My Colonial Heritage

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How we all got here...

          On September 3, 1739, there arrived in the Port of Philadelphia the good ship "Loyal Judith," Edward Paynter, Commander, from Rotterdam but last from Deal, England, carrying 88 German male immigrants of 16 years of age or older.  The best estimate of the total number of immigrants on the Loyal Judith is 220.  The estimate was arrived at by using the formula set forth in the Introduction to Pennsylvania German Pioneers by Ralph Beaver Strassburger, LL.D., and William John Hinke, Ph.D., D.D., at p. xxxi of Volume I.

          Among the immigrants were my 4th Great Grandfather Nicholas Schmall and his brother Johan Adam Schmall.  The surname has had various spellings, including Schmehl, Schmall, Small, Schmeel, Smell, and Smale.  The spelling did not become standardized as Smeal until about 1837.

          The record of the arrival of German immigrants is preserved in three sets of ships' passenger lists maintained by the Pennsylvania State Archives.  The three lists are the "A" lists which are the Captains' Lists of passengers being imported; the "B" lists which are the Oaths of Allegiance to the King; and the "C" lists which are the Oaths of Abjuration from the Pope.  My 4th Great Grandfather appears on all three lists along with his brother Johan Adam.

          Nicholas and Johan Adam settled in southeast Pennsylvania.  One of my ancestors on my maternal side arrived shortly before Nicholas and Johan and settled in New York.  The map set forth below depicts some of the Palatine settlements along the Hudson River.   


The scans set forth below show portions of the A, B and C lists where the names of my 4th Great Grandfather and his brother Johan appear.  The B and C lists reveal that both Nicholas and Johan placed their mark when they took the Oaths of Allegiance and Abjuration. 


The above image is from the "A" list which was the Captain's List.  At the top of this list is the following statement: "A List of ye Pallatines Names In ye Loyall Judith, Edwd Paynter, Master."


The above image is from the "B" list which set forth the signers of the Oath of Allegiance.


The above image is from the "C" list which set forth the signers of the Oath of Abjuration.

          Dr. Hinke at page xxviii of the Introduction to Pennsylvania German Pioneers which I referred to above explains that

         [i]nternal evidence shows that the two lists of signatures
       (lists B and C) were made before different clerks, seated
       probably at different desks.  This can be inferred from the
       fact that when the passengers were unable to write and the
       clerk wrote the name for them, the same name is often spelled
       in two different ways on the two lists.  Besides, the chirography
       of the the clerks differs on the two lists.  These facts show that
       there were two clerks, each superintending the making of one list.

           The ordinary, and for many years the only place for signing
        the oaths was the Court House at Philadelphia on High (now
        Market) Street, between 2nd and 3rd . . . .

From the scans of the A, B and C lists set forth above we can see that Captain Paynter and the clerks at the Courthouse engaged in phonetic transcription of my 4th Great Grandfather's surname.  Nicholas would state his surname and the Captain and clerks would write down what they heard or what they thought they heard resulting in variant spellings.  A review of other names on the three lists reveals that this occurred quite frequently.

The below statement appears at the end of the "A" List: "Sworn that the above is a true and compleat list of the Male Palatines, imported in the Ship Loyal Judith, of Age of the 16 years and upwards, to the best of my knowledge. Philadelphia, Septemr 3rd 1739 Edwd Paynter."


The Midi music file playing in the background is The Dawning of the Day sequenced by Barry Taylor.  Visit Lesley Nelson-Burns' Folk Music site by clicking on the above logo.

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