From Philadelphia to York County
Tracing Paul Jünger's Movements After His Arrival in America in 1748
Introduction and Summary
This section of the web site focuses on the migration of Johann Paul Jünger from Philadelphia in 1748 to his final stop in Newberry Township of York County, Pennsylvania in 1780. He made several stops along the way over a period spanning three decades.
The primary sources of information in this regard are tax list appearances for Paul. Those documents help us pinpoint Paul’s whereabouts at various points in time as he migrated deeper and deeper into the interior of Colonial Pennsylvania. His appearances on tax lists also offer insights into his marital status and economic circumstances.
The first leg of Paul’s journey involved a trip in 1748 from Philadelphia to Bern Township of Berks County. The rationale behind this theory is given later in this section. In 1748 this area was still part of Lancaster County because Berks County did not come into existence until 1752. Paul probably became an indentured servant in Philadelphia as a means of funding his expenses of the journey from Europe to Pennsylvania. His master was likely a resident of Bern Township who brought him to his home to work and live until the 5 or 6 year indenture period was completed.
When Paul arrived in Pennsylvania in 1748 only a few established roads led out of Philadelphia into the backcountry. John T. Humphrey in his article titled Life in Mid-Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania gives the following insights into what the trip might have been like:
“Usually newly arrived settlers made their journey to Lancaster, Berks, Northampton, and York counties on foot, and the trip took several days. Immigrants leaving Philadelphia would have set out on one of the three roads leaving the city. As the traveler left Philadelphia, he or she would have seen barns with some frequency. But, once the sojourner reached upper Bucks, Philadelphia, or Berks Counties, the distance between farmsteads would have grown considerably. In an early journal entry Muhlenberg noted, “When one travels on the roads, one constantly travels in bush or forest. Occasionally, there is a house and several miles down the road there is another house.”
In the mid-eighteenth-century much of southeastern Pennsylvania was still forested. Muhlenberg noted, “The settlements here are totally surrounded by forests.”
A map made in 1756 by T. Kitchin clearly shows the few main roads leading out of Philadelphia and Germantown and leading into areas of the backcountry settled by most German speaking immigrants. One of the roads went from Philadelphia through Germantown and on to Reading. It followed the Schuylkill River staying on the north side of the river. Today that route is generally followed by Germantown Avenue and then Route 422. An excerpt of the Kitchin map is presented below illustrating the probable path Paul and his master took from Philadelphia to Reading in 1748:
Below is a modern map of a similar section of southeastern Pennsylvania:
When Paul Jünger accompanied his indentured servant master from Philadelphia to Reading and then to Bern Township north of Reading, Berks County had not been created. That part of the backcountry was still part of Lancaster County. There is an excellent web site which chronicles the evolution of county formation in the state of Pennsylvania. The web address for the site is http://www.mypennsylvaniagenealogy.com/pa_maps/pa_cf.htm.
I have copied several images from that web site for certain periods in time which coincide with Paul Jünger’s location and\or dates of migration from one part of southeastern Pennsylvania to another area. The first map presented below depicts the counties in Pennsylvania and the areas they covered in 1749, the year following Paul’s arrival in Philadelphia on September 15, 1748. In 1749 York County was created out of part of Lancaster County. This was the first change for the counties in Pennsylvania in 20 years. In 1729 Lancaster County had been created out of Chester County.
In 1752 when Paul Jünger had been in Bern Township of Lancaster County for several years, presumably as an indentured servant, Berks County was created out of parts of Lancaster, Cumberland and Philadelphia Counties. (Cumberland County had been established in 1750 from Lancaster County). The narrative which follows discusses the fact that Paul Jünger first appears on a tax list in 1754 in Bern Township of the newly formed Berks County.
Paul’s next appearance on tax lists are in Oley Township of Berks County from 1759 through 1762. Paul Jünger then moved to Cocalico Township of Lancaster County in 1763 and stayed there at least until 1765 as discussed in detail in the narrative which follows. The following map depicts the counties of Pennsylvania as they existed in 1752 through 1770 during the period when Paul was in Berks County and Lancaster County. No changes were made in the counties of Pennsylvania again until 1771.
The narrative below discusses the fact that Paul Jünger’s whereabouts are not known from 1766 to 1779 because he has not been found on any tax lists during that period. By the time Paul reappears on a tax list in Newberry Township of York County in 1780 the counties which were in existence with their boundaries appear as indicated in the 1779 map below. Notice that at that point in time Lancaster and York Counties had the same boundaries that they had in 1752. Berks County was also the same as it was in 1752 except for the limit on its northwestern border that occurred at the creation of Northumberland County in 1772.
