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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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[ and among them we iind many of local famil-
iarity, such as Andreas, Ammon. Alberts, Alt-
land, Albrecht, Abel, Appell, Bender, Baer,
I Bigley, Baire, Begtol, Beyer, Braun, Bouser,
j Bastian, Baumgartner, Beecher, Bischoff,
i Bahn, Bock, Bassler, Breckley, Bur . holder,
j. Brechbill, Berndheisel, Bott, Bower, Besaker,
1 Bucher, Bricker, Becker, Brenner, Bortener,
Burghart, Bihlmeier. Bulinger, (K) Coch,
Castle, Carl, Christ, Croll, Carver, Christ-
man, Carl, Conrad, Dillinger,; Dubs, Durr,
Doll, Ebersoll, Egelberger, Ewald, Eshel-
man, Ebert, Emich, Erdman, Everman, Eck-
ert, Emmert, Frye. Fritz, Fultz, Franz,
Funk, Fikus, Fischer, Fetter, Fry, Flick-
inger, Fizer, Fobs, Friedle, Frank, Frick,
Fause, Frederick, Fuchs (Fox), Grood, Gratz,
Gering, Glaser, Gertner, Gruber, Graff,
Graaf, Gyger, Gerhard, (leorge, Gossweiler,
Glasbrenurt-, Gilbert, Gatz. Gross. Hoffman,
Hoover, Horlacher, Hoff, Histant, Hensell,
HermaQ, Helzel, Hayes, Has, Hendrick, Hess,
Hass, Hartman, Hillegas. Hartranft, Ham,
Hack, Hunsucker, Heininger, Heistand,
Horsch, Hauk, Hubert. Holzinger, Hetrich,
Heneberger, Heillman, Horniseh, Huber,
Hartzell, Horn, Ishelman, Joost, Kuntz, Kie-
ner. Keyser, Keer, Keeler, Kitzmiller, Keim,
Keil, Koor, Keller, Koppenhaffer, Kulp,
K]-eemer, Krafft, Kobell, Kern, Keesey.
Keiffer, Keefer, Kreider, Kraus, Klein, Key-
ser. Kling, Kolb, Kressler, Koller, Kunst,
Koch, Krieger, Leaman, Longnecker, Leath-
erman, Landish, Leeman, Lowman, Lat-
show, Lanius, Lautermilch. Lehman, Lutz,
Lederman, Liebenstein, Lentz, Lower, Lohr,
Lang, Landis, Liohtner, Meyer, Miller,
Mayer, Marten, Middlekaff, Morgestern,
Moeser, Moore, Mack, Minigh, Michael,
Mumma, Mentz, Messinger, Moritz, Messer-
bchmid, Moser, Neff, Nagell, Nehs, Noll,
Overholzer, Oswald, Obermiller, Pixseler,
Peifer, Penz, Quickie, Ruhl, Eeser, Reemer,
Bank. Eohrbaeh. Rice, Butter, Riegel. Roth,
Reyter, Reichenbaeh, Rouseh, Kudi, Ranch,
Siegler, Stoiifer, Sigrist, Shultz, Siegle,
Smith, Sneydor, Schenk, Strickler, Swyzer,
Stork, Schlosser, Sullinger, Stock, ShoU,
Seller, Shoemaker, Seyller. Schram, Steyner,
Sherer, Schryock, Seltzer, Scheive, Saner-
milch, Steiner. Sybert, Schwartz. Soldner,
Snively (Schnable), Schirch, Staal, Schitz,
Strack, Schmidt, Souder, Sadler, Schweitzer,
Stambach, .Steger, Trockenmiller, Thomas,

