Chapter 2

Our Voyage To Pennsylvania 1738

Among the thousands who emigrated to America was Hans Jacob1 Ziegenfuss, and his family. He was born at Raidelbach, near Gadernheim (in the Bensheim area) on Dec. 20, 16912. By trade he was a baker and lived in the village of Beedenkirchen near Reichenbach in the Odenwald (Hesse) in the central western part of Germany. We do not know his reason for leaving Beedenkirchen and Germany for Pennsylvania. We do know that William Penn circulated many promotional tracts in many languages, describing the economic and governmental advantages of settling in Pennsylvania. A person could buy five thousand acres in Pennsylvania for the low price of 100 pounds. Smaller plots could be rented for a penny an acre. Those who could not pay their passage had to indenture themselves. They were promised fifty acres when their indenture was completed. Whatever his reason, Hans Jacob was probably one of the many who came to Pennsylvania as a result of Penn’s advertising.

Though the decision to go to Pennsylvania was difficult to make, the actual voyage was even more difficult and downright uncomfortable. Early in May of 1738 Hans Jacob (“Hans Jacob Seiefues” 44), his third wife Anna Elisabeth (“Anelies3 Seikefues” 30), and eight children: Anna Elisabetha (“Anles Teach” 28)4, Andrew (“Andreus Seiefues” 15), Kathryn (“Kattarin Seikefues” 12), Hans Christopher (“Hanen Christophele Seiefues” 10), Johann Jacob (“Hanen Jacob Seiefues” 6), Anna Maria (“Anna Maria Seikefus 5”), Paul (“Powell Seiefues” 4), and Hans Georg 5(“Haneriagh Seiefues” 3) set out for Pennsylvania.6 The entire trip to Philadelphia lasted from May to the end of October, a full half a year, amid such hardships as no one is able to describe adequately with their misery. The journey was made in three stages. First was the journey down the Rhine to Rotterdam, or some other port, lasting four to six weeks. For example, once on the Rhine River, boats from Heilbronn to Holland had to pass by 26 customs houses, at which all ships were examined when it suited the convenience of the customs officials. At each stop ships with people were detained so long that the passengers had to spend much money. After arriving in Holland, they were detained another five or 6 weeks and most people spent nearly all the money they had.

The second stage of the voyage was from Rotterdam to one of the English ports. At Rotterdam, Hans Jacob and family booked passage on the “Bilander Thistle” for Philadelphia. The ship’s captain was George Houston. The Thistle, like many other ships stopped at Cowes, on the Isle of Wright in the English Channel7. In England there was another delay of one or two weeks for both customs and favorable winds.

The third stage of the ocean voyage itself. with the very best winds, lasted seven weeks. Most voyages took between eight and twelve weeks and had much suffering and hardships. Most ships were overcrowded and lacked adequate food and water. They were subject to all sorts of diseases such as dysentery, scurvy, typhoid and small pox. When they reached the Delaware River and Philadelphia came into sight, another delay occurred. A health officer visited the ship. If any persons with infectious diseases were discovered on the ship, it was ordered to remove one mile from the city.

The Ziegenfuss family was most fortunate in its choice of a ship and their personal health. On October 28, 1738 Hans Jacob Ziegenfuss set foot on American soil and took the Oaths to the Government. We are fortunate that the Bilander Thistle listed the ages of the passengers along with their names8. On the unfortunate side, the ship’s lists were written by clerks who lacked knowledge of German spellings and pronunciation. They simply wrote down the phonetic sounds of the names their English ears heard. We know that Hans Jacob was illiterate because he was not able to write his name and simply marked an “x” next to his name in the log.

No indentured servant documents exist for Hans Jacob or any of his family at the time of their emigration. Given his age of 44, he had the financial resources to pay for the passage9. Hans Jacob and Anna Elisabeth had two children born in Pennsylvania: a daughter Maria Elizabeth10 born on March 1, 1743, and a son, Matthias11 born at Philadelphia on Sept.24, 1748. Hans Jacob’s name appears on the 1751 Census and Voter List for Philadelphia County12. So far this is all I have been able to learn about the events of the years that followed their arrival (Oct. 1738 – 1751) and efforts to become re-established. Based on land records, it appears that the family moved northward out of Philadelphia into Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Hans Jacob died at Springfield, Bucks County, PA in 1778 at the age of 8613.

