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  • ID: I443
  • Name: Elizabeth OTTERBACH
  • Surname: Otterbach
  • Given Name: Elizabeth
  • Sex: F
  • Birth: 1689 in Trupbach, Westphalia, Ger.
  • Death: AFT 1772 in , Fauquier, Va.
  • Burial: Germantown,Fauquier,Va., Old Germantown Cem.
  • _UID: 54522F907B41D511BD9EBDC3D7961731975E
  • Note:
    One thing that I noticed about the list concerning the female members of the First Colony is that some of the Otterbach daughters, and others, are listed and some aren't, i.e., Ellsbeth Otterbach, the second wife of Peter Hitt, isn't listed, but Anna Margreth Otterbach, the wife of Jacob Holzklau, is listed. All of them left Germany with their parents and married into the First Colony, albeit not all of them were "adults" but were teenagers upon arrival in Virginia. I'll list them and some of the other women that are missing from the DNA List: Adult women in the First Colony not on the DNA List: Ellsbeth Otterbach, the second wife of Peter Hitt--she was 25 in 1714 Mary Elizabeth Fischbach, the wife of Melchior Brombach--she was 27 in 1714 Anna Catherine Friesenhagen, the wife of the Rev. Henry Haeger--she was 41 in 1714 Minor females in the First Colony not on the DNA List: Alice Cathrina Otterbach, the wife of John Kemper--she was 17 in 1717 Maria Cathrina Otterbach, the wife of John Joseph Martin--she was 15 in 1714 Mary Elizabeth Fischbach, the wife of John Spilman--she was 18 in 1714, you have her listed as Mary Spilman in the 1714 Fort Germanna section, but she was born in Germany in 1696 Agnes Haeger, the wife of John Fischbach--she was 17 in 1714 Anna Catherine Haeger, the wife of John Hoffman--she was 12 in 1714 Catherine Weaver, the second wife of Joseph Cuntze--she was 17 in 1714

    She was probably born in Trupbacnh and might have lived in the house we saw on our visit in 1999.

    The one thousand and eighty-eighth note in a series on the Germanna Colonies

    Recent inquiries about the Richter family, usually known in the U.S. as
    Rector, have been answered partially. The name Richter in Germany occurs
    quite often so it should not be assumed that all Richters and Rectors in
    the U.S. are related. (The Richter scale for earthquake measurement was
    invented by a Richter who I believe was at the California Institute of

    The Richter history is rich in knowledge. The house that Johann Jacob
    Richter lived in in Germany (at Trupbach) stood until about fifty years ago
    when it was destroyed during World War II. Pictures of it exist and one is
    displayed on the German Photo Page for Trupbach. The actual site of the
    home is known and even the door threshold still exists. An implement shed
    for a farmer now stands on the site.

    I thought that we might go back to Trupbach as of 1707. There were 25 homes
    in the village then and the occupant of each is known. Incidentally, each
    house had a name and I believe that the names have continued down to the
    present. The surnames of the inhabitants of the village in 1707 were Jung
    (Young), Zimmerman, Becker, Heide, Otterbach, Heite, Richter, Schneider,
    Goebel, Becker, Schneider, Otterbach, Otterbach, Wisse, Fischbach, Jung,
    Hugo, Fischbach, Lück, and Schneider. One house had no named occupants. One
    of the houses is claimed to have been built in 1563 but the rest were built
    in the 1600's. Two of these 25 houses are no longer standing and one was
    rebuilt in 1948. Buildings don't die in Germany; they are just born again.

    The locations of the 25 houses are known. Usually the ownership can be
    traced down to the present. Several farmers live in the heart of the
    village even today. In 1707, each house was the home of a farmer even if he
    had another means of earning a living. Almost universally, the houses were
    built on three levels. The first level was the stable or barn for the
    animals which always included at least one cow, usually pigs, and commonly
    sheep. The number of horses was very limited and the basic draft animal was
    a cow.

    Above the ground floor used for the animals were the quarters in which the
    family lived. Then above this was the hay mow. The hay mow was excellent
    insulation for the humans and the animals and people were mutually
    supportive. This arrangement, not unusual in Germany, was particularly
    important in Trupbach because iron processing was done in the region and it
    consumed prodigious amounts of wood for charcoal. For every pound of iron
    that was smelted, it took about fifty pounds of wood to make the charcoal.
    Wood for heating a house was scarce. Essentially, what was available were
    the twigs and small branches that were left after heavier wood was taken
    for charcoal. So it was very important to conserve the heat in the homes.

