To Everything A Season: PARKER HANNAH Mesquite Tree

WEST VIRGINIA: Early Settlers: Moravian Diaries of Travels

Through Virginia

        Howdy DBase Our PARKERs PARKER Places PARKER DNA PARKER Research PARKER Mysteries Politeness

WEST VIRGINIA Index: Hampshire History, PARKERs, PARKER Timeline, PARKER Map

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Learn more about our PARKERs in the Family Tree Database .


Although WEST VIRGINIA is used on this webpage for convenience,

WEST VIRGINIA was part of VIRGINIA until June 20, 1863.

[[The following is posted at Gregory Brown's Home Page: Paleontology, Genealogy and More. We have inserted additional

editorial comment and documentation by means of double brackets, since the original author  used single brackets.]]

[[• The Moravian Church is a Protestant denomination. Its religious heritage began in 1457 in Kunvald, Bohemia, Czech Crown

lands. It places a high premium on Christian unity, personal piety, missions, and music…  the Moravian missionaries were the

first large-scale Protestant missionary movement" (Wikipedia)

The Movarian Church in North America: In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.]]

Moravian Diaries of Travels Through Virginia  (1747 - 1749)

• The Diary of The Journey Of Rev. L. Schnell And V. Handrup,  To Maryland And Virginia, May 29  - August 4, 1747; Edited

By Rev. William J. Hinke And Charles E. Kemper; Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 4, July 1904, pgs.

55-59; GoogleBooks

 The Diary of Bro. Gottschalk's Journey Through Maryland And Virginia, March 5 - April 20, 1748; Edited By Rev. William J.

Hinke And Charles E. Kemper; Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 4, July 1904, pgs. 66-69;


• The Diary of Leonhard Schnell  and John Brandmueller Of Their Journey To Virginia, October 12 - December 12, 1749;

Edited by Rev. William J. HINKE and Charles E. KEMPER; Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2, October

1903, pgs. 113-131; GoogleBooks


Below are portions of articles which are extracted from the diaries of Moravian missionaries in early Virginia (1747-1749). 

They shed considerable light on the lives of our frontier ancestors.  Mentioned in these diaries are, among others, Matthias

Joachim, Michael Stump, George Zeh, Michael Harness, Peter Peterson, Joist Hite and Henry Van Meter.  Items of special

interest (in the body of the text) to Yocum researchers are in bold.) Published in 1903 and 1904, it is my understanding that

the copyright has expired on these articles (95+ years).  It is with that assumption that I present this material here.  Caveat

emptor. This page was last updated on Sunday, February 11, 2001

• Diary Of The Journey of Rev. L. Schnell And V. Handrup, to Maryland And Virginia, May 29th to August 4, 1747.

Edited By Rev. William J. Hinke And Charles E. Kemper

(Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 4, July 1904, pgs. 55-59)


July 6th. We were rowed over the Caneketschik (3) [Conococheague] and went our way with a happy heart. But it was very

hot, so that the perspiration rolled down freely. In the evening we came to the Patomik River, being very tired. We stayed with

an Englishman over night. Our poor lodging place reminded us that Jesus had also lain in a stable.

July 7th. Early in the morning we crossed the Patomik, (4) and then crossed the mountains. At noon we came to the Hot or "

Health Springs," (5) where we observed for awhile the many Sick people. We continued our journey for some distance over a

poor road. Handrup became very weak owing to the heat.

July 8th. Since we learned that we would not find a house today for thirty miles, but only mountains and bad roads, we took a

man with us who conducted us over the mountains. It was a way the like of which I have not seen in America. In the evening

we came to an Englishman (6) with whom we stayed over night.

July 9th. We crossed the North Branch this morning, and again saw no house for twelve miles. Then we met a German, at

whose house we rested for a while.

July 10th. Our host showed us the way over two high mountains. We came upon a large rattle snake, but it remained

quiet till we had passed. In the afternoon we came to Bettessen's Creek (7) [Patterson's Creek], where a large number

of German settlers live. We tried to get something to eat, but found little bread. We comforted ourselves with the

thought that our Saviour, in his hunger, ate the grain in the field. When we entered a certain house we found a woman

who scolded much about the Herrnhuters (8) [Moravians]. She said she would take care that she would not be led astray by

them. When she heard that I was a minister, she asked whether I baptized children? She had a child which was not yet

baptized. She brought me several books to show me her Christianity. We soon left, but asked that it be announced that I would

preach on the following Sunday. We came to W. D. [William Degart], whom I asked whether I could preach in his stable, for the

houses are all very small and poor. He was immediately willing and promised to assist us as much as he could. He also sent

out a messenger that evening to announce the service.

July 11th. We stayed in our church today, being very happy in the Lord. The Sabbath was a blessing to us. Our host spoke

much with us on religious matters. He is a sincere man.

July 12th, Sunday. High. German, English and Low German people [Hollanders] assembled for the sermon. They brought

eight children whom they asked me to baptize. There was a suspicion among the people that I was a Moravian, but the Lamb

came with his divine power upon the people. They waited till afternoon, when I preached another sermon, which the Lamb

blessed. Many complained about their forsaken condition, that they had not been to the Lord's Supper for four years for want

of a minister. The people asked us to come again if possible. We had much pity for them.

July 13th. Our host asked us much today about Bethlehem and the Moravian religion. I answered as much as was necessary.

Then a man from Canachogery [Canajoharie, N. Y.] asked me if I were a minister. I answered: "Yes." He said that five years

ago one from Philadelphia had been up to see him. He had pretended to be a Lutheran minister, and that I looked exactly like

him. He had been a deceiver. (He meant Burieus. (9) Our host became very fond of us.