We do know that the eldest son, Andrew, settled in Springfield Township in Bucks County14. In October 1746 he purchased land (51 acres, 56 perches15) and a grist mill on the Durham Creek from Henry Stover for 550 pounds. The records of the Pennsylvania Land Office16show that on October 28, 1746 Andrew took out a warrant for 100 acres in Bucks County. He is mentioned as being a deacon in the Keller’s Lutheran Church congregation at Bedminister Township, Bucks County17. He became a naturalized citizen on Sept. 23, 1767. The tract of land owned by him in Springfield was located on the Durham Township line along the public road from Durham to Springtown and Henry Houpt’s land. Both he and Houpt had grist mills on the Durham Creek. He may have been enrolled in the Springfield Associators militia in 177518. The Springfield Tax List of 1779 gives the name of Andrew Ziegenfuss, Andrew Jr. and George, assessed as single men. Andrew prospered in Springfield Township. The Bucks County courthouse has Andrew’s will on file19.

Hans Christopher of the original emigrating family also settled in Nockamixon Township, Bucks County. The Land Office records indicate that he took out a warrant for 258 acres of land in 1774. In 1775 Hans Christopher (nicknamed as “Stoffel”) was jailed for creating a public disturbance. He was charged with breaking Capt. Jamison’s gun, but refused to pay damages. He was jailed until the damages, fines and costs were paid. Bucks County Courthouse land records indicate that Christopher Sigefus purchased land from George Desh in Nockamixon Township May 5, 1758. The Nockamixon Township Property and Tax Record of 1779 state that Stoffel owned 140 acres, one horse and four cattle. Another recorded land transaction is dated Nov. 1, 1801. On Sept. 10, 1802 he sold a tract of land to Paul H. Mallet, Provost in Hunterdon County, New Jersey for 309 pounds, 9 shillings and 4 pence silver. On Sept. 13, 1802 Christopher sold a tract of 20 acres to Jacob Ziegenfus Jr. for a consideration of 20 pounds lawful money. The land was bounded by a property owned by Henry Ziegenfus. In 1803 Christopher’s name is again mentioned in a land transaction with Henry Roof.

Johann Jacob married Anna Margaretha Schultz January 30, 1753 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Red Hill, PA.20 At the time of his marriage he was living at Great Swamp, PA. His family Bible in the possession of Ann L. Thompson lists the birth of seven children: Johann Georg 28 Feb. 1754, Anna Margaretha 8 March 1755, Anna Elisabetha 7 Aug. 1757, Maria Sabilla March 1759, Catherina December 1760, Johann Jacob 7 Nov. 1761 and Anna Magdalena 2 Aug. 1763. The baptisms were at Tohican Lutheran Church in Bucks County, OA and the sponsors were Andrew (Jacob’s brother) and his wife Magdalena Ziegenfuss 21. He died in 1810.

Hans Jurg (Johann George) appears in the Trappe Lutheran Church records of Rev. Henry Muhlenberg (Montgomery County, PA.) “…Johann Jurg Ziegenfuss, son of Jacob, age 15, can not read through lack of opportunity. Tractable and studious…” Johan Jurg was confirmed into the faith in August 1749 at the church in Upper Milford on Muhlenberg’s church circuit. Johan Jurg married Anna Margaretha .. and from 1768 to late 1772 lived near the Great Swamp Reformed Church in Lehigh County, PA. There is no record of them living there after 1772. He re-appears in Frederick County (now Carroll County) Maryland in 1778. For the sum of 515 pounds he bought several parcels of land in the Pipe Creek area (now western Carroll County) from Michael Waggoner 1in 1785. He died after the 1790 census. They had three children: Christina Margaret born 1766, John Jacob born 1768 and Abraham (no birth date).22

Maria Elizabeth Ziegenfus (1743-1817) and Matthias Ziegenfuss (1748 – 1807) are the last children of Hans Jacob and Anna Elizabeth Ziegenfuss. They do not appear in the ship’s records because they were born after 1738 in Philadelphia, PA.

