My Immigrant Ancestor

Hans Georg Hertel

Richard E. Hartle, M.D.

    The year was 1749. Frederick the Great and Empress Maria Theresa were squabbling over the possession of Silesia, not too distant from where Hans Georg Hertel was leaving his homeland to take his family to a new land of opportunity. They left from the village of Eberstadt, located in Baden about 50 km east of Heidelberg. With two small children Georg and Margaretha proceeded to the Rhine river, which took them by riverboat to Rotterdam,a journey of four to six weeks, being detained frequently by the many custom houses along the way. In Rotterdam the family boarded the ship, Patience, commanded by Captain Hugh Steele.
   After stopping at Cowes, England, from whence they made the long, difficult,
ocean voyage lasting at least seven weeks, they arrived at the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, on 19 September 1749. In that year the Philadelphia Academy was founded, later to become the University of Pennsylvania.
       Hans Georg was born on 10 May 1722 in Schweigern, a small town of about 141 families, located in the Margraviate of Baden. He was the seventh child of Hans Bastian Hertel and Anna Maria Dieterich, who were married on 12 June 1707
at the neighboring town of Bobstadt, where Hans Bastian grew up. Hans Bastian's occupation was listed as grave digger. Their other children were:

                                                 Thomas            17 Jan. 1708
                                      Hans Bastian    16 Mar. 1711
                                                 Daniel              14 Jul. 1713 - 29 Sep. 1736   
                                      Anna Catharina 26 Feb. 1716    
                                                 Johannes          13 Mar. 1718 - 8 Aug. 1718
                                       Hans Martin     15 Sep. 1719
                                      Maria Otilia      12 Jun. 1726 - 20 Mar. 1766 
                                Hans Michael   15 Oct. 1730

      Although the records of Schweigern show that Hans Georg's siblings did not stay in Schweigern, as far as we know none of them emigrated to America. In 1736, at the age of 14 years, Hans Georg's confirmation was recorded at the Reformed Church in Schweigern.
      By the time he was 22 years old he had obtained employment with the forester for the nobility at Adelsheim, Baden. On 25 January 1745 a son was
born to Maria Margaretha Gramlich at Eberstadt, Baden. Hans Georg was the father. Both were working in Adelsheim, probably at the castle there. On 13 July of the following year Hans Georg and Margretha were married at Adelsheim. Another son, Johann Friderich, was born on 26 July 1747.
     Anna Margretha's father, Hans David Gramlich, died in the spring of 1748, and the following winter her mother died. In the spring of 1749 Hans Georg and Margretha sold their house for 121 florins, and the family left for the new world with several others from Eberstadt.
     Upon their arrival in Philadelphia, Hans Georg Hertel took the oath of allegiance to the King of Great Britain with the other male passengers who arrived that day, as was required by the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania. The fact that he signed his own name indicates that he had received a basic education, as many who took the oath signed only with a mark. Throughout his life he continued to sign his name with the original spelling in the old German script. In addition to the signature recorded when he arrived in Philadelphia, his signature is recorded on a petition by 450 inhabitants of Frederick
County, Maryland, on 5 March 1766 to Governor Horatio Sharpe to call the state assembly together for the purpose of issuing bills of credit to pay the public creditors. His last recorded signature is on his will, signed only three days before his death.
       Subsequent to his arrival in Philadelphia we have no record of Hans Georg until 13 September 1760
when he purchased 52 acres of land located in Frederick County, Maryland, from Michael Leatherman for "sixteen pounds Current Money." On 19 February 1761 he obtained a warrant for a land grant of an additional 50 acres of nearby land. The warrant was renewed on 10 February 1762 and a patent was granted on 6 May 1766 for this parcel of land called "Hartel's Lott." On 7 June 1770 he was granted a patent on an adjacent 9 1/2 acres called "Little Timber." He apparently made extensive additions to these properties as he was said to have owned 350 acres of land at his death.
      The name was shown as Hartley on some of the above transactions, and he is probably the same George Hartley that is listed on a payroll for the French and Indian war in 1767. For that service he received six shillings.
     Hans Georg had four sons and two daughters that survived until his death. The family resided near Leitersburg, Maryland, and in 1768 he served as constable of the Upper Antietam Hundred (similar to a township). On 23 March 1776 the Council of Safety at Annapolis issued a request for housekeepers to send blankets and rugs to be used for the revolutionary forces who were unable to obtain sufficient blankets for the regular forces. George Hartle is recorded as providing a blanket valued at 18 shillings. Later that year he died - 13 September 1776.
      In his will none of the children's nor his wife's names are given, but he appointed his two eldest sons to be executors of his estate. In the settlement of the estate all of the surviving children are listed: Martin, Frederick, Michael, Bastian, Eave and Peggy.
His estate was valued at 422 pounds, 13 shillings, 6 1/2 pence, one third of which went to his widow (£140..17..10 3/4) leaving 281 pounds, 15 shillings, 7 3/4 pence to be divided among the children. I do not believe this included the land. The inventory of appraisement of his estate consisted of the following:

