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Nafzger Heritage News Vol XIV No 3
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,	VOL XIV, No. 3	--	SU*IER ISSUE 1985
In this issue of the Nafzger Heritage News, we are reprinting an article authored by Ray Noftsger of Phila delphia, Pennsylvania for the quarterly publication of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society named the Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage. The article appeared in the April 1985 issue, Volume VIII, Number 2, The publication is an excellent one and headed by some of the finest German historians to be found anywhere. It is one that we can recommend to our readers.
We are grateful to the Lancaster Mennonite Histor ical Society for permission to use the information in our newsletter. As always, we feel a deep sense of pride for the research work of Ray Noftsger because he has done so much for our heritage. Finally, we are pleased to find
the information relates to Ulrich Nafzger who emigrated to America in 1741. Thousands of N’s presently living in the United States trace their roots to this line and also because of such a dearth of heritage information on the first early Nafzger lines (1750 or earlier), it is a pleasure to find that at least one them is being updated and more heritage information is being added, The article begins on page two.
We are sorry that it is necessary to put so many good heritage articles on”hold” for some future issue. Some of our writers are Margaret Yoder of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lynn Nafziger of Goshen, Indiana, Dorothy Still of Kansas City, Missouri, Matthias Otte of Plettenberg, West Germany, Wilmer Nafziger of Gridly, Illinois, Ray Dieffenbach, of Elizabethtown, Penr.sy1vani Erma Nafziger of Hopedale, Illinois, Zeola Van Winkle of El Dorado, Kansas, Rev, A.C. Fischer of Archbold, Ohio, Mary Chase of Portland, Indiana. Alain Naffzger of Cernay, France, Dean Noffsinger of Green Valley Arizona, Fannie Byler of New Wilmington, Pennsylvnia and Mrs. George Nafzinger of Kansas City Missouri, In addition, we have prepared a Nafzger Heritage Triva Game which we believe will be useful at family meetings and reunions, Send any ideas for the Triva Game to us and we will include it when we print the triva material.
The book on the Hopedale Nafzigers authored by Carroll and LaVeta Nafziger is at the printers. Cost of the publication prevented us from traveling the more expen sive route. The publication will sell for about ten dollars plus postage and that was one of our goals, It is our judgement that if a publication can be kept around this figure, then, we can expect to sell perhaps as many as 100 of them. Usually, higher price publications are nice except so very few can be sold that they end up in red ink, Our aim is to get heritage information to as many people as we can
Our readers may be interested to know that the front page of this Newsletter is being prepared at the Cleveland Airport while awaiting the arrival of Roif Nafziger of ludenscheid, West Germany. By the time you receive this newsletter, Rolf will have spend a week or two in the U.S.A. We hope he enjoys his visit and for any of our readers who may want to contact him, they may do so by telephoning (216) 458 8752. We expect to ask Rolf to prepare an article for the next issue of the News on his visit to the different relatives in the United States.
The author explores genealogical li7iks
among the puzzling Palatinate Naffzigers, the Amish bishop Hanss Naffziger of Essingen, and early Naffzigers of Pennsylvania.
Naffzger Families Of The Palatinate
And Pennsylvania
by Raymond L. Noftsger
Eighteenth-century Amish Mennonite family history is often difficult to recapitulate within any single community. To establish a connection between two distant regions such as the Palatinate in Germany and Pennsylvania in North America is even more problematic. Without the aid of Bible inscriptions along with published information or similar family documents concerning Amish Mennonites, one can rely upon only official documents. These are scanty at best. However, an examination of that data can prove to be fruitful. While one family’s trail can be outlined and traced, that path can illuminate the larger aspects of Amish Mennonite history. Such is the case with the Naffziger family of Essingen.’
Between 1741 and 1750 five Naffzgers—Ulrich, Matthias, Peter, Rudolph, and Jakob—entered Pennsyl vania via Philadelphia. Ulrich Naffzer, the first to arrive, came aboard the ship Marlborough in 1741.2 Matthias/ Matheis Nafzger, Rudolph Nafzger, and Peter Nafsker (the last spelling was in the clerk’s hand and was not an original signature) were aboard the Phoenix when it docked in 1749. Jakob Naftziger arrived aboard the Brotherhood in
17S0. The exact relationship between the five is not known.
The origins of these Naffzgers have remained unproved in all accounts published. Over fifty years ago Ernst CorrdP suggested that Matthias may have come from the Thun area in Switzerland. In fact, as early as 1621 Naffzgers are found residing at Thun and in 1628 at the small hamlet of Uetendorf, which is near Thun.’ However, the fact that Matthias came from Switzerland was never verified though that given name was commonly used within the Swiss Naffzger family during that period.
In another article of the trilogy on the Nafzigers, Correll suggested that Ulrich Naffzer may have been one of the persecuted Amish Mennonites who were forced to flee the Palatinate in 1740 due to the restrictive decree issued by that government in that year. That decree announced, among other things, that only two hundred of the Amish Mennonite houstholds under their jurisdiction would be granted further toleration. All others must emigrate. Correll wrote that this may have been the fate of Ulrich Naffzer. This article will corroborate Correll’s hypothesis. About the other three Naffzgers no suggestions have been made concerning their origins.
‘The surname Naffzger has been variously spelled by different branches of the family depending upon where they resided in North America, Germany, France, Luxembourg, or Switzerland. More than twenty variations currently exist. I have adopted the following principle: Naffzger is used when referring to the family in general, but the spelling found in cited documents is maintained.
lRalph Beaver Strassburger, Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, ed. William John Hinke (Norristown, Pa.:
Pennsylvania German Society, 1934), 1:294.
lbid., 1:407. lbid., 1:448.
SErnst Correll, “The Value of Family History for Mennonite
History: Illustrated from Nafziger Family History Material of the Eighteenth Century,” in the Mennonite Quarterly Review. Three articles comprise this series: 2 (January 1928): 66-79, hereafter referred to as Correll, “Mennonite History 1”; 2 (April 1928): 151-154, hereafter Correll, “Mennonite History 2”; 3 (July 1928): 198-204,
hereafter Correll, “Mennonite History 3.” The reference for Marthias Naffzger’s coming from Thun is taken from “Mennonite History 2”
15 1-154.
‘In 1621 Zacharias Naffzger was given citizenship at Thun in Canton Bern (Burgerbucb, no. 1, BAT 504, p. 109; Burgergemeinde Thun, Eichmattweg 7, 3600 Thun, Switzerland). The first of twelve children of Melchior Naffzger and Eva Schmocker were registerd at the Thierachern Parish in 1628 (Thierachern Parish Records, 16O5-1800 Uetendorf Zivilstandsamt, 3138 Uetendorf, Switzerland). Iilrich Naffsger was a witness for the birth registration for a son of Peter Steiner and Anna Yoder in 1624 at SteIfisburg (Kirchenbuch, Band 1-6, vol. 2; Steffisburg Zivilstandsamt, 3612 Steffisburg, Switzerland). Ludwig Naffzger was granted citizenship at Thun in 1646 (Burgerbuch, no. 1, BAT 504, p. 157; Burgergemeinde Thun). The relationship between the Naffzgers of Thun, Uetendorf, and Steffisburg was rice concluded. The old church records from Thun were destroyed in a fire in 1813; those from the Thierachern parish are available at Uetcndorf; they begin in 1605. The records of Steffisburg are found in that city.
7 “Mennonite History 1”: 70.
Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage
B Castle has for centune.s stood as a landmark in the Vosges Mountains, west of Wisscmbourg, France. In the early 1700s it towered over Fárbelstcinerhof estate, on which lived Nafziger, Scliwarizcntruber, Ehresman, Ro and Holly families.
