Christian Neuschwanger of
the Duchy of Wurttemburg


Christian Neuschwanger of the Duchy of Wurttemburg

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 other 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]

Christian Neuschwanger was born in 1703 probably in southwestern Germany. He died before the Feb 22 1738 near Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia. Christian's name was spelled Nighswanger by the English hand that copied his signature when he arrived in America.

Christian and Maria were born near each other, came to America at the same time and grew up in the Mennonite settlement at Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They were married in 1720 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

On May 10, 1728 Christian Neuswanger and Hans Justus Heydt (anglicized to Jost Hite) together with seventy-five other people signed a petition to Governor Gordon of Pennsylvania asking for protection from the Indians who were harassing and killing their people. The document is dated and signed at Colesbrookdale, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

In 1732 Jost Hite, sometimes referred to as the 'Old Swiss Baron' purchased and was granted by the Crown of England through the council of Virginia, a large tract of land in the Shenandoah Valley. He came to Virginia with sixteen families, among them Christian and Maria Magdelena Neuschwanger with two of their children. [Hite Migration Map]

On March 30, 1736 Jost and Anne Marie HITE conveyed 435 acres of land west of the Shenandoah River to Christian Neuschwanger (the 2nd deed given by HITE), and recorded in Orange County, Book 1, Page 436, which was recently formed out of Spotsylvania County and before Frederick County was formed. Christian died in Feb 1738 and on Feb 22 1738 Jost Hite conveyed the identical piece of land to Christian's eldest son Jacob for 16 pounds.

In 1737 Jost and Anna Maria settled at Long Meadow, Frederick Co VA where Anna Maria died in 1739. Jost remarried on 11/10/1741 to Maria Magdalena Herr b. c. 1708, widow of Christian Neuschwanger and granddaughter of Bishop Hans Herr. Jost died 5/7/1760 in Kernstown, Frederick Co VA. He and Anna Maria are believed to be buried at the ruins of the original Lutheran Church in Winchester, Virginia.

Petition of the Inhabitants of Colebrookdale [Perkiomen Creek Settlement, Philadelphia (now Montgomery) Co PA]- 
[Pennsylvania Archives, 1664-1747, Page 213.]
To His Excellency Patrick Gordon Esqr., Governor Generall in Chief over the Province of pencilvania, and the Territoris thereunto Belonging, Benbrenors [Van Bebber's] township and the Adjacences Beloinging May ye 10th 1728.
We think It fit to address your Excellency for Relief, for your Excellency must knowe That we have Suffered and is like to sufer By the Ingians, they have fell upon ye Back Inhabitors about falkners Swamp [New Hanover], & near Coshapopin [Goshenhoppen]. Therefore, we the humbel Petitioners, With our poor Wives & Children Do humbly Beg of your Excellency To Take It into Consideration and Relieve us the Petitioners hereof, Whos Lives Lies At Stake With us and our poor Wives & Children that is more to us than Life. Therefore, We the humble Petitioners hereof, Do Desire An Answer from your Excellency by ye Bearer With Speed, so no more at present from your poor afflicted People Whose names are here Subscribed.

John Roberts, Jn. Pawling, Henry Pannebeckers, W. Lane, John Jacobs, _______ D. Bais, Israell Morris, Benjamine fry, Jacob opdengraef, Richard Adams, George Poger, Adam Sollom, Dirtman Kolb, Gabriel Showler, Anthony halmon, John Isaac Rlein, Hanss Detweiler, William Bitts, Heinrich Rutt, Hubburt Castle, Henry Rentlinger, Christian Weber, Gerhart de hesse, Lorentz Cinzamore, Richard Jacob, Herman Rubert, Peter Bun, Jacob Cugnred, Christian Nighswanger, Conrad Cresson, Jacob Kolb, Hans Wolly Borgy, John Mier, Henrich Kolb, John Frot, Paul Frot, Wm. Smith, Peter Rambo, David Young, Christopher Schmit, Garrett Clemens, Mathias Tyson, Peter Johnson, Yost Hyt, Christian Aliback, Hans Rife, Daniel Stowfard, Abraham Schwartz, Johann Valentine Kratz, John Johnson, Ulrich Heffelfinger, Nicholas Haldeman, Michael Ziegler, Christian Stoner, Johannes Garber, John Haldeman, Claus Jansen, Nicholas Hicks, Johannes Leisher, Jacob Sheimer, Michael Krause, Peter Reiff, George Reiff, George Meyer, Bastian Smith, Edward In de Hoffen, Christian Kroll, Jacob Grater, Jacob Stauffer, Henry Stauffer, and Paul Friedt Jr.

Migration Route: Colebrookdale PA to the Valley of Virginia
a.  Down Perkiomen Creek to the Schuylkill River
b.  Down the Conestoga Road (est. 1723) to the Susquehanna River vic. Middletown PA
c.  Down the Susquehanna River to Wright's Ferry vic. York Haven PA
d.  Up Conewago Creek to vicinity of Plainview PA
e.  1 mile portage to Rock Creek
f.   Down Rock Creek to vic. Mair's Mill MD
g.  Down the Monocacy River to Monocacy Settlement vic. Creagerstown MD
h.  West through South Mountain vic. Gapland MD
i.  Down Israel Creek to the Potomac at Harper's Ferry (W) VA
j.  Across the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, entering the Shenandoah River Valley

List of the Sixteen Families: Jost Hite Party, Fall 1731

Major Grants:
 1.  William Hogue, Opequon
 2.  John White, Hogue Creek
 3.  Nathaniel Thomas, Head of Opequon
 4.  Benjamin Borden, Shepherdstown
 5.  David Vaunce, Opequon
 6.  Stephen Hansbella (Hotsinpeller),
 7.  Christian Nisewanger
Minor Grants:
 8.  Thomas Chester
 9.  Louis Stuffey
10. Christian Blank
11. Hendrey Hunt
12. John VanMeter
Hite Family:
13. Jost Hite, Long Meadows
14. George Bowman, North Branch, Shenandoah River
15. Jacob Chrisman, Chrisman's Springs
16. Paul Froman, North Cedar Creek
"The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography" by Rev. William J. Hinke and Charles E. Kemper, October 1903.  The subject was 'Moravian Diaries of Travel Through Virginia. . .'  The first trip records the experiences of Brother Leonard Schnell and John Brandmueller who left Bethlehem on October 12, 1749. <>

On Oct. 17 we continued our journey at five o'clock.  In two miles we reached the Potomac which we forded though we had great difficulty in getting the wagon up the opposite bank.  On the 18th we reached (Winchester) which consists of about sixty houses, poorly built.  Beyond the town we stopped and bought some bread and corn.  We soon reached Jost Hite's mill.  One of the brothers visited plantations to buy bread and oats but found little.  We were out of horse feed.  On the 19th we rose at six o'clock but we had not had much sleep because of smoke.  In a mile we stopped to have some bread baked for us.  Some of the brethren bought bread and hay from Christian Neuschwanger and brought it to the "great road."  In a short while we came to George Bauman's mill.  We bought oats but had to wait for it to be threshed.  Germans to whom we talked told us that the road was very bad beyond the Augusta Court House.  We had many visitors come and see us that evening.  We had lost a sack of oats but some of the brothers found it and brought it up.


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