      "Eight horses, 11 cattle, 11 hogs, 14 sheep, 1 iron harrow, 1 mill for cleaning grain, 1 old wagon, 1 grindstone, 2 mattocks, 1 sprouting hoe, 1 garden hoe, 2 weeding hoes, 1 broad-ax, 1 spade, 2 shovels, 1 brass scythe, 2 axes, 4 forks, 1 branding iron, 'plow irons'; 1 weaver's loom and stays, 1 iron stove, 1 clock, 'pewter basins, dishes and plates,' pewter spoons, 1 brass ladle, 1 iron kettle, 'iron spoons, ladles, and water buckets,' '1 large Bible,' 'books of different sorts.'"

      Martin's wife's name was Susanna, and three children were baptized between 1772 and 1783 at Zion Reformed Church. Several years after his father's death he sold the land he inherited to his brothers and disappeared from the area. He may have been in ill health when he sold his last property, as he signed the deed with a mark, whereas he had previously used his full signature. We have not found any documented record of his children other than their baptisms.

      Frederick's first wife was Catharine Beard, mother of his first three daughters. After she died he married Margaret (maiden name unknown). Nine of Frederick's sixteen children were baptized at the Zion Reformed Church in Hagerstown. He later moved to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, purchasing a farm in Woodberry Township in 1796, which eventually became a part of Blair County.

      Eva Marie is believed to have been born about 1752. She married George Lambert, Jr. remaining in Washington County, Maryland. They had fourteen children, all but one believed to have lived to adulthood.

      The birth year of the son who was my ancestor, Michael, was 1754, as determined from his tombstone. His wife was Susanna, and of his seven known children, three were baptized at Zion Reformed Church, however two of these apparently died at a very young age. It is believed that he was the Michael Hartle residing in Franklin County, Pa. at the time of the 1800 census, but after a short time he moved on to Beaver County, where he ran a tavern across the Ohio River from Georgetown called the Hartle Mansion House. He remained there only a short time, moving again to Rootstown, Ohio, in Portage County in 1803.

      Peggy or Margaret was born 28 December 1757, and married Johannes Conrad Nicodemus, whose family also lived in Washington County. They also went to Bedford County, Pa. probably about the same time as Frederick. They were the parents of nine children. Her birth date is on a fraktur in the Nicodemus family bible

      The youngest son, Sebastian, was the only one of the four sons to remain in Washington County. He was married three times. Sebastian kept the family Bible that was brought from Germany, and his birth, 7 December 1761, and the births of all of his children are recorded there. His first two children were probably by his first wife, Barbara, who apparently died about 1786. Ten more children were born after his second marriage to Catherine. He married Susanna Moyer later in life.

      There are many descendents still living in Maryland, and many scattered throughout the United States. In the past two years our research has provided new information about Hans Georg Hertel and his family, but there is still research to be done. Where was he in this country from 1749 until 1760? What happened to Martin? Records from the 1700's are difficult to find, and we may never know the answers.
        If you would like to have documentation for any of the above I will gladly provide it.


The Family Tree of Richard and Myrna Hartle, which includes the ancestors and descendants of Hans Georg Hertel, can be found in the Rootsweb WorldConnect Project.


Richard E. Hartle, M.D
1788 Baltimore Road
Lancaster, Ohio 43130


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