Tarller (Michael), Tysen, Ulrick, Vogel,
Wolf, Webber, Walter. Wanner. Weis, Wor-
ley, Wyant. Warner, Weightman, Woldman,
Wentz, Weyser, Wilhelm. Wannamacher,
Wirtz, Westheber, Witmar, Weaver, Wagener,
Wild, Weyer, Weybrecht, Young, Zugg, Zell,
Zaartman, Zinn, Ziegler, Zimmerman, Zigell.
In view of the temper of the times, the
jealous precautions adopted by the provincial
government were, perhaps, neither unjust nor
surprising, but the objectionable manner in
which the immigrants came and " dispersed
themselves immediately after landing" (with-
out producing any certificates from whence
they came or what they were; and first land-
ing in Britain and again leaving it without
any license from the government, or so much
as their knowledge), seems to have betrayed
a thoroughly German characteristic, both
simple and amusing. Conscious of their own
honesty and fidelity, they assumed the same
virtues in others, and utterly failed to i-ealize
or appreciate, as their descendants largely do
to this day, the importance or necessity for
any more "red-tape" formalities in affairs of
state than in the commonest affairs of every-
day life. And to the lasting credit of our
German ancestors ( many of whom, as appears
from these same records settled here, in what
was all Lancaster County then), so far as they
were concerned as a "people," all the fears
and apprehensions of the colonial govern-
ment as to their " numbei-s," their "charac-
ter" and their "intentions" were wholly
groundless. The governor and council were
pleased to speak of them as " strangers,
ignorant of our language and laws," who,
"pouring in daily and settling in a body
together," make, as it were, a distinct people
from his Majesty's subjects, and whose pres
ence rendered it highly necessary to concert
proper measures for the peace and secui-ity of
the province, which might be endangered
thereby." Had the governor and his coun-
cil not been ignorant of the language and
true character of these people, no such
measures would have been deemed necessary;
on the contrary, the very fact that they were

I Germans, Palatines, would have been a suffi-
cient ' ' certificate from whence they came and
what they were," as well as guarantee of
their honest intentions; and instead of enact
ing laws in restraint of their immigration, or

i looking for some " remedy from home to pre-
vent their importation," his Majesty's col-
onies would have received and welcomed them
with open arms. It was not long, however,
until the colonial authorities learned the high

! character and noble intentions of these

} ' ' strangers, " nor were they slow to acknowl-



edge them; for at a meeting of the council on
January 13, 1729-30, a petition of several
Germans, praying to be naturalized, having
been presented to '"The Hon. Patrick Gordon,
then lieutenant-governor." his honor, after
strict inquiry into their characters and ad-
vising thereon, thought fit to send the fol-
lovring message to the house:

" Upon application made to me in behalf of
several Germans, now inhabitants of the
county of Lancaster, that they may enjoy the
rights and privileges of English subjects,
and for that end praying to be naturalized; I
have made inquiry and find that those whose
names are subjoined to a petition that will
be laid before your house are principally such
who, many years since, came into this province
under a particular agreement with our late
honorable proprietor at London, and have
regularly taken up lands under him. It like-
wise appears to me by good infoi'ination that
they have hitherto behaved themselves well,
and have generally so good a character for
honesty and industry as deserves the esteem
of this government, and a mark of its regard
for them. I am therefore inclined from these
considerations to favor their request, and hope
you will join with me in passing a bill for
their naturalization.

"I have likewise received a favorable char-
acter of John Neagley, Bernard Reser and
John Wistre, of Philadia County, whose
names be inserted in the said bill with those
now recommended." (Col. Rec. Vol. iii, p.

A similar message was sent by the gover-
nor to the legislature on January 9,1780-31.
(Id. pp. 392-93.)

