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Chapter Twenty


HYLER COLORING BOOK

My very Own Old Broad Bay Maine
HYLER FAMILY
German Ancestors Coloring Book

Illustrated by Marné Whitaker Tuttle Research by Wilford W. "Will" Whitaker

Name: ___________________ Date: ______
German Ancestor Coloring Book
November 2000 Third Printing

Copyright © 2000/2004

More copies of this book can be obtained by writing to the company listed below.

Write or call Wilford W. Whitaker at:
Willy's Wizened Wizards
6094 So. Glenoaks Drive
Murray, UT 84107-7661
(801) 263-0432 - E-mail: wilford.whitaker@comcast.net


Hello, there. My name is Presca Hyler. I am one of your great grandmothers, who came to America from Germany. My husband is Major Haunce Robinson, of Cushing, Maine. He was the son of Dr. Moses Robinson and Mary Fitzgerald, of Cushing, Maine.

“We have lived a full life. Oh, it hasn't been easy. It's been a lot of hard work. But we have shared in the good times and the hard times. And we have been in America!”

"I have lived in this cabin all my married life, with my husband Major Haunce Robinson. We had nine children born to us in this cabin. My life has revolved around our small home and farm. In America, they call me Priscilla. Papa left Switzerland and Germany so we could have a better life, so we could raise our children on our own farm. It worked for us."

“But I’m getting ahead of my story. This is my Papa and Momma, Hans Conrad Hyler (1683-1746) who was 59 years old when they sailed to America, and Maria Barbara Renck, who was about 42 years old, and was Papa’s second wife.”

“Papa was born on a farm two kilometers outside Neftenbaech, Zuerich, Switzerland. The farm was called Odenhof and meant old farm. It was on the side of a hill and overlooked the valley and the town of Neftenbaech. His father was Bernhard Heyler and his mother was Barbara Hoeneysen.

“In those days, most people lived in the towns and villages, with a barn under their house, but papa and momma lived in a large house 2 kilometers from town.

They had two large barns on the farmstead. My uncle Bernhard and his large family lived in another big house close to Momma and Papa and they used the second barn.”

“The old Lutheran Church in Neftenbaech has been replaced but it has always been the center of the town’s activities. It sits on a small hill in the middle of town. The streets are quite narrow. When papa heard of cheap land available in Germany, he decided to move to Oberwossingen, Durenbuchig, Baden, Germany. The land was available because so many people had been killed in the wars or had moved away.

“Papa was christened when he was two days old in the old Lutheran Evangelical Church in Neftenbaech. It was a very festive occasion, when everyone dressed up in their best clothes and friends and family came from all over to participate in the celebration. Papa belonged to the group that was called ‘Calvinists’ because of they way they worshiped. Mama belonged to the group called ‘Reformists’. They came to America to worship freely.

“I was born in Oberwoessingen, Baden, Germany, where Papa and Momma had come to take advantage of cheap land. But it was hard work and with such a large family, they barely made ends meet.”

“We lived in a house in the town, as did all the rest of the people. Most of them were farmers, and kept their animals under their houses. But other people lived in the town, the bakers and the shoemakers, the tailors and the hatters, the blacksmith and the cooper, the ‘burgomasters’ or town leaders, with the ‘pfarrer’, the minister.”

“Yes, we were happy in Germany, but the wars . . . . Mama didn’t want her boys being drafted into some despot Prince’s army, and Papa wanted a better life for all of us. That’s when they began planning and saving for an eventual trip to America. They prayed to God to preserve them in their plans and their anticipated trip.”

“This part of Germany, with its rolling hills, and rich vineyards and lush fields were beautiful and green. It was here great armies had tramped back and forth for decades.”

“All up and down the Rhine River, powerful princes had their rugged castles built on high hill tops overlooking the passes and river. Some would even run heavy chains across the river, forcing the boats to stop and pay a “toll” or “tax”. Petty officials would gather the money, sometimes forcing the travelers to pay a “bribe” to get them to approve.

“Papa and Uncle Bernard Hyler went to Wuertzburg to pay their ‘manumission’ tax or to buy their freedom from their prince, so they could travel to America. It took them five years to raise enough money for both their families could leave Germany.

