Our Frey/Frye/Fry ancestry is the only line of descent I have found to date that is shared by my mother and father. I believe that Anna Rosina (Frey) Petri, our immediate Frey ancestor in my mother’s family, was the great granddaughter of the same Johann Jacob Frey who was the grandfather of Salome (Frey) Heilman, one of our two immediate Frey ancestors in my father’s family. I’m confident that our second immediate Frey ancestor on my Dad’s side, Margaretha (Frey) Rupp, will turn out to have a niche in the same line of descent, but I have not been able to pin that down as yet.
I haven’t done much research of my own on the Frey family—what I have to offer comes from the internet, or from a book, The Ancestry and Descendants of Johann Peter Frey, compiled by James A. Gurney, that I found at the DAR Library, or from material that Tomi and I grabbed on the run, once, when we were in Lancaster, PA for a genealogy seminar. I have found one treasure trove of material, though—a series of “Memoirs” on the lives of North Carolina Moravian church members prepared by other members of the congregation from information supplied by the subjects, themselves. I will draw heavily on that material, here.
What little I know about our ancestress, Anna Rosina Frey is at the top of this narrative and on the Frey Family Tree. On some family trees, her full name is given as Catherine Anna Rosina Frey, but I haven’t seen any document confirming the Catherine. She was born 27 Aug 1757, in Berks Co., PA, died in Stokes Co., NC, and married Johann Adam Petrie, 12 September 1777, also in Stokes Co. She and Adam had six children—a son and five daughters—before Adam died in 1793, as the result of a wagon accident (see the Petrie narrative). His widow then married Adam Boyer—about whom, sadly, I know absolutely nothing. I do know that he and Anna Rosina had children together, but I don’t know much about the children, either.
We also know that Anna Rosina was the daughter of Johann Valentine Frey and Anna Maria Barbara Meyer, nee Binckele. And she was the granddaughter of Johann Peter Frey and Anna Barbara Schmid. The families were German, but came to America from Alsace, where some branches of the larger Frey family had taken refuge from religious persecution. While Johann Valentine met and married Anna Maria Barbara Binckele in Pennsylvania, the Binckele-s, too, were first generation immigrants from Alsace. It’s not clear that our ancestors were among the religious refugees, although some, including our direct ancestor, Valentine, show up as Mennonites, Moravians, or members of the Society of United Brethren—sects whose members were often driven to emigrate for religious reasons. According to Valentine, however, he was brought up, initially, as a Lutheran.
In any case, the Scott-side branch of our Frey lineage came to the American colonies in 1734, on the “Thistle of Glasgow.” Johann Peter and Anna Barbara (Schmid) Frey emigrated with their entire family—comprising, at the time, seven children (or seven surviving children) of whom the eldest son was our ancestor, Johann Valentine. At least two more children were born to Peter and Anna Barbara on this side of the Atlantic, and joined the list of surviving children. I keep adding in “surviving” children, since the couple is said to have had thirteen or fourteen children, but I can only account for nine.
The family settled, initially, in what is now described as “Pennsylvania Dutch” country, drawn there, no doubt, by the many German, or Swiss-German refugees who had already settled successfully in the area—including those found on the Payne side of our ancestry. The family resided, first, near Bethlehem—on a watercourse identified in a transcription of Valentine’s “Memoir” as the “Canswage.” I find no such place in my Pennsylvania Gazetteer. But just northwest of Bethlehem, is a creek and a town of some size called Catasauqua. I’m guessing that “Canswage” is an effort, either by Valentine or by the transcriber, to reproduce the latter name. In any case, a researcher named Adelaide Fries tells us that, when she was in Bethlehem sometime in the 1920s, she: “looked over some old church books, once belonging to a small congregation long since changed or dropped. In one of them I found the early Frey records, going back to Peter, the first immigrant ancestor….” So—there are early traces of this branch of the family in Bethlehem.
