1940 Nieper


Die ersten deutschen Auswanderer von Krefeld nach Pennsylvanien: Ein Bild aus der religiösen Ideengeschichte des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts (Neukirchen: Buchhandlung des Erziehungsverein Newkirchen Kreis Moers, 1940).

Translation of the title of this BOOK: The First German Immigrants from Krefeld to Pennsylvania: A Picture of the Religious Idea-History of the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Following are excerpts that are of interest to us regarding Hans Peter:

"Through the entire settlement runs a broad road about 60 feet wide bordered with peach trees. Along this main street lie the individual houses, all of which feature three-acre vegetable and flower gardens.

"The owners of the individual parcels from south to north (are) were: West of the main street: Johann Strepers, Dietrich Isaaks Op den Graeff ... etc (2 parcels each), Jacob Schumacher ... etc (including Hans Peter Umbstat) (2.5 parcels each), etc for a total of 28.5 parcels.

"These (land)owners had purchased their parcels either from the Frankfurt Company or from the Krefelder Group. The payment was not generally in cash but in the form of a title agreement which amounted to fifty acres to two German dollars -- being legal tender in Pennsylvania."




It appears that Nieper quoted Pastorius in this material, according to the language in later paragraphs, i.e. "On the 24th of Cotober, 1683, I platted a (new) town and as is the custom among Germans, it was called Germantown ..."

Trivia: In German, capitalization of words in book titles is limited to the first word and any nouns, just as the German language is written generally. The name Dietrich is not like diet and rich, it's pronounced DEE-trick.

A copy of two pages of text from this book was sent to me by Dr. David Howell, an UM descendant, but he didn't know its source. Included was a translation by a Carl F Welser. I faxed a copy to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and they suggested I try the Germantown Historical Society, so I faxed them a copy and they got it into the hands of James Duffin, who came through for us once again!!! Duffin was able to recognize the material and provided me with the source info. He notes that the layout of the text on the copy I have is slightly different than the book he used, so it probably actually came from a later edition than the 1940. Duffin also mentions that Nieper was the first German historian to write a history of the Krefeld immigration and that the book also deals with the history of the Dunkards or Church of the Brethren, which had a brief history in Krefeld around 1720, before coming to America. Since we now know that Hans Peter didn't come from Krefeld, this doesn't necessarily give us any reason to pursue the possibility that Hans Peter was a Dunkard.

1 December 2002


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