Sunday, July 15, 2012

PETER ZWICKER 1712-1789


[Ancestral Link: Laura Minnie Parker (Stagge), daughter of Minnie May Elmer (Parker), daughter of Mary Ann Jost (Elmer), daughter of Mary Ann Zwicker (Jost), daughter of John Daniel Zwicker, son of Peter Zwicker.]


"Peter Zwicker, aged 16, his parents and two younger siblings, came from the Palatinate to Halifax aboard Gale in 1752. The Zwickers came to Lunenburg in 1753 and settled at Mahone Bay. Peter's son, John Melchior Zwicker, established a West Indies firm at Lunenburg in 1789 which exported fish and lumber and imported sugar, molasses, tobacco and rum. The firm owned and outfitted schooners for the Labrador and Grand Bank salt fisheries in the 19th and 20th centuries."


Lunenburg Cattle Drive, July 30 to September 3, 1756

After the Acadians were expelled from the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia, their abandoned livestock were left to fend for themselves.

In his book "History of the County of Lunenburg," (p 47) M B DesBrisay quotes others "On July 30th 1756, Captain John Steighfort, with fifty armed men went from Lunenburg to the Basin of Minas, and drove away 120 head of horned cattle and a number of horses, being part of the confiscated property of the French Acadians. The party returned to Lunenburg, September 3rd, with sixty oxen and cows, the rest having perished on the way - all the horses included."

In researching his book, Winthrop Bell came across a list of 282 names of Lunenburg settlers labelled as having to do with this expedition. Bell was unable to determine a convincing connection to the cattle drive, although he noted that the small groups tend to consist of near neighbours (at 30 acre farm lots). They are listed in 47 groups of six each. Five of the names in each grouping were written in normal horizontal fashion, while the sixth was written vertically alongside. Since not all of the adult male settlers were on the list, Bell speculates (page 500 of his book) "(perhaps each group being represented on the expedition by one of its members, the others undertaking between them to do his farm work while he was away), and that those whose names are lacking did not see fit to join in the venture."

The above was taken from ancestry.com. The article lists Peter Zwicker as one of those who took part in this venture. "All this data was kindly transcribed by Lorrie Young of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia from lists compiled by Dr.Winthrop Bell and held at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia in Halifax."


German Passenger Lists - 1752 GaleCaptain: Thomas Casson
From: Rotterdam 5 June 1752
Arrival: 26 August or 6 September 1752, disembarked 26 September

Left with 249 passengers and arrived with 220 persons. 29 (11.6 %) persons died on the voyage. The Gale had a long and stormy passage with violent westerly winds. Some seamen died on the trip. The disembarkment was delayed due in part to illness on the ship. The delay may have also been due to barracks to house them not yet finished.

The original ship list was organized by the size of the family. The single men over 15 years old were listed first, followed by the men with a wife but no children, then by those with a wife and one child, etc. The following list has been restructured by locality from the southwest and to the northeast. The single men who were listed separately but were apparently part of a family, are included in this list with their parents. It appears that those from northern and eastern German provinces were fewer and usually single young men, probably more the adventurers than the more typical family emigration that came from southern German provinces.

It is not possible to identify all the people on the ship because often a family would take an older parent or step children who are not easy to identify in the available sources, however all those in each household were listed under "Freight". The first number represents the number of adult males, the second number adult females, the third number represents the half-freights (children between 4-14), the fourth number represents children under four who were free, the fifth number represents the number of freights that were owed for passage costs, and the fifth number represents the total number of people in the household.

The place of origin was generally the state, province, or city-state, however in some cases a town was listed (or the town might have been a small duchy or independent town in 1753). Most of the people on this ship appear to have been from the Palatine region (Bayern-Pfalz) of Germany. The actual towns of origin of these people will be verified in the future and updated on this site as time permits.

Name Age Place of Origin Occupation Freights Remarks

Peter Zwicker 36 Farmer 111221/25
Maria Magdalena
Maria Magdalena
Georg Melchior
Johann Georg
Maria Barbara

Peter Zwicker, 16 Farmer 100011 See Peter Zwicker family above.