I became acquainted with records about Ukich Naffzer while doing research at the Lancaster County courthouse. In one particular deed, written at Essingen, Germany, and dated March 22, 1770,8 Hans Nafziger, Christian Nafziger, Peter Nafziger, Anna Naffziger, and Veltin/ Valentine Giingrich, the latter a guardian of the children of Stöffen Nafziger, relinquished their claim to the estate of Ulrich Nafziger, formerly of Leacock Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This document established a connection between one of the early five American Naffzgers and Essingen, Germany, but who were the Naffzigers of Essingen? How were these Naffzigers related to Hanss Naffzigcr, the influential (and later persecuted) Amish bishop at Essingen who had assisted in the publication of the Martyrs’Mirror in 1780 at Pirmasens and whose 1781 letter served as a minister’s manual for the Amish congregations of the Palatinate? How were these Essingen Naffzigers related to Utrich Naffzer of Leacock Township?
Essingen Naffzigers—Official Documents
The exact date when the Naffzigers arrived in the Palatinate in Germany has not been established. They probably originated in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland and, more specifically, came from the Thun/Uetendorf/ Steffisburg area. Perhaps they formed part of the 1711 Bernese exodus of Anabaptists.bO
The earliest known official record pertaining to the Naffzigers in the Palatinate is from 1715. At that time Ulrich Naffzier, an Anabaptist, was residing at Bãrbelstein, which today is known as Bewartsteiner Hof and is located
near Erlenbach/Dahn. How long Ulrich Naufzier lived at Bãrbelstein has not been determined.
On March 5, 1715,12 Ulrich Naffzier, together with Hans Jakob Erismann, both “Weidertàufer [ ufm Bärbelstein,” assumed the lease of another tenant on an estate held by the Pflege (administrator) of Eusserthal at Rodenbach, which today is Rothenhof near Grafenhäusen. The record states the following:
Today . . . appears the aforementioned tenant Nicklas Jung to announce that he intends after agreement with the Pflege to cede his lease, just renewed for nine years, against forfeit money [ to Ulrich Naffzier and Hans Jakob Erismann, both Anabaptists residing at B This transfer has been agreed to by the Pflege under the condition that if both of the Anabaptists should be expelled because of their religion before the expiration of the nine-year lease, the following tenants shall com pensate the forfeit money as well as those things which they have ameliorated in buildings and/or cultivation.
Signed at Eusserthal, the 5th of March, 1715.
[ mine.)
In 172813 Ulrich Naffzier and his wife, Magdalena, both formerly of Rodenbach, assumed the lease for the Obergui (upper estate) at Eusserthaler Hof near Essingen, a small village in the southeastern corner of the Palatinate. This estate, then under the administration of Henrich Wilihelm of Sickingen for the Roman Catholic church of Wiirzburg, was in deplorable condition when it was leased to the Anabaptist Naffzier for his management.
About 1728’ Anabaptist Ukich Naffzier, formerly of Rodenbach and presently a Bestander (landholder) at the Obergut at Eusserthal, was granted a new lease. The lease stipulated that the old nine-year lease was to be replaced by a
Deed K-2-328, Lancaster County Courthouse, Lancaster, Pa.
‘Mennonite Encydopedia, s.v. “Nafziger, Johannes,” by Paul Schowalter.
‘°Correll, “Mennonite History 3”: 199.
“About 1707-08 a Christian Naffziger was living at Birlenbach, a small hamlet in northern Alsace, France, about twenty-five kilometers south of B A relationship between Christian and Ulrich Nafizier was not concluded. J. Virgil Miller to Raymond L. Noftsger, Nov. 30, 1983.
‘ A 14, no. l6Sa, Landesarchiv Speycr, Domplatz 6, 1)- 6720 Spryer, Germany. Hereafter referred to as “Spryer.” For an impression of the differences which may occur in translations, the following statement was offered by Noah G. Good for the same document: “Today. . . the land renter, Nicolass Jung, appeared with protesters as he believed there was no opposition except for the nine persons who took them to task about the rental contract for the property at Rodenhoff, having learned about the rental of property to Ulrich Naffzier and Hannes Jacob Erichmann, both of them Mennon ites, residents of B There was some certain objection. At the session it was brought forward that they should give reasons which were heard; some held that the two Mennonites should be driven out because of their religion; their followers strongly opposed the objectors.” This and all documents concerning the Naffzigers of Essingen found at the Speyer Archives have been copied and donated to the [ Mennonite Historical Society, Lancaster, Pa.
‘ A 14, no. 149k, Spryer.
‘ A 14, no. 159h, p. 19, Spryer. Translation by Noah G. Good.
Pennsylvania Mennonifr f’”
This portion of a 1754 Naftzier document is located in the archives in Spcycr, Germany.
new eighteen-year lease, mostly due to the poor condition of the property and buildings, particularly the house. Further more, a clause was included stating that Ulrich or his heirs, particularly his children, would be given preference to remain on the property at the expiration of the lease in 1746. (Was this an indication that Ulrich was an old man who made this request of preference for his children due to his age?)
In 173S’ Ulrich Naffzier requested a reduction in his amount of rent—actually a “rent-in-kind,” which prior to payment of rent with money was the typical form of payment. His request was based on recent French incursions into the area which had disrupted spring planting. Also, the Count of Bellisle had quartered his troops in the area and had drawn rations from the local tenants.
To the Worthy, Noble-born, Excellent, and Gracious
Your High and Worthy Excellence, to you I am pressed to make an appeal because in the past year of 1734, concerning right of way, also because of the many and varied French incursions as described in the following: for taking the rye from the fields so that it was scattered so that it cost me so much that the straw and the immature grain had to be brought into the building soon after the invasion when the grains of rye were still quite soft; and we had to move it around and work it, and still it became mushy and caked together so that in the autumn we had to sow some of it; so the damage extended to th year 1735 since less than one-fifth of it took root and grew so that this year we gather from each acre [ scarcely twenty sheaves of grain; a big loss resulted.
In accord with what my temporary rental contract must surely show, it is evident that by the above crop failure I should be entitled to a proportional rate of rental payment; and it is certain that in these times of war we will have to bear great burden and loss, and the contented service is in vain when we must suffer the loss of one-fifth of the crop.
Therefore, most Worthy and Excellent Lord, I must make known to you in the most humble and obedient manner what hardship is brought upon us to turn over the fifth part; for this reason I beg of you that you might be able to cancel my obligation for this year, and we will be comforted; and it is well known that in the previous year during the time of seeding the troops of Count of Bellisle were drawing grain rations and quartered in our area, and we were hindered in regular seeding.
high and faithful Excellence
Mannheim, August 24,
The faithful renter of Upper as well as the Lower Eusscn thalerhof requesting a cut to one-half and one-eighth
Ulrich Nafzier
This August 1735 petition was the last official citation to note Ulrich Naffzier. His future fate—his place and date of death—remains unknown.
In 174516 “Magdalenam Naffzier em Menoniten” was granted a new lease for the period from March 1746 through 1755. Although the location of the property was not noted in the record, it was for the same estate on which she had resided.
In 175417 “Magdalena Naffzierin, Johannes Naufzier & Consts. dei Mennoniten” of Essingen accepted a lease for the Ober- und Nieder-Gut at Eusserthal for twelve years. This
“upper and lower estate” on the landed property of the Barons of Dahlberg consisted of about 380 Morgens of land. Henrich Wilhelm outlined some of the tenant’s responsi bilities in the following words:
To use the property as their own, to enjoy and use it, to fertilize it and to dung it industriously, to keep down the weeds and brush, to plant fruitful trees of fruit and nuts, to take care of the runoff water and keep the drainage ditches open and other work to improve the land.
The lease agreement noted the poor quality of the farm buildings. In addition, it specified the exact types and quantities of rent: rent-in-kind consisting oi wheat, peas, barley, rye, geese, etc. The lease required major building construction for the Naffzigers:
Since the old barn is on the whole falling apart and the ruins stand in its place, therefore the renters according to the terms of their contract are under obligation to replace the barn for which only the necessary building timbers from the Eusserthaler Cloister ground will be furnished gratis for them to use. The rest of the building materials such as building stone, lime, sand, title, glue, etc., besides the wages for workmen, etc.,. . . also the hauling of the necessary building materials is to be done by them.