Matthias migrated to Bucks County with his older brothers and settled in Richland Township, Bucks County. He married Anna Margaret Yeager in 1770, They had eleven children: George (1772), Adam (1775), Peter (1780), Henry (1782), Catherine (1785), twins Mary and Anna Maria (1787), Anna Christina (1790), Lavina (no birth date), Abraham (1793), and Elizabeth (no birth date).

Anna Katharina (1724 – 1771) married Henry Ott23.

Anna Margaretha (1731 - 1771) wed Johann Adam Lautenschlager on 30 August 1757 in Great Swamp Church, Lehigh County.24

I have not found any information on Powell (Paul 1734).

Two additional Ziegenfuss’ deserve separate mention also as emigrants. The first; a Johann Jacob Ziegenfuss25 who arrived in the port of Philadelphia Sept. 16, 1751 on the ship “Brothers”. His signature is his own and his name is spelled correctly26. He took the Foreign Oath of Allegiance, PA as witnessed by the ship’s captain William Muir. He is noted as being either from the Palatinate area of Germany or the Rhinish Provinces of Switzerland. It is speculated that the Zickafoose names that appear in the early Maryland records belong to this family group27. Johann Jacob’s estate was appraised Sept.23, 1780 in Augusta County, VA. His widow, Christiana, refused to be the administrator of his estate. His estate was settled on Nov. 19, 178328. His descendants settled in Virginia and possibly West Virginia29.

The second is a “nameless” Ziegenfuss who enlisted in the Continental Army Sept. 30, 1783, age 22, height 5 feet 3 inches, complexion dark, born in Gothern, Germany, trade-potter. Presently, nothing more is known about him.




b. 20 Dec. 1691 d. Oct. 1778

  1. Anna Elisabeth Taub ( b. 10 July 1695 d. 13 March 1730) wed 1717

Children: (All born at Beedenkirchen, Germany)

Anna Catharina b. 25 January 1717 d. 24 March 1722

Anna Elizabetha31 b. 12 December 1718 d.

Anna Marie b. 1 December 1720 d. 19 April 1725

Andrew b. 21 January 1723 d. 16 February 1796

Anna Catharina b. 7 December 1724 d. 1771

Hans Christopher b. 28 January 172832 d. 1810

Johann Jacob b. 9 January 1729 d. 1810

  1. Anna Apollonia Rettig (b. 20 May 1698 d. 11 November 1734) wed 25 Aug. 1730

Children: (All born at Beedenkirchen, Germany)

Anna Margareth b. 2 June 1731 d. 1771

Hans George b. 2 February 1734 d. 1787

Paul b. 1734 d. ?

  1. Anna Elisabeth Mund33 (b. 27 September 1708 d. ) wed 8 January 1737


Anna Maria34 b. 24 October 1737 d. 1737/8 ?

Maria Elisabeth 35 b. 1743 d. 1817

Matthias36 b. 24 September 1748 d. 13 January 1807


The History of Bucks County, Chapter XXXVI, Springfield, 1743 from the discovery of the Delaware to the present time by W.W.H. Davies, A.M., 1876 and 1905 editions. On line at: http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/bucks/history/local/davis/davis36txt on page 9 Davies writes; “Andrew Ziegenfuss, an early settler in Springfield, was born in the Palatinate 1723, and came to America with his father John Jacob Ziegenfuss, the ship Thistle, landing in Philadelphia October 28, 1738, was naturalized, 1767, and was enrolled in the Springfield Associators, 1775. His brother located in Nockamixon and was the ancestor of the family in that township. The members of the family are noted for their fine physique and great strength.”

Descendants of Matthias Ziegenfuss researched by Erin Marie Collins given at the 2011 Ziegenfuss Family Reunion. Erin’s email: ECGenServices@gmail.com

Deutches Geschlecterbuch, Genealogiches Handbuch Berglicher Familien, Ochtundneunziger Band, Herausgegeben von Bernard Koerner, Reichsprasidialrat, 1937, druck und verlag von C.A. Starke, Goerlitz.