By 1878 all of the Pennsylvania counties and their boundaries had been established and remain the same today. In the counties Paul is known to have lived in according to tax lists, Berks, Lancaster and York, the following changes occurred between 1779 and 1878: Schuylkill was formed out of the northern part of Berks county in 1811; Dauphin and Lebanon counties were formed out of the northern section of Lancaster county in 1785 and 1813 respectively; and Adams county was formed out of the southwestern part of York county in 1800.
In the narrative below it is proposed that Paul probably died in the early 1780s. Therefore, he likely did not live to see these later subdivisions of the counties he was familiar with in his lifetime.
Many immigrants to the American colonies left their native European homelands to pursue economic opportunities for a better life for themselves and their families. This was certainly true for Germanic Rhineland 17th and 18th century emigrants like Johann Paul Jünger.
In their homeland they were often peasants who did not own their own farmland. Instead, they were hired servants who supported their meager lifestyles by laboring in fields owned by a local landowner. They received a share of what their labors produced for sustenance. However, the hope of one day accumulating enough income beyond their daily needs to afford to purchase their own land was nonexistent. They were destined to be hired laborers with a subsistence standard of living until they died. Upward mobility using the labor of their hands was not possible for them or their offspring.
Therefore, one important motivation for many of these Germanic 17th and 18th century peasants to come to the American colonies was the hope of one day being able to own their own land. In the 1670’s, William Penn traveled throughout the Rhineland preaching a doctrine of peace and good will based on his Quaker convictions. Later, in the 1680’s William Penn sought settlers for his extensive recently acquired land holdings in his province of Pennsylvania. He and his agents appealed to the long-suffering peasants of the areas along the Rhine to come to his newly acquired province where they would have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labors for themselves and future generations.
His appeals focused on the affordability of land and its fertility for producing a wide variety of crops. Furthermore he and his agents stressed that while taxes were assessed on settlers, they were very modest and, given the fertility of the land, the value of what was produced would quickly pay off any indebtedness incurred in purchasing property in spite of the minimal taxes that were required.
Tax lists were compiled for a variety of different types of taxes throughout the colonial period and into the mid-1800’s. Considerable variations exist for the lists that have survived and that are available to us today. However, in the area of focus for this web site, namely Southeastern Pennsylvania, the tax lists were generally compiled on a township by township basis for a given county.
Sometimes surviving tax lists differentiate among those who owned property (labeled “landowners”), married renters (labeled “inmates” or “renters”) and unmarried single men (usually labeled “single” or “freemen”). In other lists subdivisions were not made among these categories.
Sometimes tax lists were arranged alphabetically. On other occasions they were not alphabetic, perhaps suggesting a geographic organization as though the assessor simply traveled from farm to farm recording names as he went along in the order in which he traveled. Sometimes alphabetic lists were only alphabetic for the “landowner” and “renter” sections while the single men section was randomly arranged. On rare occasions, alphabetically arranged tax lists use the first name instead of the family surname as the basis for alphabetizing. All Adams are followed by all Conrads followed by all Jacobs, etc.
In a given township tax lists may exist in archives today for every year for several years in a row and then a gap occurs until the available lists begin again. It is highly probable that those lists which have been passed down to us today are only a portion of the actual body of tax lists that were originally compiled. No doubt many lists have been lost forever from fire, water damage, negligent preservation methods, human ineptitude, change of county jurisdiction, war, lack of commitment to preservation, etc. Given the age of the original documents (200 years and more) we should be very thankful for having as many tax lists preserved for our historical reference as we do.
Tax lists vary greatly in the amount of information they give. In some cases only the name of the person and the amount of tax assessed is given. In other cases the name is followed by an assessed value upon which a tax amount is based. The actual tax amount is then given after the name and assessed value columns. Occasionally tax lists stated the acres of land owned, occupation, horses, horned cattle, sheep, cows, etc. In other cases the lists give the number of occupants in the household.
Prior to the American Revolutionary War which began in 1776 tax lists were denominated in the currency of pounds, shillings and pence using the English system. Even after the end of the war, Pennsylvania continued to use this system although values were modified and, therefore, not equivalent to the same amounts as the British Pound. Later, in the early 1800’s the Dollar and Cent currency convention we are familiar with today became the common medium of exchange replacing the British based system. A more detailed discussion of the evolution of currency in America and particularly, the province and later State of Pennsylvania is presented in another section of this web site.
Tax lists are preserved on microfilm in the county archives and\or local historical or genealogical society for the townships within that county. Many of these tax lists are also available on microfilm from the Mormon family history archives. Their holdings in this regard can be determined using the library search feature at their web site www.familysearch.org.
