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Beck, Jeffrey
Beverley, Capt. Harry
Beverley, Major Robert
Bosley, Sophia
Crowson, Robert
Crowson, William
DeWalt, Daniel Sr.
DeWalt Daniel, Part II
Durck (Derrick), Simon
Fouracres, John
Fouracres, Mary Ann
Fox, Adam
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McInturff, Christopher
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Meckendorfer, Johannes
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Ogle, Thomas J.
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Ragan, Timothy
Reagan, Daniel Wesley
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Shultz, Dr. Martin
Shultz, Valentine
Sims, Capt. William
Sitton (Sutton), Joseph
Stapleton, Robert
Stentz, Johan Heinrich
Sutton, John
Webb, Merry II
Weigand, Michael
Woodson, Dr. John and Sarah
Wormeley, Elizabeth

Ancestor of the Month 

May 2007

 

Johan Simon Durck  

b. 1712                         d.  Feb 1787

 

Johann Simon Durck (Derk/Derrick) was a hardworking immigrant from the Palantine area.  He was born c1712 in Lippe, Germany.  His parents’ names are unknown, but as Lutherans or Mennonites (sources disagree) both he and his parents probably suffered the religious persecution well known in the Palantine during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

 

Immigration to America

 

In 1738 when he was about twenty-six years old, Simon left Germany, traveled down the Rhine, and made his way to Rotterdam, the departure point for the thousands of Germans and Swiss who wanted to leave the Palantine area and immigrate to a new land.  Although Ireland and Russia received a number of German immigrants, the American colonies were the number one destination.  By 1730-31 over 15,000 Palatine refugees had settled in PA alone.  PA was the primary destination in America, but New York, the New England colonies, and South Carolina also received large numbers of Palatine immigrants.  (To learn more about religious persecution in Switzerland and Germany and about the Palatine immigration check the McCarter Archives for articles on other of our German ancestors including Henrich Stentz,  Johannes Meckendorfer, Daniel DeWalt, Benedictus Kuhn, Martin Shultz, and others.  Just click the link at the top of this page.)

 

On Board the St Andrews

 

Simon sailed from Rotterdam on the St. Andrew with Master John Stedman in charge as Captain.  Records show that the ship stopped by Cowes to load supplies for the voyage. There were 300 passengers on board, and on the two-month voyage to the new world, many became ill.  When the ship arrived in Philadelphia on 27 Oct 1738, twenty-nine of the passengers were deemed too ill by local physicians Lloyd Zachary and Thomas Bond to be allowed to disembark   The doctors certified:  "We have carefully examined the state of health of the marines and passengers on board of the ship St. Andrew, Captain Stedman, from Rotterdam, and found a great number laboring under a malignant, eruptive fever, and are of the opinion, they cannot, for some time, be landed in town without the danger of infecting the inhabitants."

 

One of the afflicted passengers was our Simon.  Like all our other German ancestors, Simon by this time had had his name misspelled by a ship’s clerk.  Durck had become Derrick.

 

Simon was the only member of his family on board, and we do not know exactly what happened to him during the quarantine.  A couple of strange things are noticeable in the available ship’s lists for the St. Andrew on 27 Oct 1738. In one source, Simon Derrick is not listed on the St. Andrew.  On another list the ship is identified as “lately from Plymouth.”   The omission of Simon’s name may have been because he was one of the twenty-nine who were quarantined.  Ships from Plymouth often docked at Cork or Cowes as their last stop for supplies before starting their eight week voyage to the colonies, so that in itself is probably not significant. The ship could have left Rotterdam and made brief stops at both Plymouth and Cowes.  As yet I have been unable to discover what happened to Simon and the other afflicted  passengers and crew—where they were held, for how long, or when they were finally able to disembark and “qualify” for citizenship.

 

Berks County, PA and the Stapleton Family

 

Eventually, however, Simon must have been pronounced fit, for he moved to the area of Oley, PA in Berks Co  and within a short time he had met Catharina Margaretha (Catherine) Stapleton whom he married  in 1739.  Catherine was the daughter of Robert Stapleton and one of his wives—either his first wife Anna Maria Turkin or more likely his second wife Catherine Reichard, a widow whose married name is unknown.  Simon himself had been married before, probably in Germany.  We learn this from Robert Stapleton’s will, which states that his daughter Catherine is the second wife of “Samuel Dark” (yet another misspelling).  (Records at Trappe, PA [Bucks Co.] on 6 Jul 1746, show the marriage of a Johan Simon Derk and Catharine Dorothea Schultz.  Although this appears at first glance to name Simon’s first wife, the date would overlap with his second marriage; thus, this must have been a second Johan Simon Derk and not our ancestor)

 

There are two different accounts of the Stapletons.  One is that they were from England.   In this version Robert Stapleton was from an English noble family.  When he became a Quaker, his relatives ostracized him.  To escape the harassment, he brought his family to the colonies. The second account says that like the Durcks, the Stapletons were Germans from the Palatinate. Their name, whatever it originally was, sounded like Stebelton, Steveleton, or Stepelton. (Remember how the German Meckendorfer was morphed into McInturff, and Theobalt became DeWalt.)  Of these two accounts of the family’s origin, I lean toward the German version.   Since Simon had just emigrated from Germany and was in all probability a speaker of German, I would suspect that Catherine, too, was from a German background.  In addition, where the couple had their children baptized suggests a German influence.   Church records at the Moselem church in PA read:

 

John Jacob THERK, son of Simon and Cath. Margr. STEBELTONin, born 4/16/1752, bp 5/17/1752, spons: Jacob LANG and wife Maria Appolonia.

