David Mertz
Peter Mertz
Peter Mertz, Jr.
Jonathan Martz
Simon Martz
Vandine Martz
Charles M. Martz
James V. Martz

Frederick Braun
Isaac Bubb
Adam Elliot
(Johan) David Mertz

September 8, 1715

Hans Niclaus son of David and Verena Mertz is baptized.
-Wintersbourg- Registres Paroissiaux (Avant 1793)-Paroisse protestante (Avant 1793) Registre de baptêmes et de Mariages 1688-1729 – Original en mairie, retrieved from archives.bas-rhin.fr on 5/17/2016

November 3,  1716
Johan Martin Mertz, son of David and Verena Mertz is baptized.
-Wintersbourg- Registres Paroissiaux (Avant 1793)-Paroisse protestante (Avant 1793) Registre de baptêmes et de Mariages 1688-1729 – Original en mairie, retrieved from archives.bas-rhin.fr on 5/17/2016 

December 28, 1717

Hans Peter, son of David and Verena Mertz, is baptized in Alsace. 
-Wintersbourg- Registres Paroissiaux (Avant 1793)-Paroisse protestante (Avant 1793) Registre de baptêmes et de Mariages 1688-1729 – Original en mairie, retrieved from archives.bas-rhin.fr on 5/17/2016
(Note: Special thanks to Oakey Mertz for sharing a copy of the original document provided by Fredy Mertz, former mayor of Hangwiller, Alsace. -rjm)

September 20, 1722

David Mertz from Hangenweiller [Hangviller] and wife Frena [Veronica] nee Schneider had a son: Johannes [Mertz] baptized 20 Sept. 1722. Sponsors: Johannes Scheüer, citizen and master tailor at Weyer; Lorenz Teüschen, shepherd at Bälingen; Eva, wife of Nicholas Schneider, schoolmaster at Rauweiller; Catharina, daughter of Ludwig Morel from Sieweiller [Drulingen].
-Annette Kunselman Burgert, Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America, Picton Press, Camden Maine, 1992, p. 363
(Note: David and Veronica are probably the immigrant family for this line (see 9/28,1733). Apparently this child did not survive to make the trip to the "new land."-rjm)
February 5, 1725

Johan Mertz is baptized,  died on April 25th 1730, however.
-Wintersbourg- Registres Paroissiaux (Avant 1793)-Paroisse protestante (Avant 1793) Registre de baptêmes et de Mariages 1688-1729 – Original en mairie, retrieved from archives.bas-rhin.fr on 5/17/2016

September 30, 1728.
Anna Christina Mertz is baptized.
-Wintersbourg- Registres Paroissiaux (Avant 1793)-Paroisse protestante (Avant 1793) Registre de baptêmes et de Mariages 1688-1729 – Original en mairie, retrieved from archives.bas-rhin.fr on 5/17/2016

