b. 1707 d.?
Johannes McInterfeer is yet another of our ancestors with blank spots in his life. Luckily, his “blank spots’
were shared by thousands of other colonists; therefore we are able to make educated guesses at what his life may have been
like when we don’t know all the facts for certain.
Johannes was the son of Hans Georg Meckendorfer (1650/55-11 Apr 1711) and Veronica Meier (aft.1655-aft.1730), Veronica,
the daughter of Hans Meier, was from Switzerland and married Georg in 1700. She
was Georg’s third wife. Georg’s first wife was Elizabeth Burckle.
They were married 18 Feb 1678/79 in Neckarau, Germany and had four children: Anna
Barbara, Anna Ursula, Eva Margaretha and Elizabetha. His second marriage was to Ottilia Schaffeer. They were married 11 Jul 1693 in Neckarau and. their children were Hans Velten and Anna Catharina. Veronica and Georg had four children: Johannes,
Hans Adam, Mattheus, and Anna Margaretha.
German Names and Spelling
(A note about names: During the Seventeenth Century in Germany it was common for many German families to name all their sons
and daughters after a saint and then add another given name by which the child would be known.
Thus a family’s sons might be Hans Georg, Hans Josef, and Hans Adam. Their daughters might be Anna Margaretha, Anna Barbara, and Anna Catherina. If this were not confusing enough, the families sometimes followed a traditional formula for naming their
children. A certain numbered son was named after his paternal grandfather. Another was named after his maternal grandfather.
Still another was named after his father. A certain daughter was
to be named after her maternal grandmother, and so forth. If a person happened
to be married more than once and insisted on following these traditional naming practices, it was possible to have two children
with the same names but with different mothers.)
(A note about spelling: As with many of the German immigrants,
Johannes’ surname was spelled in many new ways, depending on the person recording the name. In the German church records, Johannes’ surname is spelled Meckendorfer but his name on the Allen’s passenger list is spelled McIndorfer He and his future family members found their names spelled McInterfeer,
McInterfer, McInturf, Macenturf, McIntoffer, McKenturf and other versions. Although
German surnames seem to have been particularly difficult for others to spell, phonetic spellings were the rule of the day. A person might even spell his own name two or three different ways on one document. Standardized spelling was to come a bit later
Like his father, Johannes had three wives and several children. His
first marriage was in Neckarau. His wife was Veronica or Phronick Unknown (1795-1744.) (Some sources list her name as Veronica Phronic.
On the ship’s passenger list, she is listed as Phronik Mickenturfer.) Their children were Johannes (John I), Maria Dorothea, and Maria Elizabetha. These children were born in Pennsylvania. John
was born in 1729, the same year as their arrival (15 Sep 1729), so Phronick must have been pregnant during the voyage. Some of the ship’s passenger lists show two children with the couple, but their
names are Anna Margetha Mackin and Phillipina Mackin and may just be an educated guess on the part of a researcher as no other
Phillipina was found).
The Palantine area
The Meckendorfer family had
lived for generations in the Baden region of Germany. Baden is part of the Palantine
area and has had a most bloody history. The name Palatine came from the Romans who appointed officials called Palatines
to govern the area. Geographically, the area includes the Rhine,
Neckar, and Naab River Valleys of Germany, though many sources simply mention the Rhine River Valley only. The word Palantine refers to the area, the word Palatine refers to the people who lived there
In early times the Palantine area was fertile, full of orchards, vineyards, and farmlands. In addition to those
skillful in agriculture, the people who lived there were craftsmen, artisans, and other skilled workers. The land and its
people were valuable and desirable. Perhaps for these reasons it became the pawn in a series of bloody conflicts in the Sixteenth
and Seventeenth Centuries. The conflicts were primarily over religion and carried over into the early Eighteenth Century.
The region was Protestant, but various sects were considered fanatical and were ostracized and persecuted. If a Catholic ruler (through warfare, for example) came to power over the region, the persecutions became
almost genocides. People were drowned, hanged, and burned. Homes, farms and towns were destroyed. People lost their homes
and all their possessions. The land itself was “scorched.” Sometimes
when war swept the area, even churches were taken from one religion and given to another that was in favor with the government
even though no one in the region belonged to the second religion.
