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The Schraugers

Andreas Karl (Andrew Carl) Schrauger was born about 1656. His last name has also been spelled as Schrager and Schraeger in various documents. He and his family were among the first wave of Palatine Mennonites to leave for Pennsylvania.

Andrew married Barbara Hendricks about 1680 in Germany. Andrew and Barbara had two children: Elizabeth and Catharina.

There were several Mennonite households in the first party of 852 Palatine migrants who arrived from Rotterdam and were enumerated at St. Catharine’s Parish in London, England, on 6 May 1709. The names of the heads of these households, as written in that document, were Henry Kolb, Gerhard Clemens, Jacob Volweider, Arnold Kolb (single), Jacob Wismar, Andrew Hubscher, Andrew Schrager, Mark Oberholtzer, George Adam Hoherluth, John Bien (single), Anna Eschelmann, and Christina Bauer (single).

In a letter that Pennsylvania founder and proprietor William Penn wrote from London on 26 June 1709 to James Logan, his agent in Philadelphia, he wrote: "Herewith come the Palatines, whom use with tenderness and love, and fix them so that they may send over an agreeable character; for they are a sober people, divers Mennonites – and will neither swear not fight. See that Guy has used them well."

The Schraugers were among the eight families whose transport to America had been partially financed by the Quaker community in London. Mr. Guy, to whom Penn refers, was the master of the ship on which these Palatine Mennonites were transported to Pennsylvania. Penn’s letter accompanied these settlers, and was to be delivered to Logan upon the arrival of the ship in Philadelphia. When the passengers disembarked they did not remain in Philadelphia, however, but "located at Skippack", thirty miles northwest of Philadelphia. Penn’s wish that these travelers be treated well and be settled in a good location, "so that they may send over an agreeable character," would seem to mean that he hoped that they would send back to Europe an "agreeable" description of Pennsylvania. This would then provide Penn with more settlers like them.

On the boat lists, Andrew Schrager was listed as a farmer age 53 with two daughters, aged 23 and 20. Michael Ziegler, age 25, a Lutheran, was also with them. Michael Ziegler was engaged to Catharine Schrager, Andrew Schrager's eldest daughter (Click here to read about the Zieglers).

Before the year 1713, settlers had begun to occupy the country along the Skippack Creek, then known as Bebber's Township or tract. It then began to be believed that it was necessary to have a central public highway leading to the northwest that would answer better than the crooked, winding paths through the woods and in places over almost impassable swamps. Accordingly, a petition was drawn up and presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions, held in Philadelphia, 2 June 1713. Andrew was one of thirty signers of the petition.

The road was surveyed in August, confirmed the following March by the court, and the supervisors directed to have it speedily opened. It was the earliest highway opened in the Skippack and Perkiomen region and known as the Skippack Road (modern day route 73). It was used several times upon very important occasions during the American Revolution by George Washington and his army.


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