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              Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann (1736--1813)

Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann (changed to John William Herman) (Johann George Herrmann) (Martin Herrmann) (Hans Herrmann Jr.) (Hans Herrmann)

(children information listed at bottom of page)

Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann (called Wilhelm by everyone except his wife) was born July 18, 1736 in Graefenstuhl, Saxe Prussia.  He migrated to the fertile Hesse valley, near Born or Cassell (Kassell) Germany when he was about twenty years old.  He was a successful famer and active in the Luthern Reformed Church.  **(to learn more read the first chapter of the published book by Jim Herman, Voyage to America-1766--which was published in June 2006, by clicking this LINK)

He married Maria Catherine MOTZ, daughter of Hans George MOTZ, on December 27, 1757.  She was born about 1734. and was called Catherine by all who knew her.

Johannes Wilhelm HERRMANN, signed a will on January 22, 1813 in Lincoln/Catawba County, North Carolina, six months before his death on June 29, 1813 in Lincoln/Catawba County, North Carolina. This is the only written documentation about him in North Carolina, although there is reference to and about him in notes and documentation from others.  He was buried in Old St. Paul's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Newton, NC. Inscription in the church records reads: Aged 77 years, William Herman, whose German name was Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann, was born in 1736 in Germany. The tombstone inscription   reads Wm. Herman, b. 1736  d.  1813.

   Photo by Jim Herman-Old St. Pauls Cemetary



Complete information can be found in this book on the entire life of both Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann and Maria Catherine Motz Herrmann.

**click here for order review:  http://www.jimhermanbooks.com

 **click this link for history of Old St Paul's Church> http://www.oldstpaulslutheran.org/history.htm

Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann and Maria Catherine Motz had the following children: 


>Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann Jr. (John William Herman Jr.)

>George Herman (1763 - 1828)

>Peter HERMAN (1774 - 1850)

>Catherine Herman (1766 - 1842)

>John Michael Herman (1777 - 1859)

>Mary Herman (1780 - 1845)

     The first two of their six children were born before leaving for America in 1766.  In mid-year 1766 Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann and his family boarded the ship Pallidum-Richard Hunter, ships master-at Rotterdam and sailed the Atlanta Ocean to the new land of America. Upon arriving in the American port of Philadelphia he signed his name as Johannes Wm. Herrmann (which was entered by the magistrate as John William Herman) and swore the Oath of Allegiance on October 18, 1766. It was written down on the entry log that William was from Rotterdam, but last from Cowles Isle of Wite England. These were the last major ports from where they sailed.  Later, William and his family settled in Berks County, near Reading, Pennsylvania. In this area William owned land in Long Swamp, Ruscombe Manor and Heresford Townships (per records, Series II Pa. Archives Vol. XVlII). The last tax listing for William Herman was in 1785, a few months before moving to North Carolina down The Great Wagon Road, in which the tax records were listed 100 acres of land, three horses, two cows, and eight family members.

Two horse/mule driven Conestago Wagon used on trip down the great wagon road from Pennsylvania to North Carolina


In a book about the history of Lincoln/Catawba county North Carolina, Miss Estelle Herman, a great, great granddaughter of William, remembered hearing about two Herman brothers who came from Pennsylvania to North Carolina on horseback to look the country over. On their trip, when they camped for the night, they tied their horses so they could graze while they slept. North Carolina appealed to them so much that they decided to move their families here. Some other Herman notes written by Polly Killian in 1876 said: "Came to North Carolina in 1779. Moved to North Carolina in 1786. Settled on Lyles creek and entered land which has been handed down from father to son till the present time. George Herman, second son of Wilhelm, came back to North Carolina in 1781 and settled on Long Shoals Creek."

Log cabin similar to first residence of Herman home in 1783-84 near Lyes Creek, Catawba County, North Carolina.

Meadow, woods and land similar to Herman Land near Lyes Creek, Catawba County, North Carolina.



Stone and wooden home similiar to Herman home circa 1800 near Lyes Creek, Catawba County, North Carolina.

     Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann died June 29, 1813 at the age of 77 years and was buried in the cemetery of St. Paul's Lutheran Church near Newton. His wife, Catherine, died two years earlier on March 14, 1811 at the age of 77 years and is also buried in the same cemetery.. Wilhelm (William) and Catherine Herman and their children, William Jr., George, Peter, Michael, Catherine, and Mary became active and useful citizens of their Lyles Creek community near Newton and Conover North Carolina. They were members and officers in the German Reformed churches of St. Paul's and St, John's near Newton and Conover respectively.