We drifted and sailed down the Neckar river to meet at Mannheim, located where the Neckar River runs into the Rhine, where we met other immigrants coming down the Rhine.

“A model of a Dorstense-aak. It was at Mannheim that we transferred from our smaller boats to larger boats to carry us down the Rhine River to Rotterdam, Holland.” “It took us a long time to sail down the Rhine River and we spent most of our money just coming down the river, stopping at palaces and paying taxes. Papa and Uncle Bernhard had to “indenture” themselves to pay our way over to America. That means they agreed to work for Col. Waldo and Zuebuhler, who would then pay our passage to America.

“As we finally sailed into Rotterdam, we could see the dock and the shipping center of Rotterdam, which was one of the great seaports of this time. We thought it was so peaceful and beautiful, but quickly got caught up in the hustle and bustle of the times.”

We were met at the Rotterdam docks by Sebastian Zueberbuhler, who was also a Swiss, and was the agent for Col. Samuel Waldo, who had made such promises to the German Immigrants that we were all anxious to be on our way.

“Then we caught our first glimpse of the ship Lydia, weighing at anchor alongside the docks. It was a grand and thrilling sight, the largest ship any of us had seen. The docks were busy as the ship’s crew was loading supplies and baggage into its hold.

“I was three years old as I clung to my mother’s leg on the dock at Rotterdam. She was holding my younger brother and Papa was helping load our baggage onto the ship. I don’t remember much of that journey across the ocean, but it seems like I can remember it because we have discussed it so much through the years.”

“The good ship Lydia sailed from Rotterdam 19 Aug 1742. A law had been passed that all ships to America had to first touch in England, so our Captain James Abercrombie sailed from Rotterdam to Deal, England, which had no harbor, so ships anchored off-shore and the captain used the ship’s boat to go ashore. On the second day at sea, our ‘pfarrar’, Rev. Tobias Wagner, held the first Sabbath service at sea. The captain had decided to go “north about” which would take us north of the British Isles. We had to “tack” frequently as the winds were generally blowing from the northwest. We kept well off the shore of England and Scotland. “Captain Abercrombie kept well off the shore of the Hebrides Islands as he neared the 60th parallel, then headed southwest, also keeping well off the coast of Ireland. The crew took frequent “soundings” because these were “shoal” waters that were not too deep. On the ninth day at sea, a Sabbath, Rev. Wagner told us the story of Jonah from the Old Testament and contrasted us as being “cast away at sea and under the protection of God, our Father.”

“We continued on a southwest “tack” until the 32nd day when the captain ordered an almost due west course, the Crew and Passengers cheered, as we realized we were getting so close to our destination near Boston, at Marblehead. We were on the ‘last leg’ of our journey. Here we passed the “Grand Banks” and saw quite a few small fishing boats and as we crossed into shallow waters, the crew had to take many ‘soundings’ again. “With great anticipation, our tiny band approached their last Sabbath at sea. People had become upset with Rev. Wagner, because of his imperious ways, and thought he had to be waited on by everyone. But feelings became better as we realized we only had a few more days at sea. Rev. Wagner gave his last sermon at sea and Mamma (and others) cried as they repacked their trunks and baggage and prepared for disembarkation.” “At Marblehead there was a great celebration in our honor and celebrities greeted us with breads and cheese and fresh milk and eggs. It was a wonderful time. Then we sailed for the St. Georges River (where the Robinson family was) with settlers and supplies bound for there. Then we would sail down the St. Georges and out to sea again, working our way through the many islands, until we reached the Madamak River and our destination of Broad Bay (now Waldoboro, Maine).”

“The storms on the ocean were most frightful. We couldn’t build fires so we were cold and hungry. Everything was so wet, our clothes, our blankets, everything so cold and damp. The ship tossed and leaned so much, we thought surely we would be buried in the sea. And sick! Momma said she had never been so sick as when she was at sea.”

“But on the clear days, it was enchanting, with the clouds scudding overhead, the wind in the sails, the bow of the ship cutting through the waves, and the chanty of the seamen in our ears as they fought to take advantage of every inch of canvas to hurry us on our way.