Johann Paul Jünger arrived in Philadelphia on September 15, 1748 on the ship “Two Brothers.” Tracking his movements and whereabouts after his arrival has been a challenging but interesting exercise. His appearances on tax lists give insights into his migration from the Rhineland to Philadelphia to his final stop in northern York County, Pennsylvania where his descendants put down roots, raised families and became part of the local community of Pennsylvania German Americans. The tax lists on which Paul has been located give insights into his marital status and material wealth circumstances as well.
Transcripts prepared from the tax list documents are included on this web site and can be viewed by following the links at the bottom of this introduction and summary. The tax lists on which Paul has been located with my comments about certain important items to note are as follows:
Book of Bern, Bern Township, Berks County PA Tax List:
The Book of Bern was first published in 1988 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Bern Township. It is published by Tudor Gate Press under the title "The Book of Bern, A History of Bern Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1738-1988". In 2003 it was made available to the public again in its third edition. I obtained a copy of the third addition from Amazon.com.
On pages 13 and 14 of “The Book of Bern” a listing of early settlers is given which is based upon a very early list of taxables in Bern Township. The book asserts a belief that the list is from 1752 which is the date that Berks County was founded from parts of Chester, Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties.
The name of Paul Junger appears on the list in “The Book of Bern”. It is possible that this list comes from an original tax list that dates to 1752. However, it is more probable, in my opinion, that the list in “The Book of Bern” is actually the list of taxables from 1754. I have come to this conclusion by comparing the list in “The Book of Bern” against both the 1752 and 1754 tax lists which are available on microfilm from the Berks County archives and\or Historical Society.
The 1754 tax list from the Berks County archives correlates much more closely to the list in “The Book of Bern” than the 1752 tax list from the Berks County archives does. All three lists are included on this web site in transcript form and can be compared by following the links at the end of this introduction and summary.
1752 Bern Township, Berks County, PA Tax List:
The 1752 list of taxables for Bern Township of Berks County, Pennsylvania which was obtained from the Berks County archives records on microfilm does not contain the name of Paul Junger. However, it does contain many names which are also found on the 1754 tax list two years later. In an introduction to the list a narrative explains that the purpose of the tax computed on the list is to defray the costs associated with the formation of Berks County in 1752.
The rate of taxation is stated as three pence for each pound of assessed value per taxpayer. Mention is made that the taxes so collected are to be used for maintaining “publick Buildings” and addressing the problem of undesirable animals including “wolves, foxes, squirrels, and crows".
The first column of amounts is the assessed value assigned to the taxpayer and it is in pounds. The next two columns are the actual amount of taxes assessed for each taxpayer and they are in shillings and pence based on the rate of 3 pence per pound of assessed value as previously mentioned.
1754 Bern Township, Berks County, PA Tax List:
The earliest certain appearance of Paul Junger on a tax list following his arrival in Philadelphia on September 15, 1748 is in 1754 in Bern Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. This tax list is not arranged in alphabetical order. It is not certain, however, whether it is in geographical order or not. Generally speaking, those taxpayers with the highest assessed valuation and highest taxes due seem to be near the beginning of the list and the taxpayers with lower valuations and lower taxes due seem to appear in the later part of the list.
No clear distinction appears to exist between landowners and renters. However, at the very end of the list there is a separate section for “Single Men”. Paul Junger appears in the large section which combines married landowners with married renters. His assessed valuation is 16 Pounds and the tax he was assessed was 0.4.0 Pounds (zero pounds, four shillings and zero pence). At these amounts, Paul Junger had almost the lowest assessed value and taxes due among all the married taxpayers in Bern Township in 1754.
Paul Junger appears on this tax list next to a man named George Wagoner. The Book of Bern provides additional insights into George Wagoner saying he immigrated to America in about 1750 and settled in the part of Bern Township that later was spun off into the township named Upper Bern Township. Perhaps this may suggest that Paul Junger lived in the Northern part of Bern Township which later became Upper Bern Township. However, it can not be stated with certainty that just because Paul Junger and George Wagoner appear next to each other on the tax list, that they were next door neighbors because it is not absolutely clear whether the list is in geographical order or not.
Paul Junger does not appear on any tax list of Bern Township after his appearance on the 1754 list. However, his appearance on the 1754 list of Bern Township provides helpful insights into his life. First he settled early on after his arrival in Philadelphia in 1748 in a township that was heavily populated by other Germanic immigrants. Secondly, he was married by 1754. Finally, his material wealth was at the lower end of the spectrum relative to his fellow taxpayers and residents of Bern Township in 1754.
