Category Archives: Heinrich Zumbrun

Genealogy of the Zumbrunnen/Zumbrun Family that First Immigrated to America

Around the early-to-mid 1600s, a number of people named Zumbrunnen lived in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany (at the time, this was the Duchy of Württemberg, a part of the Holy Roman Empire) which was immediately to the north of Switzerland. The Zumbrunnen family appear to have come to this region at the very end of the Thirty Years’ War. The war completely devastated this region, and about 2/3rds of the native population died. When the war ended, migrants flooded the region to rebuild. There’s no evidence the family has early roots in Germany, so the founder was likely a Swiss emigrant who came at the end of the war or the beginning of the rebuilding process.

This family never became large. Many Swiss migrants disliked Germany and found the opportunities lacking. The children or grandchildren of these migrants, disconnected from their homeland, often migrated again. So it was with Heinrich Zumbrun, person #8 in the genealogy below. Read more …

The Zumbrunnen Family in Lutheran Church Records in Baden-Württemberg

Beginning in 1716, the church kept a detailed handwritten record of attendees at church services. The first list here seems to be people who took communion at the Epiphany service.

Beginning in 1716, the church kept a detailed handwritten record of attendees at church services. The first list here seems to be people who took communion at the Epiphany service.

In the early 1700s, a small Zumbrunnen family was living in Baden-Württemberg, the German state just to the north of Switzerland. This post is an overview of the records pertaining to this family found in the church book of the Lutheran Parish Waldtann, located outside the town of Crailsheim, Germany.

This book includes baptisms, marriages, deaths, and church attendance. The attendance records begin in 1716 and almost immediately there are at least four different Zumbrunnens in the church books: Johann Peter (Petrus) Zumbrunnen, Anna Ursula Zumbrunnen, Balthasar Zumbrunnen and Barbara Zumbrunnen.[1]

The handwritten records can be very hard to read. The surname appears to be written variously as Zumbrunnen, Zumbrunnenin, Zumbrunn, and Zumbrunnin. (German-speakers in this region added “-in” to women’s surnames in this era). Sometimes there’s a space after Zum and sometimes not. Later in the records, they tend to favor the shorter spellings. These records support the theory that the family was originally named Zumbrunnen and that this branch truncated the spelling in the early 1700s.

The records contain detailed attendance lists that appear to be the people who took communion at the major holidays like Advent, Pentecost, and so on.

Balthasar and Barbara appear to have been in the front row for attendance at Pentecost in 1726. Note her name appears to be written as Zumbrunnenin and she's identified as a widow.

Balthasar and Barbara appear to have been in the front row for attendance at Pentecost in 1726. Note her name appears to be written as Zumbrunnenin and she’s identified as a widow.

In 1729, for the first time, we find a new name in these records: Johann Heinrich Zumbrunnen. Johann Heinrich Zumbrunn was the immigrant ancestor of the Zumbrun family in America. He was married in Schwegenheim, Germany in 1749, but prior to his marriage, neither Heinrich nor any other Zumbrun was listed in their church books. Heinrich’s hometown was somewhere else. These records have finally revealed where.
Read more …

Three Oral Traditions About the First Zumbrun in America

The nature of family oral traditions is that they’re a little bit unreliable. Like an inter-generational game of telephone, details get invented, or are misremembered. Sometimes grandma and grandpa invent stories out of nothing to entertain children, that then get passed along as gospel. The story your friend tells you about how he’s 1/32nd Cherokee? It’s probably false.

Zumbruns don’t seem to believe they’re Cherokee Princes, but I’m aware of three oral traditions about the family in the 1700s. What follows are the legends I’ve found, and an analysis of their accuracy.

Read more …

Known Records of Heinrich Zumbrun and Maria Eva Lehr

Heinrich Zumbrun and Eva Lehr are the immigrant parents of the Zumbrun family in America. It is my belief that everyone who spells the family name Zumbrun or Zumbrum is descended from this couple. (People with the spelling Zumbrunn or Zumbrunnen are from branches of the family that immigrated separately.)

This is an overview of all the known records pertaining to this couple.