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Immigrant Ships
Transcribers Guild
Ship Gale
Ship: Gale Date: June 9, 1752 (Departure)
Departing: Rotterdam
Arriving: Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 6, 1752 (Arrival)
Master: Thomas Casson
Columns represent: FirstName, LastName, Occupation, Register

Comment. All passengers listed are male.

1 Philip Bartholmea Skipper Nuker Male
2 Martin Eicher Farmer Palatinate Male
3 Jacob Hirschman Butcher Anspach Male
4 Johan Christ Wagener Butcher Anspach Male
5 George Bukner Butcher Anspach Male
6 Frederick Stienman Baker Palatinate Male
7 Johannes Wolf Farmer Darmstad Male
8 Johan Peter Wolf Farmer Darmstad Male
9 Johan Carl Degler Surgeon Wurtemberg Male
10 Peter Hoff Cooper Palatinate Male
11 George Steeker Farmer Wurtemberg Male
12 Gotfried Geigh Baker Palatinate Male
13 Johan George Fisher Huntsman Wurtemberg Male
14 Leonard Meeder Farmer Palatinate Male
15 George Hemmelman Farmer Palatinate Male
16 Philip Schwinhiemer Farmer Palatinate Male
17 Philip Schmeltzer Farmer Palatinate Male
18 Conrad Weiler Farmer Palatinate Male
19 Christoph Naks Farmer Palatinate Male
20 Adam Kohl Farmer Palatinate Male
21 Peter Zwicker Farmer Palatinate Male
22 Hans George Krause Farmer Palatinate Male
23 Johan Daniel Huie Farmer Menburg Male
24 Andreas Fischler Schoolmaster Palatinate Male
25 Johan Peter Winsell Farmer Palatinate Male
26 Johan Martin Hertell Farmer Palatinate Male
27 Andreas Weyman Farmer Palatinate Male
28 Jan George Miller Farmer Palatinate Male
29 Adam Brunner Miller Palatinate Male
30 Tobias Sturtz Farmer Palatinate Male
31 Johan George Sturtz Farmer Palatinate Male
32 Johan Nicolaas Glasehank Butcher Palatinate Male
33 Willem Deuibler Smith Palatinate Male
34 Felix Meyler Saxony Male
35 Johan Casper Strouch Farmer Palatinate Male
36 Conrad Kruser Farmer Palatinate Male
37 Rudolph Schmidt Joiner Palatinate Male
38 Johannes Ruhp Farmer Palatinate Male
39 Johan Carl Scheffer Farmer Palatinate Male
40 Eberhard Heffler Farmer Palatinate Male
41 Valentine Berg Farmer Palatinate Male
42 Johan Adam Acker Farmer Palatinate Male
43 Valentine Orth Joiner Palatinate Male
44 Michael Schmidt Farmer Palatinate Male
45 Johannes Dan Farmer Palatinate Male
46 Casper Schauback Farmer Palatinate Male
47 Leonard Laissaart Smith Palatinate Male
48 Martin Hirsch Miller Palatinate Male
49 Philip Jacob Bolander Farmer Palatinate Male
50 Conrad Meijer Skinner Palatinate Male
51 Johan Bieser Farmer Palatinate Male
52 Matheus Chler Farmer Palatinate Male
53 Jacob Grief Farmer Palatinate Male
54 Johannes Gerhardt Farmer Darmstad Male
55 Henderick Glatz Farmer Palatinate Male
56 Carl Mehlman Farmer Palatinate Male
57 Johannes Kirn Farmer Palatinate Male
58 Johannes Con. Knickell Farmer Palatinate Male
59 Christian Eicker Farmer Palatinate Male
60 Johannes Engel Farmer Palatinate Male
61 Johan George Hoffman Butcher Heylbron Male
62 Henderick Bollnack Farmer Palatinate Male
63 Jean George Bruickbauer Farmer Palatinate Male
64 Wrick Meeder Farmer Palatinate Male
65 Jacob Frederick Wurth Farmer Palatinate Male
66 Johann George Wurth Farmer Palatinate Male
67 Henderick Wagener Smith Palatinate Male
68 Matheau Winman Cooper Palatinate Male
[corrected from Mathear]
69 Conrad Boullon Farmer Palatinate Male
70 Christoff Meyer Skinner Palatinate Male
71 Philip Wiegell Farmer Palatinate Male
72 George Jacob Fiendell Farmer Deuxponts Male
73 John George Wolf Farmer Darmstad Male
74 Eberhard Lachmond Farmer Palatinate Male
75 Tobias Sturtz Farmer Palatinate Male
76 Hendert Geyler Farmer Palatinate Male
77 Jacob Frederick Oswald Huntsman Wurtemberg Male
78 Jacob Mauer Farmer Palatinate Male
79 Johan Bernard Herman Farmer Palatinate Male
80 George Koch Cooper Palatinate Male
81 Johan Adam Schmidt Farmer Palatinate Male
82 Valentine Musler Farmer Palatinate Male
83 Johan Adam Wienaght Farmer Palatinate Male
84 Johan Michael Schmidt Farmer, Smith Palatinate Male
85 Matheau Hegser Farmer Palatinate Male
86 Melchior Underley Potter Palatinate Male
87 Baptiste Bachman Farmer Palatinate Male
88 Petter Zwicker Farmer Palatinate Male
[corrected from Zqicker]
89 John Philip Hemelman Farmer Palatinate Male

