Saturday, November 8, 2008

Family Facts, Fiction & Future

How does the family of Nicholas (Henckel) Jenkins now appear? As a result of findings in Treysa, what changes are required to what has been previously presented here?

We know that Nicholas Jenkins was born Nikolaus Henckel on 28 March 1755 in Treysa, Germany to Johann Hermann Henckel and Anna Elisabeth Ott. He was baptized 31 March 1755, and confirmed in the Lutheran Church, Treysa in 1769 at the age of 14.

His military records show that he joined his regiment in April 1775 in Ziegenhain, Germany, having just turned 20 years old. He was listed as a Tambour (drummer) in the 3rd Company (von Minnigerode Company) of the Hessen-Kassel Regiment von Knyphausen. Regiment von Knyphausen departed the fortress at Ziegenhain for America on 3 March 1776. His time in America has been highlighted in a previous entry to this site of 11 Aug 2007.

We also know that while in America, 28 year old Nicholas Henckel was married 27 July 1783 to Betsey [Elizabeth] Robinson in the Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, Long Island, NY by Rev. Matthias Burnet. A few weeks later, on 15 August 1783, the soldiers of the Regiment von Knyphausen sailed from New York for Germany, and after two months arrived back in Ziegenhain on 16 October 1783. It was only about 5 km from there to his hometown of Treysa.

Nicholas and Elizabeth had the following children born while living in Treysa: Johann George Henckel was born 13 May 1784 in Treysa, nine months after they had departed New York. This is the oldest son, John Jenkins, who died in Prince Edward Island 20 Jun 1866. Susannah Henckel was born 19 months later on 15 Dec 1785 in Treysa. This is the Susannah Jenkins who died in Prince Edward Island 14 May 1884.

Nicolaus Henckel was listed in 1785 as a Master Shoemaker living with a Mrs. Entwichene in Treysa. His father, Johann Hermann Henkel, also a Master Shoemaker, died and was buried 28 May 1787. Church records say their "illegitimate child" Anna Maria, born in New York, died at 11pm on 27 Nov 1787 in Treysa, aged 9 years. She would have been born about 1778, or 5 years before they were married. The same death record says that the parents were "absconded" or "deserted", indicating that they had left Treysa before that date. Based on the records, it is probably safe to say that Nicholas, Elizabeth, John and Susannah left Treysa for Prince Edward Island in North America sometime between the deaths of his father and daughter, or between May and November 1787. This corresponds with the timing of fellow regimental drummers Wilhelm Fischer (later William Fisher) and Georg Weckesser or Weickerssen (later George Vickerson) also leaving the Treysa/Ziegenhain area with their families to settle in PEI. As to 12 year old Peter Baum who arrived on the Island with the Henckel family, we will discuss this below.

Which are the stories from family tradition that now should be considered fiction? Of course we realize that once something has been put in writing, whether true or false, it tends to take on a life of its own. And sometimes such stories or items become quoted as if they were prime sources themselves. Even prime source records may sometimes vary when compared with each other. For example, birth dates on tombstones or from census documents are usually less reliable than birth or baptism records from church documents because the date of recording is more distant from the event of record.

Henckel to Jenkins - The story persists that Nicholas anglicized his surname to Jenkins at the suggestion of Rev. Dr. Louis Charles Jenkins, Minister at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Charlottetown, PEI. However, Rev. Jenkins wasn’t born until Aug 1797 in England, and the "Weekly Examiner" of 21 Nov 1884 says he didn’t emigrate to the Island until about 1820. Nicholas would have been 65 years old by that time, and have been an Island resident for 33 years. It should be noted that there have been numerous different spellings of all German immigrants names at the time. However, although named as Nicholas Jenkins in his will, it was signed "Nikolaus Henckell".

Another Marriage for Nicholas - There has never been anything to back up the tradition that Nicholas was previously married to anyone other than Elizabeth (Betsy) Robinson. The Edwards connection comes from Nicholas Henckel’s son Nicholas Jr.’s first marriage to Mary Edwards, not from Nicholas Senior. Her parents were reportedly James Edwards and Dobson McBriar, whose family came from the Isles of Scilly off the southwest tip of Cornwall, England.

