First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina


Early generations of the Geiger family in St. Gall, Switzerland were Hans Gyger, b. about 1580, d. Feb 1637 who married Anna Zust, b. 1579-1581, d. 1643-1647 and their son Abraham Gyger, b. 12 Sept 1619, d. 8 Nov 1673, who married Elsbeth Fenk. Their younger son was Hans Gyger, b. 18 Sept 1654, d. 27 Aug 1710, who married Anna Fehr on 18 Feb 1677. Children of Hans and Anna were Hans Jacob Gyger, Abraham Gyger and Hans Ulrich Gyger. Given here are the immigrant families of Hans Jacob Gyger and his brother Abraham Gyger.1

The Geiger families emigrated from the the Rheintal (a region later canton, St. Gallen, Switzerland) in the fall of 1736. The Rheintaler families joined two other groups in Rotterdam, and sailed in late October on the ship Prince of Wales, Capt George Dunbar. Emigrants from Appenzell were led by Capt John Tobler and the Rev. Batholomew Zuberbuhler of the established Swiss reformed church. Emigrants from the Rheintal and from Graubunden, Grisons formed a separate party under the informal leadership of Johann Ulrich Giessendanner, whose study for the ministry was cut short by his adherence to Pietism, a dissenting belief system. Ship board relations between the established religion Appenzellers and the dissenting Pietist group were strained and they chose to have nothing to do with one another after landing in Charlestown on 1 February, 1736/7. The Appenzellers settled in New Windsor Township on the Savannah River, near an Indian trading post called Savanna-Town. The Graubunden party agreed to several months of military service at Fort Frederick in Port Royal, under the command of Purrysburgh resident Capt. John Chevillette (later Col.). This group settled in Orangeburgh Township after completing their service, as did Col. Chevillette by 1745. The Rheintaler party (including 24 members of the extended Geiger family) went directly to Saxegotha Township, and settled along the Congaree River to the north of Saxegotha-Town.2 3 4

The Hans Jacob Gyger Family

1. Hans Jacob Geiger was baptized on 6 July 1679 in Widnau/Diepoldsau, Unterrheintal District, St. Gall, Switzerland. He married Margrit Feer/Fehr, b. 1684 in Switzerland, d. in Saxe Gotha, South Carolina.

Hans Jacob Geiger’s grant, surveyed in Sept 1737 and granted on 5 June 1742, was for 350 acres, therefore for seven persons. His two oldest children, Herman and Elizabeth, were married and received land with their own families.5 The other two sons, Henry and Hans Jacob, are attested in SC records. Four other family members survived the voyage: either wife Margretha and three of their daughters who were Catherine, Barbara, Wybehrt and Margaretha, or else all four daughters but not the wife. Johann Ulrich Giezendanner described the voyage of the ship Prince of Wales, and said that “in all only 3 children and 1 daughter died”: i. e. all adults survived the voyage. The deceased daughter appears to have been one of Geiger’s.

Children of Hans Jacob Geiger and Margrit Fehr, all born in Diepoldsau, are:

+2.i.Herman Geiger, b. 18 Dec 1707, d. Nov 1751

+3.ii.Elsbetha Geiger, b. 20 Oct 1709, d. bef 1771.

4.iii.Anna Cathrina Geiger, b. 17 Nov 1711.

5.iv.Hans Heinrich Geiger, b. 12 Aug 1713, d. aft 1762 (when he sold his father’s land grant to Henry Hartley/Harth)6; married Anna Urner, b. 6 Nov 1718 in Unter-Rifferschweil/Zurich. She was an emigrant of Aug 1739 with first husband Heinrich Weber, b. 6 Oct 1715.7

6.v.Maria Barbara Geiger, b. 25 Feb 1715. Geiger, b. 25 Sept 1718

+8.vii.Hans Jacob Geiger, b. 10 Feb 1720

9.viii.Margaretha Geiger b. 26 April 1724.

Marriages of the daughters of Hans Jacob Geiger:

Three of the four unmarried daughters of Hans Jacob Geiger arrived in SC, as did daughter Elizabeth Geiger, wife of Hans Ulrich Schellig. Ulrich Schellig died prior to 13 Dec 1738, when the will of his father John Shellig (Johannes Schellig) was signed8. The two older sons of Jacob Gallman (Hans Heinrich, bp. 7 March 1706 d. bef 1755, and Heinrich, bp. 24 Nov 1709 d. 1767) had married sisters from the Rheintal by 15 Sept 1738, per his letter. These were daughters of Hans Jacob Geiger, because the seven non-Geiger Rheintaler households consisted of three single men, two men with fewer than two daughters, and two men whose daughters married other people. Jacob Gallman’s youngest son Johannes bp. 1 Mar 1716 d. 1758 married a Geiger sister after Sept 1738, because he was named as a brother-in-law and executor in the 20 Oct 1751 will of Herman Geiger.9 Available documentation does not identify which of the Geiger sisters died en route, or which Geiger daughter married which Gallman son.

