Family Identity in Germany

In 1700, in the countryside between Pforzheim and Stuttgart, there was a village by the name of Wiernsheim near the Schwarzwald or “Black Forest.”  The town is still there today in the twenty-first century.

In Wiernsheim lived a Pflüger family.  The father was Hans Jerg Pflüger, and the mother was Maria Hübsch.  Hans Jerg and Maria had five children, all of them listed in the town’s Church Register, the Kirchenregister.  They named their first son Hans Jerg (Hans George) after his father and perhaps other ancestors.  This son was born in 1703 on the first of January.  Other children followed:

Anna Margarete, born 21 September 1704                                                Maria Barbara, born 19 July 1706                                                                          Jakob Sebastian, born 15 July 1707                                                                        Johann Friedrich, born 1709

Nothing is known of the young family  of five during the years when they were growing up.  On 10 May 1718 the father, Hans Jerg the elder, remarried so it is assumed that his wife Maria died before that date.  His second wife was Sophie Margarete Reyle, and she was from nearby Iptingen.  This marriage added five more children to the household:  an unnamed child born and died in 1720; Georg Adam born 1722 one of a set of twins; Christian Gottfried  born 1722 and twin to Georg Adam; Elisabeth Judith born 1724 also a twin; and Maria Sophia twin to Elisabeth.

When Hans Jerg,  son of Hans Jerg the elder, reached maturity, he soon married Anna Elisabeth Strobel.   Their two children are listed in the Kirkenbuch as Anna Elisabeth born 1726 and Ursula Catharina born 1728.  Entries for this family end here.  At the same time a strange entry for a marriage, attributed to Hans Jerg the elder, presents a puzzle:  the entry states that Hans Jerg married Eva Franzisk Jost from Pinache, another neighboring town.  The solution to the puzzle may be explained in the events that followed the marriage of a Hans Jerg to an Eva.

The story continues soon.

Honoring Our Family

There are a million questions to be answered in every family’s genealogy.  One person cannot ask nor answer but a small amount of them, though each of us may try.  A collective effort, on the other hand, offers facts and stories unknown or forgotten which can expand our understanding of who we are and who our ancestors were.  Join me here to enlarge the history, research, and memories of the Phlegar Family.

To begin, who is this Phlegar Family?  We are the descendants of a couple, Hans Georg and his wife Eva Pflüger, who left their homeland in the Württemberg province of Germany in 1731.  They arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Ship Samuel on the 17th of August that year.  With them were Marie and Katarina, members of their family whose relationships are not perfectly clear.  These two females will be investigated in a future blog.

Hans Georg and Eva also brought with them a German name with a spelling that was obviously difficult for the Englishman who recorded their surname—in the Provincial council of Philadelphia—as “Fleger.”    Over the centuries the name has maintained an almost consistent pronunciation, but the spelling has been topsy-turvy.  Take a gander at these examples:  Pflueger, Pflieger, Pfleiger, Flieger, Pflegar, Flegar, Phlegar, and more.  Hans Georg used Pflüger when he signed the ship’s log in 1731.*  That German umlauted ‘u’ (ü) sounds very much like the phonetic sound of a long ‘e’ (eeee).  The change over to the first letter in the name, from ‘Pf’ to ‘Ph’ occurred in early 19th century Virginia where the pronunciation still carries the long ‘e’ as if to say “Fleeeger” for Phlegar.

Thus the Phlegar Family here is just a variation on the first immigrant’s name.  In future blogs and data postings, the spelling will make no difference;  the referenced family will also reflect the immigrant’s line, in which the Pfluegers, Pfliegers, Pfleigers, Flegers, and Phlegars are merely cousins.

* Strassburger, Ralph Beaver, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol 2, William John Hinke, editor.  Morristown, PA:  Pennsylvania German Society, 1934