FIGDORE (VICTOR), Christian
- Born: 5 Mar 1776
- Died: 3 Jun 1874 214,215,216
- Buried: St. Paul Zeigler's Lutheran Cemetery, Seven Valleys, PA
Christian, along with his wife Elizabeth and two sons Adam and Frederick, emigrated from Bavaria and came to America, settled in York County, PA, in what is now North Codorus Township around 1832-34. Christian was naturalized in 1838.
1860 and 1870 maps of York County show that Adam lived on a farm situated on what is now Tunnel Hill Road. Census data seems to suggest that the extended family lived on the farm, or at least close to each other. After Elizabeth's death in 1851, Adam became the listed head of household. Dwelling & family numbers indicate that Frederick and family were either on a dwelling on the farm, adjacent to it, or not far from it.
That Christian chose to live with Adam, and apparently gave him the farm, suggests that Adam was the older, in keeping with hereditary tradition. Although there are recorded birth dates from the church records, these must be treated with caution as nothing is available from Germany and certainly there may have been English-German translation errors.
The family was most likely Lutheran in Germany, and where they settled in North Codorus Township was a strongly populated German Lutheran area. Christian, Elizabeth, and a son William were buried at St. Paul's (Ziegler's) just north of Seven Valleys. Both Frederick and wife Matilda and Adam and wife Sarah were buried at St Jacob's Union, a joint Lutheran and Reformed church, cemetery, the "old" cemetery on the south side of the New Salem - York road.
Its curious that Christian was buried at St. Paul's, while the two sons were buried at St. Jacob's. Both were established congregations when Christian settled here. As the crow flies, St. Jacob's was the closer, however it lay across a rather deep valley. If one followed Tunnel Hill Road, which lies on a ridge, west to the New Salem - Seven Valleys road, one could either go south-west on a ridge to St. Paul's, or go north on a ridge (the NS-SV road) to New Salem and St. Jacob's. Both churches then were roughly equidistant from the farm, about two miles by horse and buggy.
Christian, according to an obituary, served six years in the army of Napoleon, was severely wounded in the head in the campaign in Spain, and was also present and participated in the battle of Waterloo.
There are three existing documents in the York County Archives with Christian's signature on them - his pre naturalization and naturalization papers from the 1830's and a deed release dating from 1862 that suggest the original family name was Victor. Variant spellings include: Vickdore, Ficdore, Vector, Victor, Ficdure & Fictor, Fichter, Fickdore, Fickter, Fictore, and VIctore. It appears that the spelling was standardized to Figdore by 1890-1900.
There are major discrepancies amongst various records, particularly census data, church records, and obituaries, regarding ages and extrapolated birth dates especially for Christian, Adam, and Frederick and their wives. Such discrepancies, although they become less severe, even existed until the early 1900's.
The location of the farm has been tentatively located within about 1/4 of a mile along this road. A deed search needs to be done to confirm the exact location.
1840 census data shows only Christian, aged 40-50, a free white female aged 40-50, presumably Elizabeth, and a free white male aged 10-15, possibly William, living together in North Codorus Township. The most likely explanation for this is that Adam and Frederick were not yet married or had just been married and were working and living on someone else's farm. Both Adam and Frederick married after they got here. Their wives were born in Pennsylvania, according to census records, and its quite possible that they were working on their father-in-laws' farms. No Victors, or variation thereof, were found in searches of surrounding townships for the 1840 census. The absence of a young white male less than 10 years of age suggests that Valentine may have died in early childhood.
1. Naturalization, 23 Aug 1838. 217,218 The pre-naturalization declaration indicates that Christian came from Bryford (sp.?) owing allegiance to Ludwig the 19th King of Biren and emigrated from Havse(sp?). Biren is most likely Bayern, the German for Bavaria. Although Ludwig I ruled Bayern 1825-1848, I have not located a Ludwig the 19th. Bryford could be Bayreuth, a city in the northern part of Bavaria. However, this spelling would seem to be a stretch. Other possibilities include Breitenfeld and Breitenfurt, small villages in Bavaria. Havse is probably the port of Le Havre, France.
On Sept. 22, 1852, the ship "Havre" sailed from Le Havre to New York City which carried a Marie V???er, 24, female, cultivator. Most of the passengers on this ship were from Bavaria (see istg.rootsweb.com/surnames/splu.htm). This citation shows that Le Havre certainly was an embarkation point for southern Germans, and that Havse above probably is Le Havre.
Christian married Elizabeth. (Elizabeth was born in 1791, died on 16 Nov 1851 219 and was buried in St. Paul Zeigler's Lutheran Cemetery, Seven Valleys, PA.)