Maria Catherine Motz Herrmann's Death
( excerpt from Jim Herman's book Voyage to America 1766 )
copyright 2006

1811 ? Lyles Creek, Lincoln County, North Carolina

     They came despite the cold March wind blowing down from the snowcapped Blue Ridge Mountains which were visible on the far western horizon just over the headstones on the west end of the burial ground.  They came to the cemetery of Old St. Paul?s Lutheran Church.    Following the final prayer by the minister of the church, the families huddled close together around her gravesite where they sang a hymn.  Some had been hear before, others not at all.  Each cherished their thoughts privately before leaving the cemetery with their families to return home.
     Standing alone by the gravesite of his wife of fifty-one years, John William Herman was lost in his thoughts of the past.  He stood there for the next hour.  From inside the wooden log church building, his children and grandchildren looked on with concern.  They watched him standing in the cold and brisk wind without any movement except from his lips and the gusty March wind blowing his outer garments.  No doubt he was recounting the events of their life together from the beginning in the Hesse Valley; the barge down the Rhine; Rotterdam to Cowes Port; on to the Canary Islands to Port of Philadelphia; to the Oley Valley in Berks County, Pennsylvania; down the great wagon road; to Lyles Creek, and now, for Catherine, to God in Heaven.
     Finally he returned his hat to his thinning white hair and left the gravesite of Maria Catherine Motz Herman and slowly walked away from her recently dug grave.  She had lived seventy-seven years.  He marked the day, March 14, 1811.


     Now that both John William Herman and Catherine Marie Motz Herman have passed on, the direct line of their children branch off to many different directions.  Each child of these brave two pioneers carries the story of the Herman heritage from Prussia/Germany to Pennsylvania to North Carolina...and so each of these children, and their children?s children, carry the responsibility to pass it on, lest we forget. 

  (NOTE:  Detailed Children Information listed below)


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        Children of Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann                            


William Herman Jr. (1762-1829)
First son of Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann

     John William Herman’s first son, William Jr., lived out his remaining years with his wife Mary on land inherited from his father; land located between Meckling’s and Lyles Creek situated in the Catawba lands near Conover, North Carolina.  They had five children:  John Peter, born 1786 and died at age eighty-nine in 1876; John William III, born 1794 and died at age fifty-eight in1852; George, born 1797 and died at age eighty-six in 1883; Monroe, born and died in 1802, and Henry born 1800 and died at age eighty in1880.
     Typical of most large land owners when they became ill or feeble, William Jr. two years before his death and only just a few months before his wife died, transferred land he inherited from his father to his first child, John Peter Herman.  Also William Jr. purchased more land from John Miller which he transferred to John Peter Herman also.  The transactions were recorded in the Lincoln County Courthouse records as follows:

     Book 33 page 186 Lincoln County:  May 16, 1827, William Herman Jr. and wife Mary to Peter Herman for $1, 159 acres on waters of Meekling Creek at Bolicks and Deals corner, from original grant to Gilbreath Falls on March 14, 1780 #262, in return for maintenance for their lives.  Witness: Jacob Boleh, John Yoder.
     Book 33 page 292 Lincoln County: February 10, 1826, William Herman Jr. from John Miller to Peter Herman, land on waters of Naked Creek adjacent to Lemuel Axford.
     Book 33 page 356 Lincoln County: May 16, 1827, William Herman Jr. from John Miller to Peter Herman, $1, 78 acres on waters of Lyles Creek for life of William Herman Jr. and wife Mary for their support

     John William Herman Jr. sailed the Atlanta Ocean with his parents and younger brother when he was four years old in the year 1766; grew to manhood in the Oley Valley of Berks, County, Pennsylvania from 1767 to 1787; migrated to North Carolina in 1787 and died at age sixty-six August 14, 1829—seven years following the death of his wife Maria who died at age sixty-one on November 14, 1822.
William Jr., wife Maria, “Mary”, and all their children are buried in the cemetery of Old St. Paul’s Church, Newton, North Carolina.


George Herman (1763-1850)
Second son of Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann

