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  • Victor W Pleak

This Day In History: Birth of Johann Blickensdörfer

Johannes Blickensdörfer was born April 15, 1726 to Hans Jackob and Katharina Veronica Magdelena (Burkholder) Blickensdörfer. He was born on the Kohlhof near

Kohlhof map_edited.png

Schifferstadt in present day Germany. He was one of six sons, his brothers were Jakob, Christian, Ulrich, Yost, and George.

On September 9, 1749 Johannes along with his brother Ulrich arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their journey would have been long and arduous. The journey began with a trip down the Rhine River to Rotterdam, which could have taken up to six weeks. They boarded the Ship St. Andrew in Rotterdam.Then sailed to Plymouth, England then to Philadelphia. The captain of the St. Andrew was James Ambercombie. The voyage to Philadelphia would last about three months. I believe that Johann and Ulrich are on the passenger list as Johannes Flickester and Ullrich Flickstorfer. However, this passenger list was for those that swore allegiance to the British crown, of the 400 Palantines on board only 111 are listed. It is unclear whether they would have sworn allegiance based on their Mennonite beliefs, however, they did not continue in the Mennonite Church after settling in America or if the name was lost in translation like our family name has in numerous other historic documents.

After arriving in America, Johann had two known children John Pleakandstalver and Catherine Plick, his wife is unknown. It is unknown where he lived, he wrote a letter to his sister-in-law in 1774 from Meadow Creek, Virginia. He was also visted by his brother Yost in 1776 who said he lived along the Holston River which was in western North Carolina, but was disputed by Virginia. It is believed that the present day location is in Tennesse.

It is unknown when or where he died. The research continues!

An image of Johann's birth certificate can be seen on the John Pleakenstalver Facebook page.

A 1755 map of Virginia, North Carolina and the land that will become Tennesse, Kentucky, and parts of the Northwest Territory along with other great maps of North Carolina from the UNC Library can be viewed here.

#JohannesBlickensdörfer #Kohlhof

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