July 14th. Our host traveled with us thirty miles to help us along. On the way he announced [to the people] our service. In the

evening we passed the South Branch (10) safely and came to the Germans there. Several came to our lodging place. When

they heard that I was a minister, they complained about their need, that for many years they had heard no sermon. They

especially asked me to baptize their children. An Englishman also came, saying that he had heard that I was a Lutheran

minister, and asking me where I bad preached in Pennsylvania. I named several places, among them Bethlehem. He said:

"Well, there is no Lutheran congregation there, but Moravian." I assured him that there were not ten Moravians in Bethlehem.

(11) He was surprised and could not comprehend it.

July 15th. We went to a German, M. J. [Matthias Joachim], whom I asked whether I could preach in his house on Sunday. He

said: "Gladly, if you preach the pure gospel according to our Christian custom." I told him he would have to examine and see

for himself. Then he consented. He offered us his house to lodge in, if we did not know where else to go, and would be

satisfied with their poor farmers' fare. We said: "Yes." In the evening l held a prayer service.

July 16th. Our hostess asked me why I would not baptize any children. She said there was great need of it. Ministers seldom

came to them, and if one did come, but refused to baptize children, it was too bad. She said that two years ago one had been

there, who had baptized twenty-two children at one time. There are again several children there. In the evening I again

conducted prayer service.

July 17th. A considerable number of people assembled towards noon, to whom I preached from John 7: 37: "Whosoever

thirsteth let him come to me and drink." After the sermon the people complained about their poor condition, that they had no

minister, while in Pennsylvania there were so many. They asked me to stay with them. Then they brought about six children,

whom I should baptize, but I had to refuse.

July 18th. It was Sabbath. We spent the day in prayer.

July 19th. Sunday. Many people assembled, to whom I preached. The power of God and of the blood of Christ was felt among

the hearers. Soon afterwards we bade farewell to our host, who bad entertained us very kindly for four days. They wished us

much success and blessing on our journey, asking us, if we should again come to their neighborhood, to visit them by all

means. We would be welcome day or night. After wishing the Lord's peace upon them, we left them and traveled eight miles


July 20th. We started early on our way. We found no house for twelve miles, but met a large rattle snake, which barred our

way, making much noise. But when we approached, it could not harm us, for the Lord protected us. Soon we met another one,

which fled before us. We could not thank the Saviour enough for his gracious protection. At noon we stopped with an

Englishman. He complained that for two years he had heard no sermon, although he had been compelled every year to pay

the county minister. I had an opportunity of speaking with him about the assurance of faith. In the afternoon we again met no

house for ten miles, but we struck high mountains (12) and hot weather. In the evening we came to a house where it looked

pretty bad, internally as well as externally, but the people were very jolly.


(1) Vitus Handrup arrived in Pennsylvania in December, 7746. In 1748 he was a member of the " Economy " at Bethlehem.

Returned again to Europe. See Reincke, Register of Moravians, P. 74.

(2) The first part of the journeys of these Moravian missionaries was always the same. From Bethlehem by way of Lebanon,

Lancaster, York, Pa., Frederick and Hagerstown, Md., to the Potomac. See journal of Bishop Spangenberg, Virginia Magazine,

Vol. XI, P. 235.

(3) In the Special Report attached to this diary, Mr. Schnell adds the following: "Canekeehick " [Conococheague], where many

Lutherans and Reformed people live, who have no minister, could also be supplied [from Monocacy], for they are only a day's

journey apart. I have been invited, if I should return, to preach for them."

(4) It is probable that the missionaries crossed the Potomac at Watkin's Ferry, at the mouth of the Conococheague, where

Williamsport is now situated. See Schnell's Diary of 1749 in Virginia Magazine, Vol. XI, p. 130, and his itinerary in the present

number, also Schlatter's journal in Life of Rev. Michael Schlatter, p. 173.

(5) Now Berkeley Springs, Morgan county, West Virginia, already "famed" when visited by Washington on March 18, 1748.

See Washington's Journal of My journey Over the Mountains. 1747-8, Albany, 1892, P. 29.

(6) Probably Thomas Cresap, with whom the missionaries usually stayed. See Schnell's journal of 1749, Virginia Magazine,

Vol. XI, P. 118.

(7) In his Soecial Report, Schnell describes Patterson Creek as follows: "I visited a place called Betessens Creek

[Patterson's Creek], where many German's live, interspersed among Low Dutch [Hollanders] and English New Lights.

The High Germans are a poor people, internally as well as externally. I preached twice for them. They expressed a

desire that I should come again. Several New Lights asked me to come to them. They were very friendly to me."

(8) So called from one of their chief settlements at Herrnhut in Saxony. Here the Renewed Church of the Brethren was

organized on June 17, 1722. Reichel, Early History, p. 3.

(9) This is John Christopher Pyrlaeus, who was born in Saxony, Germany. He emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1741. Ordained a

presbyter in 1742. Zinzendorf appointed him as his assistant in Philadelphia, where his presence caused considerable trouble.

Returned to Europe in 1751. See Reichel, Early History of Moravians, pp. 89, 104; Reincke, Register of Moravians, p. 81.

(10) Of the South Branch Schnell writes as follows in his Special Report. "Forty miles from there [Patterson's Creek]

is the 'Soud Brentch' [South Branch], which flows between high mountains. It is settled for more than sixty miles.

Many Germans live there, who have no minister. I had pity for these people, to whom I preached twice. The doctrine

of free grace tasted well to them, and they learned to love me very much."

(11) Schnell meant to say that there were not ten persons in Bethlehem who had actually been born in the Austrian Kingdom

of Moravia. The term "Moravians" was at that time very distasteful to the "Church of the United Brethren," or Unitas Fratrum,

as they preferred to call themselves. But the name Moravians has clung to them, in spite of their protests.

(12) The missionaries were crossing the North Mountain, to get into the Shenandoah Valley.

• Extracts From The Diary Of Bro. Gottschalk's Journey Through Maryland And Virginia, March 5 - April 20, 1748

Edited By Rev. William J. Hinke And Charles E. Kemper

(Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, No. 4, July 1904, pgs. 66-69)


(The dates are given by the missionary both according to the old and new style.)

