Origins of Jacob Anthony

Jacob Anthony’s origins are a mystery.  He was clearly a German Lutheran but his family and his location prior to the 1770s are unknown.  He seems to have migrated into Orange County sometime in the late 1770s at about the age of 30.  I could find no references to other Anthonys in the area who might have been brothers or parents.

Family tradition, the ultimate source of which is unknown, is that he was born in Germany.  If that is true, then he likely arrived in the colonies through the port of Philadelphia.1 In fact, most Lutherans who moved into the Alamance County area were immigrants who entered the colonies at Philadelphia rather than second-generation children of earlier immigrants.  The names of thousands of these immigrants are preserved in Pennsylvania ship’s records.  In particular, partial passenger lists exist for 324 ships arriving in Philadelphia during the period 1727-1775.  The following are names of males, 16 and over, appearing in these lists who entered the port of Philadelphia and took the oath.2 Note the arrivals in 1768, which are especially intriguing.   Since these lists only partially account for immigrants, Jacob Anthony may not be related to any of these persons.

Date Ship Origin
Michael Anton 11 Dec 1744 Carteret Rotterdam
Johannes Anthoni 2 Oct 1741 St. Andrew Rotterdam
Jacob Anthoni 15 Sept 1749 Phoenix Rotterdam
Franz Anton, Jacob Anthony, Georg Hans Anthoni 28 Aug 1750 Phoenix Rotterdam
Jacob Anthony, Jacob Anthoni 3 Oct 1753 Eastern Branch Rotterdam
Nicholas Anthony 27 Oct 1764 Hero Rotterdam
Adam Anthony, Jacob Anthony, Jacob Andoni 16 Oct 1768 Betsey Rotterdam

George Hans Anthoni shows up in the records of the St. Michaels and Zion Congregation of Philadelphia with a wife named Carolina Juliana in two baptism records 1752 and 1753.  A Jurg Michael Antoni married Johanna Weberin, widow, in 1749 at the same church.  Adam Anthony and his wife Catharina Elisabeth appear in a baptismal record of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA in 1771.

  1. Although there were other ports of arrival, the great majority of Germanic immigrants arrived in Philadelphia in the period 1745-1775, when Jacob Anthony likely immigrated. []
  2. Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727-1808, Ralph B. Strassburger, ed. by William J. Hinke, 3 volumes (1934)  This work is far superior to the transcriptions of these lists given by Rupp and others. []