September 28, 1733 Friday

The brigantine "Richard and Elizabeth" arrives from the Palatine at the Port of Philadelphia, Christopher Clymer, master, from Rotterdam and last from Plymouth (England). Listed are:
David Mertz, 44, wrote his initials
Veronica [Schneider] Mertz, 40, wife of David
Johannes Nicholas Mertz, 18
Johannes Peter Mertz, 13¾
Christina Mertz, 3¾
-Annette Kunselman Burgert, Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America, Picton Press, Camden Maine, 1992
-Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Volume 1, pp. 126-128, (cited by Heber G. Gearhart)
-Austin M. Schaeffer, Mertz Family Record,, manuscript, Reading, Pennsylvania
-Ralph Fraley Martz, The Martz's of Maryland,1973
(Note: Annette Burgert cites the following: "Verification of this emigration supplied by Dr. Bernd Gölzer, from the county records of Nassau-Saarwerden, compiled by Dr. Gerhard Hein: Records of the Saarwerden county office for Kirberg: dated 18 Oct. 1764, contemporary table of descendents of Joseph Schneider of Diedendorf, originally from Melchnau, BE. Veronica Schneider, wife of David Mertz, was a daughter of Joseph Schneider. David Mertz of Hangweiler and wife Veronica have moved to the New Land with three children: 1. Hans Nickel, 2. Hans Peter, 3. Christina." This family migrated to Longswamp Township, Lancaster (now Berks) County, Pennsylvania. Ralph Fraley Martz names the eldest son Hans Michael Mertz also known as John Nichol Mertz. The term Palatine or Palatinate is used commonly to refer collectively to the several provinces of southwest Germany bordering the Alsace-Lorraine and Switzerland and included in the present states of Rhineland-Pfalz, Hessen, and Baden-Wurttemburg. -rjm)
The condition in which the [Palatine] immigrants reached Philadelphia was shocking. The ships were floating hospitals and pest-houses filled with small-pox and all the other diseases of crowding and dirt which gathered frightful intensity from the voyage of two or three months. One ship reached the coast, after a voyage of six months, with the surviving passengers living on rats and vermin. Vessels often lost on the passage one-third of their human freight, and one ship is said to have arrived after having lost two hundred and fifty.
Sauer said that in one year two thousand of the Germans had died in crosssing and this estimate does not seem to be excessive. The Palatine ship that was wrecked on Block Island in 1738, and celebrated in Whittier's verse, is said to have started out with four hundred passengers, who at the time of the wreck were reduced by a malignant fever and flux to one hundred and five, and of this remnant ten died a few days after they were taken ashore.
The delays in the voyage were numerous. Before reaching the ship the people had to pass through thirty or forty custom-houses on the Rhine, at each of which they were delayed often several days, so that this Rhine journey usually consumed five or six weeks, and completely exhausted their slender stock of money and provisions. Other delays of five or six weeks occurred at the seaports, and the poor immigrants, starving and desperate, sold themselves as redemptioners to the captains and shipping agents. Mittelberger, in his "Journey to Pennsylvania in 1750", has described what they suffered on the voyage:
"In Rotterdam and Amsterdam they begin to pack the people in like herring, and since the ships insist on carrying not less than four, five, or six hundred souls, besides enormous cargoes of household utensils, chests, water casks, and provisions, many are obliged to occupy berths scarcely two feet wide by six long. . . .
"It is not, however, till the ship has raised its anchor for the last time and started on its eight, nine, ten, eleven, or twelve weeks' sail for Philadelphia that the greatest misery is experienced. Then there are heart-rending scenes! The filth and stench of the vessels no pen could describe, while the diverse diseases, sea-sickness in every for, headaches, biliousness, constipation, dysentery, scarlet fever, scrofula, cancers, etc., caused by the miserable salt food and the vile drinking water are truly deplorable, not to speak of the deaths which occur on every side.
"In addition to all this, one invariably meets with an actual scarcity of every kind of provisions, with hunger, thirst, frost, severe heat, an ugly wet vessel, murmurings, complaints, anxiety, loathsome contagious diseases, and other innumerable varieties of tribulations, such as lice in such numbers that they can literally be taken in quantities from the bodies of the passengers, especially the sick. Forlorn, though, as the situation is, the climax is not yet reached. That comes when, for the space of two or three days, all on board, the sick and dying as well as those in health, are tossed mercilessly to and fro, and rolled about on top of one another, the storm-tossed vessel seeming each moment as if in the next it would be engulfed by the angry, roaring waves. . . .
"Even those who escape sickness sometimes grow so bitterly impatient and cruel that they curse themselves and the day of their birth, and then in wild despair commence to kill those around them. Want and wickedness go hand and hand, and lead to trickery and deception of every kind. One blames another for having induced him to undertake the voyage. Husbands reproach their wives, wives their husbands, children their parents, parents their children, and friends their friends, while all denounce the cruel Newlanders whose trade it is to steal human beings.
"Many heave deep draw sighs, and exclaim, mournfully, 'O God! O God! if I only had a piece of good bread or one drop of fresh water!' or cry out in the anguish of their souls, 'Oh, if I were only at home and lying in my pig-sty!' The wailings and lamentations continue day and night, and, as one body after another is committed to a watery grave, those who induced their unfortunate companions to leave their old home in search of a new are driven to the verge of despair.
"The sufferings fo the poor women who are pregnant can scarcely be imagined. They rarely live through the voyage, and many a mother with her tiny babe is thrown into the water almost ere life is extinct. During a severe storm on our vessel one poor creature, owing to the trying circumstances, was unable to give birth to her child, was shoved through an opening in the ship and allowed to drop into the water, because it was not convenient to attend to her. . . .
"It is little wonder that so many of the passengers are seized with sickness and disease, for, in addition to all their other hardships and miseries, they have cooked food only three times a week, and this (it is always of a decidedly inferior quality, and served in very small quantities) is so filthy that the very sight of it is loathsome. Moreover, the drinking water is so black, thick, and full of worms that it makes one shudder to look at it, and even those suffering the tortures of thirst frequently find it almost impossible to swallow it."
-The Making of Pennsylvania, Sidney George Fisher, Ira J. Friedman, Inc, Port Washington L.I., N.Y., 1896
During 1734
The first settlers arrive at Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. They are chiefly Germans, who have come from nearby Goshenhoppen and Oley Townships. The first person to come here is said to have been a man named Berger, who settled in Long's Dale. These early settlers found the land low and swampy, covered with sour grass and thickets, and for this reason gave it the name it still retains.
-The Story of Berks County, A.E. Wagner, F.W. Balthaser, D.K. Hoch, Reading Eagle Co., 1913
and . . .
The first settlers from Oley, lying to the southwest, and those from Goshenhoppen, east of south, came to this section in 1734-35. A few among the first from Oley arrived in 1710. These early settlers certainly had a hard time of it. We are told that for a time at least, the branches of trees formed the roofs of their kitchens, and the body of their wagons, their sleeping rooms. . . . The name is said to have originated from the fact that along the whole length of Toad Run (Krottecrick) a small stream of water, flowing eastward from Topton along this ridg, until it empties into the Little Lehigh, the land was marshy and so this narrow swamp strip was called Longswamp. Another story goes that a number of people by the name of Long or Lang owned this swampy land and was called therefore Long's Swamp. The name was naturally contacted to "Longswamp". The present name "Longsdale" would seem to justify such a supposition. Settlements were fairly commenced in 1734. They increased year by year. The large majority of them were Reformed - Palatines, Swiss, and Huguenots.
-Reading Daily Times, Rev. J. W. Early, July 2 - November 8, 1907
-Lutherans in Berks County, 1723-1923, H.S. Kidd, Reading Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States