Elizabeth Pfluger Married Lt. Col. Baum - Nothing has been found to date to back up the idea that Nicholas’ wife Elizabeth had been previously married to a German soldier surnamed Baum. She most certainly was never married to Lt. Col. Frederick Baum who was killed in the Battle of Bennington in Aug 1777. This is backed up by court records in Germany where Lt. Col. Baum’s widow, mistress and daughters fought over his estate, with no mention of a wife or child in America. And it is therefore also certain that Nicholas was never married to anyone with either the maiden or married surname of Pfluger, as this name came from a brother-in-law of the Lt. Col.

John & Susannah Born in Hannover - Family tradition has said that Nicholas’ oldest son John was born in Hanover, Germany about 1777, and that daughter Susannah was also born there about 1778 or 1779. We now know that no one in the family was born in Hannover.

Great Old Ages - The great old ages of some of Nicholas and Elizabeth’s children born in PEI contain errors. Some of these came from newspaper articles written either late in life or after some had died. Even the questionnaire answered by William Jenkins in old age contains an error in the year of his own birth. He could not possibly have been born in PEI in 1783, because his parents did not arrive on the Island until 1787. To this day, no church source has ever been found which records either birth or baptism for any of their children born in PEI.

Where do we go from here? What are some of the major questions still outstanding, and where might we look for answers?

Anna Maria Henckel Birth Records - If Anna Maria Henckel was born to Nicholas and Elizabeth (or Betsy) in New York about 1778, is there a birth record to be found? Might her birth be found under her mother’s name as she and Nicholas were not yet married? She died in 1787, the year the rest of the family emigrated to the Island. William Jenkins, writing some 89 years later in 1876, said that a child named Mary had died on the passage. Since this would have been before William was born, is it possible that he was referring to the story he had heard of Maria dying in 1787, about the time of the passage? And why was she left behind in Treysa, and with whom? At this point we can only speculate that she was already very ill when they were to leave, and that she was left behind in the care of relatives.

Children born in PEI - Where are the records of birth and baptism of any of Nicholas and Elizabeth’s children who were born in PEI?

Relation to Peter Baum - Who are the parents of Peter Baum? And what is his relation to Nicholas and Elizabeth? According to newspaper accounts and court records of August 1792, Peter was a young boy of about 17 at that time. This would have him born about 1775, but where, and to whom? We know there were at one time Baum families living in Treysa, but no connection has yet been made with Peter. Why would 12 year old Peter have been included with Nicholas and Elizabeth’s family when they left Germany in 1787 to settle in PEI? Was he a child of Elizabeth before she met Nicholas?

As is usual in genealogy, for every puzzle you solve there are many unanswered questions remaining. Who among us will be the first with source records to establish answers to any of the questions posed above? If anyone has evidence to dispute the claims above, I would love to see the proof. If you have any ideas for possible means of arriving at these answers, please help the effort by emailing me at .

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Final Day in Treysa

Inside the Henkel house, Treysa.

In the cellar of the Henkel house, showing the stone vaulted ceiling.

In the cellar showing old winding stone stairway up to the ground floor. Nearby is the former entrance to a tunnel.

We met our new friends again after breakfast on Day 3, and were given photocopies of Treysa church records. These included the marriage of Nicholas’s grandparents Johann Heinrich Henckel and Elizabeth Lotz in 1722, Nicholas’s parents Johann Herman Henckel and Anna Elizabeth Otto in 1752, and the baptism/christening (including birth date) of Nicholas himself in 1755. We were also given copies of some house records from the local Treysa archives. Among these were all owners of the Henkel house from 1623 to the present. This showed Henkel families owning the house continuously from 1730 to 1978. However, these Henkels were Bakers, not Shoemakers. Please see again the reference in the Treysa - Day One posting to the two families of Henkels in Treysa. You will recall that Nicholas’s widowed father remarried when Nicholas was 5 or 6 years old to Susanna Henkel, and that she was one of the "Baker Henkels", thus connecting the two families.

The previous day, our Genealogist friend had shown us a book entitled "Das Tagebuch des Sockenstrickers Johann Valentin Asteroth aus Treysa (1776-1831)". It was the diary of a soldier, born in Treysa, which was kept during the time of the American Revolution. His experiences and details of life as a soldier in Ziegenhain and America, and the journey to and from, would have been almost identical to that of Nicholas. Today, our friend insisted that he give us this book to further help with our research.

Before leaving to visit the town again, we showed a copy of family trees of both Evelyn and I to point out other common German ancestors in our past. These included not only Nicholas Henckel, but also John (Eichorn) Acorn and Peter (Baum) Ballem. As soon as we mentioned Peter Baum, we heard the word "Juden", Jewish. There had indeed been Baum families in Treysa, and that they had been Jewish. We mentioned that 32 year old Nicholas Henckel and family had left Germany for Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1787, and that young Peter Baum, a boy of about 12, was with them. They were quite excited and pleased about the story of a German family helping a young Jewish boy. Later that morning we were given a document for another house in Treysa which had been sold by an Abraham Baum in August 1937, presumably shortly before they left Hitler’s Germany. Our friends were going to dig deeper to see what might be found of any Baum in Treysa about 1787, specifically for any mention of Peter, and a possible reason for a connection between the Baum and Henckel families.

After thanking our friends very much for their help, we set out to see if we could get inside the Henkel house. The ground floor is now a bar, Bistro Copas, and we went in to have a coffee as soon as they opened that morning. The lady did not speak English, but went next door to fetch someone who could. Who should appear but the same man whom we had met each of the previous two days, and who owned the Henkel house. He quickly excused himself, returning with a photo of the interior as it had been before extensive restoration in the 1990s. He also had a flashlight, and proceeded to take us on a tour of the cellar below the house. It had a vaulted stone ceiling and winding stone stairs that had previously lead up to the ground floor. There had also at one time been a tunnel which lead from the cellar though the lower levels of many other buildings down toward the river a great distance away. After taking more photos, he joined us for coffee in the Bistro Copas.

After picking up our luggage at the Hotel Stadt, and a final thanks and farewell, we were off to catch the noon train for Frankfurt and our return home. We cannot say enough about how friendly and helpful the people were that we had met. Without their efforts we still would have had a pleasant visit to the area of our ancestors. But because of how friendly they were and all that they did for us during our short stay, we have gained so much more information about Nicholas, his family, the town of Treysa where he lived, and the fortress of Ziegenhain where he was a soldier, than we might have hoped for. The people, scenery, and history were all first class We have made numerous friends, and hope to visit again. If you ever get a chance to visit Germany, we would highly recommend including a visit to Schwalmstadt if at all possible.

While this visit is finished, the work is not. In the coming days and weeks the information provided in German will be reviewed for additional details on Nicholas, his family, and his community. And the new information will be incorporated into what was previously known to give a revised and updated look at this part of our family. Stay tuned for more updates. Meanwhile, what do you think of the findings so far? Do you have any observations, questions, or suggestions for lines of further research? Please add you comments below, or email to me at .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 2 in Treysa (continued)

Stadtkirche, Treysa.
Church where generations of Henkels worshipped.

Entrance to Stadtkirche, Treysa.

Hospital of the Holy Ghost, Treysa.

Stadtkirche, Ziegenhain.
Nicholas worshipped here before leaving for war in America in 1776.

Interior of Stadtkirche, Ziegenhain.

Museum der Schwalm, Ziegenhain.

Regimental drums, Museum der Schwalm.
As Regimental Drummer, Nicholas would have drums identical to these.

Following closely on the genealogical update, we were told that the Evangelische Kirche (Protestant Church) in Treysa of the mid 1700s still existed, the Stadtkirche. It had been part of a Dominican cloister since about 1350, but in 1531 Landgrave Philip, in support of the Reformation, converted it to the Protestant parish church. We asked if there was a cemetery connected with the church, hoping to check out the headstones for a Henkel ancestor. The law in Germany, however, permits the reuse of graves after 30 years. People from the same families were usually buried with others in the family plot, so headstones/markers would be of little use after many years.

He told us that he personally knew the last male Henkel, who died about 50 years ago at about 30 years of age, and that the house sold some years later. This, of course, meant that he knew where the Henkels lived, and would take us to the house. It turns out that it is only about 25 meters from the Rathaus (Town Hall), and we had unknowingly taken pictures it of the previous evening. He would also get additional information on the history of the house.