Transcriber's Notes:
The first four columns: Ship, Master, Gender, and Destination, which had
the same information for all passengers were left out to save space.
Blank columns left out to save space: RegisterNumber, Year, Comment, Boys,
Girls, MaleServants, FemaleServants, Total. The two items in the
RegisterComments column might belong in one of the blank columns. They
seem to be at the end of the line and don't fit any of the other columns.

Passenger numbers added to aid with referencing.

Correspondence 6 May 2001, passenger Naks/Naas
I believe passenger Christoph Naks is actually Johann Christopher Naas, born
September 8, 1728. He settled in Chester, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia,
Canada; married Elizabeth Westhaver and had 7 children. He died June 24,
1802, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was my gr-gr-gr-grandfather.
Bety G

Document Source Kaulbeck, Ruth E., The Historic Saga of LeHeve (LeHave), Lower Sackville, NS, 1970, pp 86-87.
Donated by Randal W. Oulton
Reformatted by Regan Kanaley for the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild
27 February 1999
An iconic link to Mahone Bay's history
Bayview Cemetery stones survive centuries of wear to preserve past




St. James' Anglican Church with arguably its most famous pastor, Rev. Ned Harris, inset. Photo courtesy Mahone Bay Settlers Museum. Peter Zwicker swept the last bit of dust away from the slate surface. With a look of resignation on his face, he weakly smiled at his sons and nodded his head.


After days of work, the inscription for Maria's headstone had been prepared with the help of the few in the community who could read and write, and his loving wife's burial site could finally be marked for posterity. After more than five decades of marriage, it was the least he could do.

Peter, far from a young man himself at more than 75 years of age, waved his sons away for a moment. Then, running his hands over the Germanic etchings so lovingly carved, he gathered himself and prepared to say goodbye to his wife one final time.

"Here rests in God Maria Magdalena Zwicker. Born in Palatinate, close to Landau, in 1709. Died 11 October, 1787. She has been married for 52 years, six months and has been blessed with 49 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

Maria Zwicker's headstone is one of a handful of markers from the early days of European settlement along the shores of Mahone Bay that has survived to this day.

Less than two years later, the surviving members of Peter's family would afford the same honour to their patriarch after his passing, carefully handcrafting a stone that read,

"Here rests in God Peter Zwicker, Senior. Born in Palatinate, close to Landau in 1711. Died 23 May 1789, was blessed with 52 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, of whom ten have died in the Lord. Age 77 years, four months, 23 days."

Looking out toward the mouth of Mahone harbour from its sheltered hillside, the Old Burying Grounds at Mush-a-Mush, as it was known in the 18th and 19th centuries, was the final resting place of the area's first German, Swiss and French settlers.