Among these immigrants will be readily
recognized the names of very many of our
best citizens of all occupations and profess-
ions at the present day, especially farmers
and mechanics, and it is evident that their
ancestors were among that large number of
hardy, fearless, and enterprising Palatines
and Swiss immigrants, who, after landing at
Philadelphia and subscribing the declaration
of allegiance, boldly pushed onward in the
face of the treacherous aborigines into what
was called the "back parts" of the settle-
ment, all the territory of which was then em-
braced within the limits of Chester County,
and out of the western parts of which Lan-
caster, York, Cumberland and other more
western counties have been since erected.
The honor of having made the first settle-
ment in York County has been claimed for
the English (see Carter & Glossbonner's
History), though the much more rapid influx
of the Germans, as well as their superior

success as farmers, has been generally con-
ceded. A close examination of the record,
however, will show that it is by no means
certain that our first settlers were English.
Day, in his valuable and authoritative Penn
sylvania Historical Collections (p. 693, York
County), says : " John and James Hendricks,
in the spring of 1729, made the first author-
ized settlement in the county, on Kreutz Creek,
in Hellam Township, oathe same tracts from
which the squatters had been removed.
They were soon followed by other families,
principally Germans, who settled around
them within ten or twelve miles, along Codo-
rus Creek. The rest of the lands were in
the undisturbed possession of the Indians ;
even in the white settlements they had their
huts. " That the Hendrickses may have been,
and most probably were Germans, is evident
from the fact that the name Hendrick, either
as a (Christian, or surname, frequently occurs
in the lists of German immigrants found in
the Colonial Records. Thus : Hendrick
Hass ; Johan Hendrick Schmidt ; Hendrick
Meyer ; Hendrick Wolfe ; Hendrick Pen-
hort ; Hendrick Fultz ; Hendrick Hoffman ;
Hendrick Warner; Hendrick Slinglofi ; Hen-
drick Sootera ; Hendrick Holstein ; Hen-
drick Peter Midledorf ; Hans Hendrick
Ubera ; Hendrick Plino ; Hendrick Doabs ;
Christopher Hendrick ; Jarick Henrick ; Jar-
gen Hendrick. So also in Rupp's Collection
of 30,000 names of immigrants, etc. Hen-
drick Wookman, George Heuderick, Abraham
Hendrick, John Nicholas Hendrick, John ,
Hendrick, etc. The difference in spelling
(Hendricks) cannot weaken this notion in
view of the well known great and numerous
modifications in the spelling of proper sur-
names ; e. g. , Meyer has changed to Meyers,
Myer, Myers, Mayer; Schmidt to Smith ;
Hefner to Potter ; Simon to Simons, Sim-
mons ; Spingler to Spangler, etc. But it
is unnecessary to rest this view on inference
alone, for we find among a large number of
German "inhabitants of the province of
Pennsylvania," who were naturalized by " an
act for the better enabling" of them " to hold
and enjoy lands, tenements and plantations
in the same province," — September 29, 1709 —
(beginning with the name of the afterward
celebrated Francis Daniel Pastorious, the
founder of Germantown), the names of
William Hendricks and his sons Hendrick
Hendricks and Lawrence Hendricks. (Col.
Rec. Vol. II, p 493.) And in Rupp's Col-
lection (Appendix No. 11, p. 351) where the
names, copied from the original lists, are
doubtless spelled correctly, we have them
thus : Wilhelm Hendricks, Henrich Hen-


dricks, Loren(t)z Hendricks, showing con-
clusively by the German spelling of the
Christian names, Wilhelm and Lorenz, that
the Hendrick, or Hendrickses credited with
the honor of the first settlement in York
Connty were not English, but German peo-
pie. j

The "'squatters" (Mr. Day mentions)
were Michael Tanner, Edward Parnell, Paul
Williams and Jefferey Sumerford, who had
acted under Maryland titles. The name of
Michael Tanner, however, is found among
the German immigrants. The weight of
evidence would, as to the first settlement of
our county, therefore, appear to be in favor
of the Germans.

