Descendants of Jeremias Hess of Lower Palatinate, Germany

Palatinate of the Rhine (14th - 18th C.)

Generation #1

Jeremias Hess of the Lower Palatinate of the Rhine (now Germany)

Jeremias Hess was born in about 1675,  probably in Mutterstadt, Ludwigshafen, Palatinate of the Rhine. And in about 1701, Jeremiah married Anna Maria Heim b. c. 1780. Circumstantial evidence leads to the belief that her maiden name was Heim. But, times in the Palatinate were tough.

Severe climate and the devastation by the French Army in the Rhineland during the War of Spanish Succession (1704-1705) forced tens of thousands of ethnic German Protestants to flee. These Palatinates survived a journey down the Rhine River to Rotterdam and a voyage across the English Channel to a temporary haven south of London. [Palatinate Immigration]

On 6/2/1709, Jeremias Hess and family appear on the list of Palatinates who arrived in England. Jeremiah was listed as Husbandman and Vinedresser aged 34 with a wife and three children. Languishing in what was perhaps the world's first displaced persons camp south of London, our Palatinate ancestors were offered the choice of a final destination: England, Ireland, or British New York. Evidently, Jeremiah and family wound up in the line for Ireland.

In the early 17th Century, the Lower German Palatinate was rich with Protestant refugees from neighboring lands. Families settled there to rebuild their lives and escape persecution. The Palatinate was repeatedly ravaged by attacks from France during the 17th Century.

Following a terribly harsh winter and responding to notices by New World landowners showing the benefits of emigrating to America, a substantial exodus of Palatine families occurred in 1709. Some of the Palatine emigrants of 1709 found their way directly to the New World, but over 13,000 were routed through London. The Landlords of Irish estates wanted to increase the Protestant tenant population, a goal supported by Queen Anne of England. In September 1709, almost 3000 Palatines were relocated to rural Ireland, with a roughly equivalent number being transported to New York and North Carolina. Over the following three years, more than two thirds of the Irish Palatine settlers left Ireland and returned to England and Germany.

    "History," Irish Palatinate Association <> 21 November 2014.

In 1711, reportedly, Jeremias lost little Johan Conrad (1) and Elizabeth while in Ireland. And, the children's death marks Jeremias' return voyage back to the Palatinate. By 7/1713 Jeremias and family are found back in Mutterstadt where Christian, Johan Conrad, and Balthazar were born.

Having survived one failed immigration voyage, Jeremias and family actually considered another voyage, this time to America. Were they pushed out again by horrific conditions? Actually, I think they were pulled to Pennsylvania by the many pamphlets circulated in Europe expounding the virtues of the New World. In fact, these pamphlets are credited with sparking a second wave of Palatinate immigration in 1717.

In 8/1730, Jeremias and family arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Thistle of Glasgow out of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. And by 11/1730, Jeremias and family are found living at Falckner Swamp which is now part of New Hanover TWP, Philadelphia (now Montgomery) Co PA. The question is "Why would our immigrant family live at 'the Swamp' when earlier ethnic Germans settled further south in Germantown and the Philadelphia surrounds?"

The earliest ethnic German immigrants to Pennsylvania were Pietists, among whom were our beloved Mennonite ancestors They were not mainstream ethnic German Lutherans. And by 1700, the Philadelphia surrounds had been populated. Upon arrival, the newcomers were want to push out to the frontier as evidenced by the 1711 Mennonite expedition to Pequea Creek of the Susquehanna River:

Arriving in Philadelphia on 9/23/1710, the group, including Wendel Bowman and family, purchased ten thousand acres on Pequea Creek from William Penn. The next Spring, the extended family continued their westward migration led by Bishop Hans Herr, pioneering the Pequea Creek Valley in what would become Lancaster Co PA.

In the earliest days of the Commonwealth, there were few to no roads to the interior. In fact, Bishop Herr's expedition cut the trail to the Susquehanna, a major portion of which became the Conestoga Road. But, Jeremias and family were fortunate; as by 1730, other ethnic German families had pushed north through the verdant forest as far as Falckner Swamp and beyond:

This we can readily perceive that almost from the day that William Penn, who had become known to the German people by his residence among them, took possession of province, a stream of German emigrants came over to settle in Pennsylvania. Although quite a number tarried in Philadelphia, a respectable proportion moved onward, to the Trappe, to New Hanover, to Molatton among the Swedes, who already occupied that section, and even to Oley with its hills, and then through it and Goshenhoppen, which then included New Hanover, through the gaps in the Lehigh Hills up to the very foot of the Blue Mountain.

    Rev. Kline, J.J. The Lutheran Church in New Hanover TWP, Montgomery County, PA, The Pennsylvania-German Society, Lancaster PA, 1911, p. 15.

In November of 1730, Jeremias and his wife and daughter were recorded as sponsors for a baptism at Falckner Swamp Church in what would become New Hanover TWP of Philadelphia (now Montgomery) Co PA.

"This [Falckner Swamp Church c. 1699] is the oldest German Lutheran congregation within the bounds of the United States."

    Ibid. p. 19.

By 4/1739 the family was settled in Salford TWP, east of the Swamp, in Philadelphia (now Montgomery) Co PA where Jeremias wrote his will. Jeremias died before 4/11/1743 Philadelphia (now Montgomery) Co PA when his will was probated. And, Anna died in 9/1743.

List of persons arriving in England from Holland: 6/2/1709
Jeremias Hess. Husbandman and Vinedresser, age 34, Lutheran
Wife; sons 7 & 5; daugher 2
THISTLE OF GLASGOW 1730 Aug. 29, 1730.
Colin Dunlap, Master, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes:
Jeremias Hes 
Thomas Hes 
Henrich Hes 

Falckner Swamp Church, New Hanover PA: 11/8/1730

Parents Child Sponsors
Johann George Schweinhardt Johann Peter Jeremias Hess
& wife
& dau Eva Nelly
Dieterich Lohnich Hein
Balthasar Fauth & wife
9/9/1734. Jeremias Hess received a warrant for 100 acres in Philadelphia County.


    1. Johan Peter Hess

    2. Johan Conrad Hess (1)

    3. Elisabeth Hess

    4. Eva Hess

    5. Christian Hess

    6. Johan Conrad Hess ch. 8/19/1714 Mutterstadt, Palatinate of the Rhine

    7. Balthazar Hess

Generation #2


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