On March 16-27, I asked the Lord very urgently that, as I was to enter Virginia today for the first time, he should show me the

right persons and places. I had hardly entered the house again when Abraham Degart offered to take me to "Bateson's

Creek" [Patterson's Creek], where we arrived late, but safely, in the evening.

On March 17-28, I went up to the South Branch. I had to climb a terrible mountain, and at the same time it rained very hard. I

came to an Englishman, Daniel Onar, who showed me much love, and soon afterwards to a German, named Kasselman, in

whose house I felt a peculiar grace. The people sat around me and gave me an opportunity to speak to them. They would

have liked to give me a horse to Matthaes Jochem, if it had been possible to take it across the South Branch. The weather

being so bad Mr. Kasselman accompanied me three miles, he took me across the South Branch and assisted me in getting a

horse from an Englishman, named Collins. Kasselman said to him: "Mr. Collins, here is a friend, who would like to hire one of

your horses. Let him have one, and if he runs away with it, I will pay you for it." Whereupon the Englishman was not only

immediately willing to give me one of his horses, but also asked me to preach in his house to the English people living there. I

replied that I would be willing to speak as well as I could, if there were people willing to hear of the Saviour, and I appointed a

sermon for the 18-29th, at four o'clock. Then I rode away. During the night it became so dark that I could no longer see the

way. I went astray several times, and finally, late at night, eight miles this side of Matthaes Jochem's, I came to a German,

named Heiter, with whom I stayed over night.

Early on the 18-29th, I went to Matthaes Joclem's. On the way I met several English people, who asked me for an English

sermon, which I promised them. I appointed an English and German sermon for the 27-31st at Matthaes Jochem's. The visit

of our Bro. Schnell is still a blessing to that house. At four o'clock in the afternoon I preached at Collins'. I felt very well in doing

it. John Collins for himself and in the name of the rest thanked me very much and asked me to visit him again.

On March 19-30, I preached, at "Bateson's Creek," [[Patterson Creek]] German in the forenoon and English in the

afternoon. Immediately after the sermon I started out to go to Matthaes Jochem's. But a man, named Oliver Craemer,

followed me. He asked me not to start on my journey alone on foot at night, but go with him to his house, and he would

accompany me to Matthaes Jochem's. As I recognized plainly that the Lord had sent this man, because it would have been

difficult for me to pass through so much water in a dark night over an unfamiliar road of 45 miles, traveling until the next

morning at ten o'clock, I accepted his offer with many thanks, and accompanied by this man I arrived at Jochem's on Sunday,

March 20-31, about ten o'clock. Justice Solomon Hedge, (A) who waited for me at Matthaes Jochem's, tried to urge and

persuade me with all kinds of arguments to marry the son of an Englishman. The people had a good character and they were

both honest and decent. I told him that I was very sorry to refuse his first request, but I could not do it. "Oh," he said, "I can

guess the reason. The Governor has published a proclamation against you, and for that reason you do not want to do it. But I

assure you that I will assume all responsibility. If I wanted I could arrest you at once and send you to the nearest prison, but

we do not pay any attention to the proclamation issued against you." But I answered him that I did not care for the

proclamation of the Governor, that I had but one reason why I could not do it, it was because I did not know the people. At

eleven o'clock more than one hundred people came together, to whom I preached the gospel, and soon afterwards I preached

to the English. After the sermon I spoke to some of the people, German as well as English, and found that the teaching of the

Saviour is very dear to them. They asked me very urgently to remain with them for a while, or to visit them soon for a longer

period I told them that I could not promise them anything, but it might be that they would be visited soon again. However, I did

not know whether I or another one of the brethren from Bethlehem would do it. Then I visited several families more, and

lodged with Michel Stumpf. (B)

On April 1-March 21, Matthaes Jochem gave me his son to accompany me forty-five miles over the high southern mountains,

between South Branch and the "Chanador" [Shenandoah].  The way was difficult to find and hard to keep, because it had not

been used for many years. It was overgrown with trees and blocked by stones and thus hardly recognizable. We kept a certain

course and the dear Lamb helped us through safely. We traveled thirty miles before we found a house. The first settlers whom

we met were English. They asked me to preach for them. At another house, which I passed, a woman urged me very much to

come in to see a man who was deathly sick, to read to him a portion of scripture. I went in and told him that his God and

creator had become man for him, had shed his blood for him and died for him. At night I lodged in a very disorderly, wicked

and godless house of an Irishman, who kept an inn. The Saviour helped me through.

On April 2-March 22, I continued the journey on foot to the Germans. I crossed the "Chanador," which was pretty deep, cold

and had a rapid current. If the Lord had not supported me in the water by his angels, the rapid stream would have carried me

off, for I was hardly twenty feet above a fall. Today I visited several German people, but did not find the least sign of [spiritual]


On April 3-March 23, I came to the real German settlement, and among others to a man named George Daehlinger, at whose

house Bro. Schnell lodged and preached. The congregation [of the Brethren] is known and loved there as little as the Saviour

himself. I found that the people in that district are not pleased with the preaching of the Brethren, but become angry and bitter

about it. When they learned afterwards that Bro. Schnell was a Herrnhutter, they wanted to pick a quarrel with Daehlinger,

because he did not only not arrest him, but allowed him to preach and even helped him along with his horses. I felt the bitter,

hostile and sarcastic spirit of the people in that district very much, and as the conditions were the same at Cedar Creek and in

some respects even worse, I did not have the heart to preach to these people, but left again on the next day. The door at

these two places is really closed.


(A) Washington visited "Solomon Hedges" in the following week, on March 26, 1748. He was then a member of the County

Court of Frederick County, Va. See Washington's Journal of 1747-8, P. 34.

(B) The lot of "Michael Stumps" was surveyed by Washington, "on ye So Fork of ye Branch," on April 2, 1748. See Journal of

1747-8, P. 44.

