Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Dad has traced our collie lines back to Sunnybank and beyond!  It is interesting to see him trace his pedigree… er… ancestry too.  He is fascinated by his ancestors who came from the Palatine of Germany.  He wrote about Anna Regina Halm Volland and how her husband Wilhelm died on the ship coming over leaving her alone in a New World with 3 little children in 1709!   Folloeing the paper trail has been interesting since he found out Wilhelm was a Weaver!

He also found that Anna Regina Halm moved with her new husband and his children and her children to the area around Kingston, NY.  Imagine his surprise to find out the church they attended there still exists. He even found their Baptismal and Marriage records online in a Kindle format!!!  The church is the Old Dutch Reformed Church in Kingston, NY.  This fascinates dad for as far as he knew all his ancestors were Lutherans.  But, the Palatine area of Germany through the Heidelberg became Reformed.  He contacted the church and they are looking for some more information for him.

Looking into the records he has found he found Anna Regina was last mentioned as a sponsor to her granddaughter Anna in 1733 making her 63 years old at that time!  What happened to her after that he is still trying to find out.  He does have some church information on her children and descendents and he thinks she may have moved with them and will be contacting those churches also.  Interestingly some moved on to another Reformed Church others became Lutherans.  Interesting says dad.

Dad found some free history books for his Kindle at Archives.org, which dad calls the greatest resource for free old books int he world.  He has read about the Palatine Germans and he now sees why they left for the area was ravaged by war, famine, the plague and more war. That his ancestors survived is a miracle he says and he has a new found respect for those of the Calvinist Reformed Church after reading the horrible events his ancestors survived.

One of the oddities he found on the church records was that his grandmother when she signed the baptismal form signed it as follows… Regina Halm.  Not Anna, not Anna Regina, not Anna Regina Halm with Volland or her 2nd husband’s name… just Regina Halm.  He says in that period of time she had to be one strong willed woman with a strong identity for in that time period this was unusual.  He finds it interesting she uses her middle name which tells him she was known as Regina by her friends and family.

These were tough people whose problems in life makes our modern problems seem small in comparison to what they went through.

While he loves to find out more about our ancestors, it is interesting to see him learn about his ancestors.  By the way, he has found some of his ancestors were Puritans, others Reformed and most were Lutherans.  However, his Great-Grandmother on his mother’s side was named Kozak.  Reportedly from Czechoslovakia he is interested in finding out more… but his Grandmother would not talk about it and was not religious…. so who knows.  Catholic?  Anabaptist?  Who knows?  That is another challenge for another day…


Hmmmm. me thinks he should stick to collie pedigrees they are so much simpler…..


Ya know, I Ginger can take care of this… lets burn those records.. MUWAHAHAHAHAHAH  Better yet we can threaten to burn them unless we get treats and more cash for my world domination plans!


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As I get ready to plow I thought today I would touch upon something different.

In 1701 in Weilburg,  Germany a Wilhelm Volland married Anna Regina Halm and they had three children over the next few years.  However, the thirty years war, followed by famines, more wars led to collapse in the Palatinate area of Germany, or Holland or whomever ruled it that month as war raged back and forth.

Desperate to make a living Wilhelm saw an ad from Queen Anne of England offering British Citizenship to Germans who would settle in the new world and swear allegiance to the crown.  Well, Wilhelm and Anna sold all their worldly possessions and hopped on a ship to England. So did 32,000 other Germans and the English sent back the Catholics, Anabaptists and others they deemed “undesirable.” They had not planned on so many people coming!  Now, 1709 was the coldest winter in England for centuries and the Germans suffered.  Come spring they almost rebelled for England was trying to make them go to the new world as indentured servants.  That failing they struck a deal and sent ships over.

The crossing was terrible.  Some of the worst storms seen for centuries blew across the Atlantic, the ships were overcrowded and people were sick from the sea, bad food and then Typhoid set in.  Of the three thousand on 8 ships going to New York to an area off Long Island to a camp 470 died.  Somewhere along the way Wilhelm died leaving Anna and two little boys and a daughter alone with no family on a ship heading to a wild and scary new world.

I can only imagine what my grandmother of so many generations ago thought as she walked off that ship with three children in tow on July 4, 1710.  Alone, most likely afraid, with no money, no husband and nothing to her name she must’ve been one brave woman not to sign up to go back when they made that available.  Of all my ancestors and some of them are mighty famous people Anna Regina Halm is the one I am in awe of the most.  What kind of woman was she?  What kind of life she had with wars, famines, bad conditions at camp and on the boat and now in a camp in a new world, quarantined till spring and all alone she didn’t collapse. She took care of her children and found a man who lost his wife on the boat coming over and in September married him and took care of his 5 or 6 children along with hers!  Then, she had another child with him and when spring came they moved up the river to near Kingston, NY.

There they prospered and a big hats off to Mr. Lorentz who took care of my Grandmother Anna and the children who are my ancestors.  They grew up and in 1724, at what is now called the OLD DUTCH CHURCH in Kingston, her oldest son was married.  He had 18 children….. and the rest is history as they say.

So far, no one knows how long Anna lived or when she died.  I would love to think she lived to be old and died with her family surrounding her. She was, after all a survivor.  Her life’s record shows that.  She not only raised one family, but two and actually a third one if you think of the final child as part of another family or part of each family.

One thing is for sure, she was no slow witted, blundering woman for she  survived in a then very tough world, surrounded by war, disease, murder, death, pain, famine, destroyed cities, foreign powers using her as human fodder to settle a new world.  Yet, she survived…… she raised my ancestors and kept my Grandfather Wilhelm’s dream alive as well as his and her family.

Is it too far to imagine that as the boat pulled up to the dock that she pulled her children from the railing of the ship, looked out at  wilderness of the new world and the derelict camp they were expected to live in and brushed her hair from her face and marched down the ramp with her jaw set, her eyes flashing and her hands clenched in determination that she was going to make the most of this and prosper…… I can almost see a slight smile grow on her face as the tears of her losses dried on her cheeks…. she was too busy planning on how to survive and prosper than she was dwelling on her pain and setting a good example for her children…… for they were after all the most important part of her life.  I can see her going to their assigned tent and passing a man with a bunch of little children with no mother.. and I can see her raise an eyebrow, look at the man and then walk to her tent with the gears turning on her next move…….   after all if she couldn’t make it she would be on a boat going back to the terrible world she had escaped and she wasn’t about to have her children go back to that…..

A big salute to Anna Regina Halm….   whose story inspires me over three hundred years later….. somehow I can just see her walking in the hilly countryside along the Hudson River years later, surrounded by lots of Grandchildren, laughing and smiling….. followed by a determined and mouthy collie dog…..


Thats right and its name was Ginger and it was plotting Colonial Domination…… recruiting the Native American dogs to overthrow all humanity…. she would’ve succeeded if it hadn’t have been for all those meddling kids…. ..  ahem….

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