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The trip from Württemberg Province in Germany to Rotterdam was long and tiring. It was about 400 km and the barge was crowded with the belongings of several families that were making the long trip up the Rhine River to Rotterdam. Andreas, Ann and their young son Adam Erlewyn were making the trip to the ship "Samuel" which was in a wharf in the Rotterdam harbor.

In mid April 1731, they said their goodbyes and made the 40 day trip to Rotterdam. They checked in at the ship and stored their belongings aboard as directed by the first mate and settled into their small quarters for the ten week journey. Captain Hugh Percy and the "Samuel" had made the journey many times before but he failed to tell them that the first stop was Cowes, England. The "Samuel" and several other ships stopped at the Cowes supposedly for provisions but the truth was that Captain Percy received bribe money from the harbor master. The real purpose for their stop was to bilk the passengers out of some of their money.

Merchants had shops set up on or near the wharfs and had many tempting articles such as farm tools, cloth, seed, boots, spinning wheels, etc. Most of the thirty nine Palatines and their wives and children purchased some of the tings they thought they would need in America. The total number of passengers aboard the "Samuel" was one hundred and seven. After two weeks at Cowes, the "Samuel" set sail for America.

The term Palatine refers to people who come from either of two regions of West Germany. Lower (or Rhineland or Rhenish) Palatinate was in what are now Rhineland-Pfalz, Hesse, and Baden-Württemberg. Upper Palatinate was in what is now northeastern Bavaria. They were ruled by counts palatine, who became electors of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1356 and were known as electors palatine.

During the early part of the voyage many of the passengers were sea sick but after suffering for a few days became adjusted to the movements of the ship. The mid June departure had been chosen by Captain Percy to arrive in Philadelphia well before the hurricane season. He could unload, reprovision the ship, and leave two weeks after arriving. 

And so on August 17, 1731 Andreas, Ann and Adam set foot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They had arrived the evening of August 15th but were not permitted to disembark until a medical doctor had examined each passenger for smallpox and typhoid. This was a safety measure that had been taken a few years before, after an outbreak of smallpox was attributed to passengers from a ship arriving from Europe. The smallpox decimated a nearby Indian tribe leaving only a few living.

The city of Philadelphia was huge compared to their village of approximately two thousand. Andreas and Ann knew that they didn't want to stay in Philadelphia any longer than necessary. They found a small inn that would let them store their belongings in the barn and hired a teamster to bring their worldly goods from the ship to the barn.

Andreas and Ann knew where many of their countrymen had settled and they had plans of joining them. It was easy to pick the route because there were few roads and trails that were passable by wagon. Old Indian trading trails had been widened and logs had been laid to prevent washouts. They had already decided to head for the Dutch Colony near Lancaster, Pennsylvania in hopes of finding farm land at a reasonable cost. 

Young Adam, who was four years old, was having a great time with other children as the wagon left for Philadelphia and headed west on the National Road (later called the Cumberland Road). Since they did not speak or understand the English language, they stayed close to their newfound German speaking friends. The trip took a total of eight days through the foothills of beautiful southern Pennsylvania. 

Arriving in north of Lancaster at the Ephrata Community in mid September of 1731, the Erlewyn's were anxious to purchase farmland and build a cabin and barn. Andreas found a small but affordable tract of land and purchased it within a week. They would live in the wagon until the cabin was finished. 

The cabin was to be approximately 20 feet square with a smooth dirt floor and a huge window in each of the four outer walls. The fireplace on the wall opposite the front door would be quiet wide to permit Ann to cook on by the use of swinging iron arms. The roof was made of 4" straight poles and a center pole to give it a pitch. Over this was laid smaller branches and sod was put on top to insulate it. The walls were chinked on the outside with mud from the nearby creek and for the time being, the same chinking was used inside between the wall logs. The barn would be built in much the same way to house the milk cow that Andreas had purchased. 

By the end of 1732, they had cleared eight acres and would plant a small crop in 1733 while they continued to clear. By 1735, thirty acres were ready to till and Andreas and Adam planted corn and wheat. The corn was feed for the cow and the wheat was taken into the mill in Lancaster to be ground into flour for baking. 1736 saw another ten acres cleared and ready for planting and the following year an additional ten acres done. The new steel plow that Andreas had purchased at the nearby Martic Forge made life much easier although he had to buy a much larger horse to pull it. Adam was now almost eleven years old, a big help on the farm.

Adam attended a nearby school three days a week. The teacher was a circuit rider and school was held in the neighbors house until a schoolhouse could be built. The children learned to read and write and later maybe to cipher. The Germans were very strict about religion and Andreas, Ann and Adam attended the German Seventh Day Baptist Congregation in the Ephrata Community on Sundays. 

The Indians in the immediate area were peaceful and friendly and stopped by the farm to ask for food and coffee. Many times they would share their venison with the Erlewyn's and say for several hours. They brought news of the surrounding area. Over the years Adam made friends with several Indians his age.

Andreas died in 1744 leaving Ann and Adam to run the farm. In 1746 Adam was ready to marry and have his own farm. And so, at the ripe old age of twenty one, he married Anna, the daughter of a nearby family. Adam had his eye on a piece of land in Lancaster County which was not far from his parents. On May 1, 1749, he and Anna bough the fifty acres and started clearing it for their farm. 

In 1746 their first son was born and they called him George and 1748 their second son, Daniel was born on the farm. How fortunate to have two sons that would grow up to help with the farm work. And then on September 10, 1753 their last son, Andreas, Jr., was born. He was named after Adam's father that had come to America 22 years before. Their children spoke mainly English but knew many German words..

This wonderful story shared with us by Wayne Earlywine goes on through the Revolutionary War in which Daniel and George both served in. And later in 1785 Daniel and George move and settle in Kentucky. There is even a small mention of George Earlywine and Susan Doan in Ohio. Of Aaron Earlywine and Sarah Rose in Indiana and Illinois. 

  • This information kindly shared by: Wayne Earleywine

*Note - His story is many pages long. We have only highlighted it here.

Copyright © 1998-2004 - My Family's Heart Genealogy All information contained within these pages are the personal property of Ruth Ann (nee McGinnis) Gauthier and Tonya Rena (nee Gauthier) Kellum. We kindly ask that you please not take anything from these pages without our written consent first. Much of this information was generously shared with us by other researches and has been so noted. That information is being used with their permission. Thank you kindly!!