We then went for a short walk to see the Henkel house, take some photos, and then met the current owner who also has a business next door. He was the same man who had helped us find an Internet Café the evening before. After excusing himself for a few minutes, he returned with legal documents of sale of the Henkel house to his family in 1975. Of course, I took photos of those as well. Then it was off to take photos of the church where Nicholas Henkel’s family had worshipped. This was where his grandparents and parents had been married, and where Nicholas’s birth and baptism/christening had been recorded. Then it was off to see the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, a medieval charity institution for the needy, aged and infirm, first mentioned in a document from 1367. Part of it now contains the local Treysa archives, which would be searched for records on the Henkel house.

In the afternoon, Evelyn and I took a taxi to Ziegenhain, the fortress about 5 km from Treysa where Nicholas had been a regimental Drummer. This was also where Nicholas departed in March 1776 headed for war in America, and to which he had returned in 1783 following the war. As the Museum der Schwalm was not to open for about an hour, we headed to the local Information Office. The lady there spoke English, could not have been more friendly, and while giving us a brochure on Ziegenhain, made arrangements for a personalized tour of the town for 4:00 pm. She also said she would deliver a photocopy of some papers on Hessian Troops from Ziegenhain to our hotel that evening.

After taking many more photos around Ziegenhain, we were the first into the Museum der Schwalm. Again, a volunteer spoke English, was most helpful, and after hearing of our connection to the town took us on a personalized tour of the exhibits. Among the displays was one of a shoemaker shop, just as Nicholas would have grown up in under the watchful eye of his Master Shoemaker father Johann Hermann Henkel. Also on display were original regimental drums identical to that used by Nicholas. Local clothing, furniture, handcrafts, etc. were also on display. At 4:00 pm we met our guide, who explained the significance of each of the historical old sites in the town, all of which would have been familiar to Nicholas. Included among those was the Protestant Church within the Fort where Nicholas would have attended services before heading off to war. Then it was time to get a taxi back to Treysa, tired but pleased with all of the information received.

Shortly after this, while going out to take evening photos of the older area of Treysa again, we crossed paths with the lady from the Information Office in Ziegenhain. She had a copy of 7 pages from a story of Hessian Troops from Ziegenhain for us as promised earlier. Without exception, everyone we met in Schwalmstadt either spoke English, or made an effort to help us find someone who could. And being a small town, we kept crossing paths with people we had met before, although we had only been there a little over 24 hours. That the area was not spoiled by flocks of tourists was confirmed when we could find no one who could think of any place to buy a souvenir of the town. (To be continued)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day Two in Treysa

Hotel Proprietor and Doug. She made all of the appointments for me. Many thanks.

Genealogist/Historian, Interpreter, and Doug in Treysa. They were extremely helpful. I couldn't have done any of this without them. Thanks again.

Nicholas's Parent's Marriage Record as found in the Church Record Book for Treysa, Germany.

Nicholas Henkel's Birth Record as found in the Church Record Book for Treysa, Germany.

What a difference a day makes!

Contact had been made with a local genealogist/historian, and an interpreter was to meet with Evelyn and I at 9:00 am. In order to keep them from being swamped with requests for research, their names are not included. Not being sure of what to expect, we were encouraged when we were shown a copy of my detailed German letter which had been sent out months before, but with no reply having been received by us. I’m still not sure how he got a copy of it, but very thankful to whoever passed it on to him. He gave us a sheet full of details on Nicholas, his parents, grandparents, their families, and containing more than a few surprises. The interpreter had never been exposed to genealogy before, but the more we talked, the more interested she became in the story, and more excited too. So interested, in fact, that they had to be reminded to include Evelyn and I in the conversation from time to time so we would know what was being said. The following is some of what was revealed:

Johann Heinrich Henckel had come originally to Treysa from Mengshausen/Niederaula, about 30 km east of Treysa. In 1737 he had been listed as a Maurer (Mason) and Tagelöhner (Day Labourer). He had been born about 1700, and buried before 1743. He married in the Stadtkirche, Treysa, in 1722 Elizabeth Lotz, who was buried 13 Oct 1732 aged 32 years. They had the following child:
1. Johann Hermann, born 21 Aug 1727, christened 25 Aug 1727, with Godparent Johann Hermann Walrab [Ref. Treysa Kirchenbuch, p. 54]. Note the German custom of naming the child after the Godparent.