Johannes’ Family’s Religion
The Meckendorfers were members of the German Reformed church. On 27 May 1653, Christoffel Meckendorfer, Johannes’
grandfather, certified that he wished to convert from the Catholic faith to the Reformed faith and that he renounced any “Papist
leanings.” Johannes himself was confirmed in 1717 in the Reformed church when he was fourteen years old Today these
records are in the Evangelische Oberkirchenrat or church archives in Karlsruhe,
Separatist and Radical Movements
Within the German Reformed church were people who wanted even more reform and purification of the church—similar
to the Pilgrims in England. One such group was the Church of the Brethren, and within it was a more radical group headed by
Alexander Mack. The smaller group came to be called the Baptist Brethren and was given the name “Dunkers” because
the members believed in total immersion for baptism. In general, the Baptist
Brethren were a very peaceful, non-militant group. They were similar to the Amish, Mennonites, and Quakers. Soon, however,
they were under attack from the government. Alexander Mack was a great
speaker and charismatic leader. He traveled around Germany and soon had gathered
quite a following. When it became clear that the political-religious situation
would grow continually worse, Alexander convinced his followers that their salvation would be to travel to the New World where
they could practice their religion in peace. In Germany they had suffered extreme
persecution. Over two thousand members of their larger group, the Church of the Brethren, had been executed
It is perhaps surprising for those of us in modern times to learn that the largest group of immigrants to the
colonies during the colonial period was from Germany. Thousands of refugees from the Palantine region flooded England where
Queen Anne gave them sanctuary, and large groups even found their way to Ireland and Russia. At one point 13,000 of these
refugees were in England and half of them made their way to America. William
Penn went to the Palantine and expounded on the advantages of moving to America. Many Germans remembered his words. South
Carolina, as we know from our ancestor Benedictus Kuhn, actively recruited German immigrants with the unmentioned intention
of giving them lands in a buffer area between the hostile Indians and the English coastal colonists. When Queen Anne made arrangements to send some of the German refugees to New York, it was with the understanding
that they, too, would be part of a “buffer zone.”
.A big wave of the Palatine immigrants came to the colonies from Germany in 1607 and continued until 1627 Those
migrating at this time were not destitute. Like the Pilgrims, most of these Palatines
took with them household goods, other supplies, and even animals and chickens. Many even had a flat five-sided stove that
could be folded and later opened to fit into a fireplace like an oven. Later refugees (after 1630) who emigrated from Germany
had nothing except the clothes on their backs. The early emigrants took small unsafe vessels down the Rhine to Amsterdam or
Rotterdam and found passage on larger ships bound for America. The earlier refugees
were generally Mennonites, Amish, Quakers, and Baptist Brethren. Those after
1630 were primarily Lutherans and Calvinists. The early refugees almost all came
for religious freedom; the later groups almost all had to come as poverty stricken indentured servants, often resulting
in the break up of families.
Johannes travels to America
In 1629, Johannes left the Palantine area and sailed from Rotterdam with a group of Baptist Brethren headed by
Alexander Mack. Johannes and his wife are listed with the Mack group on the passenger list of the ship Allen. We do not have proof that he was a certified member of
the Brethren, and other Palatines may have sailed aboard the same ship, but there were only 126 on board. The lists show that
59 men were ”Palatines” and that their wives and children brought the total on board to 126. No distinction is made between the “Dunkers” and the rest of the group. The refugees sailed from Rotterdam on board the
Allen in early September of 1629. The captain of the ship was James Craige. They left Rotterdam and stopped in Cowes on the Isle of Wight to make their final
preparations for the two-month voyage to America. The ship’s passenger
list shows Johannes McIndorfer and Phronik Mickenterfer as two of the passengers when the Allen left
Cowes on 7 Jul 1629.
These German immigrants had hardships that the English colonists did not have, and the biggest of these was language.
There are tales of families being cheated out of their land. Most tended
to keep to themselves and provided the base for the modern day Pennsylvania Dutch. (Pennsylvania Dutch is a misnomer.
The name came about because the German word Deutsche means “common or vulgar” and was used to describe
the common German language that was used in the Reform churches instead of the more “lofty” Latin used in Catholic
churches. Later Deutschland came to be the German name for Germany and Deutsch became a synonym for German. English colonists mispronounced Deutsche as Dutch. Our early PA immigrants
were not, as one might suspect, from the Netherlands (Dutch); they were from Germany (Deutsche).
Life in Philadelphia
When the Allen arrived in Philadelphia 15 Sep 1629, passengers
were asked to sign an oath of allegiance, as was common practice. The section
of Pennsylvania where most of the Allen passengers settled eventually came to be called Germantown, and was officially
given that name in 1677. Here Johannes lived with his wife and family.
