Documentation of Families Leaving Germany in 1733 to Berks and Lancaster Counties

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Author Poffenberger “From Germany to Antietam” to join this year’s Pennsylvania Library Association Book Exhibit to be held in Lancaster, PA on October 24-27

The book documents the achievements and tragedies of early settlers in Berks and Lancaster Counties to Maryland and Virginia as they deal with changing events outside and within their German culture. The reader is offered a view of the character and life of these early Germans including conflicts among early religious sects.

Johann George Pfaffenberger was born in a village south of Bayreuth, Eastern Franken, in 1698. He migrated as a young man to Baumholder, West Franken, where he married Anna Martha Schuck. George Jr., first of seven births, was born 25 Feb. 1717. George Sr. worked as an itinerant blacksmith for seventeen years in villages around Kusel until in 1733, he along with John George Riegel, received permission in the offices of Licktenberg Castle, Duchy of Zweibruken, to leave Germany with their families and join in the mass immigration from the Palatinate. A personal account is given of the long journey down the Rhine to Amsterdam and the suffering during the many weeks voyage to America.

The family arrived in Philadelphia harbor on the ship Mary, 29th of September 1733. Other ships arriving the fall of 1733 brought families associated with the Pfaffenberger family including Kantner, Stupp, Gally, Grubb, Seibert, Stump, Props, Sherman, Riegel and Wildfang. These families soon migrated to the Tulpehocken, later Berks, County. Problems with Indian tribes soon grew since the land had not yet been traded by agents of William Penn.

Also on the Mary, was nineteen-year-old Margaretha Kettle. As the result of a shipboard romance with George Jr, a son, John Poffenberger was born shortly after landing. John later was employed in the iron works in Lancaster County at Brickerville. He had seven sons and in 1776 migrated to Maryland. The battle of Antietam during the Civil War was fought in part on Poffenberger farms. His father, George Jr. after a long parental delay, married the mother of John and had five more children. Before French and Indian War, they left Tulpehocken for the remote headwaters of the Potomac River where he was killed in an Indian massacre while a selected few women and children were taken to villages along the Ohio were some later said they were well treated.

The story continues for the families in the Tulpehocken who soon faced the dangers of the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War where family members served General Washington. For this early American history go to From Germany to Antietam by logging on to

From Germany to Antietam * by Thomas Poffenberger
Third Edition    
Publication Date: December 19, 2009
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 356 pages; 978-1-4363-9339-3
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 356 pages; 978-1-4363-9340-9

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

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