Published December 6, 2017| 7 Comments | Leave A Reply
In my 30 years-plus of doing genealogy, I always felt that Friedrich Winter or Winder of Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, was one of my best documented ancestors.
I had his will – in which he gives his oldest son a “birthright” bequest of “my good wagon,” the equivalent of the family car in 1786.
His known children were all baptized at Christ Lutheran Church, Stouchsburg, Berks County, at which he was a frequent sponsor of other children in baptism as well as identified as a contributor to various church projects.
There was an arrival record for him 1750 on the ship Phoenix, although this particular list of arrival apparently was mangled between the time that I. Daniel Rupp did the first extractions from the colonial Philadelphia lists (for his massive work, the shortened title of which is 30,000 Names) in the 1800s and the 1930s when Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke did their more scholarly compilation of the same lists that bears the title Pennsylvania German Pioneers.
During my recent trip to Salt Lake City, my long dormant Winter file was one I took along to re-examine.
One of the first works I consulted was the late German genealogist Werner Hacker’s listing of exit records from the German states of Pfalz and Saarland.
A record mentioned a Friedrich Winter, but Hacker’s extract indicated that he went to Maryland in 1752, returned to Germany in 1769 to deal with inheritance matters with brothers Baltus, Martin and Andreas and returned to America in 1772.
Other than the name, nothing else about this entry matched, but since 20 years of working other theories had not solved the case, I thought I should at least give a look at the signature of the 1772 Friedrich since I had another signature sample from his 1786 will.
The comparison didn’t yield a dead-on match but they were close enough that I wanted to further investigate the church records of Albersweiler, the village that Hacker’s extract indicated was the origin of that Friedrich Winter.
Albersweiler is one of the parish registers that has been indexed by FamilySearch Indexing for the Family History Library.
A look through this index showed the Albersweiler Friedrich’s father’s name was Daniel and his grandfather was named Georg.
The Tulpehocken Friedrich had sons named Daniel and Georg.
The Albersweiler Friedrich is not found in the Albersweiler records after 1750, the year that Tulpehocken Friedrich arrived in Philadelphia, including the baptism of a Friedrich born to his brother Andreas – if the Albersweiler Friedrich was still in Germany, we would have been an obvious person to sponsor his namesake nephew.
As I previously noted, the Tulpehocken Friedrich was an active member of Christ Lutheran in Stouchsburg – either having a child baptized or sponsoring some other child in baptism literally every year or two. But there is nothing recorded for him in America from 1768 to 1773, the years in which he would have been absent for the trip to Germany.
More research is needed, but it looks as if re-examining this case was well worth the time.