‘ p. IL One “morgen” was the area of land a person during the eighteenth century could farm in one morning, estimated at one- eighth to one-half acre.
“Ibid., p. 37.
‘ A 14, no. 159k, pp. 87-90, Spcyer. Translation by Noah G. Good.
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It was signed at Essingen by “Magdalena Nafzier, Hanss Naffziger, Veldten G(ingerich.” (See [ in figure, page 24.)
About August 1759 a problem of an undetermined nature evidently arose. An affidavit’s written at Ger-. mersheim attested that Magdalena Nafzieger and her children and son-in-law, all of whom resided at Essingen, have good and honorable reputations. In addition, an August 1759 Pro Nota” stated that the Anabaptist Johannes Naffzier and his wife were recommended as renters as they enjoyed not only good favor but were good people as were the other people with them. Why these character references were written was not stated.
Some of the controversy involving the Naffzgers may have stemmed from their new lease for Eusserthal. On August 9, 1759,20 “Hans Nafziger, Völten Giingerich, Peter Naffziger” (see [ in figure below) questioned the lease issued by the Roman Catholic administrator for the Cloisters at Eusserthal and requested that amendments be made. The petition mentioned not only the religion practiced (religions exercitio) but also noted that the Lords of Dahlberg were not permitted to drive them away. It further stated that they themselves did not own any property and therefore had to offer their services to the large landowners.
The exact specifications which they questioned in the new
lease were not mentioned, but, as they voiced their concerns, they clearly revealed an Anabaptist emphasis on mutual aid within the community of faith:
With us the property stays together, which for a worthy spiritual administration is much better than if all the property is divided among the people of the community. Also, the ones in charge give those old persons [ who took good care of a rented property] a preference over the newcomers, especially those old persons who have been successful, who were teachers, who worked for safety, and who gave time for civil offices. They give them enough that they as well as we who are solvent can have some form of comfort.
On August 18, 1759,21 a new lease was issued in the name of the Royal Palatinate Church by the provost in charge of the Ober- und Nieder-Gut at Eusserthal. The contract was assigned to Hans Nafziger, Veltin Glingrich, and Peter Naiziger for a period of nine years beginning in March 1760. This new lease evidently was a reaction to the petition which the Naffzigers and GUngrich had written nine days before. (These last two documents mark the appearance of Peter Naffziger in the Essingen records.)
On November 11, 17S9, Maria Magdalena Naphziger died. The record of death was recorded in the Kirchenbuch von Essingen as:
Maria Magdalena, who was experienced in the use of natural herbs and drugs and who was a very respected healer, the surviving widow of Utrich Naphziger, former Anabaptist and farmer of the Ober-Eussertahler-Hofgut, died the 11th of November [ at 9 in the morning and was buried the 12th of this month; she was 65 years old.
A document of 176323 reduced the amount of rent-in- kind to be paid for the Eusserthaler estate because of a
redefinition of the size of the property after a new survey was made. It was signed by Hanss Naffziger and Völten Glingerich (see [ in figure below).
A subsequent request, signed by Hanss Naffziger and his wife (see [ in figure below) and dated June 22, 1768,24 asked for a reduction in the increase of the amount of rent. It stated that their justification was due to their long service on the estate. Appended to the request was a record of the amounts of various grains (presumably rent payments) which previously had been delivered not only by Hanss and Peter Naffziger and Veltin Güngrich but also by a dozen other tenants on the estate. On June 30, 176 8,25 their request was granted.
A final document concerning the Naffzigers at Essingen was signed at Mannheim on December 31, 1768.26 This Sententia (judgment) was issued in reference to a complaint made by Johann and Peter Naf-ziger and Veltin Gungrich and their wives against other tenants at Eusserthal. The nature of the complaint was unclear.
These documents raise two general points. On the one hand, the farms controlled by the Roman Catholic church and rented to the Naffzigers were in notoriously poor and dilapidated condition; on the other hand, despite all of the legal contracts forced upon the tenants of these estates, the landlords appear both capricious and arbitrary.
The following notations relating to the Naffzigcrs of Essingen were extracted from the Kirchenbuch von Fssingen between the years of 1755 and 1761: Catharina, three-year-old daughter of Johann Naffziger, “Burger [ und Mennonit,” died in 17SS; Magdakna Gungerich, nine-month-old daughter of Veltin GUngerich and wife, Anna Naffziger, died in 1755;29 Barbara Naffziger [ the second wife of Peter Naffziger, “Mennonit, Burger und Gemeinsmann [ died at eighteen years and seven months in 17S8; Maria Magdalena Naphziger, widow of Ulrich Naphziger, “Weidertäufer und Baucr [ died in 17S9; Magdalena, daughter of Peter Naffziger and Barbara Joder, died in 1760;32 Elisabeth, daughter of Johann Naffziger and wife Barbara, died in 1760; and Maria Anna GUngrich, daughter of Veltin
“Bestand A 14, no. 159h, p. 47, Spryer.
“Ibid., p. 49.
ZOIbid., pp. 42-43.
2t A 14, no. 159k, pp. 98-100, Speyer.
Kirchenbuch von Essingen, Bestand F-6, no. 52, p. 346, Spryer. The German entry of the record is as follows: “Maria Magdalena, weiland Ulrich Naphzigers, cines Wiedcrt und Bauets auf dem Ober-Eusserthaler-Holgut nachgelassene Wirwe, der Arznci erfarhen und stark mediziniert hat, starb den 11 Novembre (1759] morgers gegen 9 Uk und begrabcn den 12 dieses Monats; ihres Alters 65 Jahre.”
23 A 14, no. IS9h, p. 90, Speyer.
2 A 14, no. 159g, p. 49, Speyer.
Ibid., p. SO.
2 A 14, no. 159h, p. 116, Spryer.
21 von Essingen, Bestand F-6, no. 52, Spcyer.
2 p. 338
°lbid., p. 343.
3 p. 346.
Pr’ i” h ‘ama \ lennonite Heritage
Glingrich and Anna Nafuziger, died at two years and three months in 1761. Christian Naffziger, “Mennoniten und Erbbest [ landholder],” together with wife Magdalena Gungerich/Hiingerich lived at Geilweilerhof near Albersweiler, north of Essingen. Between 1771 and 1783 six children were registered in the Kirchenbuch von Eussert ha
After this lengthy survey of records for Essingen one can construct a tentative outline of the Naffziger family: Ulrich Nafizier, Anabaptist, resided prior to 1715 at B then at Rodenbach until about 1728, when he assumed a lease on the Eusserthal estate near Essingen, where he was last cited in 1735; Maria Magdalena, widow of Ulrich, was mentioned with Ulrich in 1728, alone in 1746, and finally in her 17S9 death record; Johannes/Hanss Naffziger and Veltin GUngerich appeared in 1754; Peter Nafiziger appeared in 1758 church records. All three were present in 1768.
The question arises (assuming for the moment that Hans of Essingen is identical to Hanss, the Amish bishop) whether Ulrich of B was married twice. The Amish bishop Hanss Naffziger wrote that he (Hanss) was seventy-five years old in 1781, implying that he was born about 1706. The 1759 death record of Maria Magdalena Naphziger, widow of Ulrich, gave her age at death as sixty-five years, suggesting that she was born about 1694. From these raw dates we can assume that Ukich was married twice because Maria Magdalena could not have been the mother of Hanss. Magdalena was Ulrich’s wife in the 1728 record though that given name was common for that period. The name of Ulrich’s first wife remains unknown, but the evidence does point to an earlier marriage. This second marriage theory finds support in the fact that Maria Magdalena lived more than twenty years past the last reference to Ulrich.
Hanss Naffziger, the Amish Bishop of Essingen
To determine whether Hanss Naffziger, the Amish bishop, and Hanss Naffziger of the Essingen records are the same person, one must examine biographical data con cerning the Amish bishop. The most comprehensive bi ography of Hanss Naffziger appears in Ernst Correll’s trilogy on the Nafziger family and in the Mennonite Encydopedia. What follows is a summary of the sources cited.