Garter and Glossbrenner in their history
say: "Most of the German immigrants
settled in the neighborhood of Kreutz Creek,
while the English located themselves in the
neighborhood of Pigeon Hills. In the whole
of what was called the Kreutz Creek settle-
ment (if we esroept Wrightsville), there was
but one English family, that; of William
'Morgan." But it would, probably, be difS-
cult to locate the alleged English settlement
"in the neighborhood of Pigeon Hills," for
it is well known that a more thoroughly
German settlement than that, is not to be
found in the county. The Germans settled, '
not only in the neighborhood of Kreutz
Creek (which takes its rise in Windsor Town-
ship, and flows, by an exceedingly winding
course, through Spring Garden and Hellam
Townships and empties into the Susquehanna
near Wrightsville), but westward throughout
this broad, rich, limestone valley extended,
and indeed, wherever the best; farming lands,
whether of limestone or red shale, were to be
found; but chiefly along the principal streams
— the Codorus, the two Conewagos and their |
branches; though doubtless their first princi-
pal settlements were upon the finest farming
lands in the county — in the Kreutz Creek
valley, where, as early as 1734-35 two Ger-
mans, John Schultz and Martin Schultz,
each erected a (lime) stone,
one of which, still standing and somewhat
modernized, is the old revolutionary relic of
Continental Congress fame (beloQging to
the Glatz estate) and bearing the names of
the builders, ''Johannes Schultz und Chris-
tina his E-Frau" on a stone tablet set in the
rugged wall, under the front cornice; and
was, according to both history and tradition,
the first stone house erected within the limits
of the county.

It were useless to repeat here the oft-
told tale of the wrongs, the hardships and
the suiferings endursd bv our Pennsylvania 1

German ancestors during those early times,
not only at the hands of the unfriendly and
treacherous Indians, but at those of the
neighboring colonists of Maryland, and,
even of the local government itself.*

The uralt ancestors of our Pennsylvania
Germans undoubtedly belonged to what is
known as the Indo-Germanic, a branch of
the great Aryan race. Sime, in his history
of Germany says : ' ' die Deutschen are a
branch of the Teutonic race, which, again,
belongs to the Great Aryan family." The
name, Deutsch, was first applied by the Gauls
to a particular German tribe with which
they were at war, and afterward to the
whole people. The word (Deutsch) meant
the people. The ancient German tribes,
though without a common name, claimed a
common origin as the children of Mannus,
the first man, and son of the god Tuisco.
Mannus had three sons, from whom sprang
the three principal Germanic groups, the
Istoevones, the Ingcevones and the Hermi-
nones, each including many tribes. The
former occupied both sides of the Rhine.
The Ingcevones were settled along the shores
of the North Sea and on the banks of the
Weser and the Ems. The Herminones. em -
bracing many more tribes and much more
numerous ones than either of the other two,
were dwellers in what is now Central and
Eastern Germany, Bohemia, Lusatia, Bran-
denburg, the Thuringian forest, etc., etc.

In stature, the ancient Germans were tall
and vigorous, " with long fair hair and
fiercely blue eyes. They wore mantles of fur
ur coarse woolen stuff, thrown over the
shoulders and fastened by a thorn or pin.
Their dwellings were wooden huts of slight
construction, the inner walls of which the.y
roughly colored, and in which cattle were
sometimes accommodated with the family.
War and the chase were the favorite occupa-
tions of the men; and when engaged neithei
in fighting nor in hunting they often lay idly
by the hearth, leaving peaceful work to women
and to males incapable of bearing arms.
They liked social gatherings, but after a
time, conversation usually gave way to drunk-
enness, quarrelling or excessive gambling.
Although violent and cruel in moments of
excitement they were rarely treacherous and
in the ordinary intercourse of life they ap-
pear to have been kind and considerate.
They cherished the memory of illustrious
ancestors and listened often with delight to
songs celebrating their famous deeds. " (Enc.
Brit. Vol. X, p. 425. ) Some of these rough
traits may be noticed in the Pennsylvania

*See General History, Chapter V.


German character even at the present day,
but so also their bravery, their religious de-
votion and their attachment to home and

Such were the great ancestors of the Ger-
man emigrants, who, di-iven by oppression
and persecution from their beloved Vater-
land "transported themselves and their fam-
ilies into the Province of Pennsylvania,"
(and, many of them, into these parts of it,
now York County). " in hopes and expecta-
tion of finding a retreat and peaceable settle-
ment therein. "

No more just, true, and graphic descrip-
tion of the character of the German emi-
grants can be given than is found in the
writings of an eminent historian of a neigh-
boring State,* from which copious extracts
are here given.

