Jacob Holtzclaw was one of the fourteen German ironworkers, a total 42 people, from the town of Siegen and Muesen in the principality of Nassau-Siegen, Germany, who upon an agreement with Baron de Graffenreid came to open the mines in Virginia. However, their arrival was early and surprised the Baron, as he had not had an audience with Queen. The families so valued their freedom, they refused to return to their homeland and instead found trades in Europe to support their families until Queen Anne opened the mines. These were master mechanics, and were an intelligent, progressive set of people, which turned Germanna into the first sector of industrialization for Virginia.
THE HOLTZCLAW FAMILY
Hans Jacob Holtzclaw and Anna Margreth Otterbach
Hans Jacob Holtzclaw, was born in Truppbach, Germany, in 1683, the son of Hans Henrich Holtzclaw and his wife, Gertrut Solbach. He was christened at St. Nicolai Church in Siegen, Germany on Laetare Sunday, 1683. Jacob grew up in Truppbach with his ten brothers and sisters. His parents had moved there in about 1680, when his father, Hans, took the position of Schoolmaster. It is probable that Jacob attended the famous Latin School in Siegen. Jacob's brother, Johann served as schoolmaster at Oberfischbach, a nearby village. In 1707, Johann, who was only thirty-eight years old, died. Immediately after the death of his brother, Hans seems to have been asked to take the position of Schoolmaster in Oberfischbach left vacant by his brother's death. He was then twenty-four years of age. No doubt the acceptance of this new position enabled him to marry the following summer. On the 5th Sunday after Trinity, August 7, 1708, Hans Jacob Holtzclaw, schoolmaster at Oberfischbach, married Anna Margreth, daughter of Hermann Otterbach of Truppbach and his wife, Elizabeth (Heimbach) Otterbach. Anna Margreth was born at Truppbach in 1686, being christened at St. Nicolai Reformed Church in Siegen on the 9th Sunday after Trinity, 1686.Germanna was a German settlement in the Colony of Virginia, settled in two waves, first in 1714 and then in 1717. Virginia Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood encouraged the immigration by advertising in Germany for Miners to move to Virginia and establish a mining industry in the colony.
For five years after his marriage, Jacob Holtzclaw lived quietly at Oberfischbach, carrying on his work as schoolmaster. Both of his eldest children were born there.
The name Germanna, selected by Governor Alexander Spotswood, reflected both the German immigrants who sailed across the Atlantic to Virginia and the British Queen, Anne, who was in power at the time of the first settlement at Germanna. Though she was to die only months after the Germans arrived, her name continues to be a part of the area.
The Germanna Colonies consist primarily of the First Colony of forty-two persons from the Siegerland area in Germany brought to Virginia to work for Spotswood in 1714, and the Second Colony of twenty families from the Palatinate and Baden-Wuerttemberg area of Germany brought in 1717, but also include other German families who joined the first two colonies at later dates. Although many Germanna families later migrated southward and westward from Piedmont, Virginia, genealogical evidence shows that many of the families intermarried for generations, producing a rich genealogical heritage.
First Germanna Colony Timeline
- Late spring of 1713: the people left Nassau-Siegen, apparently not in a single group
- Summer of 1713: the people arrived in London
- January 1714: they left for Virginia on an unknown ship
- Late March 1714: Spotswood first learns from Col. Nathaniel Blakiston, the agent for Virginia in London, that Germans are coming
- April 1714: the Germans arrived in Virginia
- 1716: they started mining operations at the silver mine
- 1718, early in the year: they were instructed to search for iron
- During 1718: the search for iron continued and a statement in a courthouse says they worked until December of 1718 at mining and quarrying. Also during the year they made their commitment to buy land at "Germantown." By December of 1718, Spotswood says he spent about 60 pounds on the endeavor so there was no iron furnace.
- January 1719: they moved to Germantown. Pastor Haeger may not have moved at this time. By this time they had completed the four years of service they committed themselves to in London.
- 1717: Eighty-odd Germans from Wuerttemberg, Baden, and the Palatinate agree with Capt. Tarbett in London to take them to Pennsylvania in the ship Scott.
- 1717/1718: Capt. Tarbett hijacks the Germans to Virginia where they become indentured servants of Lt. Gov. Spotswood
- 1719/1722: Some of the Germans who left in 1717 arrived in Virginia at a later time
- 1723/25: Spotswood sues many of the Germans
- 1725: Most of these Germans move to the Robinson River Valley
- 1733: Johann Caspar Stoever becomes their (Lutheran) pastor
- 1740: The German Lutheran Church (Hebron Lutheran Church today) is built with funds raised in Germany
Hans Jacob Holtzclaw * (1683 - 1763)
is our 7th great grandfather
daughter of Hans Jacob Holtzclaw *
daughter of Alice Katherine Holtzclaw *
son of Margaret Peggy Darnell *
son of William Bramblett *
son of William Bramblett *Jr.
son of Fielding Bramblett *
son of George Edward Bramblett *
daughter of Walter Scott Bramblett *