By Ruth & William Heidgerd on their trip to Salez Switzerland, 1968


For years, the name Goetschius, in any of its varied spellings, on the page of a documentary history, a church record, a collection of ancient sermons has acted on us like a fluorescent signpost leading down a fascinating trail through colonial history. Corwin’s Manual, Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York, or Sprague’s Annals, these sedate tomes are the prime sources for as colorful a collection of colonial portraits as can be found anywhere.


Moritz Goetschy died the day he landed in Philadelphia, but three of his descendants served the New Paltz (NY) church. His son, Johannes Henricus Goetschius, was the storm-center of the Coetus-Conferentie dispute which disrupted the Dutch Reformed Church for forty years. Another son, Johannes Mauritius Goetschius, grew from young radical to one of the most honored pastors of the area. The next generation saw Stephen Goetschius bring peace and harmony to the churches of Southern Ulster County.


We have amassed from hundreds of sources a patchwork picture of the life of John Henry Goetschius, his family, and his ministry. In 1966 we were able to place this within an equally colorful frame of European background.


One of the most interesting features of this ancestral quest is the fact that by far the greater part of the record has been written by enemies or detractors of the Goetschius family. The conservative ministers who inveighed against John Henry’s ordination (and the corollary contention that the Reformed Church in America should be independent of the ecclesiastical domination of the old country) filled the record with vituperation and all manner of extravagant accusations.


Moritz Goetschy, like his son, evoked violent feelings. To some followers, he became a Moses leading them to the New Canaan in America. To others, he was a Pied Piper luring them to destruction. By 1733, Swiss authorities were already trying to stem the tide of emigration which had been encouraged by glowing reports from the Carolina settlements of J. P. Purry and Count von Graffenreid. The Canton of Zurich passed a law against such travel on 11-3-1734 with severe penalties, but Moritz, seeking a new beginning for himself, had already gathered some 200 followers and departed.



In 1966 we retraced the steps of the Goetschy family on their journey. Our primary guidebook was the photocopy of a pamphlet obtained from the Swiss Archives, “Die Hinckende Bott” written by Ludwig Weber, a disaffected lieutenant of the expedition, and printed in 1735 by the Swiss government.


The first stop in our Goetschy saga was at Berneck, a little village in the northeast corner of Switzerland, where Moritz served as deacon under Pastor Cramer from 1710 to 1720. The old church is gone. The Town Hall facing the small square gleams with fresh plaster and bright color like a toy bank. Behind it is an old timbered house which certainly belongs to the early 18th century. It pleased us to imagine that the Goetschy family might have climbed the steep outside stair to the galleried upper story, and that the profusion of vines which clung to the great gable and the colorful flower boxes beneath the row of small windows might have been tended by Esther Werndlin Goetschius when she was a bride.


Here in Berneck the first four children were born to Moritz Goetschy and Esther Werndlin. The Taufbuch (baptismal register) shows as follows:

Maria Barbara born 2 febr. 1715

Anna born 12 aug. 1716

Johann Heinrich born 4 mar. 1718

Rudolf born 30 okt. 1719


These dates and those from the Salezer Kirchenbuch listed below, disprove the accuracy of the passenger list of the ship “Mercury” which appears in the appendix and which has been used by Goetschy chroniclers heretofore.


In 1720 Moritz received a call to Salez, his first pastoral charge, an even smaller village in the broad valley of the Rhine about forty miles south of Lake Constance. The river is invisible from the white frame church whose clock tower and gabled spire dominate the tiny hamlet, but are themselves dwarfed by the mountains of Lichtenstein behind them. From the west porch, the glory of the Alps spread before us. The exterior of the church has not been changed in the two and a half centuries, but the interior was recently modernized and is as fresh and colorful as the flower-filled churchyard.


Only a few houses make up the village. Its economic power was graphically displayed by the herd of 20-odd cows that paced sedately down the very center of the highway from the north and kept our rented Volkswagen to the stuttering rate of 3 mph for a distance of almost two miles, and thus forcibly turned our thoughts to a simpler age. The railroad passes through Salez on its way from the market town of Altstatten to Buchs, but it stops only to pick up the shiny milk cans ranged along the platform.


The two public buildings in Salez are the church and the Bahnhof Gasthaus. The church clock struck the hour of noon, so we decided to stop here at the “Railroad Restaurant” for lunch before returning to the county seat which might offer better material for research. The restaurant was occupied by several farmers who stared in curious but friendly fashion as we were guided to the other half of the large room where the scrubbed oaken tables were covered with snowy linen. A charming waitress took one look at my hat and said, “What in the world are Americans doing here?” Our halting German was barely sufficient to say, “An ancestor was pastor here in the 18th century. “ Such a flurry that created!


She went to the kitchen and called the proprietor, whose Schwyzer-Deutsch was completely bewildering to us. Then mine host’s wife appeared, hobbling along with her leg in a cast. Frau Goldi’s German was more intelligible to us, and she knew a little schoolbook English. At the magic name of Goetschy, their faces glowed with excitement. “We must telephone”.


It developed that the local schoolmaster, who is also the president of the bank, chairman of the board of the local electric company. and superintendant of the church, was writing a history of the parish and only recently he had published in the weekly paper the story of Pfarrer Goetschy. But, alas, he was giving examinations and could not speak to us that day.


Of course we adjusted our itinerary and returned to Salez two days later to spend the night in one of their two spotless guestroorns scented with lavender from the embroidered linen sheets and also with the aroma from the cow-barn just below our window.


Herr-Lehrer Johann Inhelder and the Heidgerds sat on opposite sides of a big table in the far corner of the Bahnhof Gasthaus, where the gay talk and spontaneous song of the Saturday evening regulars provided only a pleasant background for our discussion. He was armed with a portfolio of maps, church transcripts, historical booklets, and a large German-English dictionary. We had a folder of notes, a photocopy of the Weber pamphlet, and a smaller wordbook.


Without giving Frau Goldi’s wonderful dinner nearly the attention it deserved, we compared notes. A bottle of the local wine either sharpened our wits or reduced our inhibitions about speaking in an unfamiliar tongue. The material from both sides of the Atlantic was combined to complete the story of the Goetschy family and the tragic event which led to their exile.


Moritz Goetschy was born in Zurich on September 26, 1686, the son of Rodolph Goetschy and Magdalena Kolloger. We have been unable to check the tradition that an ancestor was a member of the powerful “Constaffel” whose 13th century guildhall still stands on the Limmatquai, but it gave an added fillip to our enjoyment of the gourmet dinner served us a few days later at “Zum Ruden” in the same ancient vaulted chamber where a Heinrich Goetschy may have been elected mayor of Zurich during the early period of the city’s emergence from feudal rule.


Moritz married on July 25, 1710, Esther Werndlin. Her despairing letter from Pennsylvania indicates that she too had prominent connections. We noted that the name J. Jak. Werndli appears in the list of pastors of the church at Salez for the period from 1676 to 1692.


Herr-Lehrer Inhelder earnestly assured us with sonorous but quite untranslatable titles that the sponsors for the Goetschy children listed in the Salezer Kirchenbuch were definitely of the first families of Zurich, though many of them appeared by proxy. These children were:

          Beat, born 18 sept. 1721

Johannes Mauritius, born 20 okt. 1723

          Maria Magdalena, born 5 aug. 1725

Steffan, born 30 mar. 1727, died 4 jul. 1727

Anna Katherina, born 21 febr. 1729

           Esther’s birth, probably in 1720, was not found either in Berneck or in Salez .


Records from the Swiss Dictionary of Biography show that Moritz was an outstanding Oriental scholar and it seems somewhat surprising that he remained in this tiny country parish until he was 45. Possibly, according to what we are told of his character, he clashed with authority over the narrow sumptuary law which regulated almost every aspect of church and social life, from the width of a collar to the number of guests permitted at a wedding, and the fee a pastor might receive.


In 1731 a tragic scandal struck the parish. Barbel Rudisühli, the maidservant at the parsonage, had an illegitimate son, Johannes, born January 21, 1731, and Pfarrer Goetschy was named the father. Barbel was exiled from the parish and died in Marpach on March 10, 1731. The child also died. The pastoral list reads: “Moritz Goetschy, remotus propter adulterium cum ancilla die 3 febr. 1731. ‘” His career was halted. Certainly this might explain the bitter character of Esther as shown both in the Weber pamphlet and in her letter from Pennsylvania.