Hanss Naffziger supposedly spent his youth at Mechter sheimer Hof in the Ge,neinde of Germersheim and later married Barbara Holli. They were married at B on February 2, 1729. One has a problem in reconciling the observation that Hanss, the bishop, “supposedly spent his youth at Mechrersheimerhof” with the records of the Naffzigers at B Rodenbach, and Essingen. If the two Hansses are identical, why would Hanss spend his youth at Mechtersheim while his father resided elsewhere? Or did Ulrich Naffzier reside at Mechtersheim prior to moving to Bãrbelstein?
In 178142 Hanss Naffziger was in his fiftieth year of serving the gospel. This information implies that he was chosen to be a preacher about 1731. He subsequently was elected eld& though the date is not known. The Karlsruhe Mennonite Acts cite Johannes Nafiziger (Joann Noff zieger) as a farmer at Mechtersheimer Hof in 1738, 1739,
and 1740. Hanss went to the Netherlands for nine weeks in 1765 and returned for seven weeks in l770.
In 1780 Hanss Naffziger was charged with “baptizing” two girls who earlier had been taken from their Mennonite home and placed under the custody of the Roman Catholic church. After they attained a certain age, Hanss allowed them to return to their faith of choice. For this action the Roman Catholic church sought to have him persecuted. In his defense of the Amish bishop in 1780, Jakob Dettweilcr” wrote that Johannes was an “elderly and up-right man” from Essingen; that he had a son-in-law Christian BUrkie who then resided at Mechtersheimerhof; and that his fine of five hundred florins and exile from the Palatinate territory was too harsh. In 1781 Hans Naffziger was seventy-five years old. His fate after that date remained unknown until the publication of two letters allegedly written by him.
In 1983 Ezra Kanagy and Amos Hoover published two letters written by Hanss Naffziger. In the alleged 1782 letter the Amish bishop writes the following concerning his family: he has a brother in Darmstatterland, sons-in-law Jakob Schenk and Christian Burkie (the former of Essingen, the latter having recently moved to near Brussels), a cousin Hans Nafziger, and Peter Nafziger in the Darmstatter church. Hanss also wrote that he had been relieved of the so-called baptizing crime and therefore no punishment was exacted.
In the alleged 1790 lett& dated at Essingen on June 4, Hanss writes that his wife of over fifty years had died in 1789 when she was seventy-six years old. He goes further to write of his family:
my brother-in-law Valentine Gilngrich of Essingen, my brother Stephen Nafziger and his son with us as [ Essingen, his father Stephen Nafziger of Steinsaltz [
my brother Christel Nafziger in Darmstatterland,. . . my son-in-law Christian Burke moved away and now live near Brussels.
lbid., p. 347.
35 von Eussert ha!, Bestand F, Speyer.
3 “Mennonite History 3”: 203.
37 von Essingen, Bestand F-6, no. 52, p. 346, Spryer.
38 A 14, 149k, Speyer.
3 “Mennonite History 1 and 3”; Mennonite Encyclopedia, s.v. “Nafziger, Johannes.”
°“Nafzger-Nafziger Famihen Rundbrief,” The Nafzger Heritage
News (120 Edgewood Drive, Grafton, OH 44044)11 (Summer 1980);
J. Virgil Miller to Raymond L. Noftsger, Nov. 20, 1983. The record is
found in the Roman Catholic parish book for Niedcrschtettenbach. See
J. Virgil Miller, “Hof B Mennonite Family History 4
(January 1985): 4-5.
41 Encyclopedia, s.v. “Nafziger, Johannes.”
42Correll, “Mennonite History 3”: 203.
43 Encyclopedia, s.v. “Nafziger, Johannes.”
“Palatinate Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1774,” ed. Harold S. Bender,MennoniteQuarter!yReview 14 (January 1940): 38; 14 (April 1940): 71, 75.
Correll, “Mennonite History 3”: 201.
6 “Mennonite History 1”: 73.
47 Old Letters Both Written by Hans Nafziger of Essingen, Germany, in 1782 and in 1790 to Christian Showaher of Pennsylvania (Bdleville, Pa.: Ezra J. Kanagy, 1983), hereafter Two Old Letters.
4 pp. 15-18.
April, 1985
The four signatures above were photocopied from records in Essingen in
1754 (1), 1759 (2), 1763 (3), and 1768 (4).
This signature w photocopied from a 1778 letter of Hanss Naffziger to Petter Webcr.
The alleged 1790 letter was twice transcribed, and the essence of the letter may have been lost during the transcriptions. Because the alleged 1782 letter is available in a handwritten document, one can examine its contents. Naffziger explicitly wrote in the alleged 1782 letter that the following church leaders were dead: Jakob Holly, Christian Gungerich, Christian Rinkenberg, Christian Yoder, and his (Hanss’) brother “Naffziger in Darmstatterland.” How ever, the alleged 1790 letter refers to all of the above as if they were alive.
In fact, after naming more than fifteen men, including all of the dead church leaders mentioned in the alleged 1782 letter, Hanss wrote: “and we met more ministers travelling.” How could these men be dead in 1782 and alive in 1790? In addition, Hanss wrote, as quoted above, of his brothers and brother-in-law as if they were alive. Please note the earlier cited 1770 Lancaster County deed written in Essingen, where Valentine G signed as “vdrmunter [ uber St’óffen Nafzigers Kinder.” Furthermore, one should note the 1782 death of Christian Naffziger at Kammerh
—provided he is identical with Christian/Christel of Darmstatterland. Again the discrepancies in the alleged 1790 letter are apparent.
As a final note on this alleged 1790 letter one should notice the awkward and clumsy passage referring to Steffen Naffziger and his son. This is clearly contrary to the “quaint and simple style” the Amish used in writing. Does the quoted passage referring to Stephen mean that Stephen and his son resided at Essingen while the father Stephen, who would also be Hanss’ father, resided in Steinseltz? Or did Stephen’s son live at Essingen while Stephen was at Steinseltz? In any case one has difficulty in reconciling the passage with the 1770 Lancaster County deed indicating that Stephen was deceased and that his children were under the guardianship of Valentine GUngrich. Unfortunately, the original 1790 letter has been lost. One possible recourse to solving the above questions is to examine other historical references contained in the letter and to research those named people for additional biographical data.
For the moment we shall note only Hanss’ brother-in-law Veltin Glingerich of Essingen as a connection to the Essingen documents. More compelling evidence which further demonstrates that the Amish bishop Hanss Nafziger is identical with the Naffziger cited in the Essingen records will be mentioned when we further examine records associated with Ulrich Naffzer of Leacock Township in Lancaster County.
Another suggestive but not conclusive approach to the question is to examine handwriting samples taken from the Essingen records and to compare them with one signature known to be that of Hanss, the bishop. Ernst Correll observed that the Amish Bishop Hams Naffziger always signed his name as Hanss (with a double “s” in German script) and not Hans. Keeping this in mind, one may compare four Essingen signatures to one known signature of Hanss Naffziger on a letter from the Amish bishop to Peter Weber of Kindenheim near Grlinstadt, dated September 16, 1778. The signatures appear above in sequence from 1754 (1), 1759 (2), 1763 (3),58 1768 (4),59 and the 1778 Naffziger-Weber letter (5). Signatures (1), (3), and (5) are
‘Ibid., p. 5.
°Ibid., p. 9. 1 believe that the alleged 1782 letter was nOt actually written by Hanss Nafiziger though it might have been dictatd by him or copied from an original letter. My impression results from comparing the signature of Hanss Naffziger on the 1778 letter to Peter Weber arid other signatures on Essingen documents. See notes 56 to 59 with the handwriting found on the alleged 1782 letter. They are not the same handwriting. In addition, the actual script in the alleged 1782 letter is much too precise and too full of flair for a man about eighty-five years of age.
‘Ibid., p. 16.
52 K-2-328, Lancaster.
53 “Mennonite History 3”: 200.
4 p. 198.
55 Naffziger to Petter Weber, Sept. 16, 1778, cited in Two Old Letters, p. 16.
56 A 14, no. 159k, p. 90, Speyer.
57 A 14, no. 159h, p. 43, Speyer.
“Ibid., p. 90.
59 A 14, no. 159g, p. 49, Speyer.
‘°Two Old Letters, p. 16.
“Nafzger-Nafziger Familien Rundbrief,” vol. 11, no. 4.
(3) /7/s. J Z1-’.L , -I
,	-,
(4)	C C#
(5)	4 ‘j
Prnncvl,’ania A l’nnonite !-ieritage
similar; but more important, note the “ss” which appears at the end of Hanss on all signatures and which supports Correll’s observations.
Essingen Naffzigers—Provisional Outline
We can outline the Naffzigers of Essingen as follows:
Ulrich Naffzier of B who married Maria
Magdalena—probably a second wife. He later moved to
Rodenbach and finally onto the Eusserthal estate near
Essingen. He was the father of Hanss, the Amish bishop of
Essingen; Christian/Christel of Darmstatterland; Steffen of
Steinseltz in the Alsace in France; Anna, who married
Veltin/ Valentine GUngrich and lived at Essingen; and Peter.
A sixth child was Ulrich of Leacock Township in Lancaster
County, but his problematic relationship will be discussed
below. Following are a few observations concerning Chris tian, Steffen, and Peter Naffziger.
“Chrisrel Naffziger” of Darmstatterland’° is probably the same as Christian Naffziger who resided at Kammerhöfe near Leeheim6 (near Riedstadt southwest from Darmstadt in the state of Hesse-Darmstadt). Christian may have lived there as early as 1778 with his two sons, Johann Peter and Christian. In 178262 Christian Naffziger died at Kammer höfe at the age of sixty-five years; thus, he was born about 1717. His son Johann Peter later moved to Uberau near Reinheim in Hesse-Darmsradt and died at Eberstadt on May 16, 1805, at the age of fifty years.’ Johann Peter’s death record states that he was born at Fleckensteinerhof in northern Alsace. The absence of any date for Christian in the Essingen documents agrees with his presence at Fleckenstein. Possibly Christian left the Palatinate after the 1740 decree issued by the Palatinate government which limited the number of Amish Mennonite families. As was previously noted, Ulrich Naffzer emigrated to America about the same time and probably for the same reason.
“Stephen Naffziger of Steinseltz” married Magdalena Gungrich in 1742 and took residence at the mill at Steinseltz the following year.’ Stephen died at the Steinseltz Mill in
175S.’ Upon his death brother Johannes Naffziger, Hans Georg Holli of Nehwiller near Woerth in northern Alsace, and Jakob Holli of Millhofen south of Landau in the Palatinate were named as guardians over Stephen’s three children: Anna (13 years), Christian (6 years), and Mag dalena (4 years).” I believe that in the 1770 Lancaster County deed Valentine Gungrich signed as guardian for these children.’
The remaining Naffziger in the 1770 Lancaster deed and Essingen records is Peter Naffziger. He is more enigmatic than the others. A Peter Naffziger was cited in the church records when he was widowed in 1758, and he either signed or was mentioned in property records of 1759 and I 768.” A Peter Naffziger signed the 1770 Lancaster deed. Perhaps these are two different Peters—one named in the Lancaster County deed and the other named in the Essingen docu ments. The Peter who signed the 1770 Lancaster deed may be a previously unnamed Naffziger who resided at Flecken steinerhof while the Essingen Peter may be a son of Hanss Nafiziger, the Amish bishop.’
“Erna Guth, “Vom Segen der Varer: Mennonitenfamilien Nafziger in ckr Umgebung von ZweibrUcken,” Mennonitiscbe Gescbid,tsb! litter
16 (1959): 38.
‘ Familien Rundbrief”: 2.
‘ Gush, et al., “Mennonitenfamilie Statler in der Umgebung von Zweibrllcken,” Mennon:tische Geschichtsbllitter 35 (1978): 64, notes that Barbara Rinkenberger was born in 1782 as the daughter of Jakob and Maria (Leyenberger) Rinkenburger. Maria Leyenberger was the widow of Christian Naffziger. Christian and Maria were the parents of Magdalena Nafiziger, who is mentioned as the grand daughter of Andreas Leyenberger. This Christian, who married Maria Leyenbcrgcr and died prior to 1782, probably was the son of Stef fan. Christian was under the guardianship of the Hollis and Johannes Nafuziger after Steffan’s death in 1755. Valentine Gtlngrich signed the 1770 Lancaster deed for this Christian Naffziger. If the above reasoning is correct, the other Christian, who lived at Geilweilerhof and was married to Magdalena GUngrich/Hiingerich, would not be the son of Srcf fan. He would be the son of another Naffziger, probably of Essingen. Only additional research can solve the problem.
“Kirchenbuch von Essingen, p. 343; Bestand A 14, no. 159h, p. 43; Bcstand A 14, no. 159k, p. 98, and 1595, pp. 7-8.
“The possibility of two Peters arises from the following in formation. A Peter Naffziger is found living at Hof Rheinklden bci Wallerst near Gross-Gerau in Hessc-Darmstadt with his wife, Barbara Ehrismann. Peter was mentioned as the father of children registered in church books between 1774 and 1779. (See Kirchenbuch der Evangelisches Gemeinde Wa!!erstlidten for Rheinfdder Hof bci Wallerst Kreis Gross-Gerau, Abt-061, in the Hesse Staatsarchiv, Darmstadt, Germany.) Peter’s son Johannes was married in Rhein felden in 1777. Later Johannes moved to lllbach near Reinheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, where he died at fifty-five years in 1813. (See Besrandt CM-Reinheim, no. 5-1813, in the Hesse Staatsarchiv, Darmstadt, Germany.) The whereabouts of Peter after 1779 remains a mystery. However, in the same parish records for 1777 Katharine Naffziger, a cousin (Vetter) of Peter is listed as living with him. She was recorded as the daughter of Christian Naffziger, who then lived in the Alsace. Perhaps this is the same Christian who about 1778 moved to Kammerh bei Leeheim. Kammerhöfc and Rheinfeldenhof are about ten kilometers apart.
The presence of Christian in the Alsace could explain how he could sign the 1770 Lancaster deed at Essingen but not appear in the Essingen documents. If this reasoning is correct, then Peter of Rheinlelderhof
This photograph shows the ruins of Fleckenstein Castle, located on the Alsatian side of the Vosges Mountains. The Naizigers and GUngnchs lived on the Fleckensteinerhof estate beneath this castle.
April, 1985
Ulrich Naffzer, Leacock Township, Lancaster County Ulrich Nafizer came from the Essingen area and cmi grated to America in 1741. His actual place and date of birth remains unknown. Possibly Ulrich first moved with his brother Stephen to the hamlet of Steinseltz prior to emigrating to America. Ulrich arrived in Philadelphia in 1741; during the next nine years four other Naffzgers arrived in Pennsylvania. As was noted earlier, their relationship to Ulrich is a mystery, and, except for Ulrich, their origins remain unknown.
All five Naffzgers initially settled in the Pennsylvania counties of Berks, York, and Lancaster. Lanc County at that time included present-day Lebanon and Dauphin counties. Jakob Nafzeiger received a land warrant in Londonderry Township in Lancaster (now Lebanon) County in 1755. Matthias Nafzger received warrants in ?iun and Tulpehocken townships in Berks County in 1751.” In 1754 Peter Naftzger of Berwick Township in York County who signed the deed with an “X,” exchanged property with Jakob Wolff of Paradise Township in York County. In 1760 Peter Naphsiger of York County purchased land at “Rabbit Hill” in Frederick County, Maryland. Rudy Naftzinger of Manheim Township in York County purchased land in Manheim Township in York County in 1767, and in 1769 Rudolph Nasseker purchased land in Frederick County.
The exact location of Ulrich Naffzer during his first decade in Pennsylvania is unknown. On August 12, 1746, Ulrich Naffziger married Maria Catharine Bishop. Four years later, in December 1750, Ulrich Nahsigger, yeoman, purchased 52½ acres of land at “Green Garden” in Leacock Township in Lancaster County from John Gather.” Aside from the above-mentioned records, little else has been found concerning Ukich’s life in America.
