One Salzburger family historian’s bibliography

Bookshelf (Some, but not all, mentioned books, mixed with others.)

I might be amenable to some look-up requests, but at least for perspective’s sake, I thought I’d take a moment to give an overview of resources in my library. Every title I’ll reference is in my private holdings. I personally may not have time to serve a hub, but I heartily encourage communication and collaboration among the descendants. Some lively, productive, real-time ventures are happening in the official Facebook group “The Salzburgers and Their Descendants” (with the spinoff “Effingham County, GA Genealogy Page” being of potential interest, if or perhaps because widely eclectic), into which all others were collapsed, with the exception of our brothers and sisters across the pond, in “Salzburger Emigranten.” Indeed, with respect to the latter, this is the cutting edge where I expect great developments in the future. So much so that I have my work cut out for me laboriously deciphering one such product, Charlotte E. Haver, Von Salzburg nach Amerika: Mobilität und Kultur einer Gruppe religiöser Emigranten im 18. Jahrhundert (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2011), which would be more enjoyable by way of bringing the tale to life than in strict genealogical metrics. Might I say that I’m deeply touched by the reconciliation between Salzburg and Ebenezer?

This truly heralds a new era of transatlantic research, leading directly to the magnificent Salzburg-Halle-North America: A bilingual catalog with summaries of the Georgia manuscripts in the Francke Foundations (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1999), a treasure trove of unique and never before seen original documents…in the archival summary form, which the Georgia Salzburger Society duly stated should be “valuable and interesting” to genealogists and historians alike. Odds are good that you’ll find pleasant little details, if not more, about someone in your pedigree, though its 877 pages are also a tremendous teaser. The colossal 18-volume set of Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants who Settled in America (published from 1968 to 1995 and largely translated by the estimable George Fenwick Jones) is indispensable, essentially the source for depth and detail of the original colonists, yet one of its chief authors is enlarged upon by means of two volumes of The Letters of Johann Martin Boltzius, Lutheran Pastor in Ebenezer, Georgia, released through Lewiston New York’s Edwin Mellen Press in 2009 by Russell C. Kleckley and Jürgen Gröschl. As if the language barrier weren’t imposing enough, hinted by George F. Jones and Sheryl Exley’s need to retranslate early attempts with the Ebenezer Record Book, 1754-1781 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1991), and rectifying some serious errors (first attempted in Caroline Price Wilson’s 1928 work, contained in the first half of Silas Emmett Lucas’ tedious Records of Effingham County, Georgia [Southern Historical Press, 1976]), the rather massive German publications of Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg’s letters are still in slow process of translation, if that’s proceeding at all. I own John W. Kleiner and Helmut T. Lehmann’s first 77 letters, comprising (with its own addition) only half of one German volume, in The Correspondence of Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg, Volume I: 1740-1747. He was a regular correspondent with the settlement, and I’m most indebted to Andrew W. Lewis for making available in advance otherwise unpublished Georgia letters, to and from my own forebear, in an article of the December 1965 Georgia Historical Quarterly.

With additional older German titles on the docket, like Gerhard Florey’s Geschichte der Salzburger Protestanten und ihrer Emigration 1731/32 (Graz, 1977) and Karl Panse’s Geschichte der Auswanderung der Evangelischen Salzburger im Jahre 1732 (Kaumberg, 1827), I’m working at plodding pace through Karl Friedrich Dobel’s Kurze Geschichte der Auswanderung der Evangelischen Salzburger (Kempten, 1832). This last contains (20-21) some stirring lines: “Sie hatten theils die Bibel, theils Luthers Katechismus und einige andere evangelische Bücher von ihren Vorfahren geerbt, aus welchen sie von ihren Aeltern unterrichtet worden waren. . . . Auf die Frage, wo sie ihre lutherischen Bücher hatten und warum sie nicht zur Kirche kamen, bekannten sie ohne Scheu ihren Glauben.” Those books were confiscated, cut up, and burned. Mack Walker’s illuminating history, written to address the Prussian leg taken by the majority, is relevant throughout. Of this phenomenon, he stated:

Books were central objects of domestic worship, the Hausandacht. . . . This cultural identity of the mountain peasantry linked them therefore with the German north, even as it estranged them from their own prince, a Catholic bishop, and from his court and culture. The baroque splendors of the Counter-Reformation, like its disciplinary strictures, did not penetrate the alpine parishes of the Pongau.

These linkages and totems were well known to state and church authorities throughout the Salzkammergut and Upper Austria generally; and efforts to suppress the importation of books had led to a lively smuggling trade, far exceeding such portable contraband as peasant boys’ summer wages might buy. A commercial traveler passing through the mountains might collect orders and payments for books that he bought in Regensburg or Nürnberg; cattle drivers, peddlers, and carters joined in the trade. Discharged soldiers converted some of their savings into books and brought them home in their packs. The market was there, “because,” according to a 1722 report from Austrian Carinthia next door, “just about every inhabitant here can read and many can write, but they never learned or allow [their children] to learn reading and writing in the towns and markets, for fear of the religious instruction and catechizing that would go with it there, but rather from a local schoolmaster or very often from a peasant, where in wintertime especially even the farmhands and maidservants come together for this, and take such instruction with no other purpose, than to read and to understand the old or newly arrived Lutheran books.” Into this culture children were initiated as they were read to, or as they learned to read. Literacy was widespread among women; a striking number—at a guess, perhaps a third—of the (male) peasants who were examined on account of book possession or literacy, these conditions being prima facie evidence of Protestant heresy, testified that they had learned to read from a female relative or house-mistress. They hoarded books that might have been found in the library of a burgher family in the German north: Arndt’s Wahres Christentum and Paradiesgärtlein, Habermann’s Gebetbuch—the “Habermändl”—and Lutheran catechisms and hymnals. One family was found to own eighty-six devotional books in the spring of 1731, eighty of them Protestant and six Catholic (an exceptionally large collection, to be sure), about a quarter of them published before 1555, close to half before 1648, the rest since the Thirty Years’ War. In Vienna itself around that time, of thirteen bookdealers, ten were Protestant. These were readily tolerated in the culture of the Habsburg capital and court; but Protestantism among the alpine peasantry, Austrian as well as Salzburger, was quite another matter. (The Salzburg Transaction: Expulsion and Redemption in Eighteenth-Century Germany [Ithaca: Cornell University, 1992], 14-16)