• The Diary Of Leonhard Schnell  and John Brandmueller Of Their Journey To Virginia, October 12 - December 12,


Edited by Rev. William J. HINKE and Charles E. KEMPER 

(Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XI, No. 2, October 1903, pgs. 113-131)


On October 26th, I started out with Bro. Brandmueller, after having commended our friends, Bro. Rosen and wife [the

Moravian missionary at Monocacy, Md.], to the protection of the Lamb.[3] Towards noon we visited Frederick Ohnsell, who

loves the Brethren, although he has had no intercourse with them. From there we went to an old man at Fredericktown [Md.]

who was very kind. Towards evening we came to George Gumpf, with whom also Jacob Weller and his wife, and Adam Gamb

were staying. In the evening I conducted a song service, at which several new comers were present. I also baptized, at the

same time, the little daughter of Bro. Gumpf, Dorothea. We felt at home in this house.

On October 27th, we continued our journey over the Canagetschick [Conococheague] Mountains, and the Antidum [Antietam]

River, and came to Jonathan Haeger [the founder of Hagerstown, Md.,] who received us very kindly with a kiss. We passed

the night with a Swiss, Peter Reusch, who received us well.

On October 28tb, we went to Haeger's, where we passed the Sabbath quietly [4]

On Sunday, October 29th, I preached on the "Canagetschick," in Haeger's house, with a feeling of blessing. After the sermon

we traveled a little farther, and a smith, Hackemeyer, took us on horses through the "Canegetschick." We stayed over night

with Henry Wehr, a countryman of Bro. Gottschalk. [5] We slept near the fire, passing the night uncomfortably.  It is a poor


On October 30th, we started early and came, in the forenoon, to the Potomac River, where we breakfasted with Isaac Gerison,

a cousin of our Bro. Gerison.[6] A fried squirrel, which was placed before us for the first time in our life, tasted well. Then, we

traveled, with a light heart, some twenty miles up along the Potomack, wading through the " Licken Creek " [Licking Creek] and

leaving "Long Island" at our left. On our way we came to a German house, where we found the whole family clothed in Indian

fashion. The woman complained that they had not heard a sermon for five years. A boy took us with a horse through the next

creek, called "Knattewe" [Conotowans Creek]. In the evening we arrived, cheerfully, at the house of Carl Bock, with whom we

stayed over night. An English schoolmaster was also there who was especially friendly, because Mr. Monday [7] had promised

to assist him in getting his son to Bethlehem where he could study Latin without any expense to him. I gave him more correct

information. Otherwise there was much confusion in the house during the whole night, because all kinds of young people were

there, among whom whiskey circulated freely.

On October 31st, we passed no house for thirty-five miles, but indescribably high mountains. We started early, having some

"Jahny cieks " [Johnny cakes] in our knapsack. The mountains which we had to climb, especially the steep ascent, made me

so weak that I soon gave out, but the Lamb blessed the drops which I took with a drink of cold water from the creek, so that I

felt strong again. Thus we continued our journey over the high "German Mountain," through the "Fifteen Mile Creek," and

came, in the afternoon, to "Leonhardt's Spring."  Here we refreshed ourselves and ate our "Jahny cakes." Then we hurried on,

and after passing safely through two creeks, [Evitts and Wills Creeks, near Cumberland, Md.] we came to Colonel Crissop, [8]

at night, pretty well tired out. He received us very courteously. He asked at once whether the Brethren had received his letter

which he had sent to them through his son. He referred to several tracts of land which the Brethren might buy. Several other

people were with him, a gentleman from Maryland and a servant from Virginia, to whom he gave all kind of good information

about Bethlehem, and also about the conversion of the Indians.

On November 1st, Colonel Crissop told us yet many things about the good sections of land that could be had. He also showed

us on a map where the Six Nations live. We traveled from Mr. Crissop over the North Branch, and in the afternoon came to

Urban Kraemer. As he was not at home, we crossed the South Branch and. came to the place of a Hollander, Peter

Peterson, where we stayed over night.

On November 2nd, as on the "Elders' Festival" [an important Moravian festival] we intended to remain quietly at one place for

the whole day, but as we found no good place to lodge, we traveled the whole day up along the South Branch, thinking

meanwhile of our dear Bethlehem. Leaving the mountains on our right-hand, we passed the place where the Mohawk and

Catawba Indians fought a battle. [9] We passed no house for twelve miles. We stayed over night with a man named Henry

Brumeter. [10] These people related their wonderful escape from a recent flood. The wife had climbed alone upon the barn

which was carried away by the river.

On November 3rd, we met accidentally John Becker, [11] of Menising [Minnisinks] who had run away from there, and by way

of "Schomokin"  [Shamokin] had come to the South Branch. We reminded him of what he had heard of the Lamb. He told us

his inward and outward need. Finally we came to the house of Matthias Joachim. The man himself was not at home, but the

mother with her children received us very kindly. After a while the mother said: "My dear people, we hear much evil of you.

Again a book has reached us in which many bad things are told about you."  But the son said: "Let that be; we have never

heard anything wrong from these people in their sermons. They are all right, etc." We stayed there over night.

November 4th, we observed the Sabbath in quietness. We bled each other.

On Sunday, November 5th, I preached in Joachim's house, on the text: "The Son of Man is not come to destroy but to save

the souls of men. " [Luke, 9:56.] A considerable number of people were present, and as there were some English people who

asked me to preach to them in English, I repeated briefly parts of the German sermon. Some few of the Germans expressed

their gratitude, at the same time they lamented their poor religious condition on the South Branch, not having heard for

three years any other sermons than those preached by the Brethren. [12] In the afternoon we continued our journey, and

stayed over night with Michael Ernst. [Harness?]

