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Broad Bay, Maine Families Migrating to North Carolina 1769-1770 Part Two

At least twenty families migrated from Maine to North Carolina and settled on Moravian lands from 1769 to 1771. This article, referenced as segment two, is a follow-up to part one entitled, “Broad Bay, Maine Families Migrating to North Carolina 1769-1770”. The information provided here will enhance the lives of these families as they entered the piedmont region to begin a new life. Some of the families remained members of the Moravian church and community: while others left the area altogether.

Photo of Friedland Moravian Church Cemetery with aerial view insert by Bryan Snipes 19892

When the families first arrived in Wachovia, the Moravians greeted them with food and lodging. Some of the families stayed temporarily in Bethania, while others sought shelter within the new construction sites around Salem. The Broad Bay Settlement, first established during the early months of 1771, quickly changed names to the Friedland Settlement. Known originally as the South Fork section of the Wachovia tract, Friedland lies near present-day Forsyth and Davidson county lines. The families signed the Brotherly Agreement on July 21, 1771, and obtained 200 acres of land per the contract by the Salem Land Company, which is owned and operated by the Moravians.

Of the people traveling from Broad Bay, Maine to North Carolina, eleven signed the Brotherly Agreement and lived in Friedland. They are Peter Fiedler, Peter and Elisabeth Krohn, Johann Fredrick Kuntzel, Anders Lauer, Jacob Reed, Jacob and Barabara Rominger, Michael and Catharina Rominger, Melchoir Schneider, Phillip Vogler, and George Willard.8 Who among the traveling families stayed, and who left for other areas?

Michael Rominger(3/16/1709-8/31/1803) and his wife, Anna Catherina Anton Rominger(11/22/1717-4/2/1794), lived in the Friedland settlement for the remainder of their lives. The couple were buried at Friedland Moravian Cemetery and verified as Moravian church members. Another note about the Rominger surname as it reflects family members living along Dutchmen Creek and Leeper Creek, as the following documentation proves. Tryon County, 150 acres were issued to George Rominger dated 1775 along Dutchmen Creek and 150 acres in the same area dated 1773. In Mecklenburg County, 150 acres for George Rominger dated 1766 along Peter Rominger’s Branch, and finally Lincoln County, 78 acres were issued 1783 along Leeper Creek for George Rominger.4 Smith Rominger applied for a land grant in 1883 for 65 acres located in Watauga County along Laurel Creek.4 This lineage of the Rominger family thrived for many generations, and many descendants still live in the same area known today as the South Fork.

The brother of Michael Rominger, David Rominger(9-27-1716-4/3/1777), did not prosper quite as well. David was residing in Salem soon after his family arrived at the Moravian lands. His wife, Catherina Barbara Fridich Rominger (10/30/1713-2/8/1771), died a few months after surviving the trip to North Carolina. Son Phillip Rominger (4/11/1750-2/9/1771) died the day after his mother departed.8 David moved from Salem to Bethabara and remained there until he died in 1777.

Phillip Christoph Vogler(4/2/1725-8/20/1790) and his wife Anna Catharina Seitz Vogler(11/29/1732-10/1770) left Broad Bay with the Rominger family. Anna became sick with fever and succumbed to the disease near Cross Creek, North Carolina. By 1784, Phillip could no longer maintain his farm in Friedland. He gave up the land and moved to Bethabara to work as a cooper and day laborer.8 Phillip later moved from Bethabara to Bethania before his death in 1790. The records state his death occurred at 2:30 in the afternoon as he quietly fell asleep.8

Nicholas Orph returned to Broad Bay, Maine, with his wife, Barbara Hahn Orph. They remained there for the rest of their lives. Nicholas died 8/31/1795.

