indehavens (DeHavens) have some early tombstones here. It is evident from the dates that this ground must have been used for burial purposes soon after the grant in 1717. The surnames transcribed are listed below. The bold names are a part of the Barkey family
• Famous Decendant. It is through Gerhardt Clemens that Samuel Clemens the famous author who was known as Mark Twain came to be. He wrote, “Tom Sawyer”, “Huckleberry Finn” and many other literary pieces. His lineage begins with Gerhardt and proceeds to Abraham Clemens, Sr. b. 1704 d. April 29, 1776, Abraham Clemens Jr. b. d. after 1800, Samuel Clemens b. about 1770 d. 1805, John Marshall Clemens b. August 11, 1798 d. March 24, 1847, Samuel Langhorne Clemens b. 1835 d. 1910
• Notes of Interest: Pennsylvania. The immigrant Gerhardt Clemens was born in the village of Niederfloersheim, near Alzey, in the Pfalz in abt. 1680. His Mennonite Clemens family appears on the Taufer (anabaptist) censuses of the early 1660's--these censuses were taken to identify anabaptists, for the purpose of extra taxation and/or expulsion from the area. That's what happened in those days when a Protestant ruler died and a Catholic one took over. The same family is found in a similar census before that in the 1650's in the Siebengebirge area, which is north of Mannheim. They were expelled from Siebengebirge after 1650.
Because of the languages used by Gerhardt Clemens, immigrant, and the name forms found in the taufer censuses, it seems most probable that this family was among those driven from the "low countries" during the 90-year Dutch/Spanish war that ended in 1645. Like all Mennonites, the Clemens family was never allowed to hold any citizenship in any country in Europe, and they emigrated up and down the Rhine River in order to try to find a place where they would have the freedom to think for themselves and to practice their own faith.
Members of the Mennonite Clemens family appear in the 1662 Anabaptist censuses which were undertaken when a Catholic family took over the Pfalz and decided to expell all its Protestant and Anabaptist inhabitants (they were given five years to leave). The Clemens in this are referred to as "Clemensz." This is a Dutch patronymic form (Clemenszoon = "Son of Clemens"), which makes me believe that the family was originally from Brabant/Flanders/Netherlands.
Emigrated from Switzerland.
Immigrant's surname: CLEMENS Immigrant's given name(s): Gerhart Ship name: Unknown U.S. arrival date: 1709-1710 Port: Unknown Place of origin: Switzerland Source: LDS Ancestral File Notes: Father: Jacob Clemens Mother: Mary UNKNOWN Wife: Anne Reif Married: August 1702, Weissenan, Mainz, Palatinate, West Germany Children: 1. Jacob Clemens born abt. 1704
2. Johannes Clemens born 24 August, 1707, Bardelome, Holland
Spouse: Elisabeth Allebacherin M. 6 Mar 1732
3. Abraham Clemens born 1710, Lower Salford, Philadelphia, Penn
Spouse: Catherine M. abt 1740
4. Ann Clemens born (1712)
Spouse: John Valentine Kratz
He is included in "Lists of Germans from the Palatinate who came to England in 1709" as follows:
"A list of all the poor Germans lately come over from the Palatinate to this kingdom taken in St. Catherine's the sixth May 1709." "First Arrivals" Listed under the occupation "husbandmen and vinedressers" Clemens, Gerhard (also a linen cloth weaver); age 28; married and wife living; son age 5, son age 1 1/2
PASSENGER LISTS Stover, Stauffer
Names of Ship Passenger Name Birth Birth Place DOA
Ship ? Hans Stauffer 1644 Eggiwil, SW 1710 Kinget Hiestand (W) 1658 Richterseill, SW
Jacob Stauffer 1696 Ibersheim, Gr
Daniel Stauffer 1697 Ibersheim, Gr
Heinrich Stauffer 1700 Ibersheim, Gr
Paul Friedt 1685 Germany
Elisabeth Stauffer 1688 Ibersheim, Gr
Anna Friedt 1708 Alsheim, Gr
Gerhard Clemens 1680 Dittelsheim, Gr
Anna Reiff (W) 1682 Mettenheim, Gr
Abraham Clemens 1707 Niederflorsheim, Gr
Jacob Clemens 1709 Niederflorsheim, Gr
? Jacob Stauffer 1685 Switzerland Abt 1712
? Christian Stauffer 1680 Dirmstein, Gr Abt 1718 His wife 1684
Mathias Stauffer 1704 Mannheim, Gr
Annali Stauffer 1706 Mannheim, Gr
Christian Stauffer 1709 Mannheim, Gr
Ulrich Stauffer 1712 Mannheim, Gr
Peter Stauffer 1715 Mannheim, Gr
Jacob Stauffer 1717 Mannheim, Gr
James Goodwill Ulrich Stauffer 1680 Signau, Sw 27 Sep 1727 Lucia Ramseyer (W) 1685 Signau, Sw
Margaret Stauffer 1706 Signau, Sw
Magdalena Stauffer 1708 Signau, Sw
Ulrich Stauffer 1709 Signau, Sw
Barbara Stauffer 1711 Signau, Sw
Elsbeth Stauffer 1715 Signau, Sw
Johannes Stauffer 1722 Grosshochstetten, Sw
Mortonhouse Vincent Stauffer 1692 Steffisburg, Sw 23 Aug 1728
Ship Samuel Jacob Stauffer 1713 Ibersheim, Gr 11 Aug 1732
Pink Plaisance Daniel Stauffer 1707 Muckenhauserhof, Gr 21 Sep 1732 Jacob Stauffer 1712 Muckenhauserhof, Gr
Hope Anna Stofer 1714 (?) 28 Aug 1733
Snow Molly Valentine Stober 1688 Staffort, Gr 10 Sep 1737 His Wife 1692 Staffort, Gr
Jacob Stober 1715 Staffort, Gr
Valentine Stober 1717 Staffort, Gr
Catherina Stover 1719 Staffort, Gr
Eva Christina Stover 1721 Staffort, Gr
Wilhelm Stover 1723 Staffort, Gr
Eva Stover 1725 Staffort, Gr
Martin Stover 1730 Staffort, Gr
Eva Barbara Stover 1732 Staffort, Gr
Georg Stover 1734 Staffort, Gr
Virtuous Grace Christian Stauffer 1709 Muckenhauserhof, Gr 24 Sep 1737 Johannes Stauffer 1715 Muckenhauserhof, Gr
Friendship Philip Stober 1707 Baden, Gr 20 Sep 1738 Elisabeth (W) 1704 Baden, Gr
Daughter 1736 Baden, Gr
Francis & Martin Stauffer 1718 (?) Elizabeth 21 Sep 1742
Ship (?) Anna Stapher 1704 Sulz, Zurich, Sw 1743
Muscliffe Galley Johannes Stauffer 1709 Ibersheim, Gr 22 Dec 1744 Mary (W) 1712
Johannes Stauffer 1734 Ibersheim, Gr
Mary Stauffer 1737 Ibersheim, Gr
Christian Stauffer 1740 Ibersheim, Gr
Christian Stauffer 1711 Ibersheim, Gr
Barbara (W) 1720
Johannes Stauffer 1741 Ibersheim, Gr
Jacob Stauffer 1743 Ibersheim, Gr
Crown Maligo ? Richard Stover, arrived in MD in 1677,
In April 1710 William Penn wrote a letter to the British Ambassador in the Netherlands stating that "there are fifty or sixty Swissers, called Mennonites, coming to Holland in order to go for Pennsylvania"
On 27 Jun 1710, from London, six Mennonite families wrote the Mennonite leaders at Amsterdam, Holland thanking them for assistance to travel to America.