On November 6th, we continued up along the South Branch through the Gap. On the way we visited the sister of my father-

in-law.[13] They related how they had saved themselves during the flood. The man and his wife with their six children had

climbed into a tree, which had fallen down half way. There they spent the whole night. Above the Gap we came to the

Germans, where we called on George Zeh. Here we appointed a sermon for the next day. When the neighbors heard of our

arrival, several came at once and implored us to baptize their children. I turned them off as well as I could. This continued for a

long time. In the evening our host asked us : "Why do you teach that the Saviour accepts all men, and yet you refuse to

baptize these children?"   I told him because these people give their children such a poor training.

On November 7th, a woman came very early to us asking for the baptism of her child. In the same way six others came whom

we could not refuse. Brandmueller preached on the words: "Behold the Lamb of God."  After the sermon a general request

was made for baptism. Hence, I baptized two girls and a little boy. In the afternoon we went back part of the way to Mr.

Joachim, where we had appointed a sermon. George Zeh took us twice through the river on horses.

On November the 8th, I preached at Joachim's. After the sermon there was again an urgent request presented to us for

baptism. We traveled yet several miles up along the South Branch and stayed over night with Michael Stump. [[The

STUMP family married into the PARKER_John family.]]

On November 9th, Mr. Stump gave us a horse to cross the many creeks. We met an old Swiss, Anton Richert [Richard]. He

had read [sermons] occasionally on the South Branch, and himself had baptized the children of his family. We also came

today to the house of the father of our sister, Mrs. Anton Schmidt, [14] Peter Rith. He was not at home, but hunting bears. The

woman who keeps house for him soon made us leave again. When we inquired about the way in an English house, the

woman asked us for an English sermon, but we answered that we were German preachers. We stayed over night with Rogert

Dayer, who praised Bro. Joseph's [Spangenberg's] medicine (he also lodged there), by which the son of the family had been


On November 10th, we had to cross the South Fork several times. Then we came to several German families, where we

appointed a sermon for the next Sunday.

On November 11th, I was sick and the rest of the Sabbath was very refreshing. We lodged with Michael Probst, with whom we

had become acquainted at Cohenzy.

On Sunday, November 12th, I preached on the words - "It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation," etc. [I Tim., 1:15.]

There were about ten children present, whose baptism was urgently requested, but as most of the men were away hunting

bears,[15] I refused, about which the women especially complained very much. We had great difficulty today to find out the

way to the New River.[16] At night I went to an Englishman who told me how to go. But he did not want me to return alone,

because it was very dangerous on account of the wild beasts. He therefore accompanied me with two dogs to my lodging

place. On the way we met a large wolf.

On November 13th, we started early. A German woman gave us a piece of bread and cheese for the way. A man who traveled

our way today was of much assistance to us, as we had no house for twenty miles. Moreover, the forest was very dense, and

it was difficult to find the way. Today we came to the source of the South Fork [17] and, although we had to cross the water

more than thirty times, (the people had urgently warned us not to take this road as we had no horse), yet the Lamb helped us

safely through all difficulties. In the evening we lodged in an English cabin (thus they call the English houses there). It was

quite cold. But the bear skins upon which we rested and the fire before us which kept us warm, rendered us good services. We

had yet a piece of bread left, and as the people had none, we divided it with them. They gave us some of their bear meat,

which can be found in every house in this district.

On November 14th, we went on our way with a happy feeling. We had to wade through the water frequently. We stayed with a

Welshman over night, but he did not trust us very much. We engaged him to take us through the river with his horse, because

it is quite large: it is called "Kauh Pastert." [18]

On November 15th, we traveled in the company of a Welshman, George Luys; he took its twelve times through the river

[Clover Creek, Highland County]. Traveling was difficult today, for we had to cross rather high mountains, and, moreover it

rained.  Night overtook us before we reached a house and had passed through the water. At last we could no longer see the

way and had to stay where we were. Fortunately, We found a little hut, in which no one was at home. Here we stayed,

thanking God for the shelter. We made fire, and after drying our clothes we slept as well as we could. As we had nothing to

eat, we had to fast, thanking the Lord that he had protected us this day.

On November 16th, we started early from our lodging place and hurried to the next house to get a breakfast. When we arrived

there, the good people had themselves no bread, but they were willing to serve us some Welsh corn [19] and buttermilk. The

man seemed to be a pious Presbyterian. He praised Whitefield very much. We crossed the mountains and came to the James

River, through which we had to swim. It was hard work, but we got through safely. We continued our journey till evening,

seeing a country with mountains all around. In the evening we had to cross still another small river. Then we came to a house,

where we had to lie on bear skins around the fire like the rest. The manner of living is rather poor in this district. The clothes of

the people consist of deer skins. Their food of Johnny cakes, deer and bear meat. A kind of white people are found here, who

live like savages. Hunting is their chief occupation.[20]

On November l7th, our path led through the mountains. We heard an awful howling of wolves in the morning, quite near. We

wished them far away.[ 21] When we crossed the Catawba Creek a Quaker joined us, going with us three miles. In the

afternoon we came to Justice Robeson, who owns a mill. Here we expected to get some bread. But his answer was: "There is

not a bit of bread in the house." We went two miles further, and, as we heard that there was no house for twelve miles, we

stayed there over night.

On November 18th, it snowed the whole night. We started early in the morning and went along on our way which was quite

narrow and very wet on account of the snow. Moreover, we had to cross the Catawba Creek and a branch of the Roanoke,

more than thirty times. There was no house for the first twelve miles and then none for the next fifteen miles. But although we

were in the water nearly the whole day, the Lord helped us through and brought us in the evening to an English house, where

we enjoyed the comforts of a good fire. We had also a pleasant conversation with our host.

On Sunday, November 19th, we were glad in anticipation of seeing the New River [22] today and asked the Lamb for a

favorable reception among the Germans. Towards noon we arrived safely at the New River. We were taken across the river to

Jacob Hermann, [23] who, together with his wife, received us with great joy and love. We had hoped to preach today, but as it

was late the sermon was appointed for tomorrow. There we enjoyed a spiritual and physical rest. I firmly believed that my visit

to this district, for which I had longed for four years, would not be in vain.

