Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This letter will focus on some of the German relatives of Dortha Demaris Myers Lockhart. Almost all of the Germans on the Mendenhall side of the family came to America as members of the Second Germanna Settlement and include the names Blankenbaker, Schone, Tanner, Hoffmann, Harnsberger, Schuster, Zimmerman, Aylor and Kaifer.

In 1717, about eighty Germans left their homes in southwest Germany expecting to go to Pennsylvania. Instead, they became guardians of the frontier in Virginia and a vanguard in the westward expansion of English civilization on the North American continent. This happened because Lieutenant Governor Spotswood of Virginia needed people to settle on his land in Virginia and he made a deal with captain Andrew Tarbett of the ship Scott to bring them from England to Virginia where Tarbett sold them as servants to Spotswood and his partners.
The Second Germanna Colony came from many different villages which were mostly south and east of Heidelberg with a few from outside this area. They worked seven years for Spotswood and his partners in naval stores projects and in vineyards. When they did move, they went about twenty-five miles farther west to land in the Robinson River Valley at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This again was an extremely exposed position but they chose this general region because the land there was free at the time and there were few or no English settlers which gave them space for expansion.
First to have mention is one of Dortha’s sixth great grandmothers, Anna Barbara Schone.
Image left: 2000 Photo of the Village of Neuenbürg.
Anna Barbara was christened at Neuenbürg, Baden, on September 29, 1664. She was the daughter of Quirinus Schone and Maria Barbara. Anna's first marriage was to Hans Thomas Blanckenbuhler and took place on November 2, 1680 in Neuenbürg. Anna was 16 years old at the time. Anna and Hans Thomas had four children: Hans Nicolaus, Hans Balthasar, Hans Matthias, and Anna Maria. All four of these children were immigrants to America. Anna's first husband, Hans Thomas, died sometime between 1687 and 1691, but no death records has ever been found in the Neuenbürg Parish records.
Anna Barbara then married Johann Jacob Schlucter November 3, 1691 in Neuenbürg. Anna and Johann Jacob had one child: Heinrich, who also came to America
in 1717. Anna's second husband, Johann Jacob, died at Neuenbürg on 13 February 1698 at age 45, placing his birth as approximately 1653.
Anna Barbara then married Cyriacus Fleischmann on March 5, 1701 in Neuenbürg. Anna and Cyriacus were the parents of three children: Maria Catharina (presumed to have died young); (2nd) Maria Catharina, who married Hans Jacob Broyles in Virginia; and Hans Peter.
Our direct relative from this passel of people is John (Hans) Nicholas (Nicolaus) Blankenbaker (Blanckenbuhler). All of the children of Anna Barbara’s other marriages are half aunts and uncles. There are several different spellings of all of the above names.
Located just north of Madison, VA, the Hebron Lutheran Church is the oldest continuously operating Lutheran Church in the United States and is one of a handful of wooden Virginia churches that pre-date the Revolutionary War. It was built in 1740 by the Germanna immigrants of 1717 (the second Germanna Colony). They had moved down to the Madison area from the Germanna settlement (located where Virginia Route 3 crosses the Rapidan River) in about 1726 and took out land patents. They had finally won their freedom from their indenture to Governor Spotswood, and it was in this area that they began building lives for themselves and their children.
The settlers first built a log chapel on the current site of the church, then set about attracting a minister. Initially they were not successful, and made do with Michael Cook as lay reader. In 1733 they were able to attract Johann Caspar Stoever to be their pastor. They then commenced a fund-raising drive to finance the construction of a real church. Rev. Stoever and two of the immigrants, Michael Smith and Michael Holt, went to Europe to raise money and find an assistant pastor. On both counts they were successful, securing the needed funds and hiring George Samuel Klug. Rev. Stoever died on the return trip, however, leaving the task of building and consecrating the church to Rev. Klug.
The church is located on small a rise that affords it a pretty view of the Robinson River
and surrounding area. The building had an annex put on around 1800 and it was fitted
(Photos above)
with a Tannenburg organ from Pennsylvania. The organ, largely unmodified, is still in
use today. The church was substantially renovated in 1962.
The information above on the Hebron Church was taken from John Blankenbaker's article in Beyond Germanna, v.2, n.4, July 1990, and is itself based on Rev. W.P. Huddle's History of the Hebron Lutheran Church, Madison County, VA, from 1717 to 1907, published in 1908.
The John Nicholas Blankenbaker named on page 2 was born in Neuenbürg, Germany on January 12, 1692 and on May 6, 1714 married Apollonia Kaifer, daughter of Wolfgang and Elizabetha Kaifer, in Neuenbürg. He arrived in Virginia in 1717 with the passel of people mentioned above. He died in Virginia on September 22, 1743.
Ursula Blankenbaker, daughter of John and Apollonia was born after 1717 in Virginia. She married John Zimmerman, son of Christopher Zimmerman and Dorothea Rottle about 1737 in Virginia.
John Zimmerman, the eldest son of Christopher Zimmerman, was six years old when he came to Virginia with his father in 1717. He obtained his first land patent in 1735 when he was 24 years old. Whereas his father lived in the Mt. Pony area, John took his land, 400 acres, in the Robinson River Valley. This was about twenty miles west of his father. From the record of people imported by Spotswood in 1717, we know that, in 1717, John Nicholas and Apollonia were not yet the parents of Ursula. Whether Ursula or the land came first for John, we do not know. Probably the land was first. With John's acquisition of the land in 1735, and with Ursula just up the road, the union probably came not long after this date. John was aggressive in his land acquisitions, and he had, in the end, more than 1700 acres. (John Hoffman, (one of my 5th great grandfathers) his immediate neighbor to the south, was even more aggressive as he acquired about 3500 acres, but Hoffman had a very large family.) Thus, John moved from a community, which was definitely English, to a community which was definitely German. This may have been his reason for moving. And, he was not on the best of terms with his stepmother and had moved out of the home earlier. John was naturalized in 1743 with several other Germanna settlers. He died in 1796 or 1797, when he was about 85 years of age. In 1759, he and Ursula gave 200 acres of land to their son, John. This was a pattern that continued. The parents gave 150 acres to Margaret Zimmerman; 200 acres to their daughter, Dorothy Tanner, and her husband Jacob; 150 acres to their son Christopher; 150 acres to their daughter, Mary Zimmerman; 300 acres to their daughter, Rosanna Zimmerman; and 200 acres to their daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband Joseph Holtzclaw. Thus, he and Ursula were generous in giving away their land before death, even unto the unmarried daughters.

