PENTZ was born @1713 in supposedly Hilbach, Hanover, Pfaltz, Germany. Rudolph
Pentz, my emigrant ancestor in my paternal line, was born in 1713, supposedly
in Germany. The circumstances which brought him and his family to Canada are
not only interesting but an important part of Canadian history, and therefore
we are lucky to be able to have such a good understanding of the events of which
Rudolph was a part.
In 1749 an Englishman, Colonal Edward Cornwallis, became governor of Nova Scotia
and in that same year founded the city of Halifax. Attempts to first colonize
it with fellow Englishmen, mainly soldiers and sailors, weren't very successful,
and so the next year Cornwallis requested the British Lords of Trade to send
out more suitable settlers, preferably German farmers. The government made a
contract with a man named John Dick to transport them, which he did for the next
three summers. Hundreds of people made the voyage, mostly poor people from the
Rhineland, drawn by the alluring handbills that had been circulated around the
country in the German tongue. The British government promised that all the Germans
who came to Nova Scotia would be given 50 acres of land free from all rent and
taxes for ten years, and would be given food and clothing for the first year
they lived there. They were also pormised guns and ammunition, tools for building
houses and for farming and clearing the land, and for fishing.
Rudolph, according to the Pearl's manifest, was 38 years old and a farmer in
the Palatinate when he took up the government's offer and sailed in 1751 to Canada
from Rotterdam on the Pearl with his wife Johanna, three sons Johannes, George
and Conrad (b.1741) and two daughters, Amelia (b@1734) and Catharina (b@1738).
One of the daughters was over the age of 16 according to the ship's list and
all of the other children under age.
Like many of the Germans, Rudolph was apparently too poor to pay his and his
family's way. He was indebted for 4 1/2 freights (an adult was a full freight
and a child a half freight, freights relating to how much sleeping space you
were allotted on the ship) and cash lent which added up to f1.328.7.12 (whatever
amount of money that was!) and by working for the Governor of Nova Scotia for
one shilling (25 cents) a day, he would have eventually paid for their passage.
On arrival in Halifax, someone wrote his name down rather roughly as "Rutholff
Bontz": Rudolph was illiterate and only made his "mark". On the
ship's list, however the name is spelt "Pintz", and this has been found
to be the most consistent form of spelling at the time. Other variations though
were Pinz, Bentz, Benz, Pentz, Pentze, Pense and Pence! Of course the reason
for this was that each person would just take down the name by ear, spelling
it the way he thought it sounded and should be spelt.
Rudolph's first wife Johanna died soon after the journey in 1751 or 1752, supposedly
after giving birth to a son, John Nicholas, in Nova Scotia. He was baptized in
1755 and in some genealogies is attributed to Rudolph's second marriage. An entry
in Halifax dated April 15, 1752 tells of the marriage between Rudolph Pinz, widower,
and Barbara Kuffer, widow. Barbara and her husband George, listed as a 38-year-old
farmer from Alsace, had been on the "Pearl" as well. Rudolph and Barbara
had three children: Elizabeth, 1755-1763, Johanna Christina bap. 1757 and Jane,
bap. 1759. I have no information on the descendants of these children at this
The presence of about 2,500 of the German emigrants in Halifax soon proved to
be not as desirable as they first had seemed. Since none of the land that had
been promised them had been cleared or even marked out for them because of the
threat of the Micmac Indians, they were forced to inactivity. Settled on a pair
of rough lanes, Brunswick and Gottingen, running north from the Citadel slope
and huddled together in boarded barracks, they quickly became a burden and expense
to the authorities, as well as becoming very discontent amongst themselves. Rudolph,
working to pay off his debts though, would have been helping build houses and
more walls around the fort.
During his stay in Halifax, Rudolph's name and those of Amelia, Catherina, Conrad,
George and Johannus appear on the Halifax Victualling List #3 for Aug-Oct 1752
under "Bentz", the list of settlers July 1752 for "Swiss and Germans
in the North Suburbs" under "Pense", and the Compassionate Victualling
List for Feb-Apr 1753.
In 1753 an uneasy peace was made with the Indians, and the fact brought relief
to "the Palatines", as they were generally known. Cornwallis had been
anxious to make another strong settlement on the coast and so took this opportunity
to do so, moving almost all of the Germans to what is now called Lunenburg.
Each man was given a town lot, a garden lot and a farm near the town, the lots
being drawn using a pack of cards. The Return of Arms (Dec. 1753) lists Rudolph
as being in Steinfort's Division, the Return of Divisions (July 1754) shows him
as being in Zouberbuhler's Division A-8 with a house (we see from the Registry
of Town Lots 1760 that he sold it) and on the 1753-4 Allottment List, Rudolph
is granted a 30-acre farm lot, the N.W. Range A-3. In 1760 though this was reduced
to only half of the lot, a strange thing to do when he had such a large family.
On the Live Stock Distribution List of 1754, he and a Johns. Young, both being
on Lot 27, were awarded one cow and one sheep. He and his family is on the list
of persons victualled in Lunenburg and Halifax between 23 Feb and 16 May 1756:
Barbara, Catherine, Conradt, Elizabeth, George, Nicholas and Rudolf Pintz.
Rudolph Pintz's name also appears on the Cattle Expedition list of 1756, although
I haven't found out what this was.
In 1763, Rudolph was given a 300-acre lot in the Second Division, C-10. This
could be the same place that was named Pentz, "a settlement two miles upstream
from the mouth of the LaHave river on the south side of it, about eight miles
southest of Bridgewater and just southwest of Lunenburg, which was named after
an early German settler." It is not currently a very large place; the population
around 1960 was found to be only 52! There is also a Pentz brook which runs right
alongside the settlement.
Unfortunately, after that entry in 1763 I have not found any more records pertaining
to Rudolph. Therefore, the date of his death is not known. His second wife Barbara
died in 1790 aged 68 and the fact recorded at St George's, Halifax and in the
newspaper of the time.
He was married to Johanna. Children were:
Conrad PENCE, Anna Maria PENTZ,
Catharina Margaretha PENTZ, Johannes PENTZ,
Georg PENTZ, Johann Nicholas PENTZ.
He was married
to Barbara KUFFER on 15 Apr 1752 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Children were: Catherine Elizabeth PENTZ,
Johanna Christina PENTZ, Jane PENTZ.
Leon PENTZ Parents: Leon Laurier PENTZ and
Lulu Josephine GARDENER.
He was married to Madeline
Kate THOMAS. Children were: David PENTZ,
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