On November 20th, I preached on the words of the Saviour: "I am a King" [ John 18:3]. It seemed as if I had hungry souls

before me.

On November 21st, we stayed quietly at Jacob Hermann's house and spoke with him much about the Saviour and the

congregation [at Bethlehem].

On November 22nd, was exceptionally cold weather for this region. Hence we stayed with our host, Jacob Hermann. A sermon

had been appointed for today, but as it was very cold none came.

On November 23rd, Mr. Hermann went with us to visit Jacob Goldman, whose wife is the sister of my father-in-law. We were

received very kindly.

On November 24th, we went back to the New River to Hermann's house. He told us that his grandfather was by birth a

Moravian, who had been driven from his country because of his religion. We were pleased to hear this.

On November 25th, we kept the Sabbath and were often in spirit in Bethlehem.

On Sunday, November 26, I preached on the gospel of the "Ten Virgins."  The audience received the word with good

attention. We wished it would produce an eternal blessing. We were only a few miles from the Seventh Day Baptists [Dunkers]

who live here at the New River, but we had enough of the description which the people gave of them.

On November 27th, we bade goodbye to our friends with much love and heartiness, and went again on our way. We would

have gone further south, but as we could obtain no information of any German settlements (and if there are some they are

perhaps 150 miles away), we resolved to face about towards Pennsylvania.[24] Hence we traveled in that direction today. We

became very wet through the rain. At night we stayed with an Englishman [Robert Lewis] and dried our clothes.

On November 28th, we made again thirty miles. We had to pass the Catawba and Roanoke about thirty times. In the evening

we came to a tanner, where Bro. Brandmueller had his shoes soled.

On November 29th, the shoemaker, whose wife was a zealous Presbyterian, told us that some time ago he had read a printed

sermon about us, and he had hardly ever read a clearer sermon. As we were somewhat delayed by the shoemaker, we did

not make much of a trip today. In the evening we arrived at the James River, where we staved over night in a house about two

miles from the river. The lady of the house told us about the flood that she and two of her children were lifted up by the water

in the bed in which they slept and were carried about on the bed while asleep, until they woke up.

On November 30th, we heard early the frequent howling of wolves as we passed over the James River. We had to travel

about thirty miles today, finding but few houses and no bread. Towards evening we had to cross the two northern branches of

the James River. At night we came to an Irishman [N. Bell] who cared for our necessities.

On December 1st, we passed confidently and safely through the Irish settlement.[25]

On December 2nd, we continued our journey the whole day, because we wished to be with the Germans on Sunday. Once we

lost our way. But our desire to preach tomorrow strengthened us in our journey. In the evening we attempted to hire a man to

go with us part of the way, but none was willing. We continued for a time down the Tschanator [Shenandoah] and arrived

rather late at the house of the sons of the old Stopfel [Christopher] Franciscus, [26] who kept us over night.

On Sunday, December 3rd, the young Franciscus went very early with us to show us the way to Matthias Schaub, who,

immediately on my offer to preach for them, sent messengers through the neighborhood to announce my sermon. In a short

time a considerable number of people assembled, to whom I preached. After the sermon I baptized the child of a Hollander.

We stayed over night with Matthias Schaub. His wife told us that we were always welcome in their house. We should always

come to them whenever we came into that district. Towards evening a man from another district, Adam Mueller, [27] passed. I

told him that I would like to come to his house and preach there. He asked me if I were sent by God. I answered, yes. He said,

if I were sent by God I would be welcome, but he said, there are at present so many kinds of people, that often one does not

know where they come from. I requested him to notify his neighbors that I would preach on the 5th, which he did.

On December 4th, we left Schaub's house, commending the whole family to God. We traveled through the rain across the

South Shenandoah to Adam Mueller, who received us with much love. We stayed over night with him.

On December 5th, I preached at Adam Mueller's house on John 7: "Whosoever thirsteth let him come to the water and drink."

A number of thirsty souls were present. Especially Adam Mueller took in every word and after the sermon declared himself well

pleased. In the afternoon we traveled a short distance, staying over night with a Swiss.[28] The conversation was very dry and

the word of Christ's sufferings found no hearing.

On December 6th, we came to Mesanoton [Massanutton]. We stayed with Philip Lung, who had his own religion. [29] I

intended to preach but he would not let us have his house, assuring us that none would come, since Rev. Mr. Klug [the

Lutheran minister in the present county of Madison] had warned the people to be on their guard against us. We had soon an

opportunity of seeing how bitter the people are towards us. Hence we concluded to leave, which we did, wishing God's

blessing upon the district. [30] An unmarried man, H. Reder, took us through the river. He told us that eight weeks before he

had visited Bethlehem. We crossed the Ritsch [Ridge] and stayed over night with an Englishman. Towards evening we had to

cross the North River.[31]Leonhard [Schnell] had thus far carried Bro. Brandmueller perhaps ten times across the river.

On December 7th, we had to walk twenty miles before breakfast, because we found no house and had not been able to

secure any bread in our lodging place. In the afternoon we came to George Daelinger, where I preached two years ago. I

asked him whether I could again preach in his house. He answered "Not for fifty pounds." It had been taken very ill of him that

he had allowed it two years ago. The people, and especially the Rev. Mr. Klug, had warned him not to permit himself to be led

astray. Moreover, he said, "You are done for at this place, since the people have received the information contained in the

book of M. J. and A. F. against. you." [32] The people had threatened that they would throw me into prison if I should come

again. We did not say much, but pitied him, and, commending him to God's mercy and grace, we went to the house of a

neighbor, an old Mennonite, who allowed us to preach in his house. We stayed over night with Caspar Funk, with whom a

gentleman, "a King's attorney," lodged. [33] We gave the captain a copy of the act, [an act passed against itinerant preachers].