     George, the second son of Johannes and Maria Catherine Herrmann, found Long Shoals Creek Township in Lincoln County North Carolina more than suitable to establish his home.  Arriving in Lincoln County in the year 1781 as a nineteen year old pioneer, he became acknowledged as the young, single German man from Pennsylvania.  Within weeks of arriving he joined the local Colonists’ soldiers fighting against Great Britain.  During his three years of service up to the end of hostilities in this area, he rose in rank from a private to Captain.  Working tirelessly during the next few years he purchased more than one hundred thirty-five acres of good bottom land and saved every last bit of money he earned.  When his family arrived in 1786 he was granted, for the sum of one hundred twenty American dollars, two hundred fifty acres from the former Lord Granville grant located on Meckling’s Creek, near Lyles Creek north of the settlement of Conover, North Carolina.  Two hundred of these acres were for his father who had sent his brother William Jr. one year earlier with money to be used for land acquisition.  The other twenty-five acres he purchased for his own use.
     A few days after Christmas on December 31, 1791, George, now twenty-eight years old, married Elizabeth Eslinger.  Their marriage bondsman was Johan Adam Bolch and was recorded in the new Lincoln County courthouse. 
     George retained his land in Long Shoals Creek and added to it substantially until his death in 1850.  He and Elizabeth purchased additional land west of Conover near the settlement of Hickory, North Carolina and established a blacksmith shop and more farm acreage.  Prior to his death he wrote his will on November 7, 1841 which was probated at the July Session of Catawba County court in the year 1850.  The will contained a codicil bequeathing a one hundred ninety-five acre tract of land on Long Shoal Creek to his son William, who was named after his grandfather, John William Herman.  He also bequeathed William his blacksmith tools.  His will provided, with either land or money, for all his other children and their spouses. 
     At the time of his death in 1850 at age 87, George, and wife Elizabeth, had eight children; eighty-two grandchildren; sixty-four great grandchildren and thirty-two great, great grandchildren.  
     They had the following children:  William, born 1792, died 1862, age 70; George Jr., born 1795, died 1833, age 38; John Daniel, born 1800 and died from injuries sustained from jumping over a wagon June 30, 1840, age 40; Elizabeth, born 1801, died 1877, age 76; Andrew, born 1803, died 1866, age 63; Henry, born 1806, died 1887, age 81; Sarah, born 1810, died 1878, age 68; Helena “Linnie”, born 1812, died 1871, age 59.

     George was an adventurer from the day he was born.  Coming to America when he was two years old with his older brother William Jr. and his parents, he came alone as a teenager to the Catawba Lands five years before his family arrived.  George was instrumental in securing land for the Herman family and their new home in North Carolina.

Note: The following addition information is contributed by:

Derick S. Hartshorn
1204 4th Street Drive, SE
Conover, NC 28613-1827
DerickH '@' charter.net

More information can be found on his extensive WEB site:  




(Will made 1841; died in 1850)

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I, George Herman, Sr., being of sound mind and perfect memory, blessed be god, do this 7th day of November in the year 181, make and publish this, my last will and testament, in manner and form folllowing: that is to say first, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife all her clothes, and after her death they are to be divided between her three daughters; namely Elizabeth Kaylor, Sallie Van Dyke and Linney Fry; and it is also my will that my wife, Elisabeth, shall live with her son William during her life, and shall have a reasonable support from said William during her life. I also give and bequeath unto my son
William all that he has received of me heretofore.

I also give and bequeath unto my son
George all that he has received of me heretore.

I also give and bequeath unto my son
Daniel's heirs all that their father has received from me heretofore.

I also give and bequeath unto my son
Andrew all that he has received of me heretore.

I also give and bequeath unto my son
Henry all that he has received heretore.

I also give and bequeath unto my daughters,
Elisabeth Kaylor, Sallie Van Dyke and Linney Frye, all that they have received of me heretore.

And I hereby make and ordain my son,
William Herman, Executtor of this last will and testament.


In witness whereof, I, the said George Herman, Sr., to this my last will and testament, do set my hand and seal, the day and year above mentioned. Signed, sealed and declared by the said GeorgeHerman, the last will and testament oin the pressence of us.


Henry Cline
George Herman
Henry Herman

(Note: “Clothes” includes bedding, household linens, etc.)


I, George Herman, County and sTate aforesaid, do make this Codicil to be taken as part of Last will and Testament, as follows:

I give and bequeath unto my son William Herman one tract of land of 195 acres, on Long Shoal Creek, and joining Daniel Fry and others; also one set of blacksmith tools and all estate that is not already willed to belong to my son William Herman after mine and my wife's daths.

IN Witness, Ihave to this Codicil annexed my said will and set my hand and seal, this the 7th day of November, 1841.


Henry Cline
George Herman
Henry Herman

Probated July Sess 1850.

He died on
16 October 1850 in Catawba County, North Carolina.9 George has reference number 23672.


While in the process of being charged with Bastardy, by ELIZABETH PHILIPS, George married ELIZABETH ESLINGER. The date of the Bastardy Bond is 23 November 1791 and the date of the Marriage Bond is 31 December 1791. A copy of the Bastardy Bond is included. It's rather- humorous for us to read it now but I'm sure it wasn't to those involved back in 1791. A copy of GEORGE HERMAN'S Marriage Bond is also included. Both these original bonds are located in the N. C. Archives in Raleigh.