The Frey-s had moved on to Berks Co. by 1742, however, for Johann Valentine was married that year, in Berks Co., and that is where our ancestress, Anna Rosina, was born in 1757. So, Anna Rosina is the first of our direct ancestors in this line to be born in America. In Berks Co., the family lived, first, at a place identified as “Muddy Creek.” There, according to Valentine, he came in contact with the Society of United Brethren, and decided to join them. However, in the words of his “Memoir”: “At the place of their residence the organization of the congregation of the Brethren failed to materialize, so in the course of time they moved on to Heidelberg Pa.,” also in Berks Co., where there was an established congregation. It’s not clear to me whether this move involved only the Johann Valentine family, or whether others of the clan relocated to Heidelberg, as well.
In June of 1765, 21 members of the family—including the patriarch, Johann Peter, with his wife, and our ancestor, Johann Valentine, with his entire family—moved once again, this time to North Carolina. The reasons for this major relocation are not clear, but it was begun, if not triggered, by Christian Frey, one of Valentine’s younger brothers. Christian was living in North Carolina at least as early as March of 1763. On p. 270 of “Records of Moravians in N.C.,” Vol. I, is found the following, dated March 16, 1763: “The Chief Justice and his Company on their way to Salisbury spent the night at Christian Frey’s.” On p. 276 of the same collection, and dated November 8, 1763, is another item about Christian’s family:
“Christian Frey’s son was bitten on the leg by a poisonous spider. He swelled
quickly to such an extent that he could not see out of his eyes and suffered
terribly and would certainly have died had not Snake Root called Roberts
Planting been used in time.”
To the above, the transcriber has added a notation to the effect that: “This was probably an adopted son since we find elsewhere that Christian Frey had no children.”
From the same source, p. 303, dated June 11, 1765, we learn precisely when the rest of the clan arrived. On that date:
“Br. Etwein went to South Fork [here, the transcriber notes that this was in
Friedberg] to see the Company that arrived yesterday from Pa. Christian Frey,
his parents, his brothers, George and Valentine Frey, the latter’s son-in-law
Frederick Boekel and their wives and children, some twenty persons in all.”
In North Carolina, the Valentine Frey home was in Friedberg, in an area described as the “Muddy Creek Settlement.” It seems ironic that the family landed on “Muddy Creek” in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and it introduces all kinds of room for error. Every time we read—in some record or user submitted family tree—that a person was born, married, or died in Muddy Creek, we must be scrupulously careful we are clear as to which Muddy Creek is being referenced. Additional entries in “Records of Moravians in N.C.” help pin the North Carolina Muddy Creek Settlement down further. On p. 404, Vol. I, we learn that Valentine Frey and a neighbor, John Dorethea, “have run a new road from their settlement toward Salem [Winston-Salem, today] as far as the Salisbury Road. In Vol. I, p. 352, an entry dated February 6, 1767 tells us that Valentine, among others, waived his property rights to land between the settlement and the south line of Wachovia for the purpose of building a log cabin to be used for “the preaching of the gospel and a school house for the children.” On pp. 792-93 of Vol. II, we learn of a visit to “Valentine Frey who lives West of Muddy Creek, and whose location can be found on a map of Wachovia of that time .” I dwell on this a bit, because “Wachovia” has come up elsewhere in my genealogical ramblings. It was also the location of property owned by our ancestor, William Spires—he who married Sarah Petrie who, in turn, was a granddaughter of Valentine Frey.
In Valentine’s “Memoir” we are told that, at some point, Valentine moved from the Friedberg area to “the neighborhood of Hope.” At this point, it seems, he let go some of his religious fervor—the transcriber notes in parentheses that he was “a Methodist backslider.” One senses a bit of scorn in the phrase. He subsequently returned to the fold, however, and to Friedberg, but spent his declining years back in Hope, where he was cared for by one of his daughters.
