Haas is a Dutch, German, and Jewish (Ashkenazic) name derived from the Middle Dutch, Middle High German word, hase, meaning ‘hare’, hence a nickname for a swift runner or a timorous or confused person; but in some cases perhaps a habitational name from a house distinguished by the sign of a hare.
   Hereditary surnames began to be adopted during early mediaeval times, and the family name Haas emerged from Bavaria. Chronicles first mention Ruediger Hase in Bavaria in 1173; Henrich Hase, the owner of the inn "zum Hase" in Basel in 1293; the name Hass appears in Prague in 1363.
   The Haas surname would eventually emerge as a noble family with many influential branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs. The Family Coat of Arms for most lines is a blue shield displaying a gold hare courant.

   During the 17th Century, the Simon Haas family lived between what are now the countries of France and Germany, in the region of Saarland, a collection of states in the Holy Roman Empire (official name: sacrum romanum imperium), a political entity that covered a large portion of Europe from 962 to 1806. The HRE was composed of around 360 distinct entities, differing widely in size, rank and power. Some were controlled by kings and princes, and others by counts. Some of these rulers were clerics, while others were secular, but it wasn't easy living under any of them.
   Saarland at the time was divided into several small territories, some of which were ruled by sovereigns of adjoining regions, including the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken (later Nassau-Ottweiler). Within the Holy Roman Empire these territories gained a wide range of independence, but were under constant threat by the French, who sought, from the 17th century onwards, to incorporate all the territories on the western side of the river Rhine. They repeatedly invaded the area in 1635, then in 1676, and then in 1679, extending their realm to the Saar River and establishing the city and stronghold of Saarlouis in 1680. This was obviously not a safe place to raise a family, so the Haas family had to move a lot.¹
   Simon was probably born around 1661, in Albsheim an der Eis, Bad Durkheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, to Hans Nickel Haaß (1638-1676) and Anna Maria Flauth (1641-1684). A man living in the Saarland 400 years ago was a commodity more than a person, and "freedom" as we know it today was unheard of—there wasn't even a word for it in the language. (Nothing comes for free in the mind of a Reformist Christian.)
   The population in the area was split into two groups, labeled either Leibeigene ("serfs") or Leibfreie ("free subjects") with more rights than serfs, but still bound to their local ruler. Essentially, the best a man could hope for was that, through hard work and penance, he could eventually rise out of serfdom to earn the privilege of citizenship, which was called Bürgerrecht. With this, a man could gain property and possessions, which could in turn provide wealth and power, strengthen his family through political influence, and give him a say in property disputes. Bürgerrecht wasn't freedom, but at least it gave a man a voice in determining his fate.
   In order to attain Bürgerrecht, a serf had to register as a taxpayer and provide church penance. There was no separation of church and state—so you had to worship under whatever faith your ruler commanded, and paid that church. The official state religion could change as often as the rulers—and in feudal Germany, they changed a lot!

"The tallest Trees are most in the Power of the Winds, and Ambitious Men of the Blasts of Fortune."
—William Penn

The only known life drawing of William Penn, circa 1695.
   Information on the early life of Simon Haas is practically non-existent. Still, we can be sure it was a pretty rough childhood. The average number of children born to each marriage in this area was fairly large at the time—from 6 to 12, depending on the age at which the mother married—but the mortality rate was also very high. Childhood diseases and smallpox were rampant, a lack of basic sanitation control had created epidemics of cholera and typhus, and the spectre of the plague was always present. As a result, a married couple would only raise three or four of those 12 children to any stage of healthy adulthood.
   Therefore, we can assume that Simon Haas had plenty of siblings, although few would have survived.
   Then around 1677, when Simon was 15 or 16 and about to enter adulthood, he may have heard about William Penn, who was then touring the Rhine to promote a new land across the ocean, where you could decide for yourself what to believe and which religion to follow. Penn found a receptive audience in the area—and it's probably when Simon first heard of America.
   Living in that sort of squalor also meant there wasn't much chance for Bürgerrecht.

"Justice is the insurance which we have on our lives and property. Obedience is the premium which we pay for it."
—William Penn

   Simon was first documented in the region in 1684, at a Reformed Church event in 6791 Steinwenden, 16 km. west of Kaiserslautern (a municipality in the district of Kaiserslautern, in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany, today). We see next Simon in Lutheran Churchbooks in 6791 Neunkirchen a/Potzbach, 6 km. further north (Neunkirchen is a Kreis, or district, in the middle of the Saarland, and is situated on either bank of the Blies, a major tributary of the Saar River), beginning in 1695; Unfortunately these were not all happy occasions, and Simon became a young widower (an all-too common event in this area and time).
   Finally, there was a happy event to report: On 15 Aug 1697 "Hans Simon Haß, widower from Albsheim auf der Eys, Linniger" married ANNA ROSINA ZÖLLER, the daughter of Franz Zöller from Makenbach (Mackenbach), a tiny municipality also in the district of Kaiserslautern, in Rhineland-Palatinate (Steinwenden Luth. Chbk.).

   The Zöller family originated in Bavaria, Germany. The Family Coat of Arms is a red and silver shield displaying three pomegranates. As hereditary surnames were adopted in that area beginning in the 12th century, people were often identified by the kind of work they did. Zöller is an occupational name for a toll-taker or tax gatherer. The Zöller family became landed aristocrats and they resided in an elegant feudal manor on a vast estate in Bavaria. They branched into many houses in Austria and Switzerland, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their quest for power. Chronicles first mention Eberhard Zollner of the town Eger on the border between Bavaria and Bohemia. Chronicles also mention Hartman der Zoller of Emmerdingen in 1392, and Johann Vryenstat der Czoellner of Liegnitz, Silesia in 1388. Anna Rosina's wing of the family in Mackenbach was obviously not as powerful, but her courage and resilience would bring Simon children who could prosper and thrive in a harsh new land. The children of Simon Haas and Anna Rosina were:


  • ANNA MARGRETHA HAAS was born on 20 Sep 1705 in Neunkirchen, a town in Saarland. She was bpt. 20 Sept. 1705, just listed as "a child" — sp.: Philip Dil here, Margaretha Catharina — Theobald's ..., and Anna — w/o Baltes from Mackenbach (Neunkirchen a/Potzbach Chbk.).
  • JOHANN NICHOLAS HAAS, spelled "Johann Nicolaus," was born at Breunigweiler and bpt. 25 April 1707; mother not named in this entry (Sippersfeld Chbk.).
  •    The Simon Haas family appear in a Lutheran Churchbook at Sippersfeld (17 km. northeast of Kaiserslautern) in 1702, and Rosina was a sponsor "from Etschberg at Neunkirchen," at a church event in 1706. But before things could get too peaceful, a French move to expand into the Empire started yet another war. Then came the 'War of the Grand Alliance' in which Louis XIV, who was claiming part of the Palatinate for France, fought the League of Augsburg—a coalition of European princes who refused to hand over their land. The conflict lasted eight years, from 1689-1687. What land that Louis didn't want, he destroyed. In fact, he even destroyed a lot of the land that he did want!
       Finally, the Treaty of Ryswick restored the contested lands... But by that time the land had become so ravaged that many of the inhabitants fled the area entirely, some following William Penn and becoming the earliest German settlers of America—the Pennsylvania Dutch.
       Those who stayed behind were then faced with the War of Spanish Succession, from 1702-1713, which completed the destruction of the area. The farmland became barren and charred, villages were destroyed, and the inhabitants were imprisoned, burned at the stake, broken on wheels or drowned. Simon knew that it was time to leave, and find a better future somewhere for his children.