On December 8th, we visited a Mennonite, and in the evening came to a man in "Obeken," N. Schmidt Stepfa, a Catholic, in

whose house we wished to preach because several Germans live in the neighborhood. But he assured us that the people

were much incensed against us. He himself had heard how Rev. Mr. Klug had warned the people to be on their guard. [34] As

for himself, he believed that we were sincere and faithful followers of Jesus. We would always be welcome in his house.

On December 9th, we went ten miles farther to Benijamin Frey, the brother of Wlliam Frey, [35] who was friendly in his way. In

the afternoon we kept Sabbath, and as Bro. Brandmueller had fallen into the Cedar Creek and had become wet, he had an

opportunity at Frey's to dry himself.

On Sunday, December10th, we hastened early to the old Mr. Funk, where we had appointed a sermon. When we arrived we

found a good number of people, to whom I preached of the Saviour. After the sermon one of the sons told us that yesterday a

man had come to them, having traveled fourteen miles, to ask them not to permit us to preach. But the son said that the

request came too late, as the sermon had already been appointed. He was therefore compelled to return without gaining his

end. The people in the house where we preached were very kind to us. We took leave of old Mr. Funk and his four sons, one

of whom is a captain, and traveled a few miles, staying over night with a Mennonite. But as he was under the influence of

whiskey, we could not speak of anything sensible to him.

On December 11th, we visited the old Jost Hayd. [36] However, we did not stay long with him, but continued our journey to

Fredericktown, in "Obeken," [37] where we called on a German shoemaker. Then we traveled ten miles further to an

Englishman with whom we stayed over night.

On December 12th, we started two hours before day break, because we could not rest well during the night. In the afternoon

we came to the "Patomack," where the ferryman [at Watkins' Ferry] took us over. He asked us to send him one of our books

from which he could learn our teaching. This was promised to him, and thus we left Virginia, commending it to the Lamb.In the

evening we came to Jonathan Haeger, [near Hagerstown, Md.], where we stayed over night.[38]


[1] Leonhard Schnell arrived in Philadelphia with "The First Sea Congregation," On June 7, 1742. Ordained a Presbyter in

1748. Itinerated in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Withdrew from the Moravians in 1751, and, took charge of the

Lutheran congregations of Macungie. and Saucon, Pennsylvania.

[2]  John Brandmueller, born November 24, 1704, at Basle, Switzerland. Came to America with "The First Sea Congregation."  

Ordained by the "Congregation of God in the Spirit," on May 13, 1745. Preached in Allemaenget, Swatara, And Donegal,

Pennsylvania. Sent as evangelist to the Walloons in New York and to the Germans in Virginia. Teacher at Friedensthal, near

Nazareth, 1753-1768. In his later life he engaged also in printing. Several books with his imprint are in the archives at

Bethlehem. Accidently drowned in a mill race on August 16, 1777.

[3] A favorite Moravian term for Christ.

[4]  The Moravians observed at first both the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday.

[5] Another Moravian Missionary, of whom a diary will be presented later.

[6] Probably Captain Nicholas Garrison. See A. Reincke, Register of the Members of the Moravian Church, 1727-1754.

Bethlehem, 1873, P. 55. Note.

[7] Major Monday, a friend of the Moravians at Monocacy.

[8] Colonel Thomas Cresap [[The CRESAPs lived in Hampshire Co.], who came to Maryland from England in 1686, then

aged fifteen years, and died at the age of 106. He was ac-tive in the French and Indian wars, and was the father of Captain

Michael Cresap, the alleged slayer of the Indian Logan and his family. This long accepted story is vigorously controverted by

M. Louise Stevenson in the April number,1903, of the West Virginia Historical Magazine, pp.144-162. Cresap Town in

Allegheny county, Maryland, represents no doubt the place of his settlement and is named after him.

[9] Kercheval, in his History of the Valley, mentions two Indian battles as having been fought in this locality. One

engagement occurred, according to this authority, at Slim Bottom, about one and one-half miles from the mouth of

the South Branch of the Potomac; the other, at Hanging Rocks on the same stream where the river passes through

the mountains. Both of these places are within the limits of the present county of Hampshire. The latter seems to be

referred to in this diary. For the road passes from Cresap Town southeast over the Patterson Creek (which is

mentioned in other diaries) to Springfield and from there it crosses the South Branch of the Potomack at Hanging


[10] This was doubtless Henry Van Meter, son of Isaac Van Meter and Hannah Wynkoop, his wife. The Van Meters removed

from Ulster County, New York, to Salem, New jersey, and then, subsequent to 1741, to the South Branch of the Potomac.

John and Isaac Van Meter were the grantees, in 1730, of forty thousand acres of land within the present counties of Frederick

and Jefferson, which they conveyed in 1732 to Joist Hite. For an extended notice of the Van Meters, see January number,

1903, Of the West Virginia Historical Magazine, pp. 45-55.

[11] John Baker was a member of the Moravian congregation at Dansburg. See Register of Moravians, p. 132.

[12] The reader will discover from this paper that the Germans in Virginia west of the Blue Ridge had not at this period erected

any churches, all the sermons referred to having been preached in private houses. This was not true of the German

settlements in the Piedmont region of the state, as will be shown by diaries of other missionaries to be presented later.

[13] The name of Schnell's wife was Elizabeth Brown. See Register of Moravians, p. 82.

[14] Anthony Schmidt and his wife, Ann C. Rieth, were members of the congregation at Bethlehem. See Register of Moravians,


[15] Bear and deer still abound in this section of West Virginia.

[16] The Moravian settlement of Wachovia, North Carolina, was founded in 1753, four years after the visit of the missionaries

to New River in Virginia. There were German settlements in North Carolina, at this time, but they were along the eastern coast.

[17] The South Fork of the South Branch rises in the extreme southern portion of Pendleton County, West Virginia.