Moritz and his family returned to Zurich. Here for a time he taught in the Latin School, and his young son, Johann Heinrich, became a student there. Obviously it was a difficult position for this proud family and, when John Conrad Wurts, son of the pastor of St. Peter’s Church, began to urge emigration on the lovely Anna Goetschy, his suggestion was quickly adopted by the whole family.

In October, 1734, they set out from the Limmatquai for America. Despite the blot on his record, Moritz was made leader of the expedition. The best report of the journey is to be found in Ludwig Weber’s journal, if we allow for his hatred of Goetschy which is evident on every page. His prejudice led him to many inconsistencies and contradictions, but the reader should have no difficulty in discarding them to uncover an accurate picture of the emigrant journey. A limping translation of the old Schwyzer-Deutsch dialect follows:



































T h e


from Carolina




from Wallisellen,




of his Journey

from Zurich to Rotterdam

with that certain company

which recently

from Switzerland

to Carolina

planned to emigrate.

Zurich/ by Joh. Jacob Lindinner/




obtained from Zurich Archives, 1965




This trip-journal is not only candid and set down in complete honesty, as well as a man could report the same from mere memory, but also, for verification, the people quoted in dialogue have carried on and then reported their conversations with each other in writing in the same way.


Though it can readily be admitted that a man could have been mistaken in some minor detail of the story, yet it still stands that, as affects the major events, one need not have the least distrust in this tale.



Ludwig Weber from Wallisellen is one of those who, in the Wine-month of the past year, 1734, in the company of that notorious Goetschy from Zurich, emigrated in hopes of finding his fortune in Carolina. At that time, because he was the head of a household of nine living children, he thought when he saw (Goetschy) and heard him boast of this land, that he could hope for all his dreams to come to pass.


He made up his mind in this way to venture on the journey with one son and to look around and if he was well situated to send for his wife and other children also. If not, he would return again and try to save the money he had squandered by hard work and household economy. So he went with this mixed company all the way to Rotterdam and stayed in that place, along with most of the group, for several weeks. But then he and most of the other folk came to realize that what had been reported of this widely-heralded new land was foul and false, and that the poor people who through vain hope had let themselves be led astray to journey thither were now fallen into such lamentable distress that they knew not where to go from there. Finally, those who had a little money traveled over to England, but the others let their names be registered to sail to Pennsylvania. So now he had no report to encourage him to set about a great and distant journey, but he has traveled home again with his son.


After his fortunate arrival home, he sought out a neighboring schoolmaster who was an intimate friend and companion, and with him held the following conversation, in which he told about his trip as well as he could and what had carried him away and back.


LUDI. Good day, friend schoolmaster.

SCH. For heaven’s sake! Are you here again, friend Ludi?

LUDI. Praise God that I am here again.

SCH. I presumed that you were already in Carolina and you would soon report much good from this new land.

LUDI. I also had hoped so, otherwise I would not have attempted the journey to squander so much money and to endure so much hardship.

SCH. Sit down, then, and tell me about your trip.

LUDI. Very willingly. You know that our men set forth from Wallisellen in the fading year, the 4th of October, but I set forth the first morning thereafter in the ship from Zurich in which there were 96 persons.

SCH. One can blame you so much the less than if you had induced the others to the journey Indeed one should advise no one to so doubtful an undertaking, besides taking care that one does not bring others as well as himself into misfortune and indebtedness. But how far did you go the first day?

LUDI. As far as Lauffenburg.

            SCH. It should have been a good and merry thing to you to be there.

LUDI. It turned out otherwise, and Hans Jacob Kuhn from Rieden and his wife had already had enough and for that reason went back together by stealth.

SCH. It appears that they have tasted strange fruits, yet they were fortunate that they had not traveled further.

            LUDI. At Rheinfeld we were forced to show our passports. Everyone crowded around as if they had never before in their lives seen such people. There it happened that a certain Brunner from Kloten, who was quartered in that place discovered his wife among us by accident. He was very astonished at this and tried to restrain her from the journey. As he could accomplish nothing with her, he wished to take the children from her by force, whereupon they came to blows. Finally the woman proved master and departed with us, to together with her children. It was this poor wretch who there after fell into the Rhine, first at Mainz and afterward below Mainz; and at Rotterdam one of her children, named Jacob, about two years old, died.

The same evening we came to Basel where we met a certain man who had left Zurich the day before us, and also a group who went there by foot, of whom 28 persons were from Buchs, together with several others.

SCH. They said the men from Basel sheltered them at in the almshouse and meat and bread were distributed. Indeed it is actually reported that they had 4000 gulden distributed along their journey.

LUDI. In this manner they were able to supply the colonists with many provisions. The first ones were so lucky and kindly-treated that they gave them meat and bread, but most of the others laid themselves down in a bed in the gutter for as long as we stayed in that place, so that we were in considerable distress.

SCH. Why did you remain in Basel so long?

LUDI. We were required to wait for a French passport and, because they gave us none at Huningen, it was necessary to send someone to Strasbourg.

SCH. How much did this passport cost?

LUDI. 44 gulden, but it was paid for them by the people of Basel.

SCH. Did you leave immediately after?

LUDI. No, we still had to wait two days on the boat. Meanwhile, the wife of Conrad Naffen from our village again tried to go home, but when she arrived at Aengst and could show no passport, she had to return to join us at Basel.

At the appointed hour, nothing had yet happened about this matter, and so long did they have to wait for a passport, that a tailor from Lichtenstieg advised them it would be better they traveled by foot through France. He offered himself to them as leader, if they were receptive to the suggestion, because he could understand the French language and knew the way well. He went that way from this place, also 31 persons with him, but of that group we heard nothing more from that time forward. 40 to 50 others from Buchs, Esch, and Mettmenstetten decided to travel through the Lorraine via Namur towards Rotterdam. To be sure, these were lucky enough at several places to receive alms, but they fell into quarrels and blows with each other on the way Still they finally arrived together at Rotterdam eight days after us.

SCH. What did you have to pay in passage money from Zurich to Basel?

LUDI. For one adult person, one gulden, and for a child, half as much, with which the ship passage would be paid.

SCH. How much did you have to pay from Basel?

LUDI. They also made a distinction between adults and children, and made the first pay three gulden and the others half as much to Mainz. But they had paid for our ship and afterward only two small vessels appeared for the passage from here and return.

SCH. So you fared better in the ship from Basel than from Zurich?

LUDI. It was certainly necessary for us, because of very rainy weather and the cold, although it helped us little enough, since most were poorly-clad and lacked everything. As we sailed from Basel, a boat from Winterthur, refugees from debt, wished to travel along with one of our boats, but they were rejected.

On the other hand, a maiden by the name of Margaretha Bader from Affholteren, who had promised herself to a soldier at Basel but later repented it, took her refuge with us in order that she might get away from the fellow. Because of these two occurrences more than a trivial uneasiness arose. There were also 80 Piedmontese refugees who journeyed with us from Basel, but they were in a separate ship.

SCH. How many were there in both your ships?

LUDI. There were 194 persons in them. And the first night’s quarters were below Basel on an island full of trees and shrubs in the middle of the Rhine under the open sky. We had to make choice of such quarters even as far as Collenburg, which was very grievous to us since, as I said before, the weather was very cold and wet. Indeed we could not always approach the land, even by night, but must sometimes remain on the ship, although we could not sit straight, much less could we lie down.

SCH. How then did the poor children fare?

            LUDI. That was the most pitiable of all, especially as we could cook nothing on the ship. As I said, often day and night we must remain aboard. Therefore such a wailing went on meanwhile that one’s heart was apt to tail. Then when we came ashore we cooked, warmed and dried ourselves under the open sky as well and as much as possible, whereby the poor women sighed indeed a thousand times for their warm cottages and wished they still had but a small corner of one.

SCH. Fore done and after thought has brought many great sorrow.

LUDI. That sorrow we experienced enough. Most Its pictured to themselves that they would be treated hospitably along the whole journey from Basel. They were sorely dismayed when they saw there was nothing like that to hope for but they comforted themselves that the Commissary would soon come with the money. As he did not appear, they would gladly have desired to turn back, but because soldiers lay on both sides of the Rhine, they dared not venture. Therefore such a lamentation broke out that the men blamed the women the women blamed the men; Hans blamed Heini, and Heini, Hands, and over it they came to blows. The Goetschy woman also frequently quarreled with her husband and bestowed a him the most insulting and shameful names. One morning indeed, she even tore the cane from his hand and thrashed his back thoroughly with it, from which he would have run away but the children screamed and begged him to remain.

