Hans Jacob Honaker

Hans Jacob Honaker

Zürich, Switzerland
Death 10 May 1796 (aged 77)
Pulaski County, Virginia, USA
Burial Draper, Pulaski County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 20118637 · View Source
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Hans Jacob Honegger was born to Hans Jacob Honegger (Honaker is the Americanized version) and Elsbeth Bosshart in Hinwil, a village outside Zurich, Switzerland. He became a carpenter who was having a hard time making a living in Switzerland and reports were coming in from America that were very favorable.

There was quite a rush of people heading for the New World and hopeful prosperity. It is unknown exactly when he decided to migrate, but sometime before he was thirty he moved to Basel, Switzerland, which was the main stop-off for people from Zurich to continue on their way to America. On June 20, 1747, Hans married Anna Bleyer in Pratteln (just outside Basel proper, Switzerland.

Ten months later they had a baby boy and named him Hans Jacob Honegger. Hans Sr. applied to emigrate, but the government process was slow. He was finally allowed to go, and on or about May 8, 1749, they left for America. These voyages were very rough, and the conditions were deplorable. The food was scarce, and the little they did get was barely edible. No more than three warm meals were served per week. There was a constant stench throughout the ship. Anna and their one-year-old son, Hans, did not survive the crossing of the Atlantic, and were buried at sea along with many others.

The cost of the voyage from Switzerland was about sixteen pounds per person. If a person did not have the money to pay for the trip, they would make deals to work off the debt once they arrived at their destination. It took one about four years to work off this debt once in America. If a passenger died at a point further than halfway across the Atlantic, the other family members on the journey had to either pay or they owed that debt as well. It is assumed that the child did not make it halfway, and that Anna did.

Hans Jacob Honegger arrived on the H.M.S. Crown in Philadelphia on August 30, 1749, nearly four months after the voyage began. He arrived with no money, and this is how he began his new life in America. All immigrant males over the age of sixteen were required to remain aboard ship until they were either purchased as servants, or signed the "oath of allegiance", which Hans did upon arrival. Thusly, Hans Jacob Honaker became an indentured servant in Philadelphia. His basic needs were provided by his master, but he had very few privileges. He could not buy or sell anything nor marry without his master's consent.

When his indentured contract was over, he was given freedom dues, which in 1750s Pennsylvania were a horse and a suit of clothes. It is unclear whether or not he was held responsible for Anna's passage to America because he married Maria Goetz (possibly with his master's permission) within four years of his arrival in Philadelphia.

This information is taken from "Hans Jacob Honegger- From Switzerland to America" by Nadine W. Larsen. (bio abridged by William Mehlhouse)
lhonaker visited this grave site on August 19, 2011. He is my 6th g-grandpa. Unfortunately, it is very overgrown and very hard to find. The directions here are outdated, but did help with the overall location. A (Harry?) owns the 18th/19th century house (brick, 2 story, rennovations for columns in front) below the hill, and his neighbor provided us with info on how to get up to it.

None of the grave markers were visible, except a Hash across the fence, as the Honaker cemetary was overgrown with about 6-7 foot tall weeds. It is a beautiful place with a incredible mountain lookout.To get to the cemetary, you travel on OLD route 100. Don't try and go by the exit listed, as they have all changed. On old route 100, north of Draper, and just north off the brick house w/ old stone steps out front, is a gravel road (1st rd)to the right that goes past an old log house and into the woods. There is an old stone fence that runs along the road, and you travel down the gravel road.

Apparently the gravel road leads down into a tunnel and continues, but we just went up the hill (4 wheel drive or an experienced two wheel driver) which you can hike or drive(if capable) the cemetery is the overgrown square patch at the top of the hill (follow the power lines!). Some of the fence is visible, but none of the graves were visible. It is best to ask the people in one of the houses (the brick or across the St.)for permission, as we did. It is still very neat to see everything, and hopefully the next time we go we will be able to clean it up a little bit.

- lhonaker
Anna was Han's 1st wife and both she and her son died on the voyage and were buried at sea. Hans' 2nd wife was Maria Goetz whom he married July 8, 1753 at the First Reformed Church in Philadelphia, PA. Maria was the mother of all children born in U.S.

Charles Whalin

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  • Created by: Rhonda
  • Added: 26 Jun 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20118637
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Hans Jacob Honaker (24 Jul 1718–10 May 1796), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20118637, citing Honaker Cemetery, Draper, Pulaski County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Rhonda (contributor 46869790) .