1759 Oley Township, Berks County, PA Tax List:
By 1759 hostilities against German settlers by marauding Indians in Berks County had lessened considerably due to the increasing success of assigned English soldiers and local militia. In 1759 Paul Junger appears on a tax list in Oley Township but his name is spelled Paul Yenger. There is a single column for assessed valuation and Paul has one of the smallest amounts in the section for married landowners or renters of 3 pounds.
There is a separate section for single men but Paul is clearly in the other section for married inhabitants. Paul’s second known son, Anthony (aka Andoni) was born on March 26, 1759 according to his tombstone in the Bear family cemetery which is in Yocumtown, York County, Pennsylvania, which is discussed in another section of this web site. It, therefore, seems probable that Anthony was born while Paul Junger (Yenger) and his wife were in Oley Township of Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1759. The list is not arranged alphabetically but it is unclear whether it is in geographic order either.
1760 Oley Township, Berks County, PA Tax List:
The 1760 Oley Township tax list is divided into three sections. The first section is for married landowners. The second section is for “Inmates as Tenants” and the final section is for “Single Men.” Paul Junger is listed in the second section as an "Inmate as Tenant" which means he was a married man who rented property.
In the second section where Paul Junger appears, the names seem to be generally arranged in alphabetical order based on last name. However, next to Paul, out of alphabetic order, is the name of Fred’k Smith. In the 1759 tax list this same name appears next to Paul’s name as well. This is also true for the 1761 Oley Township tax list. Perhaps this suggests a cooperative tenancy between Paul Junger and a man named Fredrick Smith during these years.
The assessed value for Paul Junger in the 1760 tax list of Oley Township is a relatively modest amount of 4 pounds. Again among his peer group this amount is on the low side of assessed values.
1761 Oley Township, Berks County, PA Tax List:
Although headings are not given to distinguish between the married landowners section and the married renters section, the 1761 Oley Township tax list seems to be divided into the same sections as the 1760 tax list. The 1761 list omits headings for these two categories but the alphabetically arranged names are very similar to those in the 1760 tax list for both groups. A third section is clearly headed as “Single Men.”
The 1761 tax list not only gives an assessed value column but it also has a set of columns for the pounds, shillings and pence of the taxes due based on the assessed valuation for each person. Paul Junger is once again in the second section which is for married renters. His assessed value is 4 pounds and the tax computed on that assessment was 0.1.0 (zero pounds, 1 shilling and zero pence).
As in 1760 the married renter section is basically in alphabetic order of last names. However, Fredrick Smith is listed immediately after Paul Junger with an assessed valuation of 3 pounds. As previously mentioned, this may suggest a cooperative tenancy between the two men. Paul’s assessed valuation is toward the lower end of the range relative to other married renters on the tax list as in previous years.
1762 Oley Township, Berks County, PA Tax List:
The 1762 tax list combines married landowners and married renters. Both groups are together in a single alphabetically arranged first section of the list. Single men are grouped together in a second section of the 1762 tax list. The 1762 tax list not only gives an assessed value column but it also has a set of columns for the pounds, shillings and pence of the taxes due based on the assessed valuation for each person.
Paul Junger appears on the list on a single line with another man named George Baner. Paul’s name is first and they are included in the list according to Paul’s last name of Junger in the appropriate alphabetic order. This strongly suggests a cooperative tenancy between these two men in 1762 and that Paul was viewed by the tax authorities as the more senior partner. Fredrick Smith does not appear on the tax list anywhere in 1762. He may have moved out of the township between 1761 and 1762 or he may have died during that period.
Together Paul Junger and George Baner had an assessed valuation of only 2 pounds and the taxes due from them together was 0.3.0 (zero pounds, 3 shillings and zero pence). Their combined assessed valuation is at the low end of the range of assessed valuations for all married taxpayers in Oley Township in 1762.
Below is a map of Berks County from the Historical Society of Berks County which presents the townships and their formation dates. In the foregoing narrative Paul Junger first appears on a tax list in Bern Township in 1754. At that time Bern Township included Upper Bern, Tilden, Penn and Center Townships which were later formed out of the original Bern Township. The preceding narrative presented some possibility that Paul Junger may have been in the part of Bern Township which is Upper Bern Township today.
As discussed in the narrative above, from 1759 through 1762 Paul Junger appears on tax lists of Oley Township which is located east of the city of Reading. Oley Township, like Bern Township, was one of the original townships of Berks County when it was formed in 1752 from parts of Lancaster, Philadelphia and Cumberland Counties.
