home of the Laux family was in Hesse Darmstadt, now a part
of Hesse Nassau, in the neighborhood of the ancient town of Wallau.
This area is called the Palatinate, which was the garden spot of
Germany. However, the Thirty Year's War and the Wars of King Louis
XIV had ravaged and desolated the palatinate of the Rhine. Where
once were fields of grain and vineyards and contented villages,
nothing was left but the blackened ruins of cities, towns and
hamlets. Famine and pestilence was prevalent.
To flee from these horrors became the thought of thousands, who had
given up any hope of ever seeing Germany the abode of peace again
where men might reconstruct homes, rear families and make a living.
Also, the Wars of King Louis the XIV had been directed particularly
against the Palatinate because it was the home of thousands of his
Protestant subjects, who'd fled from his tyranny, both before and
after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. His desire was to see
them completely destroyed, which he almost accomplished. In 1708 and
1709 30,000 Palatines left the valley of the Rhine and went to London
where the kind-hearted English Queen Anne had invited "the distressed
Protestants of Germany to make homes in her American Colonies.
Among the group of Palatines were three cousins, Phillip, Nicholas
and Valentine Laux and their families. Of these suffering, starving
and almost naked Palatines many were sent back to the Rhine in a
heart-broken condition. Several thousand were sent to Ireland where
they made homes in the County of Limerick. Thousands more perished
at sea while on shipboard from fevers and lack of food and drink.
Among four thousand Palatines which left England in ten vessels on Christmas Day in 1709 were Phillip, Nicholas and Valentine Laux
their families. After a perilous voyage of nearly six months, they
arrived in New York on June 14, 1710. Of the four thousand who left
England, seventeen hundred died at sea. Among them were Valentine
Laux and his wife. The remaining 2300 were encamped in tents on
Nutting Island, now known as Governor's Island.
In the late autumn about fourteen hundred were taken to Livingston
Manor, about one hundred miles up the Hudson River. The widows,
sickly men and orphaned children remained in New York where they were
treated shamefully. The children were taken from the remaining
parent and were arbitrarily apprenticed by Governor Hunter to the citizens of
New York and New Jersey. Many of these orphans never saw
their fathers or mothers again.
at Livingston Manor were Phillip and Nicholas Laux. Also,Valentine's four children--Johann Jacob, Abraham, Elizabeth Catharina
& Elizabeth Christina Laux--ended up there. Valentine's oldest son,
Johann Jacob Laux, who'd married Anna Elisabeth Stemler 29 Oct. 1709
at Wallau, died there prior to 24 June 1711. His widow md. (2) 26
June 1711 at West Camp, Livingston Manor, New York THOMAS EHMANN,
widower of Schornbach in Wurtenburg, Germany.
Since it cost Queen Anne a considerable amount of money to send the
impoverished Palatines to the American Colonies, the emigrants were
expected to reimburse the government for the 10,000 pounds they'd
spent getting them there. The government set up a contract with them
to manufacture naval stores, such as making tar, pitch and raising
hemp in America. However, the plan proved to be a failure, for the
forests and soil in that region were not adapted to the production of
naval stores. Thus, the condition of the Palatines again became
desperate for the necessities of life.
Palatines were men of honor and were willing to carry out
the terms of their contract, but in a region where their labors would
be rewarded by sure returns. Also, they showed their loyalty to
Queen Anne by enlisting in the military expedition (French & Indian
War--also called Queen Anne's War from 1709-1713) against Canada in
1711. One-third of their able-bodied men served in that campaign
with the promise that they would receive wages the same as the other
soldiers and that their families would be taken of while they were
gone. Also, the arms they carried and fought with would be given to
them on their return. After serving with great bravery and credit in
this expedition, in which quite a few of them lost their lives, the
survivors returned home to find their families in a famished
condition. No food had been given to them by the Colonial Governor
Hunter as he'd promised during their absence. Despite the
government's promises made when they enlisted, the rifles they
carried during the battles were also taken away from them.
