Andreas Sails Aboard the Charming Nancy

Port of Philadelphia in the early 1700s by Peter Cooper.

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36 Responses

  1. Laura Angehr says:

    I love reading about your relative Andreas Hagenbuch. He is also my relative ( 6th GGFather) on my mother’s side through her grandfather, Hiram Cleveland Varner.

    • Evelyn says:

      Hello distant cousin. My 6th great grandfather is also Andreas Hagenbuch! On my mother’s side through her grandmother who was Rosanna Hagenbuch. See my reply to Andrew below.
      This is so exciting to find new cousins.

  2. Sara says:

    I’m interested to find out more information. I’ve been doing extensive research of my own family. This article is very similar to the story I found on my own ancestor Jorg Heinrich Ernstberger. Same ship, same arrival date, same wife, as well as Barbara being mentioned. I found my information through a historical organization. Let me know if you’d like to read what I have. I would like to get correct story before adding to my own family tree. Thank you Sara

  3. Charles Hostetler says:

    Excellent Story Where did you get the formal description of the Charming Nancy ? My family arrived in American in 1738 on this same ship and I require a copy of the British Registry for her. thank you

    • Andrew Hagenbuch says:

      Hi Charles. Glad you enjoyed reading it! So there are a few secondary sources out there that mention the ship as being 115 tons. Here is an example:

      However, we don’t have a primary source for the information at this time. If you come across one, please let us know!

      • Evelyn says:

        Hello, distant cousin. My 6th gggrandfather was Andreas Hagenbuch who arrived in Philadelphia in 1737 on the Charming Nancy. A great granddaughter Rosanna Hagenbuch was my great grandmother on my mother’s side (through Beer/s, Redline, and Tobias). I was born in Reading, PA. I’d love to know your lineage. I’m so glad I found this Hagenbuch link for my genealogy research!

  4. Amy says:

    Hello Andrew,
    So are you sure the photo you have of Philadelphia is actually that city. The reason I ask is I am comparing it with other early photos and there are no bun top roofs in that city.

  5. Sylvia Toy says:

    Christain Burgi (Burkie) (Berkey), (Burgli), whose child died on the Charming Nancy on August 19, 1737, was my 5th great grandfather. I would love to see his signature. How do I access that archive? The current spelling in our area is Berkey but I have seen many alternate spellings.

  6. I found this so very interesting my family that came over were the Casper Nolf Family I was born a Fields in Elk county Pa and relatives also consist of Fields,bennett,Hutchins ,Leck

  7. Thanks for posting this amazing story. Johann Jacob Wetzel (I)-3515, last of Hereford Township, Berks County, PA. was my 5th great grandfather. He also was on the Charming Nancy and arrived (qualified), Oct. 8, 1737. I am Calvin James Wetzel Jr.-20609, Grandson of David George Wetzel-20612, Baptized, May 30, 1895 in Weatherly, Carbon County, PA. by pastor, A.M. Masonheimer. Reference numbers from, Charles Kerchner, Cmdr., USN, Retired, of Emmaus, PA. author of “Descendants chart for some Wetzel’s of S.E. PA.”

  8. Karin J Culter says:

    Thanks for the interesting story about Andreas Hagenbuch and his journey to the Colonies! He is my 6th great grandfather from his daughter, Anna Elizabeth b. 27 April 1754 in Albany, Berks, PA, who married John Adam Reichelsderfer. It’s just been hard to figure out who Anna’s mother was. It seems that she might be the 3rd wife of Andreas, Maria Margaret (Anna?) Friedler. Not sure!!

  9. Scottie Berlin says:

    This was a very insightful read. Great article.

    3 of my paternal ancestors were on the Charming Nancy to Pennsylvania, Hans Jacob Barlin, Geo. Fredk. Barlin, and Abraham Barlin. I really wish I was able to find an accurate portrait of the Charming Nancy for my family tree, unfortunately I have yet to find one.

    What I mean by accurate is that the ship in the portrait is the right one, as when I’ve done searching online, several paintings for ships come up all claiming to be the Charming Nancy, even some that are obviously named something else.

    How am I to know which is the right one as they all look completely different from one another…very frustrating.

  10. Leah says:

    Hi thanks for this interesting article! I live in Plymouth, England, and have been researching my maternal great grandmother’s lineage – she was from Pennsylvania and married British Great-Grandfather. Andreas seems to be my 8th great grandfather through his son Heinrich. Interesting to see that Andreas would have spent some time in my home town on the way to Pennsylvania.

    • Andrew Hagenbuch says:

      Hi Leah. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reaching out! What a unique story and connection. We’d love to know more about your great grandmother and your Hagenbuch line. If you contact us via this page, we could discuss through email: We look forward to hearing from you!

  11. William Eshbach says:

    My paternal ancestors were on board the 1737 Charming Nancy, Peter Eschbacher (Espacher) on the manifest, along with his wife Eliza and newborn son Christian. He born in July, so either right before boarding or right after boarding. What an ordeal during the crossing with a newborn. They were Mennonites. Lived in the Bally area of Berks Co. Pa.

    • Andrew Hagenbuch says:

      Hi William. Thanks for your comment and glad that you found our site! I also appreciate that you confirmed some children were, indeed, listed on the ship’s manifest. I took a look and saw all three of your ancestors were there!