SCH. What happened to your boy?

LUDI. Nothing very good. You know that both the older ones, of whom one was 14 and the other 15 years old, would gladly have gone with me, but because I wished only one, the had to draw lots with each other, and the lot fell to the younger one. But the poor wretch said, “They have guns, and I am unarmed. “ On one side of the Rhine, very near to us, we saw the emperor’s forces, and on the other, the French night fires which were frightful to behold. We also had to be on the lookout all the time for an attack against us from both of them so that we had to keep our party very still. Embarking and disembarking were very difficult and slow to be carried out especially by night and with so many small children.

SCH. Were you never arrested?

LUDI. Well, near Alt-Breisach all the trunks and what was loaded aboard ship were struck open and we were thoroughly searched. In this case, when the Goetschy fellow went to the Commandant in the fort, that officer advised him that we should sail away immediately, since he could see through a telescope the French on the other side of the Rhine had three guns from an entrenchment aimed at the ship to shoot it to the bottom.

SCH. You didn’t reflect long, did you?

            LUDI. No, we got away from there head over heels. Beyond Breisach a child of Johannes Heid, the tailor from Greiffensee, died.

           SCH. You say nothing much about Goetschy.

            LUDI. I could never talk enough about him. Three or four days’ journey beyond Basel, he placed before us the idea that it would be necessary and proper to organize good government among us. For this purpose, he caused the heads of families to stand in a circle on the shore, and proposed as lawful counselors: 1. Abraham Bunninger from Bashenbulach; 2. Abrham Wyidman, smith from Luffingen; 3. Rudolf Weidmann, tailor from Rumland, and 4. Hans Gut, chief constable of Esch. (That Heinrich Huser, silkmiller from Albisrieden, who separated from us at Brill and wrote a letter home which was published, is his son-in-law). It happened Goetschy also appointed eight judges to be chosen by lot, who two by two, should serve under each of the four stewards: 1. Jacob Naff from our village; 2. Jacob Schallenberg of Flunteren on the Spiegelhoff; 3. Heinrich Gallman from Mottmenstetten; 4. Hans Maag from Hochfelden; 5. Jacob Dentzler, tailor from Dubendorif; 6. Conrad Keller, our carpenter; the 7th was I, and the 8th, Hans Grob from Zwillikon.

SCH. Because you were so soon divided, what indeed would have happened when you had come to Carolina?

LUDI. We wished at that very time to let the matter be dropped. At Ketsch, some Hussars from the imperial army halted our ship and showed themselves completely inflexible against us. Thereupon, Mr. Wirtz of Zurich, as our Commissary (a title he had appropriated to himself without our knowledge or desire) must go over to Heidelberg and obtain a passport which cost 30 gulden. But he for certain reasons did not give his correct name around there, but called himself Hans Conrad Weisz. On the way, the Hussars had taken from him his tobacco-case, which loss he claimed should be compensated for by a small amount from every party and we must pay the Hussars two ducats. They also rode along the shore below Mainz for about 3 miles. But we would not have got through at all if their superior officer had not been from the reformed religion. They snatched the meat from Goetschy’s bowl and as they devoured it, they swung their sabers around his head, whereby he lost his appetite entirely. By many such occurrences the gold was used up so that they had almost no more, not even to pay the ship fees. So the newly-elected stewards came before the Goetschy fellow and begged him to take charge of things and to help them in their necessity. They believed his deceitful trick that they would be helped onward to their destination by good-hearted people.

SCH. What followed thereafter?

            LUDI. Nothing very good. When Goetschy had so arranged it that they would rebel, out of which perhaps murder and stroke of death might befall, and we must fear that all of us would be placed in arrest at Mainz over this. So we sought to settle this business, and those who could not pay the fare, (there were 40 or 50 of them) were placed under one of the flew stewards, Constable Gut, from Esch, parted from us and journeyed by foot.

SCH. You have told before how the Goetschy fellow represented to you the necessity and usefulness of good order, but it seems he has introduced a cabbage order. Continue your story about it.

LUDI. At Mainz we had to stay four days because we could not come to terms with the ship’s people about the fare. Finally we were at one about the business, to pay them to Rotterdam 3 gulden for a grown person and for the children, as was usual, half as much. Whereupon we departed from there and things were a bit better than before, because now we had the opportunity to cook both tore and aft in the ship. Also we had a fine honest crew who exhorted us to prayer so that our trip might be lucky and blessed.

SCH. Did you not then have a single church service from Goetschy who called himself your pastor, especially as without that he had nothing to do? Did he spend the time with you in reading, prayer, singing, and admonition?

           LUDI. It certainly should have been that way, and it would have been only right, but instead this miserable man always had either his tobaccopipe or his wineglass at his mouth. However, a certain Heinrich Scheuchzer from Zurich read a service to us morning and evening. Some days after the quarrel I told about, the Goetschy fellow held a service aboard ship, in which he likened the stewards to the gang of Chora, Dothan and Abiram against him. Over that such strife arose anew between him and them that they almost came to blows, but could not get at each other because they were not placed on one ship. However, when the two ships were docked together, they struck at each other with sticks, and Goetschy reviled especially the tailor Issler, called him a cursed knave, and demanded that they put him out of the company or he would no more be pastor. During this business, we had come to a little town where we halted the ship for a night stop, but that Goetschy and his family went into the village. Before we got started in the morning, he and Commissary Wirtz called all the heads of families together and asked us what evil we knew about them. They demanded also that each one who held with them should raise his hand, but the others should join with Issler. Then all hands rose unwillingly, but most still secretly held with Issler, and then, in order that this business should be settled, they asked pardon of Goetschy and Commissary Wirtz; and Goetschy proclaimed anew that he had true and painstaking concern for us. Meanwhile the ship’s crew were impatient that they should wait so long for us because of this, and especially that we treated Issler so poorly. Finally we set off and must now remain two or three times overnight in the ship.

SCH. You were certainly a well behaved little group together, such as one could hardly find in a stork’s nest.

LUDI. They reproached us in several places that if we had any sense, we would have stayed at home

SCH. It was also planned that they should set up a paper mill in Carolina to make fine, clear notepaper, since they would send there all the best materials from Switzerland. Be that as it may, continue on with your story.

            LUDI. When we came to Neuwied, there four couples were consecrated in marriage by a reformed minister, namely: I. Commissary Hans Conrad Wirtz with Anna Goetschy; 2. Conrad Naff from our village with Anna N ; 3. Jacob Rathgeb with Barbara Haller, both also from our village; and 4. Conrad Geweiler, a gardener. The Count himself wished to receive us all together and to give us homes and supplies necessary for maintenance, but since he could not promise us as much as we believed we would obtain in Carolina, we would hear nothing of this, but we set sail again. Commissary Wirtz distributed 6 or 8 measures of wine to the lucky newlyweds, but his father and mother-in-law, who were in the other ship, had nothing.

From Neuwied we came to Collenberg where we had to lay over for 4 days because of strong winds, during which time Goetschy held a service, after which a collection was taken for us, from which each company obtained almost a Dutch gulden. It also happened that Goetschy and his household were given special help, and he was a guest somewhere every day. Two gentlemen also gave him 20 gulden, intended for us, but we saw nothing of it. We had to sing often for the burghers, for which they distributed among us many good things: money, meat, vegetables, potatoes, and beer, worth a great deal. We had our quarters in a barn, for which each person must pay every morning one stuyver, or half a good ‘”batzen’” and we cooked mostly on the banks of the Rhine. Here also died a child of the platemaker, Heinrich Schreiber from Riespach.

SCH. Because things went so well for you in this place, it seems you would have thought that your fortune would be better there.

