The Heritage of Daniel Haston

Henrich Hiestand in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Henrich's Pennsylvania Years     Henrich's Land in Lancaster County

The life of Henrich Hiestand in Lancaster County, PA is (obviously) an extension of his earlier life in Europe and his transatlantic journey to America.  Be sure to read all of the information in the Roots section - the village of Richterswil in Switzerland where the Hiestand name originated in or prior to 1401, the rise and persecution of Anabaptists/Mennonites with which many Hiestands (including our Henrich) identified, and the Palatinate region of southwest Germany where Henrich's ancestors found a degree of relief from religious persecution.  Before reading about Henrich Hiestand's life in America, be sure to become familiar with the challenging journey that brought him to Pennsylvania.

Emigration to America


An Overview

In September of 1727, the Pennsylvania Provincial Council passed a law requiring all "foreign" immigrants (those of non-British origin) to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown.  And to enforce that act, ship captains carrying European immigrants into Philadelphia were required to submit lists of all of the passengers on their ships.  This applied particularly to Germans who immigrated into the Province of Pennsylvania (later the State of Pennsylvania of the USA).  Apparently Henrich Hiestand arrived in America prior to September 18, 1727--the date of the first passenger list submitted in response to that law.  We make that assumption because name does not appear on any of the known ship lists on record.

No doubt, Henrich entered America through the port of Philadelphia.  If he was like so many other poor immigrants from Germany, he faced one of two common scenarios: 

  1. He established contact with a friend or family member who had already settled in Pennsylvania.  Or...

  2. He found himself alone in a foreign city with a major language barrier, with no friends and little money, having to fend for himself.

Where and how long he lived prior to settling in Lancaster County is unknown to us.  But his April 1, 1728 naturalization, which occurred at Conestoga (then in Chester County, now Lancaster County), seems to indicate he moved into what is now Lancaster County fairly soon after his arrival in Pennsylvania.

Jacob and Johannes Hiestand arrived in Philadelphia on board the Friendship on October 16, 1727.  Out of the 52 passengers on the October 16, 1727 Friendship list, seven had died en route and ten were "sick" when the ship arrived in Philadelphia.  The names of "Jacob hiestandt" and "hannes hiestandt" (hannes = Johannes or John) also appear on the 1728 naturalization list.  And, just about five years after the 1728 naturalization, these two men located very near "Henry Heestant" in Lancaster County, PA.  There is no known documentation to prove the relationship between the three Hiestandt men, but it's highly likely that they were either brothers or very close cousins.  For some reason, many American families have a tradition of three early immigrant brothers coming to America.  Perhaps Henrich, Jacob, and Johannes were "our" three early immigrant brothers-to-America--but maybe not. 

Caspar Wistar began attempting to retrieve money that Heinrich Hiestand had borrowed from him about the time (1733) that Heinrich Hiestand would have been purchasing 226 acres in Hempfield Township of western Lancaster County.  According to Rosalind Beiler (author of Immigrant and Entrepreneur: The Atlantic World of Caspar Wistar, 1650-1750):

The money Wistar loaned Hiestand would have been too much for ship passage.  It was 131 Gulden and 2 Kopfstuck.  I haven't checked to see exactly how much this was at the time but my sense is that it more likely would have been for a land purchase.  Source: January 22, 2017 email from Dr. Rosalind Beiler.


From Arrival in Philadelphia to Settlement in Lancaster County

What was Henrich Hiestand's situation when the ship he was on docked in Philadelphia?

We do not know.  But here are some possible scenarios:

  1. Perhaps Henrich had enough money to pay all of his travel expenses and fees, as well as enough money to survive in America until he could find a job that would pay for his living expenses until he could purchase his own farm.  But given his age (early 20s) when he arrived in Philadelphia, it would seem unlikely that he could have saved enough money to pay for his customs and transport fees, as well as food and other essentials for such a long and expensive trip.  But maybe some wealthy Mennonites in the Netherlands supplied him with the necessary funds for the journey.  Some Mennonites in the Netherlands were relatively well off and generous in aiding poor Mennonites bound for America.  Perhaps Henrich was the beneficiary of this kind of Dutch aid.  In the earlier years of Palatine emigration most of the Rhineland emigrants traveled with all or part of the money needed for the fares, which changed as the emigration numbers increased toward the middle of the 18th century.  If Henrich emigrated in early to mid-1727, he would have been in the earliest stage of the great Palatine emigration movement that surged until 1755, the beginning of the Seven Years War (known in America as the French and Indian War).  Palatines arriving in Philadelphia during the years of heaviest emigration were the ones who struggled most to become independent in America and develop a reasonably comfortable life.  So when we read of the severe economic struggles the Palatines faced upon landing in Philadelphia during 1730s through 1750s, we need to realize that Henrich may or may not have arrived under such hardships. 
  2. Like so many other Palatine emigrants, Henrich may have been forced to indenture himself to some wealthy Pennsylvanian who paid his debt to the captain and provided room and board for him until he could "redeem" himself by a few years of servitude.  Other than his April 1, 1728 naturalization at Conestoga, PA (then part of Chester County, now part of Lancaster County), we have no record of Henrich Hiestand's whereabouts in America for several years after he arrived here.  There is enough unaccounted-for time to include a typical indentureship of two or three years, although a transatlantic fare for a young man was roughly equivalent to one year's wages as per one source* and three or four years according to another source**.

    *Page 155 of Trade in Strangers: The Beginnings of Mass Migration to North America by Marianne S. Wokeck (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999).

    In 1722 Palatine servants or Redemptioners, were sold to serve for a term of three or four years, at £ 10 each, to pay their freight and fare across.

    **Page 39 of Volume XI, No. 1 (January 1910) of The Pennsylvania-German Magazine in "The Germans of Pennsylvania: Their Coming and Conflicts with the Irish" by Dr. T.P. Meyer.


    Arrival in

    Sometime Prior to
    September 14, 1727


    April 1, 1728

    ? Settled on


    May 20, 1735
      How did Henrich Hiestand support himself for this time?    
    Henrich might have had a friendly contact who had preceded him to America (relative or acquaintance from his homeland) who helped him get settled in Pennsylvania.  Often Palatine emigrants were met at the port in Philadelphia by relatives or friends who had already traversed the Atlantic and established homes and sources of income here.  These contacts from "back home" generally provided temporary food and shelter and assistance in getting newly arrived immigrant loved ones settled in and established on their own. 

    We do know that Henrich Hiestand was not the first Hiestand to come to Philadelphia in America.  Küngold ("Kinget") Hiestand (born January, 1658 in Richterswil, Switzerland) first married Michael Reiff (who died in Germany) and later married Johannes "Hans" Stauffer.  She lived in Ibersheim, and nearby Mettenheim, in the Palatinate of Germany.  She and Hans Stauffer arrived with their family in Philadelphia on September 23, 1710 on the ship Maria Hope and soon associated with the Skippack, PA Mennonite settlement that began there in 1702.  We do not know the relationship of Kinget Hiestand and Henrich Hiestand, but they were certainly related and well acquainted with each other, even though Henrich would have been more than 40 years younger than Kinget Hiestand Stauffer.

    And on April 15, 1726 Abraham Hiestand (first known male Hiestand in America) sold a cow to Gerhart (Gerhard) Clemens in Lower Salford Township [Skippack Mennonite settlement area] of what is now Montgomery County, PA (previously part of Philadelphia County). 

    From the account book of Gerhart Glemens: "I bought a cow of Abraham Heistand, April 15, 1726, for L3 ts."

    Gerhart Clemens, the son of Jacob Clemens, Sr., married Anneli Hiestand Reiff, the daughter of Kinget Hiestand and Michaell Reiff and emigrated to America in 1709.  We do not know the relationship between this Abraham Hiestand and our Henrich Hiestand, but they would have been related and very probably well known to each other. 

    The distance from Philadelphia to the site of the Skippack Mennonite settlement is only about 30 miles.  Assuming Henrich knew that he had relatives so close to his port of disembarkation (Philadelphia), it seems feasible, maybe even probable, that he would have found a "soft landing" in America with Skippack relatives or other friends from the Palatinate before moving on in search of his own land.  But, we know of no record that indicates he was ever lived in the Skippack area. 

Caspar Wistar's Role In Assisting Henrich Hiestand

Caspar Wistar (1696-1752) and Henrich Hiestand's backgrounds were alike in several ways.  Caspar was eight years older than Henrich Hiestand and arrived in Philadelphia at age 21 on September 16, 1717, probably about ten years before Henrich's arrival.  Both were single young German-speaking immigrants when they arrived.  Caspar grew up in the Neckar River valley in Germany, in a small village of Waldhilsbach of the east side of the Rhine River, southeast of Heidelberg.  Henrich was from the small farming village of Ibersheim, on the west side of the Rhine River, about  45 miles northwest of Waldhilsbach.  So, both were Palatine Rhinelanders. 