Our next in line from this group is Dorothy Zimmerman, daughter of the above John and Ursula. Dorothy was born in Virginia about 1742 and she married Jacob Tanner, son of Christopher and Elizabeth Aylor Tanner, in Virginia about 1764. (I would list the county but since new counties were being formed from old counties it does not make much sense. The people did not move during this time, the county boundaries moved.) Dorothy seems to have had a very hard life. If vague comments are correct, she had some sort of handicap and her husband, Jacob, died in 1781, shortly after or during his Revolutionary War service. Dorothy did receive a pension for Jacob’s war service however it was only $26.66 a year. Dorothy died in Virginia between 1808 and 1812.
Frederick Tanner, son of Jacob and Dorothy Zimmerman Tanner, was born in Virginia about 1770. Frederick married Roshannah Huffman, daughter of Henry and Margaret Harnsberger Hoffmann, in Virginia on January 12, 1795. (Yes, I know some of the last names are spelled differently but that is the way it is.) Frederick and Roshannah moved to Kentucky sometime after 1800 and Frederick was a volunteer in the Kentucky contingent that fought in New Orleans during the War of 1812. Roshannah died in Barren County, Kentucky in 1808, Frederick remarried twice and died in Barren County in 1850.
Lydia Elizabeth Tanner, daughter of Frederick and Roshannah Huffman Tanner, was born in Virginia on May 8, 1800. Lydia married Thomas Jefferson Pedigo on January 23, 1820 in Barren County, Kentucky. Lydia and Thomas Pedigo are Dortha’s great grandparents.

For fun, I have included some Germanna Notes from John Blankenbaker. Now, figure out who is who………
Note_67 Johann Christopher Zimmerman was a 1717 colony member from Sulzfeld in Baden. His father was Christian Zimmermann (a Junior) who was christened 30 December 1669 and who died 22 May 1735 after the son above had moved to Virginia. He had married on 28 January 1688 Eva Dünstlerin who was the daughter of Michael Dünster and by whom he had four children Johann Georg, b. 23 April 1688, d. 8 May 1688 Johann Conrad, b. 22 January 1690, d. 18 April 1700 Johann Christopher, b. 16 March 1692, will dated 30 November 1748 in Orange Co. Maria Eva, b. 15 May 1697, fate unknown. Christian Zimmerman (Junior) was the son of Christian Zimmerman (Senior) and Maria Schucter. Depending upon the church records, a history or ancestry can sometimes be carried back several generations, but information in the 1500's is hard to come by. In the following notes, one family will be carried back several generations in more than one branch. In the names above, Eva Dünstlerin has the "in" added to her father's name. This is a feminine ending showing that she was a female. Her name and her father's name are also spelled differently, apart from the feminine ending. This is not unusual.
Note 81
The frequency of mixed nationality marriages is very much a function of the size of the communities. The Second Colony which has the largest number of Germans had the fewest marriages to the English in the early years. The First Colony which had fewer Germans had more marriages sooner with the English. There is another group of Germans, very few in number, who lived in the Mt. Pony area. This group moved the most rapidly to become assimilated into the English speaking world. They learned to speak English very quickly and adopted the Church of England as their church. By the 1730's, Christopher Zimmerman, from the Mt. Pony group, was a Lt. in the militia. At the other extreme, in the Robinson River community which had the most Germans, the elders forbid the pastor, William Carpenter, from speaking English in the community. This was after the Revolutionary War, a full fifty years after the community was formed.
If you did read the notes, the only person which is of no relation is William Carpenter.

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