Saturday, July 17, 2010

Boger Name

"The Boger Surname is of Palantine German origin. Specifically,
it seems to be of occupational origin (perhaps meaning
"bowmaker"). My ancestors first enter recorded history in the
village of Schwaigern (near Heilbronn) in Wuerttemberg, near the
Alscace-Lorraine region of modern day France. Schwaigern is in
the south-central area of modern day Germany. It is in the heart
of German wine country, and surrounded by vineyards and fields
of sunflowers. Boger continues to be a well-known surname in
Schwaigern. Some have speculated that the Boger surname may be
related to the common Hungarian surname of Bogar. Our Bogers
enter recorded history in the old church books of Schwaigern in
about 1580. Prior to that time, Schwaigern was ruled by the
House of Neipperg. The Neipperg's exist to this day in
Schwaigern and their family archives are kept at the Castle
Neipperg. Their records extend the Boger history back in about
1500. The House of Neipperg changed religion depending upon the
tides of war in the 16th and 17th centuries so perhaps the
people of Schwaigern were saved some of the destruction visited
upon Germany in those days. At any rate, the wars of the 1600's
were bad for much of the ethnic German population, and were
followed by the Napoleonic Wars which again ravaged the region.
The Schwaigern church records do not often record dates of death
during the 1600's, suggesting that many children did not live
into adulthood. During these times William Penn visited the
Palantinate seeking inhabitants for his new colony of
Pennsylvania. In order to procure settlers for his land, Penn
visited the Rhine provinces, whose once peaceful valleys,
thriving fields and vine-clad hills had become the hunting
ground of political and religious fanatics. Personally, and
through agents Penn disseminated the news of his acquisition and
invited the Rhinelanders, the suffering Palatines, to help him
found a State in which religious and civil liberty would
prevail.... Hans Paulus Boger (aka John Paul, Paullus, Johann
Paulus) and his brother Martin were early emigrants from
Schwaigern to the new world. Hans Paulus, his wife Eva, and
their children Philip, Matthias, Michael and Justina left for
America aboard the "snow" Samuel (an example of a snow is at
left) commanded by Hugh Percy or Piercy, departing from
Rotterdam (see a picture of the Port of Rotterdam above). After
a stop in Cowes (On the Isle of Wight), they reached
Philadelphia on August 11, 1732.
It is not known where Hans Paulus and his family first lived
upon reaching Pennsylvania. What is known is that in the 1740's
his sons established farms of their own. Philip appears to have
settled in Northampton County (Pennsylvania), and later moved
into the Cabarrus County area of North Carolina where other
pockets of Palantine Germans had settled. His descendants are
numerous in that area, and throughout the United States. Michael
and Matthias decided to farm together in what is now North
Annville, Twp. (Lebanon County). Technically the farm is located
in Union Water Works in what was Lancaster County, PA. The farm
was known as the "Locust Grove Farm." Here's a picture:
The picture at right is of the farmhouse as it appears today.
Hans Paulus and his wife may have been buried at the Locust
Grove Farm. In any event, Michael eventually left the farm and
settled in Loudoun County, Virginia. His descendants tend to
spell their name BOGAR . I don't know whether this was due to
the Pennsylvania Dutch tendency towards phoenetic spelling, or
what (recently it was suggested to me that it was somewhat
common to slightly change the spelling of your name after a
family dispute between brothers). Michael's descendants also
prospered and are found throughout Pennsylvania and these United
States. Matthias continued to farm in Union Water Works and
eventually passed the farm on to his son Valentine. Valentine
allegedly added the larger portion of the farmhouse in about
1779 when his brother's widow and her children moved in.
Valentine and his brothers were militiamen in the Revolutionary
War. I recently visited Valentine's grave at the Hill Church in
Cleona, PA. I'll post a picture of his headstone in upcoming
additions. Upon his death the farm passed into the possesion of
his son Joseph. Apparently my ancestors weren't happy about that
development and waged a legal battle to take control of the
farm. They eventually lost this challenge, but the proceedings
produced documents that exist to this day. You can read more
about the Locust Grove Farm below. Bogers of this descendancy
fought (at least) in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the
Civil War (on both sides), the Spanish-American War, World Wars
I and II (on both sides), and the Korean War. There are at least
1864 Bogers listed in U.S. Phone Listing Directories.
Schwaigern, in Wuerttemburg is a small village near the Neckar