Johann Hermann Henkel, son of Johann Heinrich Henckel and Elizabeth Lotz, was listed in 1770 as a Master Shoemaker, and buried 28 May 1787. He married first 7 May 1752 in the Stadtkirche, Treysa, Anna Elizabeth Otto, born 19 Dec 1718, confirmed 1734, daughter of Andreas Otto and Anna Martha Sohl. Anna Elizabeth must have died before 1760, for he married second 19 Oct 1760 Susanna (nee Henkel), born 1737, confirmed 1751, daughter of Master Baker Johann Wilhelm Henkel. Johann Hermann died in 1787, and Susanna was married second on 13 Jan 1791 to widower, Sockenstr. [translation of italized words uncertain] Adam Korell, son of the Church Warden. Note that there were two distinct families of Henkels living in Treysa, Nicholas’s father being a Master Shoemaker, and his step-mother’s Henkels being Master Bakers. We will refer to this again.

Johann Hermann Henkel and 1st wife Anna Elizabeth Otto had the following children:
1. & 2. Twins ': a girl born dead, and Kunigunde, born 15 Aug 1757, GodParent: White binder Hermann Otto' s daughter. [other child’s name either not included or not legible]
3. Anna Catharina, born 28.01.1753, confirmed 1767, GodParent: Mother’s sister, Schneider Gehrke' s wife. Anna Catharina married 4 Jan 1778 widower Master Shoemaker George Biedebach, son of Peter Biedebach.
4. Nicolaus, born 21 Mar 1755, confirmed 1768, GodParent: Ackerman, Nicolaus Wetzel. [Nicholas would have been 5 years old when his father remarried].

Johann Hermann Henkel and 2nd wife Susanna Henkel had the following children:
5. Martha Elizabeth, born 25 Jul 1761, GodParent: her Mother’s Mother, wife of Wilhelm Henkel.
6. Johann Caspar, born 16 Aug 1763, GodParent: Woolweaver Johann Caspar Bach. Johann Caspar Henkel married M. E. Henkel.
7. Elisabeth, born 03 Nov 1771.

Nicolaus Henkel was listed in 1785 as a Master Shoemaker, der mit [living with?] Mrs. Entwichene. Treysa records say he "married Elizabeth Rapsis (Rappison) of New York (supposed Robinson) with illegitimate child Anna Maria born about 1778 in New York, died 27 Nov 1787 in Treysa, aged 9 years." Nicholas and Elizabeth had the following children born while living in Treysa:
1. Johann Georg, born 13.05.1784, GodParent: Brother-in-Law George Biedebach, Shoemaker, who had married Anna Catharina Henkel, Hermann Henkel' s daughter. [Note: This is the missing birth record for John (Henkel) Jenkins who died in Prince Edward Island 20 Jun 1866].
2. Susanna, born 15 Dec 1785, GodParent: Wagoner Johann Becker' s daughter. [Note: This is the birth record for Susanna (Henkel) Jenkins who died in Prince Edward Island 14 May 1884. Unless the Godparent’s name was Susanna, she might have been named after Nichols’s step-mother].

Andreas Otto was listed in 1690 white binders Wall way 69 (4) born about 1678, buried 09 Nov 1731, were Catholic (killed in the forest by a fallen tree?), married Anna Martha Sohl, who was listed about 1737 as a Midwife. She was born 20 May 1688, buried 22 Feb 1761, daughter of Hans Hermann Sohl and A. G. Friauf. [Now we have Nicholas Great-Grandparents names]. Andreas Otto and Anna Martha Sohl had the following children:
1. Johann Hermann, I born 19 Dec 1712, buried 28 Jan 1759, GodParent: Hans Hermann Sohl.
2. Johann Jacob, born 17 Oct 1714, confirmed1729, GodParent: Andreas’s Father-in-Law’s Son.
3. Anna Catharina, born 04 Sep 1716, GodParent: Ludwig Stephan's wife. She married 07 Apr 1744 Johannes Gerke from Marburg.
4. Anna Elizabeth, born 19 Dec 1718, confirmed 1734, GodParent: Hans Hermann Sohl ' s wife. [KB p.445]. She married 07 May 1752 shoemakers, Johann Hermann Henkel.
5. David, born 08 Aug 1721, GodParent: Andreas’s cousin from.Merzhausen
6. Daniel, born 07 Apr 1723, GodParent: Andreas’s father-in-law
7. Andreas, born 13 Mar 1724, GodParent: Johann Jacob, the brother of Andreas’s wife.
8. Johannes, born 03 Nov 1726, confirmed 1741, GodParent: Wine Owner(?), Johannes Schnödt.
9. Martha Elizabeth, born 21 Aug 1730, GodParent: Blacksmith Christoph Sohl' s wife. She married 24 --- 1753 gewesn. Dragoon Peter Vollprecht, brother-in-law of the Father.
(To be continued)
Please send additional information/comments/questions to Doug at

