Some Dreisbach etc. arrivals in North America
The flow of Germans to the New World increased rapidly between the late 1720's and the late 1740's. The number of Germans arriving annually in Philadelphia went from about 600 to 1800. Ships that originally took about 170 passengers, later carried an average of 200 or more "Palatines" as they were generally called.
No Dreisbachs are found in the extant ships' passenger lists of this period until the arrival of Simon Dreisbach and his family in 1743. It is possible that some Dreisbach arrivals went undetected, but recent scholarship indicates that the procedures followed in Philadelphia to register arrivals were so thoroughly applied that passenger lists exist for all but 8.33% of the ships arriving between 1727 and 1775.
The arrival of the Simon Dreisbach family in September 1743 is well documented as is their departure from Wittgenstein on May 25th of that year. How much time the family spent traveling overland to the Rhine or one of its tributaries is not known. In this period, prospective emigrants could sometimes make preliminary arrangements for their passage with the river-boatmen even before reaching Rotterdam. There, a few firms of English merchants, some of them with Quaker connections, handled the trade in German emigrants.
Not long after Simon's arrival in Pennsylvania, German immigration to North America rose to unparalleled numbers. In the years around 1750, an average of 5600 German-speaking immigrants arrived in Philadelphia yearly, crowded into only twenty ships or so!
|ca. 1725 or earlier||Port of arrival not known, coming from Grossenbach in Wittgenstein||Hans Wilhelm Dresbach and Anna Gertraud Dresbach, with Maria Elisabeth and Anna Elisabetha Dresbach||6. p. 19|
|ca. 1725 or later||Port of arrival not known, coming from Hesselbach in Wittgenstein||Paul Dreysbach, with Catharina, Johannes, and Hermann Dreysbach||6, p. 141|
|1743||19 September, coming from Oberndorf in Wittgenstein, arrived Philadelphia on the ship Lydia||Simon Dreisbach, with Johann Jost and Johann Adam. The rest of the family does not appear on the ship's lists. We know that Simon and his family spent four full months traveling from Wittgenstein to Philadelphia, and we can only surmise their expectancy as the Lydia made her way up through the Delaware Bay in mid September of 1743. The ship's manifest contains two unexplained age figures. Simon appears with his correct age, 45, but sons Jost and Adam are recorded as being 19 and 20 respectively, though we know from the Feudingen church records that Jost recently turned 22 and Adam was approaching 21. Simon must have had some good reason for registering his sons under 21.||8, vol. 42, p. 340|
|1749||1 September, arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam on the Chesterfield||Michel Treuspach||1, p. 280|
|1750||24 August, arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam on the ship Brothers||Mardin Dreisbach||8, vol. 42, p. 437|
|1751||4 October, arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam on Queen of Denmark||Martinus Dreysbach. Martin's birth and the marriage of his parents are recorded in St Martin's Church Raumland, Westphalia Germany. Martin, his wife and oldest son arrived from Germany and took the oath of allegiance on 10/8/1751. Soon after arriving, he bought a farm in Lancaster Co PA near the Blackhorse Tavern in Cocalico Twp where he worked at his trade, blacksmithing, and also built a grist mill and a sawmill.||8, vol. 42, p. 473|
|1754||7 November, arrived in Philadelphia from Amsterdam on the John & Elizabeth.||Henrich Dresbach. As yet nothing has been discovered about Heinrichís place or date of birth. Not until a daughter, Elizabeth, was baptized in 1760 at the Indian Creek Reformed church, Telford, Montgomery Co., does Henry appear in the records. This would suggest that he was born about 1725-1735. In any event, he was surely younger than Simon and probably younger than Martin. Little more is known of Henry's first wife than her name, Anna Maria. Nor has it been learned whether the couple married in Europe or in Pennsylvania.||8, vol. 42, pp. 666, 668, 670|
|1791||18 January, arrived in Philadelphia from Hamburg on the Philadelphia Packet||Barnard Driesbach and wife. They seem to have settled along the Delaware River in eastern Bucks County and apparently had no male descendants. In the will that "Parnett Driesbach" made in 1815 his wife Catharina is named, and their only child, Christiana, is said to be still in County (Graffschafft) Wittgenstein and is urged to come to Pennsylvania within a year.||8, vol. 44, p. 97
TDB p. 14
|1798||31 August. arrived in Philadelphia from Hamburg on the Pennsylvania||Maria Catharina Tresbach and Anna Margareta, Anna Maria Tresbach and Catharina.||8, vol. 44, p. 97|
|1803||31 August, arrived in Philadelphia on the Fortune||Catherine Elisabeth Dreisbach and daughter Anna Elsa/Elisabeth (also spelled Diesbach on one list)||1, p. 601|
|1806||8 November, from Wittgenstein, arrived in Philadelphia from Amsterdam on the Atlantic||Two different Dreisbachs, 4th cousins, arrived on the same ship:
Georg Dreysbach, age 40, with Margaretha, age 32, Georg, 20, Catharina, 18, Anna Maria, 15, Marie Elisabeth, 13, Johann Heinrich, 11, Elisabeth Gertraud, 8, Anton, 6, Margaretha, 3, Georg Heinrich, 1 year old.