Bastardy Bond


The Examination of ELIZABETH PHILIPS Single woman taken before us JOHN WlLFONG and JOSEPH STEEL two of the Justices of the peace for the County of Lincoln - Who on Oath Saith that GEORGE HERMON on the night following the Sunday before Estr last - after repeated promises of Marriage &c - induced to yield to grant him the last favors and that from that time until Sometime in or about harvest last he frequently cohabited with her. and at one of Said times he begat with a child of which She is now pregnant and that the Said GEORGE HERMAN and no other person
is the father of Said Bastard &c - 23d Novr, 1791 Sworn before
Joseph Steel
John Willfong


State of North Carolina, Lincoln County
To Any lawfull Officer for
Said County to Execute


Whereas ELIZABETH PHILIPS the day of the date hereof hath made Oath before us the under Signing Justices of the peace for Said County - that She is now pregnant of a Bastard child and that Said child is likely to be born a Bastard and that GEORGE HERMON of Said county and no other person is the father of Said Bastard &c-

This therefore in the name of the State to command you that you take the Said GEORGE HERMON and him have before any Justice of the peace for Said County - that he may be dealt with as the law directs &c -

This given for your suffict. Auty. for so doing Witness our hands and Seals this
23d day of Novr. 1791

Joseph Steel
John Willfonq


State of North Carolina Agt.
GEORGE HERMON principal 50
JOHN SETSER Security 50
Each for the Appearance of Said GEORGE HERMON before the Justice of the County Court of Lincoln on the first Monday of Jany. next to ans. to the charge of the Court in a case of Bastardy - and not depart without leave &c - Acknowledged before
Joseph Steele - 28th Decr. 1791


The Lincoln County Court Minutes also reveal another glimpse into the everyday life of GEORGE HERMAN SENR. Jr. It was the custom during George's life for orphans to be "bound out" to learn a trade. In April of 1805 a lad of eight years, named JOHN ELLENBARGER, was bound to GEROGE HERMAN "until he arrive to the age of 21 years to learn the art & mystery of a Blacksmith." However, GEORGE encountered difficulties with the boy and after keeping him for nine years, brought him back into Court. The October 1814 Court Minutes had this to say:


"GEORGE HARMON brought into Court JOHN ELLENBERGER about Seventeen years & two Months old that was previously bound to him to learn the trade of a black smith & It appearing to the Satisfaction of the Court that the Said boy was of a Slender & weakly Constitution It was ordered by Court that the Said JOHN ELLENBARGER be bound unto LEONARD CLINE to learn the Tailors Trade who agreed to have the boy Taught to Read & write & all other things Required by Law & to give him a decent Suit of Clothes at the Expiration of the apprenticeship."


GEORGE HERMAN SENR. lived and died in present Catawba County. At the time of his death Catawba County had been formed and his will was probated in the July 1850 Session of Court. The exact date of his death is unknown and his place of burial is unknown.


George [Harmon] Herman , Sr. and Elizabeth Eslinger were married on 31 December 1791 in Lincoln (Catawba) County, North Carolina.3,21,22 GEORGE HERMAN'S MARRIAGE BOND

Know all Men by these Presents that wee - GEORGE HARMON, and ADAM BOLICK Both of the - County of Lincoln and state of North Carolina are Held and firmly Bound unto the Govenor for the Time being and his successers in office in the sum of Five Hundred pounds, Wee Bind our selves our Heirs Exrs. Admrs. Jointly and severally by these Presents Sealed With our seals and Dated this 31st day of December 1791 --
The Condition of the above obligation is such that the above Bounded GEORGE HARMON Hath Prayed for a License to get maried to ELISABETH ESLINGER single Woman of said County; now if said HARMON should have Contracted Marriage Prior to this Date, With any other single Woman or in Case their should be any Frauds in this Case to any Person or Persons then the above obligation to be in force and virtue in Law, other wise to be Void and of None Effect &c -

George Herman - signed in German
Johan Adam Bolch - signed in German

Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of
John Willfong




     Peter Herman --- for information on Peter Here click here >>>>>>>>Peter Herman 


Catherine Herman (1776-1843)
Third child and first daughter of Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann
     Spending the first ten years of her life in Pennsylvania, Catherine traveled down the great wagon road with her family to the Catawba Lands of Carolina in 1786.  Called Katie by her family, she married Benjamin Wagner following her eighteenth birthday in the year 1794.  The first of four children, a daughter they named Catherine, was born in 1795.  Seven years later Katie Herman Wagner and Benjamin Wagner’s first son, Benjamin Wagner Jr., was born in 1802.
    In 1804 they moved to Pennsylvania to take over Benjamin’s parent’s farm since his parents were getting older.  During the next four years two more sons arrived; Peter in 1805 and William in 1808.  One year later, in 1809, her husband Benjamin Wagner Sr. became seriously ill and died.
     In the spring of 1810 Katie sold the Pennsylvania farm and returned with her four children to Lincoln County North Carolina.  Here she remained until her death March 17, 1843.  Following her death, two of her sons, William and Benjamin Wagner Jr. moved to Troop County Georgia.  The other two children, Catherine and Peter Wagner, stayed in Lincoln County the remainder of their lives.  