Ulrich Naftssiger died prior to June 11, 1754, in Leacock Township. He died intestate; perhaps bernet with sudden death. Lancaster County court records for the first Tuesday of December 1760 show that Eronimiss Brewbach and his wife, formerly Catharine Nattsinger, the widow of Ulrich Nattsinger, made distribution of Ulrich’s estate. The widow received her one-third share, and the remainder was divided between “eldest son John” and daughter Magda1cna. Perhaps Ulrich had additional children, but their identity is not revealed in this document.
In the document written in Essingcn, Germany, on March 22, 1770, Hanss Nafziger, Peter Nafzigcr, Christian Nafziger, Anna Nafziger, and Veltin/Valentine Gingrich, the latter the guardian of the children of Stöf (en Nafziga, relinquished their claims on the estate of Ulrich Nauzigcr of Green Garden, Leacock Township, Lancaster County, “Nord America,” to Johannes and Magdalena Nafzigcr. They gave Daniel Kahn/Hahn the necessary power to make amendments and to make sure that their wishes w&e
would be the son of Hanss, the Amish bishop of Essingen, and the other person named Peter in the Essingen records would be the widower Peter of 1758 and the signet in the 1764 and 1768 records. Thus Christian of Kammerh6fc would be the uncle of Peter at Rheinfdden.
On the other hand, sufficient evidence seems to exist for an unnamed Naffziger living at Fleckensteinerhof in the Alsace though no firm evidence of his name has previously been found. A Peter Naffziger was born in 1731 at Fleckensteinerhof. He died there, according to his sons, Peter and Valentine (See “Nafzger-Nafziger Familien Rundbrief”: 4). This Peter married Magdalena Schantz and was seventy-six years and four months old at his death on May 2, 1807. In addition, a Johannes/Hans Naffziger lived in 1775 at Lohnbergerhof near Weilburg in Hesse-Nassau, north of Frankfurt. He moved there with Peter Schantz of Lembach. Naffziger’s child Valentin was stated to have been born in 1748 at Fleckenstein; he died on December 17,1826, at l-4&derhof bei Blessenbach/Lahn. (See Amt. Blessenbach, no. 361, Hessisches Haupstaatsarchiv in Wiesbaden, Germany.) Although the father of Peter of Lembach and Johannes of Lohnbergerhof is unknown, his name may have been Peter, and this Peter may be the signer of the 1770 Lancaster deed. Only further research will determine the exacs lineage of these families.
°Pe,msylvania Archives, 3rd set., X)UV, 494.
‘lbid., 3rd set., XXIV, 493.
72 A-631, A-632, A-633, A-634, York County Courthouse, York, Pa.; Deed F-1038, Frederick County Courthouse, Frederick, Md.
“Deeds E-311, E-312, York; Deed M-483, Frederick.
74 Holland Lutheran Church Marriages, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania TravelerS (November 1968): 3; Records of Pastoral Acts at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1730-1799, trans. and ed. Glenn P. Schwalm and Frederick S. Weiser, Sources and Documents of the Pennsylvania Germans, no. 2 (Breinigsville, Pa.: Pennsylvania German Society, 1977), p. 199. Records of Pastoral Aas gives the bride’s name as Maria Catharina Mischopp.
“Deed K-2-343, Lancaster.
“Bond Book, no.1, p. 17, Lancaster County Court house, Lancaster, Pa.
Miscellaneous Book, 1760-1763, p. 10, Lancaster County Court house, Lancaster, Pa.
“Deed K-2-348, Lancaster. Relevant portions of the typescript transcription of the original document are included here with the author’s translation following. “Nach dem Ulrich Nat fz im gri5nen garten Graffshaft Langester grund in daunshieb Leacock in Nord America. . . . Nach dem Thun wir hinterlassene erben als Hanss Naff’ziger, Peter Nautziger, Christian Nafiziger, Stoflen Nat fzigas Kinder, und Anna Naffzigermn, hinmit Jedcrm Kund und zu wissen dass wire diese obengemelte hinterlasscnshafft unseres Vetters Vinci, Naffziger au unsere geshwister Johannes Naffziger und Mag dalena Nafizigermn . . . und wir geben und enheikn hinmit ermelten Johannes Naffziger and Magdelena Naffzigerin and ihren erben, Ubergeben wir Hanss Naffziger, Peter Naffziget, Christian Naffziger, Stoffen Naffzigers Kinder, un Anna NaIfzigerin unsern v vollmacht und authoritöt Uber obengemelte hinterlassenshafft unseres Vatters Ulricb Naffziger sich alle (italics mine).
‘ Naffziger of Green Garden, Lancaster County, in Leacock Township in North America . . . we his heirs—namely, Hams Naffziger, Peter Naffziger, Christian Nafiziger, Stof ten Nat Iziger children, and Anna Naffziger—herewith make it known to all that we release totally to our siblings, Johannes Naffziger and Magdakna Naffzigcr, the above named inheritance left by our cousin Ulrich Naffziger. . . therefore, we herewith give and release to Johanncs Naffziger and Magdalena Nafiziger and their heirs; and we, Hanss Nafhiger, Peter Naffziger, Christian Naffziger, Sceffan Nat fziger’s children, and Anna Naffziger, give our full power and authority over the above named inheritance left by our father tilrich Nat Iziger
“Deed K-2-331, Lancaster.
‘°Heironimus Brodbeck (and Mardi Brabeckh) arrived in Phila delphia in 1749 (Strassburger, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, 1:417). In 1751 ‘Doctor” Hieronimiss Bruback lived in Leacock Township (Franklin Ellis and Samuel Evans, History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with Biographic Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers m
followed. Christian Reitenberg/Renkenberg and Josef Wolber witnessed the signing. On December 19, 1770, Emanuel Carpenter, a justice of the peace of Lancaster County, signed the document which stated that Daniel Kahn/Hahn appeared before him to swear that he (Kahn) was present—presumably in Essingen, Germany—when Hans Nafziger, Peter Nafziger, Christian Nafziger, Anna Nafziger, and Valentine Gingrich signed and sealed the document.
This typescript copy of the unavailable handwritten original document connects Ulrich Nafziger to Naffzigers 0 Essingen, but it does contain ambiguity. Ukich is once described as Vetter and once as Vatter of Hans Nafziger, et al.; father (Vater) or cousin (Vetter) are alternate trans lations. In addition, Johannes Nafziger and Magdalena Nafziger were siblings (Geschwister) of Hans Naiziger, et al. The document implies that Johannes and Magdalena were living in Pennsylvania since they were granted use of the estate of Ulrich.
In a deed dated April 9, 1771, John Naftziger of York in York County, a turner, conveyed land to Martin Meixel of Leacock Township in Lancaster County. This deed specif I cally mentioned the 1770 Essingen document and repeated the names of persons on the Essingen document. This deed notes that John’s father was Ulrich; that his mother was Catharina, who had since remarried Hieronimus Brewbach;
Prominent Men [ Evens and Peck, 1883], p. 248).
“Doctor” Hironimiss (Cronimus) Bruback paid taxes in Leacock Township for the years 1757 and 1758 (Gary T. Hawbaker and Clyde
1. Groff, A New Index to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Before the Federal Census [ Pa.: Gary T. Hawbaker, 1982], 3:13). A land record of June 1763 (Deed H-149, Lancaster) states that Hieronimus Broubech of Leacock, “Innkeeper,” agrees to a mortgage with Andrew Bersinger (or land situated in both Lampeter and Leacock townships. By means of three subsequent deeds in 1764 (Deeds K-129; Q-2-173; Q-2-176, Lancaster) Heronemus Brubake (Brewbake and Brubach), innkeeper, and his wife Catharine transferred land in both Leacock and Lampeter townships to Henry Rud/Root. In 1768 (Deed U-2-313, Lancaster) Heronimus Brubach of Lampeter Tgwnship and Catharine, his wife, sold land to William Hamilton. This was the last deed in which the Brubachs were mentioned in Lancaster County. Sometime after 1768 they moved to York town in York County, Pennsylvania. In March 1780 Heironimus Brobeck of York town, yeoman, and Catharine, his wife, sold a tenement and the “Western Moiety” (an inn?) to Peter Scntzenig/Sessenig, a “practioner of Physicks” of York town (Deed 2-C-176, York). This property Brobeck had obtained by “a sundry of conveyances.” For the same year Herionymus Brodbeck paid taxes for a house and one-half lot in York town (Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd series, XXI, 167).
