The book “Trade in Strangers” and other genealogical notes.

I have read this book through the first half, the part talking about German immigration. The latter half is about Irish immigration.

tradeinstrangers

From the book: about 110 thousand Germans come into the US in the 18th century and over 80 thousand of those come from Germany into the Delaware Valley. Of these, half arrive in the five year span from 1749 to 1753. Afterwards, the French and Indian Wars cut off the immigration path for a time, and German immigration never again reaches the peak during the 18th century.

Almost all the Germans were from the Rhine. It was a war torn region and the region was shot through with small feudal entities. The typical German had a bond to the land, and had to pay his feudal lord to leave. It is relatively simple for these folks to get to the sea, as they could take barge traffic down to Rotterdam. By the mid 18th century, specialists were in place that ship these folks (referred to as “freight”) as it helped pay for the westbound traffic (eastbound ship traffic was much more lucrative).

Only a tiny fraction of the Rhenish head to America, perhaps 10% of the total emigration out of the Rhineland states. The three largest states contributing to the exodus were Hesse in the North (where Hessians come from), Palatine in the middle, and W├╝rrtemberg in the south. DNA evidence suggests a more southern connection.

Also suggestive are the location of the Myers in PA and TN. They’re both in the vicinity of water and next to mountains, and at least in PA, not in the flattest of lands either. Consequently, I ask myself if our German roots don’t come from people near mountains as well.

The Northampton county history I’ve been reading notes that in the early 1770s, between 80 and 85% of the population of Northampton county was Pennsylvania Dutch.

I have received an email from Easton. They have my check and their research on William Myers Sr will take between four to eight weeks. In about three weeks I’ll head to Greene Co TN, to their genealogical library, to do some research on my own. I’ve also asked Yfull to analyze my Big Y data, and for the second time, they’ve pushed out the date. For now, it’s the middle of August.

Another disappearing county

When I go to this site on the Internet, and I set the display for counties in North Carolina in 1742, this is what I get:

nc_counties_in_1742

And what does that mean? IMO, it means we don’t know in which county John Myers, b 1742 d 1826 was really born. There is no Wilkes County in 1742. Now when he was married in Rowan County in the early 1770s, it existed, but after Wilkes appears, it then scoots around the map a considerable bit.

IMG_0012

I’ve also been digging around for a couple books. One is on the Sugarloaf Massacre, and the other is a history of Northampton County during the revolutionary war. The first is okay. Only a fraction of the book covers the massacre, and as Tom Varenna has pointed out, this telling is shot through with a fair amount of folklore.

I’ve just started reading the other book. The intro provides some excellent perspective on the character of the county in the 1770s, which helps in thinking about the Northampton PA Myers clan. I did send an email with $40 to Easton on June 11th, asking for information on William Myers. We’ll see what that nets.