Haycock, Pennsylvania

Haycock [map] is a small town not far from Quakertown, PA. My Galizien Deutsche Kramer ancestors moved to Haycock shortly before WWI. Their farmhouse is still standing and is now considered to be in Applebachsville.

Local History

As German-speaking emigrants to Bucks County, my ancestors weren't at all unusual. In fact, the little town of Königsau alone contributed a number of residents to the area around Quakertown. But emigration to the area started even before Königsau was founded. In the Bucks County cemeteries I've seen many old gravestones written in German; some for soldiers that fought in the Revolutionary War. Were they volunteers, conscripts or soldiers-for-hire?

The text below comes from a microfilm in the Easton Area Public Library (more info on that later). It doesn't say who the author was. Words that I couldn't read clearly are marked with a question mark. The text has been edited for length.

What we call Haycock Township at the present time was still in 1743 an unorganized territory between Richland, Rockhill, Bedminster & Nockamixon and the "proposed" township of Springfield. There was a population of 13 families, the names of eleven of which were as follows: Jos. Dennis, Edwin Bryan, John Baylor Hubner, James Sloan, Griffith Davis, Dennis Onan?, John Doan, Michael Weinich, Silas McCarty, George Schuman & Henry Haisk. This was the first generation of actual settlers. The Bethlehem Road was opened thru this territory in 1738 and it is not probable that their appearance preceded that date by any considerable interval...From that time to the present the population has been almost exclusively German.

Haycock was organized in 1763. In 1745 it was formed into a supervisor's district & described as the territory between Springfield, Richland ("Great Swamp") & Bedminster. Its growth was very slow & eighteen years elapsed before it was organized.

Next to the Quaker immigration that of the German was most important in the early history of the county. They were a hardy, frugal & industrious people, retaining their customs & language with such tenacity as to leave their impress upon society to the present & spreading their influences over a wide scope of the country through the emigration of their descendants. Some of these people were among the earliest arrivals, but their number was not marked until about 1725, when it became so great as to excite some alarm, lest they should produce a German colony here & perhaps such a one as Britain one received from Saxony in the 5th century.

They came particularly from the Palatinate where they were driven by religious persecution. Many fled to England for protection, where Queen Anne supported from the public treasury. Hundreds were transported by the royal ??? to Ireland & to the English colonies in Australia.

Many of these persons as well as the other nationalities represented in the colony came as indeneptroners[? perhaps "indentureners"?] - persons unable to pay their own passage and sold to a term of service to defray this cost. The public alarm at the increasing number of Palatine & Irish caused the imposition of a tax on all the el.[?] persons & for a time the Germans were refused naturalization. ??? continued to come notwithstanding these discouragements. In 1755 their numbers were estimated at upwards of 60,000, of which some 30,000 were of the German Reformed denomination. The rest were divided among the Lutheran, Mennonite, Drukard?, Moravian, Quaker, Catholic & Schwenkenfeldter persuasions, the first named being rather more numerous than any of the others. The earliest of this tide of immigration formed the settlement at Germantown. In 1709 the Germans had founded New Hanover & Pottsgrove and in 1734 about one-half of the taxables of what is now Montgomery County were of this race.

To wear shoes all year round was a sign of remarkable affluence.

It's an interesting history, but I quibble with the use of the word "German". It oversimplifies European history and geography to lump all of these people into the category "German" simply because that's the language they spoke. If you've read my page about the Galizien Deutsche then you know how I feel about this already.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

My ancestors attended and are buried at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church which was chartered around 1747. The Easton Area Public Library (which has a really good online catalog) holds records for St. John's on microfilm under the call number 929.3 PA BU15 S143r. I found it by searching the catalog for "haycock". According to the card catalog, this microfilm covers 1803 to 1926 and include "records for the Old Durham Church, Durham Township; St. Joseph's, Marienstein, Nockamixon Township; and St. Lawrence's, Riegelsville". I examined this film in May of 2004. The label on the film itself has more specifc info than the catalog, but that info is also ambiguous. I've transcribed it verbatim (errors and all) below and I leave it as an exercise for the reader to puzzle it out:

St. John The Baptist Catholic Church
Haycock Run, Bucks Co., Pa.
(part or records refer to Old Durham Church
Also contains St. Jospeh's
1803 - 1855   Marienstein, Pa.
1856 - 1885   St. Lawrence's    Catholic
1885 - 1927   Riegelsville, Pa.
1838 - 1885

The last line is handwritten, as is the word "Catholic" after "St. Lawrence's". The rest of the label is typed.

The records are pretty legible and cover the standard stuff -- births, marriages and deaths. There are also some other records scattered in there, like lists of names of children receiving their First Communion. The records for the various churches are intermingled. A few (very few!) of the oldest records are online.

The library also contains an eighty page history of St. John's under the title St John the Baptist parish : 250 years of faith. Genealogists might also be interested in the time-saving book Bucks County tombstone inscriptions : Bedminster and Haycock townships as compiled by Frances Wise Waite. It is indexed by surname. Per its table of contents, it covers the following cemteries: Applebachsville (St. Paul's) Union Cemetery, Wm. Bryan Baptist Burying Ground, Deep Run Mennonite East Cemetery, Deep Run Mennonite West Cemetery, Deep Run Presbytarian Cemetery, Haycock Mennonite Cemetery, Keller's Union Cemetery, St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, St. Luke's Union Cemetery, Dublin and Tohickon Union Cemetery.