            LUDI. That’s true. However, Goetschy sent 3 men: Abraham Banninger, carpenter of Bachenbulach, Jacob Issler the tailor, and Abraham Weidmann, smith from Luffingen, up to Rotterdam, with the claim that two English ships would be there that had waited for us a long time, and that in England preparations had already been made for us to spend the winter but there wasn’t the least truth in that, as you will soon hear. He and his son-in-law here also sold both our ships which we had brought with us from Zurich for about 45 Dutch guilders, but there was to be no return for us from that, and we must thereafter pay for an adult 3-l/2 stuyvers as far as Rotterdam and half as much for a child. However, it had been bargained before that the Mainzer ship’s crew would carry us there for what we had paid them before. So we all had to board one ship and hoped to arrive at Rotterdam that same evening. But be cause we were in such cramped quarters and had so much inconvenience, it was impossible for us to remain longer aboard and we urgently begged the captain to set us ashore in some place or other where we could camp. Abraham Bunninger son fell into the water and his mother pulled him out again only with great difficulty. Baithasar Bossarten’s little boy from Flunteren had the same misfortune and when I pulled him out again, his mother said she gave me no thanks for it. She was moreover angered with me because I comforted her, and she cursed and swore at her husband and blamed him because the had left Zurich and must now endure such great misery. The Goetschy fellow urged us to make haste over this so that we might finally get to Rotterdam. Then, said he that same evening he had talked with an English lieutenant of the guard who told him that they waited for us with great impatience, so that we should not delay longer, but set forth early in the morning so we should still reach Rotterdam during the day.

SCH. You have certainly had troubles. You might have come too late to breakfast and the people would be annoyed be cause they had paid your expenses on the way.

            LUDI. I have heard that all my life, for which I am a shamed that I ought not to worry about ridicule. Certainly we had nothing to hurry about, since at every place we had the same kindness and consideration that a sow would have in the house of Jews. Then also, as soon as we had arrived, the men who were sent ahead at Neuwied, came to us and told us that they had asked about the English ships everywhere, but there was no one who knew anything about it. We were rudely startled at this, so much the more since Goetschy, instead of consoling us, said he could help us no more. Each one of us would have to see how he could get along on his own and where he wished to go. The boatmen also hurried back, so that we had to take our baggage from the ship and pile it all in a heap.

SCH. So your leader was of very little comfort.

            LUDI. Yes, we were quite sick about this. The Goetschy fellow had received a letter from the well-known Herr Schobinger of St. Gall that he should come to him at the Hague in hurry. He went there immediately with his son-in-law and left his wife and children at Rotterdam, but we knew nothing about him from that time on. Finally we divided ourselves in to different lodging-houses. But many, the great majority except for those who had money, set themselves to begging. This activity was soon given up as worthless, since six days after we arrived, word was sent from the City Hall that people were forbidden under penalty of a 25 gulden fine to give us any further alms. They were also obliged to send us away. And everyone was tired of looking at us and stayed in the city, and once more we did not know what we should do or where we should turn. While we wandered around, about a half-hour away from town, we came to a lodging house called “At the Cat” where we agreed to meet with our people and support ourselves there until our departure, so that our 160 people were together. After a few days, Commissary Wirtz came to us and said they would send us several oxen from the Hague so that we would have something to eat until we got to England, and the town fathers would let us travel there at their expense. A lot of money had also been collected for us in England

SCH. That should certainly have been an encouragement for you, especially when the oxen came.

LUDI. Yes, we waited with great eagerness for the oxen. Finally Goetschy came and said that the heads of state had promised him an important and very profitable pastorate. It would help him and his household and would also be of assistance to us. It is easy to imagine how we felt about this, especially since the poverty and distress around us grew ever greater and, as I said, no one dared beg lest he be clapped in jail in Holland without ceremony. The men could pick cranberries, but the women and children had to spin. We were also stripped of all charitable help, which became the worse for us because of the cold winter season. Worst of all, we couldn’t get into a warm room unless we paid 2 stuyvers lodging every night. Everyone had to choose what he wanted to do. We didn’t even have good drinking water, much less wine. So from hunger and want came much sickness and misery, and the wife of Hans Meyer from Oberstenmur died as well as her two year old child.

SCH. It makes one’s ears burn at your tale of how Goetschy, according to his own story, arrived at the prospect of good days for himself which he had held up to you before your journey from your refuge in Zurich, so that he was proven a prophet, but an evil one. Still we will let that remain in our hearts, and you may continue.

           LUDI. A tailor from Buchs, Sebastian Neracher, who was married in Rotterdam, then sought us out, especially those from Buchs. He also brought gentleman,Joh.Schapenhaudt,who lived near him. This man had great pity on us and reported our deplorable condition here and there so vigorously that many people pitied us and distributed generous alms to us. But since Goetschy led us so badly and we had neither help, counsel, nor comfort from him, three men, namely: Abraham Bunuinger from Bachenbulach, Chief Constable Gut from Esch, and Jacob Bossart from Mulliberg, left us to go to the Hague to complain of him there. They all told what he was, how he conducted himself on the journey and kept as bad a household as the most shiftless people, also that his son-in-law frequently ordered us to go aboard ship in angry tones, and other things they knew in addition, whereby his reputation would suit the facts.

SCH. You knew in the beginning who and what he was and should have realized that such a man would not help you nor could he bring you good luck. People certainly told you often enough and warned you and still you trusted and believed him and let him pull you around by the nose on the journey.

LUDI. We acted like the unlucky gambler who always hopes to win back what he has lost, but the longer he plays, the more he loses and gets deeper in debt.

SCH. You can judge for yourself. But Goetschy should had had a little thought for those of you who could so readily give him a poor reputation.

LUDI. He came in all haste with the aforesaid Schobinger to us in our lodging-house at Rotterdam and gathered us all together before himself. Then Schobinger began: Herr Goetschy complained bitterly about us, that we had slandered him and his son-in-law in a godless way. if we knew anything bad about him, we should say so. He also made serious threats about how hard things would go for those who had gone to the Hague, so that not only those three men, but the rest of us also felt considerable unnecessary fright, so no one dared say anything and each got himself out of the way. Then Schobinger set out an affidavit stating that we knew nothing of Goetschy and his son-in-law but honor, kindness, and virtue, and we had to sign it. After many more threats they withdrew with this. The delegation now were secretly afraid of the whole business, and saw that they had no way to protect themselves against Goetschy, so they decided to journey over to England, to which plan still more also allied themselves.

SCH. And where did the others go?

LUDI. As we set out, many people showed us sincere charity and not only sent us food and drink, but also clothing and blankets. They paid all the lodging-money for us and let us go forth from starving to burning. Also it happened that the above-named tailor went from Herr Schapenhaudt to Herr Pastor Wilhelm and told him about our condition and begged him to take up our cause. Pastor Wilhelm advised that our 3 men from the Hague should go to Herr VonFelsen at the English court and complain to him of our need and beg him to help us. We took the advice with thanks. I myself with two others went to the Hague. As we came there, we first had ourselves announced to Goetschy and told him our intention, and he himself directed us. But it didn’t please him at all, and it turned out to be a complete failure for us. He said he had already talked a long time with Herr VonFelsen so that man had complete information about our condition. When we did not go away, he kept us for the midday meal. Also dining with him were his son-in-law and Schobinger, also one Herr Zallikoffer of St. Gall. After the dinner Goetschy said he would give us a letter to Herr Wilhelm. But when we had waited for it for an hour, he announced to us that he had already sent the letter by his son. So we had to go back to Rotterdam without having attained our objective.

SCH. It is no wonder that he didn’t follow an honorable course with you. Yet if, because of him you had journeyed fruitlessly only from the Hague to Rotterdam, you would have had sweet consolation. But continue.

 LUDI. After a few days, Goetschy came to us and said, “It is certain that the gentlemen have found the best thing for us to do, to travel to Pennsylvania. If we wish, they will advise us where to apply for this.” Most were forthwith satisfied with this and let themselves be enrolled, but those who could write, wrote their own names down. Then they went to a ship owner and agreed with him for a grown person 6 doubloons and for a child 3, and if any should die on the journey each of the others who came through alive should pay as much for those as for themselves. I have also heard since I came home again, that they set out the 24th of February from Rotterdam to that country, but they had more optimism and courage to attempt this than I.

 SCH. Still, it mustn’t be so bad, since you said they still had some money

LUDI. Hold on. Common report was that the passage was to be paid, but when they arrived in Pennsylvania they would be sold and must redeem themselves from that by service. Since the passage money came to a great sum and often from a large ship only few were left, most of the poor people are fallen into such debt that they and their children have to pay all their lives for it and in this way must become miserable slaves.

SCH. One would think you yourself had been in this state that you are able to talk so much about it.

            LUDI I have learned enough to tell about it, and you can also find out about it from trustworthy books.

