Palatine Roots 

     After ten weeks at sea in a crowded sailing vessel and close to six months of "living out of a suitcase," the anticipation the itinerant Germans felt at the prospect of settling down on their own piece of America must have been close to unbearable. Surely it was that dream of freedom, independence and prosperity, gilded so unrealistically by Colonel de Stumpel and the propagandists of fifty years earlier that kept them moving resolutely toward the goal in spite of spirit breaking hardship.
     The toll in lives had been great -- nearly one in five had died by the end of January, 1765, and of thirty families on the ship Dragon, twenty lost at least one member. Fourteen year old Agnes Franck was the only survivor from a family of five and Joseph Widener, age ten, was alone, having lost mother, father, brother and sister.  Johan Nicholas Rempi and his wife, Catherine were fortunate to have been healthy and to have been on board the Union which suffered the loss of only three passengers, all children.   It is tempting to speculate that Catherine was one of those two women who gave birth during the journey, but we have no record to support the conjecture. We do know, however, that no Rempis were listed among the children over two years old who qualified for a bounty payment, but the size of the land grant -- two hundred acres -- shows that they were a family of three. It is likely that Peter Rempi, the first of four sons, was the third party.  (Note:  We now know that the child was their daughter, Maria Elisabeth, christened in Kern, Germany, 15 May 1763.  GAR, 2001) 
     The records of St. John's Lutheran Church in Charleston provide some interesting background information relating to those first few days after the Dragon and Union arrived, December 14th and 16th. Births and christenings are recorded for four of the newly arrived Palatine families:

1. Frederick and Margaretha Zimmerman
Joh. Peter, b. Dec. 19, 1764;
chr. Dec. 20, 1764.
2. Phillip and Apolonia Zimmerman
Joh. Christian, b. Jan. 11, 1765;
chr. Jan. 14, 1765.
3. Christian and Juliana Zang
Phillip, b. Jan. 7, 1765;
chr. Jan. 10, 1765.
4. Joh. Georg and Elizabeth Zang
Margaretha, b. Dec. 4, 1764;
chr. Dec. 20, 1764.
     The two Zimmerman fathers are both listed at thirty-six years of age, suggesting that they might be twins.* The Zangs, however, are thirteen years apart, with Christian forty and Georg twenty-seven.  The four children were most likely conceived in March or April of 1764 while the Palatines were still in Germany. The daughter of Georg and Elisabeth was one of the two children born on board the Union. However, on December 24th, the couple applied for a land grant of only 150 acres, suggesting that the child died shortly after birth. They had no other children at the time.
     Upon arriving in Charles Town, the captains of the ships Dragon and Union turned over to Messrs. Woodrop and Cathcart detailed passenger lists and instructions from the relief committee in London. These men, as agents for the committee, were to see that the captains were paid in full and that proper application was made to the governor (Lt. Gov. William Bull was acting governor.) for bounty payments and land grants which had been offered as "encouragement" to new colonists. They were also instructed to give particular attention to preventing the Palatines from deserting their companions and accepting employment in the town. They reported regretfully that "eight or ten who were tradesmen" insisted on remaining behind.

* A private communication from descendant Chuck Timmerman states that the two were likely not brothers, having actually emigrated from different villages.  GAR 2011.