Second Generation

2. Herman Geiger, b. 18 Dec 1707 in Diepoldsau/Unterrheintal/ St. Gall, d. Nov 1751 in Saxe Gotha,10 married 26 Feb 1734 (or 6 Feb 1733/34) in Wydnau/St. Gall to Elizabeth Habluzel (Hablutzel), b. 25 Dec 1711 in Trullikon/Zurich, d. 1753-57. As an adult Herman and his family immigrated to South Carolina with his father, Hans Jacob, and uncle, Abraham Geiger, on the ship Prince of Wales in 1736.

Children of Herman and Elizabeth Habluzel are:

10.i.Catherina Geiger b. 1734 in St. Gall; not attested to in SC after 1737.

+11.ii.John Conrad Geiger b. 1736 in St. Gall d. 177211.

+12.iii.Jacob Geiger b. ~1738, d. 177212

+13.iv.Herman Geiger, Jr. b. 1738 d. bef. 1790.

+14.v.Elizabeth Geiger b. 1740 d, 5 Nov. 1802. Geiger married Ulrich (?)Baughman.

+16.vii.John Geiger b. 8 Jan 1748 d. 2 Sept 1817.13 .

3. Elsbetha Geiger,. b. 20 Oct 1709, d. bef 1771, married Hans Ulrich Schellig of Langmoos on 17 June 1732. Elsbetha was a married adult and immigrated to Charles Town with her husband and family on the ship Prince of Wales in 1736.

Children of Elsbetha Geiger and Hans Ulrich Schellig are:

17.i.Anna Barbara Schellig, b. 15 April 1733, married Henry Brown, a tanner. (1 daughter Rosanna).

18.ii.Johannes Schellig, b. 29 July 1734. Died young without issue.

8. Hans Jacob Geiger, b. 10 Feb 1720, married Arsilla Anishansly (Ursula Anisshaussein) from Ormalingen, Basel.

Ursula Annerhausley (sic) petitioned for 50 acres of land on 13 December 1743, stating that she had arrived from Switzerland in Sept 1736 (therefore on the Ship Eagle).14

John Jacob Geiger petitioned for an additional 150 acres of land (adjacent to the 50 he already owned) on 4 July 1749, stating that he had married Arsilla Anishansly and had two children.15

Children of Hans Jacob Geiger and Arisilla Anishansly are:

19.i.John Jacob Geiger, b. ~1743, d. ~1792 married [unknown] Theiler, daughter of Jacob Theiler and Magdalen Belon. (3 sons, 2 daughters).

20.ii.William Geiger, b. ~1747, d. 1780 married Ann Theiler, widow of his cousin Jacob Geiger, son of Herman. Ann married (2)Joseph Culpeper. (No issue).

21.iii.Henry Geiger, b. bet. 1755-1765. Unidentified wife and children.

22.iv.Margaret Geiger married [unknown] Caller before 1772.


11. John Conrad Geiger, b. 1736 in St. Gall, d. 1772, married Barbara Murff, b. 28 Sept 1740 in Effretikon, Illnau, Zurich. Barbara married (2)Mathias Liebecap.

Children of John Conrad Geiger and Barbara Murff are:

23.i.Jacob Geiger, b. Nov 1763, d. 25 Dec 1801, married (1)Ann Beard on 10 May 1785. Ann, b. 23 Sept 1765, d. 10 Jan 1797. Jacob married (2)Dorothy Kinsler (Kuntzler) on 15 Jan 1799. Dorothy, b. June 1771, d. 27 Aug 1857. Dorothy married (2)Abraham Geiger, b. ~1771, d. 14 June 1841, Jacob’s cousin. (no issue)

24.ii.Ann Geiger, married (1)Daniel Tateman, d. aft. 1785, (2) William Rea, b. 1756, d. 1799 (3 daughters), (3)John J. Martin.

25.iii.Elizabeth Geiger, b. ~1770, d. 1863, married, on 26 Dec 1785, Alexander Bell, d. 8 Jan 1817. (3 sons, 3 daughters).

12. Jacob Geiger, b. ~1738, d. 1772,16 married Ann Theiler by 1765. Ann married (2)William Geiger17, and (3)Joseph Culpeper bef. 1 Jan 1785.18

Children of Jacob Geiger and Ann Theiler are:

26.i.John Geiger19

13. Herman Geiger, Jr., b. 1738, d. bef. 1790, married Margaret Theiler, b. ~1740. Margaret married (2)Jacob Slappey bef. 1790.

Children of Herman Geiger, Jr. and Margaret Theiler are:

27.i.John Randolph Geiger, b. 15 Feb 1773, d. 18 Jan 1836 in Edgefield County, SC, married on 22 March 1796 to Elizabeth Murff, b. 11July 1778 in Edgefield County, SC, d. 10 Sept 1855 in Jasper County, Georgia. (3 sons and 3 daughters).