John Michael Herman (1777-1859)
Fourth son of Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann

     As a recorder of deeds for Lincoln County due to his fine penmanship, John Michael lived near the courthouse in the thriving township of Lincolnton, North Carolina.  He obtained land purchases in Lincoln County and held deeds to several farm properties.  On May 26, 1826, John Michael Herman sold his share of his father’s inheritance to his older brothers Peter and George.  The receipt is recorded in the Catawba County Court house and states:  “Received of George and Peter Herman sum of $202.20, it being the full part of my legasee of my father’s estate, I say received by me.”  Signed by Michael Herman and witnessed by his brother William Herman Jr. and sisters Catherine Herman Wagner and Mary Herman Deal.
     Later on John Michael sold all his Lincoln and Catawba County land holdings and moved to Iredell County, northeast across the Catawba river to the township of Statesville, North Carolina.  He and his wife, whom he married in 1789, had the following children:   Betty Herman; Tenney Herman; Alexander Herman, and Johann Michael Herman, Jr.
     Prior to the start of the American Civil War, John Michael Herman Sr. died January 1, 1859 in Iredell County, North Carolina.  He had lived Eighty-one years.


Mary Herman (1780-1845)
Sixth child of Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann

     Mary was six years old when she arrived in the Catawba lands of North Carolina with her family in the year 1786.  Shortly after her seventeenth birthday in 1797 she married William Diehl.  They had nine children:  William Jr., born in 1797; George, born in 1800; Catherine, born 1804; Mary, born in 1807; Delilah, born in 1809; Eli, born in 1811; Lydia, born in 1813; Noah, born in 1819, and Linnie, born in 1823.
     Mary Herman Diehl and William Diehl lived their entire life in Lincoln County and are buried at St. John’s Church Cemetery, near Conover, North Carolina.

Copyright 2006 Voyage to America 1766 - Jim Herman


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Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann's Journal--Crossing the Atlanta 1766




 Excerpt from the book Voyage to America 1766, copyright 2006 - Jim Herman

1766 - Voyage to America, Rotterdam Port

           The Herrmann family was indeed fortunate to find passage to America soon after arriving in the Port of Rotterdam.  The long journey from their Hesse Valley home, steaming down the Rhine through the numerous custom checkpoints, had been a tiresome trip; not so much physically only, but emotionally draining as well.          

            Boarding the ship Palladium in the cool misty Friday morning, Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann and his wife Catherine along with sons Wilhelm Jr. and George, located their pre-assigned area in the ships cargo hold; an area that would become an undesirable home of discomfort.  Each passenger was allotted a space that measured about 2’x 6’.  Johannes, Catherine and the two small boys were fortunate to be located in a starboard side forward corner space in the hold of the wooden sailing vessel Palladium.  The other family members were adjacent along the forward bulkhead wall of the hold.  Although the individual spaces were small, the combined space of the four related families—fifteen members in all—created a space that was thirty feet wide, but only six feet in depth.  Combining the seven children together in the corner area left a goodly amount of remaining space for the eight adults.

       Untying the straps to the large leather traveling bag containing all his family’s worldly possessions, Johannes Wilhelm Herrmann retrieved his writing journal, corked pewter ink container and one of several quill feathered writing pens.  Dipping the tip of the pen in the container he began to write, using the fine German script he was noted for, the first entry in his journal.