But there were some things about their backgrounds in the Palatinate and their fortunes in America that were quite different.  Caspar's father was a forester for the Elector of the Palatinate and he grew up in a mixed-religion home--his father was Lutheran and his mother was a member of the Reformed Church into which Caspar was baptized.  Henrich's family were exiled from Switzerland because of their unwavering commitment to the Anabaptist/Mennonite faith.  And they were farmers working the land around Ibersheim under restrictions not imposed on families of other faiths. 

In Philadelphia, Caspar learned the business of making buttons and soon ventured into the business of real estate investing.  By the time Henrich Hiestand arrived in Philadelphia, Caspar had already become a relatively wealthy man.  But not forgetting his roots, he assisted many German-speaking immigrants with loans and land sales.  His German ethnicity and bilingual language skills, profited him greatly.  But, even as he gained wealth from these connections to German immigrants flooding into Philadelphia, at the same time he also provided them services that were helpful to, and appreciated by, them.

In Rosalind Beiler's research on Caspar Wistar, she discovered some information about Henrich Hiestand's early years in America that is of great interest to those of us who claim Henrich Hiestand as our immigrant ancestor.

What we learn or confirm from these two books:

  • Heinrich Hiestand's family lived in Ibersheimer Hoff in the Palatinate (Southwest Germany near the city of Worms).

  • Heinrich was definitely living in Pennsylvania in and before 1733.

  • Heinrich did not come to America with a lot of money.

  • Heinrich did have access to some financial resources back in Germany.

  • For some reason or reasons, it took Caspar Wistar nine years to collect the payment for Heinrich's debt.

  • If the nine years extended from 1733 to 1742, then Heinrich paid his debt to Wistar at about the same time he was preparing to sell his Lancaster County, PA land in order to move to Virginia.

Some Questions About Caspar Wistar's Financial Assistance:

  • Was this money used to pay for Henrich's transatlantic fare to America?  Or...

  • Was this money used to pay for the 226 acres Henrich purchased in Hempfield Township of Lancaster County?

See Rosalind Beiler's comments below.

  • Did Henrich purchase his Hempfield Township land from Caspar Wistar?
    Note: A map showing Wistar's land holdings in Pennsylvania does not indicate the he owned land in the area of Hempfield Township. 
    Source: Page 117 of Immigrant and Entrepreneur by Rosalind Beiler (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008).

Kent Hiestand's Comments About the Wistar Correspondence

August 18, 2015


We corresponded some years ago about the Wistar letters. I obtained photocopies but there is no concrete or direct link to who Henrich's relatives were.

In 1733 he was supposed to get the money from Peter Obmann who was one of the 1683 Ibersheimer Erbbeständers (lease holders) and probably the brother-in-law of Conrad Hiestand another 1683 Ibersheimer Erbbeständer. The go between was Jacob Schnebeli residing in Mannheim and the son of the Mennonite "Diener" (Preacher) Hans Jacob Schnebeli of Ibersheim who signed the 1709 letter to Amsterdam along with a Heinrich Hiestand of Ibersheim.

The later Wistar letters (1742) refer to getting the money from a Jacob Hiestand and a man named Forrer (married into Hiestands), but again no relationship mentioned.

His name was spelled Henrich and not Heinrich in the Wistar letter just like the signature on his will and on the 1728 naturalization papers.

Kent Hiestand

Rosalind Beiler's Comments About the Wistar Correspondence

January 22, 2017

Hi Wayne,

The money Wistar loaned Hiestand would have been too much for ship passage.  It was 131 Gulden and 2 Kopfstuck.  I haven't checked to see exactly how much this was at the time but my sense is that it more likely would have been for a land purchase.  

Regarding land purchases - you should definitely go to the PA state archives, where they have microfilm copies of all of PA's county deeds.  It's pretty easy to find abstracts as well - so you should be able to track down Henrich Hiestand's purchase. If I recall correctly, they (abstracts of deeds) were published by a genealogical society for Lancaster County.  I'm not sure if he purchased land from Wistar.  It would take me some time to go back through my records to see if that was the case.  I read all of Wistar's deeds while at either the PA state archives or the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (there are literally hundreds of them!).  But, sadly, they are in a dos-based database that is no longer easily accessible.  The joys of technology!

