In the Studwell search I learned that my 4x great-grandfather, Gabriel Studwell, had married Agnes Britt and that she was the daughter of Johannes Britt. Not much to go on, but that hasn’t stopped me yet.
First to Mr. Google for answers, but nothing there except online trees I’ve learned to look at only as a last resort. So on to ancestry.com and a Britt family tree there. I still don’t have a lot of confidence in trees that use other trees as the source, but it did have a birth date (1742), a marriage date (1770), and mother’s name (Eva Tinggelbagh). The dates are consistent with her husband’s dates, so the information was worth investigating to see if I could find something other than an online tree.
I decided to go in the back door. With a name like Tinggelbagh, I figured using that name in an internet search might get me where I needed to go faster. Sure enough, on a NYGenWeb page was a transcription of a marriage index for Westchester County, NY and it had Johannis Bret and Eva Tinggelbagh. The NYGenWebber was generous and did look ups of the marriage and baptisms. The church record indicates Johannis and Eva were living in Phillipsburg, NY and that both were born in Hoghduysland. That seems to be a form of Hoch Deutschland (High Germany, as in the higher altitude of southern Germany, and not the sea level Germany of the north.) And there were baptisms for six children, none of them Agnes.
I went back to a search for Johannes Bret/Britt and then spotted alternate spellings for Eva’s surname—Dinkelbach, Tinggebaugh, Tinchelbach, and Tinkelbaugh, Tinchelbagh, and Tinklepaugh, Tenkelbag. I found a transcript of Johannes Bret’s will in a NY Historical Society collection of will abstracts and it mentioned his daughter Agnes Steddal (variant of Studwell). Then, in First Record Book of The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, I found the source of information the NYGenWebber had furnished. In the index it included the variant Brydt so that was a new angle to follow. There was no Agnes Brydt in the church record, but I thought maybe the new spelling could improve other searches. I’ve looked and looked, but I’ve found nothing more.
So, I don’t know if Johannes was the first Bret/Britt/Brydt to immigrate, but if he was born in 1715, as the online tree suggests, and he got married in 1736, as transcribed from the church record, that would mean he arrived as a child or young man. I’ve been searching Palantine German records, and the closest I’ve come is a Ludwig Breit and that isn’t even a near miss.
I did find some immigration information for a Paulus Dinckelbach. He is in an article in Germanic Genealogist by Henry Jones, “A Partial Listing of the Palatine Families of New York” and in "Emigrants from Germany to Colonial America, 1720-1760, Traced in Their Ancestral Villages (a Partial Listing)" in The Palatine Immigrant by the same author. Based on the summary he arrived between 1720-1750. I couldn’t find digital copies so that’s the extent of the clue. I found several clues in online trees that indicate Paulus is Eva’s father and the first immigrant of the Dinckelbach line, and that he married Eva’s mother in 1723, narrowing his arrival to 1720-1723.
I’ll guess I’ll just be putting these names in my follow-up for my Palatine German research.