" It is almost agreed by historians and
philosophers that the capacity of a race of
people to adjust itself to new environments
is the proper test of the race's vitality.
Dead races, as population increases and new
land to take ap diminishes, rot off anddisap^
pear, as has been the case with our American
Indians. Living races transplant themselves
into a new place, emigrate and continae to
thi'ive. Judged by this test, the Germans
have a greater vitality than any other race,
for they have been the emigrating, race par
excellence, ever since the authentic history of
man began. * « * * 'jj^e Germans,
when they caine into Europe, probably were
deterred fiom entering Asia Minor b}' the
barrier of the Caucasus, and when they had
flanked that, the serried legions of Rome in
Dacia and Pannonia pushed them far to the
north. Behind them the Sclavonians pressed
for an outlet as they do to-day, and behind
the Slavs the Mongols pressed. Warlike as
the German races have been, it has been solely
upon compulsion. They have had, and still
have the pacific impulse to sit down upon
and improve and enjoy the land which they
occupied. * * * * ^i\ the groat emi-
grations have pursued a westward course,
and the Germans have been the greatest of
the migratory races. * * The Slavonic
races are continually advancing in Europe
and the German races continually recede
before them. The Mennonite immigrations
into this country, of the last few years, are the
immigrations of German colonies in Russia,
squeezed out by the Slavs. * * The
pressure upon the rear of German Europe is
steady and irresistible and it is responded
to by German immigration into the United
States. * * * *

«CoI. J. Thomas Scharf of Baltimore, JId.

As Hegel says in his well known leetuii's
on the Philosophy of History, "The Gerninn
spirit is the spirit of the new world. Its aim
is the realization of absolute truth as the u i
limited self-determination of freedom — tlmt
freedom which has its own absolute form i \ -
self as its support. The Greeks and Romans
had reached maturity within, ere they direct-
ed their energies outward. The Germans,
on the contrary. began with self-diii'usion. del-
uging the world and overpowering in tlieir
course the inwardly rotten, hollow political
fabrics of the civilized nations. Only then
did their development begin by a foreign
culture, a foreign religion, polity and legis-
lation. This receptivity of the German races
made them the best immigrants in the world.
Wherever they went they conquered the peo-
ple, but adopted and assimilated their insti-
tutions. They became Gauls in Gaul, Brit-
ons in Britain, and they learned how to be-
come Americans in the United States.

"Penn was a very shrewd man, who looked
before and after. When he came to plant
his colony and found that there were not'
Quakers enough willing to migrate to make
his proprietary government profitable, he re-
membered the German Quietists whom he
had studied in his travels in youth. Less
liberal, but more practical than Lord Balti-
more, he sought successfully to till his colony
with people who, if not exactly coreligion-
aries, were as nearly as possible assimilated
in faith to his own. He remembered that in
his travels he had met and approved the doc-
trines and practices of the Labadists of Here-
ford and he esteemed highl}' the quiet pietists
of the Palatinate, even where they were not
of that particular sect. He was strongly in-
clined toward the German Protestants of all
sects, but he did not fancy the violent prac-
tices of Knipperdoling, nor the wild f anati ■
eism of the Anabaptists of Munster. He re-
membered that in the course of his tour, he
had met and admired the followers of Simon
Menno. who have commanded sympathy re-
cently by their migration out of Russia into
Kansas and Minnesota. He remembered also
the tenets and practices of the Baptists of
the sect of the pious Spener, the Dnnkers
and many other of the contemporary sects.
These were the people whom Penn invited
into his colony when the Quaker immigra-
tion failed to bear sufficient fruit, and from
these people descended the earliest and the
best of the German settlers in Maryland and
Baltimore. It was not until about the pe-
riod of the war of the Revolution that the
new immigration set in from Bremen and


