Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Other Mayflowers, Voyage 4

The Hessian Soldier who stayed in the New World

Part four in my Thanksgiving series about ancestors who DIDN’T arrive in the New World on the Mayflower. My 4x great grandfather Johann Daniel Bollman was a surgeon from Hammersleben in Saxony, Germany. He came to North America with Baron de Riedesel’s Brunswick Regiment of Hessian Soldiers in 1776. The Duke of Brunswick had contracted with England to send 3,964 foot soldiers and cavalry to America. They arrived in Quebec and their military objective was to cut off New England from the other colonies by driving troops down to Albany. They lost the battle at Bennington, Vermont when 200 Germans were killed and another 700 were captured. Again, at Saratoga, the Americans trapped them and took the Germans as prisoners of war for the duration.

Fortunately, as an officer and a surgeon, Johann Daniel Bollman was a valuable prisoner. He was also wounded at Saratoga, and while being held he tended to the other sick and wounded. He was exchanged as a prisoner of war, and sent to Halifax. Eventually he settled as a permanent resident of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the home of many German speaking settlers.

Dr. Bollman was not only a physician, he also became active in politics and served as a member of the House of Assembly representing Lunenburg Township between 1793 to 1809. In 1782 he married Jane Bremner, daughter of Scots settlers and widow of Phillip Knaut, an original Lunenburg grantee. His granddaughter removed to Massachusetts in the 1870s and joined the family tree in the United States.

Bollman Family Tree:

Generation 1: Dr. Johann Daniel Bollman, born about 1751 in Hammersleben, Magdeburg, Saxony, Germany, died 17 September 1833 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada; married on 14 February 1782 in Lunenburg to Jane Bremner, daughter of Robert Bremner and Margaret Stewart, born about 1764 and died on 6 March 1829 in Lunenburg. Eleven children including two sons who were surgeons…

Generation 2: Dr. Bremner Frederick Bollman, born 25 February 1802 in Lunenburg, died on 15 December 1838 in Lunenburg; married to Sarah Elizabeth Lennox, daughter of John Lennox and Ann Margaretha Schupp, born 16 February 1805 in Lunenburg. Three children…

Generation 3: Ann Margaret Bollman, born 11 September 1835 in Lunenburg and died 1923 in Salem, Massachusetts; married on 7 June 1858 in Lunenburg to Caleb Rand Bill, son of the Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill and Isabella Lyons. He was born on 30 May 1833 in Billtown, Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, and died on 30 December 1902 in Salem, Massachusetts. See my blog posting on October 4, 2009 “Bill Family Reunion” for a continuation of this lineage.


“The Diary of Adolphus Gaetz” describes life in early Lunenburg, Nova Scotia between 1855 and 1873. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management

“Johnny Bluenose at the Polls” by Brian Cuthbertson, Formac Publishing, Halifax, 1994

“Surgeons, Smallpox, and the Poor: A History of Medicine and Social Conditions in Nova Scotia, 1749-1799”, by Allan Everett Marble, McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal

Johannes Schwalm Historical Association website of Hessian Soldiers and their Descendants in the New World

The records of Saint John's Anglican Church, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Copyright 2009, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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