River in the southcentral part of what is now Germany.
Schwaigern is located near the city of Heilbronn. My friends,
the Kendalls, tell me that there are approximately 25 Bogers
listed in the telephone directory for Schwaigern, and none in
the nearby city of Heilbronn. The following history of
Schwaigern was provided by George Mindling who has an excellent
web page devoted to genealogy. The information below is here
with his permission. Schwaigern has been continuously occupied
since at least the year 800 A.D. Prior to that time the town was
the site of a Roman, permanent settlement until the demise of
the Roman legions in the 5th century. The ruins are located just
north of Schwaigern, and were recently excavated. In 766 A.D. a
convent, Klosters Lorsch, was established on the "Bergstasse"
(the road from Heilbronn from Eppingen). The convent was later
enlarged with the addition of Kloster Odenheim. The village
formed in the 12th and 13th centuries with the formation of die
Herren von Neipperg (the Men of Neipperg), a royal family which
exists today. The town charter was issued in 1372 when Kaiser
Karl IV decreed a weekly marketplace to Schwaigern, in Prague on
April 1st of that year. The main market place in Schwaigern
today dates to 1486. The town is surrounded by rolling hills,
farms, vineyards, and a small stream runs through the edge of
town. The center of town is dominated by one hill only slightly
higher than the others. This hill is dominated by the church and
adjoining kloster, and later a "schloss" or palace. Schwaigern
and the surrounding countryside were torn by constant wars, and
the records from the 1600's reflect the horrors of those wars.
The entries in the Evangelical church records from the 30 years
war, when 222 people died in 1625, and 691 people died in 1635
are examples of the struggle to survive the times of religious
and political upheaval. The death toll quite often included
complete families. Barely 20 years passed from the end of the
Thirty Years War befor Schwaigern was again engulfed in war,
this time by the Hollandische Krieg, the Dutch War. This war
lasted for 6 years. Ten years later the Pfalzische Erbfolgekrieg
(Pfalz War of Succession or the Grand Alliance or the War of the
League of Augsburg) began. This war was considered worse than
the others and lasted from 1688-1697. The area was occupied by
the French in 1688 during Louis XIV's Rhenish Invasion.
Heidelberg was burned to the ground. The Spanishe Erbfolgekrieg
(Spanish War of Succession) followed from 1701-1714. This was
followed by the Polnische Krieg (the Polish War of Succession)
from 1733-1738 (just after my ancestors decided to skeddadle),
the Osterreichische Erbfolgekrieg (Austrian War of Succession)
1741-1748, and the Siebenjahrieg Krieg (the Seven Years War)
from 1756-1763. The Heimatbuch Schwaigern states that the only
times the wars subsided was when the countryside was exhausted,
not just with crops, but with people to raise them. There were
simply too few men left to farm, much less fight. The peoples of
the area emigrated to Russian, Poland, and America. The
emigration was prompted by religious intolerance, war, and
taxes. The emigration was general to all of the Germanic states,
not just Wurttemberg. During the 1700's witch hunting took place
in the annals of Schwaigern's history. One woman, Anna Maria
Heinrich, was offered the appeasement of death before she was
burned, if she would confess to being a witch. If she did not
she would be burned alive. Her daughters were forced to watch,
then after decrees from the Universities of Mainz and Giessen,
they were also put to death on August 3, 1716. Napoleon, and
another war, ended the Holy Roman Empire in 1805, bringing the
area back under the control of the French. The Kingdom of
Wurttemberg became basically a sovereign country after Napoleon,
until Germany became a sovereign country under Bismarck in 1871.
Between those events documentation and exit visas from
Schwaigern stated "Schwaigern, Konigsreich Wurttemberg. The
auswandering or emigration, which began in the 1700's, reached
its peak in the ten years between 1846 (when 20 people left for
America) and 1856 (when eleven left). 34 people left Schwaigern
in 1847. Over 74,000 people immigrated to America in 1847 from
all regions of Germany. Over a quarter of them were from
Wurttemberg or the Palatinate. In 1905 much of the town was
destroyed by a fire. Schwaigern was also the scene of action in
the latter stages of World War II in the European Theatre of
Operations. You can click here for an account of an American
infantryman who was present during the fighting at Schwaigern.
Apparently the town was barely saved from destruction. The
author notes that nearby Forchtenburg (another town of Boger
family genealogical relevance) was not so lucky."

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