The six who signed the letter arrived in Philadelphia on the ship "Maria Hope" on 23 Sep 1710. I have listed the six below with my comments in brackets .
1. Martin Kendig [arrived w/wife Elisabeth & 1 son, Hans Jacob] 2. Jacob Mueller [arrived w/wife & 3 children, Christina, Jacob & Martin] 3. Martin Oberholtzer [arrived w/wife & at least 2 sons, Jacob & Martin] 4. Martin Meili [arrived w/wife] 5. Christian Herr [arrived w/wife Anna & 4 children, Hans, Christian, Abraham and Elisabeth] 6. Hans Herr [arrived w/wife Veronica & 4 children, Hans, Veronica, Anna and Christian]
Other Mennonites arrived earlier in London on 26 Jan 1710 and probably arrived in Philadelphia on the ship "Maria Hope" as well. They were:
7. Hans Stauffer [arrived w/wife Kungold Hiestand and 3 sons, Jacob, age 13, Daniel, age 12 and Abraham, age 9] 8. Paul Fried [arrived w/wife Elisabeth Stauffer, daughter of above Hans Stauffer and 1 daughter, Maria, age 1]
The following 2 men apparently came with the above 6 signers but did not sign the letter at London:
9. Hans Funk [may have arrived single or newly married] 10. Michael Oberholtzer [apparently arrived unmarried]
All 10 families emigrated from Germany. Hans and Christian Herr were sons of Hans Herr of Gemmingen, Baden. Hans Funk was the son of Heinrich Funk of Bonfeld, Baden. Martin Kendig was the son of Hans Jacob Kendig of Ittlingen, Baden. Martin Meili was probably the son of Martin Meili of Mannheim, Baden. Martin Oberholtzer was the son of Marx Oberholtzer of Buchenauerhof near Sinsheim, Baden and emigrated from Oppau, Bayern. Michael Oberholter was either a younger brother of Martin Oberholtzer or Martin's oldst son. Jacob Mueller was probably the son of Hans Rudolph Mueller of Steisnfurt, Baden and emigrated from Damhof, Eppingen, Baden. Hans Stauffer was born in Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland (son of Hans Stauffer)but emigrated from Alsheim, Hesse, Germany. Paul Fried was probably the son of Paul Fried of Weinheim, Hesse and emigrated from Alsheim.
There were some Mennonite who arrived in London in May and June of 1709 who may have gone to Pennsylvania in 1709, but if some stayed to work in London for one year they may have been on the "Maria Hope" in 1710 also. They were:
11. Gerhard Clemens with wife Anna Rieff (step-daughter of above Hans Stauffer) and sons Jacob age 6 and Abraham, age 3. He emigrated from Niederflorsheim, Hesse and was the son of Jacob Clemens of Dittlesheim, Hesse.
12. Arnold Kolb arrived unmarried, son of Dielmann Kolb of Wolfsheim, Hesse.
13. Heinrich Kolb with wife Barbara and 3 daughters, Maria age 7, Dorothy age 4 and Anna age 2. He was the son of Dielmann Kolb of Wolfsheim, Hesse.
14. Marx Oberholtzer with his wife Elisabeth and 6 children, Jacob age 11, Samuel age 9, Anna age 7, Marx age 4, Elisabeth age 2 and Martin age 1 (born in England in 1709). Marx was the son of Marx Oberholtzer and brother of Martin. He emigrated from Ruchheim, Bayern.
15. Jacob Wismer with wife Maria and daughter, age 23 and son Jacob, age 21. He was probably born at Uitikon, Zurich, Switzerland, son of Jagli Wismer.
All ages are based on the year 1710 (Genealogy.com In Reply to Mary Hope 1710.