After Phronik (or Veronica) died in 1744 at age thirty-nine, Johannes married Roseannah
Unknown in 1745. Roseannah had been born in Germany. The couple had several children: Hans Jurg Georg McInturf
(1746-1822) , Christopher McInturf, b. 1748, George McInturf b. 1749, John II McInturf, b. 1750 (John I, our ancestor, was born
in 1729 and was the son of Phronick. John I’s name was spelled McAnturf
in revolutionary army records), Casper McInturf b. 1751, Frederick McInturf b. 1754,
Daniel McInturf (08 Sep 1756-25 Nov 1803), David McInturf b. 1762, and Margaet McInturf, b. 1764. (Update 17
Sep 2007: Birth and death dates for these children seem to be different on almost
every source consulted. Even the children’s names vary Double or triple check before using.)
After Roseannah died, Johannes married Dorothea UNKNOWN (Some sources
give a different order of the marriages and some show no children for Roseannah. The
order used above is based in part on Hans Jurg’s birthdate and could easily be incorrect. Every source we checked was different. If one of the “cousins”
knows the truth about Johannes’ children and wives, please let us know via the guest book)
The German settlers were among the first to build the log cabins we associate with pioneers. The Swedish colonists
in Delaware were actually the first, but the Germans in PA were close behind. We can assume, therefore, that Johannes and
his family built a log cabin. German settlers sometimes built their cabins over a spring or stream so that they would have
a source of water. Hopefully the Meckendorfer family (by now the McInterfeer
family) had a snug cabin over a spring with an iron five-sided oven in their fireplace.
Although the plan had been to stay in the Germantown area, some things did not work out. The Mennonites, Amish,
and others who had originally shared buildings of worship had a falling out, and some began to move. Others began to move
because of being cheated on their lands and other dealings. Some sources report
that many families took at least three generations to learn English, and although this refusal to learn English was by choice,
that choice intensified their problems.
Sometime before 1780, John McAnturf, Johannes’ son, took his family, left Pennsylvania, and joined the German
migration to the South and West. They ended up in the Shenandoah Valley where
they became influential in the area. It was from this area that Johannes’
descendents would make their way to Tennessee. They, like their fellow Palatine
refugees, were frugal, hard working people who were able to adapt and make do with little or nothing. They were able to survive and even prosper when faced with hardship and adversity.
Johannes McInterfeer was John McAnturff’s father. John was
the first McInturff to move to TN. Johannes McInterfeer was Mary “Granny
Tuck” McInturff Hatcher’s 3 great grandfather. He was Mamaw McCarter’s
5 great grandfather.
Line of Descent from Johannes McInterfeer to
Mary Elizabeth Hatcher
Johannes McInterfeer (1707-?) + Phronick or Veronica Unknown
John Macanturff (1729-1779) + Maria Rosina Kern (1735-1780)
Christopher McInturff (1753-1814) + Christina Unknown (c1753-?)
Israel McInturff (c1776-1851) + Unknown
Israel McInturff, II (1805-1845) + Elizabeth Webb (1808-1881)
Mary Elizabeth McInturff (1837-1915) + James H. Hatcher (1839-1856)
Israel Alexander Hatcher (1860-1950) + Susan Ann Sutton (1866-1903)
Mary Elizabeth Hatcher + Rev. Eli McCarter (1886-1955)
70,3753 Individuals Western NC and East TN http://genealogy.com/users/n/a/v/bill-nancy/COL8.htm
Descendants of Christoffel
Garman, Gene. “The Poor Palatines” www.sunnetworks.net/~ggarman/palatine.html
Keerchner, Char. Jr. GERMNAM.htm (Palantine German names. 18th Century Pennsylvania German Naming Customs & Patterns les F
McInturff and Some Allied
McInturff family sheets and charts
Meyer, Rachel. “Who Were the Palantines?”
Nettles, Curtis P. “Pioneering in America.” Colliers Encyclopedia, 1998. Sierra On-line Inc.
PA German Passenger Lists—Allen
1729. The Palatine Project. www.progenealogists.com/pal project/p~/index.html
”Palatine Migration.” Wikipedia
Thomas Stobels Relatives, Their Ancestors and Related Families http://worldconnect.genealogyrootsweb.com/cgo-brn/igm.cgi?