Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Beeks line: Johann Gottfried Neimrich Immigrant, Revolutionary War soldier?

This will be a short post.  My hope is that by keeping this man's name alive, eventually someone will recognize the name and be able to provide additional facts so we can know more about this ancestor.  He is a bit of an anomaly in the Beeks line, because this is the first German family in the direct Beeks line.  He is a bit of an anomaly in the traditional German immigration pattern, because he came to America later than most of the Germans we have traced in the Harshbarger (also a few Allen and Holbrook) lines.  And he's a mystery because so little is known about him.

The one fact we think we know about Johann Gottfried Neimrich (later changed to Nimerick) is that he came to Pennsylvania sometime in 1773, on a ship from Rotterdam.  He was indentured to "Andrew Burkhard and His Assigns" for 4 years and 6 months, for the amount of 28 pounds and 17 shillings.  From this, we can guess that he was a young man, perhaps still in his teens, when he arrived in Philadelphia, because older men generally served only three years as indentured servants.  We can see that Burkhard is a German/Swiss name, and we can wonder if the two families knew each other "back in the old country."  Perhaps Burkhard is even some sort of relative, or perhaps the two met at the dock when Neimrich left his ship for the first time.

At some point Neimrich married Elizabeth, last name unknown, and they had at least three children together, Peter, Jacob, and Mary Elizabeth.  There were likely others, but until church records are found we won't know their names.  Mary Elizabeth is said to have been born in Virginia in 1787, so if this is correct the family may have moved from Philadelphia.

John G. Neimrich is twice mentioned in the Pennsylvania Archives as having participated in the Revolutionary War, and I think this is Johann Gottfried.  He is listed as being part of Von Ottendorff's Corps, in what was known as the "German Regiment," which apparently served from July 12, 1776 to January 1, 1781. He is also listed as being on the roll of Captain Bauer's Company No. 41 but dates are unclear.  These records are in Series 2 Volume XI, page 89 and Series 5, volume 3, page 903.  (Usually I don't mention sources in my posts, but I've not found these noted in any of the on-line information about our subject.  Perhaps I can help someone by pointing this out, and perhaps someone will contact me and say "This isn't our guy and here's why.")  Until I hear otherwise, or find new information, I tend to think this is Johann Gottfried, however, and if so, the Beeks family has another Revolutionary War veteran to thank!  

I would love to hear from others who are researching this man.  Surely someone knows his religion, his occupation, his origin (I did see one internet reference to Prussia, but no documentation), or/and his date of death.  All I can say for sure now is that he was probably born before 1760, and died after 1787.

The line of descent is:

Johann Gottfried Neimrich-Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth Nimerick-William Beeks
John Beeks-Polly Carter
William Beeks-Mary Wise
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants