Peter Hitt Historical Notes ~ Page Three

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Genealogical and Historical Notes on Culpeper County, Virginia Colony
Name:       Heite
Date:          1892
Location:   Germantown
Comments:         Several years prior to 1714 Gov. Spotswood discovered deposits
of iron ore on the large tracts of land he had entered, where Germanna was
afterwards located, in Spotsylvania (now Orange) county . He spent much time
arranging his plans to work this one, and in getting the Queen's (Ann ) permission,
and in having the royal share determined. After these matters were adjusted he
needed iron miners and iron workers, to mine the ore, and build furnaces and run
them, and there were none in Virginia . When the Baron de Graffenreid was in
Virginia after his escape from the North Carolina Indian massacre, he arranged
with Spotswood to get miners for him from Germany , and with this in view de
Graffenried wrote to miners with whom he was acquainted in Germany , and
arranged for their coming to Virginia . The colony was gathered from the
neighborhood of the village of Musen in the province of Nassan--Slegen , in
Westphalia , some ten miles Northeast of the old city of Seigen . This is a mining
country, and at Musen is one of the most celebrated iron mines in Germany which
has been worked since early in the 14th century. The colony, as it reached Virginia
, was composed of twelve heads of families, viz: John Kemper , Jacob Holtzclaw ,
John and Harman Fishback , John Hoffman , Harmon Utterback , Tillman Weaver
(Webber ), John Joseph Martin , (Merdten ), Peter Hitt (Heide ), Jacob Coons
(Countz ), -Wayman and -Handback . The colony may have been larger when it left
Germany, for it spent the greater part of the fall of the year 1713 , and January,
1714 , in London , and some names are mentioned which do not appear in Virginia
. There also came, either with them or very shortly after them, their pastor, John
Henry Hager , a very learned man, who had been pastor of the reformed church at
Ober Fishback , in the neighborhood of Musen. This was the first German colony
that came to Virginia , and they were settled by Gov. Spotswood at Germanna in
April, 1714 , where cabins and a block house were built for them. They went to
mining ore for the governor, and built the blast furnace, the remains of which are to
be seen in the neighborhood. Here they remained for several years, when, owing to
some dissatisfaction with the governor's treatment of them, they removed, about
1720 , to Germantown , in what is now Fanquier county , where they leased large
tracts of lands and went to farming. By this time other German colonies had come
to Virginia , some of which had to pay their passage by working for the governor.
The reformed part of these emi grants, with their old pastor, went to Germantown,
Fauquier , while the Lutheran part of the colonists went a little later to Robinson's
river . A recent visit Ferndorf , in the wider valley nearer Siegen , in 1727 . The little
reformed church, built about that time, was destroyed, in the 30 years war, with all
of its records. The church was rebuilt and the new records begin 1649 . The church
was again destroyed by fire in 1892 , but the records were saved. The entire village
attends this church; there is not a Catholic in the town. The villages of Fishback and
Holtzelaw are a few miles to the West of Musen. No doubt the families, in the
colony, of those names came from these villages. The records of the Kemper
family is to be found in the church records at Musen. There is no one by the name
at Musen today. Utterbacks and Webbers are still living in Musen. The names of
Hoffman , Merdten and Countz are still to be found in the neighborhood. The name
Heide is still to be found in the meadows about Ferndorf. No doubt old records of
some of these families can be found at Ferdorf. Siegen is the large town in this part
of the country, and is a picturesque old place, with its old castle high on a hill, its
steep narrow winding streets, and high gabled, overhanging houses, and is a thrifty
place of some 25,000 people, largely engaged in iron manufacturing. The
Westphalian country is one of the most thrifty in Germany . Musen is a clean little
town, with neat houses, intelligent people, and a respectable air about it. These
German farmers soon made the wilderness about Germantown to blossom as the
rose, and Germantown was for years the center of the German people, and known
far and wide.

Original data: Raleigh Travers Green. Genealogical and Historical Notes on
Culpeper County, Virginia. Embracing a Revised and Enlarged Edition of Dr.
Philip Slaughter's History of St. Mark's Parish. Culpeper, VA, USA: Regional
Publishing Company, 1900.
The following is from a brochure available at Crocket Lake, covering the original
Germantown of Fauquier County.

“Germantown Twelve” men of great fortitude from the iron mining region of
Nassau-Seigen, Germany, arrived in Virginia in 1714. Accompanying them were
their families and a minister, Rev Henry Haeger. Governor Spotswood settled
them on the frontier outpost he named Germanna to pursue his silver and iron
mining interests.

By 1718, differences arose between the governor and the Germans, so the
colonists purchased 1,805 acres of fertile land lying further into the Virginia
wilderness. They packed all of their provisions on their heads, traveled northward
along an old Iroquois trail, and settled upon their new homeland in what is
presently southern Fauquier County. It was agreed that the property and its
expense would be divided equally among the following settlers: Melchior
Brumback, Joseph Coons, Harman Fishback, John Fishback, Peter Hitt, Jacob
Holtzclaw, John Henry Hoffman, John Kemper, John Joseph Martin, Jacob
Rector, John Spilman and Tillman Weaver. Lots were drawn to assign the
rectangular parcels of farmland. Homes were built on the southwestern side of
Licking Runn, which flowed through farm. The settlement was named
Germantown. Being devout members of the German Reformed Church, each
landowner also agreed to donate ten acres to form a glebe whereupon Fauquier
County’s first church, parsonage, and school were constructed. Agriculture was
practiced in the feudal German tradition with the exception of their cultivation of
tobacco. A gristmill and a sawmill were soon in operation. German Rolling Road
was built for easier transport of their plentiful goods and crops to the Falmouth
market. Germantown's settlers prospered; however, this good fortune resulted in
acquisitions of abundant land elsewhere. By the time of the Revolution, nearly all
of the original settlers of Germantown had relocated. All that remains of
Germantown lies in the vicinity of C. M. Crocket Park near Midland. Fragments of
stone foundations, weathered tombstones, and traces of German Rolling Road
are still visible. The millpond is now beneath Germantown Lake, so named to
honor the area's early settlement. German was the first village to thrive in
Fauquier County. Its presence lingers in the great number of the descendants
who populate Fauquier County, Virginia, and the United States today. Written by
Diane Gulick, 1993 Sponsored by The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna
Colonies in Virginia, Inc.

Information on the Germanna Colony location. Since Fauquier Co., VA wasn't
formed till 1759 it appears the County it was in at that time was Stafford Co., VA.
Germantown is under a lake. Its located in what is now called Crocket Park. It’s
located on Meetze Rd., approximately six miles from Warrenton Va. (Fauquier
Co.) The old museum on Main St. in Warrenton has some information on
Germantown and the Lake.

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