First, church records for a Lutheran Church in Schwegenheim, Germany show a large Lehr family, including a Maria Eva Lehrin, daughter of Sebastian Lehr and Anna Lehrin. In Germany at the time it was common for grammatical reasons to add an “-in” to female’s last names, so Lehrin and Lehr are the same family (as are Zumbrunnin and Zumbrunn).[1]

Read more …

Original Sources: the Passenger List and Ship Registry for the Ship “Brothers”

If you’ve researched Zumbrun genealogy much you may have stumbled across some of these ship records, and not totally known what to make of them due to some unusual terminology and the fact they’re often presented without much context. Information about the ship “Brothers” and its voyages is posted in a few places online, but with some errors in the descriptions. This post is meant to explain the full context behind these records.

The ship "Brothers" registered in 1749

The ship “Brothers” registered in 1749

“Brothers” was a 110-ton ship, built in Philadelphia. It was co-owned by its captain, William Muir of Borrowstoness, and John Stedman of London, according to the ship registers in the Port of Philadelphia. Stedman, along with his brothers Charles and Alex were prominent shipping magnates in Philadelphia.

The ship submitted several pieces of paperwork each time it arrived in Philadelphia. “Brothers” made the Trans-Atlantic voyage at least 5 times, from 1750 to 1754. On all five journeys the ship sailed from Rotterdam, made a last call at Cowes on the Isle of Wight (to restock supplies and pay various customs) in England and then sailed for America. Departure dates are available from either Rotterdam or Cowers.

In 1750, “Brothers” departed Cowes on June 23 and arrived in Philadelphia on August 24, with 91 men and 271 total pasengers. In 1751, “Brothers” departed Cowes on July 10 and arrived September 16, with 94 men and 246 total passengers. In 1752, “Brothers” departed Cowes on June 24 and arrived September 22, 1752 with 83 men and 245 total passengers. In 1753, “Brothers” departed Cowes on July 30 and arrived September 26, with 91 men and 268 total passengers. In 1754, “Brothers” departed Rotterdam on July 31, called in Cowes, and arrived in Philadelphia on September 30, 1754.

For a narrative account of Heinrich’s journey, read this post:
The Voyage of Heinrich Zumbrun, the First Zumbrun in America

When it first arrived at port, doctors inspected the passengers to make sure they didn’t have any infectious diseases. Sick immigrants had to remain on ship a few days, or go to a nearby hospital (on an island named Fisher Island which no longer exists and is part of the Philadelphia Airport), until they were well enough to enter. The immigrants on the subsequent lists were thus healthy (at least to the eye) upon their arrival in Philadelphia. For its 1754 voyage, “Brothers” was inspected the same day as another ship named “Edinburgh.”

This was the medical certification on September 30, 1754:

We have carefully examined the State of Health of the Mariners and Passengers on board the Ships Brothers & Edinburgh, Capts Muir & Russel and found no objection to their being admitted to land in the City immediately.

To his Honour
The Governour
Tho. Graeme
Th. Bond

For the 1754 voyage all three of the required lists remain (for many other immigrant ships, some or all of these lists are lost).

The first list was compiled by Captain Muir. He was Scottish and so his List A probably gives an idea of what the names sounded like to him. Therefore, for example, “Sombroun” is likely a phonetic spelling of how Heinrich Zumbrun pronounced his name. The captain also listed their ages.

The second and third lists are, in fact, a transcribed list of these men’s signatures that were taken at the Pennsylvania State House immediately after they left their ship. You can see a facsimile of the original signatures here, pages 705-708. The parentheses indicate someone who was illiterate and therefore gave their name to a clerk and signed with their mark or initial.

The first (List B) was an oath of loyalty to England and the second (List C) an oath of abjuration from the Pope and from the Stuart pretenders. (Women and children didn’t have to sign.) This wasn’t a disavowal of the Pope, per se, but rather a list of instructions like that you couldn’t kill someone on the pope’s behalf. I included the full text of the oaths at the very bottom of this post for those curious.

The differences in spelling between List B and List C are largely attributable to sloppy handwriting resulting in different transcriptions. The order of names is just literally the order in which the men walked off the boat and through the clerk’s office. This is sometimes significant; when groups of people traveled together, their leader (often a pastor) went first.

At the top of List C the following information was recorded about the ship:

At the State House of Philadelphia, Monday, the 30th September, 1754
Present: The Worshipful Charles Willing, Esquire, Mayor
The Foreigners whose Names are underwritten, imported in the Ship Brothers, Captn William Muir, from Rotterdam and last from Cowes, did this day take the usual Qualifications. 7 Roman Catholicks. 23 Mennonites. 250 Souls. 210 Freights. 101 Qualified. Palatinate & Mentz.

The “101 Qualified” is the number of healthy men. The “210 freights” is the number of paying adult men and women who made the journey, meaning there was a total of 109 paying customers who were women, sick men or older children. And 250 is the number of total passengers (thus this ship had 40 young children who arrived). Only the adult men were recorded in these lists.

Here are the three lists. The men on board the ship remained in their line.

List A List B List C
Johannes Bartolome Smith 48 Johannes Smict Johannes Bartelmi Schmi[t]
Hans Yerrick Waber 17 Johann Georg Humbert Johann Georg Humbert
Jacob Stome 27 Johann Jacob Stamm Johann Jacob Stamm
Hannes Miller 20 Hans (M) Miller Johannes (M) Miller
Philip Spoad 42 Fillippus Jacob Spath Fillippus Jacob Spath
Peter Haan 46 Johann Peter Hahn Johann Peter Hahn
Yerrick Chris. Diver 39 Georg Christoph Dauber Georg Christoph Dauber
Hannes Haller 44 Johannes Aller Johannes Aller
Conrad Wagner 29 Conrad (X) Wagner Conrad (X) Wagner
Daniel Saunder 32 Daniel Sander Daniel Sander
John Conrad Smith 19 Johann Conradt Schmidt Johann Conrad Schmidt
Conrad Michael 25 Conrad (O) Michael Conrad (O) Mercky
Hendk. Wickman 18 Henry (x) Wickman Henry (+) Weidman
Johannes Klayn 23 Johannes Klein Johannes Klein
Johan Klynman 30 Johann Diehl Kleinman Johann Diehl Kleinman
Jacob Bernard 34 Jacob Bernard Jacob Bernard
John Baltzar Smith 42 Johann Balthas Schmidt Johann Balthas Schmidt
William Stout 19 William (X) Stout Wilhelm (X) Staut
Johan Christian Hauh 45 Johan Christ Hoch Johan Christ Hoch ?
John Jerrick Licker 30 Gerge (X) Licher J. George (X) Lucker
Hugh Storleig 30 Johann Jost Ulick ? Johan Jost [Ul[ick]
John Deal 45 Johann Tiel Werss Johann Tiel Werss
John Peter Wert 17 Johann Petter Petter Werss Johohnn Petter Wersch
Hans Jacob Gist 45 Hanns Jacob Geist Hanns Jacob Geist
Jerrick Kooh 27 Johan Kohl Johann Gerg Kol
Carel Hendk. Kaufman 36 Carl Heinrich Jacob Kauffman Carl Heinrich Jacob Kauffman
Hans Jerrick Spies 28 Johann Gorg Spies Johann Gorg Spies
Johannes Shodell 33 Johannes Schadel Johannes Schadel
Johannes Keemill 20 Johann Nicolaus Kimel Johann Nicoclaus Kimmel
Michl. Rich 44 Michael (O) Rust Michael (O) Rash
Jacob Hoober 16 Jacob (X) Hoober Jacob (X) Huber
John Lodwk. Hansetter 38 Johann Ludwig Ernst Schiller Johann Ludwig Ernst Schiller
Hendk. Graft 19 Henrig Graf Henrich Graff
Valentine Moll 27 Valentin Noldt Valentin Noldt
Abm. Elinger 22 Abraham Mellinger Abraham Mellinger
Jacob Sneevly 37 Jacob (X) Sneveley Jacob (X) Shnable
Hannes Hershberger 21 Johannes Herschberger Johannes Herschberger
Johannes Keeney 23 Johannes Kuny Johannes Kuny
Hannes Acker 18 Johannes Eicher Johannes Eicher
Michel Sholtz 30 Georg Michel Schultz Gorg Michel Schultz
Johannes Varo 20 Johannes Forrer Johannes Forrer