The first written record of interment at the burial grounds dates from March 2, 1774, approximately 20 years after Mahone Bay was founded. The earliest surviving stone was placed in remembrance of Ana Catheriena Zwicker, who died on October 27, 1780.

Because of the nature of life in the 18th century when European settlement first began in Lunenburg County, many graves went unmarked, or were denoted by wooden crosses and field stones - objects which have long since disintegrated or been displaced with time.

The Mush-a-Mush burying grounds itself is believed to have more than 600 unmarked graves dotting its hillside, as is evidenced by the bountiful indentations and dips cutting a swath across the property.

Headstones that remain from those first days of settlement reflect the Germanic heritage of the majority of the community's first settlers. Featuring beautiful yet simplistic designs, the old stones, which were typically homemade, include messages and images expressing the love felt for the dearly departed, as well as the sense of isolation that came along with settling in a remote area in a strange, foreign land.

The inscriptions captured the essence and importance of family as well, as the stones of two founding members of the Ernst family help to exemplify.

Christian and Anna Regina Ernst were born in 1724 and 1736 respectively, and were married in the year 1753. Their grave markers, which are among the early stones still surviving to this day, reflect their commitment to each other by including, in addition to birth and death dates, the date and duration of their marriage.

In Anna Regina's case, even though she died three years after her husband, the headstone crafted for her includes mention of the 44-year length of her marriage, a bond that was clearly held in high regard by her surviving family members.

As the settlement at Mahone Bay continued to grow and age, so too did its number of deceased.

In 1833 John William Kedy deeded the adjoining plot to the Bishop of Nova Scotia, upon which the first Anglican church in the community was built. When a new Anglican church was constructed along the waterfront in the 1880s, the site of the old church and its own adjacent cemetery became an extension of the Old Burying Grounds.

Lots on the site of the old church were eventually available for reservation at the modest cost of $1.50 each.

In the meantime, in 1872, the Old Burying Grounds at Mush-a-Mush underwent a name change and officially became known as the Bayview Cemetery.

The United church also had a small burial ground on the same harbour-facing hillside and, by 1925, a managing group known as the Bayview Cemetery Corporation had formed to administer all three burial sites as one cemetery. Since 1955, the corporation has worked actively to not only administer, but also improve, the grounds.

As a result of the Bayview group's dedicated effort, there are numerous interpretive plaques placed throughout the cemetery today, many of which include translations of the old Germanic inscriptions taken from the first headstones placed more than 200 years ago.

The plaques display only loose translations of the German text, as exact translation was essentially impossible because of changes in dialect and the degree of wear on the slate grave markers.

A plaque has also been placed to acknowledge the location of the old Anglican church atop the hillside toward the rear of the cemetery, which was consecrated in 1835.

But the work of the Bayview Cemetery Corporation and its long-serving co-chairmen, Ivy and Merlin Ernst, has included not only the strategic placement of interpretive plaques for historically significant stones, but also the resurrection of some grave markers that have degenerated at the hands of time and the elements.

Since 2001, the corporation has undertaken a continuing restoration project of some of the cemetery's older and degenerated stones.

Heather Lawson, a stonemason who had been involved with restoration work at Province House in Halifax, and with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, was commissioned to work on the restoration of up to 60 headstones for the project.

Thanks in large part to the generous support of many local residents, the Bayview Cemetery Corporation has been able to invest more than $20,000 in various upgrades and restoration initiatives since the year 2000.

With that kind of support, and the corporation's firm commitment to the preservation of the past, the headstone Peter Zwicker laid for his dearly departed wife, Maria, will undoubtedly continue to stand the test of time as a testament to both her life and the dogged determination of Mahone Bay's first settlers.

Sources: The Bayview Cemetery Corporation; The Bridgewater Bulletin.
Written and researched by Patrick Hirtle.

1 comment:

  1. HI My mother in law is a direct decendant to Peter Zwicker and is looking to get images of the ship her family came in on. She's looking so as to get a painting done :) I promised her to do my best to find the images so the painting could be done properly... do you know of any picture that are clear? If not do you know where the orginal ships 2 known paintings are located at so that a snap shot can be taken? thanks you can email me at aj_unicorn AT hotmail DOT com

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