  • The average life expectancy was about 30-35 years.
  • The population in Colonial America reached 357,500.
  • Elias Neau, a Frenchman, opened a school for blacks in New York City.
  • In the Colonies, adultery was punished by whipping, branding, fining, imprisonment, and wearing a letter "A" sewed upon the sleeves of the outer garment.
  • Many words now considered obscene were freely used. Even the f-word commonly appeared in court documents!
  • April 24, 1704: The "Boston News-Letter," the first successful newspaper in the American Colonies, was published in Boston by John Campbell.
  • May 1, 1704: the "Boston Newsletter" published the first newspaper ad, which is why we have all those great, glossy, color lingerie ads in the Sunday "New York Times" today.
  • July 24, 1704: The War of Spanish Succession, with English & Dutch troops occupying Gibraltar.
  • August 13, 1704: French & Bavarian forces were routed by the Duke of Marlborough with a combined British, German & Dutch army at Blenheim, Germany.
  • August 25: Battle at Malaga: French vs English & Dutch fleet
  • September 28: Maryland allowed divorce if a wife "mispleased" the clergyman/preacher
  •    During this time, there was a young Lutheran Minister from the Kocherthal area in the Palatinate, named Joshua Harrsch (later known as Joshua Kocherthal). He wrote and distributed a pamphlet throughout the Rhine Valley in 1706 that urged emigration to better lands, entitled Aussfuhrlich und umstandlicher Bericht von der beruhmten Landschafft Carolina ("A Complete and Detailed Report of the Renowned District of Carolina Located in English America"). In truth, Kocherthal had never visited Carolina, but that didn't stop him from praising its fertile soil, low taxes and religious freedoms. This pamphlet and others like it painted a glorious picture of life in the British Colony: A "LAND OF MILK AND HONEY," where life could be as rich and rewarding as any man wanted. It also promised that the English government would provide Palatines with monetary assistance to travel to the New World, and even featured an etching of Queen Anne on the back. This and other handbooks were handed out by British land agents, who traveled through the Rhineland in brightly colored wagons. Drawing a crowd with trumpets and drums, they drew crowds like snake oil salesmen, glowingly describing the life that awaited in America, offering land and prosperity. They made wild promises: "Wild pigeons fly so low here that one can knock them out of the sky with sticks. Wild turkeys are big and fat, some as much as 46 pounds. The Indians often bring gifts of six or seven deer at a time..." Kocherthal's handbook didn't cause much of a stir upon its initial release, but then in 1708, he went to England to plead their cause with the London Board of Trade and with Queen Anne, asking for refuge from French Catholic oppression.

    "They have endured one hundred years of war—King Gustavus Adolphus burned the city of Spiers in 1633. Invaded by Imperialists in 1644, by Germany in 1676 and by the Dauphin in 1688. Restored to the German Empire by the Treaty of Reswish, then destroyed by the French in 1693 who made a desert of 2,000 cities, towns and villages; destroying their vines with design to make so fatal a waste that the country might never be peopled or inhabited again. Vast numbers of Palatines perished in the woods and caves, among the wild beasts, through hunger, cold and nakedness."
    —From a House of Commons investigation of the "Poor Palatines now living in London," as recorded in the "Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York," Vol. 111

    Queen Anne of England, of the Stuart dynasty.
       Queen Anne was already sympathetic to the plight of the "Poor Palatines," because she was still grieving over the death of her consort, Prince George of Denmark, who had died in late 1708. Prince George was of Germanic Stock, a Lutheran, and had brought many of his countrymen to London. In fact, a Lutheran church called the Royal Chapel in St. James Palace had been established there in 1700, and owed its existence to Prince George. His funeral sermon, delivered by Reverend John Tribbeko in the Royal Chapel on November 21st, emphasized the Prince's interest in the Protestant cause, and it inspired the Queen to help the oppressed "co-religionists" of Prince George.
       Queen Anne then agreed to send Kocherthal and a group of forty colonists to Carolina, not only funding their travels but also by supporting the colonists until they could get established. Kocherthal's report of this in an appendix to the third and fourth editions of his book caused a sensation in the region. The New World became more than an escape for these impoverished people—it became the Promised Land. Soon the rumor circulated that Queen Anne might be willing to support another group from along the Rhine. While Kocherthal had made no promises in his book, the possibility was there. And possibility was the best that someone living in poverty like Simon Haas could hope for.
       During 1709, approximately 13,500 German and Swiss emigrants would apply for passage to the English colonies... and after seeing all of the death and destruction in his country, it sure must have sounded good to Simon.

    LEFT TO RIGHT: Louis XIX invades the Rhine, 1693; Ships leave for New York with Palatines in 1709; Neunkirchen today; A recent map of Simon Haas's homeland, from Neunkirchen to Anna Rosina's home of Mackenbach.

       Finally, after the bitterly cold winter of 1708-1709, in which the frozen Rhine was closed for five weeks, "wine and spirits froze into solid blocks of ice; birds on the wing fell dead; and it is said, saliva congealed in its fall from the mouth to the ground," Simon took up a British agent's offer to advance his emigration expenses to the New World. To repay the "advancement," he had to sell everything he owned—but what little money he got from selling the few possessions he did own were probably used up in paying the tax that the town and duchy assessed for his migration. So to make up the difference, Simon sold himself—and his family—into indentured servitude. In the 1700s, the slave trade in the Colonies was going strong, but there were rumblings of religious protest, saying that practice was wrong, and against God. But a new colony was impossible to establish to the liking of the British without any forced labor to do the dirty work. So the British had an idea: Can slavery be wrong if the slaves agree to do it, first? The result was sort of a "rent-a-slave" economy called indentured servitude: Agree to work as Britain's slave, improve their land for no pay, eat only the scraps you are given, never leave the owner's property without permission, and then after a number of years you'll be set free (ie: they'll kick you out and tell you to shift for yourself). But as bad as that sounds, it was still preferable to the starvation, war and Armut ("poverty") surrounding his home. So in order to pay for the voyage, he also agreed to sign the rest of his family over to the Crown, as well, until their entire debt was paid.

    A depiction of the refugees's sufferings in Germany, from The State of the Palatines, for Fifty Years Past to This Present Time (London, 1710).

       Kocherthal had persuaded Queen Anne that Palatine labor would be a valuable asset in establishing and fortifying her colonies, so the Board of Trade suggested that the new load of Poor Palatine refugees should be settled in Antigua. But upon the opinion that these cold weather Europeans would not be suited to working in the hot climate of the West Indies, it was then suggested that they be directed to the Hudson River Valley in the Province of New York, instead. (After all, Indian attacks and below-zero winter temperatures were much more enjoyable than drinking rum and coconut milk on a sunny beach, right?) The Germans would be used on the frontier, as a buffer against the French and the Indians. (In other words, the Palatines would be stationed on the land that would be attacked first, giving the British time to prepare. It was also hoped that through Palatine trade and intermarriage with the Native Americans that France would lose the support of the Indian Nations.)
       The British decided to send some 3,000 refugees to America, from the Palatinate, Franconia, the Archbishoprics of Mayence and Trèves, and the districts of Hessen-Darmstädt, Hanau, Nassau, Alsace, Baden, Würtemberg and Zweibrücken. Although the name "Palatine" would be used indiscriminately by the British to describe all of the travelers collectively, they were actually from hundreds of different provinces in the region, with numerous local governments, religions, and the various nationalities (many were migrants who had relocated in these regions unsuccessfully). Collectively they were called Teutschen (the equivalent of "Germans" today).
       Simon made the cut to emigrate with the British, and in the spring or early summer of 1709, his family was in a group that left for Rotterdam, the first stop on their journey. They traveled by riverboat on the Rhine River, and then made their way to Holland. The mood was hopeful, even jubilant, and they sang hymns all the way to Rotterdam, leaving their homelands behind. There would be new opportunities in the Colonies... and most importantly, there would be land: Fresh, unspoiled land where Simon and his children—and their children—could finally prosper. He wanted that milk and honey. True Bürgerrecht
       But it would be many months before the Haas family would arrive at this land of opportunity with the "Wonder Fleet." Along the way he would face poverty, starvation, disease, and death—and would find that there wasn't any "milk and honey" waiting for him, either.

    The Oldharbor of Rotterdam, from which Simon Haas and his family sailed in 1709.