Oley Township was the ancestral home of George Boone, the grandfather of Daniel Boone, the American legend, pathfinder, trailblazer, Indian fighter & etc. Daniel Boone was born to a son of George Boone named Squire in 1734 in the adjacent township of Exeter. See the map indications for Oley and Exeter Townships below.
1763 Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, PA Tax List:
In 1763 Paul Junger appears on a tax list in Cocalico Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The list which was obtained from the Lancaster County Historical Society is divided into three sections. The first section is for married landowners. The second section is for “Inmates” which means married renters. The third and final section is for “Freemen” which means single men.
The first and second sections are in alphabetical order based on the last name of the taxpayer. The single men section is not in alphabetical order. Paul Junger once again appears in the “inmate” section indicating that he was a married renter. The list purports to be a list of taxes assessed for “The King’s Use.” Only a set of columns which gives the actual tax amount is included on the list.
Paul Junger was assessed a tax of 0.2.6 (zero pounds, 2 shillings and zero pence). This amount was again a comparatively low amount indicative of his lack of property ownership.
Another important associate of Paul Junger is also listed in the “inmate” section for married renters. His name was Martin Eicholtz. In 1765 the birth of Paul Junger’s third and youngest known son was recorded in the church records of Muddy Creek Lutheran in Cocalico Township. The son was named Johann Martin Jünger and Martin Eicholtz was named as the sponsor for the baptism in the church records. Probably Paul’s son Martin was named for Martin Eicholtz, the God-parent.
This church book record affirms the presence of Paul Junger and his growing family in 1765 in Cocalico Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No tax lists exist in the Lancaster archives for Cocalico Township for the years of 1764 through 1768. It seems reasonable, nevertheless, to conclude that Paul Junger and his family were in this location at least from 1763 through 1765. They may have been there longer than those years, possibly through 1768. However, when the tax records which are available to us today pick back up for Cocalico Township in 1769, Paul Junger is not on that tax list indicating he probably left Cocalico Township before 1769.
Below is a map of Lancaster County from the Lancaster County Historical Society which presents the townships and their formation dates. In the foregoing narrative Paul Junger appears on a tax list in 1763 in Cocalico Township. At that time Cocalico was a single Township which later, in 1838, was divided into West Cocalico Township, East Cocalico Township and Ephrata Township. Cocalico Township was established in 1729 the same year that Lancaster County was formed out of Chester County.
1780 Newberry Township, York County, PA Tax List:
Paul Junger appears on a tax list in Newberry Township of York County, Pennsylvania in 1780 with his named spelled as Paul Yenger. This particular tax list was included in published form in the Third Series of the Pennsylvania Archives, Volume XXI. It is also available in its original handwritten form on microfilm from the York County Archives.
The 1780 Newberry Township tax list is not in alphabetical order. It may be arranged in geographical order. Columns on the list include the taxpayer’s name, acres owned, Negroes owned, horses owned, cattle owned and the amount of the tax assessed. Paul Yenger owned no land in 1780 according to the list. This is consistent with his status as a married renter in earlier tax lists previously discussed.
This 1780 Newberry Township list is the last tax list located thus far on which Paul Junger(Yenger) appears. Based on this tax list and the preceding ones he appears on it seems likely that Paul Junger, the immigrant ancestor and patriarch of the Yingers of York County, Pennsylvania, was never able to achieve the immigrants’ dream of land ownership.
The 1780 tax list indicates that Paul Yenger had one cow and that the total tax he was assessed was 0.13.0 (zero pounds, 13 shillings and zero pence). Relative to other taxpayers on the list, Paul had minimal physical possessions and material wealth in 1780 which is also consistent with the earlier tax list appearances previously noted.
It is important to note that Paul Yenger’s name on the 1780 tax list of Newberry Township appears very close to the name of “Ann Probant, Jacob’s Widow” on the list. In other sections of this web site significant details are presented from the estate file documents for Jacob Broband’s estate. Jacob Broband died in 1777 leaving his widow Ann alone to raise six daughters without a man in the home. Two of those daughters, Sophronia (aka Freney) Broband and Magdelena Broband eventually married Paul Junger’s two oldest known sons, George Yinger and Anthony Yinger.
George and Sophronia only had one child who they named Ann who was born in 1784. Anthony and Magdelena Yinger’s eldest child Jacob Yinger was born in 1783 according to his tombstone in the Bear family cemetery which is discussed in another section of this web site. Therefore, it seems likely that these two sons of Paul Junger married two of the daughters of Jacob and Ann Broband (aka Probant) between 1781 and 1783, at a time when the Revolutionary War was in its final stages. After a very dubious beginning, the conflict had become more certain for a victorious outcome by the American colonies.