Abm. Haackman 27 Abraham Hackman Abraham Hackmann
Abm. Browbacker* 21 —- —- —- —-
Jacob Browbacker 21 Johann Jacob Prubacher Johann Jacob Prubacher
Jacob Browbacker 29 Jacob Prubacher Jacob Prubacher
Johannes Spery 26 Johannes Schori Johannes Schori
Peter Witsell 18 Peter (+) Witsell Peter (X) Weitzel
Adam Witsell 20 Adam (XX) Witsell Anthony (XX) Weitzel
Christopal Weaver 46 Steffan (++) Weber ‘Steffan Weber
Frans Burger 44 —- —- Frantz (++) Burghart
Michel Burger 18 Michael (XX) Burger Michael (++) Burghart
Jurig Lodwk. Mitinger 33 Georg Ludwig Meittinger Georg Ludwig Meittinger
John Chris Trump 26 Johan Christian Trump Johan Christian Trump
John Jorick Sip 50 Hans Gerg (X) Sip Hans Gorg (X) Ziebf
Joseph Sip 18 Joseph Ziepf Joseph Ziepf
Casper Waggner 15 Caspar Wagner Caspar Wagner
Fredk. Baker 43 Friederich Becher Friedrich Becher
Agustus Strack 30 Augustus Schaad Augustus Schaad
Hendk. Sombroun 36 Heinrich Zum Brun Henrich Zum Brun
Johan Wolfgan Mering 23 Johann Wolfgang Mohring Johann Wolfgang Mohring
Christian Woltz 23 Christian (X) Waltz Christian (X) Wolst
Johannes Righart 33 Johannes Ritschhart Johannes Ritschhart
Hans Milltour 18 Hans Mullidaler Hans Mullidaler
Jacob Phister 22 Jacob Pfister Jacob Pfister
Baltzar Rimer 40 Balthasar Reimer Balthaser Reimer
Peter Phister 46 Beter Pfister Peter Pfister
Christian Eyeger 46 Christian Eicher Christian Eicher
Daniel Ott 30 Daniel Ott Daniel Ott
Valentine Orledig 30 Valentin Urlettig Valentin Urlettig
Abm. Plystain 26 Abraham Blinstein Abraham Bleistein
Yerrick Demer 19 Johann Georg Diemer Johann Georg Diemer
Hans Jerrick Grous 31 Hanns Georg Krauss Hans Georg Krauss
Fredk. Andreas 30 Frederick (+) Andreas Friederich (X) Andereas
Valentine Weabel 17 Valentin Webel Johann Valentin Webel
Hans Jacob Shafner 30 Hans Jacob Schafner Hans Jacob Schaffner
David Hungerbalt 23 David (X) Hungerbalt Davit (+) Hungerberer
Christian Witmer 31 Johann Christian Wittmr Johan Christian Wittmer
Jacob Witmer 23 Jacob Wittmer Job. Jacob Wittmer
Christoffel Folgart 18 Christofel Volckerth Christofel Volckarth
Joseph Leaman 21 Joseph Leman Joseph Leman
Jacob Dedwiller 21 Jacob Dettweiller Jacob Dettweiler
Martin Herman 29 Martin (X) Herman Martin (X) Herman
Adam Kundell 30 Adam Kuntel Adam Kuntel
Philip Metskar 31 Philip (X) Metzker Philip (X) Metzger
Johannes Frye 34 Joannes Frey Joannes Frey
Christian Hoober 24 Christian Huber Christian Huber
Johannis Miller 20 Johannes Muller Johannes Muller
Abm. Strickler 40 Aberham Strickler Aberham Strickler
Oswald Andreas 30 Oswald Andreas Oswald Andreas
Jacob Baker 27 Jacob Becker Jacob Becker
Leonard Crombie 22 Leonard (X) Crombie Leonhart (X) Krumbein
Jurig Baker 20 Johann Gorg Becker Johann Gorg Becker
Peter Fry 33 Peter Frey Peter Frey
Hans Michl. Kopenhavish 42 Hanns Michel Koppenhoffer Hanns Michel Koppenhaffer
Vindle Gilbert 28 Wendel (W) Gilbert Wendal (W) Gilbert
Ulrich Hessleman 20 Ulrich (O) Heshleman Wilhelm 0 Asheiman
Henry Histant 23 Henrich Hiestant Henrich Hiestant
Johannes Seyts 20 Johannes Seiths Johannes Seiths
Philip Baas 20 Filp As Filb As
Joseph Bybykoffer 30 Joseph Bubikofer Joseph Bubikofer
Casper Knob 29 —- —- Caspar (H) Knag
Johanes Hans not given H. Johannes Kantz Johannes Kantz

