This writer takes a different position then that of his cousins who have supported the contention that the first George Upper was an alias for Johannes Jerg Opfer. And that the first George Upper sailed out of Germany to Philadelphia on the Minerva, under John Spurrier as Master.
It is now felt, because of recent discoveries, that there is enough evidence [see reference to the ship "Jeneffer" below] to bring that position up for legitimate discussion.
It is now this writer’s contention, until shown to be otherwise, that the more likely candidate for the first ancestor of the Uppers of Allanburgh, Was John George Upper, a passenger on the "Jeneffer" [note spelling] This can be supported at the new Ship's Lists at OliveTree.com.
George has already been tracked to Frankford Twp., Sussex Cty., New Jersey...a mixture of swamp, bush, mountains, and Eden-like vallies for exceptional farming. The lot, which I am attempting to identify, was located in an area, then known as "The Angle, Snook’s Brook, on the east branch of the Papakoting River" Newton Township [name varied over time], Sussex County [numerous spellings for Papakating] in the north-west corner and wilds of New Jersey, near the New York Border...just below Pervis, NY. It has been a struggle to find this lot, but I am zeroing in on it slow but sure.
On the ship's list for the "JENEFFER," we find that his name is Jno George Upper, with the "o" written in superscript and hanging up to the right of the "Jn" which would signify that his first name was John rather than a Jonathan, which would be a "Jnn" with the second "n" a superscript. But this convention does not necessarily hold true for these lists is seems, so his name could be any one of the following: John/Johann/Johannes...George Upper. But it is distincly a "George Upper." There are many John, Johann, Johannes, to conflict with this "hypothesis" so if anyone can sort it out, I would be happy to hear from them.
The reference is cited as follows, and George is to be found on page 699, in...:
"PENNSYLVANIA GERMAN PIONEERS: A publication of the original lists of arrivals in the port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808." by Strassberger, Ralph Beaver, Ph.D., D.D.;President of the Pennsylvania German Society Edited by William John Hinke, Ph.D., D.D.; Second Printing in Two Volumes; Vol. II, p. 699-670, 1980; Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co. [various printings over the years]; ["Jeneffer: Captain George Kerr, Master, Nov. 5th, 1764-Nov. 29th, 1764]
I now feel, that George left the Pfalz region of the Palatines around May-June, 1764, worked his way up the Rhine on a raft, boat or small craft of some sort; sailed out of Rotterdam, c. August, 1764. He reached Philadelphia about the 5th of November, 1764 and was not permitted to leave there until the end of the month, Nov. 29th, 1764. He was obligated to stay aboard ship to be examined by a medical doctor...to prevent him bringing disease ashore. He probably would have finally reached his homestead lot on the Papakating Creek, near the end of December of 1764, or early January, 1765. Before he set out for his lot, he most likely was cared for by local Philly Germans. This was the "custom" of the day, and of the business men of the time. Fill the ships with desperate emmigres, bleed them of all their resources from to to fro, then force them to either pay up or accept their "owings" to be bought up by hungry Dutch middlemen. More than one source refers to this. The only way out was to negotiate a package of repayment in the form of indentured servitude for a specific period. The poor sots were over a barrel. They had to agree to it. After months on the "road" many had died on route due to illness, injury, drowning, or starvation...a constant diet of salt destroyed them. George must have been ill, because he apparently did not show up at the Philadelphia Court House, after a forced march, led by the Captain and with his sponsors, to swear his oath of allegience and sign the register. His name appears with an [X] as oppose to a real signature. His suffering must have been awful, and that of his family must have been such as well. But they also must have been hardy souls, for all five to have survived the journey.
Say a prayer for them when you have a chance. We owe much to them.
If we believe the “tales” rendered by many of the various ship's passenger, the length of time for each stage of the trek are to be believed, and averaged out, it would look something like this: up the Rhime-5 wks; at Rotterdam-5 ½ wks; to Cowes and at Cowes-1 ½ wks; 10 wks to cross the Atlantic; about 2 wks at Philadelphia; and if lucky, only 3 wks to find and claim their lot in Frankford Twp., Sussex Cty., New Jersey [north-west corner of the state, south of Pervis. N.Y.S.. That is a total of 27 weeks, about 7 months of physical and emotional torture, and humiliation and fear!
From the time they left the Palatines, they were stopped numerous times by various "customs agents" and either forced to pay a toll tax or a bribe to move on, while their craft and possessions were searched. This was War time and they were concerned about contraband being smuggled out of Germany to help the French it seems. At every stop the Uppers had to spend more money to survive, depleting there reserves [intended for the new world] to the point of forcing them to go into indenture-ship upon reaching Philadelphia. There are many good tales of "white slavery" to be had on the net, in reference to the earliest Dutch holding the early Germans hostage until their accounts were settled. The "hostage" was in the form of indenture. The only ones that escaped this situation were the wealthy. George was not a wealthy man, and he was indentured to Morris and Willings for many years. He must have run into hard times, because Morris and Willings came after him, and a well known Loyalist of the day, Joseph Barton had to sign a promise to pay bond for George. Joseph lived near-by on one of the borders of George's lot, and was a close friend. This gives me the feeling that he was a Loyalist, and this is born out by him "fleeing" to the Niagara Region, at the first opportunity following the War of Independence. He spent about 29 years in New Jersey.
Want to learn more about the Uppers of Snook's Brook? Then keep in touch. I am gathering together a klutch of Upper researchers to share info, and will post soon as to when I am ready to start a serious attack on the family skeletons. If I do not already have you in my files, then contact me.
P.S. I do not carry on my research in an open forum. It will all be done by private e-mail exchanges. And I do not mount any of my "findings" on the internet, so the condition is that I would hope no one else would either. There is no fun in going to a web site and leeching someone else's hard earned data base ;)
What I have shared with you today is just a taste of what I am up to.
Kindest regards, Al
firstname.lastname@example.org [1=one, 0=zero] Do not put my address in any internet venue.