 

Simon TUERK, son of Simon and Catharina STEPELTONin born  3/1/1756, bp 3/13/1756, spons: Jacob LANG and wife Apollonia.

 

The misspellings of both Derrick (Durck) and Stapleton look like the misspellings we have seen with other German names.  In addition, the “-in” added to Catherine’s surname is a German language device that indicates the person in question is female.  Moreover, I doubt that a person of English nobility at that time would welcome a common German immigrant into his family, even if he and his family were “on the outs.”  Of course, as a Quaker, Robert might have been more tolerant than some others might be.  Still—a German background for the Stapletons sounds more reasonable  

 

(As a final note for the German side: The Mosel is a river that flows into the Rhine in Germany.  The Mosel area was known for winemaking—if that matters.  –Em added to Mosel means “from Mosel.”  Attending a church (Moselem) apparently established by Germans from the Mosel area adds to the German side of the argument.  In addition, the Moselem Church, was not the closest church to Virginville, so the Derricks had to go a little farther to it.  It was  located southeast of Saucony Creek and Virginville   On the other hand, the closer church was the New Jerusalem Church which was a “Baptist Brethren” or  “Dunkers” church.  The Baptist Brethren church was not like a modern Baptist church.  It had grown out of a splinter group in the German Reformed church.  They were called “Dunkers’ because they believed in total immersion for baptism.  New Jerusalem church was located even closer to Virginville on Ontelaunee Creek.  Both these churches were basically of German origin.  Probably all the churches in the area were German.  In fact, that seems logical.  The area was well known as a place for German immigrants.  Why would the Derricks and Stapletons be living in a German section of PA if they were not German?   This is, of course, speculation on my part and probably means little or nothing at all)  

 

Simon and Catherine’s children

Catherine was born in 1722 and was therefore seventeen when she married Simon who was about ten years her senior.  Catherine and Simon made their home just outside Virginville, PA, and over the fairly long period of about 24 years, they had nine children: (1)  J
ohannes (John) Durck Derk/Derrick (1740-1790);  (2)  Mary Elizabeth (Marilis) Derrick. (1742-1800;  (3)  Michael Derrick (1745-1828);.  (4) Anna Maria (Mary) Derrick (1747-before 1808);  (5) Henry Derrick (1748-1830); (6)  Johann Jacob Derrick (1752-1831);  (7) Simon Derrick (1756-?)  died in infancy; (8) Johann Jurg (George) Derrick (1764-1818), and (9)  Female Derrick (1750-?)  John H. Derrick, child number 1, is our ancestor.  (So far, the H remains a mystery.)  (Remember from our other German ancestors the tradition of naming children after the same saint—in this case Johann(es)—and then calling the child by his middle name.  If the Derrick girls had a common saint’s name, it is not readily apparent unless the name was Mary or Maria)

 

Three of the Derrick children brought sadness to the family.  Simon, probably named for his father, died in infancy; an unnamed daughter also died young, and Marilis was blind.

 

The Freight Shipping Business

 

Catherine’s father, Robert Stapleton, was a successful businessman.  One source says he ran a freight or drayage  business between the villages of Virginville and Oley, and from those villages to and from. Philadelphia.  Although we do not know what if any occupation Simon had had in Germany, the same source says that in PA he went to work for his father-in-law, as did two of his brothers-in-law.  Simon apparently was successful in this “family” business, too, for some say he worked in overland shipping for the rest of his life. The Stapleton company shipped freight and drove cattle overland and may have even carried slaves into Maryland and other southern colonies.  (I was unable to find corroboration on the shipping business in multiple sources, so it is possibly incorrect.)  (Three years later (2009) I still have not found support for the drayage business; in addition, other Stapleton researchers who know far more than I say that this information is incorrect.)

 

Moving Further South

 

A common practice for Palatine immigrants in PA was to stay in the area for several years and then move south and/or west.  Many went along the routes followed by earlier travelers—especially through the Shenandoah Valley.  They usually traveled with other German settlers to the new lands.  Simon and his family apparently followed this practice.   They gradually moved their business and families south.  I do not know whether the Derricks started their own business or were still affiliated with the Stapleton freight company.  They may not have been involved in freighting at all.  Both the Stapletons and Derricks began acquiring land, and this practice seems to suggest an interest in either farming or tobacco growing since they moved to Virginia.

