Rudolph 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 time.
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
He was married to Johanna. Children were: Conrad PENCE, Amelia PENTZ, Catharina Margaretha PENTZ, Johannes Paul PENTZ , George PENTZ, John 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.