‘Mary Magdalena, the daughter of Ulrich Naiziger, married Henry Shultz sometime after the administration of her father’s estate in 1760 and prior to the 1770 land release to her brother John. Various Shultz families are found in Lancaster County prior to and after this period in Conestoga, Lampeter, and Earl townships. Also, records of land sales in York County—York town and Manchester Township—concerning Henry Shultz and his wife, “Mary Magdalena,” are found: Deeds G-62; 2-B-441; 2-B-442; 2-G-310; 2-G-448; 2-1-145, York.
‘ and Groff, A New Index, 3:77.
“I)eed K-2-331, Lancaster.
‘ 1-106, Somerset County Courthouse, Somerset, Pa.
UDeed 4-73, Somerset.
April, 1985
and that his sister was Mary Magdalena Naftziger, who had since married Henry Schultz. (Hieronimus and Catherine Brewbach lived for a period in Leacock Township before moving to York in York County; but Mary Magdalena Shultz’s residence after the release is unknown. Together with John and Mary Magdalena, other “children” of Ulrich are noted: Hans, Christian, Peter, Anna, and Stephen, “who had died since leaving issue.”
I wish to emphasize that the names—those contained in the deed, the Naffzigers found living at Essingen and mentioned in the Essingen documents, and the brothers and brother-in-law named in the letters from the Amish bishop of Essingen—are the same. Stephen had died at Steinsekz and left Johannes Naffziger and the two Hollis as guardians. Perhaps the explanation of why Veltin GUngrich signed the release as guardian of Stephen’s children stems from the possible conflict of Hanss’ signing twice and the proximity—or death—of the Hollis.
The prima facie evidence in the 1771 Lancaster deed points to a translation of the words Vetter and Vatter as “father” while the 1770 Essingen release, implies an interpretation as “cousin.” The Vatter transtation—that Ulrich was the father of the Naffzigers of Essingen and those in Pennsylvania—is problematic. Maria Magdalena, widow of Ulrich of B died in 1759 at Essingen. Consequently, if Ulrich of Leacock Township was the father of all, his American marriage could constitute bigamy. The alternative translation of cousin is not without ambiguity. Most simply, why would cousins in another country have property rights when direct heirs lived in Lancaster County? Would it be more reasonable for “brothers and sisters” to file a release in intestate cases? This approach is more appealing. However, the troubling 1771 deed remains. In that 1771 deed Ulrich is named the father of all—including John, Mary Magdalena, Hans, Christian, Peter, Ann, and Stephen. The lack of access to the original documents hampers conclusive research in these matters, but I believe that Ulrich of Bärbelstein was the father of Ulrich of Leacock Township; Hanss, the Amish bishop of Essingen; Christian of Darmstatterland; Peter, the signer of the 1770 deed and of Essingen records; Anna, who married Velten Giingrich; and Stephen of Steinseltz in Europe.
John Noftsinger, Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Just as Ulrich has proved to be an emigmatic person, so too has his son, Johannes/John. In 1758 the tax assessment of Leacock Township noted that “Jacob” Naffziger had “fled.”82 The 1771 Lancaster County deed noted that John Naftziger, a “turner,” lived at “York, York County.” Perhaps John moved farther west and settled in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In July 177484 “John Naftzger of the County of Lancaster” was given warrant for fifty acres of land situated on Quemahoning Creek in Bedford County. The deed was witnessed by Philip Cable and Johannes Fomi; the latter signed in German script. However, the subsequent sale of this property to Peter Kimmel, Jr., mentioned “John Nafzeger of Berks County.” In 1788 Valentin Dellabach/ Delabaugh sold a piece of land in Turkeyfoot Township to John Nafzeger. In February 1789 John Knossker and
Henry Knaffsker were enumerated in the militia rolls for
Quemahoning Township in Bedford County. Part of
Quemahoning Township subsequently was merged into
Somerset Township when Somerset County was carved
from Bedford County in 1796.
In the first United States census (1790) John Noftscur was enumerated in Bedford County. In 1792 John Naphziger and Henry Naphsiger, a single farmer, paid taxes in Quemahoning Township. In 1796 John and Christoly Nofsinger paid taxes in the same townships while in 1799 Christian Naftzinger was listed as a single freeman.
In the second United States census (1800) John Noftsinger was enumerated in Somerset County as well as in the third United States census (1810).’° In 1800 John Noftzinger (father) and John Noftzinger (son), a single freeman, were listed in the tax rolls for Somerset Township while Christian Naftsinger was listed in Quemahoning Township. In 1806 Christian Noftsinger disappeared from the tax rolls of Somerset County. Between 1801 and 1813 John Noftsinger and John Noftsinger, the single freeman, were taxed. In 1814 only John Naftsinger, a single freeman, was found in Somerset County tax returns. In l8l6John Nofstinger (son) disappeared from the tax rolls for Somerset County.
John Nofshtzinger died prior to April 26, 1813, when his will was filed in Somerset County. The will mentioned his property on Quemahoning Creek and noted that this wife was Anna and his children were “first Henry,” Elisabeth,
Christina, Barbara, John, Christian, Franey, Catharine, and
Anna—both of the latter minors. The will was dated March
12, 1813, and named Killian Lichtenberger, Jr., and John
Martney as executors.’
Subsequent land records and releases filed in Somerset
• County supply the following pertinent information. Henry Naftzinger lived in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1814. Although a Henry Noffsker/Noftsear was enumer ated in the United States census in 1800 and 1810, his relationship to Henry, son of John Nofshtsinger (d. before
Apr. 26, 1813), is not without questions.’ Elisabeth Naftzinger married Peter Longenecker and lived in Somerset County in 1814; they subsequently moved to Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Christina Noftzinger married Henry Yoder and lived in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 18 14. John Naftzinger (son) lived in Somerset County until
1816; he was probably the same John Noftsinger who moved to Stark County, Ohio, where he was listed as a landowner in 1827. Barbara Naftzinger married Jakob Mummaw, a widower prior to their marriage. They later moved to Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Christian Naft zinger lived in Ohio in 1814; he probably was the same Christian Naftzinger who settled in Dover Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.’ George Lichtenberger married Franey Noftzinger and lived in Somerset County in 1814; he also was appointed guardian over the minor Catharine Noftzinger. Anne/Nancy, a minor in 1814, later married John Hoffman and lived in Jenner Township in Somerset County.
Anna Noftzinger, widow of John, died prior to March 12, 1829.96 Anna’s will noted that she was previously Ann Haldemann and mentioned daughters Nancy Hoffman, wife of John Hoffman; Catharine/Caty; and Mary, who married an Anthony. In a release dated June 1814 John, Peter, Jakob, and Baltzar Haldemann and Mary Faust (widow and late Mary Haldemann)—all children of the deceased Abraham Haldemann of Somerset County— withdrew any claims they had on the executors of the estate of John Noftzinger, the executor of the Haldemann estate. Anna Haldemann married John Noftsinger sometime after Abraham Haldemann’s death—before December 1798, when his estate in Elk Lick Township in Somerset County was administered. Anna Haldemann Noftsinger was the daughter of Balser Shelihorn of Rapho Township in Lancaster County. She was buried in the Hoffman Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Jenners Township in Somerset County. The stone reads: Nancy Naftzinger,
‘ Archives, 6th ser., III, 39.
“Heads of Families at the First Census of the United St at es Taken in the Year 1790: Pennsylvania (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908), p. 24.