      • Melssa Beard says:

        I believe my great grandfather came over from Sweden in the mid 1890s. How do I find out previous information from Sweden and Switzerland family who came across in the 1770s as I have no family left who can give me this information and I do not know any previous names except Great Grandpa’s last name was Erickson?

  12. Brian says:

    Thanks for this bit of history. How is it that they arrived in Philadelphia on the 19th but did not qualify until October 8th? I can’t imagine they kept the passengers 3 weeks to qualify.

    • Andrew Hagenbuch says:

      Hi Brian. Great question! I am not entirely certain, though I have some ideas. We do know from the first-hand account of Bishop Hans Jacob Kauffman above that they supposedly arrived on September 18, 1737 but weren’t officially processed until October 8, 1737 (widely recorded as the official arrival date on the passenger records filed with Pennsylvania). Kauffman also states the voyage was 83 days long, which is about correct with September 18th. (He looks to be off by about a day.)

      It’s wasn’t uncommon for ships to remain anchored in the harbor until they could dock. There were also quarantine procedures if there was illness on board. Passengers who hadn’t been able to pay their way from the beginning had to wait to find an indenture to so they could leave.

      All that said, Kauffman states that he and his wife left on the 19th. Perhaps this was due to her being about to give birth? Regardless, it is almost the certain the ship was docked for this to happen.

      My hunch is that the October 8th date is simply the date of the official acceptance of the passenger list and oath takers at the courthouse. This was required in Pennsylvania. It is probable that the passengers had all disembarked before this and were not sitting on the ship for 3 weeks.

  13. Calvin James Wetzel Jr.-20609 says:

    Because of the 1720 Oath of Loyalty Law. They had to wait for the Magistrate to sign loyalty to the British Crown.

  14. Brian says:

    Thanks for the replies to my question. This subject is near to my heart as my ancestors were aboard the Charming Nancy 1737. Benedict Leman/Lehman. I am trying to fill in the gap from landing until the first document that I know about. It is a land warrant in 1750 for the Northkill area. I suspect they went there directly but can not verify at this time. Northkill started in 1736.

    • Andrew Hagenbuch says:

      Hi Brian. This sounds similar to what we see with Andreas Hagenbuch. We know he and his family were using some land that they didn’t get warrants for until later. It is entirely possible your ancestor (as you suggested) went to Northkill and was there in the late 1730s and 1740s before getting a land warrant in 1750. This was a wild, frontier area of Pennsylvania. One thing you might check (if you haven’t done so) is the warrants for land adjoining your ancestor’s property. Sometimes, if these were issued earlier, they may show your ancestor’s name as an adjoining property owner, supporting your theory he was there before 1750. One last idea is that your ancestor may have not bought land at first and worked for others or rented awhile. I learned a lot reading Caspar Wistar’s story regarding how someone could arrive penniless and work their way up without an indenture in the early 1700s:

  15. Brian says:

    Thanks so much for the suggestion, I will check that avenue out. He didn’t have many neighbors on the survey which is what leads me to believe he was there early. I have checked a few indentured lists but no luck. Records were not plentiful in the wilderness. My ancestors were Amish and I am sure they were not fond of record keeping in general. Thanks again.

  16. Tom Clark says:

    Your website is very informative. Thank you for the information and details regarding the voyage of the Charming Nancy. My ancestor , Valentin Jung was also a passenger on that voyage.

  17. Becky Singleton says:

    Thank you so much for your very informative article. My ancestor was also on this ship with his son, Christian Geiger and Wilhelm. I appreciate any info that helps me understand why he would have undertaken this hazardous journey. Now I am trying to fill in the years until he shows up in Rockingham County, Virginia.

  18. Paul Hershberger says:

    Thank you for putting this together! My Ancestors Christian & Barbara Hershberger were also on board the Charming Nancy on this voyage. I love to research and try to build a good timeline.
    If you have any information regarding the Hershberger’s that were aboard I would love to know it.
    Thank you,
    Paul H

  19. Margaret R says:

    Thanks for the interesting article Andrew! I found the travelling down the Rhine description especially interesting. My direct ancestor, Jacob Beyeler was also on the 1737 voyage of The Charming Nancy, with his family. I saw something online yesterday that said she arrived in Philadelphia on 7 October (not 19 September) and qualified on the 8th. I cannot find that page online now! A long delay between arrival and qualifying usually meant that there was sickness on board, and the ship was quarantined until the port doctor gave the OK

  20. Andrew Hagenbuch says:

    Hi Margaret. Thanks for your message about your ancestor Jacob Beyeler! There was a bit of discussion of this a bit higher up in the comments. The first hand account from Kauffman makes notes they landed on September 18th and at least some passengers left on September 19th. If you find anything to the contrary, I’d be happy to have a look!

  21. Hello I believe my ancestors were on this ship too. Heinrich Gerber/Grober, his wife Anna Catherine plus their children. It appears all but two children, Benedict and my ancestor Anna Dorothea survived the voyage. Do you recognize this family in your research? Thank you so very much!

  22. Margaret Rushton (Beiler) says:

    Having studied German and having been to the German-speaking countries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, I can tell if someone is from the north of Germany or from Bavaria, Austria or Switzerland. The Swiss-German accent in particular is very heavy and the English ships’ captains and officials in British Colonial America wrote down names as they heard them, e.g. Coffman for Kauffman, Hooley for Hölly, Plank for Blank, Stover/ Stauffer, Souter/ /Sauder, Leman/ /Lehman, Detweiler/Dätwyler etc.

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