I can’t resist reporting two bits from the Moravian Records relating to Valentine’s family, for it appears that the father’s off-again-on-again religious scruples were reflected in a more relaxed set of behavioral standards for the children than was entirely acceptable to the Moravian community. The author of the “Friedberg Diary” recorded on, 10 July 1774: “Valentine Frey told me that his daughter, Margareth, has secretly married a man named Rudolf Nied, who stayed for a while at their home.” And a report in the Salem Board Minutes of 30 May 1783 tells us: “Recently on Sunday, during service, there was a gathering of young people at Peter Frey’s, and the same thing happened at Valentine Frey’s. This must be looked into….” Can’t you just hear the tongues wagging?
One final item comes from the Revolutionary War period, and relates both to Valentine and to the experience of his supposed father-in-law, Peter Binckele (see below). The “Records of Moravians in N.C.” (Vol. III, p. 1030) reports: “The Provincial Congress that met in Halifax N.C. in 1776 passed an act concerning the Brethren ‘That as they did not bear arms, their guns should be taken, but politely and that an appraised value should be placed on them, and that they themselves should not be forced to serve.’”
And on p. 1110 of Vol. III we find that, on February 23, 1776: “Valentine Frey with others signed the test oath of allegiance to the Colonies, gave his arms, and refreshed Capt. Fornes and his Company with food and drink.”
The transcriber comments in an aside: “This act alone entitles his descendants to membership in the DAR.” But it is recorded in the Public Accounts of the State of North Carolina, that Valentine also participated in an expedition against Tories beginning 22 August 1775 and culminating in the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge on 27 Feb. 1776. Valentine can’t have fought in the battle, since he turned in his arms on the 23rd, but in any case, there’s one more in our burgeoning list of DAR/SAR qualifying ancestors.
I have not seen the original documents, but I have an abstract of Valentine’s will, dated 25 Aug 1797, in Rowan Co., NC and proved 1798 in Stokes Co. (Document is in Stokes Co. Will Bk 1, p. 113). He names five sons and five daughters, together with their respective husbands—including our ancestress, Rosina, “wife of Adam Petree dec’d.” Valentine leaves no property to his sons, since: “I have heretofore in my lifetime sold all my lands & Tenements as well as my stock of Negroes and have given sufficient land or other property to my five Sons….” Please note that being a practicing Moravian did not keep him from being a practicing slave owner, as well. Anyway, his remaining personal estate is to be sold at public auction, with each of the daughters to receive $25, and any amount left over to be shared equally among the ten children.
An inventory of Valentine’s estate was submitted 09 Dec (1798, I assume). There was a total of 914 Pounds 28 Shillings 11 Pence due to the estate from loans outstanding, balanced by 111 Pounds 17 Shillings 04 Pence owed by the estate. But other than that, the entire personal estate from which the girls were to get $25 each sold for a grand total of 39 Pounds twelve Shillings & two Pence. The list of personal items that Valentine owned at the time of his death is interesting in and of itself, and it suggests the exceedingly spartan life of the time. Keep in mind—this is the property of a man sufficiently comfortable financially as to own slaves:
5 bottles of Sugar Box 7 Vials
1 Spice Mill
1 Saddle & bridle
2 pr Leggins & 1 pr Stockings
1 pr Shoes & Buckles
1 Feather Cover
2 Coverlids & Bolster
1 Big Coat
6 pr overalls 12 shirts
1 Hone [sic]
1 Comb & Specks
1 Armd [sic] Chair
1 Kettle & Bason [sic
1 Chear [sic]
1 Coffee Burner
1 hard Bellows
1 Large Bible
1 Shovel & Tongs
5 Coats & 5 Breeches & Jackets
1 Razer [sic] & Case
2 Tabl [sic] Cloths
The Family of Johnn Valentine and Anna Maria Barbara (Binckele, Meyer) Frey
|JOHANN VALENTINE FREY
||ANNA MARIA BARBARA BINCKELE
|b. 09 May 1721, Wingen, Alsace
d. 13 Sep 1798, Stokes Co., NC
||b. 01 Jun 1722, Alsace
d. 06 Jan 1791, Salem, NC
|m. May 1742, Muddy Creek, PA
Both int. Hope Moravian Cem., Salem, NC
Anna Maria Barbara (Binckele, Meyer) Frey was the widow of Matthias Meyer and supposedly a daughter of Peter Binckele and Anna Maria Werlyn (or Werley) but some believe she was, instead, a daughter of one of Peter Binckele’s brothers. She had two children by her first husband: Catherine (b. 01 Oct 1739, m. Christian Zimmerman) and Elizabeth (b. Jan 1741, m. Daniel Hauser). Another source says both died in infancy.