Widow Anna Broband had a large farm of 140 acres and no son’s, only daughters, to help her with the farm after her husband died in 1777. Paul Junger(Yenger) had no land of his own but he had three sons, George, Anthony and Martin, the oldest two of whom were able bodied young adult males willing and able to work and they lived in the general vicinity of Anna Broband’s plantation. It seems likely that what began as a mutually beneficial partnership developed into matrimony for two sons of Paul Yenger and two daughters of Anna Broband.
As an aside it should be observed that one taxpayer in Newberry Township in 1780 owned 7 Negro slaves according to the tax lists. His name was William Chesney and he was assessed the highest tax to be paid in the township of 200 pounds indicating that the taxing authorities calculated him to be the wealthiest taxpayer in the township in 1780. Slavery was not completely restricted to the “Southern” colonies in early America.
1783 Newberry Township, York County, PA Tax List:
This particular tax list was also included in published form in the Third Series of the Pennsylvania Archives, Volume XXI. It is also available in its original handwritten form on microfilm from the York County Archives. The 1783 tax list is in alphabetical order. It has separate columns for the name of the taxpayer, acres owned, inhabitants, servants and Negroes. No information is given for either the assessed value or assessed taxes due on this particular list.
Paul Junger(Yenger) does not appear on this tax list. However, for the first time two of his sons are listed as George Yinger and Anthony Yinger. Although Paul is not listed it may be that he and his wife are included in the inhabitants count in his son George’s household. George’s household lists 6 inhabitants. At best it is an educated guess to assert who those people living with George were in 1783.
George and his wife Sophronia Broband Yinger did not have their only child, Ann, until 1784 according to Ann’s tombstone in the Fetrow family cemetery where she is buried next to her husband, John Fetrow. Therefore, Ann is not among the six listed inhabitants.
My best guess is that the six inhabitants include 1)George, 2)Sophronia (his wife) his aging father, 3)Paul and 4)Paul’s wife whose name is not certain and a younger brother, 5)Martin who was born in 1765 and would be 18 years old in 1783. However, Paul Junger(Yenger) may have died between his appearance in 1780 on the Newberry tax list and 1783. Paul’s widow was being cared for by George at the time of George’s death in 1790 according to his estate file documents which strongly suggests that she is among the 6 inhabitants listed on the 1783 tax list.
The sixth inhabitant may have been a sister of George, Anthony and Martin. A woman named Mary appears in the first accounting of George’s estate documents dated 1791 as a recipient of payments from his estate. She may have been a sister or Mary may be the name of Paul’s wife, (George, Anthony and Martin’s mother). The estate file documents for George Yinger who died an untimely death in 1790 are presented in another section of this web site.
George Yinger is also listed with one acre of land on the 1783 tax list of Newberry Township. This probably indicates his family of six inhabitants was living in a house on a small lot of land and that George did not own any other property. Anthony Yinger appears on the 1783 tax list next to his older brother, George, with no land and two inhabitants. Those inhabitants were Anthony and his new bride, Magdelena Broband Yinger who was a younger sister of Sophronia Broband Yinger, George’s wife.
Anthony and Magdelena’s first born child was a son named Jacob who was born on August 26, 1783 according to his tombstone in the Bear family cemetery which is covered in another section of this web site. Anthony and Magdelena probably were living in rented accommodations since he is listed on the 1783 tax list with no acreage. Magdelena would have been expecting their fist child, Jacob at the time the 1783 tax list was prepared.
As an aside it should be observed that two taxpayers in Newberry Township in 1783 owned Negro slaves according to the tax lists. Elizabeth Chesney owned 7 Negro slaves and Peter Puttee owned 2 Negro slaves according to the tax list for 1783.
On the 1780 Newberry Township tax list the only slave owner listed was William Chesney with 7 Negro slaves in that year. Perhaps he died between 1780 and 1783 and his wife Elizabeth assumed the oversight of their plantation which had grown from 400 to 470 acres between 1780 and 1783. As previously noted, slavery was not completely restricted to the “Southern” colonies in early America.
Below is a current map of York County with township designations as they exist today. The map was copied from the internet site at http://www.rootsweb.com/~payork/. In the northeast section of York County lie Fairview and Newberry Townships. However, Fairview was formed out of Newberry Township in 1803. Prior to that date Newberry Township included the entire area now divided between the two Townships.
In the narrative above, Paul Yenger appears on a tax list in 1780 in Newberry Township. It is his only detected appearance on any tax list in York County I have discovered to date. In 1783 he is not on the tax list of Newberry Township but his two eldest sons, George and Anthony, appear on that tax list for the first time.