 Voyage to America

Am 21. Freitag Juni 1766:  Verlassen der Rotterdam Hafen heute--Leaving the Rotterdam Harbor today.  We are grateful to God leading us to a good ship and master.  There is an abundance of excitement from crew and passengers for this new adventure.  Some sickness among us from the barge voyage bears concern.  Too many spent passage money for food and custom tariffs.  We are fortunate to have more than the required passage fee.  Fee for passage to America is 15 gold Louis D’ors for adults, nothing for small children.  Catherine one of the sick but is not complaining.  Rumors circulating to our first stop in Cowes port of the English will be a short trip, maybe one week—barring bad weather down through the channel of sea that separates us.  First weeks rations distributed on boarding: 4 tankards beer and 2 water per adult male; 4 each water for women and children; 4 pounds butter for our group of 15; salted pork, beef and fish for 3 or 4 days; barley meal; syrup from stock barrels; 2 bread loafs each and 1 bunch turnips for soup ration 1 day each week.  Jacob Henniger’s wife Maria birthed a boy departing port. Loben Sie zu Gott--Praise to God.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Am 22. Samstag Juni 1766: Kein fortschritt-- No progress.  Good start with sufficient wind that became calm quickly.  Drift with tide and Dutch coast visible from hence we came one day past.  Spirits high.  Master Hunter assures departure by tomorrow.  Catherine stomach sick again this morning.  Children well behaved and they are many about.  Master Hunter allowing all to roam vessel during day’s calm.  Pot smell in hold noticeable.  Some have poor habits.  Weather pleasant.  Miss home but not speaking to it.  All is left behind except present company.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Sunday 23 June 1766: Viel aufruhr während gestern abend--Much commotion during last night.  All awakened from abrupt shift of boat to one side with accompanying crunch of the hull under us.  Tide and new wind sent us to a sandbar near coast.  All passengers but sick and children called on deck to shift leaning to upright and free from sandbar.  No moon impaired sight. Difficult standing and walk to the side lean.  Several slid off but crew reclaimed them safely from the shallow waters.  Sails hoisted up moving the encumbered vessel. Slowly we came to deeper water.  The light wind brought spring rain.  Day wind from southwest more contrary over favorable with much rain and cold.  Slow progress using tack sail yet forward somewhat.  Master Hunter advised tacking will be used many times during contrary winds.  Difficult to adjust switching the lean when there is tack.  Children use it for a game rolling a yarn ball.  There is some adult concern already but the children lessen it with their laughter.  Catherine morning sick again with little appetite.  Others seem recovered except her.  Henniger baby boy died in the afternoon and buried in the waters inside a sand bag.  A hymn was sung but little spoken.  He is the first of we hope not many.  Loben Sie zu Gott --Praise to God.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Sunday 30 June 1766:  Since Sunday last weather brutal.  Much slashing about of the vessel through the day and night.  Swells higher than the height of two men—the crew called the height 4 ells, an English measurement.  Sea sickness by most all.  Sanitary poor.  If you avoid one the other will succumb your stomach. Spirits low.  Talk from crew of no progress this first week.  Confined to hold all week with no fire cooking topside. Ate bread, moldy butter with syrup although crew fixed hot soup for all one day.  Catherine’s sickness due to carrying our third child I suspect—good news and bad.  This long trip will try her to the ends.  For the new child, praise be to God.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Sunday 7 July 1766:  Yet another week of foul weather with contrary wind.  We are now from Rotterdam 16 days thus far less than half traveled to the English port.  Crew reports the worst weather ever upon this narrow sea between the continent and the Isles.  I would not wish for any to see worse.  Remaining below deck where the stench from the sickness and sanitary is unbearable at times is a must less the rolling deck deposit you to the sea.  Near the stern of the hold 6 women and 2 men fought.  The woman who started the ruckus used a poor reason and was rightfully punished by the master of the ship.  There are rumblings many will disembark upon arrival from Port of Cowes never to set foot from land again. Surely there is an end to this vicious weather or we will likely perish with our dream unfulfilled.  Hope for the best.  Wilhelm Herrmann   

Sunday 14 July 1766:  Favorable winds with clear sky 5 days consecutive of the past 7.  Used abundant water to clean the hold from fear of new sickness.  Sanitary tolerable but remains unsatisfactory.  Two hot meals on top side restored faith and disposition.  Two more deceased.  The older widow Walter gave out and left son Phillip alone.  One of the two small Hans Petry children was the other.  They were laid to the waters with the singing of a hymn.  Land is to the port, visible and close.  Catherine improving with fair color and improved spirit.  Wilhelm Jr and George free of sickness.  Should the sails remain full we will arrive to the port of Cowes on the Isle of Wight in 2-3 days.  Praise be to God.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Wednesday 17 July 1766:  We have arrived safely in the harbor of Cowes, England.  Ships Master Richard Hunter advised we may be here several days and we can leave ship to market for needs.  There was little to buy since the products we desired were too dear to their owners on consecutive days to market; so instead we took on free fresh water to our ship.  These first five days at port recorded 12 passengers left to live and toil here, most likely as servants given they are of poor assets and wealth.  Ship’s Master Hunter has decreed laxness in sanitation, including pot dumping, will be immediate expulsion to the nearest land, hostile or friendly.  Wilhelm Herrmann


     Cowes Port bustled with activity.  Located on the north coast of the Isle of Wight, the natural harbor provided deep and calm waters.  The diamond shaped island extended 23 miles in breadth and 14 miles north and south at mid island.  Separated from the mainland of England by a deep strait known as the Solent, the climate was temperate and calm, compared to most of the mainland that fronted the English Channel.  The Solent Sea that separates the island from the mainland varies from four to six miles in width.  On the north the land slopes to the margin of a steep barrier of cliffs where a stream falls through a ravine to the Solent Sea. The east and southeast coastal areas contain cliffs of chalk and are more picturesque than useful.  Western extremities are rocky and near inhabitable.

     Situated along the mouth of the Median River, Cowes Port actually consists of two distinct areas, East and West Cowes.  The port was a major ship building facility and the last major port, other than the Canary Islands, for a ship to take on needed supplies for the long voyage westward to America.  Fresh fruits, vegetables and clothing were expensive since most had to be imported from the mainland.  It was a wild town where the majority of the inhabitants were shipbuilders.

     Lying next to Catherine in the hold of the ship on their tenth day in Cowes Port, Johannes put away his journal and said.  “Catherine, should we dare to exclaim the worst is over?”
    “It is for me,” Catherine said.  “I am so much improved—plus we will have another child coming.”
     “I had suspected as much.  The news is certainly a blessing and perhaps is a good omen,” Johannes said.
     “There is a lot to look forward to in our future Johannes.  You know as well as I that we will survive.  Better still, when we get to America the sheer abundance of game and land will give us opportunity that disappeared back home.”
     “I am getting anxious to sail,” he replied.  We must get to America during the late summer or early fall, if not, the coming winter will dwarf the pitiful trouble we have experienced so far.”