Children of Johann Valentine and Anna Maria Barbara (Binckele) Meyer
1. Anna Barbara Frey
b. 06 Mar 1743, Muddy Creek, PA
d. 1816; int. Friedberg, NC
m. Frederick Boekel (or Boechel)
2. Johann (Hans?) Michael Frey
b. 08 Jan 1745, Muddy Creek, PA
d. 08 Mar 1815
m. Anna Maria Dorothea (b. 1747, d. Mar 1815)
3. Johann Peter Frey
b. 24 (23?) Sep 1746 (29 Apr 1746?), Berks Co., PA
m. Eleanor Kern
4. Johann Valentine Frey
b. 08 (18?) Mar 1748, Muddy Creek, PA
m. #1 Barbara
m. #2 Maria Catherine Petri
5. Anna Maria Frey
b. 09 (27?) Oct 1749, Heidelberg, PA
m. Peter Feiser, 06 Oct 1769, Rowan Co., NC
6. Johann Heinrich Frey
b. 14 Jan (Mar?) 1752 (1751?), Heidelberg, PA
d. Before 1812
m. #1 Sara Klein (daughter of Peter Klein), 1774
Children: Petrus Frey, Maria Sara Frey
m. #2 Elizabeth—or Wilzabeth—(Morris) Moser—a widow, ca 1778
Children: Johannes John, Anna Maria, Jesse, Henry H., and Lewis.
7. Johannes Frey
b. 25 Dec 1753 (1752?), Heidelberg, PA
m. Christine Waller (Muller), 23 Nov 1779, Rowan Co., NC
8. Maria Margaretha Frey
b. 18 Sep 1755, Heidelberg, PA
m. Rudolf Need (Nect? Nied?), 10 Jul 1774
9. Anna Rosina Frey
b. 27 Aug 1757, Heidelberg, PA
m. #1 Johann Adam Petri, 12 Sep 1777, Stokes Co., NC
m. #2 Adam Boyer, 1794, NC
10. Christina Frey
b. 22 Nov 1759, Lancaster (Berks?) Co., PA
m. John Wolfersberger (know as John W. Sparger), ca 1777
11. Unnamed son, stillborn, 23 Aug 1762
12. Tobias Frey
b. 10 Jan 1764, Heidelberg, PA
d. 15 Dec 1766
On Anna Maria Barbara Binckele, wife of Johann Valentine Frey
The Binckle/Binckele family
Salem, North Carolina burial records for 1791 include Barbara, maiden name Binckele, identified as the widow of Mathias Myer and wife of Valentine Frey. Such as it is, her “Memoir,” also on file in Salem, reads:
“Anna Maria Barbara Frey d. Jan’y 6, 1791 in the evening in the sixth hour and was buried on the 8th of the month in our God’s Acre [the graveyard of the Hope Moravian Church]. She was born June 1, 1722 in Alsace, and came with her parents to America. In her 17th year she married her first husband, Matthias Meyer, with whom she lived in German town Pa., and they had two daughters. In the third year of her marriage she was left a widow. After sometime she married the present widower, Valentine Frey. They were both awakened through the preaching of the Brethren and were members of the County Congregation of Heidelberg, Pa. and partook for the first time of the Holy Communion in 1756. In 1765 they moved to North Carolina and lived on the Yadkin River. They belonged to the County Congregation of Friedberg, N.C. When she became very feeble, they transferred their membership to Salem, N.C. in order to be better served by the doctor. At first she improved, but on the above mentioned day, she fell softly asleep from a stroke.”