         SCH. Yes, I have also read something about this. Pennsylvania is an English province in America and is like Carolina and lies in the same direction, but there is another province between them, and it is not nearly so far as to Carolina. That province is inhabited by different sorts of Europeans with the greatest strength and power, by whom most people are held as tenants. The lords proprietor which have claim to this are English. The capital city is called Philadelphia and it seems to be as full of people as Zurich. The people who come there without passage money become, as you said, just like bonded slaves. According to the amount of their indebtedness, be it more or less, and whether the inhabitants have need of them or not, they will be sold for more or less years. Young unmarried people will be disposed of at the best price, but the man who brings wife and children with him, does not find a purchaser so easily and it turns out that one goes here and the other there.

LUDI. I had almost forgotten to report that in addition to the rest, 22 arrived at Rotterdam from Kloten, and also on Christmas Day a ship arrived with a few others who had emigrated from the same place. Though each wished it, no one employed them at all, so they also fell into great need and misery and knew no one to turn to. I heard it reported that two of these traveled back again to Zurich.

SCH. This party also had great beginnings, since there should have been 40 people there from Kloten alone. Things were still worse for this group than for you when the imperial soldiers at Alt-Breisach ordered you to take to the ship after you were past the French. Although they set out with every hope and friendliness and without causing any further trouble, those on the land were taken by a hostile party and treated shamefully. In this way the party soon became separated. Some went off by foot downriver, others turned back. A few took service under those Swiss regiments serving the emperor. But continue what you were talking about before.

LUDI. As I began to realize by my own shame and privation what I would not have believed before, I had no desire to set out on a still longer journey and to encounter more misfortune, but found it most advisable to return home My boy had been able to bear up pretty well on the way, but because I was afraid that if I should come home without him, people might be suspicious of that, I took him with me too. On the way at old Sylvester’s, two hours from Herzogenbusch, we lay overnight on a haystack in a barn. At nine o’clock five men came with lanterns, flint and pistols and started to storm about and called with great clamor that we should stand up and come down. As we descended the ladder and came to ground level, they bound our hands behind our backs and led us into the kitchen to the fire, where they examined us carefully and searched us all over. They also took our money and everything we had. Meantime, they were sitting by the fire and drinking with each other. We would have toasted them willingly indeed, but in the matter of drinks we were regarded like the priest at Easter. One of them asked each of us what religion we were and, when we answered, “Reformed,” he said, “I also. “ When we had passed a couple of hours in this anxiety and distress, they set us free and told us to go up into the hayloft again, but we could sleep very little more that night as you can well imagine. In the morning, the host delivered up to us our money and the things they had taken from us, all in good order, whereupon we took the downward road and went our way.

SCH. They had some design in saying that the best comes near at hand. Perhaps you were never so warm on the whole trip as by this fire.

LUDI. I thought more of my wife and child and mourned for them as for myself. But we traveled without further impediment through Lorraine and Burgundy, by Basel and are finally and fortunately come home.

SCH. What happened that none of the others traveled back with you?

LUDI. It was not for lack of desire, if they had only had the money to do it. Especially Casper Notzly from Herssland and his son would gladly have come along, but he had no money at all, otherwise he would already have been here. But he lay sick at Rotterdam some weeks and had to pawn his clothes for 5 guilders.

SCH. It seems you can’t do much without money in any part of the world. Likewise, each of those who actually arrived in England and with great difficulty was recommended to the king so that he let them travel over to America, could not take much pride in that, because they stirred up so much more trouble for others with the joyful letter they have written here from London.

LUDI. Those who have no money are as much harassed thereby in strange places as at home. They don’t give or do anything for nothing. As we traveled about an hour’s distance from Rotterdam, we met a funeral procession going from the churchyard. They had to let the corpse stay there unburied because they did not have enough money to pay for a funeral. Without doubt they would have had to take the body back again if the tailor from Buchs of whom I spoke before, had not pitied them and finally made good the fees.

SCH. You have certainly had many shocks and rude experiences.

LUDI. It would not have been so hard to report, if I had only noted things down in order from time to time. however, we will get together again with the hope that one thing and another will come to my mind about the subject.

         SCH. So it turns out for poor men if they are not satisfied with the station in which they are placed by the all-seeing God, but would demand better days and become rich by force. As the Apostle says, in temptations and many foolish and shameful desires, instead of timely and natural mourning and repentance without which no true absolution results, they will crash to their downfall and eternal destruction. The Lord has mercy on these same poor unfortunate people for whom His dear Son shed His precious blood, that in their distress they let not their spirits sink into despair, or from impatience fall into such wickedness that they plunge themselves into even greater and perpetual misfortune and heart’s sorrow, bat with contrite hearts, they take their refuge in the mercy and grace of God, because in the failure of all human help and trust, they can cling to Him and take comfort in Him and finally, after the course of their pitiful life is completed, they will be taken up into His eternal and heavenly kingdom. You were exiled long enough from your shelter and home, and perhaps the dear Lord thinks sorrowfully of this and considers it would have been your great fortune if the authorities had not let you go. But now you see how wicked the world is all over. It is foul and false and just see in what great distress poor people live elsewhere and how sorrowfully they must contrive. Without doubt, you will now again be joyful and grateful for the good that the Lord your God imparted in you situation, and also especially that you were for the most part unconquered by it, and have come home again safely. I thank you meanwhile for your tale, and if I can serve you or yours in anything, I will gladly do so.

LUDI. And I thank you for your well-meant remembrances and good offers and, because it is time to go home, I wish you continuous good health and whatever is wholesome for soul and body.

SCH. Wait. I must yet give you on the way, the conversation between Jorge and Michel which came into print on the occasion of your journey. You can read it at leisure at home. It contains among other things a letter from a friend at Zurich to his friend at St. Gall in which the things that happened to you were reported briefly but explicitly, and so well is it foretold as if at that time everything had already come to pass. It is written as if he himself had been there with you. Meantime, farewell, and greet your wife and children for me.

Two letters complete the story of the Goetschy family’s journey to the New World. John Henry’s letter to Deacon Werdmiller, the assistant at St. Peter’s Church in Zurich, tells a harrowing tale of the sea voyage and the landing, but ends with a young man’s somewhat boastful optimism for the future:


To Rev. Mr. Werdmiller at Zurich, 7-21-1735


Very reverend, very learned Mr. Deacon:

I, the most submissive servant of my highly revered and very learned Mr. Deacon, cannot forbear to report to your reverence how we are getting along. After we had left Holland and surrendered ourselves to the wild tempestuous ocean, its waves and its changeable winds, by God’s great goodness towards us and a fair wind, we reached England within 24 hours. After a lapse of two days we came to the Isle of Wight and to a little town called Cowes where our captain supplied himself with provisions for the long ocean voyage and we secured medicines against this wild sea. Then we sailed away from there under God’s providence with a good east wind. When we had left the harbor and saw this dreadful sea, we had a favorable wind only for the following day and the following night. Then we had to endure a terrible storm and the awful roaring and raging of the waves when we came into the Spanish and Portuguese Ocean. For 12 weeks we were subjected to this misery and had to suffer all kinds of severe and dangerous storms and terrors of death, which seemed to be even more bitter than death itself. In addition we were subjected to all kinds of evil diseases. The food was bad for we had to eat what they call galley bread. We had to drink stinking muddy water full of worms. We had an evil tyrant and rascal for captain and first mate, who regarded the sick as nothing more than dogs. If one said, “l have to cook something for a sick man,” he replied, “Get away from here or I will throw you overboard. What do I care for your sick devil?” In short, misfortune is everywhere upon the sea. We fared no better. This has been the experience of all who have come to this land and even if a king traveled across the sea it would not change


After we had been in this distress long enough, God the Lord brought us out and showed us the land which caused great joy among us. But three days passed, the wind being contrary, before we could enter the river. Finally, a good south wind came and brought us in one day through the glorious and beautiful Delaware, which is a little larger than the Rhine, but not by far as wild as the latter because this country has no mountains, to the long-expected and desired city of Philadelphia.


When we reached here, our dearest father, because of the long and tedious journey and the hardships so unbearable to old people, was very sick and weak. On the last day when we were before Philadelphia, the elders of the reformed congregation came aboard to him and showed their great joy over him. They spoke with him as their pastor who had been appointed to that position by the ruling persons in Holland, as was shown by his testimonials which he had with him. They discussed one or other church affair with him and showed their great joy. He spoke heartily with them as if he were well.


On the following day, they came and took him ashore, but when he reached the land, he was so exhausted by his illness that he could not walk alone but was carried in a chair to the house assigned to him. When they arrived, they wished to talk with him about some subject or other. Of his own people none were with him but mother, the children were yet on the ship on the water. Then he said, “It is so dark before my eyes. Let me lie down and sleep. “ As they did not want him to sleep in that room, since people were coming in continually and he would have been unable to sleep, they carried him up to the bedroom. In the middle of the stairway he sat down, lifted his hands to his heart and his eyes to heaven, heaved a sigh, and died.