Skizze Vum Langschwamm

. . . Die erscht [Kaerrich] iss im Yohr 1748 gebaut warre un die zwett in 1791. Die erscht hot g'schtanne wu nau's "Tool House" schteht, un die zwett war graad g'schwische daerer un der wu heit uff em Baerrick schteht. Wie die zwett gabaut sei hot solle, hen die Vetter net eenich warre kenne, wu sie hie g'schtellt sei sott. Um eenich zu warre, hen sie die Hiet in die Luft g'schmisse, un wu der greescht Haufe vun Hiet war, dart iss di Kaerrich hie gebaut warre! Wie viel besser waer's doch heit wann, statts beese Warde un zwar noch Kuggle, die Hiet in die Luft g'schmisse daet warre! Sie Kumme all widder runner!
Die Gemee iss awwer doch elter als die erscht Kaerrich. Sie iss net weit vun zwee hunnert Yohr alt. Wann mer draa denkt vann unser Voraeltere numma sin un wees wie 's in selle friehere Yohre wor, wu noch ken Kaerriche wore un dass sie waerd manches glor warre. Die Voreltere hen Grishctendum g'hat un hen aa an irhrem Handwer g'schafft!

Die folgende Ansiedler sin aakumme in Philadelphia, an de Zeit wie so aagewwe iss:

Joseph Biery, 27. August 1739.
Sam Burger, 3. September 1739.
Jacob Burger, 3. September 1739.
Philip Burger, 3. September 1739.
Robert Kreber, 3. September 1739.
Theobald Carl, 9. September 1739.
Joseph Fenstermacher, 9. September 1738.
Fred. Helwig, 12. October 1741.
Philip Fenstermacher, 30. August 1737.
Johannes Deal, 27. August 1739.
Peter Butz, 9. November 1738.
Nicholas Schwartz, 3. September 1739.
Nicholas Mertz, 28. September 1733.
David Mertz, 28. September 1733.
Peter Mertz, 28. September 1733.
Heinrich Bollenger, 5. September 1738.
Christian Ruth, 30. August 1737.
Michael Neitner, 3. September 1739.
Bernhart Fegely, 3. August 28 1733.
Jacob Long, 30. August 1737.