I "At first the immigration of Germans into
Pennsylvania was confined to the Sectaries,
the Quietists and the other religious denomi-
nations, who. on account of their extremity
in doctrines of (and) jDractice, found it diffi-
cult to get along with their more conservative
Protestant brethren. The Labadists, for in-
stance, were followed by theMennouites, who i
took up much land, and formed many com-
munities in York, Lancaster and Adams
counties; by the Seventh Day Baptists, the
followers of Spener, who established their '
monastery at Ephrata, by the Voltists and
the Cocceians, and by the hundred other
sects of the day. But after these Sectaries
came the deluge. The Germans had found
out that there was a land of peace on the [
other side of the Atlantic, and they knew by
sad experience that their own country was a
land of war. The peace of Westphalia had
turned out to be only a hollow truce after i
all, as far as Protestant Germany was con-
cerned. A man was not only deprived,
practically, of the enjoyment of his own re-
ligion, he was robbed also incessantly of the
fruits of his labor. No matter how fore-
handed, how industrious he might be, he
could not certainly lay aside anything for a
rainy day. This was a state of things which
he naturally rebelled against, and emigration
afforded him relief.

"The religious fanaticism of Louis XIV,
which so long desolated the low countries and
which deprived that monarch (when he revoked
the edict of Nantes) of half a million of his
best and most thrifty subjects, broke in upon
the Palatinate in the shape of the most deso- !
lating war of which we have any authentic
record in history. What is told of Tamerlane
was practiced by the "enlightened" monarch [
and his able but savage lieutenants. Tur-
enne, Saxe, Vendome, Villars, Villeroy, Tail-
lard, Marsin, Berwick, Noailles, Luxembourg,
each in his turn helped to desolate the Pala-
tine and. to contribute immigrants to the col-
onies. The homeless and ravished peoples
of Germany sought and found homes in the
new land of peace and plenty. At one time
the immigration of German Palatines into
Pennsylvania and Maryland was in excess of
all other immigration. As a rule they
brought their own means with them, but
sooner than not immigrate they were glad to
indenture themselves as redemptioners. ]
Many hundreds thus came into Maryland,
many thousands into Pennsylvania. They j
came chiefly from the harried Palatinate, but
also from Alsace, Suabia, Saxony and Switz- '
erland. There were Wittembergers and peo- I
pie from D armstadt, Nassau, Hesse, Eisenberg, i

Franconia, Hamburg, Manheim — all classed
as 'Palatines.' They brought the Heidelberg
catechism with them even if they brought
nothing else, and many of them were so
plundered in transitu that they were not able
to bring anything else. Prof. Rupp, in
his notes to Dr. Rush, says: "Many who at
home had owned property were robbed by
ship-owners, importers, sea captains and
neulander. The emigrant's chests, with
their clothes and sometimes their money,
were put on other vessels and left behind.
These chests were rifled of their contents.
The German emigrants thus treated, on
their arrival at Philadelphia, were obliged to
submit to be sold as Loslcaeuflinge Redemp-
tioners, they and their children, to pay their
passage money. This was the practice for
more than fifty years."

"The number of these immigrants was
prodigious. In 1731 there were l-j.OOO
members of the German Reformed Church in
Pennsylvania from the Palatinate. Rupp
and Kapp note, in order to show the rapid
rate of tlie depopulation of these provinces
on the Rhine, that in 1709, from the middle
of April to the middle of July, there arrived
in London 11,294: German Protestants, males
and females, who were vine dressers and hus-
bandmen, bakers, masons, carpenters, shoe-
makers, tailors, butchers, millers, tanners,
weavers, locksmiths, barbers, coopers, saddlers,
lime burners, glass-blowers, hatters, brick-
makers, smiths, potters, turners, etc. More than
one-half of these came to this country. In 1790
there were 1-15,000 Germans in Pennsylvania,
the total population not exceeding 435,000.
These included the Sectaries above referred
to, the Palatines, the Dunkers and the Hes-

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 47 of 218)