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Johann Joerg 'George' Boßhaar
(1694-1730s) and
Mary Elizabeth Wennerich ( ? - ? )


Johan Joerg “George” Boßhaar -- also commonly spelled "Boeshaar" and "Böshaar" -- was born in 1694 in Zweibrücken in the Pfalz region of Germany, the son of Johannes “Jacob” and Anna Christina (Mauer) Boßhaar Sr

George was baptized in infancy on June 7, 1694, with three sponsors present including merchant Hanß Jörg Koch, Hornbach weaver Ulrich Maurer and Anna Weber, wife of Zweibrücken’s town flour miller Hans Balth. Weber.

George was about age 16 when he and his parents and siblings left Germany and made the long voyage to the American colonies, with a long stopover in London as British officials tried to decide what to do with the masses of German migrants. 

Upon arrival in New York, they further were detained for a number of months in New York City, and eventually settled in Kingston, Ulster County, NY.

He immediately sought citizenship and was naturalized on Sept. 8-9, 1715, with his name placed on the “Kingston Nats.” lists. In 1718-1721, he paid a ₤2 tax in the town of Hurley.


Two books naming the Boeshaars. Left: Jones' Palatine Families of New York. Right: Marino's Pasour, paysour, Payseur, Paseur


On Aug. 7, 1716, at about the age of 22, he was united in wedlock with Mary Elizabeth Wennerich ( ? - ? ). She was the daughter of Balthazar and Elisabetha Wennerich, also spelled “Winnerich.” The nuptials were held in the Old Dutch Reformed Church in Kingston.

Mary Elizabeth's parents also had arrived in New York in about 1710, having emigrated from the Palatinate with a long stopover in London. They and other fellow emigres were brought to the Hudson River Valley where they were given subsistence by the British government in return for agreeing to harvest local pine tree forests to produce tar to send back to England for British shipbuilding purposes. As such, the Wennerich name appears on two lines of "The New York Subsistence List" which was kept in the Public Record Office (C.O. 5/1230) and later published in Walter Allen Knittle's book, Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration. Balthatar's entry in the list is marked "3-2, 5-1," meaning that in 1710, his family group included three adults and two children under the age of 10, and in 1712 had five adults and one child under 10. Also on the list is Benedict Wennerich, who was marked "2-2, 2-2."

Wennerich entries in the New York Subsistence Lists for 1710-1712

The Boshaars initially lived in Kingston and produced eight children, among them Maria “Magdalena” (Boeshaar) Ulm, also spelled "Ullom" and "Woolham." The other seven offspring – all of them baptized in the Old Dutch Reformed Church – were Anna Margaretha Lang, Jacob Boshaar, Balthazar “Balthus” Boshaar, Matheus Boshaar, Georg Boshaar, Johannes Boshaar and Bernhardt Boeshaar. Another source lists an additional daughter, Elizabeth Boshaar.

At an undetermined time, the family pulled up stakes in Kingston and relocated southward into Pennsylvania. They identified their destination as Lancaster County and settled in the small farming village of New Holland, about 13 miles east of the county seat of Lancaster. 

After settling, they are believed to have joined the New Holland Lutheran Church.


Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the south and southwest.
From History of Lancaster County, by I. Daniel Rupp, 1844


George passed away in Lancaster County sometime after March 8, 1734. While precise details seem to be lost, family scholar Thomas J. Marino has written that the death “probably” occurred in Leacock Township, with burial “probably” in the Bashore Cemetery on land owned by his son Balthazar.

Mary Elizabeth’s fate is not known, other than she is known to have been alive in 1779.

An important book naming this family is The Palatine Families of New York, Vol. 1, by Henry Z. Jones Jr. (Camden, ME: Picton Press, third printing, 1995). In the volume, Jones gives credit to Frances C. Francis of Washington, DC for being "most kind in sharing her documented data on the Pa. and W. Va. Descendants of Jacob Böshaar."


Trinity Lutheran Church today in New Holland, PA



Copyright © 2018 Mark A. Miner