The field of making foreign-language, historically sound resources accessible was pioneered by Carl Mauelshagen in Salzburg Lutheran Expulsion and Its Impact (New York: Vantage Press, 1962). That German-born history professor was certainly no dilettante. While his history is perhaps short on the Georgia end of things, it’s loaded with comprehension of features of the exodus, even dwelling on Salzburg clothing and customs. It made a more respectable overall picture than the sole English language contribution (possibly why Mauelshagen’s dust jacket alludes to basically being the first), laudable for its time, in over a century, and for a century before that, P.A. Strobel’s The Salzburgers and their Descendants (Baltimore, 1855). In addition to a more modern copy, I own the 1953 University of Georgia Press reprint in which my great-great-aunt inscribed her name and address. Like so: EdnasBook0001

If you look at the green dust jackets on the bookshelf, the first five volumes of Detailed Reports which I acquired came from Kenneth Coleman’s library in near pristine condition. Each had a personal message from the translator, but I’m inserting an image in which the advance copy card was still tucked, soliciting that published historian’s opinion. ColemanBook0001

Sure, the administrative minutiae of the Georgia colony’s kind of been around for a while, conveniently published in George Fenwick Jones’ 1966 (University of Georgia Press) Henry Newman’s Salzburger Letterbooks, and I’m bogged down in its 626 pages. It’s up your alley if you’re into the nuts and bolts of resettling a dispossessed people in a new colony. Marion R. Hemperley’s English Crown Grants in Christ Church Parish in Georgia, 1755-1775 (Georgia Surveyor-General Department, 1974) is helpful for documenting many Salzburger land titles during the period after trusteeship transitioned into provincial government. A small 1991 paper pamphlet acquired from the museum, John W. Gnann and Norman V. Turner’s “A Walking Tour of New Ebenezer” starts the archaeological disciplinary inquiry which LAMAR Institute continues according to funding.

We’ve similarly come a long way from the original single volume Georgia Salzburger and Allied Families, single-handedly compiled by Pearl Rahn Gnann in 1956 (my 1984 Southern Historical Press reprint with 1976 updates to material). My great-grandmother, Alreta Lavicy (Waldhour) Ferrell, my genetic access to the people under consideration, didn’t even figure in that work, which already abounded in pages of errata and addenda. My own submission fleshed out her family on page 3059 of the monumental four-volume, 3449 page (exclusive of master index) update issued through the Georgia Salzburger Society in cooperation with Southern Historical Press in 2003. While they made great efforts for accuracy, the paperwork requiring that we list sources, no questions were asked and I doubt there was opportunity for source checking, a necessary measure for the less punctilious. What’s more, I understand others have found glaring problems even with the data they supplied—it dropped a letter from my mother’s middle name, among other things.

Nowhere on this site or in real life would I pretend to any substantial expertise in matters Salzburger, though it’s not immodest to claim greater than usual experience therein. (My once-proficient German has lapsed to the point where I need refresher courses before thinking of a Salzburg visit.) Nevertheless, descendants of Germanic settlers in Georgia tend to be careless in using the “Salzburger” brand. George F. Jones makes it clear repeatedly (both in his concise The Salzburger Saga: Religious Exiles and Other Germans Along the Savannah (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1984) and its expanded, meticulously documented version, The Georgia Dutch: From the Rhine and the Danube to the Savannah, 1733-1783 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1992), that many disparate German groups settled together at Ebenezer, all assuming this broader identity. My grandfather went to the grave simplistically and monolithically perceiving them as a single body which settled Georgia en masse; I took an interview recording where he exuberantly declares to that effect that the Waldhours were Salzburgers from Salzburg. How astonished he’d have been to learn that the main stem were Palatines proper, and that even the branches rightly denominated Salzburger hailed from the region of Salzburg, but not the city itself! The historian in me cringes at inevitable distortions over time in family tales, while the romantic values such basic preservation in memory of pride in heritage.

The moniker of Salzburger was still being used at such a late date as 1750-1758, as a small section in volume 3 of Even More Palatine Families: 18th Century Immigrants to the American Colonies and Their German, Swiss and Austrian Origins (Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 2002), by Henry Z. Jones, Jr., and Lewis Bunker Rohrbach, documents those so identifying who passed through Schwäbisch Hall. Their summary refers to earlier “organized expulsions” of 1720 and 1731, stating that this list details mostly individual expulsions. None of this begins to touch generations of persecution before those dates. The famous refugee Joseph Schaitberger, whose hymn lent courage to our forebears, spans into the previous century. The authors noted that some of the declared destinations, of many, were directly to Ebenezer (as I confirmed in perusal). They go so far as to link “in many cases, near relations of the refugees given here” in Picton Press’s 1999 publication of the 22,000-name The Salzburger Expulsion Lists, for the 1731 period; I apologize for not yet determining whether any of the Ebenezer-bound were so connected.

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