Tracing Families from Europe to Philadelphia and North Carolina
Tracing German families should involve a study of their immigration from Europe to Philadelphia. Many families settled among the Quakeres, so please do not rule out Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy. Then, follow Wilderness Trail from Pennsylvania westward. The emigration route of the Germans really began with William Penn who brought them into Pennsylvania and afterwards they moved westward into the North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and the Ohio Mountains. While still in Germany, Penn was well-publicised with German contacts. The German Pietists responded first, and select families mingled with English Quakers in Philadelphia. Most of the first Germans selected to come had sufficient money left upon arrival to pay for the land which they took up. By 1710, families from other parts of Germany were in a rush to reach the New World. Ship after ship of Palatines, Hanoverians, Saxons, Austrians and Swiss breasted the Delaware. The cost of passage from the upper Rhine was costly; however, a vast number of penniless Germans managed the trip by contracting with the ship-owner to sell themselves into servitude for a term of years. These were known as "redemptioners," and their service was commonly for from four to six years. Thus, before the Revolutionary War, no fewer than 60,000 Germans had debarked at Philadelphia, to say nothing of the thousands who settled in the South. The virtues of the Germans were the economic virtues and no matter where they settled, were known as being quietly industrious and thrifty. Benjamin Franklin, when he spoke before a committee of the House of Commons said the Germans were " a people who brought with them the greatest of all wealth, industry and integrity, and characters that have been superpoised and developed by years of persecution."
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