Saturday, September 20, 2008

In the Land of the Henkels - September 2008

"Totenkirche" by night

"Totenkirche" (Church of the Dead)

Rathaus, or Town Hall, Treysa

What a wonderful time we had in Treysa (pronounced ‘Try-za’), the town of our ancestors! But it didn’t appear to start out that way.

As mentioned in an earlier entry, my wife Evelyn and I are both descended from Nicholas Henckell who was born there in 1755, and also from Peter Baum. We were not quite sure what to expect as we approached Treysa by train from Frankfurt September 15, 2008. In preparation for the visit I had sent numerous emails to various people, but with little in reply to give us any hope of success. However, upon mid afternoon arrival at Hotel Stadt, the proprietor immediately began to offer assistance, and couldn’t have been more helpful during the entire visit. She tried unsuccessfully to phone everyone we had written. However, it was soon determined that the church records of births, christenings, confirmations, deaths and burials contained in the Evangelische Kirkenbuch for Treysa were located in archives in Kassel. Being late in the day, we set out to take photos of some of the older buildings which would have been there in Nicholas’s time, and to familiarize ourselves with the town.

Later that evening we learned that a meeting had been arranged for early the next morning with someone who might be able to help us. After taking some night photos, we returned to the hotel for the night, wondering if we might find out anything the next day. (to be continued)

Monday, August 25, 2008

German Research Update

Sorry for not updating this site more often, but I have been quite busy preparing for our visit to Treysa and Ziegenhain. We leave in about a week, and the time since my last entry has been taken up with trying to establish one or more contacts. I have received suggestions from coast to coast on whom I might write, received help to have my letters translated into German, and sent numerous emails and one letter. For all of these efforts I have received only one reply from Germany, and that only saying that they were passing my message on to someone else, from whom I have yet to hear. I'm not sure now if I will even be successful in talking with anyone who might be able to help once I get there. Oh well, just like buying something online, we pay our money (in this case for the trip) and take our chances.

It goes without saying that I will be tying to get in contact personally with any of the people who have been suggested to me that I wrote. I plan to visit the "Museum of the Schwalm" in Ziegenhain, which has on display much of the dress and customs of the people of the area. I also plan to take lots of photos of the older buildings and anything that might have been there when our Nicholas was about. Just generally trying to immerse myself in the place. It will still be interesting, but it would certainly have helped if I had some idea of what kind of reception I might receive while there. Regardless, I will keep you posted on what, if anything, I find out that will be of interest from the trip.

With regards an update on progress re publishing a history of Nicholas (Henckel) Jenkins and his descendants: We now have over 18,700 of his descendants and spouses on file. While as many additions as received are being added, time is mainly being used to improve the accuracy of what we already have, expand on the extensive listing of sources to back up what we have, and make corrections as necessary. Please pass the word that the process is rapidly nearing a point where the decision is made to publish what we have without gathering any more. We have now reached the point of diminishing returns for the additional effort that is being expended. If anyone has anything to contribute, or knows of someone who has, or just wants to know if we have what they have to offer, please email me soon at . Also, if anyone has old photos at least 90 years old of Jenkins relatives, or any old journals, day books, etc., please let me know so we can arrange to have them scanned for possible inclusion in the book. By the way, it looks now like it will have to be in two volumes and total about 1,000 pages. Any and all assistance to our committee of three (Paulette McNally, Hazel Sanford and me) will be very greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Visit to Treysa & Ziegenhain

I am digressing from the usual family history for this entry to tell you of something which has been in the planning stages for months, and about which I am really looking forward.

My wife Evelyn and I, both descended from Nicholas Henckel, plan to spend a few days in Treysa and Ziegenhain, Germany, late this Summer. Following a two week tour of some European capitals, we are taking a few extra days on our own to visit the area of our roots, the birthplace of Nicholas, and where the headquarters of his regiment was. The two towns were amalgamated in the 1970s to form a new town of Schwalmstadt.

