Early Settlers in the Wachovia Community

The first volume of Records of the Moravians in North Carolina contains a chronological list of persons arriving in the Wachovia community between 1753 and 1770. We have expanded this into an annotated alphabetical list of settlers, adding information from elsewhere in the Records, graveyard listings, and other sources. We still know relatively little about some of these people, however. Are they your ancestors? If you can supply additional information, please contact us!


The First Company of 1753

A year after purchase of the Wachovia Tract, a group of 15 men came south to begin the first settlement. Their journey began on October 8, 1753, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the trip overland through Pennsylvania, Maryland and down the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is described in fascinating detail in the Moravian Records [1:75-80]. The road was poor, food was scarce, and river crossings with their loaded wagon were very difficult. By early November the weather was cold and rainy or even snowy, and near the end they were delayed for two days, unable to cross the flooded Dan River just south of the Virginia-North Carolina border. They finally reached their destination on the evening of November 17th, taking shelter in a deserted cabin and celebrating their arrival with a Lovefeast (a shared simple meal with singing and prayer, a Moravian tradition). The wolves howled loudly outside.

The members of this group were carefully selected to provide the necessary combination of skills to create a new community from the wilderness. Eleven, all single men, were to be the permanent settlers, and four returned to Pennsylvania. Most had previously been residents of the Moravian agricultural center at Christiansbrunn, near Nazareth PA.

Johannes Beroth

Henrich Feldhausen

Bernard Adam Grube

Erich Ingebretsen

Hans Martin Kalberlahn

Johannes Lischer

Hermannus Loesch

Jacob Loesch

Jacob Lung

Christopher Merkley

Hans Petersen

Friedrich Jacob Pfeil

Nathaniel Seidel, Gottlob Königsdorfer, and Joseph Haberland accompanied the initial party, but then returned to Pennsylvania.


Arrivals in 1754

Johannes Lischer had returned to Pennsylvania in 1753, but came back in April, 1754, accompanied by Jacob Friis.

Peter Boehler and Andreas Höger were visitors who arrived in September, 1754, but did not remain in NC.

A second group of single men arrived on October 26, 1754:

Andreas Betz

Hans Christian Christensen

George Holder

Jacob Kapp

Johannes Nagel

Johannes Ranke

George Schmid

Jacobus van der Merk


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, 2001-2007
Faye Jarvis Moran and Elizabeth H. Harris
faye@fmoran.com, ncgen@mindspring.com