Knowing that they had been unjustly wronged and mistreated, the
Germans remembered that, while they'd been waiting in London for
transportation to the American Colonies, a group of Indians from the
Mohawk Valley, who pitied their forlorn condition, told them they
could have lands in Schoharie when they came to America. Remembering
this, they petitioned Governor Hunter, when he visited their village,
if they could settle in Schoharie on the lands promised them by the
Indians.. In a great fury, he insolently refused, saying, "Here is
your land where you must live and die."
Determined to break away from the injustices inflicted on them and
from the spot where nothing but treachery and starvation seemed
eminent if they remained, one hundred and fifty families, among them
Phillip Laux's family, made their preparations late in the year 1712
and started for Schoharie, about sixty miles northwest of Livingston
Manor. With their women and little children, they had to make their
way through a roadless wilderness without horses to draw or carry
their belongings. So they harnessed themselves to crudely constructed sledges on which they loaded their baggage, children and the sick
and then dragged them the best they could through the snow which
covered the region they traveled through. Often they encountered
long stretches of snow three feet deep. After three weeks of much
hardship and suffering from exposure to the intense cold, they
reached their destination.
arrival there, famine stared them in the face and, had it
not been for the charity of the friendly Indians, who showed them
where to gather edible roots and herbs, all of them would have
perished. But their indomitable courage and energy enabled them to survive their
dreadful plight and a year later they had made
improvements on their land and had houses to live in.
For the next ten years, more Germans left Livingston Manor for the
Schoharie Valley where they flourished. This caused vindictive
animosity by Governor Hunter and his associates at Albany, so they
set out to destroy what the Germans had accomplished. Due to
defective titles cunningly contrived by unscrupulous land agents, the
Germans lost their lands and improvements. Once more the victims of
injustice, the Germans left the scene of their unrequitted labors to
found new, and this time, permanent homes in more hospitable regions,
the majority going to the Mohawk Valley where they soon became
prosperous and where their descendants are found today. Among them
are many of the descendants of Phillip Laux.
As for the
German families who remained at Livingston Manor, they
endured the hardships the governor inflicted upon them. But that
didn't keep them from trying to better themselves. When they heard
Sir William Keith, Baronet and governor of the Province of
Pennsylvania, extole the opportunities in his province as well as the
protection afforded the pioneers, they were willing to risk their
lives and property to locate within the borders of Pennsylvania.
So, in 1773 thirty-three families made the dangerous trip to
Pennsylvania. Led by a friendly Indian, they started out with their
meager household goods packed on horses or on their backs and headed
over an Indian trail for the headwaters of the Susquehanna River in
southern New York. They traveled over mountains, valleys and through
forests until they reached the headwaters of the Susquehanna River.
Here they constructed rafts upon which they placed their women and
children and household goods. Under the most thrilling and
adventurous experiences, they floated down the river for about two
hundred miles to the mouth of Swatara Creek (south of Harrisburg,
Pa.). Here they met the men who'd driven their cattle and horses
along the river bank.
Swatara, they followed its windings until they reached the
beautiful New Lebanon Valley and came to the source of the
Tulpehocken Creek. (Tulpehocken is an Indian word that means "Land of
Turtles.") This beautiful stream winds through the valleys and among
the hills for seventy-five miles and empties into the Schuylkill. It
was along this stream and in the northwest section of what's now
called Tulpehocken Township that the Germans settled.
Five years later, more German families migrated from New York to the
Tulpehocken settlement. Among these were Abraham Laux, Elizabeth
Catharine Laux and her husband, Michael Schauer, and Elizabeth
Christina Laux and her husband, John Van Hoosen. In German the
surname is spelled LAUX, but the English interpreted it as Loucks or
Laucks, which is the way it's spelled today in the United States.
VALENTINE LAUX, the father of Elizabeth Christine Laux, was
born at Wallau, Hessna-Darmstadt, Prussia (now Germany), the son of
Hans Laux and Anna Catharina Ruhl, the daughter of Henrich Ruhl and
Elizabeth Schneider, the daughter of Lorentz Schneider of Medenbach.