His line goes Abraham>Georg>Daniel>Johannes>Valentin>Anton>Anton>George.
Georg Heinrich Dreysbach, 24, with Marie Magdalena, 23, Johannes Georg, 1.
This Henry is also descended from Abraham through the "New Mill" line
Currently, nothing is known of what became this family, although this might be the Henry Dressby in Philadelphia in 1840.
|8, vol. 44, pp. 189-191|
|1828||24 September, made alien's declaration of allegiance in Philadelphia. Date of arrival not certain.||Henry Dreisbach, also spelled Drusback on one list.||9, vol. 3, p. 202|
|1840||Made alien's declaration of allegiance in Philadelphia. Date of arrival not certain.||Georg Dresbach, also written George Dresback.||9, vol. 3, p. 206|
|1851||19 May, arrived in Philadelphia from Bremen on Louise Marie||Christian Dreisbach, age 19, a "farmer", "from Germany."||3, vol. 1, p. 505|
|1852||Arrived in San Francisco||A. Driesback. Possibly infected with "Gold Fever."||7, p. 140|
|1853||22 August, arrived in New York from LeHavre, France||Catherine Driesbach, age 29, a "farmer" from Walckeck, Hesse-Nassau||3, vol. 5, p. 302|
|1854||26 June, arrived in New Orleans from Bremen on the Minerva||Wilhelm Dresbach, age 20, a "merchant" from Germany, going to
Could this be the William Dresbach who settled in Cass Co. IL along with brother Philip? They are found in the 1860 Census and William's age is right. They were both born in Prussia. After 1860, this family disappears again.
|3, vol. 7|
|1860||27 April, made alien's declaration of allegiance in Philadelphia. Date of arrival not certain.||Christien (Christian) Dreisbach||9, vol. 3, p. 202|
|1868||Made alien's declaration of allegiance in Philadelphia. Date of arrival not certain.||Henry Dresbach||9, vol. 3, p. 203|
|c1893||from Berghausen, Wittgenstein||Christian "Oscar" August Dreisbach.||This information was supplied by descendant John Gustave Dreisbach.|
There are not many surviving accounts by 18th century German immigrants describing their ocean voyage. In 1733, one Johannes Naas wrote a letter to his son Jacob telling how the ship Pennsylvania Merchant left Rotterdam on June 24th, was becalmed before reaching Dordrecht, sailed out to sea on July 3rd, arriving at the port of Plymouth in southern England on July 13th. After customs procedures and provisioning, they finally set sail for America on July 21st.
A child died on the 25th and was buried at sea. On August 7th a child was born, died within an hour, and was also buried at sea. A storm on the 17th created high seas, lasting one and a half days, and caused much dizziness and vomiting among the passengers. On August 23rd another child died.
By now many people had consumed all their provisions, having expected that the voyage would last only four weeks. They had to live on the meagre ship's fare. On September 20th a young married woman died. A heavy rain storm accompanied by a strong wind made great waves. Many of the beds that were near the holes were filled with water, and the next morning the Captain ordered a kettle of rice to be boiled so the people could eat something warm. On the 22nd the ship lay still, and the people dried their clothes. The next day a sounding showed that they were close to the Delaware River, though no land could be seen. Land was sighted on the 24th.
The last baby born on board died, and was buried in the Delaware River. In the afternoon of September 29th they landed at Philadelphia. By then the passengers had been on board for more than three months.
In another account, that of a crossing in 1737, the winds were unfavorable, and this voyage also lasted three months, with even more children dying during the trip. The Simon and Martin families were fortunate to have arrived with all members still alive.
Source of the 1733 letter: "The Voyage to America," pp.
3-4 of The Heffner Family Association 1997 Newsletter, Lower Burrell,
1. Egle, William Henry, ed., Names of Foreigners who took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania 1727-1775, Penna. Archives, 2nd Series, vol. 17, 1890, reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, 1967.
8. Strassburger, R. B. and Hincke, W. J., Pennsylvania German Pioneers... from 1727 to 1808, Pennsylvania German Society, vols. 42-44 (1-3), Norristown, Pennsylvania, 1934.
9. United States, Works Projects Administration, Index to Records of Aliens' Declarations of Intention and/or Oaths of Allegiance, 1789-1880 in ...Philadelphia, no pl, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1940(?). Recorded in Prothonotary Office of Court of Common Pleas.
10. See also: Teppe, M. H., Passenger
Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819, Genealogical Publishing
Company, Baltimore, 1986, which lists 8 Driesbach arrivals, 1 Dreisbach
and 1 Drisbach arrival.
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