Gaps in the Tax List Appearances for Paul Junger(Yenger):
Paul Junger arrived in Philadelphia on September 15, 1748 on the Palatine immigrant ship “Two Brothers”. His first known certain appearance on a tax list was in 1754 in Bern Township of Berks County, Pennsylvania. A purported appearance in 1752 at the same place is probably in error for reasons cited above. Where was he from the date of his arrival in 1748 until his first tax list appearance in Bern Township, Berks County in 1754?
1748 to 1753 Gap:
Another section of this web site discusses the 18th century Germanic immigration experience based on a review of published materials on that subject. However, briefly in this section it should be noted that published sources assert that 50% to 70% of the German speaking immigrants who came to America in the 1700’s became indentured servants for 5 or 6 years after their arrival in Philadelphia.
A majority of the 18th century German speaking immigrants came from very meager lives in the Rhineland. What minimal possessions they had were usually exhausted by the time they navigated the trip down the Rhine to Rotterdam in the Netherlands at the mouth of the Rhine before sailing on to England and finally, America.
However, having no funds to pay for the passage to America did not mean these poor travelers were out of luck. A system was established early on by ship captains and agents on both sides of the Atlantic to provide funding for the expenses of passage to immigrants without their own means to fund their cost of transportation.
Contracts were entered into with the poor German immigrants where they agreed to serve as bonded servants for a specified period of years in lieu of payment of their costs of passage directly. When they arrived in America, they entered into indentured servant contracts to work for masters who needed labor, usually farm related, for their plantations. The person to whom they indentured themselves would pay the their expenses incurred in coming to America.
Circumstantial evidence points to the possibility if not probability that Johann Paul Jünger became an indentured servant upon his arrival in Philadelphia in 1748. This is admittedly conjecture but there are a number of factors that point in this direction. Perhaps the most compelling evidence in this regard is from the later appearances of Paul on tax lists which consistently depict him as a non-landowner with relatively minimal material possessions. This suggests someone who never was able to accumulate enough wealth to acquire his own piece of the American soil.
If Paul would have been able to pay for his own passage it would have been more probable that he could have also been able to earn enough to purchase property not too long after arriving in America. However, if the first 5 or 6 years of his time in the “New Land” was spent simply working off his debt from costs of his transportation, it rings more likely that he might never be able to work and save enough to buy his own property. By the time Paul arrived in 1748 prices for land in the more established parts of the Pennsylvania colony had become relatively expensive. This was particularly true in counties like Chester, Philadelphia and Lancaster where settlement had been going on for decades prior to Paul’s arrival.
Furthermore, although Paul arrived in 1748 his three known children, George, Anthony and Martin were not born until the mid 1750’s to 1760’s. Anthony, the second born son, was born in 1759 according to his tombstone in the Bear family cemetery in Yocumtown, Newberry Township, York County, PA. Martin was not born until 1765 according to a birth record at Muddy Creek Lutheran Church in Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, PA. George’s birth date is not known. He is presumed to be the oldest of the three sons of Paul. If Anthony was born in 1759 it seems probable that George was born in the 1755-1758 period.
Indentured servants had to serve out their agreed upon period of bondage before becoming “freemen” and before being free to marry. Indentured servants who wished to marry before their contract period was up had to purchase the remaining period on their contracts at a prorated premium.
If an immigrant was too poor to fund his own passage expenses how, during his period of bonded servitude, could he reasonably be able to accumulate enough extra income to pay an amount to secure his freedom ahead of schedule? Following this line of logic and theory, Paul probably was not married until after he completed his period of indenture. Then and only then did the natural fruit of offspring from marriage begin for Paul and his new wife.
Generally, indentured servants were not counted as taxpayers on tax lists. Instead, they were included within the households of their masters. Their names would not be separately listed on tax lists. It also seems logical that when an indentured servant was finally free from his labor contract, he likely would settle in the area with the people and places he had become familiar with during his indenture period. This hypothesis suggests that Paul would have been an indentured servant in Bern Township, Berks County prior to appearing as a married renter in 1754 in that same township.
To summarize, Paul probably was in Bern Township as an indentured servant from the time of his arrival in 1748 until he obtained his freedom from indentured servitude by 1754. His master logically would have been someone on the 1752 list of taxpayers for Bern Township, Berks County, PA. Enough conjectures have already been offered in this section. I have no clue who to suggest as the one who bought his contract and took him in to become an indentured servant for 5 or 6 years between 1748 and 1754!