Although the evidence for it that I have seen offered is pretty scant, she is believed to be the daughter of Peter Binckele and his first wife, Anna Maria Werlyn (or Werley). Some materials I’ve seen report that it now seems more likely she was a daughter of one of Peter’s brothers, but those sources offer no evidence, at all, for that position—so, for the present, I’m sticking with the original view of the matter. In either case, Barbara is the granddaughter of Christian Binckele and his wife, Elisabeth Burri, who were married 20 Oct 1693, but I don't know where. The Bethania N.C. burial record tells us that Peter was born 04 Mar 1704 at Greckensburg (or Guckensburg) in Bern Canton, Switzerland, and died 20 Aug 1793 at Bethania, N.C. He was married, first, in Alsace—to Anna Maria Werlyn who died in 1748 near Yorktown (now York), PA. They had 14 children. He then married Maria Margretha, maiden name Geiger (the Widow Schmell, or Schell) in 1749. They had nine children. The death notice adds that the names of many of the children are not known and dates of births are not available so no list of them is given. Hence the uncertainty as to who was Barbara’s father. Sigh.
To this information, Peter’s own account (given July 11, 1782 for the purpose of having his “Memoir” prepared and archived) adds as follows. It’s an abbreviated version that I found, hand copied, in the family files at Lancaster, PA. I will reproduce it as I found it.
Memoir of Peter Binckele (abbreviated)
b. March 2 1704, village of Greckensburg [or Guckensburg], Canton Berne, Switzerland
His parents were Christian Binckele and Elizabeth Berg
In his ninth year his father died (poverty)
m. Anna Maria Werley and remained in Steinthan Dist. 12 yrs.
In 1736 emigrated to Am. with several other “awakened” families
Arrived Phila toward end of Sept.
The same fall he went to Warwick (later Lititz) Pa., remained 2 yrs.
Moved to Catores [I find no such place], 9 mi. above Yorktown, (later York) Pa.
Associated with Separatists, heard of “pious Count Zinzendorf”
Sought every opportunity to attend services of the Brethern; frequently heard
1748 his wife died after 24 yrs., and 14 children
1749 m. Widow Maria Margretha Schmell, maiden name Geiger; had 9 children
1750 rec’d into Unity [i.e., joined the United Brethren]
1752 attended Holy Communion first time
1763 moved to Mankosy (?) Md. to be nearer a school house
1772 could get only 100 acres and no water so sold Md. Farm & moved to Wachovia
[this is N.C.—in Rowan Co., at the time]
My only additional information about Peter Binckele is that he twice served as a wagoner during the Revolutionary War, carting baggage and/or provisions for the local Militia. In Records of Moravians in North Carolina, Vol. III, p 1125, under Public Accounts of N.C., Peter Binckele reports that he spent 22 days driving a baggage and provision wagon for the Surry County Militia in the Cross Creek Expedition. Vol. III p. 1282 records that, on February 15 1779:
“Peter Binckele set out today for the second time for the South, taking baggage
for the Militia there. He came here 14 days ago, there was only one man with him
and we hear that there should have been thirty, who were left from the last draft.”
It’s interesting to note that, while the Moravians had religious scruples against bearing arms in the Revolution—and were obliged to turn in their arms and swear loyalty oaths—many, such as Peter Binckele, found non-violent ways to contribute to the war effort.
On Johann Peter and Anna Barbara (Schmid) Frey
I have very little on Johann Peter Frey, so I believe I’ll simply transcribe what there is:
“Peter Frey was born on Sept. 27, 1689, at Wingen, Alsace; died May 4, 1766, at Friedberg, N.C. and was the first person buried in the Grave Yard [sic] at that point….He married Anna Barbara Schmid (This maiden name appears in will of Peter Frey, recorded in Rowan Co. N.C. Book A.p.53), in Alsace in 1716. She was born in Wingen, Alsace April 5, 1696, died Bethania N.C. Jan’y 9, 1768 and was buried in the Bethania Grave Yard. These names and dates are taken from the church Records at Friedberg and Bethania, now on file in the archives of the Moravian Church at Winston-Salem, N.C. “
From “Records of Moravians in N.C.” Vol. I, p. 320, May 5, 1766: “Christian Frey brought the news that his old father went home last evening about 8 o’clock and Br. Graff was asked to hold the funeral service. The next day Br. Graff went to the home of Peter Frey and there held the funeral of Peter Frey, Sr. He was buried in the Grave Yard which had been staked off on the Wachovia Line back of Adam Spach’s and the place was consecrated with prayer and address on the test ‘Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground it bringeth forth no fruit.” John 2nd Chapter and 24 verse. Peter Frey was the first person buried in this Grave Yard.”
