Hessian or Not

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Jeremy Bays

32 Cal
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
16
Reaction score
6
Location
kansas
After a few hours on the Internet, I found out that one of my ancestors came to North Carolina from Kirchberg (what is now Germany). He was born in 1723 so that would make him in his late forties or early fifties during the Revolutionary War period.
At first I though he might have been a Hessian "mercenary" (I know they were not really mercenaries, but you get the idea), then I got to thinking he would have been too old.

I do know he died in North Carolina.

Any ideas of what a German would be doing in North Carolina in 1770s? Could he have come over for the French and Indian War or was there a migration? Thought this would be a good place to ask.
Thanks
 

sawyer04

45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Messages
749
Reaction score
330
Location
missouri
Any ideas of what a German would be doing in North Carolina in 1770s
My ancestors came from the Ruhr river valley in northern Germany. They first went to England and Ireland. Then boarded a boat and came to what is now known as West Virginia (at the time it was Virginia). This was around the 1760"s. I haven't any knowledge of my German ancestors participating in the revolution, but realizing that The Appalachians were kind of out of the realm. However, some Appalachians did get into skirmishes with the British. I know that my ancestor was in north America, but am vague as to where and what until the 1860's when they started migrating west because of the war between the states, and this is by word of mouth passed down. I don't know the biological age, but I would guess around 30. Myself, have often wondered if the passage was by way of indentured servant and after getting to the North American continent made a run for it to the hills.
Not a heroic or glamorous story, just a German trying to get away from a pack of idiots, yes, idiots did exist back then.
 

Zonie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
30,239
Reaction score
2,747
Location
Phoenix, AZ
After a few hours on the Internet, I found out that one of my ancestors came to North Carolina from Kirchberg (what is now Germany). He was born in 1723 so that would make him in his late forties or early fifties during the Revolutionary War period.
At first I though he might have been a Hessian "mercenary" (I know they were not really mercenaries, but you get the idea), then I got to thinking he would have been too old.

I do know he died in North Carolina.

Any ideas of what a German would be doing in North Carolina in 1770s? Could he have come over for the French and Indian War or was there a migration? Thought this would be a good place to ask.
Thanks
It's possible that he was escaping religious intolerance in Kirchberg. In the 1700's Germanic areas there was limited tolerance of various religions but it depended a lot on where one was.

I don't have any information about Kirchberg at that time but generally speaking, it was up to the ruling Prince if people were allowed to practice a religion other than the one the Prince liked.
For instance, a pastor was forced out of office in Berlin in 1755 by the ruling Prince because of his staunch Lutheran belief's.

It's anybodys guess why he ended up in North Carolina. He might have heard about some cheap land, or possibly was looking for a warmer area than Pennsylvania or Virginia?
 

Stophel

75 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
5,702
Reaction score
370
I'm Hessian. My ancestors were from Hessen-Kassel. One or more of my very distant relatives was a Hessian soldier in the Revolution, and like so many, stayed here at the end of the war. My own branch of the family didn't come here until 1862.

I found Kirchberg in der Pfalz (the "Palatinate"). A LARGE percentage of Germans to immigrate, primarily to Pennsylvania, were from here. So much so, that all German immigrants were sometimes classified as "Palatines". A large percentage of these were also Mennonites or other Anabaptists. Your ancestor may have gone first to Pennsylvania, then to North Carolina, or he may have gone straight to North Carolina from Germany.

What was your ancestor's name?
 

tenngun

Cannon
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
11,958
Reaction score
2,207
Location
Republic mo
Religion was a touchy subject then and feelings ran high. So as above he could have fled to a more tolerant country.
Then too young men ran off to war for adventure. Once moved to a foreign domain he could drift away. Not nessisaraly desertion although that’s possible, wounded or sick he could be left behind.
Then the world was opening. If he made his way to a port and had a strong back he could go to sea. Once at sea he could migrate from ship to ship under different flags till he came to America.
Europe was not as cosmopolitan back then but at no time in history did not ‘foreigners’ get to other countries.
 

Rifleman1776

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
16,177
Reaction score
702
Location
Arkansas Ozarks
My ancestors were from Hessen-Kassel.
One if my ancestors, Yelles Cassell (Kassell, who knows) reportedly was born in the 1400s and the current town of Cassell is named after him. He was a politician, soldier and writer. Supposedly, the library at Cassell still has books written by him. We could be related.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
380
Reaction score
121
After a few hours on the Internet, I found out that one of my ancestors came to North Carolina from Kirchberg (what is now Germany). He was born in 1723 so that would make him in his late forties or early fifties during the Revolutionary War period.
At first I though he might have been a Hessian "mercenary" (I know they were not really mercenaries, but you get the idea), then I got to thinking he would have been too old.

I do know he died in North Carolina.

Any ideas of what a German would be doing in North Carolina in 1770s? Could he have come over for the French and Indian War or was there a migration? Thought this would be a good place to ask.
Thanks
There were a bunch of German immigrants to this country overall; he could have just been a regular Joe immigrant, not related to military activities. But it's all good!
 

FlinterNick

45 Cal.
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
731
Reaction score
226
The very first wave of immigrants from Europe to the 13 colonies and Quebec were largely from states loyal to their Crown Monarchs. For a British sponsorship, many came from the immediate states of Scotland and Ireland and Wales and then the German principalities. For the French colonizing Louisiana and Quebec was more or less, their equivalent of Australia, they'd send convicts and political prisoners. Dutch and Swedish immigration was more common in the northern colonies and vastly slowed down after the seven years war.
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
9,668
Reaction score
1,013
I think many people do not fully understand there was no national country of Germany in the 18th century, only a collection of German States.

When the English offered the Crown to King George 1 in 1714, he was the ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) in the Holy Roman Empire. He NEVER learned English and the language in the English Court until his death in 1727, was German and not English.

That opened the way for Germans to come to the American Colonies, not only because of religious persecution from back home, but also as a way for the poor to escape the continual warring of German potentates against each other. Of course that always hurt the poor much more from being drafted into warring parties and/or their farms fought on/over and often destroyed, leaving them destitute. IOW, if one wasn't nobility or had real connections with them, the German States were not real good places to live.

So, Jeremy, your ancestor took advantage by getting out of there while he could and by the fact King George I made it possible.

Gus
 

Latest posts

Top