    Many of the homes were large enough that, without the animals, they would
    be too large today. So many have been converted to duplexes and split in
    the middle to make two homes.

    I am quoting here from a recent article in Beyond Germanna. It in turn was
    based on the book, "Trupbach 1389 - 1989, Ortgeschichte in Texten und
    Bildern." The book was published in German by individuals in Trupbach who
    were interested in its history.

    John Blankenbaker
    The one thousand and ninety-first note in a series on the Germanna Colonies

    The overall picture of Trupbach, the home of the Richters, Otterbachs, and
    Fischbachs in the Germanna Colonies, is a small village that was a
    dependency of a larger city, in this case, Siegen. In 1713 it had 25 homes
    up slightly from the century before. It still did not grow until the
    nineteenth century when mining became important. However, even in the early
    twentieth century it retained the flavor of a smaller agricultural village.
    Today, it is much larger with hundreds of homes at the core of the older
    village and in the surrounding area.

    In 1713 it was definitely an agricultural village. The design of the older
    homes has been maintained and they show the agricultural flavor. Nearly all
    of the 1713 homes had an interest in the "Hauberg" cooperative which grew
    wood, bark, grain, and was used for some pasturage. These haubergs had been
    established centuries earlier in an effort to supply the region with bark
    for tanning, large wood for charcoal, and small wood for heat.

    The photographs that exist from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
    even up to 1950, show a major element in the labor force was females of all
    ages. They harvested grain and hay and stripped the trees in the hauberg of
    their bark. It was not a division of labor. More exactly, both sexes worked
    at everything. (The practice continues until today. The men ride the
    tractors and mow hay and the women use the scythes to cut the edges and the
    corners missed by the mower.)

    Some of the men were trained in other activities. John Jacob Rector was a
    metal worker. His family had been clockmakers for a few generations. The
    Fishbacks seem to be carpenters. John Huffman who came from Eisern seemed
    to be in training as a carpenter. His brother, Henry, who came later,
    apparently was a master carpenter. The process of becoming a master in any
    of these trades was extensive and took many years. Depending upon the
    trade, it might take ten or more years of training before could say he was
    a master of the trade and able to go into business on his own.

    How did one become a "Master" of anything? The process was controlled by
    the guilds, one for each trade. They admitted individuals into training
    under the immediate supervision of a master in the guild. This lowest level
    was the apprentice and the training might start as early as the age of ten
    years. The responsibilities at this age were minor but, as the apprentice
    was growing, the master was judging whether the boy had any potential.
    Eventually, if the apprentice did show an aptitude for the work, he would
    advance to the level of Journeyman. Then he would work with other masters
    and broaden his knowledge and skills. Eventually, when he was in his late
    twenties, he would pass an examination and be called a master.

    Johann Jacob Richter was a member of the Guild of Steelsmiths and
    Toolmakers of the Freudenberg District having been admitted at the age of
    37 years. Just the previous year he had married Elisabeth Fischbach. This
    was typical as people in training were not allowed to marry. Philip
    Fischbach was apparently a carpenter. I will presume he was a Master also
    as he was said to be a carpenter in the church records and one was not
    entitled to the title until the level of Master had been reached. The two
    sons of Philip seemed to have been in training as carpenters but they were
    not old enough to have reached the level of master.