1755 to 1758 Gap:
Paul Junger’s disappearance from tax lists of Bern Township after 1754 coincides with Indian hostilities that flared up in the Southeastern area of Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Braddock’s disastrous defeat in western Pennsylvania in 1755 emboldened formerly peaceful Native American Indians to rise up against European immigrant settlements in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. Berks County was the scene of several fatal attacks including the Hochstetler family massacre which happened on the evening of September 29, 1757 in what is Upper Bern Township today near the village of Shartlesville.
More information about this war, its causes, its effects on inhabitants like Paul Junger and its aftermaths is presented in another section of this web site. In the present context it should simply be noted that Paul Junger’s absence from any known tax lists after his appearance in 1754 in Bern Township until he reappears in Oley Township on a tax list in 1759 coincides with a period of intense danger and murderous attacks in the Bern Township area where Paul previously lived in 1754.
Probably he was laying low like so many other alarmed Germanic immigrant settlers. Many fled into more inhabited areas and away from the more remote areas where they had previously lived in peace with Native American Indians near the Blue Mountains. Some fled as far as into Philadelphia itself. They even brought into Philadelphia the corpses of murdered and mutilated fellow German neighbors in an attempt to incite the notoriously pacifistic Quaker leadership into providing military defensive resources.
Even though we do not know where Paul Junger was during those years of turmoil between 1754 and 1759, we probably can infer why he disappeared from tax lists during that period. Bullets, arrows and tomahawks were flying and he was probably doing his best to get out of harms way.
1766 to 1779 Gap:
Paul Junger was in Cocalico Township of Lancaster in 1763 on a tax list. He was still there in 1765 according to a birth record for his son Johann Martin at Muddy Creek Lutheran Church. He may have been there in 1767 through 1768 as well but, unfortunately, no tax records exist in Lancaster County archives today for those years for Cocalico Township. When tax records resume in 1769 for Cocalico Township, Paul is not on the list.
Furthermore, he has not been located in my research on any tax list of any other township in Berks, Lancaster, York or Cumberland Counties during the period of 1766 through 1779 until he finally appears in Newberry Township of York County on the 1780 tax list discussed above. In this regard, I have consulted the various volumes of the Third Series of the Pennsylvania Archives pertaining to tax lists printed in that publication which cover these counties for selected years during this period.
I have more deeply examined microfilms of all tax lists of Newberry Township, York County, Pa for every available year in the York County archives for these years. I have examined on microfilm tax lists for the most probable other townships like Bern and Oley in Berks County and Cocalico in Lancaster County where Paul had appeared in some previous years as well.
I have not examined the many other township tax lists in the various County archives of Lancaster, Berks, York or Cumberland Counties because of the enormous time that would take. So in spite of the fact that Paul does not appear on any tax list of Newberry Township, York County, Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, Bern and Oley Townships, Berks County, or on any tax lists of these Counties and Cumberland County published in the Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, he may be in another township of these counties during some or all of these years from 1766 through 1779.
For that matter Paul may have been in other counties like Philadelphia, Chester, etc. though I sincerely doubt that to be likely. My best educated guess is that he was somewhere in Lancaster County even though I have no evidence to prove that. Perhaps he managed to stay “under the radar” during these tumultuous years leading up to the American Revolution. As a non-landowner, that may have been easier to do than it would have been for taxables who owned land.
At present it is simply a mystery where Paul and his family were from 1766 through 1779. Perhaps some day a clue will emerge which gives information about where to focus a more detailed review of Townships other than the ones he has been traced to on tax lists.
In spite of the gaps in appearances on tax lists it is still possible to make some important summary conclusions about Paul Junger(Yenger) based on the tax list appearances that do exist. Paul was not a wealthy man at any time of his life in the “New World”. He never owned any land in America. He was a frequent mover, perhaps never ceasing to search for that elusive opportunity to better the economic circumstances for himself and his family. These motives that prompted Paul to launch out in faith by leaving his “Heimat” in Europe followed him to his new homeland of Pennsylvania.
He was a wandering patriarch seeking a promised land for future generations of his offspring though he probably never thought in such grandiose long term ways. He himself never realized the dream of becoming master of his own circumstances by owning land, and profiting from working hard on it. But perhaps by the end of his life in America he could foresee the probability that his sons would realize that dream.
All of us who descend from Paul are indebted to him for the remarkable courage he had and personal risks he took and the significant hardships he endured. Through his investment of personal sacrifice and determination we have reaped a large return as free American citizens. We are free to pursue our dreams, our religious beliefs, our education, our careers, our hobbies, etc. The list goes on and on. America is a long way from perfection because it is inhabited by fallible human beings. But, with all faults, I am grateful for the land of opportunity afforded to me by pioneers like my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather Johann Paul Jünger.
Copyright © 2009-2011 Samuel E. Yinger. All rights reserved.