[18] Cow Pasture River. The missionaries were then within the limits of the present county of Highland, and probably reached

the James River in the vicinity of Clifton Forge.  From there the missionaries seem to have followed the road to Fincastle,

Botetourt County, to Salem, Roanoke County, to Christiansburg, Montgomery County, and finally to the neighborhood of

Newbern, in Pulaski County.

[19] Probably hominy, used as a substitute for bread until the erection of mills.

[20] The missionaries were then in the section now embracing the counties of Bath and Allegheny. The settlers who then

resided there were sentries on the last outpost of civilization, with the Indians as their only neighbors upon the west. It may be

properly noted here that the diaries confirm Kercheval's statement that peace with the Indians was not broken until

subsequent to 1754, as the missionaries make no reference whatever to Indian troubles in any of the sections visited by them.

[21] Wolves were numerous in this section of Virginia for years after the date of this journey. A reward was given for wolf

heads, and the County Court of Augusta made allowance in 1751 for 256 heads. Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, p. 68


[22] A number of German families resided then on New River within the limits of the present county of Montgomery, then

Augusta. The origin of this German community is involved in obscurity. The large German element in the Shenandoah Valley

came almost entirely from Western Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania, and it is difficult to believe that any number of

settlers would traverse the entire Valley of Virginia in order to locate on the New River. Maury, in his Physical Survey of Virginia

(1878), states that a number of Swiss from North Carolina located in this region, and it was probably these settlers who were

visited by the missionaries.

[23] Jacob Hermann (Harman) and his son, living on New River, were killed by the Indians in March, 1756. In 1755 a number

of other German settlers in the same region were also killed, and it is probable that nearly all the people visited by the

missionaries along the New River were exterminated. See the Preston Register, Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, pp.

154-158 (1902).

[24] From this point on the New River to Bethlehem, Pa., it is about 300 miles as the crow flies, but the missionaries in their

detours had traveled a considerably greater distance than this.

[25] The Scotch-Irish settlement in Augusta county.

[26] Christopher Franciscus was, in 1751, a resident of Pennsylvania, and in that year conveyed to Gabriel Jones, the King's

attorney for Augusta County, 244 acres of land on the north side of the Shenandoah River. This land was a portion of the

splendid estate belonging to the late Jacob Strayer, Esq., who resided about three miles below the present village of Port

Republic, in Rockingham County.

[27] Adam Miller, a native of "Schresoin," Germany, who settled on the Shenandoah in 1726, near the present village of

Elkton, Rockingham County, Virginia, and was the first white settler in the Valley of Virginia of whom there is record evidence.

In religion he was a Lutheran. "Old Peter's Church," as it is locally known, but probably correctly St. Peter's, stands about six

miles north of Adam Miller's permanent place of residence, and he is believed to be buried there. Rev. I. Conder, of

McGaheysville, Va., states in a recent letter, that the records of this church (now lost) showed that the present structure was

dedicated in June, 1777. For a full account of Adam Miller, and his settling in Virginia, see the July number, 1902 of this


[28] Probably Jacob Baer, Sr., a native of Zurich, Switzerland, who located on the Shenandoah in 1740, not far from Adam

Miller, and was the ancestor of the Bear Family of East and West Rockingham. His two sons, Jacob, Jr., and John, married,

respectively Anna Barbara and Elizabeth Miller, daughters of Adam Miller. Jacob Baer, Sr., was either a Lutheran or German

Reformed in his religious faith, and evidently not disposed to be tolerant of the Moravians.

[29] Philip Long, the ancestor of that family in Page County, a member of which was the wife of General Sterling Price, of


[30] The Massanutton district was the first white settlement in the Valley of Virginia, numbering nine families and fifty-one

persons in 1729. Adam Miller first located there, but in a few years removed to his permanent home near Elkton on the

Shenandoah, as previously stated. See Volume 1, Palmer's Calendar of Virginia State Papers, pp. 219-220.

[31] The missionaries had now crossed the Massanutton range of mountains and were within the limits of the present county

of Shenandoah.

[32] The latter seems to be Andrew Frey, who engaged in very severe attacks upon the Moravians, in his books, Andreas

Freyen, seine Declaration, etc., Germantown, 1748, and A True and Authentic Account of Andrew Frey, London, 1753.

[33] Probably Gabriel Jones, the King's attorney of Augusta county, who was then a resident of Frederick.

[34] The conclusion seems to be irresistible that no German minister of any denomination was permanently located west of the

Blue Ridge prior to 1749. Mr. Klug seems to have been the spiritual adviser of the Germans in all the region now comprising

the counties of Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah and Frederick. In 1747 Rev. Mr. Schnell mentions a Rev. Mr. Schmidt, "a

man now rejected by the people of Maryland and Virginia." The correct name of the Catholic mentioned above was Stephan

Schmidt, as appears from another diary.

[35] William and Verona Frey lived at Falkner Swamp, Montgomery County, Pa. See Register of Moravians, p. 121. Benjamin

Frey lived on the Cedar Creek, see journal of Rev. Mr. Gottschalk to be published later.

[36] Joist Hite, the pioneer settler of the lower Valley, and the most enterprising of all the German settlers in that

section. He was one of the first justices of Orange County, in 1734, which then embraced the present county of Frederick

within its limits. For a full account of him and his family, see the April number, 1903, of the West Virginia Historical Magazine.

[37] Fredericktown is the old town of Winchester; see journal of Rev. Michael Schlatter, in Life of Rev. Michael Schlatter, by Dr.

H. Harbaugh, Philadelphia,1857, P.173; note2. "Opequon" is now the name of a little town near Winchester. lt seems to have

been at that time the name of the whole district in which Winchester is situated.

[38] The missionaries, during this journey, passed through territory now comprising the counties of Hampshire,

Hardy and Pendleton, in West Virginia, and Highland, Bath, Alleghany, Roanoke, Montgomery, Botetourt,

Rockbridge, Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah and Frederick in Virginia.

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