[NI0592] "Kornegay" (the spelling may have been changed in America (it might have been a corruption of "Knege" which is how it is pronounced.."Kah-nee'-ghee, or many variant spellings, all with virtually the same pronunciation: Gnaegi, Gnegy, Gnagi, Gnecki, Gnage, Knege, Kenege, Knag, Knegi, Knecky, Kinige, Kenaga, Hornigh).
George Kornegay b. 1701, was the son of John George Kornegay and his wife of the upper Palatinate (Rhine River area). As Protestants, they had fled their homes during the War of Spanish Succession arriving in the Kingdom Tolsen in St. Catharines on 6 May 1709. A "list of all the poor Germans lately come over....." notes: Hornigh (Kornegay, now) John George, age 38 years, (his) wife (no age), sons (2) 8 and 2 years old, daughters (2) 12 and 10 years old. Member- Reformed Church. Husbandman (farmer) and Winedresser. (British Museum Library, London, England, Board of Trade Misc., Vol. 2. Pg 57).
History records that a large number of Swiss and Germans who had been subject to religious persecution by the armies of Louis XIV, due in part to their protestant faith, had fled first to the Palatinate of Germany. Still starving there, many had
been invited by Queen Anne to seek refuge there, temporarily. 12,000 Palatines went to England in the summer of 1709 and encamped in tents near London.
A man named Christopher De Graffenreid made arrangements with the Proprietors to take with him a large contingent of these poor Palatines to the land in Carolina he was negotiating to purchase. The Queen agreed to help (she was glad to gracefully bow out of the burden her invitation to them was costing) by promising 5Ð 10 shillings for each emigrant to pay their passage and gave each 20 shillings worth of clothes as a present. She also bestowed upon De Graffenreid the title of "Baron".
On October 10, 1709, it was allowed for Graffenreid to take 92 families (600 people) and on Oct 21, 50 more people were added. He had the privilege of choosing among them and he picked out young, healthy, and industrious persons of various trades to build and farm his new land.
The Palatines, including John George Kornegay, with his wife and children, sailed from Gravesend, England for America on January 10, 1710.
Even though Graffenreid made an effort to assure adequate food and accommodations during the voyage, over half of the Palatines died at sea.
The Atlantic crossing usually took 6 to 8 weeks, but due to terrible storms, the voyage lasted 13 weeks. Prior to landing, the ship was boarded and the Palatines looted of their possessions by the crew of one of Louis XIV's warships. Finally, the ship landed off course in March 1710 near the mouth of the James River. The immigrants waded ashore naked but were soon provided with food and shelter by the people of Jamestown, VA. With guides provided by the Jamestown residents, the immigrants traveled by land to Col. Thomas Pollock's in Albemarle Co., NC on the Chowan river, then crossed the sound into Bath Co., and by May or June arrived at their new home on the Neuse River, near the present day New Bern, NC, Chowan County.
As difficult as the journey had been, the worst was yet to come. On September 22, 1711, the settlers were attacked by the Tuscarorra Indians. About 120 settlers were killed in the attack. As for John George Kornegay's family, only his son George survived. George Kornegay, along with another young boy, George Koonce, was taken hostage by the Indians and held until the spring of 1712. Both George's were then apprenticed to Jacob Mullen (Miller)* (see note), clerk of the Craven County Court until they were of age. Jacob saw to it that these orphaned Palatine boys received their fair share of the land promised earlier to the colonist in the De Graffenreid expedition.
In the meantime, Graffenreid himself, who had not sailed with the Palatines of London in the first crossing, had been arranging the second voyage to consist of the Ritter Company colonists from Bern, Switzerland. He also arranged for
additional items of commerce and farming implements to be brought on this second voyage.
This group departed Bern, March 8, 1710 and came ashore in Portsmouth, Virginia, September 11, 1710. Graffenreid met with the Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia (Governor Spotswood was away at the time), and also met with Edward Hyde who had been sent by the Proprietors to be Governor of North Carolina. Graffenreid and his people then set out over land for the Chowan river and from there, by boat, to their land on the Neuse and Trent rivers.
The survirors of the Indian massacre remained on their lands. However, they had no way of knowing that Baron De Graffenreid's financial position was shaky and that he would soon be forced to mortgage the land promised to them. Because of their unsound land titles, they eventually lost the land to forclosure.
As an adult, George became a tobacco planter with a large estate in Duplin Co., NC as well as other large tracts in other counties. He was among a group of Palatines who appealed successfully to the English Crown for land grants to replace those which were lost to the familes in forclosure.
When George Kornegay reached maturity, he married Mary Fisher, and began to settle land and rear children. In 1740 he was one of the subscribers for the erection of the High German Chapel or The Palatine Church, on Trent River in what is today Jones County. In 1754 he was a member of the Duplin Regiment of Foot. His large tracts of land and slaves were located in Craven, Dobbs (both present day Wayne and Lenoir), Duplin and Jones
counties. He owned several thousand acres of land. After the death of his first wife, ca. 1754, he married Mrs. Susannah Stechy Stephens, and had three children by her. George Kornegay died, probably in Craven County, 22 November 1773, leaving a wife and ten children. His place of burial is not certain, however he was probably buried at the "Kornegay Old Burial Ground" on his land at Kornegay's Bridge on the Northeast Cape Fear River in Duplin County. His memorial stone is now at Red Hill in Wayne County, a few miles up the river from Kornegay's Bridge. His will is dated Nov. 2, 1773, recorded in Craven County, NC. In it he names sons: Daniel, Elijah, Abraham, John, Jacob, George, William, David, Joseph and daughter Mary DeBruhl. Executors: John, Jacob and George Kornegay (sons).
*Jacob and Katherine Muller came to New Bern from the Palatinate in 1710. One of their daughters was named Sevil Muller (Miller). She married Johann (Hans) Martin Franke (John Martin Franke) who also came to New Bern in 1710. He was the son of the German Professor August Hermann Francke, Professor of Oriental languages, changed to a professor of theology in 1698 at Halle, a pupil of Spencer and the teacher of Zinzendorf.
Sketch by A. T. Outlaw, a descendant: George Kornegay: (Kernegee...Kenegy...Kenege...Kornage...Kernegy), of Cravin and Duplin Counties, was the first of the Kornegay family in America. According to his own statement, he was one of a company of German Palatines who came to America with baron de Graffenreid in 1709-10. they founded the town of New Berne in Craven County. From all accounts, the Palatines were strong and sturdy people. The lands occupied by them on Neuse and Trent rivers were, after several years, claimed and taken by Colonel Thomas Pollock, causing them considerable inconvenience and distress. They petitioned King George for relief and lands were granted to them by the Colonial Council. George Kornegay received several grants for land in Craven and Duplin Counties between the years 1736 and 1756. At a Council meeting in 1742, he was permitted to prove his right for land and listed 10 persons in his family and 6 slaves. His land in Duplin, described by metes and bounds, included the Kornegay old burying ground near Alum springs and Kornegay's bridge. For a time he lived there. He was a member of the Duplin Foot Militia in 1754 and 1755. He died in Craven County in November 1773 at about 85 (sic) years of age. Some private records say his wife was a widow Stevens.