List B was signatures attached to this (it’s unclear to me whether a process was in place to translate this or if the immigrants were ready to sign anything at this point) Oath of Loyalty to King George II:

We Subscribers, Natives and Late Inhabitants of the Palatinate upon the Rhine & Places adjacent, having transported ourselves and Families into this Province of Pensilvania, a Colony subject to the Crown of Great Britain, in hopes and Expectation of finding a Retreat & peaceable Settlement therein, Do Solemnly promise & Engage, that We will be faithful & bear true Allegiance to his present MAJESTY KING GEORGE THE SECOND, and his Successors, Kings of Great Britain, and will be faithful to the Proprietor of this Province; And that we will demean ourselves peaceably to all His said Majesties Subjects, and strictly observe & conform to the Laws of England and of this Province, to the utmost of our Power and best of our understanding.”

For List C there were two oaths, reproduced verbatim below. The first, an abjuration from the Pope:

I A B do solemly & sincerely promise & declare that I will be true & faithful to King George the Second and do solemnly sincerely and truly Profess Testifie & Declare that I do from my Heart abhor, detest & renounce as impious & heretical that wicked Doctrine & Position that Princes Excommunicated or deprived by the Pope or any Authority of the See of Rome may be deposed or murthered by their Subjects or any other whatsoever. And I do declare that no Forreign Prince Person Prelate State or Potentate hath or ought to have any Power Jurisdiction Superiority Preeminence or Authority Ecclesiastical or Spiritual within the Realm of Great Britain or the Dominions thereunto belonging.

The second of the List C oaths, which was an abjuration from the Stuart pretenders. Even if this one were translated into German, it’s hard to imagine our immigrants having any clue what to make of it:

I A B do solemnly sincerely and truly acknowledge profess testify & declare that King George the Second is lawful & rightful King of the Realm of Great Britain & of all others his Dominions & Countries thereunto belonging, And I do solemnly & sincerely declare that I do believe the Person pretending to be the Prince of Wales during the Life of the late King James, and since his Decease pretending to be & taking upon himself the Stile & Title of King of England by the Name of James the third, or of Scotland by the Name of James the Eighth or the Stile & Title of King of Great Britain hath not any Right or Title whatsoever to the Crown of the Realm of Great Britain, nor any other the Dominions thereunto belonging. And I do renounce & refuse any Allegiance or obedience to him & do solemnly promise that I will be true and faithful, & bear true allegiance to King George the Second & to him will be faithful against all traiterous Conspiracies & attempts whatsoever which shall be made against his Person Crown & Dignity & I will do my best Endeavours to disclose & make known to King George the Second & his Successors all Treasons and traiterous Conspiracies which I shall Know to be made against him or any of them. And I will be true & faithful to the Succesion of the Crown against him the said James & all other Persons whatsoever as the same is & stands settled by An Act Entituled An Act declaring the Rights & Liberties of the Subject & settling the Succession of the Crown to the late Quenn Anne & the Heirs of her Body being Protestants, and as the same by one other Act Entituled an Act for the further Limitation of the Crown & better securing the Rights & Liberties of the subject is & stands settled & entailed after the Decease of the said late Queen, * for Default of Issue of the said late Queen, to the late Princess Sophia Electoress & Dutchess Dowager of Hanover & the Heirs of her Body being Protestants; and all these things I do plainly & sincerely acknowledge promise & declare according to these express Words by me spoken & according to the plain & common Sense and understanding of the same Words, without any Equivocation mental Evasion or secret Reservation whatsoever. And I do make this Recognition Acknowledgment Renunciation & Promise heartily willingly & truly.