On the third day, a very distinguished funeral took place in the principal English Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia with a large attendance of people. All the members of the Consistory of the Reformed Church and very many of the congregation were present.


Now we, his wife and eight poor forsaken orphans are in a strange land among strange people who do not know us, poor and without comfort. We therefore commend ourselves most submissively to all those in Zurich to whom our misfortune may become known and whose hearts may be touched in order that they may graciously grant us their assistance. It can easily be sent into this country if they will only send it through Mr. Wilhelmius at Rotterdam, for which I ask most humbly forsake of the merciful Jesus.


Very Reverend Mr. Deacon, when I showed my testimonials and the people saw that I had been engaged in study, they almost compelled me to preside over the congregation as well as I could. Hence through the goodness of God I preach twice every Sunday and teach two catechetical lessons. For this I make use of the books which I brought with me and through good diligence I am enabled, thank God so perform this service in such a way that each and every person is well satisfied with me. Now the first Sunday I preach in Philadelphia both in the forenoon and in the afternoon and always give catechetical instruction; on the second Sunday, at Skippack which is a very large congregation, a sermon and catechetical instruction in the forenoon; in the afternoon at Old Goshenhoppen, two hours from Skippack, a sermon and catechetical instruction. It is also a pretty large congregation, as large as any in the canton of Zurich. On the third Sunday I preach at New Goshenhoppen in the forenoon and have catechetical instruction there; in the afternoon at Great Swamp which is also one of the large congregations. All this I can do through the strength given me by God’s spirit to the great satisfaction of the people. I expect to be ordained next Christmas by the English Presbyterians in order that I may be able to minister the communion, unite people in marriage and baptize the children. With the help of God, I intend to do this.


I would be able to do this all the better and put forth greater efforts for the souls of abandoned and confused people, if I had my library which is in charge of Mr. George Kromer. I therefore ask your reverence most humbly, if at all possible, to send it to me very quickly, not only for my sake and the large number of poor orphans left by my sainted father, but also for the sake of the many thousands strayed and shepherd-less sheep who go about in error and in a destitute condition, yea for the sake of the many heathen who thereby might be led to the Lord Jesus, as has already been done.


Given on the 21st of July.

Henry Goetschius,

Philadelphia in Penna.


Esther Werndli Goetschius, however, was completely despairing. Her letter to her sister, Frau Ursula Oehrin in Zurich, was published in German in the American Historical Review, V. 22 p.123, with the following preface:


(Because of the fact that the wisest counsel of our gracious lords of this city about the conditions of those people who set out for Pennsylvania and Carolina are of less value than letters, so the following authentic letter arrived first at Zurich a week ago from the widow of Preacher Mauritz Goetschius from Philadelphia, the chief city of Pennsylvania, date November 24, 1736, to her sister at Zurich, It came from Cantzley to Zurich, with the postscript that still more such mournful letters reporting from London came to support what has been ordered by our highly esteemed and gracious lords They publish and communicate these letters which report such wretched conditions to their subjects to read, especially thus who still have a desire to travel to this land.)


My much-beloved sister and brother-in-law and all people in my fatherland:


I know not whether my satisfaction is greater or my condition more melancholy in which, after enduring this indescribably unfortunate journey, I learn, as it just comes to us here, how our gracious lords and other honest people truly foretold how strangely evil has rewarded my late husband for his great pains and sorrow over the godless people, so that is an example to all men, be they spiritual or worldly, how false and cheating rabble, against the will of their noble lord draw people from the land (justly would they be stricken by God with blindness for their obstinacy) and in this land there is nothing else for them to hope for than that they shall be a among the heathen, whether from here or from over there.


A man must serve 3 years for his passage. As to children, for half passage the girls must serve until they are 18 the boys until they are 21.


There are so many religions: Reformed, Lutheran, Catholic, Holy Rollers, Mennonites, Pietists, Quakers, 7th Day Baptists, Atheists, even those who call themselves nothing who believe in no creed, no public worship, no church, no school, indeed no God, no devil, no heaven, no hell. There are just as many kinds of speech: English, Swedish, North Welsh, High German, Low German, Dutch.


There are many negroes who have now been sold here as slaves for life.


The heathen of this country, living in the woods amongst us, are very loathsome people, brown, downright godless pagans. They beat one another to death like dogs, go naked daubed with red, green and yellow paint, have rings in their ears and noses. I am terrified of them. In short, religion and country count for nothing here. This land is a house of refuge for banished sects, a republic for all the evildoers in Europe, a confused Babel, a receptacle for all impure minds, a home of the devil, a primitive world, a Sodom.


The most deplorable thing is that in all America every pure Swiss is treated like a German. We have met here people from every town and district and village in all Switzerland. There are pure Swiss who possibly 30 or 40 years ago were driven out by starvation from Switzerland into the Palatinate, but now have come to this land and, because of the entire lack of the Word of God have fallen away into all sorts of sects, so that the wretched people must be ruined in body and especially in soul.


Then the body is destroyed on account of the inhuman cold of the winters. Clothes here are so frightfully poor and expensive that they cannot be obtained. A poor shirt costs 3 or 4 florins ($1.50) One wears here only half wool, half linen. One can have no other here. It is cold beyond measure here in winter; in summer, it is beyond measure warmer than in Switzerland, so that many people faint away from the heat. One must subsist on such bad food and drink, The bread is very coarse, besides which wild turkeys, buckwheat and potatoes are our food, water is our drink. A quart of wine is worth 3 florins.


The people live so far from one another, neighbors must often travel an hour through the woods and brush arid thorns before they come together; therefore one often meets with great rivers and wild animals such as deer, bears, wolves, wildcats, frightful evil snakes. One must ride and carry a gun along. their little cabins are more wretched than any pigpen or sheepfold in all Switzerland. Their household furniture is nothing but treebark. Their drinking cups and dishes are nothing but calabash or gourds. In short, their poverty is indescribable.


What one finds in intellectual matters is even greater poverty. They don’t learn to read. They have neither books nor pamphlets, neither churches nor schools, neither church services nor sacraments. They can become nothing but heathen. The young people know nothing of God, therefore, they are so terribly disobedient to their elders. When they are 18 their parents may no more correct them. Therefore many parents must groan cruelly over such children that are so corrupted. I have also had to undergo this sorrow with all other misfortunes.


As far as I am concerned, under such circumstances, I am the most luckless creature and the most wretched of women. Then whatever I brought here from my homeland is completely rotted and destroyed. I must live among such people who do nothing for me and no godly works, with each one begrudging me what God has bestowed on me through good people in my fatherland and in Holland.


Esther and Mary Barbara support themselves here and there with spinning; the three younger boys are bound out until they are 21 years old. The youngest is with me. My situation is contemptible. My vocation is worth nothing here in this country. Here I cannot maintain a school since no one will take me in. I must spend my life here in the uttermost poverty and have been pushed from one refuge to another, and my exile, for the most part, is among the Anabaptists. I must even spend my poor life among them who esteem no religion, no public worship, no sacrament. It is like a sword in my heart when they revile me daily and say tome, “Where is your religion that God upholds you thus?” I would a thousand times rather live among Catholics. I know not how things will go with Henry since he must travel so far to discharge his preaching duties, besides, he needs so many shoes and clothes that with his pitiful wages he can accomplish nothing. When the clothes from father S. are worn out, l am very worried that he must go downright naked. Oh, had we but obeyed our gracious lords and all good people who warned us so truly and still we did not hear, wherefore now this misfortune comes upon us and there is no deliverance to hope for across the detestable sea.

I pray also to all people in my homeland that they should not so lightly oppose the prohibition of my lords and plunge themselves body and soul into misery, and my poor children, who bear no blame for this misfortune, should they come once again to their fatherland, it would surely be merciful for them.


Oh, had my lords but enforced their mandate, we would still be there at home.


Such misfortune will certainly fall upon all those who stubbornly oppose their command, as Stricker from Wartau has also undergone, who two years ago, departed from Berne with a few hundred people for Carolina. More than half of them pined away in that same land, and he came here again with a little cargo, and a few weeks ago, he wretchedly gave up his poor life and left behind a widow and little son.