     The influential plantation owners of South Carolina's coastal plain were anxious to place now colonists far up in the "back country" where they might serve as a buffer against Indian attacks. Thus the French Huguenot refugees of the previous year were settled in Now Bordeaux Township, northwest of the present town of McCormick, and it was hoped that the Germans would choose lands nearby. A township of 20,000 acres called "Londonborough" (often incorrectly referred to as "Londonderry") was eventually laid out for them, not on the more fertile frontier, but on the less desirable ground east of the French settlement where the danger from Indians was not as great.
     Early maps of South Carolina, such as the Parker map of 1773, show the size and location of Londonborough Township too imprecisely to allow us to lay out its boundaries today. Those maps indicate an area of 16,000 to 18,000 acres, and we know that Lt. Gov. Bull directed that Patrick
Calhoun, a prominent and respected back country landholder, and Deputy Surveyor John Fairchild should select "about 20,000 acres of good land" for the Germans. That instruction was given in a letter dated December 23, 1764, nearly two weeks before the first party of Palatines left Charles Town. It is now clear that most of the Germans did not choose to settle on lands within the designated area.
     A township of 20,000 acres, if laid out in the form of a square, would be 5.6 miles on a side, just as was the nearby French township of New Bordeaux. The ten land plats which were laid out along Hard Labor Creek fit easily into such bounds, and in fact, each is described as being "in Londonborough Township". None of the other eighty-four, however, are so described, nor could any of them lie within a 5.6 by 5.6 mile square which also included the Hard Labor Creek properties. Instead, we find them widely scattered to the east and southeast, some as far as sixteen miles from the town site.
     The town of Londonborough, or at least its intended location, may be pinpointed with reasonable certainty. The plat of Phillip Zimmerman's land (see "Palatine Land Grants on Hard Labor Creek," Palatine Land Plats - 1765) states that his 350 acres are "on land laid out for the town." Since Lt. Gov. Bull specified that only 100 acres should be allotted for the town itself, we have reliable support for the traditional location of Londonborough near Powder Spring (see Palatine Land Plats - 1765).
     In November, 1964, a marker with the title "Londonborough Settlement" was erected on the west side of State Route 48 near the eastern boundary of the Zimmerman property to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of that community.
     The first party of Palatines to move out on the trek into the back country left Charles Town January 9, 1765. They were fifty in number, including fourteen men, and it is possible that Johan Nicholas, Catherine and Peter Rempi (Note: Actually Maria Elisabeth, not Peter.  See note above.  GAR, 2001) were among them. The lands they selected as homesteads were along Cuffeetown Creek and one of its branches called Horsepen Creek (see map below). 
     Lt. Governor Bull reported that a town site was laid out for them twelve miles south of Ninety Six. Today, the village of Kirksey is situated at that approximate location, but it is more likely that Bull was referring to Londonborough, fifteen miles southwest of Ninety Six, as the crow files.

Cuffee Town.
     Although the location of the small stream which bears its name is well known and easily found on South Carolina maps even today, Cuffee Town itself is a place which has disappeared without leaving a trace, or even a documented statement as to its former location. That it lay somewhere between Kirksey and Winterseat is certain, but exactly where, is not. Perhaps the most definitive references to its location may be found in the plats of Michael Keiss (see below, "Palatine Land Grants on Horsepen Creek") and George Schieldknecht. Both are described as being "at a place called Cuffee Town."  The Schieldknecht land was some three miles northeast of the Keiss place, and five others in the immediate vicinity of Schieldknecht are described as "near Cuffee Town."  If we ignore the Keiss reference, all of the remaining plat data would support a location very near where Highway 25 crosses Cuffeetown Creek.
     The origin of the name, as well as the location of Cuffee Town, is the subject of speculation. It is tempting, for example, to imagine that the Indian village of "Cofitachequi" cited by De Soto during his trek through the area two hundred years earlier may be a clue. (See M. Watson, "Greenwood County Sketches", p. 2.)