    "Let these good pious Palat'nates, And all such strange we know-not-whats, In their wise interloping Freak, Go to the Devil's Arse a-Peak."
    —From the English poem, "Canary-Birds Naturaliz'd in Utopia," published in 1709.

       The Palatines arrived at Rotterdam in 1709, but then there was another delay in the journey. So the stranded families lived for many weeks in what can best be described as a shanty town—although that might be glamorizing it too much. It was really just a bunch of primitive shacks covered with reeds. The Palatines were questing after "milk and honey"—but now they were having trouble even finding water and bread! Finally, the Mayor of Rotterdam took pity on them and donated some food and supplies.
       Still, as bad as the conditions were at Rotterdam, the journey to London was even worse. It was supposed to have been a voyage of under four weeks, but they didn't actually arrive in London until months later. Furthermore, if they thought the British would be prepared any better than their hosts at Rotterdam, they were in for another in what would become a long line of disappointments.
       The arduous journey was already affecting the emigrants. Many were sick, most were hungry, and they all were scared, trying to find temporary shelter in a strange land where everyone spoke a different language.

    Palatine camp from The State of the Palatines, for Fifty Years Past to This Present Time (1709).

    "What freak brought these poor creatures hither is not easy to guess ... Upon whose motive they were encouraged to come hither and what they are to do now they are here, is out of my reach."
    —Roger Kenyon, after visiting the Palatines at the Blackheath Camp, August 1709.

    A contemporary woodcut of Protestant Palatines worshipping in the Savoy Chapel, from The State of the Palatines.
       By October of 1709, over 13,500 refugees were in London. Most were camped in tents on the Surrey side of the Thames River at Blackheath, outside the city wall of London. Others were at camps in Deptford and Camberwell. Among the throngs of destitute immigrants was now Pastor Kocherthal, himself, who had sailed back to London to plead for additional help for the 53 Palatines he had led to the district of Newburgh (Neuburg), New York, named after a city in the Upper Palatinate—as well as his promised commission of twenty pounds sterling and 500 acres of land.
       What Kocherthal found in London was that the British people, convinced they were going to lose food and jobs to these new arrivals, hadn't done much to welcome the "Poor Palatines"—in fact they had rioted, and many attacked any German-speaking immigrants. Each day had grown worse, and many of the refugees were giving up, accepting offers to go to Ireland and work as share croppers. Others were returning to what was left of their homelands. But not Simon Haas. He had persevered. He could hardly picture life getting any worse... But it would.
       Finally, around Christmas time in 1709, some 845 families boarded eleven ships for the long trip across the Atlantic Ocean... Where they continued to wait for a go-ahead from the queen. So Christmas was spent on a smelly, overcrowded boat.
       Christmas wasn't celebrated much in England at that time, anyway. It was meant to be a day of penance and contemplation. The Germans, however, loved celebrating the holiday, and so there were probably some games and activities on the ship, despite their desperate situation. The children could have expected a visit from Pelznickel (Saint Nicholas in furs), better known as "Belsnickel." This version of Santa liked to scare children half to death, before changing character and giving them sweets. Of course, with no money, fruit or candy (let alone a barn), and with the anticipation of a long, dangerous trip across the Atlantic, the celebration was probably subdued.
       The Haas family waited to discover their fate from the British authorities, but an answer wasn't forthcoming. The Palatines remained onboard their docked ships for several more months before actually sailing—just waiting, starving and grieving.
       The ships continued to sit for a total of six long months in the Thames. Finally, in April of 1710, the convoy set off for the New York Colony.

    "When they are buried all the attendants go singing after the corpse and when they come to the grave, the coffin is opened for all to see the body after it is laid in the ground they sing again for some time and then depart. They carry grown people upon a bier and children upon their heads."
    —Daniel Defoe: A brief history of the poor Palatine refugees, 1709

    Queen Anne's 1710 Maundy 4-Pence coin, which the queen distributed to the poor on Maundy Sunday in late March or early April. Simon Haas definitely qualified for the gift. This one ended up in America, possibly with a Palatine refugee. (From the collection of Carleton Marchant Hause, Jr.)
       The transport ships the Haas family sailed on were dubbed the "Wonder Fleet," but the real wonder was that any passenger could survive the journey. Ships built before 1800 were not built to hold people—they were mainly designed to carry freight. Much like the ships that delivered slaves from Africa, or, later, the "coolie ships" that brought cheap Chinese labor to the west coast of the United States, the vessel carrying the Haas family was just a cargo ship, only slightly altered to fit humans. The steerage decks that they were confined to for the journey were four-to-five feet high, with two tiers of bunks around the perimeter. (Captains refused to put cattle in these steerage holds because the mortality rate was too high, but they were deemed fit enough for the Palatines.) There were no portholes, nor any other means to bring in any light or fresh air. The only lights in the compartment were a few hanging lamps which could be lit at night, but they couldn't be used during storms. During those storms, which could last up to a week, emigrants were denied access to the main deck, and the hatches were battened down tightly, leaving no source of ventilation... although they weren't tightened down before a few waves had poured in and soaked all the bedding and clothing. It was dark, damp, the toilets were just buckets that constantly tipped over on the waves, and taking care of personal hygiene was next to impossible. Disease spread in the urine, blood, spit and mildew on the floor and walls, and lingered in the holds. Rats scurried across the floor. For meals, they were fed on the same ration program as convicts on prison hulks: Salted corned meat, peas, barley, groats, and codfish. Their drink was the stinking water in which all the food was cooked.

    A passenger list from the voyage.
       About 3,100 emigrants sailed on eleven ships to New York, and were accompanied by the Governor-Elect Hunter. There is also a Johan Adam Haus (or Haas), by himself, on the immigration lists, and a Glein Haus, "with wife," but their relationship to Simon is unknown.³) For months, they were packed inside the hold alongside several hundred other passengers, with no fresh air or daylight and unable to stand—their days filled with only darkness, foul odor, vermin and tiny rations of rotten food. Of the 3,100 who left England almost 500 would die, many of "ship's fever" (now known as typhus). If that wasn't bad enough, one ship was even wrecked along the New York coast just as the worst part of the journey seemed over.
       Seeing the wretched state of the starving, sickly, disease-infested passengers onboard the ships (not to mention 500 rotting bodies awaiting burial), the New York City Council quarantined all of them offshore on Nutten (now Governor's) Island for almost four months without food and supplies. Obviously, this did nothing to improve their health, and 250 more perished from the fever, which was to be known for many years in New York City as "Palatine Fever."

    Governor Hunter
    Governor John Hunter, happy as ever.
       The newly elected Governor of New York Colony, Sir John Hunter (at right), purchased six thousand acres of land on the west side of the Hudson, near the Mohawk River, for the Palatines to settle. Unfortunately he bought the land from land baron Robert Livingston, a former colleague of Captain Kidd the pirate. And it wasn't so much "land" that he sold to Hunter, as it was a pile of rocks.
       So the Haas family faced another hard journey, this time on roads that were little more than footpaths cut through a forest of dense pine forest, to get to the barren wasteland where they were to live. They pulled small hand carts and wagons, and carried all of the food and supplies they could scrounge up on their backs (minus weapons and tools, which the British confiscated, to keep them from running off or revolting).
       By October, these poor, weary immigrants were clearing the land and building small huts for shelter. But it was hard to build houses without proper tools: Some lived in caves that were dug into hillsides, with brush covering the entrance. Others lived in mud huts or cabins made out of very rough logs. The more capable built a cabin out of wood and stone, held together by clay and/or mud mixed with chopped straw (and if the land offered to the Palatines had anything in abundance, it was rocks) to create shelter from the fast-approaching winter. Most homes had only one room, which had a central stove or fireplace for cooking and keeping warm. A wooden bench was placed nearby so the family could sit and keep warm during the intense winter months, and that fire was kept burning all the time.