The Voyage of Heinrich Zumbrun, the First Zumbrun in America

In the summer of 1754, our ancestor Heinrich Zumbrun and about 250 other passengers boarded the ship “Brothers” in Rotterdam in South Holland, under the command of a Scotsman named William Muir. This is the story of what we know about Heinrich’s voyage to became the first Zumbrun in America.

The “German” Immigrant Wave

The American colonies in the 1700s were eager to grow their populations to harvest a nearly endless supply of fertile soil. The population of Philadelphia was only about 15,000 to 25,000 in the 1700s, far too few people to take full advantage of the abundance of the New World. A massive immigration of German-speakers of the Rhine Valley (also known as Palatines) to Pennsylvania began in the early 1700s. By the 1750s when Heinrich boarded his ship, over 5,000 German speakers were arriving to Philadelphia each year.

We don’t know Heinrich’s reasons for leaving Europe. In the early 1700s, the first German-speaking immigrants often traveled in large groups of extended families that belonged to the same persecuted religion. But by the 1750s when Heinrich Zumbrun traveled, the immigrants were more likely to be individual families traveling for other reasons. Immigration slowed when periods of war disrupted Europe: 1733′s War of Polish Succession, the War of Austrian Succession in the mid-1740s, the Seven Year’s War beginning in Europe in 1756 (Heinrich got out just in time). Many of the immigrants traveling shortly after these slowdowns were essentially war refugees.

A note on “German”: these immigrants spoke German but the modern country of Germany did not exist at the time. The English called all the immigrants Palatines, though many were not actually from the modern German Palatinate. The regions that today are part of Germany were, in the 1700s, a fragmented patchwork of tiny little territories governed by different counts or princes or bishops, who owed allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire. Many of the “Palatines” were in fact German-speaking Swiss, distinctions that meant little to the English-speakers who ran the colonies.

The early German and Swiss immigrants genuinely thrived in the United States, so word traveled across the German-speaking world about this land of opportunity and religious freedom. Because there were profits to be made, Pennsylvania distributed promotional literature about its colony, and the shipping companies sent recruiters out from Rotterdam to persuade immigrants to make the journey. Recruiters traveled down the Rhine River (the most convenient way to venture deep into continental Europe) and make presentations about the colonies. Many Palatines needed little convincing.

The Journey
Immigrants like Heinrich would leave in the spring or early summer to travel up the Rhine River to Rotterdam. They would stay in Rotterdam a few weeks or months before setting sail. Heinrich’s ship departed Rotterdam on July 31, 1754, and sailed to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. The ships typically took about a week to reach Cowes and then were there another week to clear the customs house (this was when the ships officially entered the English Empire) and stock up for the journey. Heinrich’s ship likely left Cowes around mid-August.

The journey to the New World typically lasted 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the weather and the conditions of the ocean. You can read a particularly harrowing account of the passage written by a contemporary of Heinrich’s named Gottlieb Mittelberger.

Heinrich’s passage was likely easier, however, as historians now believe Mittelberger both traveled under especially poor conditions on an overcrowded ship, and still exaggerated how bad it was. That said, about 3.8% of German immigrants in this era are estimated to have died on the voyage.

Heinrich’s ship arrived in Philadelphia with 250 passengers on board, so if his journey was average they would have set sail with about 260 passengers, 10 of whom died along the way. The journey was especially hard on children, about 9% of whom died. (While better than Mittelberger’s claim that children “rarely survive,” it would still have been a traumatic journey.)

Assuming a departure from Cowes of August 15, Heinrich’s ship “Brothers” appears to have sailed the Atlantic in under 7 weeks. On September 30, 1754, Heinrich’s ship disembarked in the Harbor of Philadelphia and his life in the new world began.