Encylopedia of German-American Genealogical Research, by Clifford Neal Smith and Anna P-C. Smith, R.R. Bowker Company, A Xerox Education Company, New York & London, 1976, pages 99 & 140.

Pennsylvania German Marriages, compiled by Donna R. Irish, Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc, Baltimore MD 1984.

Ensor, Bill, www.ensor@apk.net, Oct. 2002.


Strassburger-Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Pennsylvania German Society.

Thompson, Ann L., 2001, annarmbruster@juno.com


Updated January 30, 2016 by:

Rev. Dr. William J. Ziegenfus 4230 Stourhead Lane, Jacksonville, FL 32225 Email: 42zman.wz@gmail.com Home 904-672-7109 Cell: 904-888-2667

Additions and corrections are welcome.

1 By 1660 thirty percent of the male names were double, nearly always using Hans as the first of the pair; the most popular double name was “Hans Jacob”, followed by Hans Diebolt, Hans Jorg, Hans Conrad, Hans Martin, Hans Ulrich, Hans Wilhelm, Hans Andreas and Hans Heinrich to mention a few examples. The name “Hans” was Americanized to “John”.

2 Deutches Geschlechterbuch, Genealogiches Handbuch Berglicher Familien, Ochtundneunziger Band, page 694. Hans Jacob was probably named for his great-grandfather, Jacob; page 690

3 Some names were elided (abridged) “Annelies” is the elided form of Anna Elisabeth. Other examples are: Anna Maria “Annamarei” or “Annamei”; Maria Anna “Marianna”; Franz Joseph “Franzepp”; Johan Baptiste “Shambetis”, (adapted from Jean Baptiste); Johann Peter “Shambiar” (adapted from Jean Peter) to mention a few of the more popular elided names.

4 “Anna Elisabetha Ziegenfuss was born 12 December 1818 and baptized 12 December 1718 at Beedenkirchen, Hessen. The sponsor was Anna Elisabetha of Raidelbach. Before leaving Germany she married Johann Georg Desch, born 23 May 1711 in Seeheim. Because she is listed under her married name”, she is often overlooked. Email from Ann L. Thompson in January 2001.

5 Bill Ensor (ensor@apk.net) from Oct. 2002. Beedenkirchen KB, p.102, film #1195098; “2 Feb 1734 Johann Jabob Ziegenfuss, baker and parishioner, here, and his wife, Anna Appolonia had a little son born in the night and baptized on the 4th of February. Sponsors: Johann Georg Riesch, the unmarried son od Johannes Riesch, citizen of Staffel. The name given was Johann Georg (Hannen Jorg). After their arrival in Pennsylvania, there is no mention of a son Henry or Heinrich or Haneriagh. However there is a record of a son George.

6 The first names are from the Geschlecherbuch geneaology, the names and ages in parentheses are from the ship records of the Bilander Thistle, October 28, 1738 from Rotterdam.

7 Strassburger-Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, p. 242 & 244.

8 Strassburger-Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, p.240-241.

9Opinion of Fran Waite, genealogist/librarian, Spruance Library, in the Mercer Museum, Doylestown, Bucks County, PA. in a personal conversation concerning the lack of any documents relating to indentured servitude.