From previous postings you know that Nicholas lived there for approximately the first 20 years of his life before leaving for America to fight as a Hessian with the British Army during the Revolutionary War. Following the war he returned home with his new wife, stayed there for three to four years, and then immigrated to Prince Edward Island in Canada where we now live. His father was a Master Shoemaker, and Nicholas had also learned the trade. We have discussed references to various dates re his birth, baptism, birth of a child, etc. While there, I hope to get a copy of some of these references to include in an upcoming book on Nicholas and his descendants. I also want to take photos of some of the buildings which would have been around during his time, as well as some general photos of the surrounding area.

To this end I am trying to get a contact person who lives in the area, and who has an interest in family history, local history, or genealogy. Hopefully this person would have some ability in the English language, as my German is non-existant. If anyone reading this can offer some assistance in making such a contact by suggesting such a person, please email me at: . I will keep you posted here on my plans and progress.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Two More of Nicholas’ Children

Henry B. Jenkins, son of Nicholas and Elizabeth, was born about 1788 in Vernon River, Lot 49, PEI, never married, and died about 1870. His father’s will left Henry with the farm in Pownal, Lot 49, providing he looked after his mother (who died about two weeks after Nicholas), and paid 40 pounds in currency or the equivalent in produce within three years.

George Jenkins, was born about 1789 in Vernon River, Lot 49, PEI. A conveyance of land from John Cambridge, of 100 acres from Mill Lot (49) "now and for some time in possession of George Jenkins," was recorded 1 August 1809. [PAPEI, Queens County Conveyances, Liber 33, Folio 162]. He was killed, possibly on 30 October 1836, when a hemlock tree being felled by son John and friend Elisha Weatherbie landed on him. "An Island Refuge" says this happened 23 August 1836, Ludlow Jenkins wrote that it happened before George's son Donald was born. He was reported to have been buried in Alexandra Baptist Cemetery, Lot 49, but no headstone now exists.

He married about 1809, possibly in Mount Albion, Lot 48, Margaret Acorn, born 5 November 1790 in Lot 49, daughter of John Acorn and Eleanor Williams, baptized 14 November 1794 by Rev. Theophilus DesBrisay, died 16 October in either 1855 or 1866 in PEI, and probably buried with her husband. They had 11 children as follows:
1. Eleanor Jenkins, born about 1810, died 8 November 1892. She married John Wood 4 October 1831 (by marriage license of 27 September 1831), and had 15 children.
2. John M. Jenkins, born about 1812, died 12 February 1894. He married Charlotte Sophia Murray 21 March 1838 (by license of 16 March 1838), and had 12 children.
3. Mary Jenkins, born about 1814. She married first William Brown 25 July 1842. She married second James Robertson 26 September 1862. No record of any children.
4. Eleanor Magdalene (Layner) Jenkins, born about 1816, died 18 February 1892. She married Donald (Red) Martin, and had 11 children.
5. Margaret Jenkins, born 20 August 1819, died 1880, buried in St. Davids United Cemetery, Georgetown, PEI. She married Elisha Weatherbie 11 April 1838 (by license of 7 April 1838) and had 6 children.
6. Elizabeth Anne Jenkins, born 2 April 1821, died 1874. She married Archibald MacIntosh (Tosh) Munn 5 September 1848 and had 12 children.
7. Nicholas (Curly Nick) Jenkins, born 23 June 1822, died 20 July 1892. He married Ann Brown 9 October 1855 and had 6 children.
8. George Ewen Jenkins, born about 1830, died possibly in Danforth, ME. He married Jeannette (Jane) MacEachern 30 November 1854 (by license of 23 November 1854) and had 9 children.
9. Jane Jenkins, born about 1830, died 1919. She married Daniel Singleton 7 April 1851 and had 8 children.
10. Samuel James Jenkins, born about 1833, died 22 October 1889, buried in Greenswood Cemetery, Jonesport, ME. He married first Margaret Thornton and had 3 children. He married second Lois Mansfield Sawyer 12 December 1866 and had 6 children. He married third Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) Kelley 12 June 1880 and had 6 children.
11. Donald Jenkins, born 22 March 1836, died 1915, buried in Birch Hill Cemetery, Lot 49, PEI. He married Matilda Coady Sealey 18 January 1865 (by license of 12 January 1865), and had 8 children.

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