"Harbor of Philadelphia, seen from New Jersey Shore, based on Scull's Map of 1754" (From etching in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

“Harbor of Philadelphia, seen from New Jersey Shore, based on Scull’s Map of 1754″ (From etching in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

The Ship Records
We know Heinrich was on this particular ship because, in 1727, as German-speakers poured into Pennsylvania, the English became wary of the flood of immigrants (a recurring theme in American history), and required captains and the ports to start keeping arrival records. Before getting off the boat, the immigrants underwent a “health certification” to make sure they didn’t have infectious diseases. The certification for Heinrich’s ship reads:

Sept 30, 1754 Sir, We have carefully examined the State of Health of the Mariners and Passengers on board the ships Brothers and Edinburgh, Capts. Muir & Russel, and found no objection to their being admitted to land in the City immediately. To His Honour The Governour Tho. Graeme Th. Bond

Heinrich was healthy enough to leave the ship, and is thus recorded that same day on a handful of lists. (The sick passengers remained on the ship or went to a “hospital” on a nearby island in the Delaware River until well enough to enter Philadelphia.) According to Marianne Wokeck, a historian whose work I drew upon heavily in this blog post, these lists had two motivations:

The first was to appease the Englishmen’s traditional xenophobia to keep track of “different” peoples coming to live alongside them. The second was to establish a genuinely constructive, regulated first step towards eventual full citizenship for non-British immigrants by permitting settlers from places not under British rule to acquire, hold, and sell property.

The captain was required to keep a list that included all his passengers, their occupations, and their former place of residence. Sadly, most captains only followed part of this instruction. Muir only followed the instructions to record the names of adult men (though he also submitted their ages, which he wasn’t required to do; Heinrich gave his age as 36, making him born in 1717 or 1718).

Heinrich's signature disavowing the pope.

Heinrich’s signature of abjuration from the pope.

Then, the immigrants walked in a line to the Philadelphia State House to sign oaths, of allegiance to the British crown and of abjuration against the pope. Thus we have a copy of Heinrich’s signature written in his own hand, so know he was literate (and that he had better penmanship than most on his ship).

For more information on the ship records, see this related post:
Original Sources: The Passenger List and Registry for the Ship “Brothers”

The Price of Passage
Passage cost between 6 to 10 pounds sterling for adults, while fares for children were half price from ages 5 to 10, and free for those under 5. I’ll present evidence in a future post that Heinrich traveled with at least a wife and possibly two children, meaning that his fare would have been somewhere between 10 and 30 pounds sterling.

This was merely the cost of passage from Rotterdam to Philadelphia. Traveling from his home to Rotterdam, lodging and food in Rotterdam (an expensive city at the time) while waiting to sail, and fees in Philadelphia may have tripled the cost according to some estimates. In total, Heinrich’s journey must have cost between 30 to 90 pounds sterling.

It’s hard to convert currencies across centuries. A converter at this website suggest such a sum today would be around $7,000 to $20,000. Perhaps a better way to think about it is to consider that 1 pound sterling was around 450 grams of silver. A German laborer in the 1750s earned an average of just over 4 grams of silver a day according to data from the Global Price and Income History Group. Thus it would take nearly 100 days of labor to amass just one pound Sterling. It was a considerable sum.

There were three ways passengers made this trip:

  1. Those who could afford the trip were welcome to pay up front, and received a discount for doing so. (More precisely, passengers who did not pay up front were assessed additional fees in Philadelphia.)
  2. “Free-willers” were those of modest means who arranged with a ship captain or shipping company to repay the trip upon arriving in Philadelphia. Sometimes family members or a religious community could muster the necessary funds; other times they went into debt to the shipping company or its captain.
  3. “Indentured servants” were the poorest immigrants who went into debt before leaving home and often had the most onerous contracts to get out of.

I’ve found no record of Heinrich being any sort of indentured servant, so he may have somehow had the means to pay for the trip. Such records can be hard to find, and Heinrich may have begun toiling to repay his debts the day he arrived.

His motivations and means of funding the journey may be lost to time. But we know for certain that on September 30, 1754, Heinrich Zumbrun set foot on American soil after a long and arduous journey, and that because of him, the Zumbruns have been here ever since.

Some questions for further research

  • Are there records of Heinrich being an indentured servant or in debt from the voyage? The captain (William Muir) or shipping company (Stedman Brothers) may have had them.
  • Were any relatives, friends or associates of Heinrich among the other passengers?
  • Are there any records of Heinrich in Rotterdam?
  • What happened to the ship “Brothers”? What did it look like?

Sources