|Vol. 2, No. 2 - June 2004
Joseph F. Buchanan
I must admit at the outset that I did not find out much pertaining to our direct ancestors, but I learned more about the way things are done in New England. We visited Rockingham, Vermont, the birthplace of Shadrach Roundy. I quickly learned that when you wish to visit a place or town in New England, you need to distinguish the community from the "Township". In the community of Rockingham, we did not even find what looked like a town, but rather found a store and few businesses and scattered homes. We did visit the Old Meetinghouse of Rockingham which included a cemetery. Among the headstones I found a number of Roundy's. Uriah Roundy, Shadrach's father died here, but we did not find his stone. We did find the stone of Captain John Roundy who was the brother of Uriah Roundy. There is a lot of history in Rockingham about him. I found more about him and his descendants, mainly in the township town hall records office in Bellows Falls, Vermont, a few miles away on the Connecticut River. I found the original record of the marriage of Shadrach Roundy and Betsy Quimby. I also found some records of land sales. We found recorded that Shadrach Roundy sold some property right before his marriage (32 acres of land to David Pulsipher, Jr., dated 12 Dec. 1814, recorded 17 May 1816, town of Rockingham, Vol. 7, pg 2). He soon afterward moved with his wife to Spafford, New York, where many of his children were born and where he lived when he joined the church.
The other information I found was in the Rowley, Massachusetts Old Burying Ground. There I found the stones of several people named Northend. Our ancestor, Elizabeth Northend, was born in Rowley, Massachusetts, her father emigrating from a place also called Rowley in Yorkshire, England. She was the fourth great grandmother of Betsy Quimby, the wife of Shadrach Roundy. Elizabeth's brother, Ezekiel, was the father of a Captain Ezekiel Northend whose stone we found in the Rowley Old Burying Ground along with a number of his family.
In checking the records for the people I found, I determined that all of these people are known and their temple work has been completed.
We took this research trip with our brother-in-law and his wife. Though I did not find much information for our genealogy, Shauna and our brother-in-law did find quite a bit of information for their research, so it was a productive trip. We had a beautiful time in New England and met some fascinating people and found some interesting libraries in small towns. I also learned how the township system works in New England which will help me understand where to look for records.
In a recently published article by Klaus West, I found some interesting details of the travels of Hermann Bach, his wife and daughter to Virginia. This article was written to show the dramatic and traumatic journey of those who crossed the Atlantic Ocean aboard the ship "The Oliver". At the time, in 1738, there was an effort to bring German and Swiss people to colonize Virginia and the Carolinas. There was a publication distributed describing Virginia, titled "Neu-gefundenes Eden" or "Newly Found Eden" to entice these people to come to America. Whether our ancestors came because of the publication or for other reasons we probably will never know, but they did leave with a group of people from their town of Freudenberg, Germany on March 13, 1738 to join a number of others who had taken the journey down the Rhine River from Switzerland on their way to Holland and on to America.
When they arrived in Rotterdam, Holland, they boarded "The Oliver" which was soon heavily loaded with cargo and 300 passengers. They left Holland in early July 1738 arriving at Cowes, England in 2 days. After preparations lasting 5 or 6 weeks, they departed but were turned back after 11 days of rough sailing, putting into port at Plymouth for another 5 or 6 weeks before finally crossing the Atlantic. The following 16 weeks began with 6 weeks of good sailing followed by 10 terrible stormy weeks which brought them to within sight of the Virginia coast, but not close enough to land. This was now mid-January (January 5, 1739, old calendar). Supplies were essentially gone and the desperate passengers insisted on going to shore, anchoring at Lynnhaven Bay. It was later reported that with the prevailing wind at the time, they could easily have made port at Hampton in about two hours which would have been a much better place for them considering the conditions. As it happened, a few went ashore and attempted to get warmth and supplies, but there was little available at that place. The storms raged once more and the ship was dashed on rocks, damaged and sank. Reports vary indicating between 50 and 225 people perishing from drowning, exposure and other causes. It was a terrible loss.
The Virginia Gazette reported: "That when the Ship came within the Capes, the Wind was so fair, that if they had kept under Sail, instead of anchoring at Lynnhaven-Bay, they might have been safe at Hampton in about 2 hours; but the People being almost famish'd, having nothing to eat for several Days, insisted on the Captains coming to Anchor there, and going ashore to get Provisions. Accordingly the Captain and some of the Passengers went ashore, but it being an Island, and no House upon it, they walk'd about a long Time in vain; meantime the Wind rose, and blew violently at Nor west, stove their Boat ashore, parted the Ship from one Anchor, and other dragg'd, so that she was drove so near ashore, as to strike on the Ground, whereby her Bottom was so injur'd, that she fill'd with Water in a very short Time, and between 40 and 50 were drowned between the Decks; and had it not been for the Assistance of Two Ships that lay near them at Anchor, who put as many of the people ashore as they cou'd with Safety to themselves, they must most of them been drown'd: And after they were put ashore, receiving no Shelter, from the Inclemency of the Weather, about 70 of them were frozen to Death, some on the Beach, and others in the Marshes, as they were scattered about, in Search for Houses. Those who surviv'd, amounting to about 90, were taken Care of by the Gentlemen and other Inhabitants of that Neighborhood, and they are all like to do well." Virginia Gazette, January 12, 1738/9
The name of Hermann Bach was listed among the group to leave Freudenberg in March of 1738 and was also listed among the survivors in Virginia, he and his family being among those who joined the German settlement at the Little Fork of the Rappahannock where the rest of his children were born. Hermann Bach was the grandfather of Nancy Ann Bache, mother of Archibald Waller Overton Buchanan.
- This information was taken from the article "William Byrd II and the Shipwreck of the Oliver" by Klaus West.