Friday 29 July 1766:  Finally we have sailed.  Twelve days we lay to port and restless we have grown both crew and passengers.  Sails set to good winds through the Solent Sea and out of site of land, but had to lie still in the afternoon as the wind grew calm.  A young fellow to join his kin in the Philadelphia port died at sunset.  It was told he was a cobbler and made the finest of leather wares for the feet.  A gathering was held in the twilight and the master slid him down the plank.  A hymn was sung.  It is a strange way of the ship’s crew to have little patience with death.  Wilhelm Herrmann
Saturday 9 August 1766:  We are five days with strong winds from the 4th where we laid still for six days.  The sails remained full with waves washing over the sides.  Crew remarked they had experienced this speed but once to never.  It was good we had the favor of the wind as now since noon day we lie in calm past Spain and the mouth of the great Mediterranean Sea.  A woman and her daughter quarreled over chores of sanitary.  The master of the ship gave them a stern warning.  Little does it correct the poor habits of many.  Wm. Herrmann

Sunday 10 August 1766:  The calm lasted until noon this day when sails were hauled up.  Wind was too weak and did not fill the sails until evening.  A large fish was seen nearby.  It spouted water high into the air stronger than an artesian well.  It matched our pace most of the early afternoon and left on a course different from ours.  The air is growing warm with rumors the port in the Madeira Archipelago Islands is near.  Some of the crew call this place the Canary Islands.  Sadness continues to befall us.  During the night the small son of Hans Cuntz died.  He was the youngest of three and aged one and one-half years.  There is suspect of scarlet fever and only the men attended his lonely departure into the water.  A hymn was sung; one that is becoming all too familiar I fear.  Wm. Herrmann

Tuesday 12 August 1766:  Strong winds have pushed our passage swiftly for two days.  Last night it was fierce and boisterous where the waves crashed across the ship’s deck and down the hold to our living area.  Today the wind is full and steady and this good ship Palladium rides majestically on top of the rolling waves.  Crew rumors land in two days.  Another young child aged one year and nine weeks died from the fever.  Topside during the hymn for the young one, we encountered a very large French ship returning to the direction from where we came.  The wind was contrary for them.  As the large ship passed by the little one was sadly removed from the ship to the sea. Wm. Herrmann

Wednesday 13 August 1766:  Port was made by nightfall.  Earlier in sight of land the winds changed and impeded our entry.  The same changing wind that the crew calls the trade winds to carry us westward to America or at least to currents that flow to Philadelphia Port.  There is much activity with loading of fresh water and much food stuffs.  Extra is being taken on due to history of strong storms upon the seas during this warm season that could throw any good ship hundreds of miles off course.  Our mast was rigged for repair from the damage of strong winds a day back.  Master Hunter issued another strong warning to both crew and passengers regarding sanitary chores.  Master Hunter is gravely concerned, from his experience, the devastation disease can bring from poor habits will not be tolerated.  It is a beautiful port these Islands.  Our spirits are lifted by these lands but concern is evidenced from the crew for this remaining long leg of journey.  Rumor passing among us are for two more months passage with luck.  Death is too many so far and there will be no land except to port in the Philadelphia.  Woe is added upon our passage from word of discontent to the British Crown by the colonist people.  More uncertainty upon arrival—shelter, food and language.  Our faith is all that we have and we must not, nor will we not, let it fade.  Praise be to God.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Sunday 17 August 1766:  Today was a good worship day.  Thanks by all for compliance to Master Hunter’s strict rules.  Some of the crew joined our service.  Wind has been strong and favorable and we are pushed West Southwest above average speed.  Weary travelers we have become since we left, but seasoned to be accustomed to rolling seas.  Rumor to arrive is better and now set for mid to late of next month.  We mark the days with thanks to God.  Wm. Herrmann

Sunday 24 August 1766:  Once again we encounter bad weather and sadness for a life.  Maria Schubert died suddenly on this a pleasant day while giving her children soup.  In the late afternoon she was lowered into the deep on a plank as a hymn was sung.  Earlier in the week contrary winds grew the night of the 19th from which the fury of the skies came the lightning and the thunder.  The sea waves rose to 10 ells and looked to be as huge as mountains with howling wind caused the rudder to be tied off and this good ship Palladium, with its God fearing passengers, was left to the fate not of the Master and crew, but to the fierce storm.  Prayers were answered by evening as the wind died down and a cheerful splashing rain fell for the night.  Describing this distressful day is difficult in truth.  From early morning and throughout the day all sails were furled.  Every place with a hole was nailed boarded to keep the sea out.  The hold, our home, became a prison.  We tied our bodies with ropes to boards to keep from thrashing about, all the time holding our children tightly in our arms as they cried out in fear.  The enclosure confined all without air and in the midst of great heat.  Had not our prayers been answered before the night, we could not have endured any longer.  To my own thoughts I say, but to others not, surely I lost all hope during the wild and fierce storm.  Wm. Herrmann