“We landed in Marblehead on 28 Sep 1742 on a beautiful day. There was a celebration in our honor as dignitaries and townspeople greeted us with breads and cheese, and fresh eggs and milk. Momma was afraid to leave the ship, but she wanted to stand on firm ground, so she gathered all of us around her and we shakily walked off the ship onto solid ground.

“We landed in Marblehead on 28 Sep 1742 on a beautiful day. There was a celebration in our honor as dignitaries and townspeople greeted us with breads and cheese, and fresh eggs and milk. Momma was afraid to leave the ship, but she wanted to stand on firm ground, so she gathered all of us around her and we shakily walked off the ship onto solid ground.

We soon left Marblehead and sailed for St. Georges River. I didn’t know it at the time but we sailed right past Haunce Robinson’s home in Cushing! Little did I realize I would be coming back to live on the St. George River in Cushing in a beautiful bay of the river. Everything was so new to us, the dark forests coming right down to the river. We children eagerly looked for the wildmen of the forest, the Indians. But never saw any, though we thought we had.

“After dropping off some Scottish passengers and baggage and supplies for Col. Waldo’s Scots-rish settlement on the St. Georges River, we then sailed back down the St. Georges River and wound through the many islands until we reached the next river west, the Medomak River, where the Old Broad Bay settlement was supposed to be. I could feel the excitement of everyone as they tried to arrange their belongings and get them unloaded.

“Papa and the other men had been promised that they would be coming into a settled town, where there would be houses waiting for their families, a school house, and a church. Instead of a “land of milk and honey”, they were unloaded into a forbidding wilderness that took every bit of strength to provide for themselves and families.”

“Besides having to build shelters, provide for the coming winter, and find food for his family, Papa often had to fight off ferocious Indians who resented the white man’s encroachment of his land.”

“Several times in the next few years, we were literally burned out of house and home. We had to ‘stock-up’ at the blockhouse, which was built especially for our protection. I can still hear in my ears the awful, blood-curdling screams of the red men as they sought to destroy us.”

“Almost half of our company died that first, hard winter. Someone died out of almost every family and some families lost several members to cold, and hunger and exhaustion. It was “hard scrabble times”. This little cemetery is still on the banks of this small creek, just above the Medomak river.”

“Everyone had to help. We picked wild berries, dug for clams, dug out wild root plants, caught fish, which were plentiful and helped the men catch lobsters and helped Momma in many different ways.”

“On Sundays, we would meet in each other’s houses and follow the old Lutheran Psalter and sing songs, responses and listen to the word of God preached by our Lay Pastor, Capt. John Ulmer.”

“As I grew older, I remember meeting Haunce Robinson for the first time, when his father Dr. Moses Robinson visited our family. Dr. Robinson acted as a “liason” (go-between) between the Scots-Irish on the St. Georges river and the German Immigrants on the Medomak river.”

“Well, Haunce and I were married when I was just 16 years old. I was scared and jittery, but excited, too, starting off on our own like that. I knew Haunce would be a good provider as he was a hunter, a woodsman, a farmer, and even owned his own ship which he sailed. He was well-known to everyone around there and even in Boston and Marblehead.

“Haunce is carrying a bucket of coals so we can start a fire in our new log cabin. Papa said I was a beautiful bride and I was so happy he could be at our wedding. But I was worried and afraid that Papa would not be with us much longer. He was always tired and worn out. That first winter, when he worked so hard just to provide shelter and food for us really exhausted him. He was never as strong after that. And now he’s over 60 years old. Momma is worried, too.”

“Well, it seems the years passed in a flash. In no time at all, we had a large, noisy family, and our little cabin had become a home. Your ancestor Simeon Robinson, named after my youngest brother, was born here, at the water’s edge, in Cushing, Lincoln County, Maine. Of course, this was a long time ago, before Maine was even a state, but was part of Massachusetts.

“Well, we started out in Switzerland, moved to Germany, and then to America. It was an exhilarating trip! Our son Simeon Robinson married my brother Simeon Hyler and Nancy Handley’s girl, Hannah Hyler, and they had your ancestor, this little boy who became Captain John Robinson, who would join the Mormon Church and go out west with the Mormon pioneers. But that is another story, and another time. Love, your great-grandma, Prisca. [Priscilla]”

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