Palatine settlements in Greenwood and McCormick Counties

Palatine land grants.
     Land was granted to the Palatines according to the size of the household. The head of thehousehold was granted one hundred acres and each additional member was granted fifty acres. Thus a husband and wife would receive 150 acres and a family of five would be granted three hundred acres. Many single young men and women (including Agnes Franck, 14, mentioned above) were considered eligible for one hundred acres. The largest grant, 450 acres, went to Johannes Flick on Little Stephens Creek.
     The recorded land plats surveyed by John Fairchild show that the Palatines remained to a great extent segregated according to the ship on which they were passengers. The first to select lands and have their plats recorded were from the Union, probably because they were relatively healthy on arrival and did not require the long period of recuperation needed by the passengers on the Dragon. Their homesteads were located in clusters, one along Cuffeetown and Horsepen Creeks in the vicinity of Kirksey (now Greenwood County), another about ten or twelve miles west on Hard Labor Creek north of Winterseat (now Greenwood County), another three miles southeast of Winterseat on Cuffeetown Creek (now McCormick County) and another on Sleepy and Little Stephens Creeks in northern Edgefleld County. 
     By mid-June, 1765, all but one of the Union people had had their plats recorded. Between that time and the end of August, those who had arrived on the Dragon and Planters Adventure were settled along the various branches of Turkey Creek called Log, Mountain, Little Turkey, Little Rocky, Sleepy, and Little Stephens Creeks in Edgefleld County midway between Kirksey and the town of Edgefield.
    Johan Nicholas Rempi selected land just two miles due east of Kirksey on the upper reaches of Horsepen Creek (see below). His two hundred acre parcel lay between properties belonging to Anna Catherine Weiser and George Wilhelm. Today this land is a forested wilderness leased to a hunting club. It is no longer cultivated and shows no signs of ever having been inhabited.

See Palatine Land Grants - 1765 and Palatine Land Plats - 1765.

A difficult beginning.
     Lt. Governor Bull strongly encouraged the Germans to clear their lands and bring in a crop of hemp (what we know today as marijuana, but at that time, its uses were benign) as soon as possible. He provided the seed for that purpose and established a system of appropriately situated agents to distribute the supplies on which the immigrants were to subsist while they waited for their fields to produce. The benevolent committee in London had provided funds for their subsistence, but only until the end of September, 1765.
     No doubt the living conditions were extremely difficult and the process of clearing, planting and cultivating was slow and tedious, but William Bull was nevertheless irritated when Peter Dorst and Henry Adolph appeared before the Council October 11, 1765, to request relief for their fellow Germans. The flow of supplies had stopped and the Palatines were unable to provide for themselves. But the Lt. Governor was not impressed.  He criticized them vehemently for having been so slow in moving onto their land that they had missed out on the best growing season, and sent the two representatives home with nothing more than payment of their travel expenses.
     We have no record of how these people survived the winter of 1765, but we do know that by 1769 their situation was so much improved that they were commended by Bull in a "state of the colony" report to the Board of Trade in London:

     "They now raise more than they can consume and consequently yearly add to their capital.  Some raise hemp and some flour. They are loyal subjects and very useful and orderly members of the community, retaining a grateful sense of the Royal and private English charity which placed them in the way of attaining by their own industry this happy situation ..."

The Family of Johan Nicholas Rempi
(South Carolina)

NICHOLAS (Landau, Germany)
b. 1729, d. ca. 1801, Edgefield, S.C.

Peter (Edgefield)
b. ca. 1764, d. 1843
Son, ca. 1792
Daughter, ca. 1793
Nicholas, 1794-1852, Abbeville and Edgefield
Daughter, ca. 1795
Henry, 1797-1879, to Alabama ca. 1835
Daughter, ca. 1800
William (?), 1804-?
Jacob, 1805-1884, to Alabama ca. 1835
John Jackson, 1811-1881, Pickens, S.C.
Mary, 1820-?, to Alabama 1843.
John (Abbeville)
b. ca. 1765, d. 1816
John, ca. 1794
Mary, ca. 1800
Cattey, ca. 1802
Margaret, ca. 1804
Daniel, 1812-1887, Ninety Six, S.C.
James, 1814-?, Cokesbury, S.C.
William (Abbeville)
b. 1766-70, d. 1830-40
William, Jr., 1800-?, Anderson, S.C.
Son, b. 1804-1810
Son, b. 1815-1820
Daughters (3). b. 1790-1800
Samuel (Abbeville)
b. 1770-1778, d. after 1840
Phillip N., 1799-1860+, to Greene Co., Ill., 1821
William Henry, 1801-1867, Lowndesville, S.C.
James Anderson, 1814-?, Anderson, S.C.
Daughters (6), 1800-1820
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