Melchior Krause was born in 1709 in Germany, and immigrated in 1739 on the ship
Friendship that was commanded by William Vetery. Melchior arrived
September 3 1739 - in Philiadelphia, PA.
Upon arrival, he signed the Oath of Allegiance to the King of England.
He signed with an M and gave his age as 30. He made his home in Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania and was associated with the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in
New Holland, Pennslyvania.
Melchior was married to Eva Margareth (surname unknown) and had at least three children.
His oldest son was born October 23, 1740, thirteen months after his arrival.
Both boys were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Holland, PA in June 1744.
As Eva was not on the ship Friendship, Eva must have arrived shortly after his arrival
or he married very quickly after his arrival. Johannes was born May 19, 1744 and
Sabrina was born in 1749.
Melchior died between 1749 to 1751 in Pennsylvania, as Eva remarried Johannes Georg Kaa on
September 24, 1751. Church records indicated she was a widow of the late Melchior Kraus.
Georg and Eva had one known child, Peter Kaa, Born April 25, 1752, New Holland, Pennsylvania.
It is believed the family, along with all the Kraus siblings settled near the Moravian's
Wachavia settlement in Stokes (now Forsyth) County, North Carolina during the late 1770's.
Georg Kaa was buried February 20, 1784 in the graveyard near his mill, Bethabara,
The winter of 1708-1709 was very long and cold in the Rhineland. It was a
very bleak period. People huddled around their fires as they considered
quitting their homes and farms forever. By early April, the land was still
frozen and most of the Palatines' vines had been killed by the bitter
Since 1702 their country had been enduring war and there was little hope for
the future. The Thirty Years War lay heavy on their minds, a period in which
one out of every three Germans had perished.
The Palatines were heavily taxed and endured religious persecution. As the
people considered their future, the older ones remembered that, in 1677
William Penn had visited tha area, encouraging the people to go to
Pennsylvania in America, a place where a man and his family could be free of
the problems they were now encountering.
To go to America meant a long, dreadful ocean voyage and a future in an
unknown land, away from their past and family. Everyone knew that the German
Elector would stop any migration as soon as it was noticed. Only a mass
exodus from the Palatinate could be successful. Many wondered how they oculd
ever finance such a journey even if they wanted to attempt it. Small boats,
known as scows., would have to acquired for the long ride down the Rhine River
and then there was the price for the ocean voyage. While some of the people
had relatives that could assist them financially, many were very poor. Soon
enough, their minds were made up for them as France's King Louis XIV invaded
their land, ravaging especially the towns in the Lowaer Palantinate.
In masses, the Palatines boarded their small boats and headed down the Rhine
for Rotterdam. It was April 1709 and the first parties were afloat on the
Rhine, many with only their most basic goods and their faith in God as their
only possessions. The river voyage took an average of 4-6 weeks through
extremetly cold, bitter weather. By June, 1709, the people streamed unto
Rotterdam at a rate of one thousand per week. The Elector, as expected,
issued an edict forbidding the migration, but almost everyone ignored it. By
October, 1709, more than 10,000 Palatines had completed the Rhine River
The Duke of Martborough was assigned by Queen Anne to transport the immigrants
to England. British troop ships were also used. The Queen assumed these
Protestants would help fuel the anit-Roman feelings developing in England.
The ships from Rotterdam landed, in part, at Deptford and the refugees were
sent to one of three camps at Deptford, Camberwell, and Blackheath outside the
city wall of London. Many Londoner's welcomed the Palatines, but the poor
were not, as they felt their English food was being taken from them to feed
the Germans. British newspapers published mixed accounts of the Palatines,
some praising them while others cursed them.
Over 3,000 of these Palatines were sent to Ireland, again to reinforce the
Protestant faith in that land. The trip from England to Ireland, again to
reinforce the Protestant faith in that land. The trip from England to Ireland
was short, taking only about 24 hours.
Meanwhile, streams of Palatines went to America, with most going to
Pennsylvania. The ocean voyage was harsh, with over-crowded, under-supplied,
and unsanitary ships. What provisons were supplied were generally the least
expensive availabe to the ships master. Water frequently ran out, as did
food. Dreadful mortality occurred on many voyages. In additon to those woes, the
Palatines faced robbery, deception, and worse from those transporting them.
Estimates on the number of Germans in Pennsylvania during this period varies
from author to author, but a common estimate is 10,000-15,000 by 1727 and
70,000-80,000- by 1750.