Disappearing Hessians...

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Khyros, May 3, 2007.

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  1. A good friend of mine with a German name once proudly stated that his ancestor was an immigrant who came to Connecticut in the late 1700's. My reaction to this... laughter... quite startled him. You see... prior to 1776 there were relatively few folks of German ancestry here in New England but that changed more or less overnight.

    Following the official cessation of hostilities between the Colonial Congress and Britain, a large contingent of captured Hessians (German mercenaries hired by the crown) was marched through this region enroute to points of embarkation to be deported back to their homeland. At that particular moment in history here in Connecticut, there was a serious lack of men. Females outnumbered males three to one!

    With labor intensive family dairy farms being the primary business around these parts, many a father was looking at their plots going to an unwed daughter and were quite distressed. So... something had to be done and the convenient entourage of healthy Christian men was a heck of an opportunity.

    Kidnappings on a massive scale occured and fully two thirds of the Hessians found themselves of choosing between marriage to a farmer's daughter or being hanged as an escaped prisoner. Not a surprise that many chose domestic bliss over the noose...

    So... my buddy, eyes wide, was shocked to discover his celebrated German ancestor was more than likely a male war bride! LOL!
  2. Ah...reminds me of "The Hessian" by Howard Spring. Cracking yarn.
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Hessian mercenaries were my ancestors, bailed out of America into Canada at the end of the war. I think the yanks kicked out the loyalists en masse causing starvation and death.
    So when I was taking Mum to her dads grave near hannover she proudly stated to tmein host at the gasthoff that although the last member of the family to visit was into redevelopment as in coventry, he was from a long line of Hermans. Oh mum, I didnt know she could drink so much!