I've glanced briefly at your website - you have clearly done a lot of research! I have also gone back to Wistar's letters.  There is not much information in there regarding this money.  It's all in German. The first mention is in 1733 and the last in 1742.  Wistar's business partner in Neckargemuend does receive the money just before Easter in 1742. Whether it ever made it to Wistar and, if so, in what form, is impossible to know as the letters do not continue beyond that year.  It's all very sketchy as we don't have complete sets of correspondence.  I don't have any records that tell me how Wistar loaned him money (whether it was cash or for land).  I never found accounts for Wistar. And Hoeltzer doesn't say how he was paid (though Wistar does ask Hoeltzer to let him know if he gets paid in silver or gold).  In Wistar's letters to Hoeltzer, Peter Obman, in Ibersheimer Hoff, is holding the money for Henrich Hiestand (in PA).  By the time Hoeltzer writes back in 1742, he reports (in February) that he hasn't received the money from Jacob Hiestand in Ibersheimer Hoff. He also mentions Forer at Ibersheimer Hoff - but includes no first name. When he writes in May 1742 that he received the money, Hoeltzer tells Wistar that he had to pay a bond in order to collect the debt. He refers again to Forer and Hiestand. He also mentions that they are Mennonites and are very distrustful.

That's really all that I can glean from these letters! Sorry, they are all about business.

Hope this is helpful,

Rosalind J. Beiler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of Central Florida
Dept. of History
12790 Aquarius Agora Dr., Suite 551
Orlando FL 32816-1350


1728 Naturalization of Henrich Hiestandt and Others

1728 Naturalization of Heinrich Hiestandt

1728 Naturalization - Henrich Hiest_

Key Observations:

  • People who have seen the original document say that the end of the surname of "henrich hiest" is illegible due to some blotch in the document. 

  • There is little doubt that this would have been (our) Heinrich Hiestandt.

    • Jacob Hiestandt and Hannes (John) Hiestandt settled near Heinrich in Hempfield Township of Lancaster County just six or so years later.  They were probably brothers or cousins.

    • There is plenty of documented evidence to prove that Heinrich Hiestandt was closely associated with he Neff/Nave family.  For example, Heinrich's youngest son (Daniel) married Christina Nave in 1773.

    • John Bumgarner, who appears immediately above Henrich on this list was probably the same John Bumgarner who owned property adjacent to Henrich Hiestandt in Virginia a few years later.

    • Only four names separate Henrich's name from the name of Josef Gochenour, who purchased land adjacent to Henrich in Hempfield Township and may have been closely related to Henrich Hiestand--possibly (but not proven to be) Henrich's first cousin.

The Law Enacted on March 29, 1735

Although this naturalization document was signed on April 1, 1728, the process of naturalizing Mennonites was not made official and legal until March 29, 1735 in "An Act for the Better Enabling Divers Inhabitants of the Province of Pennsylvania to Hold Lands and to Invest Them with the Privileges of Natural-Born Subjects of the Said Province."
Source: Page 283 - "Chapter 339" of the Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Volume I. (Philadelphia: John Bioren, No. 88, Chestnut Street, 1810).


Mother of Tom Mix - Elizabeth Heistand

I grew up hearing about this. Our ears perked up anytime a Hiestand was mentioned in the news etc.  Anyway, she is a descendant of Jacob Hiestand (who immigrated to America in 1727 and lived in Salunga, PA and died in 1772).  -Kent Hiestand

Tom Mix was the forerunner of movie and television western stars, such as Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne, and many others.  He was the "king of the cowboys" during the 1920s.  His screen career spanned the periods of silent movies and "talkie" movies. He appeared in 291 western films, starred in circuses and wild west shows, and his name and persona were featured in a radio series, beginning in 1933.  He was a pall bearer in Wyatt Earp's funeral.  Tom Mix died in a car accident in Arizona on October 12, 1940.

YouTube biography video

Thomas Hezikiah Mix was born January 6, 1880 in Mix Run, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles (64 km) north of State College, Pennsylvania, to Edwin Elias Mix (February 22, 1854 – November 29, 1927) and Elizabeth Heistand (November 1858 – July 25, 1937). -Wikipedia

As far as I can discern Tom Mix's mother's parents, Rebecca Smith and John Hiestand, never married.
The 1870 census puts Rebecca et. al. in Harrisburg PA

Kent Hiestand (October 11, 2016)