    John Blankenbaker

    WHY THE GERMANS CAME TO AMERICA by Anita L. Ockert To discover the root causes of why so many German emigrants, including our ancestors, would leave their homeland forever, and take a hazardous ocean voyage to an unknown distant land, we must journey back through the centuries to that period of time called the Reformation and the events that followed that great turning point in history. The success of the Reformation was in part due to the wonderful invention of the printing press in 1450 by Johann Guttenberg. Martin Luther completed his translation of the Bible into German in 1535. When it was put into the hands of the people, it loosened the grip of the corrupt and powerful leaders of the Roman Catholic Church on the hearts, minds and purse strings of those people. By reading the Scriptures for themselves, they learned that the Lord Jesus Christ had already paid for their sins on Calvary's cross. By faith in Him alone they could go to Heaven. No longer did they have to pay for sins, past, present and future, or purchase their way to Heaven, as the priests had taught them. The Priests thereby, lining their own pickets and growing rich.' The result of this newly acquired truth however, was not entirely pious on the part of some of the German princes. They had long objecated to the power of the Roman Catholic Church in their kingdoms and resented paying taxes to the pope in Rome. They desired more control over their people and the vast Church lands in their kingdoms. By supporting Luther these princes declared their independence from Rome.As might be expected, it was not long before war broke out between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, which eventually resulted in a treaty giving each German prince the right to choose whether his princedom should be Catholic or Protestant. The princes in the southern part of the country generally choose to remain Catholic, while most of the north became Protestants. A time of peace followed. During this time, the yeomanry of Germany were in a state ofprosperity. Their homes were comfortable, their barns capacious, their stable well stacked with horses and cattle, their crops were plenteous and many had considerable sums of money safely stored away against a rainy day. Outside of Germany, Protestantism was spreading to other parts of Europe. Gradually, unrest developed in Germany over the fact that princes had the right to choose the religion of their people. One hundred years after Luther had nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of Wittenberg Church, a religious war broke out in Bohemia. It was the first faint rumble of the coming tempest. Before long the full fury of the storm of war broke over Germany itself. The Thirty Years War 1618-1648 The Thirty Years Was which began between the Catholics and the Protestants, but evolved into a political struggle for power, was one of the most destructive wars in history. Most of the countries of Europe took part in the conflict, but nearly all of the fighting was done on German soil. Not only were city, town and village devastated in turn by friends as well as foes; not only did poverty, hardship, murder and raping follow in the wake of these strange armies, with their multitudes of camp-followers; but the whole intellectual, moral and religious character of the German people received a shock that almost threatened it with annihilation.. Houses, barns and crops were burned. Horses and cattle were carried off by the various armies which shifted back and forth over the length and breadth of the land. The master of the house was frequently subjected to fiendish tortures, in order that he might thus be forced to reveal the hiding-place of his gold; or, as often happened, as a punishment for having nothing to give. At the approach of a hostile army the whole village would take to flight and would live for weeks in the midst of forests, marshes or caves. When the enemy departed the wretched survivors would return to their ruined homes and carry on a painful existence with the few remains of their former property, until they were forced to flee again by new invasions. There were villages where three-fourths of the inhabitants were killed and some where the entire population had been wiped out. The Thirty Years War left Germany a weak and broken country. When it ended thousands of castles and villages lay in ruins, farming and trade were practically at a stand-still and the country which had been so prosperous was now a wilderness. The population of Germany which numbered 17 million in 1618 had been reduced to 8 million by 1648. Over half of the people had been killed. The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 divided Germany into a patchwork quilt of over three hundred individual dominions. Each German price was now a sovereign ruler, having power to govern his state as he chose. He could make war or peace without the permission of the emperor. He maintained the right to choose the religion of his people but they had they had the right to emigrate if they were dissatisfied. Limited Respite As the people recovered from the blows of the Thirty Years War, farms and villages were rebuilt, towns were again refurnished with patricians and burhers' houses, business and trade were re=established and the German creative talent blossomed forth once more, for this was the age of Rembrandt, Bach and Handel. Unfortunately, it was not long before the territorial princes began ruling their towns and lands with an iron rod. These Baroque princes now had absolute power, with no participation from the lower classes, with no laws and no moral values. These overlords needed money and lots of it to finance their splendid courts, their hunts and festivals, their extravagant mistresses and corrupt officials and to build their magnificent castles. Monstrous taxes and the labors were squeezed out of their peasants. In Hesse and Wurttemberg young men were sold as soldiers to foreign powers. In the Palatinate, to court the favor of Rome, religious persecution was yet again inflicted on the Protestant Inhabitants. The Palatinate The province of the Palatinate was located in the southwest section of the Germanies. It contained what later would be known as the Rhine Province, Baden, Hesse, Bavaria, Württemberg and the Alsace-Lorraine. The latter being sometimes under French rule and sometimes under German. Its inhabitants were the descendants of the group of German tribes called the Rheinfraken, with an admixture of the Alemanni (Swiss). They were known for their indomitable industry, keen wit, independence and high degree of intelligence. They were and still are among the best farmers of the world. During the Middle Ages the Palatinate had been among the most powerful and influential of the German states. The country along the Rhine and Neckar Rivers was known as the garden of Germany; the University of Heidelberg was one of the oldest and most influential seats of learning in Europe. The terrible disorders of the religious wars dealt a deadly blow at this prosperity and glory. Situated as it was along both sides of the Rhine, the great water highway of Europe, and bordered on the west by France, it laid in the most vulnerable area of the land, constantly exposed to the ravages of the contending armies. Armies of every nation, principality, kingdom and tribe marched across it in times of war. The inhabitants that survived the death and destruction left in the wake of these armies, faced hunger, pestilence and desolation. Where once were fruitful farms and vineyards, now whole bands of wolves roamed unmolested; instead of the former flourishing villages a few wretched huts were found here and there. Both banks of the Rhine and Neckar had become a desert, the vineyards gone, the fields covered with thorns. The Peace of Westphalia in 1649 brought respite for a time to this troubled area. Under the rule of the good Elector Karl Ludwig, the land began slowly to recover from its desolated condition. So favored by Heaven was this fertile land that the improvements once begun proceeded rapidly. Many who had fled returned; lands were plenty, taxes were light and religious freedom was enjoyed. Colonists came from Switzerland, Holland, France and even England. Thus, the country in a short time began to prosper anew. A traveler who had passed through the devastated land in 1646 was filled with amazement at the change just twelve years later, "as if no war had ever been there". War broke out between France and Holland in 1674 and by 1675 two German rulers had been drawn into the fray. The Palatinate was once more in the path of destruction. Nobleman, citizen, and peasant were plundered; fields were laid waste, cattle carried off and even the clothing was torn off the backs of the wretched victims. What could not be carried away was burned. Starvation once more threatened the homeless peasant. This however, was but a prelude to the infamous destruction of 1689. Although King Louis XIV of France had no legal right to claim the rule of the Palatinate, he did so at the death of its Elector. All the princes of Northern Europe leagued themselves against him. England, Holland and Germany stood as a solid mass against him. Denied the golden opportunity to legally acquire the Palatinate, he vented his rage by having his armies level its cities to the ground. "If the soil of the Palatinate is not tofurnish supplies to the French it shall be so wasted that it will at least furnish no supplies to the Germans." With this he approved the famous order of his war-minister, Louvois, to "bruler le Palatinat." The historian Macaulay gives a vivid description of the scene that followed. "The commander announced to near half a million human beings that he granted them three days of grace, and that after that time they must shift for themselves. Soon the roads and fields, which then lay deep in snow, were blackened by innumerable multitudes of men, women and children flying from their homes. Meanwhile the work of destruction went on. The flames went up from every market-place, every parish church, every county-seat, within the devoted province. The fields where the corn (wheat) had been sowed were ploughed up. The orchards were hewn down. Not a vine, not an almond-tree was to be seen on the slopes of the sunny hills round what had once been Heidelberg." Mannheim and Heidelberg were leveled and in time twenty-three more cities were burned to the ground by the scorched earth policy of the French armies. The devastation of the Palatinate finally ended with the Treaty of Rijswick in 1697. Once again the respite was of short duration. Although all of Germany was not involved, there was war and rumors of war, between individual provinces or with foreign powers for the next hundred years. But war was not the only problem for the common man. A large majority of the inhabitants of the land were Reformed or Lutherans; there were but few Catholics. Yet the ruling Elector, with a show of tolerance, issued a decree to the effect that all churches should be open to the three confession's This tolerance, however, was only apparent, for while the Protestants were obliged to give up part of their churches, the Catholics remained in undisturbed possession of theirs. The Protestants were required to bend the knee at the passing of the Host and to furnish flowers for the church festivals of their rivals. To refuse meant beatings, fines or prison The Swiss Mennonites, the Walloons, and the Huguenots, who for many years had found refuge in the Palatinate, were now driven from the land; making their way to Prussia, Holland and America. The Reformed Church stood firm. It was bold and self-sacrificing and would not change in spite of violence; the pastors were unyielding. It has been said to be a subject of legitimate pride on the part of the descendants of these people to know that they could not be crushed. These conditions prevailed throughout the whole of the eighteenthcentury. From time to time the Protestant rulers of Europe interfered, and promises would be made, only to be broken. It is tedious repetition to give further instances of this persecution; what has already been given may stand for what went on for nearly one hundred years.
  • Change Date: 28 Oct 2015 at 01:00:00

    Father: Herman Johann OTTERBACH b: ABT 1659 in Trupbach,Nassau-Siegen , Ger.
    Mother: Elizabeth HEIMBACH b: 1662 in Seelbach, , , Ger.

    Marriage 1 Peter HITT b: 1680/1683 in Kaan-Marienborn, Nassau-Siegen, Westphalia, Germany
    • Married: ABT 1714 in , Fauquier, Va.
    1. Has Children John HITT Sr. b: 1715 in Germanna, Essex, Va.
    2. Has Children Joseph HITT Sr. b: 1717 in Germanna, Essex, Va.
    3. Has Children Henry HITT b: ABT 1717/1719 in Germanna, Essex, Va.
    4. Has Children Harman HITT b: ABT 1721 in Germantown,Stafford, Va.
    5. Has Children Mary Ann HITT b: 1723 in Germantown, Stafford Va.
    6. Has Children Peter HITT II b: ABT 1726 in Germantown, Stafford,Va.

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