As it is written, “0 Israel, they destruction is upon thee, whereby now I must daily moan and sigh. Lo, misfortune cometh from the Lord. How shall I endure apart from the Lord.”

                                                Esther Werndtly

11-24-1736 Philadelphia

Compiled and translated by:

Ruth & William Heidgerd



Scanned and converted to Word document computer file with minor editing.

Arnie Goetchius









      Hans Maag, self ) both from Hochfelden                    5

      Johannes Maag, sell)                                                      3

      Heinrich Gassmann, self                                                4

      Heinrich Engeler, self                                                     5

      Heinrich Gallmann, from Mettmenstetten, self              4

      Abraham Bunninger from Bachenbulach, self               4

      Hans Grob from Zwillikon, self                                     8

              a daughter of his died in childbirth and

               the child also

      Hans Dutweiler, self                                                       6

      Wachtmeister Hans Gut from Esch, self                        5

      Margareth Bader, from Affholteren whose

        brother remained at Namur                                            I

      Hans Stierli, self                                                             7


from the collection of the Stadtbibliotech, Zurich.



Rupp’s Collection ot Upwards ot 30, 000 Names. . . . gives a “List of Foreigners Imported in the ship, Mercury, William Wilson, master, from Rotterdam, qualified at Philadelphia, May 29, 1735. This list is transcribed in the left-hand column below.

Notes on the right hand side of the page are gleaned from this pamphler (marked #) and from Faust’s Swiss Emigrants, which includes pastoral reports concerning emigration from a great many parishes in northern Switzerland. These lists, certainly, would be more accurate as to spellings and birth dates than the passenger list. In addition, they indicate the spouses of those women who are listed by maiden name alone on the ship’s report.


Aberly, Rodolph            22  - Hans Rudolf Aeberli from Walli

                                              sellen, son of Jacob, b. 9-11-1712

Albrecht, Barbara          40  - wife of Jacob Bucher

Alman, Ulric                 24

Appell, Regula              39  - Regula Appert, wife of Jacob Frey

Aner, Hans Ulric           42  - Hans Ulrich Auer, from Stadel Wind

    Verena                          9   lach, b. 12-5-1699, h.w. Verena

    Felix                             7   Eberhardt, b. 9-25-1701; Verena b,

    Hans Ulric                    5   1-29-1725; Felix b. 1-5-1727; Hans

    Margaretha                   4   Ulrich b. 1-10-1729; Margareth b.


Bentz, Verena               19  - wife of Martin Schellenberg

Bindscheder, Susanna   30

Blueler, Caspar              47

    Hans.Hend.                 13

    Catherine                      9

   Hans Jacob                    8

Barlin, Saliane Cath.      --

                                            - #Bossart see Possart

Bruner, Heinrich           17  - Heinrich Brunner, b. 5-3-1716, son

                                              of Jacob Brunner dec’d, called the

                                              trumpeter of Basserstorf.

    Anna                           11  - “Anna Kern, wife of Jacob Brunner

                                              with 2 children after having faith

                                              lessly forsaken her husband went

                                              with H. Goetschy to Carolina”

                                              from Kloten. #Jacob, 2 years old

                                              died at Rotterdam.

    Ulric                             6

                                            - Hans Heinrich Brunner, b. 12-19-1728, son of dec’d Heinrich Brun ner, tailor of Basserstorf.

                                            - Bader, Margareth # went to England

Bucher, Jacob                39 - from Buchs, b. 4-10-1696, h. w.

   Jacob                            10  Barbara Albrecht b.10-l2-1695;

   Hendryk                        B  Jacob b. 9-1-1725; Heinrich b.


Butschinger, Jacob         19

                                            - Bunninger, Abraham, carpenter

                                              from Bachenbulach, with wife and

                                              2 sons. #Named steward. Went

                                              to England

Dentzler, Jacob              40 - Jacob Danzer from Dubendorff, b.

    Rodoiph                        5  7-15-1703, h. w. Magdalena Pfis

    Jacob                             9  ter. Tailor. Jacob, b. 7-28-1726;

    Margaret                       4  Hans Rudolf b. 5-9-1728; Margar

   Abraham                        3  etha, b. l-5-1730;Jacob b. 5-24-173:

Doppeller, Barbara        52 - Ann Barb. Dappeler wife of Konrad


Dubendorffer,                     - Heinrich Dubendorffer, called

   Abraham                        9  Christian Hugen, from Bassers

   Anna                              6  torff, b.10-3-1695; h.w. Barbara

   Rudolph                         3  Meyers from Wallisellen; Rudoiff

                                              b. 4-22-1726; Anna b 2-18-1731;

                                              Barbara b. 4-25-1734

                                            - Heinrich Dubendorfer, the mason’s

                                              son of Basserstorff b. 5-8-1698;

                                              h. w. Verena Widmer from Ottikon

                                              Felix, b. 11-17-1733

                                            - Killian Dubendorffer, called Kreb

                                              ser, from Basserstorff, b. 2-19-

                                              1704; h. w. Verena Krebser from


   - Hans Jacob Dubendorffer, called      Krebser, b.4-12-1696; h.w. Mag

                                              dalena Krebser from Wallisellen

                                            - Hans Dutweiler # went to England

Eberhard, Barbara          30 - Barbara Eberhardt, dau. of Felix

                                              the cooper of Ottikon, b. 5-22-170

Eberhard, Verena           27 - wife of Hans Ulrich Auer

Egg, Rodolph                 19 - Rudolf Egg, from Escb, bp. 6-7-

                                              1705, son of Hans Rudolf Egg

                                            - Engeler, Heinrich, # went to Eng

                                              land with 5 in the family

Frey, Jacob                     50 - sergeant from Uster, son of dec’d

    Anna Barbara              10  Heinrich from Sultzbuch, bp.12-l-

    Elizabeth                       8  1695; h. w. Regula Appert, bp. 1-8

    Hendryk                        6  1699; Anna Barbara b. 12-17-1724;

                                              Elsbetha 1-30-1725; Heinrich b. 10

                                              24-1728. “With him has gone Hans

                                              Jacob Homberg a boy of 17 years 2

                                              months. He is not in Carolina but

                                              in the Spanish service, his wife &

                                              children with Hans.

Forst, Hendryk              19

Goetschy, Hendryk       17  - Mauritz Goetschy b. Zurich 9-26-

    Esther                         44   1686, d. Philadelphia 5-9-1735. #

    Barbara                       18   h. w. Esther Werndli; Maria Bar

    Esther                         16   bara b. 2-2-l715;, Anna b. 8-12-

    Anna                           24   1716; Johann Heinrich b. 3-4-1718,

    Rudolph                      12   Rudolf b. 10-30-1719; Beat b. 9-18-

    Mauritz                       10   1721; Johannes Mauritius b. 10-20-

    Beat                              8   1723; Maria Magdalena b. 8-5-1725;

    Magdalena                    6   Anna Katherine b. 2-21-1729

Glaur, Barbara               31  - Barbara Blaar wife of Conrad Keller

Grendelmeyer Ursula    27  - Ursula Grundelmeyer, wife of

                                              Heinrich Huber

Gut, Caspar                   19  - b. 11-14-1713, frorn Wangen, left

                                              after the death of both parents

                                            - Hans Gut, chief constable from

                                              Esch. # named steward, went to

                                              England with 5

                                            - Geweiler, Conrad ft gardener, was

                                              married at Neuwied, wife unnamed

                                            - Grob, Hans# from Zwillikon, judge

                                              went to England with 8 (a daughter

                                              died in childbirth, also the child)

                                            - Gallman, Heinrich from Mettmen

                                              stetten# judge, went to England

                                              with 4

                                            - Gassrnann, Heinrich 4 from Hoch

                                              felden went to England with 4

Haller, Barbara              23  - dau, of Hans George Haller of

                                               Wallisellen, b. 10-7-1708; 4 mar

                                              ried Jacob Rathgeb at Neuwied

    Elizabeth                    20  - wife of Jacob Naff

Heid, Johannes              24  - #tailor from Greiffensee, son died                               beyond Breisach

Homberger, Jacob         16  - see under Jacob Frey

Hueber, Hendryk           70  - Heinrich Huber of Buchs, b. 1698;

    Rudolph                        6   h. w. Ursula Grundelmeyer, b.