Emigrated from the Palatinate on the Rhine 1709 arriving in New York 1709, probably March. A billof goods was purchased from his brother John and was recorded as settled in New York, March 8. 1709 (possibly an indication that he had a brother John, already settled in America.) From New york Gerhardt and family moved on to Germantown ,Philadelphia 10 Oct. 1709 where "the earliest known (settlement, Salford Twp.) was a warrant granted Sept. 10, 1717 to David Powell, of Philadelphia, for 3000 acres of land, to be located between the ' Skepeck" and 'Parkyooman'. ...and from it 690 acres, located on the Northeast Branch, were sold to Gerhart Clemens on February 14th. 1718."
• Notes of Interest. 154 The Palatinate was Lutheran until 1685 when Phillip William accended the thrown. He died two years later and was succeeded by his son, John William who was educated by the Jesuits. During John William's reign the Reformed and Lutheran churches were tolerated. But while the Protestants were obliged to give up a great number of their church buildings, the Catholics remained in undisturbed possession of their own. The Protestants were required to bend the knee at the passing of the Host and to furnish flowers for the church festivals, while the Jesuits carried on the work of proselytizing publicly. The Swiss Mennonites, the Walloons, and the Huguenots, who for many years had found a refuge in the Palatinate, were now driven from the land and many found refuge in Holland.
Not only did these intolerable religious conditions prevail, but the corruption and tyranny, extravagance and heartlessness of the rulers of the Palatinate were an additional affront to an already overburdened and sorely tried people. While the country was exhausted and on the verge of ruin, costly palaces were built, enormous retinues maintained; and while pastors and teachers were starving, hundreds of Court officers lived in luxury and idleness. The chasm between the upper classes and the peasant became more and more widened, one hardship after another was placed upon the latter, and he was totally without means of redress. This state of affairs existed not only in the Palatinate, but also in Wurtemberg and other petty principalities nearby.
But the night of oppression and wrong was nearing its zenith; the light of a new and better day was breaking. Columbus, by his fateful voyage, had changed the fate and fortunes of two continents. The era of great maritime adventure followed. Western Europe, from the Iberian to the Scandinavian Peninsula, embarking upon a career of colonial enterprise, England, Spain, Sweden and France at once entered upon the work of seizure and division.
Colonists were needed to found colonies. Every available agency was employed to make the new lands profitable to their new owners. The most attractive inducements were brought into play to set the spirit of emigration in motion, and “wonder tales” were held up before the harassed, war-torn millions of the old world by land companies and schemers, whose interest lay only in the numbers they could induce to cross the Atlantic. Scores of small pamphlets were written, printed and scattered throughout almost every country in Europe.
How The Immigrants learned about Pennsylvania:
William Penn, and especially to his trusted agent, Benjamin Furley, deserve credit for directing the largest part of the German emigration to Pennsylvania. In 1671 and again in 1677, William Penn visited Europe to enlist the persecuted and down trodden to come to his colony. The promise of a home where where they could live without wars and persecutions, and under laws that they could share in making, brought cheer and hope to many a peasant household.
As early as March 10, 1682, Penn had sold several 5000-acre tracts to merchants of Crefeld, Germany with Benjamin Furley's help. In 1683, Francis Daniel Pastorius, as agent for a number of German friends, bought 25,000 acres. It was from these first land sales that Germantown was established. Pastorius and his colony of Crefelders of less than two score members were the beginning of an ever-increasing volume of German immigrants that eventually displaced some settlers of other nationalities which had preceded them.
The principal port of embarcation was Rotterdam, then on to Cowes, in the Isle of Wight. There were about seventy different kinds of ships, which sailed back and forth from continent to continent. The ships were ranked as a vessel, ship, snow, brigantines, pinks, and other names that seem to apply to small craft that are no longer current among shipbuilders and seafaring men. The late winter and autumn months were generally chosen for the departure from Europe. Arrivals were most numerous during the months of April, May, September, October and November.