John George Hahn(2/8/1718-9/21/1788) and his wife Margaretha Barbara Anspach(11/28/1721-10/18/1789) live in Friedland shortly after arriving in North Carolina. The records indicate the burial of George Hahn, dated September 22nd, 1788. A confusing statement among the Moravian Archives states that by October 22nd, 1771, George Hahn decided to stay on the South Fork but residing in Friedland and attending church in Friedburg.8 Another note for the Hahn surname portrays John Haun obtaining 140 acres in Mecklenburg County along the Catawba River and Long Branch during 1768.4

Map displaying Adam Schumacher’s home site in present-day Forsyth County, NC6

Adam Schumacher(11/28/1720-1/28/1784) traveled with his wife, Anna Margaretha, to North Carolina in 1769. It appears from records that the first party of arrivals had difficulty in making up their minds whether to stay with the Moravians, set out further west, or return to Maine. Adam decided to stay and purchased a lot located between Bethabara and Salem. The Schumacher family were not members of the Moravian church and did not attend services until Dorothea Schumacher became a member on August 27th, 1780.8 Years later, other members of the Schumacher family submitted requests to the church leaders to become members of the Salem congregation. The church system, at this time, is separated into two divisions, the congregation council and the “country” congregation. The church leaders denied the requests and reminded the family of their status among the country congregations.8 The Schumacher family witnessed the onset of the American Revolutionary War as well known Tories. One of Adam’s sons died during a skirmish with the Patriots in 1780.8 Another son, Adam Jr., died in a drowning accident while returning from Charleston, South Carolina, on May 17th, 1786. The death news of Adam Schumacher senior reached numerous homes in the piedmont area very quickly. Many families made the trip to his plantation on January 30th, 1784, for the burial ceremony. Brother Praezel preached to the people, and Adam’s body was laid to rest on his land.8

After the death of Adam Senior, the remaining family did indeed attend church services in Salem, according to church records. A fascinating document to study is the probate of Adam Schumacher, which consists of 116 pages. The legal material describes the personal inventory and outstanding receipts from purchases such as rum, horses, and shoes.5

It appears that the family of Michael Jung traveled further west. The journal of Martin Schneider dated 1783 states Schneider stayed with a German, Jacob Jung.8 Schneider was traveling to the Holston River at the time. Could Jacob be a relation to Michael?

The adventures these families experienced are unimaginable today. Crossing the Atlantic on the ship, Lydia, to the coastal area of Maine and then traveling by schooner to the North Carolina coast and walking inland to the piedmont region deserves the utmost recognition and praise. The decisions made changed so many lives regardless if the families stayed within the Wachovia tract or not. This article respectfully acknowledges these families and their extraordinary journey. As a final word, encouragement, hope, and love of family can endure many obstacles. The Broad Bay families are a prime example of this, as we all cherish their documented records and preserve their stories for the future.

Sources:

  1. 1790 Federal Census Records (accessed online September 5, 7, 2021) to further obtain analysis of Broad Bay families living in the piedmont region of North Carolina
  2. Friedland Moravian Church Cemetery Photo by Bryan Snipes
  3. Friedland Moravian Church Graveyard Register printed 1989
  4. North Carolina Division of Archives Land Grant Records Raleigh, NC Grant# followed by File# Rominger, George-#95-1222,#314-1962, #95-1049, #148-148, #2094-1195 Haun, John-#91-2342.
  5. North Carolina Estate Files Surry County 1771-1943 microfilm reel
  6. Photo Map Copy original by Christian Gottlieb Reuter “East Part of Surry County” Drawn May 10, 1771 (accessed September 7, 2021) (portrays portions of photocopy map displaying Schumacher Plantation)
  7. Probate Records of North Carolina Stokes County 1790-1971 microfilm reel
  8. Records of The Moravians In North Carolina by Adelaide Fries Volumes I, IV, V Published Edwards & Broughton Printing Company Raleigh, North Carolina 1922 pp. 393, 407, 494, 1603, 1978, 2011, 2033, 2125, 2260 and 2344.
  9. Rowan County Register of Deeds Office Salisbury, NC Land & Deeds

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