    Elizabeth                    11   1707; Hans Rudolff 1732; Hans Ja

                                              cob b. 1733 d. in Rotterdam

                                            - Hug, Heinrich, wainwright widower

                                              b. 9-27-1668, died on ship to Penn-


Isler, Anna                     43

Isler, Catherine              34

                                            - Issler, Jacob#, tailor, sent to


Keller, Conrad               36  - Hans Conrad Keller, carpenter from

                                               Wallisellen b. 3-14-1706; h. w. Bar

                                              bara B1aar b. 12-9-1703. #Judge.

    Matthias                       1  - Mattheus b. 7-25-1734

Kentling, Marguerite     29

Kern, Verena                 30

                                             - Kern, Hans Jacob, dec’d sexton’s

                                               son unm. from Bulach

                                             - Kern, Anna wife of Jacob Brunner

                                               which see above

Kleyn, Philip                 23


Krebser, Magdalena      49  - wife of Hans Jacob Dubendorffer

   Verena                         30  - wife of Kilian Dubendorffer

Kubler, Hans                 43

   Jacob                              5

   Elizabeth                        5

Kirberger, Marie C        39

Lips, Barbara                 30  - wife of Conrad Rutschi

                                             - Maag, Hans # from Hochfelden,                     

                                                       Judge, went to Enland with 5                                

                                             - Maag, Johannes# from Hochfelden

                                                 went to England with 3

                                              Luenhardt, Hans Ludwig, son of

                                               Heinrich from Wallisellen, b.


Mantz, Magdalena         29

Maurer, Jacob                43

   Marguerite                   42

    Elizabeth                     19

   Anna Marg.                   7

   Johan Hend                  19

    Regula                        23

Matzinger, Jacob           37

   Felix                              8

Merck, Hendryk            19  - Hans Heinrich Mercki, from Wall Killian         16         sellen, b. 6-3-1688; Ii. w. Elsbeth

   Hans Conrad                  5   Wezstein, b. 5-30-1693; Heinrich,

   Hans                              6   b. 2-23-1716; Kilian b. 11-22-1719;

                                               Hans Conrad,b. 9-21-1727; Hans b


Meryly, Catherin           29  - Caty Meyle wife of Abraham


Meyer, Conrad               51  - Hans Conrad b. 1682 from Buchs;

     Melchior                    51   h.w. Magdalena Weidman b.1682

                                               Melchior b 1620

   Johannes                      39  - #Hans Meyer from Oberstenmur,

                                               wife & 2 year old child dired

    Barbara                       39  - wife of Heinrich Dubendorffer

    Jacob                           39

    Leonard                      14

    Jacob                             9

    Barbara                         4

    Hans Jacob                   8

    Magdalena                    6

Metler, Jacob                 17

    Hans                           23

Moelig, Johannes          40

    Erenreich                      7     

    Verena Gertrat            15

    Andreas                        4

    Marie Cath.      1-1/2

    Gottfrid                      10

Notzly, Caspar              45  - #from Herssland, sick at Rotter


Muschque, Hendryk      23

Muller, Hendryk            21  - Hans Muller, from Steinmur, b. 9-

    Marie                            5   25-1707; h. w. Anna Weidmann,b.

                                              3-16-1704; Hansz b. 2-15-1733;

                                              Anna Maria, b. 7-23-1730; his

                                              brother Heinrich b. 5-29-1712

Naf, Conrad                   52  - Konrad Naff from Wallisellen, b.

    Anna                           19   7-11-1680; h. w. Ann Barb. Dappe

    Hans Jacob                   9   ler, b. s-2-i686; Anna b. 6-23-

    Jacob                            7   1715; Hans Jacob, b. 1-20-1726;

                                              son b 1-25-1728

    Jacob                          24  - Jacob Naff from Willisellen, son

                                              Konrad, b.12-1-1710; h. w. Eliza

                                              beth Haller b. 5-24-1711

    Jacob                          39  - from Wallisellen b. 2-17-1692; h. w

    Elizabeth                      4   Elizabeth Kuhn b. 12-15-1695; Anna

b. 7-28-1720; Lisabeth b. 3-18-1725;


Conrad                      22 - Hans Conrad from Wallisellen, son

                                              of Ulrich, b. 4-30-1713; # married

                                              Anna N. at Neuwied

Neumeister, Christian    - -

Oswald, Hendryk          20

Ott, Johannes                 19   Hans Ott, son of Rudi from Unter

                                              langenhard, Zell.

                                            - Ott, Lisabeth bp. 2-20-1726 from


Possart, Caspar              10

   Hendryk                        3

   Rodolph                         2

    Jacob                          40  - Bossart, Jacob# from Mulliberg in

                                              deputation to the Hague

    Balthasar                    30  - Bossart, Balthasar# from Flunteren,

                                              child fell in the river

    Elizabeth                    17

   Rodoiph                       10

    Anna                             6

Phister, Magdalena        37  - Magdalena Plister wife of Jacob


Peter, Elizabeth              21

Rathgip, Jacob               24  - Hans Jacob Rathgeb frem Wallisell

                                               en, b. 7-29-1708, son of Jacob

                                               dec’d. #Married at Neuwied,

                                               Barbara Haller

Ruegg, Catherine           20

Rutschy, Conrad            27  - Conrad Rutschi 37. from Schlieren;

   Jacoeb                          10   h.w. Barbara Lips 38 and 2 child

   Hendryk                         7   ren 11 and 9. Concerning this fam

   Hans Jacob 2 weeks ily the most live as read the letters

                                               that have come to me.


Schellenberg, Martin     20 - from Wallisellen, b. 11-29-1706; h.w

                Verena Benz b. 4-3-1713

Jacob                        45 - #Judge from Flunteren

Ursula           17 - from Wallisellen b. 7-4-1701, sister

                             of Hans

Schenkel, Jacob          27

   Cleova 30

Scheuchzer, Hendryk 43 - #from Zurich, read services on the ship

Schmid, Jacob 32 - from Buchs, b. 1692; h. w. Cathrina

   Jacob 15 Koch b. 1697 d. in Rotterdam;

   Felix 23 Anna b. 1719; Jacob b. 1720; Fel

   Barbara 5 b. 1722; Kly Anna B. 1729; Johan-

   Barbara 15 nes b. 1731 d. in Rotterdam; Felix

b. 1733 d. in Rotterdam

Schreybar, Hendryk       22 - #Heinrich Schreiber, platemaker

 from Riespach, child died

Schweitzer, Caspar       20

Schreik, Anna Cleophe     2

Surber, Hendryk            50

        Hendryk                 15

        Verena                     5

Steininger, Magdalena 30

Stotz, Regula                 37

                                             - Stierly, Hans# went to England with

Walder, Rodolph            39

   Jacob                              4

Wackerly, Abraham       30  - Abraham Weckerling from Oberlang-

   Verena                           2   enhardt; h. w. Caty Meyle b. 4-13-

                                               1705; Verena b. 1-7-1731

                                             - Jacob Weckerly from Zell, School-

                                               master’s son, unmarried

Weist, Jacob                   24  - Jacob Wuest from Wallisellen, b

                                               3-18-1714, son of Hans Heinrich

   Rodolph                       26

Weidmann, Abraham     25  - #smith from Luffingen - steward

   Barbara                        30

   Judith                             2

   Barbara                          3

   Jacob                            40  - Jacob Weydman from Dattlikon

                                               wife & 4 small children

Weidmann, Jacob            5

       Magdalena             49  - wife of Hans Conrad Meyer

                                            - #Rudolf Weidmann, tailor from

                                              Rumland, steward

Weber, Marie                30

Weiss, Johannes            43  - Hans Wysz 45 from Oberwinterthur

    Barbara                       18   h. w. Els Hoffman 35; Babelj 18;

    Elizabeth                    16   Betelj 16; Vre 13; Anna 11, Els 9.

    Catherine                      9

    Susanna                        3

    Anna                             6

Wettstein, Elizabeth      39   Elizabeth Wezstein, Wife of Hans

                                              Heinrich Mercki

Winchla, Elizabeth        31

Wuertz, Conrad             26  - #Hans Conrad Wirtz from Zurich,

                                              Commissary, married Anna

                                              Goetschy at Neuwied

Zuppinger, Conrad        36  - Hans Conradt Zuppiriger from

    Margurit                     19   Oberlangenhardt; h. w. Babelj

    Hs. Ulric                     12   Meyer b. 3-19-1689; Margellj b.

    Hendryk                       6   7-12-1718; Hans Ulrich b. 9-20-

                                              1722; Heinrich b. 2-19-1730; Hans

                                                          Casper b. 12-21-1732




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