 

Records show that Simon began acquiring land early.  By  22 Oct 1746 he owned several land parcels totaling about 248 acres in Greenwich Township, Berks Co, PA.  By 1776 Simon and sons John and Jacob and their families were living in the Locust Bottom Area of Virginia, about 30 miles from Lexington. Simon had 420 acres, John had 400, and Jacob had 300 in Shenandoah County.  Their lands were in close proximity to each other, but the title to the land was held for some time by Lord Fairfax, making the Derricks tenants.  In 1784 John bought 226 acres in Botetourt County, VA.   Simon, too, continued to deal in  land and by the time of his death in 1787, he owned a sizeable portion. The 1785 census showed John’s family living on the northern banks of the James River.  The James River area was known for its tobacco plantations.  John’s occupation in 1785 was listed as “farmer.”  Tobacco planters were usually listed as “planter.”   In addition to land dealings, there is some evidence that the family was still involved in the overland shipping business.  By 1783 they had pushed their freight business (?) as far south as Tennessee, and by 1786 part of the family had moved there.  Possibly they were participating in multiple endeavors—tobacco planting, farming, and/or shipping freight

 

Simon died  in 1787 in Mt Jackson, Shenandoah County, VA,   He was between 69 and 75 years of age.   His will provided for his wife, Catherine.   It is my will that my said wife Catharine shall have possession of all my plantation and land whereon I now live in the said county of Shenandoah during her natural life.”  Although Simon had prepared for her future comforts, after his death Catherine moved back to PA and lived with her brother Tobias Stableton [sic] and her daughters Mary and Marilis.  She died in 1796 at 72 years of age. Simon had also provided for his daughter Marilis in his will.  He stated that the remainder of his horses and cattle “be sold to the Highest bidder and best advantage by my Executors herein after mentioned and the money shall be applied for the use of my daughter Mary Elizabeth now living in Pennsylvaini [sic] and being blind”   (Marilis died in Berks Co  in 1800),   Marilis may have been Catherine’s reason for returning to PA.

 

Life View

 

During his life Simon had made a long journey and had become the patriarch of a large family.  He had moved from Germany to PA to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.  It was up to his children to continue the journey, and this they did.    By 1783, some of Simon’s sons had moved branches of the family (and perhaps the family freighting business) through the Shenandoah Valley and into Tennessee.  The plan was to form a caravan and move the Derrick families to this new area.  John died in 1790 before he could move to TN, but by 1786, a year before Simon died,  Elizabeth Derrick (John’s daughter) and her husband Adam Fox  (Adam Fuchs) were already living in Sevier County..  More of the family were to follow.

 

Simon Derrick is Mamaw’s 5 great grandfather.  Elizabeth Derrick Fox is her 3 great grandmotherIf you are Mary Elizabeth Hatcher's great great grandchild, Simon Derrick is you 7 great grandfather.

 

Line of Descent from Simon Derrick to Mary Elizabeth Hatcher McCarter

 

Simon Derrick (1718-1787)  + Catherina Margaretha Stapleton (1722-1797)

Johannes (John) Frederick Derrick + Anna Maria Dunkelberger (1742-1796)

Elizabeth (Eliza) Derrick (1762-1830) + Adam Fuchs (Fox) (1760-1814)

John (Johannes Fuchs) Fox  (1784-1842) + Nancy Patterson (1787-?)

Christina (Ticey) Fox 1813-? + Joseph Sutton 1812-Unknown

Russell Merritt Sutton (1834-?) + Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Headrick (1736-?)

Susan Sutton (1862-1903) + Israel Alexander Hatcher (1860-1950)Mary Elizabeth (Betsy) Hatcher (1886-1969) + Rev. Eli McCarter (1886-1955)

 

Sources

“Descendants of Simon (Durck) Derrick”  http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/h/e/l/Christine-Louise-Helmick/GENE7-0005.html\

“Fuchs/Fox”    http://www.jliptrap.us/gen/fuchs.htm

Hatcher/McCarter Family charts

 

Kerchner, Charles F., Jr. “18th Century PA German Naming Customs”

http://www.kerchner.com/germname.htm

 

“My Derrick Ancestors”

http://members.aol.com/MDEROOTS/DERRICK.html

 

“Pennsylvania German Ships Lists – Ships from Germany to Philadelphia Carrying Palatines” http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~pagermanshipslists/

 

Stapleton Family Genealogy Forum

http://genforum.genealogy.com/stapleton/messages/1557.html

 

 “Simon Derrick, Generation 1”

http://terisha4.tripod.com/keelergensite/id24.html 

Smokykin.com

“Stapleton Family Genealogy Forum”  http://genforum.genealogy.com/stapleton/messages/1557.html

 

 “Will of Simon Derk/Derrick 1712-1787”
Shenandoah County, VA. Will Book A, pp. 310-312

 

Williams, Rose.  “Descendants of Simon Durck”

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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