Skip to main content

Twists, Turns, Mysteries and Adventure - The Walldhauer/Walthour Family in Germany, Part 2

Times were hard. It was the winter of 1738 and Charles Frederick became the new Margrave of Baden-Durlach, Germany. A new ruler.  

Karl Friedrich von Baden.jpg
Charles Frederick (1728-1811)
Portrait by Johann Ludwig Kisling, 1803

New rulers were frequent and their religious policy was defined by “Cuius regio, eius religio”, a Latin phrase, (whose realm, his religion,) meaning the religion of the ruler dictates the religion of his subjects. Disagreement and war about religion was frequent and constant.

As Protestants and farmers, the Waldhauer family, and the community living in Baden-Durlach, Germany, were struggling to survive. Even though it was after the Thirty Years War, the Margravate of Baden-Durlach was still trying to recover from the heavy damages that had been incurred. Fortunately, the area of little towns, Karlsruhe, Durlach and Pforzheim, was in the lower part of the Margravate and was Protestant. While, the peasants were still in turmoil; during this timeframe, it wasn’t any longer due to fluctuation in religion. It was due, in part, to the economic conditions suffered as a result of the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) which forced Badeners to pay high wartime contributions and suffer excesses of French and Imperial Armies marching through their territory.

Hein, Gerhard. "Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959., (,_Germany)&oldid=164022. : accessed 26 Mar 2020, citing map Palatinate, 1959, Mennonite Encyclopedia, v. 4, p. 107.

The villagers were living during a time of constant upheaval and adverse economic conditions. Even in peace there was oppressive taxation, as the feudal rights of the margrave entitled him to 30% of a peasant’s annual income. Additionally, the government was attempting to regulate their use of resources such as the use of wood from the forest.

Families were so hard hit by the last war, that they could hardly feed themselves. The population in the area continued to grow so villages were becoming more and more densely populated. Emigration seemed the only answer to extreme poverty. Hearing about the British Colonies in America and the favorable reception immigrants received, many peasants made the decision to emigrate.

Economic factors drove the decision of the large Waldhauer family to emigrate to Pennsylvania along with about 150 other villagers. They ultimately settled in the colony of Georgia.  How they came to be in the colony of Georgia?

Johann Caspar Waldhauer/Walthour was one of thousands who emigrated to the New World from Germany, during the eighteenth century. The Waldhauer family lived in the Margraviate of Baden-Durlach in Southwestern Germany. The Margraviate of Baden-Durlach was part of the House of Baden which was spread along the east side of the Upper Rhine River. There were two margraviates established: Baden-Baden which was Catholic and Baden-Durlach which was Protestant.

It was a tumultuous time for the German families who resided in the Margravate of Baden. While the family was able to legally remain Protestant, they still suffered great stress and frustration as a result of adverse economic conditions, population growth, inheritance practices, wars, high taxes, mounting debts, and in some instances villagers were reduced to be marginal landowners. It seemed there was no future so the family decided to emigrate.

The focus of this study is the patriarch, Johan Caspar Waldhauer, and the family emigration to Pennsylvania, sailing on the Judith in 1744 and how they came to arrive in the colony of Georgia in 1746. What happened during that span of time?


Popular posts from this blog

Twists, Turns, Mysteries and Adventure - The Waldhauer/Walthour Family - Down the Rhine and Pirates, Part 3 #52 Ancestors

Johann Caspar Waldhauer had lived in the same area of Germany all of his life.  He was the innkeeper at the Sign of the Grapes in Brötzingen, Germany and had land for farming.  His father, Hans, had been a juror in the same town.  His family and friends were nearby.  He prospered for himself and for his landlord, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, Charles Frederick. But times were getting tough.  The yearly tax of 30% of his income was affecting his ability to provide for his growing family. The French and Imperial Army troops were marching through the area frequently leaving the inn  in disarray and  the land unfit for planting.  Any land that had been planted had been affected by the severe winters and particularly wet summers that destroyed the crops, livestock, and seed.  Johann Caspar could see poverty lurking in the future and knew that he had to do something. His friends and fellow villagers stopped by the inn and were talking about the New World.  They heard that  the immigrant

Curiosity - #52 Ancestors - Catherine Hoak Noel

Curiosity   Who was Catherine Hoak Noel? Why does this topic make me shake my head thinking I don't know what to write? Genealogy is all about curiosity. In fact, every discovery that has been made was because I was curious. One could say that curiosity is the foundation of genealogy! In fact, without curiosity there wouldn't be any discoveries nor that next odd and curious discovery that keeps a person digging! Today, I am curious about my maternal third great grandmother, Catherine Hoak Noel. She is one of those ancestors that seems to be a blip on the screen, pretty much invisible. Really though, she is a typical woman of the early nineteenth century. In nineteenth century American society, a woman’s role was predominately that of cook, wife, mother, and homemaker in a rural setting. Families were large. Women were relied upon to provide children who then supplied manual labor on the farm helping to maintain the family income and welfare. Women during that time enjo

It Is All About Location #52 Ancestors

 For years I didn't really give my ancestor's location much thought.  I noticed that my maternal second great grandfather was living in a new location for each census.  How many people move around that much?  One time I got curious and found a township and county map so that I could trace where he and his family were each decade.  It looked as though he moved around in a circle. After that, I didn't consider maps and locations of much importance.  I didn't think about how the area during that time was changing or how the boundaries may have affected their lives.  I didn't think about what history might tell me about the time period and how that affected their lives.  I didn't think about the fact that the ancestors being researched were on the frontier.  I definitely didn't think about what that really meant for my ancestors.  I had a lot to learn. What does the actual study of location entail?  I started by finding a map of the area for the span of years I