• Notes of Interest. The Voyage to Pennsylvania:
While many of the early German emigrants had, at one time, been well to do, the devastations of the Thirty Years' War and the wanton destruction ordered by Louis XIV had reduced to poverty thousands who had been prosperous farmers and tradesmen. Whatever property they had been able to gather together was used up in their expenses of descending the Rhine and crossing the ocean, or was stolen on the way. The vessels, as a rule, were so overcrowded with passengers and merchant goods that frequently the captain made it a point to leave behind the chests and personal goods of the emigrant, or else have them loaded on vessels bound for another port. This was one of the greatest hardships these migrating people had to endure, as they depended upon their chests into which they had put such provisions as they were used to and had been able to gather together for the journey, such as “dried apples, pears, plums, mustard, medicines, vinegar, brandy, butter, clothing, shirts and other necessary linens, money, and whatever they brought with them; and when their chests were left behind, or shipped in some other vessel, they had lack of nourishment.”
Traveling two hundred years ago, whether on land or sea, was no easy matter it was one continual series of discomfort, suffering, disease and death. The food, even in the best of cases, would give out or spoil, especially if the journey was unusually long. Sometimes the trip would be made in a few weeks, while at other times months would pass. From letters, diaries, and narratives, which have been preserved, we find many valuable details of the journey from the Old to the New World. In the first place, the prospective emigrant must transport himself, his family and his goods to the nearest river, which in the majority of cases, was the Rhine then the great water highway. They were then shipped in boats floating or sailing down stream until they reached Holland, where the final arrangements for the journey must be made. One-half of the passage money must be paid and additional provisions secured: “24 pounds of dried beef, 15 pounds of cheese, 8 ¼ pounds of butter, garden-seeds, agricultural implements, linen, bedding, table-goods, powder and lead, furniture, earthenware, stoves, and especially money to buy seeds, salt, horses, swine, and fowls.” However, the majority was far from being so well provided; often they had to depend upon the charity of others.
In Holland, the exiles were put upon ocean-going vessels, either with or without their goods, and the long sea trip began. What must have been their thoughts as their familiar homeland faded in the distance! “Sitting on boxes and bundles, which were piled high in the middle of the boat, could be seen gray-haired men and women, old and feeble; yonder stood the young gazing in wonder at the shores as they slipped by. At times they were hopeful, and at others sad, and their glances would alternate, now to the north, now to the south toward their abandoned home, which had driven them out so unfeelingly, and yet those green hills and snow-capped mountains they cannot forget. Despite the comforts of religion, their sadness could not be overcome, and from time to tome some one would begin to sing.”
For the first forty-five years no record of the arrival of foreigners was kept and we cannot, in many instances, tell from whence, nor when, they came into the Province. They came from every portion of the German Empire, many from Switzerland, others of French extraction, who for a generation or more had been settled in the cantons of Switzerland or the Netherlands, where, after acquiring the language of these countries, they finally made their way to the shores of the Delaware.
There were three general streams of German immigration to Pennsylvania between the years 1683 and 1775. The first, in 1683, led to the founding of Germantown and up to the coming of the Swiss Mennonites in 1710; the second from 1710 to 1727, when official statistics began to be published; the third period extended to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, when all immigration ceased for the time being. The emigration of the real Palatines belongs particularly to the third period. By 1727, the influx of these foreigners into Pennsylvania assumed such proportions that the authorities became alarmed and the Provincial Council adopted a resolution requiring that all masters of vessels importing Germans and other foreigners should, before sailing from the European port, make a list of the names of all passengers, particularly the males over sixteen; though often the names and ages of all passengers, including women and children were set down.
Then, upon reaching Pennsylvania, the foreigners were obliged to sign a declaration of allegiance and subjection to the King of Great Britain and of fidelity to the Proprietary of Pennsylvania. This oath was first taken in the courthouse at Philadelphia, September 21, 1727, by 109 Palatines. If the emigrant could write, he himself signed his name to the declaration; in the event that he could not write, a clerk signed for him.
