history behind Original 13 settlers of Germantown, Pennsylvania
is interesting, involved, and at times mysterious, but
the primary incentive that induced them to leave their homeland
was based simply on principles of freedom. America was the perfect
solution to an ongoing problem... "religious persecution".
The issues of religious conflict during this time period
are deep and involved, and are not expounded upon in this
"brief" explanation. Look for other links to sources
on topics mentioned in this website where you can find more
1681, William Penn had been granted land in America from
the King of England, and began a search for candidates to
inhabit his new world. Penn was looking for righteous, pious,
God-fearing men and their families to fulfill his dream
of a land where people were free to worship without fear
of retribution. This noble project was referred to by Penn
as his "Holy Experiment".
He encountered the German people in the lower Rhine Valley,
who were in need of relief from oppression, hostility, and religious
persecution, and found they
filled his requirements for religious, moral, and economic status
As a result, 13 families from the lower Rhine region were invited
by William Penn to come to the new land of opportunity, to be
a part of the creation of a new type of world... at last, freedom
of worship... in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
are the families who we now refer to as "The Original
Original 13 "Krefelders", who set sail in July
arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in October, 1683 on the
Concord, are considered to be the first "group" or
mass-emigration to America. They were also the original settlers
of Germantown, Pennsylvania.
invite you to scroll down the page to view three photographs
of Krefeld, Germany... today's streets... upon which our forefather's
had once walked over 300 years ago.
of William Penn's phamphlet and Concord stamp above were
contributed by Frank DeHaven, a member of the "Original
13" List Group.
of the Krefeld, Germany photos shown below were contributed
by, and are the property of Tom Updegraff,
who traveled to Krefeld, Germany to research the "Op
den Graeff" family ancestry.