1933 Bender

On the Passport Requests

1933 BENDER, Harold S, in "MENNONITE QUARTERLY REVIEW" VOL III, No 3, 1933, p 227, article "The Founding of the Mennonite Church in Germantown 1683-1708," shows a time line under "The Germantown Mennonite Church 1683-1708," which includes:

1685, May 8 - Peter Shoemaker, Gerhard Hendricks, and HANS PETER KASSEL of Kriegsheim near Worms, petition the Elector Palatine for permission to emigrate. Source listed is Hubben, Wilhelm, Die Quaker in der deutschen Vergangenheit, Leipzig, 1929, p. 71 f.

1685, August 15 - Peter Shoemaker and Gerhard Hendricks each buy 200 acres of Pennsylvania land from Dirck Sipman in Crefeld.

1685, October 12 - Peter Shoemaker, Gerhard Hendricks, also Hans Peter Umstat of Crefeld, arrive in Germantown.

1686, March 20 - Johannes Cassel and family, the last of the Kriegsheim Quakers, together with widow Sarah Shoemaker and family, arrive in Germantown.


The Kassel and the Krefeld have both been proven to be incorrect. See "Hans Peter Passport." It appears from other sources that I've not endeavored to prove or disprove that the above information on Johannes Cassel and family's date of arrival in Germantown is correct. Bender footnotes 1929 Hubben page 71 as his source.


On Hans Peter's Religion

In the same article, on page 234 ff

"... numerous other early settlers have been listed as Mennonites by historians of Germantown. S. W. Pennypacker, who is the greatest authority on Germantown, mentions the following as Mennonites in his book, THE SETTLEMENT OF GERMANTOWN (Philadelphia, 1902), without, however, giving any evidence in support of the claim: ... " (Hans Peter is not listed here).

"Dr. C. Henry Smith, a leading Mennonite historian, in his latest book, THE MENNONITE IMMIGRATION TO PENNSYLVANIA, (Norristown, 1929), gives an even more extensive number of names who he believes were Mennonites. His conclusions are based to a large extent on Pennypacker, but go materially beyond him. He also gives no documentary evidence for his claims: ..." (List includes Hans Peter Umstat, 1685 as well as Heinrich Pannebecker, 1698).

"Any judgment on the validity of the claims of Pennypacker and Smith is chiefly a matter of opinion. Heinrich Pannebecker, however, surely was not a Mennonite until late in life, if at all, since he had his children baptized at Skippack as infants by and itinerant Reformed pastor. The write would be inclined to accept as Mennonites Hans Peter Umstat, ... "

"The composition of the Mennonite group in Germantown, including those whose names are not on the official list, was somewhat heterogeneous, containing as it did at least four distinct types, the Crefeld-Lower Rhine group, the Dutch group, the Hamburg-Altona Group, and the Palatinate group. In the lists given below and attempt will be made to classify the membership into the four groups, arranged according to year of arrival. The Crefeld-Lower Rhine group was the oldest and largest element in the congregation. In this group are included not only those from the city of Crefeld, but those from Mühlheim on the Ruhr, Goch, and the County of Brugge."


1. Crefeld: 16 Families" (Included):

"Hans Peter Umstat, Oct 12, 1685 (with wife Barbara, d Aug 12, 1702, son John, daughter Anna Margaretha, d Feb 10, 1696, and daughter Eve, m Hendrick Pannebecker, 1699)."


Pennypacker's assumption that Hans Peter came from Krefeld also confused the question of his having been a Mennonite. Since Hans Peter did not come from Krefeld, he was not part of the Crefeld-Lower Rhine Group and as such, Bender's "inclination" to accept him as a Mennonite carries no weight. Hans Peter may have been a Mennonite, but there is no firm evidence that he was. Interesting is the note that Heinrich Pannebecker probably wasn't a Mennonite and more interesting, is Smith's showing Heinrich with a date of 1698. I wonder where THAT came from. Unfortunately I have been unable to locate a copy of Smith's book, but perhaps it has a footnoted source of some sort.

Copy of this article from the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602-1499, phone 717-393-9745


Back to Hans Peter Bibliography

Hans Peter Passport