Of the many thousands who found their way across the broad Atlantic, only a small portion brought written records with them or took measures to prepare and preserve them after their arrival. Some brought with them that most precious of all their household treasures, the heavy old oak lidded German Bible, wherein had been recorded the brief life and death record of the family. But an infinitely greater number brought no record whatever by which their descendants of today can bind them to their unknown kindred in the Fatherland.
It was not long after the arrival of these emigrants in their new home before the poverty and distress was changed into prosperity and plenty. This was especially true of the Mennonites who came when land was cheap and they were thus enabled to buy in large quantities. Later, property in the immediate neighborhood of Philadelphia and adjacent counties became more and more difficult to acquire and finally could not be obtained at all. Those who came later were thus compelled to move further out upon the frontiers, beyond the Blue Mountain to the north, or across the Susquehanna to the west, many finding their way south into the valley of Virginia.
While many of them were handicraftsmen, by far the greater numbers were “bauern” (farmers). In fact, there was nothing else to do for many years. Even most of those who had mechanical trades were compelled to take to tilling the fields because there was not much demand for bakers, printers, engravers, etc. In the seventeenth century the Palatine and Rhine Provinces, generally, were the gardens of Europe.
The first thing these people did upon their arrival was to find out the nearest route to the unsettled lands of the Proprietary, and thither they betook themselves at the earliest moment. Plunging into an unbroken wilderness, often fifty or sixty miles from the nearest habitation, with a skill inherited from thirty generations of land cultivators, these German settlers with the indomitable industry, the earnestness, and the frugality which characterized them, soon changed the unbroken forest into beautiful, thriving, well-kept farms. The back woods had no terrors for them. As a race of tillers of the soil, they were well aware that the character of the timber was an indication of the value of the ground on which it stood. They were not afraid to work. The felling of the trees and the clearing of the land neither intimidated nor deterred them. The mightiest forests fell at the resounding blows of the woodsman's axe. In the fertile valleys, on the green hillsides, and in the depths of the forest, wherever a cool spring burst from the earth, their modest homes appeared.
Sometimes their first shelter was a dugout in a hollow tree, or a hastily constructed hut, or a rude tent beneath great trees. The first house was usually constructed out of logs and it was often a matter of years before a permanent dwelling was built, and frequently the second, and even third generation, assisted in erecting the family homestead. “These houses were generally built of stone (some of them with dressed corners), two stories high, with pitched roof and with cornices run across the gables and around the first story. A large chimney in the middle, if modeled after the German pattern, or with a chimney at either gable-end, if built after the English or Scotch idea. Many of these imposing structures had arched cellars underneath, spacious hallways with easy stairs, open fireplaces in most of the rooms, oak-paneled partitions, and windows hung in weights.” Many of these old stone houses have inscriptions set high up on the gable wall. Sometimes this inscription may be the initials of the man and wife, or perhaps only the date of the building.
The farmer's first care, after getting his field well cleared, was to build an immense barn. This was invariably done before any steps were taken to erect a permanent home for him. These great “Swisser barns” were “two stories high, with pitched roof, sufficiently large and strong to enable heavy farm teams to drive into the upper story, to load or unload grain. During the first period they were built mostly of stone, frame, or brick, from 80 to 120 feet long, and from 50 to 60 feet wide, the lower story containing the stables, with feeding-passages opening on the front. The upper story was made to project 8 or 10 feet over the lower in front, or with a fore bay attached, to shelter the entries to the stables and passageways. It contained the threshing-floors, mows, and lofts for the storing of hay and grain.
Farming was a profession where the whole life of the farmer, his labor, his thoughts, his hopes and fears, revolved about this one thing. Industry was the highest virtue; idleness and sin went hand in hand. “When a young man,” says Benjamin Rush in writing of these early Germans, “asks the consent of his father to marry a girl of his choice, the latter does not so much inquire whether she be rich or poor, but whether she is industrious and acquainted with the duties of a good housewife.” In general, their life was uneventful: “one common round of daily task.” The three great events-birth, marriage, and death-were the occasion of more or less celebration, wedding and funeral being attended by friends and neighbors from far and near. These German emigrants did not confine themselves to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They moved to the west and the south in all directions, until they are to be found in every state in the Union; and wherever they settled the story of the Pennsylvania German piety, honesty, industry, and success in life has been repeated.