10 www.nj.searchroots.com/gloucesterco/sigafoo-genealogy.txt

11 Descendants of Matthias Ziegenfuss, researched by Erin Marie Collins. Also on Ancestry.com.

12 Pennsylvania Census & Voters Lists 1772-1890. Philadelphia County 1751.

13 www.geni.com/people/Hans-Ziegenfuss/6000000003279032753

14 “Springfield, one of our extreme northern townships, and bordering on Northampton and Lehigh Counties, is inhabited almost exclusively by Germans. With the exceptions of Durham and Haycock, it was the last of the original townships to be organized. Probably the earliest settlers in Springfield found (continued on the nest page) their way to it up the valley of the Durham creek, which rises in the interior of the township. The settlement about Durham furnace (established since 1727) was the first permanent inroad on the wilderness of that section of the country, for, as the river afforded open communication with Philadelphia and the country below, it was the most accessible route of immigration. Durham was an English settlement, and the first purchasers of land in Springfield were of the same race. . Some English settlers reached this township through the ‘Swamp’ and ‘Richlands,’ and when the Germans came into it, a little later, it was by the same route. We behold this interesting fact in the settlement of this township, that the two flanking currents of immigration, one up the Delaware and the other up the Perkiomen, met in the valleys of Springfield, where Teuton and Anglo-Saxon had a peaceful contest of mastery.”

15 One perches = 16.5 feet

16 Pennsylvania Archives, Series 3, Volume 24.

17 Pennsylvania German Marriages, compiled by Donna R. Irish, Genealogical Publishing Company Inc., Baltimore 1984. Burial: “Andrew Ziegenfuss, son of deacon John Andrew Ziegenfuss and his wife Anna Magdalena Taufel, born 24 Oct. 1751 died 31 Oct. 1751.”

18 If it was not Andrew 1723 who joined the Springfield Associators, it was his son Andrew Jr. 1753.

19 Bucks County Will File No 1796-026692 dated Feb, 16, 1796; Will Book No. 5, page 484. A copy of Andrew’s

will is appended to Chapter 2A (Andrew Ziegenfus 1723-1796) along with a listing of his children and their dates.

20 Ancestry,com(boards.ancestry,com/surnames.ziegenfuss/rss.xml

21 Note of Nov. 1998 from Ann L. Thompson at www.rayparsons.com/ziegenfus He died in 1810.

22 Bill Ensor article “Johan George Ziegenfuss is listed in the ship’s log as Haneriagh Seiefues” October 2002. See complete article at www.rayparsons.com/ziegenfus. See footnote #4 also

23 Note of November 1998 from Larry C. Zickefoose.

24 Pennsylvania German Marriages. Also see footnote # 4 and Ancestry.com

25 The exact relationship of this Johann Jacob Ziegenfuss to the emigrating family is not certain. Based on his listed birth date and listed parentage in the ship’s record some think this is Hans Jacob Z Jr. of the emigrating family and that he went back to Germany for some unknown reason and returned in 1751. Some say he may have been a close relative who emigrated in 1751. Of interest is an entry in the Communion Record of St. Paul’s Blue Church, Upper Saucon Township (now Lehigh County) for 10 Nov. 1751 & 7 May 1752 of a Jacob Ziegenfuss as a servant indentured to Sam Neucommer. (Email of communion record is from Ann L. Thompson).

26 Strassburger- Hinke Pennsylvania German Pioneers, p. 463. Ancestry.com says he was born 9 January 1729 at Darmstat, Germany and died 13 October 1810 at Amherst, VA. His parents were Hans Jacob Ziegenfuss and Anna Elisabeth Minck. His spouse is listed as Christiana Ziegenfuss.

27 The Ziegenfus Families, Newsletter No.2, Sept. 1981, Mark Ammans.

28 Virginia Reports, Vol. 1, p.217.

29 www.geni.com/people/Johann-Ziegenfuss/6000000006707537045

30 All dates indicated on this page (unless otherwise footnoted) come from the Deusches Geschlecterbuch, Octundneunziger Band, p. 694 and information from Germany sent to Larry C. Zickefoose and shared in 1998. Variations on names and dates are placed in footnotes. The information undoubtedly references the same family

31 She is Han Jacob’s oldest child. She married Johann Georg Desch before she left Germany. Email from Ann L. Thompson January 2001. Also see footnote # 4.

32 1727 (LCZ)

33 LCZ lists her maiden name as “Minick”.

34 LCZ (Born at Beedenkirchen, Germany and probably died prior to the family emigration.)

35 Born at Philadelphia, PA (The first Ziegenfuss born in America ?) www.nj.searchroots.com

36 Born at Philadelphia, PA. Erin Marie Collins, ECGenServices@gmail.com, “Descendants of Matthias Ziegenfuss”