The Germanna Colony of 1717


On July 12, 1717, twenty families left the area that would become Germany to go to the New World of North America. Their boat was detained in England, where the captain was imprisoned for debt. Because they were delayed while waiting for his release, their provisions ran so low that many of them perished during the crossing.

They had planned to join other German families in Pennsylvania, but storms forced the ship south, to Virginia. There the English sea captain claimed that they had not paid for their passage and refused to let them land until Gov. Alexander Spotswood paid him the amount he demanded. Spotswood, in turn, managed to get the Germans to sign a contract that "they apparently did not fully understand." Thus members of the 1717 Germanna Colony came to America as indentured servants. Further, at the end of the customary seven-year period, Spotswood sued and compelled most of them to work an additional year, "so that they labored eight years to gain their freedom."

Among these colonists was Nicholas Yeager, from Falkenstein in the Palatinate (Keith). For more complete information on his descendants, visit the following address:

My Yeager Line

Nicholas Yeager

Nicholas Yeager was born at Weichersbach in Hesse. He married Anna Maria Sieber in Marienthal in the Palatinate on May 11, 1706. They had five children: Maria Barbara, born May 19, 1707, christened May 22 at Marienthal; Adam, b. September 30, 1708, chr. October 8 at Winnweiler; Maria Gertraud, b. March 18, 1711, chr. March 22 at Marienthal; Anna Maria, b. November 15, 1714, chr. November 18 at Marienthal; and Anna Margaretha, b. April 14, 1716, chr. April 19, 1716 at Winnweiler. It appears that only Adam and Anna Maria survived the voyage to Virginia.(Keith)

After his eight-year period of indenture, Nicholas received the average 400-acre land grant in the Robinson River area of Virginia on June 24, 1726.

Adam Yeager

Nicholas' son Adam was naturalized on September 19, 1730, at "Williamsburgh." Adam married Susannah Kobler (Cobler) in October 1727. He died in Madison County, Virginia, before January 23, 1794 (Keith).

Nicholas Yeager

Adam's son Nicholas was born in 1735 and died in 1781. He was married to Susanna Wilhoit, daughter of John Wilhoit, in one of what Arthur Keith described as "scores of marriages between" Yeagers and Wilhoits/Wilhites. (Keith). In March 1756 Nicholas received 1,425 pounds of tobacco for his service in the militia of Culpeper County. Nicholas Yeager was my double fourth great-grandfather, through his sons Solomon and Cornelius.

Solomon and Cornelius

Solomon Yeager was born in November 1759. He and his wife Elizabeth Broyles, daughter of Nicholas Broyles, had ten children. On February 28, 1833, Solomon was pensioned for service in the Virginia Line in the American Revolution. According to his pension records, he served three months in 1775 under General Muhlenburg, three months under Captain Bohannon, and three months at Albemarle guarding Hessian and British prisoners but was not engaged in any battles. Solomon and Elizabeth moved to White County, Tennessee, where Elizabeth died in 1845. In 1848 Solomon married Phebe Hamblen, who survived him. He died in White County November 27, 1851.

Cornelius Yeager married Elizabeth Fisher. In 1777 the family settled in Mercer County, Kentucky. He died in 1833. (Keith)

Daniel and Susannah


 Solomon Yeager's son Daniel and Cornelius' daughter Susannah married in 1800 in Mercer County, Kentucky. Among their children was my great-grandfather, Cornelius Franklin Yeager, who lived in Washington County, Tennessee.

These photographs were made from paintings found in Abraham Hoss Yeager's home in Cleburne, Texas. We believe they are Daniel and Susannah.


Cornelius Franklin

Cornelius Yeager married Selina Hoss on December 25, 1834 in Washington County. Their oldest son, Abraham Hoss Yeager, born April 26, 1842, was my grandfather.


Hunting for Yeagers

(Information from "The German Colony of 1717," William and Mary Quarterly, prepared by Arthur Leslie Keith, Northfield, Minnesota, and from Before Germanna, by Gary J. Zimmerman and Johni Cerny.)