I also have a transcription of Peter Frey’s will, but it is scarcely worth reproducing, here. In it, Peter names only his wife, “Anna Barbara Frey, born Schmid [with no final “t”], and to her he leaves his entire estate—together with responsibility for executing the will.
The following, on Anna Barbara, is taken from the Death Records of Bethania, N.C.
Anna Barbara Frey was born April 45, 1696 in Wingen, Alsace. In her twentieth year she married Peter Frey. Their union lasted something over fifty years. They had twelve children, and more than one hundred grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 1734 she and her husband and seven children moved to Pa. and settled on Muddy Creek. There she was awakened by the witness of the Brethren concerning the death of Jesus and when a small congregation was organized she was received and admitted to the Holy Communion. When this little congregation disbanded she and her husband moved to Heidelberg Pa; and from there for love of their children they moved to NC in the spring of 1765. In May 1766 she was left a widow. Before Christmas 1767 she came on her last visit and received much good through the festal and regular services of the congregation. The Saviour granted her desire that she be spared a long and painful illness and that she might be taken quickly which happened on January 9th of this year (1768) in the forenoon. Only a couple of hours previously she had been spinning when she was taken with a severe chill and great pain in the chest. The last verse she had been singing was : “I am melted into tears when I sing of Jesus’ death.” Her age was 71 years, 9 months and 4 days.
Personally, I’m a bit dubious about that singing part! “Records of the Moravians in N.C.” Vol. I, p. 375 tells us only that “Our old mother Frey died suddenly and peacefully. She had been spinning industriously, then she arose from her chair, lay down on the bed, and passed away a couple of hours later.” That sounds more like the real story, to me. This source also reports that her death occurred at the home of her daughter, Sister Hege. That would be Juliana, who married Belthazer Hege.
There follows a list of the Johann Peter and Anna Barbara (Schmid) Frey children which names only nine—not-with-standing that the death record gives them twelve. Perhaps only nine survived. Anyway, those listed are the same nine that I know about from other sources, so I will reproduce them here, with what little data I have.
The Family of Johann Peter and Anna Barbara (Schmid) Frey
|JOHANN PETER FREY
||ANNA BARBARA SCHMID
|b. 27 Sep 1689, Wingen, Alsace
d. 04 May 1766, Rowan Co., NC
int. Friedberg Moravian Ch Cem, NC
||b. 05 Apr 1696, Wingen, Alsace
d. 09 Jan 1768, Davidson* Co., NC
int. Bethania Moravian Ch Cem, NC
|m. 18 Feb 1716, Alsace
*Case in point of my note on the first page—Davidson Co. did not exist in 1768. It was created from Rowan in 1822, so Anna Barbara can NOT have died in Davidson. Likely she died in Rowan Co., in an area that later became Davidson.
Children of Johann Peter and Anna Barbara (Schmid) Frey
1. Maria Margaretha Frey
b. 20 Nov 1716, Wingen, Alsace
2. Anna Eva Frey
b. 30 Dec 1718, Wingen, Alsace
3. Johann Valentine Frey
b. 09 May 1721, Wingen, Alsace
d. 13 Sep 1798, Hope, NC
m. Anna Maria Barbara (Binckle) Meyer
4. Anna Barbara Frey
b. Sep 1723 (07 Sep 1723)
m. Michael Lauren (or Lauer)
