Emigrants in the London St. Mary Church in 1717
Andreas Mielke and Sandra Yelton
Adapted from an article in Beyond Germanna (vol. 15, n. 6)

Germanna genealogists have not paid much attention to the German chapels/churches in London. One of these, the German Lutheran Church St. Mary le Savoy / Strand, has information relevant to the Second Colony. Sandra Yelton was able to copy a few pages of the church book during her visit to London in the summer of 2003 and John Blankenbaker translated the list.

While the Second Colony members were waiting for a ship to take them to Pennsylvania in the summer of 1717, they appeared in several records at St. Mary in the months of August and September. All of the records for these months are given below in English, while preserving the substance of the German language statements in which they are recorded:

August 4 Born [to] Hanss Nicolay Weiss, a Pfaltzer, his baby boy, baptized on the 5th and named Jürgen [i.e., George] Adam. Sponsors: Jürgen Meinach, Jurgen Meÿer, and Hanss Adam Rausch. Mother's name Anna Cathrina. by H: Ruperty

5 Born [to] Johann Seitz, a Pfaltzer, his baby boy, baptized on the same day and named Johann Christoph. Sponsors: Christoph Zimmerman, Hanss Jürgen Scheibeler, and Magdalena Niederman. Mother's name Anna Maria. by H: Ruperty

8 Born [to] H: Jacob Borman his baby boy, baptized on the 18th and named Diedrich Jacob. Sponsors: Richard Stabeler, Diedrich Funcke, and Aramintas Davis. Mother's name Carlotha Magdal[ena]. Because H: Funcke could not attend, H: Scheibel answered in his place. by H: Ruperty

29 Born [to] Matthias Schmidt, a Pfaltzer, his baby boy, baptized on the 31th and named Johann. Sponsors: Johann Georg Forckel and Maria Sophia Steiner. Mother's name Regina Cathrina. by H: Ruperty

29 Born [to] Johann Georg Forckel his baby girl, baptized on the 31th at the same time with the previous child and named Maria Barbara. Sponsors: Matthias Schmidt and Maria Barbara Weiland. Mother's name Susanna. by H: Ruperty

September 2 Born [to] Samuel Preste (a soldier in the Foot Guard) a small son, baptized on the 8th namely the 12th [Sunday] after Trinity, and named Samuel. Sponsors: William Preste and Susana Banister. The mother's name is Anna. H: Strauss

5 Born [to] Johann Henrich Busch, a small son, baptized on the 15th namely the 13th [Sunday] after Trinity, and named Henrich. Sponsors: X: Jacob Bruno C hirers [?], Edward Cowley, and Elisabeth Green. The mother's name Anna. by H: Strauss

8 Born [to] Johann Michel Koch, a Pfaltzer, a small daughter, baptized on the 9th and named Maria Dorothea. Sponsors: Henrich Schneider and Maria Eleanora Scheibel. The mother's name Barbara. by H: Ruperty

21 Married Michel Phillip Schrack and Anna Maria Niederman, both Pfaltzers. By H: Ruperty

30 Married Christian Ringelsbach and Anna Maria Cruckenmeier, Pfaltzers, going to Pensylvanien.
by H: Ruperty

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What we can see here is the formation of a congregation of Lutherans in London which was to become the (first) German Lutheran Church in Virginia.
Further editorial comments by John Blankenbaker:
In the German script, the letter "y" or "ÿ" was used for the letter "i" and in proper names the "y" or "ÿ" was maintained as written. As used here, "Pfaltzer" is a word that means "German." The source of the document is the Public Record Office (London), Class RG414625. The Crown Copyright is reserved. [Copied at Westrninister Archives by Sandra Yelton.]

Our attention focuses on the names of Jurgen Meÿer (Meier or Moyer), Hans Adam Rausch, Christopher Zimmerman, Hanns Jürgen and Maria Eleanora Scheible (he twice), Matthias, Regina Catharina, and Johann Schmidt (the father twice), Maria Barbara Weiland (Wayland), Johann Michael, Barbara, and Maria Dorothea Koch (Cook), and Henrich Schneider. The child Johann Schmidt is unknown in Virginia. Hans Adam Rausch is not the best fit for John Rausch in Virginia but it is noted that John Rausch in Virginia had a son named Adam. The name Jurgen Meÿer is one German spelling of the name of George Moyer in Virginia.

Not all of the people above were neighbors in Germany but they are acting together in London. A statement made by the fund raising trio of men in London in 1734 tells that the larger group attended a communion service in 1717. Several of the people mentioned here in London were prominent in the church in Virginia. Michael Koch became a future reader in the Virginia chapel.  Both of the Scheibles were willing to appear as sponsors. George Scheible went from Virginia to Pennsylvania with John Casper Stoever for the latter's ordination.