It is interesting to follow these people after reaching Pennsylvania. The little colony of thirty-three persons, who settled in Germantown under the leadership of Francis Daniel Pastorius, in 1683, was slowly augmented during the succeeding years, and they began to penetrate into the regions beyond.
The acquisition of land seems to have been their most prominent characteristic, and it may be said to continue so to be to the present day. From the beginning the spirit of speculation was rife among them. The earlier cleared farms became valuable, and there were always those who, having money, preferred to buy farms from which heavy timber had been cleared and on which good buildings were erected. The price for wild lands was so reasonable that men would sell their early holdings and, with the aid of their sturdy sons and daughters, enter upon and conquer new lands in the interior. Then, too, the inflowing tide of newcomers became so strong that there were no longer lands near the older settlements to be taken up, and they were thus compelled to move far into the back woods of what are now the counties of Lancaster, Berks, Lebanon, York, Dauphin, Northampton, Lehigh, and Schuylkill. Turning to the south, they followed the Indian trails into western Maryland, and down the Shenandoah Valley into Virginia and the Carolinas, into Kentucky and Tennessee. Thus “they went to the north, to the south and to the west. Soon they reached the Appalachian chain of mountains, climbed its wooded sides and debouched into the wild regions beyond until the Ohio was in sight. But on, still on, went the resistless army of commonwealth builders. Today they are spread over the most fertile lands of the great West-Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and other states-the entire continent, in fact, count among the best of their citizens the men who went out of Pennsylvania with Luther's Bible in their hands and the language of Schiller and Goethe on their lips. Wherever they went their fervent but unobtrusive piety went with them and in their quiet way brought credit on their country and on their lineage wherever they located themselves.
Gerhart married Anneli (Anna) Reiff, daughter of Michael Reiff and Kungold Hiestand, in Aug 1702 in Weissenan, Mainz, Palatinate, West Germany. (Anneli (Anna) Reiff was born in 1680 in Wadenswil, Switzerland, died after Nov 1755 in Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and was buried in Salford Mennonite Cemetery, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.)
Noted events in their marriage were:
• Wedding Gifts, Aug 1702. Hans Stauffer, Anneli's step father gave us an ox weighing 120 pounds, a hog, groceries, linen cloth, a chest, some glory wax mixed with other wax, a cow with a calf and some woolen cloth as wedding presents.
General Notes: Hans Stauffer, for the wedding of his step daughter, Anneli Reiff, gave an ox, weighing 120 lbs., a hog, groceries, linen cloth, a chest, some glory wax mixed with other wax, a cow with calf and some woolen cloth.
GERHART* CLEMENS: Burial: 1745, Cemetery of Lower Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse Daughter: Heckler, in his History of Lower Salford, says that Gerhart had a daughter Mary who married Hans Ulrich Bergey but the records in the Clemens family do not support that.312 Emigration: 1709, From the Palatinate to Pennsylvania in first wave of Palatine Mennonites to leave for Pennsylvania Homestead: 1983, Home of Gerhard's son Jacob but Gerhard died here. Present farmhouse built by grandson Gerhard in 1780.313 Occupation: 1726, Gerhart built a mill on the branch of the Perkiomen that went through his land. The mill stood until 1823 and was known as Alderfer's Mill Petitioned: 1713, With Jacob Godshall Clemens and Peter Seller the court of Philadlephia for a road from the Skippack area down to Whitemarsh Township where Farmar's Mill was situated on the Wissahocken Creek (See Christopher Dock Tour Map ) Property: 1718, Purchased from David Powell 690 acres of land in Salford on a branch of the Perkiomen Creek Recorded: First generation keeper of the Clemens Account Book314