Der Naame im erschte Deed war: "The German Calvinistic Congregation of Longswamp Township, Berks County." Ferwas "Longswamp"? So viel wolle vun Sache schreiwe vun denne sie nichs wisse. 'S Township iss kenne Familie nohg'heese warre. In friehere Zeit war's Daal vun wu Topton nau iss bis nunner an die Northampton County (nau Lecha) Line, 'n grosser Schwamm - sumpich Land - gewest, un doher der Naame "Longswamp." Topton is graad in der Mitt g'schwische Reading un Allentown un iss aa der Gippel, so dass die Leit dart saage kenne, "Nunner noch Reading" un aa "Nunner noch Allentown." Hinner Topton fangt die glee Lecha aa un aa die Grotte Krick. Die fliesse Oscht un wennich weiter West geht's Wasser der anner Weg.
Die glee Lecha geht darrich's Longedaal un kummt dann hinne rum darrich Nieder Longschwamm un geht iwwer 'n halwi Meil nordlich un dann widder Oscht. Die Grotte Krick is weiter nordlich un geht darrich Hancock un Mertztown nunner bis sie dann im Butze Daal in de glee Lecha fliesst.
An der gleene Lecha ware die Hilberts Miehl un Saegmiehl, schpaeter die Fritche Miehl; die Philip Bastress Wollkratz Miehl (schpaeter war der Marchus Long der Eegner); un dann dem Joseph Biery sei Mahl- un Saegmiehl; dann weiter im Daal drunne die Egners Miehle, schpaeter die Waghenost Miehle. Awwer wu sin die Miehle heit? Die menschte sin "Only a memory!".

An der Grotte Krick hot's ken Miehle g'hat. 'S iss yuscht 'n Winter Krick. Im Summer dhune ewwe die Moschgieter verdarschte! Doch wann 's reggert, geht's wie's Lescher's Miehl: "Nau kann ich mir selwer helfe." Sie waerd so luschdich as wie 'n Haersch wann die Hund ihm nohgehne. Wasser! Wasser! Ich denk! Doch kens far's Vieh wanns Vieh am darschtichscht iss!

In de erschte Yohre war des Land im Daal vun viele verhasst gewest, un deswege hen sich viele an die Baerrye g'henkt un sin aarm gebliwwe. Die awwer wu weiter naus geguckt hen, sin iwwer der Schwamm naus gange un sin gut aakumme. . . .
Mertztown is der Mertz Familie nohg'heesse warre in 1857. Die Mertze hen schun iwwer 'n hunnert Yohr frieher dart gewuhnt. . . .
Die Eiwhohner vun Langschwamm in 1800 ware 863; in 1900, 2,507. . . .

-Charles A. Butz. The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., January 7, 1939
Sketch of Longswamp

. . . The first [church] was built in 1748 and the second in 1791. The first one stood where the present tool house stands, and the second was exactly halfway between there and where the present one stands at the top of the hill. None of the fathers knew how the second should be built, where it should be put. In order to decide they threw their hats into the air, and where the greatest pile of hats was, that's where the church would be built! How much better would it be still today, instead of angry words and even bullets, throwing hats into the air would be. They all come down again!

The congregation is however older than the first church. It is at least 200 years old. When one thinks of how our ancestors arrived and knows how it was in those early years, where there was no church and that they held worship services in their homes -then it becomes much clearer. The ancestors were Christians but also had their trades to do.

The following colonists arrived at Philadelphia, at the time reported here:

Joseph Biery, August 27, 1739
Sam Burger, September 3, 1739
Jacob Burger, September 3, 1739
Philip Burger, September 3, 1739
Robert Kreber, September 3, 1739
Theobald Carl, September 3, 1739
Joseph Fenstermacher, September 9, 1738
Fred. Helwig, October 12, 1741
Philip Fenstermacher, August 30, 1737
Johannes Deal, August 27, 1739
Peter Butz, November 9, 1738
Nicholas Schwartz, September 3,1739
Nicholas Mertz, September 28, 1733
David Mertz, September 28, 1733
Peter Mertz, September 28, 1733
Heinrich Bollenger, September 5,1738
Christian Ruth, August 30, 1737
Michael Neitner, September 3, 1739
Bernhart Fegely, August 28, 1733
Jacob Long, August 30, 1737

The name on the first deed was: "The German Calvinistic Congregation of Longswamp Township, Berks County." Why "Longswamp"? So many intend to write of events who don't know. The township was not named after a family. In earlier time, the was valley from where Topton is now down to the Northampton County (now Lehigh) Line, was a great swamp - marshy land - and therefore named "Longswamp". Topton is halfway between Reading and Allentown and is at the highest point, so that the people there are heard to say "down toward Reading" and also "down toward Allentown". Behind Topton the Little Lehigh and the Toad Creek begin. They flow east, but a little farther west the water goes the other way.

The Little Lehigh goes through Longdale and then comes around behind through Lower Longswamp and goes over a half mile north then again east. The Toad Creek is farther to the north and goes through Hancock and Mertztown then down into Butze Dale into the Little Lehigh.

