by Nancy Cioch

Jacob Zimmerman
Written by Nancy Cioch

Jacob Zimmerman was born about 1690 in Dunzweiler, Germany. He immigrated to England in 1709 with his parents Jacob and Anna Margaretha Jung Zimmerman. They were part of the Palatine group who came to America to work in the tar production for the British Navy. They arrived in New York City on 27 June 1710. By the Fall of 1710, they were at Livingston Manor.

Jacob married 1710/11 Anna Margaretha Schutz, who was born about 1693. When the production of naval supplies failed, government support ended for the Palatines. In the fall of 1712, Governor Hunter told them they could settle freely as long as they obtained a government pass, within his jurisdiction in New York and New Jersey. Hunter still hoped to resume the tar-making project and did not want them to go too far away. Many started for Schoharie as they mistakenly thought that the Indians gave the land there to Queen Anne specifically for their use. Others went to New England, some to New Jersey, some to Pennsylvania. About 150 families went to Albany to spend the winter. Young Jacob and his wife went to Schoharie, it seems - early March 1713.

The New York Naturalization Act of July 1715 provided that all persons of foreign birth living in New York in 1715 and Protestant were naturalized provided they took the oath of Allegiance. Jacob Zimmerman was a naturalized citizen on January 3, 1715-16.

Land titles were not clear in Schoharie, many Palatines were discouraged by the uncertainties and gradually settled in the Mohawk Valley. In 1721, Governor Burnet began to assist them to acquire land. The Stone Arabia Patent was granted in 1723 and the Burnetsfield Patent at German Flats in 1725. It is probable that the Palatines followed the Indian footpath from Schoharie to Canajoharie.

Jacob Zimmerman founded St. Johnsville in 1725. He owned nearly all of the land in what is now St. Johnsville. The settlement was known as Zimmerman's Creek, Town of Palatine. He erected the first gristmill. Some say that Jacob arrived as early as 1720. There is a boulder-mounted plaque in the Jacob Zimmerman Park in St. Johnsville, memorializing Jacob Zimmerman as the founder of St. Johnsville. Jacob traded with the Indians and seems to have been highly regarded by them.

The Indian Deed was given March 12, 1733/4 by members of the Bear, Wolf, and Turtle Clans of the Mohawks to Anna Marragrieta Timmerman. It stated that out of pure love and affection with the consent of the entire Castle of Kannajoharie, both Indian men and women, we give and make over … to our friend Anna Marragrieta Timmerman ……." Many believe that she was the Indian Princess, the daughter of King Hendrick. There has been no death date for Anna Margaratha Schutz Zimmerman. Family tradition passed down from generation that Anna was the daughter of the Hendrick Pieterse, Chief of the Mohawks, was unproven. David Martin's findings were that this was not true, "without foundation" He stated in his book that Anna Margartha, the wife of Jacob Zimmerman was unusually kind to the Indians, was called "our friend" in the deed.

In Emma Timerman's "Homestead Notes" she mentions the Indian ancestry. She said, "My grandmother considered Indian blood a disgrace but she spoke highly of King Hendrick, and sort of half proudly when she remarked that Lt. Henry Zimmerman was offered the position of chief, but he did not want it." Emma stated that although there was no proof, the relatives passed the story down from one generation to the next that Jacob's wife was the daughter of King Hendrick.

Hendrick Zimmerman was born in 1737. He was Jacob's 15th child. Jacob died in 1739. If Anna Margaretha Schutz Zimmerman was born in 1693, she would have been 44 when Henry was born. German Palatines were a tough group of people. It was not unusual for the women to have children into their 40s. Large families were very common and actually necessary. Life was not easy on the frontier and many hands helped with the work of feeding and clothing the family.

The Indian Deed turned out to not be a valid title to the land. In 1752, Jacob Zimmerman, 3rd and Johan Jost Snell joined forces to repurchase the land. This became the Snell-Zimmerman Patent, which was granted in 1755. There had to be another bill of sale from the Indians - which was signed by the Bear, Turtle, & Wolf clans, native Indians and included 3600 acres. Running north of the Mohawk River approximately across from the home of Nicholas Herkimer between the Cathetackne creek and the east Canada Creek. The patent is framed and hangs in the LF Historical society Museum and includes the seal of His Majesty, King of England. The Timmermans took the lower land near the river and the Snells settled the wooded area, which is now Snell's Bush.

Lieutenant Henry Zimmerman was a farmer and a soldier. By 1758 he had settled on land in what is now the Town of Manheim in Herkimer county, part of the 3600 Snell-Zimmerman patent. During the Revolution he served as Ensign(2nd Lieutenant and as Lieutenant. On August 6, 1777 he participated in the battle of Oriskany where he was seriously wounded in the left side. General Nicholas Herkimer directed that he be taken down the river to his home to be treated by Herkimer's physician. A group of Indians carried Lt. Henry down river in their canoes to Herkimer's home. He remained there for some time until he was able to go back to his home. After the war, Lt. Henry's family and the Snell families worked together to rebuild the church. Lt. Henry was a generous contributor to the Snell's Bush church. He died May 18, 1807. He was married twice 1st to Catharine Fox who died in 1767/8 then to Margaretha Bellinger. He had 17 children. Adam Timmerman was my ancestor. He married Catharine Snell. They were farmers after the Revolution. Lt. Henry and Adam lived on Timmerman road, town of Manheim. Emma Timerman lived on that property and mentioned in her memoirs that Lt. Henry's house was the grain room on her father's farm. The Old Dutch barn, (that is now gone), was built by Adam Timmerman. Adam's son Peter was a blacksmith as well as a farmer. My cousin Melvin has some of the old tools that were Peter Timmerman's. Peter married Lany Garlock. Ira, their son was born 1828.

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