    "(The men would) dig a square pit in the ground, cellar fashion, six or seven feet deep, as long and broad as they think proper.; case the earth all round the wall with timber, which they line with the bark of trees or something else to prevent the caving-in of the earth; floor this cellar with plank, and wainscot it overhead for a ceiling; raise a roof of spars clear up, and cover the spars with bark or green sods so that they can live dry and warm in these houses with their entire families for two, three or four years, it being understood that partitions are run through these cellars, which are adapted to the size of the family."
    —Cornelis Van Tienhoven, secretary of New Netherland, describing the "dug-outs" in which the Palatines lived, in an official report sent to the Hague.

    Book Information
    Book Image
    Name:Warhoffte und glaubwurdige Verzeichnuss jeniger Personen; welche sich anno 1709 aus Teutschland in Americam...
    Author:Ulrich Simmendinger
    Publisher of English Translation:Genealogical Publishing Company
    View Book (.PDF)
    SOURCE INFORMATION: 1966 Translation: "True and Authentic Register of Persons Living, by God's Grace, who In the Year 1709, Under the Wonderful Providences of the Lord Journeyed from Germany to AMERICA or NEW WORLD and there seek their Piece of Bread at various places. Reported with Joy to all Admirers, especially to their Families and Close Friends by Ulrich Simmendinger. A North American, Seven Years in the Province of New York but Now Returned to his Native city, Reutlingen. Printed there by John G. Fuesing. (Printed ca. 1717)
       By this point, Simon Haas must have wondered if he wouldn't have been better off in the Palatinate. They were surrounded by hostile Indians—and the dreaded French, who had burned their original homeland. The winter was just as cold and unforgiving as it had been in the Palatinate, except now Simon Haas and his family were living in a hastily-prepared shack—destitute, defenseless and facing the unknown.
       According to a manuscript in the Public Record Office in London, Simon Haas was listed as one of 847 debtors to the British Government for subsistence given them in New York City or in Hudson River settlements after their arrival there between 1710 and September 1712. Simon Haas made his first appearance on the Hunter lists on 4 July 1710 with 2 persons over 10 years of age and 1 person under 10; the size of the household increased to 2 persons under 10 on 31 Dec 1710, with the birth of a child. So when spring arrived, the Haas family began the long process of repaying their debt to the British: They were "redemptioners," or indentured servants, and had to work for a period of four to seven years to pay off the cost of their ocean voyage and relocation before they could earn their Freiheiten (rights as citizens—sort of a combination of Bürgerrecht and 'freedom'). The conditions were harsh; for instance, if an indentured child died before the contract was completed, the child's parents or siblings might be forced to work the remaining years of that contract, in addition to their own. Indentured servitude, unlike slavery, was entered into voluntarily—but you wouldn't know that by reading colonial newspapers, which were filled with advertisements offering rewards for redemptioners who had run away from their masters. Still, the Palatines could earn their way out of servitude—after which they were promised 40 acres each in "the land of Scorie"—rich Indian land had at one time been considered for settlement by Gov. Hunter. To Simon Haas; it must have literally been the promised land. But until that day, he was to live in "Wormsdorff," one of seven Palatine camps stationed along the Mohawk River.

       The settlers at West Camp were pretty much left to themselves and allowed to build homes and to develop their farms. However, in East Camp the plan was for Simon Haas and the other settlers to make tar. Governor Hunter was under orders from Queen Anne was to build a Naval Stores facility. The British Navy was in dire need of pitch and tar for its fleet. The forest wilderness of pine trees in New York contained enough raw materials to supply the British Navy for many years. So he and the other redemptioners were put to work girdling pine trees for turpentine, in exchange for rations of food and drink. Unfortunately, the land picked for the project—"barren rocks" purchased by Hunter from Livingston, was completely unfit for the task.
       Simon and the others collected what little tar and turpentine they could wring from the trees, which were unhealthy and rooted weakly into the sand. They would then report to Fort Hunter at the confluence of Schoharie Creek and the Mohawk River, where in exchange they were given the "queen's bounty"—meager rations of salted meat, bread and watery beer. (Not unlike my own diet in 2018.)
       The Pitch and Tar project was a disaster. Tar was usually made at that time from the pitch of the Southern Georgian Pine. The northern or White Pine contains little pitch from which to make tar. Beyond that, the Palatines were as ill-suited for the work as the rocky land. They were raised to cultivate nature's bounty in farms and wineries—not destroy it for profit. Governor Hunter was soon forced to dip into his own money to keep the experiment afloat, and then looked to cost-cutting measures. He instructed the overseers to only distribute beer to the working men, and not their families (a great insult to the Palatines' customs). Then he started plans to put all of the new widows and orphans to work and "be no longer a burden." He actually started binding the children out to local farmers, effectively destroying many Palatine households—because there proved to be no differentiation between orphans and the children of poor parents. Simon's children were about the only possessions he still had. His family, as recorded on Governor Hunter's subsistence lists:

    Dream vs. reality in "The German Emigrant," from the magazine Fliegenda Blätter (1845).
       At first, the Palatines had been seen as just a human buffer between settled Colonial land and the Godless, warring Indian tribes. But after several Mohawk Chieftains visited and charmed the Queen in England, Fort Hunter was seen as the channel to saving the Indian soul. "The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts" had ordered the construction of a chapel and a mission house in the fort. Queen Anne herself donated a set of communion silver to the Mission. There they could "convert" the Native Americans (in essence: Conquer, sublimate, take their lands, and take anything valuable).
       Simon and his family were pawns in that effort, just as exploited as the Indians, but with even fewer rights (at least the Indians were allowed to leave the Fort).
       After crossing the Atlantic, surviving disease, cold, and angry Indians, Christian and Co. were still poor, still cold, still in danger, still slaving under a foreign ruler—and now on top of everything else, heavily in debt. They wouldn't be allowed leave the compound until all of their travel debts to the British government were repaid. But there was a reward for all of this: Christian's forty acres in the land of Scorie—land to settle and build on, that his sons could develop—and then their sons, too. Simon and Anna Rosina had at least three children, as well. Women married during indentured servitude were supposed to be bound to celibacy for five to seven years, but Anna Rosina had children right away:

    (NEW YORK)

