Saturday, September 5, 2015

Guilford Charge

While working on my Daughters of the American Revolution-themed Patriots Remembered blog last weekend, I found myself combing the North Carolina Colonial and State Records. I came across something that caught my eye and pertained to my husband's family. This specific excerpt discusses the founding of the German Reformed Churches in North Carolina.

The most exciting part of this document is that it is the only reference I have found that actually suggests the inhabitants of central North Carolina originally migrated from Pennsylvania. While I knew they were German and that a lot of Germans settled in Pennsylvania, I hadn't found satisfactory proof that that's where the people from Guilford and Randolph County came. I have seen a few other researchers suggest that they probably did, but they provided no sources to substantiate their claims. This does that.

The other exciting part of this document is the fact that it mentions several of my husband's family names. The one in particular I was happy to find was the Leinberger name. If I am correct, this name eventually evolved into Lineberry. As with the suggestions that the Germans in Randolph County came from Pennsylvania, I have seen unsourced references to this spelling for the Lineberry family. Until now, I assumed this spelling was just a theoretical possibility; one of the spelling variations the family researchers utilized but didn't actually find documented. This opens up a whole new realm of research avenues for this line of the tree.

The following is the related excerpt I found in the colonial records. Some of the names listed are names I do not recognize, but I hope to do a little extra digging now to see if I can unearth anything on these other names and lines.
It has been mentioned that the Reformed (German) Churches in North Carolina are, owing to their number, weakness and the paucity of ministers, divided into several pastoral charges, and of these we propose to gather what we can of their founders and history. 
The immigrants to this region—now making parts of Alamance, Guilford and Randolph counties—came in wagons by the emigrant route of those days from Philadelphia, through Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, bringing their household furniture and farming tools, accompanied by young men coming to seek their fortunes in this new country. These came mostly from the counties of Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill, and a few from Maryland, from 1745 to 1760, perhaps. This was then Orange and Rowan, and these German settlements were made on the waters of Haw River and its tributaries—Alamance, Reedy Fork, Beaver Creek, Stinking Quarter, Sandy Creek, etc. These were the Albrights, Clapps, Fausts, Holts, Sharps (Scherbs), Laws, Graves (Greff), Summers, Cobbs (Kaubs), Cobles, Swings (Schwenks), Cortners (Goertners), Ingolds, Browers, Keims, Staleys, Mays, Amicks (Emigs), Smiths, Stacks, Neases, Ingles, Leinbergers, Straders, Wyricks, Anthoneys, Scheaffers (Shepherds), Weitzells, Trollingers, Longs, Isleys, Shaffners, Foglemans, Sthars, Brauns, Reitzells, with others. 
Their first place of worship was in a log building near where Law's Church now stands, on the old road from Hillsborough to Salisbury, now in the South-east corner of Guilford County. It was a union Reformed and Lutheran Church. This union was brought to an end by the divergent sentiments growing out of the sentiments and feelings that culminated in the Regulation movement and the rebellion of the colonies. Rev. Samuel Suther, who had recently come from the County of Mecklenburg, an advanced patriot, was the Reformed pastor, and under his inspiring guidance the Albrights Goertners, Clapps, Fausts, the Scheaffers, Ingolds, Schwenks and Leinbergers, who were of Reformed stock, at once moved to a schoolhouse near where the Brick Church now stands, and, there undisturbed by factional differences, erected an altar where to serve God. Suther was pastor until the close of the war, and was the animating spirit of the community. Soon this small log house gave way to a larger and more comfortable place of worship, whose corner-stones a few years since could still be seen. In these years Ludwig Clapp and Christian Faust were Elders, and Ingold and Leinberger Deacons, and even in these dark years the church grew and was prosperous. Rev. Bithahn, of Lincoln, succeeded Suther after three years. His ministry was a short one, he dying suddenly on a Sabbath evening after preaching a long-remembered sermon. His grave is in the Brick Church cemetery unmarked, and to-day no one knows his resting-place. For twelve succeeding years this church was without a pastor. In this time the Rev. Andrew Loretz, with unflagging devotion, four times in the year made visits to the Guilford churches and ministered to their spiritual wants. In 1801 Rev. Henry Dieffenbach became pastor, and for six years had the oversight of this church. He was a student of Dr. John Brown, the apostle of the Reformed Church in Virginia. During this time Jacob Clapp (of Ludwig) and John Greff were Elders. There was now again an interval of fourteen years, during which time the visits of Rev. Loretz were again made annually until his lamented death. It is not to be supposed that these godly people were content with these infrequent ministrations. They were wont to meet in their place of worship on the Sabbath—had services of prayer and praise, when Jacob Clapp (of Ludwig) or the school-master, Scherer, read a selected sermon. In 1812 Captain Wm. Albright, an Elder of the church, a patriot captain of the war of the Revolution, was sent to attend the meeting of the Reformed Synod in Pennsylvania to secure the services of a pastor for the Clapp church, as it was yet called. The Rev. James R. Riley, a young minister, was deputed by the Synod to visit all the Reformed Churches of the South. In 1813 he made the visit on horseback, coming by the emigrant route, and spent several months among the Guilford churches. On October 16th was had a memorial communion, the largest, till then, ever held in the Clapp church. Fifty-seven were added to its membership. On this occasion the old log church, large as it was, could not hold the congregation, and it had become dilapidated and uncomfortable. In their joy and gratitude the congregation proposed to erect a new frame house of prayer, but at the suggestion of Mr. Riley it was determined that it should be of brick. From thence it was no longer the “Clapp” church, but the “Brick” church of the present day. So harmonious and liberal were the people, that no difficulty was experienced in raising the needed funds for the purpose. This was, perhaps in 1814, and in this church's palmiest days, when Captain Albright, John Clapp, Jacob Clapp, George Clapp, Barney Clapp, Col. D. Clapp, Daniel Faust and Daniel Albright were the leading spirits in the church. Still no permanent ministry could be had, owing to the paucity of preachers, and the churches were dependent on the casual visits of missionaries sent by Synod until 1821, when Rev. John Rudy became pastor of the associated churches in Orange, Guilford and Randolph. After a successful ministry of four years he returned to New York. In 1828, the Rev. J. H. Crawford, of Maryland, was elected his successor. His pastorate lasted twelve years. It was now that the pulpit service was heard in the English language. For the welfare of the church this was none too soon. In 1841, Rev. G. William Welker, the present pastor of the church, took charge of it. It is a large congregation, mostly composed of the descendants of those early German immigrants from Pennsylvania. In the grave-yard, hard by the church, rest in unmarked graves Tobias Clapp and Peter Goertner, who were in the Regulation battle; and there also sleep Capt William Albright and Barney Clapp and Matthew Schwenck, and others, who were soldiers in the War of the Regulation, and the passer-by who stops to read may find other humble graves of noble men, and that of George Goertner (Cortner), who was the civil leader of this community of Germans.

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