I confess to ignorance of World History. It was required curriculum when I was in the 9th grade and I remember reading parts of the textbook. Mostly, though, I recall my teacher spent a lot of time smoking cigarettes in the teachers lounge…
So I started from scratch researching the 30-years-War that went on in central Europe between the years of 1618 and 1648. It started as a battle among the Catholic and Protestant states that formed the Holy Roman Empire. However, as the Thirty Years’ War evolved, it became less about religion and more about money and power…no surprise there.
One region that was particularly devastated by this war was the Palatinate region, now part of Germany.
The Palatinate had lost 457,000 out of 500,000 people during the Thirty Years’ War as Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Dutch and Swedish soldiers burned hundreds of cities and villages throughout German realms. The country was a wasteland of human misery. Then, King Louis XIV of France ordered his generals to destroy what little remained and they devastated the whole Rhineland.
The immigrants poured out of the area, at first going to England, where Queen Anne had pity on them and in 1709 sent about 3,000 to Ireland to homestead. That group assimilated well, but most didn’t The number of people was overwhelming, and there was disease, starvation, crowding at all of England’s port cities. They were not popular and it seemed like a good idea to ship them off to the colonies…
According to a lecture by Dr. George Schweitzer, a highly regarded genealogical researcher, ship owners were very actively recruiting German settlers to the colonies at this time. England was bringing large quantities of cargo back from the colonies and to make the process more profitable they needed cargo for the western-bound journey also. They weren’t as concerned about bringing in money from this human cargo as they were about the weight and ballast they could provide to “speed up” the sailings. The faster they could make the return voyage, the more profits they could realize.
The port of Philadelphia showed the impact of the German recruitment. In 1735 there were 268 German immigrants who arrived in the port. In 1736 it was 736, and it rose to 1528 in 1737. Expectations were for 1738 to see even larger numbers of emigrants. But even those high expectations were shattered by the huge numbers.
And so the Ship Harle sailed from Rotterdam…
“At the Courthouse of Philadelphia, September 1st, 1736. One hundred fifty one Foreigners from the Palatinate & other Places, who, with their Families, making in all three hundred eighty eight Persons, were imported here in the Ship Harle, of London, Ralph Harle, Master, from Rotterdam, but last from Cowes, as by Clearance thence, were this day qualified as usual.” From the Minutes of the Provincial Council, printer in “Colonial Records,” Vol. IV, p.58f.
On board this ship was 16-year-old Georg Mehn., my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather. He had no family with him, but two other names on the passenger list are mentioned later on in his records.
I don’t know if he stayed on in Philadelphia for a while or if he came straight on down to Frederick, Maryland, but that’s where he was in 1741 when he married Elizabetha Winters. They had six children: Magdalena, born 1742; Johann George 1744; George Adam, 1746; George Frederick, 1754: Johann 1756; and Anna Maragretha Rosina, 1759. He was naturalized during the April 1764 session of the Provincial Court of Maryland in Annapolis.
According to “A Mayne is a Main is a Mehn” , Helen Winters Seubold, 1980, Copy Shop, Rockville, MD: “In 1760, a warrant was granted out of His Lordship’s Land Office for 24 acres “beginning at a bounded black oak on the east side of a hill near a run” .. Here George built his first home, having probably lived with his in-laws until then. For the next years he continued to buy adjacent land at the base of Catoctin Mountain. . By 1771 he had acquired four more parcels of land totaling 327 acres. He patented the farms as Empty Bottle, Half-Bottle, Full Bottle, and All Bottles Full.
Taken from the highest point in Gambrill Park, this shot looks west over Middletown Valley which held Georg’s farms…
Most likely Georg derived his wealth from making whiskey, hence the name Bottle theme. Rye whiskey was one of the staple productions of Frederick County and the timing was good. Because of that little Revolutionary War thing, and those nasty naval battles, liquor just wasn’t finding its way to America. That left a void in the spirit world (haha) and Grandaddy’s Rye came to the rescue…
Elizabetha died sometime before 1777. By then, the older children were already married and he had grandchidren. In 1778 he began to “sell” the farms for a pittance of the value to his sons. He retained possession of his home and his original tract until 1782 when he sold it to his youngest son, Johann.
He is most likely buried in the Main Family Cemetery in Big Springs, MD.
From Ancestry.com : Main Family Cemetery Big Springs, MD
It would be a great camper trip to the area to try and find it. The Catoctin Mountain is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and home to Camp David, the presidential getaway. It looks like a beautiful place.
So That’s our First Arrival. Not a bad start here in America.
His youngest son, Johann (just plain John is so confusing after all those others,but that’s his name) is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather. Wonder what he was up to?