  • ANNA BARBARA HAAS was bpt. 10 June 1711 in the upper German colonies - sp.: Anna Berbel Simon Haase was conf. Dom. Quasim: 1726 at Loonenburg (N.Y. City Luth. Chbk.).
  • ZACHARIAS HAAS was born on 12 Dec 1713 - sp.: Zacharias Flegler and wife Eve Anna Elisabetha (West Camp Luth. Chbk.). Zacrias Haas was enrolled in Capt. Jeremiah Hogeboom's Co. in 1767 (Report of the State Historian, Vol. II, p. 864). He md. 28 Sept 1737 Geesje Witbeek (Albany Ref. Chbk.; image at right. Source: Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Albany, Vol II, Book 2) and had: i) Simon, bpt. 18 Jun 1738 - sp.: Thomas Vlyd and Antje Vlydt (Albany Ref. Chbk.). Seyma Haas was in Capt. Fraens Claevw Jr.'s Co. in 1767 in Kinderhoeck (Report of the State Historian, Vol. II, p. 868). He md. Jannet Kohl and had issue at Germantown Ref., Linlithgo Ref. Kinderhook Ref., and Claverack Ref. Churches; ii) Lena, bpt. 31 Aug 1740 - sp.: Johannes and Jannetje Goewyck (Albany Ref. Chbk.); iii) Anna, bpt. 1 Aug 1742 - sp.: Lambert Kool and Willemtje Bradt (Albany Ref. Chbk.); iv) Anna, bpt. 21Oct 1744 - sp.: Anthony and Willempje Brat (Albany Ref. Chbk.); v) Catharina, bpt. 23 Aug 1747 - sp.: Daniel and Alida Marrh (Albany Ref. Chbk.); vi) Johannes, bpt. 6 Aug 1758 - sp.: Andries Witbeek and Maria Herder (Claverack Ref. Chbk.); vii) Anna, bpt. 12 Aug 1761 - sp.: Jan de la Mettre and wife Heyltje Muller (Claverack Ref. Chbk.). This couple probably had other ch. 1748-57 (according to Hank Jones).
  • JOHANNES HAAS was born or baptized on 5 Aug 1716 at Nootenhoeck, Albany; bpt. at Klinckenberg - sp.: Justus Falckner the Pastor and Anna Catharina Stubber (N.Y. City Luth. Chbk.) Click on the record of his baptism, at right. (Source: U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989; Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; New York City Lutheran, Vol I, Book 85) John died in 1796. In his last will and testament he gives his "beloved ownly son William" a bay mare and a black cow with a white face, and all of his clothes. The rest was to go to the support of his wife, Sarah. In the event of her death or remarriage, a quarter of that property was to go to John's grandson, John (son of Simon Haus), and the rest would go to William
  • ANNA CATHARINA HAAS was born on 2 Dec 1718 at Nootenhoeck and bpt. at Lonenburg - sp.: Jan Jurgen Rau and wife Anna Catharina (N.Y. City Luth. Chbk.). Click on the record of her baptism, at right. (Source: U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989; Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; New York City Lutheran, Vol I, Book 85)
  •    Finally, in late 1711, the Whig party lost control of the British Government to the Tories, so support for Gov. Hunter declined, and, incredibly... the situation grew even worse! The entire "Pich and Tarr" project was shelved. Without Hunter's continued "financial support," the Palatines were soon left to their own devises... of which they had none. They weren't allowed to own farming tools, guns, or anything that would've allowed them to fend for themselves.
       As for the promised land—the Schoharie Valley, there was worse news: Jean Cast, Governor Hunter's assistant commissary agent (meaning he was the guy who passed out the tools, rations and the rags to wear), informed the Palatines that the "Scorie" land would only be given to them after they had worked off the cost of their transportation to New York, after the charges for their food and drink had been cleared, after Livingston had earned a profit, and cruelest of all, after the cost of the coffins for the ships' dead had been discharged. The Palatines felt they had paid more than enough for their forty acres, so they began to plot an alternate plan...

    The Mohawk River at Stone Arabia, as it looks today.

    "We came to America to establish our families—to secure lands for our children on which they will be able to support themselves after we die."
    —Palatine refugees to their overseers in "Documentary History of the State of New York" (Albany, 1849-51)

       About fifty clans escaped from Fort Hunter in late 1712, without permits, heading west into the wilderness about thirty miles to the "Land of Scorie." If they weren't going to be given their rightful 40 acres—their Freiheiten—then they were determined to take their 40 acres.
       While slogging through deep snow and dense forest in freezing temperatures, and running from the "law," it must have seemed to Simon Haas that life hadn't changed a bit for him since leaving Solms-Hohensolms.
       For two weeks the desperate escapees cleared a path west of Albany "with the utmost toyle and labour," through the wilderness of the Helderbergs, down Fox's Creek... to a small brook where they stopped for "a general purifying"—cleansing themselves of all the grime and bugs they had accumulated on the journey (the brook is still known today as "Louse Kill" in honor of the event).
       They were given food and shelter by friendly Mohawk Indians, and bartered for their land (which, as usual in those times, involved liquor)...Who knows, maybe the Indians sympathized, because they had been screwed over by the British, too. Many influential figures among Indians and whites crossed over from one cultural sphere to another, speaking various European and Indian languages and intermarrying, and forming political alliances between the two rapidly merging worlds. In New England some Indians still lived in traditional wigwams, but they filled them with European-manufactured furniture and decorative items. Some members of the Oneida tribe of the Iroquois confederacy practiced Presbyterianism, although simultaneously retaining traditional beliefs and rituals. Some Indians adopted European dress but retained the loincloths and nose rings of their own cultures.

       But then the Palatines encountered more trouble. It turns out the Indians were making a good profit on the land—because they had already sold it before—twice! An early settler named Nicholas Bayard had purchased this land in 1695 "from Six Idle drunken People" (sic) of the Mohawks, a tract "of so large an extent that a Young man has enough to doe (sic) to run over it in a day's time, and that for the value of thirty beaver skins in Rum and other goods." While Indians had successfully adapted some European ways and artifacts, the widespread introduction of alcohol proved disastrous for their societies. Drinking fed the violence and social dislocation that came with European contact; it also increased susceptibility to European diseases, which took a heavy toll. Europeans like Bayard were aware of the ill effects liquor had on Indians and often promoted its distribution to increase those effects. After hearing the evidence, the British Government declared that the Indians no longer held clear title to the land, having sold it to Bayard, and then sold it again—to of all people, Governor Hunter!
       If Hunter wasn't already angry that his redemptioners had bolted from his fort and left him 20,000 Pounds in debt from the failed "Pitch and Tarr" project, now they were squatting on his most profitable land! "Being arrived and almost settled, they received orders from the Governor not to goe upon the land, and he who did so should be declared a Rebel."
       Clear title or not, Simon Haas cleared the land for a farm on the land he was promised. Having been forced to leave behind what few tools he had, he made do with whatever he could make from the forest... and on several occasions he and the other pioneers forcibly ejected land agents, including Governor Hunter's sheriff, as later reported by John M. Brown: "But when the Sheriff began to meddle with the first man, a mob of women rose, of which Magdalene Zee was captain. He was knocked down and dragged through every mud pool In the street; then hung on a rail and carried four miles, thrown down on a bridge, where the captain took a stake out of the fence and struck him in the side, that she broke two of his ribs and lost one eye; then she p*ssed in his face, let him lie and went off."
       So the relations between the Palatine rebels and their former overseers deteriorated even further. Some had prices on their heads, and all the men avoided going into town for supplies, fearing arrest by the British.
       Palatines believed that property didn't belong so much to an individual as to families and clans. While individually held, property and liberty were defended by the community. Land was acquired, fought for, settled, and eventually divided among the children with each successive generation—when there was no more land to divide, they moved west toward open country. And with no legal land available, Simon's children began to move on to other counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

       "Simon Hass" was recorded with his wife and children was at Wormsdorff in the East Camp (now Germantown, New York) in Livingston Manor, ca. 1716/17 (Simmendinger Register). The Palatines on the frontier adopted Indian ways in the form of clothing, canoes, and native foods. They grew Indian corn and hunted just as Native Americans did. They soon created and wore breechcloths and leggings and were quite proud of their ability to hunt and live off the land like Indians.
       Wherever Simon's farm was, it had to be self-sustaining, as carpentry work wasn't very lucrative, seeing as his clients had no money. Fortunately, the British had been wise in their choice of destination for the Palatines: Eastern North America is quite similar to the Rhineland, and therefore an ideal fit for the Germanic farmer: The soil and climate are similar, and the land almost identical—prime flat farmlands cover the Hudson river, just like the Rhine, with the same kinds of maples, oaks, beeches, and ashes in the low hills. So the Palatines didn't feel out of place, and knew how to create a farm.
       Everything on the Haas farm had to be made or bartered. So, to create a self-sustaining enterprise, on top of the pastures and grazing land that Simon reserved for the livestock (providing meat, milk, dairy products, and leather), he built pens to raise chickens, geese and ducks for eggs, meat, and feathers (for bedding).
       Surplus fats from the animals were used to make candles and soap. Shad and herring were caught making their runs up Schoharie Creek to the river, then pickled or smoked for later use. Wild pigeons were shot by the hundreds and preserved by pickling and smoking, as well.
       To round out the diet, the Haas family probably grew wheat, corn, rye, and potatoes in his fields. Turnips, beets, cabbages, onions, pumpkins and peas filled the garden, with an herb garden as well, to grow Anna's food seasonings and "simples"—herbs used as medicine. She and the daughters would have picked berries growing wild in the forest. Tobacco would also have been grown for smoking, which almost all of the Palatine men and women enjoyed. Maple sap and honey were used as sweeteners. Hops were used to brew beer, which in most homes was more popular than water.
       Tools were all homemade and crude—metal plows were not available, so Simon tilled the earth with a tree crotch shod with iron. Leather hides for tools were cured in the farm tanning vat.
       Everything was stored in the barn, which had to hold enough autumn crops and salted meat to last through the long, brutal winters. In fact, the stone barns were usually better-constructed and more valuable than the log houses, for the simple reason that you could survive in a barn without a house, but not in a house with no barn to supply the necessities of life.
       As for furniture, there was plenty of wood—maple, cherry, and (of course) pine—which was also needed to heat the house in the fireplace and stove.
       Times were obviously rough, but you can't help thinking how cozy the nights must have been with Anna Catharina cooking a late dinner, with the kids nestled around the fireplace and Simon smoking his pipe and telling stories of the Old Country.