5. Anna Maria Frey
b. 07 Sep 1727 (07 Apr 1726), Wingen, Alsace
6. Johan Pelzar/Pelzer Frey (I’m told this was his real name, but he went by Peter, Jr.)
b. 18 Nov 1729 (13 Nov 1729), Wingen, Alsace (13th must be right, he was bapt the 17th)
7. Christian Frey
b. 22 Dec 1731, Wingen, Alsace
8. Juliana Frey
b. Feb 1735, Muddy Creek, PA
m. Belthazer Hege
9. Johann George Frey
b. 27 Nov 1741, Muddy Creek, PA (Dec 1740)
On the Ancestry of Johann Peter Frey and Anna Barbara Schmid
Our immigrating ancestors in the Frey line were Johann Valentine, who was born in Alsace, and his father Johann Peter, who relocated the family to the United States in 1734. Since my original goal was to identify our immigrating ancestor in each line, I had intended to stop here. But The Ancestry and Descendants of Johann Peter Frey, which I found in the DAR Library this fall, gave me documented material on an additional five generations, and I have included that information on the “Frey Family Tree.” I’m not going to discuss those generations in detail, but I can’t quite let them go without saying something about them.
The family was German-Swiss, with its earliest identified members living in the Zurich area. The genealogical material I’ve copied to the Family Tree is well documented in the parish records of the communities in which successive generations of Frey-s were born, baptized, married, and interred. While the records show a certain degree of mobility—three different parishes are represented—all are in Zurich Canton. Not until the generation of Gregorius Frey, Johann Peter Frey’s grandfather and my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather (if I’ve counted correctly), did the family leave Switzerland.
In 1651, Gregorius moved his family and five children to the Bas-Rhin department of
Alsace, where freedom of religion was the order of the day and, under the Edict of Nantes, continued to be protected after ownership of Alsace was transferred to France. Gregorius’ grandson, Johann Peter, then brought the family to America.
The pattern of migration from Germany to Switzerland to Alsace and finally to the American colonies was common to many continental Protestants subjected to persecution during this period of European history—particularly, but not exclusively Moravians and Mennonites. Since William Penn actively sought settlers for what were then the western fringes of his colony, Protestants fleeing Europe through this pipeline tended to wind up on the fertile farm land that we associate with “Pennsylvania Dutch” country—at least, at first. Many of our family lines can be traced back to “Pennsylvania Dutch” immigrants. But we must understand the term as implying Pennsylvania German, not Dutch, and as not being limited to the Amish or Mennonites that we think of as being “Pennsylvania Dutch,” today.
I also want to include, here, what I know about the ancestry of Anna Barbara Schmid. It isn’t much, and I don’t want to include it on the Frey Family Tree, nor do I want to set up a separate Schmid file, since this part of ancestry goes back before the family emigrated from Europe. But I want to get it recorded, just in case someone, someday, wants to pursue it. So—here’s what I’ve got:
Anna Barbara was the daughter of Johann Theobald Schmidt, Jr. (b. ca 1633, d. 31 Dec 1702) and his wife, Anna Maria Schlaber (bap. 23 Sep 1661; d. 10 Apr 1722). They were married 11 Jan 1695.
Johann Theobald Schmidt, Jr. was the son of Johann Theobald Schmidt, Sr. (bap. 08 Jul 1611) and his wife, Margaretha.
Johann Theobald Schmidt, Sr. was the son of Wendel Schmidt (b. ca 1580) and his wife, Barbara.
Meanwhile…Anna Maria Schlaber (wife of Johann Theobald Schmidt, Jr.) was the daughter of Johann Michael Schlaber (bap. 18 Jul 1626) and his wife, Anna Mang (b. ca 1640, dau. of Jacob Mang who was b. ca 1613). They were married 24 Feb 1661.
Johann Michael Schlaber was the son of Michael Schlaber, Jr. (b. ca 1600) and his wife, Anna Margretha Frick (b. ca 1602, dau. of Nicoli Frick). They were married 09 Nov 1623.
Michael Schlaber, Jr. was the son of Michael Schlaber, Sr. and his wife Margareta.