“Somerset County Tax Assessment Rolls (1795-1811) [ Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. The tax book has no pagination; the contents are divided according to township.
OuPopulation Schedules of the Second Census of the United States,” 1800 (Somerset Co., Pa.) [ roll 43, p. 514; “Third Census,”
1810 (Somerset County, Pa.) [ roll 53, p. 366.
“Will 1-510, Somerset.
‘ Caspar Lichtenberger and his wife, Clara, were the parents of Johann Killian, born Feb. 3, 1753. See records of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, York, Pa., vol. 1, p. 126. This is part of the collection of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. (vol. 379), and is housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in the same city. (Johann) Killian Lichtenberger and wife Catharine were the parents of Killian (Jr.), born Sept. 30, 1784 (vol. 2, p. 101).
“Deeds 1-106, 4-73, 4-74, 6-139, 6-464, 6-465, 6-467, 6-469, 6-476, 7-181, 7-268, 7-283, 7-284, 7-317, 7-339, 7-396, 9-170,
110-199, Somerset.
‘ Census,” 1800 (Franklin Co.) [ roll 38, pp. 856, 919; “Third Census,” 1810 (Franklin Co.) [ roll 54,
pp. 130, 161. As noted, the 1814 deed was signed by Henry Naltzinger of “Franklin County” releasing the executors of John Noftzinger. See Deed 7-317, Somerset. However, Franklin County records include a 1792 land sale from James and John Reid of Greene Township to “John Noftzger late of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania” for a plot of land in Lurgan (now Greene) Township. See Deed 2-482, Franklin County Courthouse, Chambersburg, Pa. In 1818 Johannes Nofzker and Mary, his wife, of Greene Township; Henry Nofsker and Sally, his wife, of Guilford Township; George Grove and Catharine, his wife, of Guilford Township; Mathias Noftzger of the borough of Chambers- burg; Nicolas Cline and Elisabeth, his wife; Jakob Stouffer and his wife, Barbara, of Greene Township; and Joseph Noftzger of Guilford Township, all of Franklin County, sold land that was granted to them “by John Noftzger who died intestate.” Thus, two NafIzger families residing in Franklin County at that time is not altogether impossible. Therefore, the Henry Noffsker/Noftsear who appeared in the 1800 and 1810 census possibly may be the son of the John Noftzger who came from Dauphin County and may not be identical with the Henry Noftzinger who is the son of John Noftzinger of Somerset County. Additional research may distinguish these two families.
““Fourth Census,” 1820 (Tuscarawas Co., Ohio) (microfilm), roll 95, p. 165.
“Will 2-528, Somerset.
“Deed 6-476, Somerset.
Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage
consort of John Noftzinger, died March 1829 at 78 years.” The name of John Noftsinger’s first wife remains unknown.
The migration and settlement of the Naffzgers demon strates an interesting parallel with the experiences and movements of the Amish Mennonites in general. In Switzerland suppression and intolerance forced many to emigrate. They initially were encouraged to settle in the Palatinate, among other places, where they again proved their agricultural efficiency. Accordingly, they were granted toleration in settlement. Such is the case of Ukich Naffzier of B A general dispersion of the Amish Mennon ites of the Palatinate later occurred. Perhaps in the case of the Naffzgers this was due to the 1740 restrictive decree. This is exemplified by Ulrich of Leacock Township in Lancaster County and probably by Stephen of Steinsdtz in France and Christian of Darmstatterland in Germany. Those who remained in the Palatinate increasingly were subjected to more harsh restrictions and control and to heavier rent payments to support the government, large landowners, and wars. In one case, that of Hanss, the Amish bishop, intolerance took the form of legal persecution and a lengthy trial.
Expulsion, however, was not the only reason for the Amish Mennonites to emigrate. They also felt the “pull,” the offers of opportunity coming from neighboring French and German states, and the availability of settlement in America. For those who chose to emigrate to America, life in eastern Pennsylvania was not fixed and static in any idyllic sense. The West offered more land and opportunities.
For those who remained in Germany and France, restrictions and the lure of America eventually dislodged them. We find the next wave of European Amish Menno nite Naffzgcrs—more than twenty different families from many areas—emigrating to America between 1825 and 1855 and settling in Ohio and Illinois.
These migrations spanned several generations. In the Naffzger example it took at least four generations to reach central Pennsylvania and Ohio: from Switzerland to the
Palatinate, to Lancaster County, to Somerset County, and into western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley. By then other new Naffiger emigrants from Germany, France, and Canada were settling with them.
This sketch of the Naffagers should not be interpreted as being finished. Perhaps others will find the above questions so stimulating that they will do further research on this and other families and publish their results. I hope this small effort will clarify some of the issues and serve as a guide for others; despite the inconsistencies described in this article, failure to set forth what one discovers is to hinder future efforts.
Geneaiogtcal Summary
Following is a provisional list of the children and grandchildren of Ulrich Naffziger, who probably was born in Canton Bern in Switzerland. His first wife is unknown and his second wife was Maria Magdalena (ca. 1694-Nov. 11, 1759). Maria Magdalena died at Essingen, Germany.
April, 1985
1. Hanss Nafiziger, Ca. 1706-after 1790; Amish bishop at Essingen.
m. 1729 at Barbelstein, Barbara Holli, ca. 1713-Dec. 15, 1789
a. Barbara Naffziger
m. Jakob Schenk. Lived at Essingen.
b. Daughter
m. Christian Bilrkie, b. Ca. 1740. Lived at Mechtet sheim and near Brussels.
c. Daughter
m.	Gilngrich
d. Daughter
m. _____Vcster
e. Catharina Naffziger, 1752-Apr. 14, 1755. Died at Essingen.
f. Elisabeth Naffziger, d. Nov. 5, 1760. Died at Essingen.
g. Peter(?)
m.(1) BarbaraJoder,ca. 1739-May 12,1758. Diedat
2. Ulrich Naffziger, d. before June 11, 1754, in Leacock Township.
m. Aug. 12, 1746, at New Holland, Pa., Maria Cat harina Bisshop
a. Johannes/John Naffziger(?), d. ca. Apr. 26, 1813, in Somerset Co., Pa.
.m.(1)	,d.priorto 1800
m.(2) Anna Haldemann, ca. 1751-Mar. 12, 1829. ‘fs Died in Somerset Co., Pa.
b. Mary Magdalcna Naffziger m. before 1770 Henry Shultz
3. Christian Naffziger,ca. 1717-1782(?). Died at Kammerhöfe in Hesse-Darmstadt.
en. Elisabeth Linda
a. Johann Peter Naffzigcz, ca. 1753-May 10, 1805. Born at Fkckenstcin, Alsace, France; died at Darmstadt, Germany.
m. Anna Barbara Unzicker, 1757-June 2, 1797. Died at tiberau in Darmstadt.
b. Christian Naffziger
4. Anna Nafiziger. Lived at Essingen.
m. before 1754 Valentine Glingrich
a. Magdalcna Glingrich, Ca. 1754-June 11, 1755. Died at Essingen.
b. MariaAnnaGlinricLJ 1759-Mar. 23, 1761. Died at Essingen.
c. Jakobina Glingrich(?), b. June 6, 1750
m. at Essingen, Cisristian Wagler
d. Ba b. 1758 at Essingen ,a1l fIts Henrich
S. Stq6h’ Naf1zig&cs 1755 at SteiTl
t: l Chrisi$j Ca.
Pahap Maria Leyen
c.	Ma Naflziges, b. Ca. 1752	-
6.	Peter Naffzigcr
m.	_____-
a. Peter(?), 1731-May 2, 1807. Died at Hof Fleckrnstein. Alsace, France.
m. Magdalena Schantz 0
“Somerset County, Pennsylvania, Tombstone Inscriptions, vol. 2, p.
291, Genealogical Society o Pennsylvania.
Daniel Noffsinger
8235 Derby Circle
West Jordan, Utah 84084
120 Edg.wood Dvive
G,.Fton, Ohio 44044

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