Sunday 7 September 1766:  The week past brought fast and pleasant sailing.  Looking skyward our full white sails reach high for the brilliant blue skies.  Once again spirits soar.  There is concern for spoiled meat and fruits are depleted.  Two more deaths this past week, both small children of whom we did not know.  Most all attended a gathering as the wee ones were deposited into the depths.  A hymn was sung without joy.  In the afternoon of the 5th a large English ship came upon us with speed twice more than our good ship Palladium.  It passed close enough for the crew to converse.  It was loaded with sand for stability and would return to England with tobacco from the merry lands of Virginia in America.  On the 6th the wind grew weak and large fish sailed around our ship.  The crew tried to catch one, but the line broke and the fish fell from the side of the ship back into the water.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Sunday October 1 1766:  There has been little of much and many of boredom for three weeks.  Sailing speed has been normal and thankfully no major fierce storms except at night they are visible in the distance.  One small storm carried us southward where it became extremely hot with heavy air you could feel on you skin and hair.  Master Hunter said we had approached the 35th parallel but were now on course.  Our beer ran out two weeks ago and now the water is becoming foul.  Not wishing for a fierce sea storm but we need fresh water soon.  Three ships on different days have been spotted.  Perhaps there is hope within days to port.  Yesterday we turned to the Northeast although the winds are not favorable so tacking has continued for the day and night.  To say the least it creates sleeplessness from shifting from side to side constantly.  There is much hope to end this soon.  Wm. Herrmann

Sunday October 8, 1766: Gentle winds this day led to much discussion topside this afternoon.  We have traveled far and long and yet our destination is beyond reach.  Our food supplies are rationed, what little is not spoiled.  If not for catches of small fish we would surely succumb.  Talk of fear from rumors we heard in Rotterdam now circulate.  They are fearful and are recounted here in case of validity.
A ship arrived with no survivors except the captain when it ran aground on the island near the city of the new York.  Accident or intentional unknown.  Following the grounding of the ship a group of thugs jumped aboard raided and killed all the passengers.  Removing all contents of wealth they set the ship afire.  
A good and faithful friend known by me for many years named Johannes Georg Schreiber told of his eye witness of a letter from a survivor on a trip not more than two years earlier.  He saw a letter from John George Junjman giving an account of his journey.  They sailed from Falmouth, England, where they had stayed three weeks.  Here the ship took on many necessary supplies.  Twelve days after they left the port, the captain told them that the journey had reached half way.  Immediately following the days produced calm winds that were followed by a fierce storm.  After traveling more than eight weeks the water and bread were all but gone.  The last six weeks were nothing but a ration of water and nothing else.  They ate the rats and mice, which at first were plentiful, until the end they disappeared.  Only 47 of the original 187 passengers survived to port.  The captain claimed all the belongings and possessions of the recently departed.  Only then were the remaining alive since they had commandeered the ship.
To me were recounted more horrible tales, but the jist was the same as the two I have penned herein.  We are God’s children and to Him our fate, for worse or not. Wm. Herrmann.

Wednesday October 11, 1766:  The best of news we heard since this tiresome and compelling journey began, was spoken at noonday.  It was the loud cry from a sailor swinging high on the main mast with the jubilant cry of land, land.  The waters dept was 18 fathoms.  We all have lifted spirits.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Thursday October 12, 1766: Last evening the good news of land was followed by calm winds and rain.  Today the tack was back from a wind change in the morning.  The afternoon brought a fierce but short storm and the crew has cast our anchor toward the east and we are in a river called Delaware.  Wilhelm Herrmann

Friday October 13, 1766:  The wind grew strong and bitter cold.  There is talk and doubt for us to have come to a warm country this America.  Toward nightfall a boatman came rowing who remained on ship with us.  The widow Bloch died today, exactly two weeks following her husband Jacob’s passing.  We lowered her into the Delaware with the singing of a hymn.  This, I pray, will be the last hymn we sing on this good and sturdy little ship Palladium that has witnessed so many perish.  We are frightened to remember how many, but it is more than thirty from when we began on Friday June 21, 1766 from the Port of Rotterdam.  Wm. Herrmann

Sunday October 15, 1766:  The past two days have been slow and steady with little wind.  Now we have made it to a town called Newcastle.  Fresh water was brought out to us and Master Hunter rowed to shore and brought back apples.  Never have I seen such thankfulness and joy for water and apples.  We continue to drift with slight wind to the Port of Philadelphia.  Tomorrow we arrive in the year of our Lord and Savior; the year 1766.  We are in America!  Wir sind in Amerika!  Wilhelm Herrmann

Copyright 2006, Voyage to America 1766 reproduction by permission only

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