At this time in London in 1717, the group was potentially larger than we know it today. Johann Georg and Susana Forckel had two sponsors from the future Germanna group. Probably they too had intentions of going to Pennsylvania. The same could be said for Johann Seitz and his wife Anna Maria who had two future Germanna citizens as sponsors. In this same baptism, sponsor Magdalena Niederman is another potential candidate for the New World. (She may be the mother or sister of Anna Maria who married Michael Phillip Schrack on 21 September.)

Some of the people in the records above were semi-permanent residents of London with a combination of German and English backgrounds. They were the backbone of the London church and the reason for its existence. The pastors recognized many of these people by writing their names in English script, not German script. To reflect that here italics have been used.

The first of the Germanna citizens was in London before August 5, for example, Christopher Zimmerman. The Gemmingen emigrants left on July 12 and they probably did not arrive until later.  So, not all of the people left their homes at the same time. They may have coalesced into one body in London where perhaps the church was the focal point. The last recorded event of the future Germanna people in London, the Koch baptism, is on September 9 so that the departure from London would be after this.  However, there was a newly married couple on September 30 who wanted to go to Pennsylvania. (They were perhaps among those who could not find transportation at this time to America.)

Johann Michael Koch was a resident of Schwaigern who married Maria Barbara Reiner in 1716. They had no known children before their departure for Pennsylvania in 1717. As the baptism above shows, their first child was Maria Dorothea who was known as Dorothea in Virginia where she married John Carpenter, Jr. The sponsors for Maria Dorothea were Heinrich Schneider and Maria Eleanora Scheible, known Germanna citizens.

Johann Georg Scheible married Maria Eleanora Ockert, both of Neuenbürg village, in 1692. Heinrich Schneider married Anna Dorothea Schilling in 1692 at Cleebronn. Thus, the young couple, Michael and Barbara Koch, chose older people for the sponsors of their daughter. None of these people lived in the same village; it is more likely that the sponsors were chosen for their interest in the church.

Christopher Zimrnerman was from the village of Sulzfeld. He was a young man (b. 1692) married to Anna Elisabetha Albrecht (his second marriage). Matthias Schmidt married Regina Catharina Schlözer of Gemmingen in 1713. The sponsors for Johann Schmidt are unknowns to us at this time but their inclusion here would suggest that the potential size of the group wanting to go Pennsylvania was larger than we had suspected. This is also the suggestion of the Forckel baptism where Matthias Schmidt and Maria Barbara Weiland are sponsors. Maria Barbara (Seppach) Weiland was the wife of Thomas Weiland. They had children baptized at Willsbach and Waldbach, adjacent villages east of Heilbronn. The name Scheible, especially H. Scheible may also be the name of a permanent resident of London and we have a coincidence of names here.

From the geographical distribution of the names in Germany, it could be concluded that many of these people were coming together, not entirely because they were relatives or friends, but because of their common Lutheran heritage. Klaus Wust said more than a thousand Pfaltzers came through Rotterdam in the summer of 1717 (mostly in the months prior to August and September).

As the group here came together, they formed the nucleus of the future German Lutheran congregation in Virginia along the Rapidan River and later along the Robinson River. Saying that the congregation was formed in 1717 in London is a valid viewpoint. Besides the suggestion here that some people were not able to go with the rest of the group to America, there is positive evidence that some of the Germans were turned back. Since they had invested so much in going as far as London, why did they go back to Germany? I suggest that the reason is that the ship Scott was too small to  carry all of the people that wanted to go and no other ship for America was leaving. Capt. Tarbett was attempting to recover from the loss of a ship to pirates and from a stay in Debtor's Prison. He may have been attempting to regroup with a small ship and had to turn people away. The English did not want immigrants and they returned the Germans to Rotterdam. The Germans proceeded to try again and some were in the group that came in 1719.

More information about many of these families is to be found in the Before Germanna series of booklets by Zimmerman and Cerny.

For more information see Andreas Mielke, translator, “Hold, Schmidt, and Stoever as Historians of the Second Colony Congregation” in Beyond Germanna 15, 1 (2003): 845-847. Also see John Blankenbaker, “Ortssippenbuecher” in Beyond Germanna 15, 1 (2003): 825-826 and also Klaus Wust, “Palatines and Switzers for Virginia, 1705-1738: Costly Lessons for Promoters and Emigrants,” in the Yearbook of German American Studies 19, (1984): 45ff.

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