On the Little Lehigh were Hilbert's mill and sawmill, later Fritche mill; the Philip Bastress woolcarding mill (later Marcus Long was the owner); and then to Joseph Biery's meal and saw mill; then later the Trexler's mill and tannery; then farther in the valley down to Egners mill, later the Wahgenost Mill. But where are the mills now? Most are "only a memory"!

There can be no mills on the Toad Creek. It is only a creek in the winter. In the summer even the mosquettos die of thirst! Nevertheless, when it rains, it goes like Lesher's Mill: "Now I can help myself". It becomes as merry as a deer when the hound chases him. Water! Water! I imagine! Yet none for the benefit of cows when cows are depending on it.
In the first years the land in the valley was much hated, and therefore many stayed in the hills and remained poor. However those who looked further went over the swamp and prospered well. . . .

Mertztown was named after the Mertz family in 1857. The Mertzes had lived there over a hundred years before.

The population of Longswamp in 1800 was 863; in 1900, 2,507. . .

September, 1748
The first Longswamp Reformed Church is built and among the contributors are Nicolaus Mertz, David Mertz, and Peter Mertz.
The church is located on the northern slope of a spur of the Lehigh hills, elsewhere known as South Mountain, near the eastern boundary of Longswamp Township. . . . This in the opinion of Dr. [W.A.] Helffrich, who advances excellent reasons for his view, was tho original Little Lehigh church. Some of the sources of that stream are formed here. It is the only church besides the Galzburg or Galisburg Church, then known as the Schmalzgrass, located on this stream. Rev. Father Michael, pioneer of the Reformed Church mentions it as the "Little Lehigh Church" in his records. Schlatter could not possibly have meant the church which still bears the name "Lehigh church" at the present time, as that was exclusively Lutheran then. The name Longswamp, as applied to this church, was introduced as early as 1762. Frederick Hoelwig, cantor of the congregation, gives 1748 as the time of organization. But prior to this, services had been held in private houses, sermons being read. . . As usual in those days, the church was built of logs, the interstices being filled with small blocks or large chips, plastered over with clay. The seats were hewn planks. It is not stated whether the floor was of brick, of flags, or the native earth. This building remained in use about 43 years. The first church stood near where the present toolhouse stands in the cemetery.
The piece of ground which the members had selected was lawfully secured by Jost. H. Sassamanhausen through a warrant. Afterwards the congregation bought ine acres for the purpose of erecting a school-house thereon and for the use of the school-teacher. Both tracts were patented for the perpetual use of the Reformed congregation, which was not a union one originally, but so hard Reformed that the Lutherans who came afterward were pressed farther down into the valley, where they likewise established a congregation on the Little Lehigh.
The Reformed in Germany were not very much given to the doctrines distinctively known as Cavinism, and those of them who came to this country were still less inclined to such principles. They differed from the Lutherans in being, perhaps, more metaphysical or speculative, and more severe in their forms of worship. The Lutherans permitted images, altars, tapers, private confessional, and had a belief which somewhat resembled the doctrine of the real presence. All these were rejected by the Reformed. The Lutherans were closely connected with the State in Germany, while the Reformed were always independent of it.
-History of Berks County Pennsylvania, Montgomery
-Lutherans in Berks County, 1723-1923, H.S. Kidd, Reading Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States
-The Making of Pennsylvania, Sidney George Fisher, Ira J. Friedman, Inc, Port Washington L.I., N.Y., 1896
-Church Record of the Longswamp Reformed Church, Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania
-Rev. J.W. Early, Reading Daily Times, July 2 - November 8, 1907
(Note: The present site of the church is further up the hill from this original building (see below). -rjm)

November 23, 1752 (Thursday)
Nicholas Mertz receives land warrant no. 12 for 50 acres. In addition, he received warrant no. 18 on 5/29/1753 for 16 acres, and warrant no. 30 dated 12/29/1753 for 34 acres. It is said that Mertztown, Longswamp Township, is located on this land.
-The Martzes of Maryland, Ralph Fraley Martz, 1973 (cites Survey Book A-D-C)

Below: (left) the present Longswamp Church (built in 1852) looking southwest from the grave yard as it appeared on a stormy day in 1988. The two stones in the right foreground are for Peter and Christina Mertz Klein (also shown at the right, looking northwest) the older one for Peter Klein was temporarily covered at the time for preservation. No stones are found for David or Peter Mertz. The location of the original church building was at the lower northern corner of the graveyard behind and to the right of the Klein stones.


Special thanks to Oakey Mertz and his "cousin" Fredy Mertz for providing additional documents and information. 



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