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Archiver > YEAGER > 2001-03 > 0985372560

From: "J. Johnson" <>
Subject: Nicholas Yager
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 14:31:06 -0500

Jennifer had posted a message to this list concerning Claus Jager as the ancestor of Nicholas Yager of the 2nd Germanna Colony. I've seen several versions of the ancestry of Nicholas and thought it might be helpful if I posted what I've found.


Hi, Jenn J. --

With regard to your material showing Claus Jager as the ancestor and Hans as the father of Nicholas, the source is "The Germanna Record," No. 10, a monograph by Benjamin Holtzclaw in April 1967. Copies of the "Germanna Record" can be ordered through the Germanna Memorial Foundation's web site. Number 10 is entitled "The Yager Family of Germanna."

These monographs are a very popular source of information on the family of Nicholas Jager, who was a member of the 1717 Germanna Colony, that is, the second group of Germans who joined a colony already established in VA in 1714. These publications are easy to obtain, so their information has become widespread.

Excerpt from "The Germanna Record", No. 10. (Note: 3 periods separated by spaces indicate omitted words):

"Nicholas Yager came to America with Captain Scott and brought with
him his wife Mary and their two children, Adam and Mary. . . . Mr. Carlisle
Smith has made an extensive study of the records in Germany and states
that, 'The birth record of Nicholas Yager is in the church in Oberzell, a tiny
community near Weichersbach. This record indicates that Nicholas was
born in Oberzell, christened in Oberzell and that his father, Hans Jager,
lived in Oberzell. The German spelling of his name as written on his birth
record is Nicolaus Jager, and the date of his birth May 28, 1676. The date
of his father's birth is not yet known, or any data with respect to the name
of his grandfather. . . . There is a burial record of a Claus Jager, about 90
years old, who was buried Feb. 19, 1668 who might have been the great
grandfather of Nicolaus."

Note that Holtzclaw does not state conclusively that Claus Jager is the grandfather or great-grandfather of Nicholas

for an excellent update on further research since the 1960s, you might also consult the work of Gary J. Zimmerman and Johni Cerny, who did some very thorough research in the 1980s regarding the parentage of Nicholas, father of Adam, of the Second Germanna Colony of 1717. I have a transcript of some of their work and will relay some of it, as follows:

[Note I am using quotation marks to designate book titles because underlining and italics do not transmit reliably to all users of the Internet.]

The following is from "Before Germanna, The Ancestry of the Yager, Stolts, Crees, and Beyerbach Families," Gary J. Zimmerman and Johni Cerny, No. 10, May 1990, American Genealogical Lending Library, P. O. Box 244, Bountiful, Utah 84011, Copyright 1990 by Lineages, Inc., ISBN 0-944931-09-X.

The chapter headings are:
Chapter 1: The Second Germanna Colony of VA
Chapter 2: Nicholas Yager, Second Germanna Colonist
Chapter 3: John Michael Stoltz, Immigrant to Virginia
Chapter 4: The Origins and Ancestry of Lawrence Crees
Chapter 5: the Origins and Ancestry of Frederick Beyerback
Chapter 6: Revised Constituency of the Second Germanna Colony

Here are a few excerpts from Chapters 1 and 2:

In pages 1-17 Zimmerman and Cerni address "unanswered questions" contained in "The Germanna Record" (Monograph Nos. 6, 11, and 13). They state:

"While so much has been documented and written about
the First Colony and its ancestry, a great deal of mystery has
surrounded the establishment of a second colony in 1717.
Few historical records exist to document an immigrant's arrival
in colonial Virginia. What is known about those who constituted
the Second Germanna Colony has been printed in "The Germanna
Record," Monograph Nos. 6, 11, and 13. While much of the
information therein is derived from deeds, court records, and wills,
many conclusions drawn by the authors are speculation or perhaps
wishful thinking. Without the benefit of records in Wurttemberg
and Baden, some of the mysteries and much of the speculation
surrounding the Second Colony could never have been resolved."

Zimmerman and Cerny went to Germany and consulted over 300 German parish registers in the places where members of the Second Colony (including Nicholas Jager) originated. About Nicholas Yager they write on pp. 19-22:

"Nicholas Yager (Jager in German), one of the original 1717 Second
Germanna Colonists, came from Falkenstine in the Palatinate, rather
than Baden or Wurttemberg like the others. However, that's where the
differences end. Nicholas was sued by Governor Spotswood in 1724,
(see Chapter 1), received the average 400 acre land grant in the Robinson
River area on 24 June 1726, and was naturalized 13 June 1742, when he
proved his importation by stating that he arrived with his wife Mary, son
Adam, and daughter Mary. Adam Yager was naturalized 19 September
1730. These records state that Nicholas was born at Weichersbach in
Hesse and Adam in Fulkenston (Falkenstein), in the Duchy of Neuberg.
German records substantiate these birthplaces, but not without anomalies.
After his wife died, sometime after 1734, he married Susanna, widow of
Jacob Crigler.

"Nicholas Jager married Anna Maria Sieber in Marienthal in the Palatinate
11 May 1706.
"Translation: were married Nicolaus Jager, legitimate son of
Paul Jager, resident of Meierspach [sic] in Hessen, and Anna
Maria, legitimate daughter of Christian Sieber of Falckenstein.
"The tradition that Nicholas Jager's wife was Mary Wilhoite, as reported by
Holtzclaw, is not substantiated by this record."

And so on. There is a wealth of information about Nicholas and his family in this publication. Note that the father of Nicholas Jager in this record is shown as Paul, not Hans, and that his wife is shown as Anna Maria Sieber, not Mary Wilhoite.

A year or so back there was much discussion on the Germanna Rootsweb mailing list as to how to obtain copies of "Before Germanna" by Zimmerman and Cerni. It sounded as if copies might not still be available at the time. But if they are, you should definitely try to get it. You might look in the archives of the Germanna list to find these messages.
IMPORTANT! My personal, considered opinion is that the John Yeager who migrated from Culpeper Co., Virginia to Laurens County, SC, in 1790 and lived there for over 20 years is NOT descended from Nicholas Jager and his son Adam of the Second (1717) Germanna Colony. I continue to research both the Germanna Colonies and other possibilities for his ancestry.

Betty Johnson

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