Hans Laux and Anna Catharine Ruhl were md. 8 Nov. 1681 at Wallau.
Wallau is 10 kilometers south-east of Weisebaden, Germany. Although
the church books begin in 1658, most of them are in poor condition
and some are partially destroyed.
According to the church records of Wallau, Hans Laux and Anna Catharina Ruhl had
the following children :
1. Jacob Laux, confirmed as the son of the late Hans Laux in
1667. He md. 8 Jan. 1678 Elisabetha Margreta Stiglitz at
2. JOHANN VALENTINE LAUX, confirmed as the son of the late
John Laux in 1672 at the age of 13 in Wallau, md. 8 Nov.
1681 at Wallau Hesse- Darmstadt, Prussia (now Germany) ANNA
CATHARINA RUHL, who was confirmed in 1670 as the
daughter of Henrich Ruhl & Elisabeth Schneider.
A note in the Wallau church records states that Velten Laux with his
wife and four children went to Ireland in 1708 because they couldn't
go to the New Land.
to the records of Wallau, JOHANN VALENTIN~ LAUX and his
wife, ANNA CATHARINE RUHL, had the following children:
1. Johann Jacob Laux, chr. as Johan Jacobum 5 Apr. 1683 at Wallau; md. 29 Oct.
1709 at Wallau Anna Elizabeth Stemler; d. before 24 June 1711.
2. (daughter) Laux, chr. at Wallau & d. 19 Jan. 1685 at Wallau.
3. Elisabetha Margaretha Laux, chr. 21 Dec. 1686 Wallau; bur. 20 June 1690 at
4. Johann Reinhardt Laux, chr. 12 Trin., 1689 at Wallau. NFI
5. Johann Abraham Laux, chr. Dom. Invocavit. 1691 Wallau; confirmed at
Wallau in 1702, aged 15 yrs; md.
Marie Catherine Becker in 1710 in New York.
6. Johann Michael Laux, chr. 5 June 1694 Wallau; d. 19 Nov. 1695.
+7. Elisabeth Catharine Laux, chr. 7 Oct. 1696 at Wallau; md. Johann
Michael Schauer in 1717.
8. Elisabeth Christina Laux, chr. abt. 1700 at Wallau. Her baptism record isn't
found in the badly damaged church books. She md. 11 Apr. 1720 Johannes Van
Hoesen at East
Camp, Albany, New York.
ELISABETH CATHARINE LAUX OR LOUCKS,
was chr. 7 Oct. 1696 at
Wallau, HessnaDarmstadt, Prussia (now Germany), the daughter of
Johann Valentine Laux & Anna Catharina Ruhl; bur. 17 Sept. 1772; md.
abt. 1717 in Albany Co., N.Y., JOHANN MICHAEL SCHAUER or Shower, chr.
30 May 1699 at Massenbach, three kilometers north of Schwaihern
Germany, the son of Michael & Magdalena Schawerin.
He left a will dated 17 Nov. 1771 and probated 26 Aug. 1772 in Berks Co.,
had the following children:
1. Johann Adam Schauer; md. (1) unknown &
(2) 16 June 1748 Elisabeth Koch; will dated 27 June 1762 &
probated 21 Aug. 1762.
2. Elisabetha Schauer, chr. 1 Feb. 1720 Tar Boss; chr,. Loonenburg.
+3. Catharina Schauer; md. 30 Aug.
1743 at Heidelberg - Henrich Frey.
4. Magdalena Schauer; md. 13 June 1744 Johann Henrich Fiedler (Fitler).
5. Anna Maria Schauer, chr. 19 Nov. 1730 at Heidelberg. NFI
6. Maria Catharina Schawer; named in father's will.
7. Anna Christina Schawer; named in father's will.
8. Ephrosina Schawer; named in father's will.
9. Sybilla Schawer; named in father's will.
10. Susanna Schawer; named in father's will.
11. Eva Schawer; named in father's will.