    "A View of the Boats & manner of navigating on the Mohawk River." (Engraving by Christian Schultz.)

    Book Information
    Book Image
    Title: Denizations, Naturalizations, and Oaths of Allegiance in Colonial New York
    Compiled by : Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda
    Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore. 1975
    View Book
    SOURCE INFORMATION: Carlsbad Genealogical Library, Carslsbad, CA
       The Mohawk had now become the American Rhine, populated almost exclusively by Palatines, and the site of the first revolution against the British, albeit a smaller one than would occur 50 years later with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. But it should be noted that while many Palatines protested their situation and the actions of Governor Hunter, they did not oppose the Queen—after all, the only other government in the area was French, and the Palatines remembered that nation as the one that burned their lands and butchered their neighbors back in Germany. There was military duty as well for Simon, as a "Symon Haes" was in Captain Van Alstyn's Company at Albany in 1715 (Report of the State Historian, Vol. I, p. 464).
       Then in 1715, it was enacted “That all persons of foreign birth professing Christianity could be naturalized by taking the oath of supremacy and subscribing the test and repeating the oath of abjuration. And Simon, now free of indentured servitude, did just that. On the 27th of April, 1716, Simon was Naturalized as a citizen of the British Empire, as "Symon Hawse" of Albany County (Alb. CCM 6:123). Sadly, the act was not to be construed to set at liberty any bondman or slave.
       You may wonder why, after everything the British had done to Simon Haas, that he would have wanted to become a Naturalized citizen. The main reason was to protect the family land. England divided the people who dwelt within her borders into three classes—natural-born subjects, aliens, and denizens. But thanks to a British act passed in 1700, His Naturalized status enabled him to hold lands as well as transmit property to his children. This placed his children in the colonies on a par with subjects living in England itself.
       Of course, there was another reason, too: "Liberty." Mind you, Palatines of the Reformed Church defined "liberty" in a very different way than we do today. Freedom was a deeply personal matter. It meant that they could make decisions for themselves without Hunter or Livingston breathing down your neck, but with a willing and unbending obedience to the government protecting them. Although Simon Haas had deep disagreements with the British, he still became citizen under the Crown, in opposition to the French government that had pillaged and destroyed their homeland. After six years of traveling without a home or flag, then working as a virtual slave, he could now at least say he belonged somewhere, whether he liked the local government or not, and could finally get some Bürgerrecht. Simon Haas was finally a free man! Syms P'r Hees was a Palatine Debtor in 1726 (Livingston Debt Lists)
       Then in 1722, after many years of litigation, Gov. Hunter's successor, Gov. William Burnett, decided on a new strategy with the Palatines squatting in Scorie: He purchased new land in the Mohawk Valley for them to settle on legally. In 1723, 100 heads of families from the work camps were settled on 100 acres each in the Burnetsfield Patent midway in the Mohawk River Valley, just west of Little Falls. They were the first Europeans to be allowed to buy land that far west in the valley. He informed Britain that he would allow about sixty families that had been the strongest supporters of the crown to buy land at a decent price. Among them was the Haas family.

       Simon's son JOHANNES HAAS was born on 5 Aug 1716 in Nootenhoeck, Albany County, New York. He was baptized on 11 Nov 1716, the sponsors being Pastor Justus Falckner and Anna Catharina Stubber (Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; New York City Lutheran, Vol I, Book 85). Johannes lived on the New York/New Jersey border and married a woman of English blood named SARA WILKENSEN. Wilkensen, or "Wilkinson," is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname was first found in Durham where they held a family seat from early times, descended from Robert de Wintona, of Glamorgan, one of twelve knights who came into Glamorgan with Robert Fitzhamon, a Norman noble, in 1066. Fitzhamon was Sheriff of Kent and founder of Tewkesbury. The name Wilkinson comes from the Norman personal name Wilkins ("Wilkins' son), which in turn is derived from the name William. William, which is derived from the words will, meaning resolution and helm, meaning armed. Family Coat of Arms is a red shield with a silver wavy fesse between three unicorn heads couped. The Family Crest is a unicorn's head emerging from a mural crown. The Family Motto if: "Non mihi sed tibi gloria," translated as "Glory to thee, not to me" (which is ideal motto for a poor frontier wife working a farm). Johannes and Sara had a son:⁵


  • SIMON HAAS was b. abt 1741, according to a muster roll from 2 June 1761 for Captain Lent's Company, "raised and pass'd in the County of Orange." He is listed as 5'4", 20 years old, a labourer born in New York, with ruddy complexion, brown eyes and black hair. The property of "Simon Haws" is shown between Haverstraw and Warwick, in a 1779 map created for General Washington during the Revolution. Simon probably died during the Revolution, but had a son named John. (The 1795 will of John Hause of Warwick lists "John Hause, (?), my grand son, son of Simon Haus," according to Early Orange County Wills, published by the Orange County Genealogical Society, Goshen, NY, 1991.)
  • WILLEM (WILLIAM) HAAS (HAUSE) was born on 24 Feb 1750/51 to parents Johannes Haas and wife Sarah (Source: U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989; Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; New York City Lutheran, Vol I, Book 85). William grew up on the frontier in the Ramapos, a forested chain of the Appalachian mountains in northeastern New Jersey and southeastern New York, eventually starting a family in what is now called Tuxedo Park. He fought in Gilbert Cooper's Militia for Ann Hawkes Hay's Regiment in the Revolution (NYITR, page 159), as well as Colonel Albert Pawling's Levies, "a regiment of Swiss, raised for the defence of the frontier of the Slate of New York" (NYITR, p. 84, listed twice). William married Martha Wood and had 14 kids, with a lot of descendants. In 1802 they sold their Tuxedo Park land and moved to the Finger Lakes area of New York, where he died on 20 May 1818. William and Martha are buried on Hause Hill near Tyrone, Schuyler, New York.
  • CATHERINE HAAS was b. 24 Dec 1751. She married Andrew Daniel Secor (6 Mar 1758 - 13 Jun 1844). They had two known children, Andrew R. (1776-1862) and Simon Secor (6 Mar 1786 - 9 Apr 1850). She died on 9 Mar 1842 "At Berne, N.Y., on the 9th inst., Mrs. Catharine Secor, in the 94th year of her age." (Source: Christian Intelligencer of the Reformed Dutch Church, 19 Mar 1842; New York). Catharine is buried with Andrew and her son Simon at Thompson's Lake Rural Cemetery, East Berne, Albany County, New York.⁵

    ¹—It was not the king of France but the armies of the French Revolution who terminated the independence of the states in the region of the Saarland. After 1792 they conquered the region and made it part of the French Republic. While a strip in the west belonged to the Département Moselle, the centre in 1798 became part of the Département de Sarre, and the east became part of the Département du Mont-Tonnerre. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the region was divided again. Most of it became part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Another part in the east, corresponding to the present Saarpfalz district, was allocated to the Kingdom of Bavaria. A small part in the northeast was ruled by the Duke of Oldenburg. On 31 July 1870, the French Emperor Napoleon III ordered an invasion across the River Saar to seize Saarbrücken. The first shots of the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71 were fired on the heights of Spichern, south of Saarbrücken. The Saar region became part of the German Empire which came into existence on 18 January 1871, during the course of this war.

