Where did Johann Paul Jünger come from in Europe? What was his village of origin?
My answer to this all-important question at the present time is simple and disappointing. I don’t know where Paul came from exactly. However, I have been earnestly searching for clues and attempting to follow up on those tidbits of hope from nearly the beginning of my research project. I have sought for direct personal references to a village of origin which sometimes appear in family bibles, church records, on tombstones, in wills, on land deeds or in family correspondence. This approach has yielded nothing to follow up on so far.
Another source for potential clues I consulted was professional published sources for authors of books about German immigration to America. Those books and articles often name the village of origin for Germanic immigrants based on research done in Europe in church and civil records. Some of the well known American and German writers whose published works have been consulted in this regard are Annette K. Burgert, Carl Boyer, Karl Ehmann, William P. Filby, Werner Hacker, Charles M. Hall, William J. Hinke, Henry Z. Jones, Friedrich Krebs, Cornelia Schrader-Muggenthaler, I. Daniel Rupp, Ralph B. Strassburger, Michael Tepper, Frederick A. Virkus and Don Yoder,
In some of these published sources Paul Jünger is well documented regarding his arrival in Philadelphia on September 15, 1748 on the ship “Two Brothers”. However, none of the published sources that I have consulted give any reference about his place of origin in Europe.
Another possible source of clues toward identifying Paul Jünger’s village of origin is through researching the background of people he associated with. This approach is based on the observation made by professional researchers that 18th century German immigrants to America did not make their journey as isolated individuals, generally speaking. They came together with people they knew in Europe and they often stayed together in settled communities after arriving in America.
Fortunately, the passenger list for the ship Paul came to America on has many people listed on it whose villages of origin have been determined and documented in published books and articles. At another location on this web site I have reproduced the passenger list for the ship named “Two Brothers” that Paul came to America on in 1748. I have also noted on that list the villages of origin for those people on the ship whose hometown has been documented in published sources. Two Brothers 1748 Passenger Lists
Those passengers on Paul’s ship whose villages of origin have been identified and documented in published sources generally came from two German speaking areas, Northern Alsace and Pfalz. Other German speaking areas are also represented to a much lesser degree. Today Northern Alsace lies in the Bas-Rhin province of France. However, it has flipped flopped back and forth over the centuries between Germany and France in terms of governmental jurisdiction. However, in terms of language, it has been Germanic throughout the centuries. Pfalz lies just north of Northern Alsace in the present day region of Rheinland-Pfalz of Germany.
The passenger list for Paul’s ship is not in alphabetic order. Rather, in all probability, it is in the order that was typical of most of the German immigrant ship lists of that time and place (18th century Philadelphia). The typical order of names as listed by the captain of a German immigrant ship was in the order the passengers queued up in. Human nature compels people to “get in line” with those they are closest to in terms of friendship or familiarity.
While it is encouraging that many villages of origin are known for Paul’s fellow passengers, it is unfortunate that the names immediately above and beneath Paul’s name on the ship list are for people who, like Paul, have not had their villages of origin discovered by published researchers. In order, those names are Johann Jacob Höck, Johann Friederich Weber, Michael Günter, Conrad Günter, Paul Jünger, Johannes Heckart (Eckart), Philippus Stein, Michael Reiffsneider, Hans Keller, Conrad Köhler, and Johannes Schlegel.
Hans Keller may have been from Hallau in Switzerland according to published sources. The name right before this group that Paul is in the middle of is Hans Jacob Kendell who was from Schalbach, Alsace. The name right after the group of names Paul is in the middle of is Ulrich Wirt who was from the village of Lixheim, Alsace. Perhaps this suggests that Paul and those nearest to his name on the ship list where also from villages in Alsace, but this is not necessarily so.
In all honesty, Paul and the people listed immediately before and after him could have been from anywhere in the Rhineland. When ships were being loaded in Rotterdam with Germanic emigrants bound for America via an English port, a lot of consolidating was done. Rarely would a single ship carry passengers who were from only a single narrow geographic area. Shiploads of passengers were generally comprised of many sub-groups who were from a variety of regions.
If I knew where the Günters or Hans Heckart were from, then a narrow search of church records for Paul Jünger in those or nearby villages would be a prudent endeavor. My hunch is that those fellow passengers whose names appear nearest to Paul on the ship list were probably from the same general area as Paul was from. Paul probably personally knew them and perhaps his family had been neighbors with their families. Unfortunately, the villages of origin for these people have not been documented in published sources that I have seen.
So far no compelling clue about Paul Jünger’s village of origin has emerged from studying his fellow passengers on the same ship he arrived on. Therefore, I have also been researching people he lived near or associated with after he arrived in America. Until this time the only promising clue I have found is an association that Paul had with Martin Eicholtz. Martin Eicholtz was the sponsor for the baptism of Paul Jünger’s son Johann Martin Jünger in 1765 at Muddy Creek Lutheran Church in Cocalico Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It also seems likely that Paul named his new son Martin after his friend Martin Eicholtz. This suggests a close bond between Paul Jünger and Martin Eicholtz.
Martin Eicholtz came to America in 1749 on the ship “Jacob”. He came with his parents Adam and Ursula Eichholtz who also brought other children with them. Their village of origin is documented in the Annette K. Burgert book titled “Eighteenth Century Emigrants from German-Speaking Lands to North America. Vol. I: The Northern Kraichgau”. According to that publication on page 100 they came from the village of Neckarbischofsheim which is located near the Neckar River as it flows westward toward Heidelberg. It is about 30 miles Southeast of Heidelberg near a larger town named Sinsheim.
The Eich(h)oltz family is well documented in the church books of the Lutheran church in Neckarbischofsheim. Johann Martin Eicholtz was born in 1726 according to entries in those church books. Perhaps Paul Jünger connected closely with Martin Eicholtz in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1765 because they shared a common geographic origin in Europe. It is only a theory that I am pursuing in the absence of any better clues to follow up on to this point.
In summary, I do not know the specific village of origin for Paul Jünger yet. But I will continue to pursue possibilities and clues as they arise.
Copyright © 2009-2011 Samuel E. Yinger. All rights reserved.