    ²—Later generations would claim that our family and the other refugees wanted to leave their homeland for religious reasons, but this doesn't seem to be the case. The emigrants who left for England seemed to be evenly distributed in terms of religion (four lists of the 6500 "Palatines" arriving in London during 1709—comprising 1770 families—reveal 550 Lutheran families, 693 Reformed, 512 Catholic, 12 Baptist, and three Mennonite), so discrimination against any particular denomination seems unlikely. For the most part, they didn't seem all that religious, anyway. Antone Wilhelm Böhme, pastor of the German Court Chapel of St. James, related that only a few of the arriving Germanic immigrants in England came with a prayer book or similar religious work. Fewer still had a New Testament or Bible, until Queen Anne had them supplied in England. Simon Haas had much more earthbound reasons to leave for the English Colonies.

    ³—"The Embarkation Lists from Holland." In Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration, by Walter Allen Knittle. Philadelphia: Dorrance & Co., 1937, pp. 248-274. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1965. Repr. 1982: "Name: Johann Haus; Year: 1709. Place: England or America. Family Members: 3 children. Page: 272; Johann Adam Haus, Year: 1709. Place: New York (p. 255). This man is either listed as "Hoff" or "Hussmann" on the Hunter Subsistence Lists in 1710 and 1712. In Palatine Families of New York, Hank Jones lists the last name as "Haas," and his family has a different point of origin. Records also show Hanss Henrich Zöller and a Johannes Zöller joining the 1709 migration to New York, but their connection to Anna Rosina is unknown.

    ⁴—Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Wilkinson, Wilkisson, Wilkiesson and others.

    ⁵—According to genealogists Kirk Moulton and Dan Kinsey, working on the Secord and Simon Haas families, Johannes married Sarah Wilkensen (b. 1720) in the 1740s and believe that my line of the Hause family descends from this man... but no direct male descendants have been found to compare my Y-DNA with, so it is still unproven. "Simon" is a name that was often used for sons in my line (but this point is moot, because there are other names such as "Nicholas," "Zacharias," and "Bernard," that don't appear at all), and the John Hause legend from a family Bible states that he married Sarah, "a woman of fine English blood." If "Wilkensen" is actually "Wilkinson," that would be English. So hey, I'm open...

    Personal Information
    Baptism Record
    Name: Haas, Johannes
    Baptism Date: 11 Nov 1716
    Father: Simon Haas
    Mother: Anna Rosina
    Place: Nootenhoeck, in Albany
    Witnesses: Justus Falckner, Pastor, and Anna Catharina Stubberin
    Volume: I
    Book: 85
    Page: 65
    Personal Information
    Baptism Record
    Name: Haas,
    Birth Date: 24 Feb 1750
    Baptism Date: 2 Jun 1751
    Father: Johannes Haas
    Mother: Sarah
    Place: All Boroughs, NY
    Witnesses: David Roeter and Anna Huett
    Volume: I
    Book: 85
    Page: 361
    SOURCE INFORMATION: Dutch Reformed Church Records from New York and New Jersey. Holland Society of New York, New York; Dutch Reformed Church Records from New Jersey. The Archives of the Reformed Church in America, New Brunswick, New Jersey.


  • The Palatine Families of New York: a study of the German immigrants who arrived in colonial New York in 1710 Vol. I, by Henry Z Jones, Jr., Universal City, Calif. : H.Z. Jones, 1985; pages 309 - 311. Basically, Jones gives all the information that I have, but did it in a neatly typed page and a half, thus showing A) what a good genealogist he is, and B) What a blowhard I am:


    ¹—First generation.
    ²—Second generation.
    ³—Third generation.

    The European roots of the Simon Haas family were at 6791 Steinwenden (16 km. w. of Kaiserslautern; Chbks. begin 1684, Ref.), 6791 Neunkirchen a/Potzbach (6 km. furthern. ; Chbks. begin 1695, Luth.) and 6751 Sippersfeld (17 km. n.e. of Kaiserslautern; Chbks. begin 1702, Luth.). Hans Simon Haß, widower from Albsheim auf der Eys, Linniger (?) Westerb. Herrschaft, md. 15 Aug 1697 Anna Rosina - d/o Franz Zöller from Makenbach (Mackenbach), both Luth. (Steinwenden Chbk.). Rosina was a sp. from Etschberg at Neunkirchen, 1706.

    Simon Haas made his first appearance on the Hunter lists 4 July 1710 with 2 pers. over 10 yrs. of age and 1 pers. under 10; the size of the household increased to 2 pers. over 10 yrs. and 2 under 10 on 31 Dec 1710. Symon Haes was in Capt. Van Alstyn's Co. at Albany in 1715 (Report of the State Historian, Vol. I, p. 464). Symon Hawse was nat. 27 April 1716 (Albany Nats.). Simon Hass with wife and ch. was at Wormsdorff ca. 1716/17 (Simmendinger Register). Syms P'r Hees was a Palatine Debtor in 1726 (Livingston Debt Lists). The ch. of Simon¹ Haas and Anna Rosina were:

      1) "A Child"², bpt. 20 Sept. 1705 - sp.: Philip Dil here, Margaretha Catharina - Theobald's ..., and Anna - w/o Baltes from Mackenbach (Neunkirchen a/Potzbach Chbk.).

      2) Johann Nicolaus², born at Breunigweiler and bpt. 25 April 1707; mother not named in this entry (Sippersfeld Chbk.).

      3) Anna Barbara², bpt. 10 June 1711 in the upper German colonies - sp.: Anna Berbel Simon Haase was conf. Dom. Quasim: 1726 at Loonenburg (N.Y. City Luth. Chbk.).

      4) Zacharias², b. 12 Dec 1713 - sp.: Zacharias Flegler and wife Eve Anna Elisabetha (West Camp Luth. Chbk.). Zacrias Haas was enrolled in Capt. Jeremiah Hogeboom's Co. in 1767 (Report of the State Historian, Vol. II, p. 864). He md. 28 Sept 1737 Geesje Witbeek (Albany Ref. Chbk.) and had:

        i) Simon³, bpt. 18 Jun 1738 - sp.: Thomas Vlyd and Antje Vlydt (Albany Ref. Chbk.). Seyma Haas was in Capt. Fraens Claevw Jr.'s Co. in 1767 in Kinderhoeck (Report of the State Historian, Vol. II, p. 868). He md. Jannet Kohl and had issue at Germantown Ref., Linlithgo Ref. Kinderhook Ref., and Claverack Ref. Churches.

        ii) Lena³, bpt. 31 Aug 1740 - sp.: Johannes and Jannetje Goewyck (Albany Ref. Chbk.).

        iii) Anna³, bpt. 1 Aug 1742 - sp.: Lambert Kool and Willemtje Bradt (Albany Ref. Chbk.).

        iv) Anna³, bpt. 21 Oct 1744 - sp.: Anthony and Willempje Brat (Albany Ref. Chbk.).

        v) Catharina³, bpt. 23 Aug 1747 - sp.: Daniel and Alida Marrh (Albany Ref. Chbk.).

        vi) Johannes³, bpt. 6 Aug 1758 - sp.: Andries Witbeek and Maria Herder (Claverack Ref. Chbk.).

        vii) Anna³, bpt. 12 Aug 1761 - sp.: Jan de la Mettre and wife Heyltje Muller (Claverack Ref. Chbk.).

      This couple probably had other ch. 1748-57 (HJ).

      5) Johannes², b. or bpt. 5 Aug 1716 at Nootenhoeck, Albany; bpt. at Klinckenberg - sp.: Justus Falckner the Pastor and Anna Catharina Stubber (N.Y. City Luth. Chbk.).

      6) Anna Catharina², b. 2 Dec 1718 at Nootenhoeck and bpt. at Lonenburg - sp.: Jan Jurgen Rau and wife Anna Catharina (N.Y. City Luth. Chbk.).

  • Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration: A British Government Redemptioner Project to Manufacture Naval Stores, by Walter Allen Knittle, Ph.D. Dorrance & Company, Philadelphia, 1937 (Online); p. 285, 295.
  • Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York, by Philip Otterness. Published by Cornell University Press, 2004. (Essay: https://journals.psu.edu/phj/article/download/25606/25375)
  • Year Book of the Holland Society of New York 1903, prepared by the Secretary Theodore M. Banta; Published by the Holland Society of New York, 1903 (Online); p. 64: "At the same time and place, b. Aug. 5, at Nootenhoeck, in Albany, Johannes, child of Simon Haas and wife Anna Rosina. Witnesses: I, Justus Falckner, Pastor, and Anna Catharina Stubberin."; p. 71: "Feb. 8, same place, b. Dec. 2 last, at the Nootenhoeck in Albany, Anna Catharina, child of Simon Haas and wife Anna Rosina. Witnesses: Jan Jurgen Rau and wife Anna Catharina."
  • The Book of Names Especially Relating to The Early Palatines and the First Settlers in the Mohawk Valley, compiled by Lou D. MacWethy, 1933; p. 18: The Kocherthal Records, "June 10 (1711) : Anna Barara, child of Simon and Rosina HAAS; sponsor: Anna Barbara SCHUMACHER." p. 26: The Kocherthal Records: "Febr. 21st: Simon, born Febr. 16th, child of Zacharias and Anna Elsabetha FLEGLER; sponsor: Simon HAAS." p. 68: "Palatine Heads of Familes.".
  • "A Brief History of the Poor Palatine Refugees," by Daniel Defoe (London, 1709), introduction by John Robert Moore. Augustan Reprint Society Publication no. 106 (Los Angeles, 1964).
  • "A Review of the State of the British Nation," by Daniel Defoe (London, 1704- 1712).
  • "The Palatines' Catechism, or a true description of their camps at Blackheath and Camberwell. In a pleasant dialogue between an English tradesman and a High-Dutchman" (London, 1709).
  • "London Churchbooks and Immigration of 1709." (Courtesy of the Montgomery County Department of History and Archives.)
  • Das aelteste deutsch-amerikanische Kirchenbuch, by Otto Lohr. In Jahrbuch fuer auslanddeutsche Sippenkunde, jahrgang 1 (1936)
  • Palatine Roots: The 1710 German Settlement in New York as Experienced by Johann Peter Wagner, by Nancy Wagoner Dixon. Picton Press, Camden ME, 1994.
  • Palatines, Liberty and Property: German Lutherans in Colonial British America, by A.G. Roeber. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1998.
  • White Cargo. the Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America, by Jordan, Don And Walsh, Michael. Publisher: New York Univ. Press Date Published: 2007.
  • "House of Names Haas page, and Somewhere In Tyme Haas page.
  • Dutch Houses in the Hudson Valley before 1776, by Helen Wilkinson Reynolds. Dover, 1965.
  • Trappers of New York; a biography of Nicholas Stoner and Nathaniel Foster, by Jeptha Root Simms. Albany: J. Munsell. 1850.
  • Cultural adaptation in Colonial New York: The Palatine Germans of the Mohawk Valley, by Robert Kuhn McGregor; "New York History Journal" Volume 69, number 1. January 1988
  • The Story of the Palatines, An Episode in Colonial History, the largest immigration in number of any Colonial arrival, the settlers from the southwestern district of Germany known as Palatine, by Sanford H. Cobb, dedicated to the Children of the Palatines, the author's parishioners in the High Dutch churches of Schoharie and Saugerties. New York & London, G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1897; map, p. 148.
  • Heads of Households of the 1709/10 Palatines Who Went from Germany thru the Port of Rotterdam to London ," The Lost Palatine," no. 10 (1983), by Gail Breitbard. Page: 8
  • "The Embarkation Lists from Holland." In Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration, by Walter Allen Knittle. Philadelphia: Dorrance & Co., 1937, pp. 248-274. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1965. Repr. 1982:

  • HENRY Z. "HANK" JONES, JR., has been a professional genealogist and author since 1965. He wrote the amazing, award-winning two-volume work, called The Palatine Families of New York- 1710 (with the help of researcher Carla Mittelstaedt-Kubaseck), then followed that with More Palatine Families, and Psychic Roots. You can purchase those books, and more, at his website here. Hank is a respected Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, and also has a long career as an lecturer, entertainer and screen actor, appearing as "Gudger Larkin" in this author's favorite film as a youngster, Blackbeard's Ghost. How could I not worship this guy?
  • PHILIP L. OTTERNESS. Ph.D., wrote the award-winning Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York. When he's not completely reshaping our views of German culture in Colonial America, he teaches History and Political Science at Warren Wilson College. He also appeared on the TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, helping singer Tim McGraw trace his ancestry to the same Palatine migration that carried Simon Haas and Johann Christian Hauß to the New World. Otterness also revealed that the ancestors of another music heavyweight were in the Palatine migration: Elvis Presley's. Ja! Der König von Rock und Roll! Ich bin All Shook Up!!!
  • GREGG "A.G." ROEBER wrote the award-winning Palatines, Liberty, and Property: German Lutherans in Colonial British America, which explores German conceptions of personal and public property in the context of cultural and religious beliefs, village life, and family concerns. He is head of the Department of History and Professor of Early Modern History and Religious Studies at Penn State University. He is also Co-Director of Max Kade German-American Research Institute, that seeks to promote the best scholarship on German-speakers in a global diaspora from the sixteenth through the "long eighteenth"-century.
  • WALTER ALLEN KNITTLE, Ph.D., was the author of Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration: A British Government Redemptioner Project to Manufacture Naval Stores, published by Dorrance & Company, Philadelphia, in 1937, and taught in the Department of History at the College of the City of New York. Walter was born on 9 Jul 1905 in Pennsylvania to Michael Andrew Knittle (1881-1908) and E. Mabel Shimmer. He was descended from immigrant Michael Joseph Knittle (24 Nov 1733 - 13 JUN 1789) who sailed from Schmiden, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemberg, to the American Colonies, to settle in Richmond, Berks, Pennsylvania. Walter married Pauline E Neal (4 Nov 1901 - 11 Feb 1946) and they had a son, Walter Richard Knittle (7 Oct - 22 Feb 1986). Walter died on 29 Jun 1948 in Manhattan, New York.
  • LOU D. MacWETHY compiled, edited and published The Book of Names Especially Relating to The Early Palatines and the First Settlers in the Mohawk Valley, in 1933. MacWethy was born in Livingston county, New York, on 3 May 1871. An expert on genealogy and history, MacWethy often remarked that he could trace his origin back to both Revolutionary and Tory ancestors, which probably accounted for "his many conflicting emotions." In 1914 he formed a syndicate of some four hundred country papers, which he furnished with series of popular feature articles under the pen name of Bill Slocum. In 1918, the Enterprise and the St. Johnsville News, a contemporary paper, were merged under Mr. MacWethy's ownership, creating one paper for the town. Mr. MacWethy released the paper weekly, from July 3, 1918 (v. 20, no. 4) to Dec. 4, 1941 (v. 67, no. 21). Mr. MacWethy married Miss Minnie Van Allen, and they had three children: Ralph, Albert and Elizabeth, and on paper day, Wednesday of each week, Mrs. MacWethy and the children joined forces with Mr. MacWethy and the regular staff to help produce the weekly news. Mr. MacWethy sold the paper to John O. Boyd in 1941. After a few more publishers and name changes, the paper's run finally ended in 1977. History online.
  • DANIEL DeFOE (13 Sep 1660 - 24 April 1731) was born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, which is second only to the Bible in its number of translations. Defoe wrote many political tracts and often was in trouble with the authorities, to the point of doing prison time. Defoe was a prolific and versatile writer, producing more than three hundred works: books, pamphlets, and journals on diverse topics, such as "A Brief History of the Poor Palatine Refugees," and "A Review of the State of the British Nation,", referenced here. Image, at right: Portrait of Daniel Defoe, by Unknown (in the style of Sir Godfrey Kneller), the National Maritime Museum, London.