28.ii.Elizabeth Geiger did not marry.

14. Elizabeth Geiger, b. 1740, d, 5 Nov 1802 in Charleston, SC. She married (1)Capt Henry Gallman, b. 1709 d. 1767 (no issue), (2)John Adam Horlbeck on 25 Feb 1769 in Charleston. John, b. 11 Feb 1728/29 in Plausen, Saxony, d. 1 April 1812

Children of John Adam Horlbeck. and Elizabeth Geiger are:

29.i.John Horlbeck, b. 26 Sept 1771. (No issue).

30.ii.Henry Horlbeck, b. 27 Nov 1776.

15. Margaret Geiger married Ulrich (?) Baughman.

Children of Ulrich(?) Baughman. and Margaret Geiger are:

31.i.Elizabeth Baughman married James Sharpe. (1 daughter).

32.i.Mary Baughman married [unknown] Craps (1 son, 1 daughter).

16. John Geiger, b. 8 Jan 1748, d. 2 Sept 1817, married in ~1767 Ann Murff, b. 14 April 1742 in Effretikon, Illnau, Zurich.

Children of John Geiger and Ann Murff are:

33.i.Herman Geiger, b. 3 July 1769, d. 7 May 1852, married Sarah (Sallie) Sharpe, b. 14 Oct 1786, d. 25 April 1849. (2 sons, 2 daughters).

34.ii.Abraham Geiger, b. 1770, d. 14 Jan 1841, married on 24 Oct 1802, Dorothy (Dolly) Kinsler, b. 1 July 1771, d. 27 Aug 1857, widow of Abraham’s cousin Jacob. (3 sons, 2 daughters).

35.iii.William Geiger, b. 1773, d. 5 Feb 1855, married in 1800 Margaret Kersh, b. 1782, d. 21 June 1852. (8 sons, 2 daughters).

36.iv.Elizabeth Geiger, b. 4 March 1776, d. 19 April 1856, married in ~1800 to George Kaigler, b. 1772, d. 10 Jan 1831. (2 sons 4 daughters).

37.v.Ann (Nancy) Geiger, b. 1778, married William Baughman. (2 sons and 5 daughters). Geiger, Jr., b. 1779, d. 29 Aug 1797 in Charleston, SC.20

John, Sr. had large amounts of land surveyed for John, Jr., adjacent to his own lands in 1787-1796. Since he did not survive his father, John, Jr. is not mentioned in the 1817 will of his father. His death was recorded in the Bible of his brother Abraham.

The Abraham Geiger Family

1. Abraham Geiger b. 9 March 1687 in Haslach, Berneck, Unterrheintal, St. Gall, Switzerland d.7 May 1766 in Saxegotha; married Cathrina Schellig b. 29 Jan 1687 in Langmoos, Berneck, Unterrheintal, St. Gall, Switzerland.

Children of Abraham Geiger and Cathrina Schellig, all born in St. Gall are:

2.i.Hans Jacob Geiger, b. 20 March 1717, d. 6 July 1718.

  +3.        ii. Hans Jacob Geiger, bapt. 27 Nov 1718, d. ~1760.

4.iii.Johannes Geiger, bapt. 21 Jan 1721, married Barbara Zanger, daughter of 1735 Orangeburgh settler Simon Zanger.21 Johannes (John) Geiger was also convicted of the Weberite murders, but pardoned [see research note a.].

5.iv.Hans Georg, b. 3 Dec 1722, d. 20 March 1724

6.v.Elsbetha Geiger, b. 7 Sept 1724, d. 8 July 1726.

7,vi.Elsbetha Geiger, bapt. 21 Dec 1726, d. in Saxegotha, no known issue.

+8.vii.Hans Ulrich Geiger, b. 14 May 1729, bapt. 18 June 1730, d. 12 June 1777 in Georgia.22


3. Hans Jacob Geiger, bapt. 27 Nov 1718, d. ~1760, before 1743, married Anna Maria Fridig/Friday, b. 25 Oct 1721 in Frutigen, Bern, Switzerland, d. bef. 1784. Anna Maria married (2)Jacob Weber, b. 30 Dec 1725, d. 17 April 1761.23

Jacob Weber was a lay minister of the lower Dutch Fork, who was hanged for leading members of his congregation to kill two men considered enemies of the sect. Anna Maria (called Hannah Weber/Weaver from 1761) was also convicted of the murders, but pardoned. [see research note a.]24

Children of Hans Jacob and Anna Maria Fridig are:

9.i.Mary Magdalene Geiger not attested to after 1768.

10.ii.Anna Cathrina Geiger married befor3 1784 Joseph Kennerly, b. ~1753 in Craven County, SC. (5 sons, 2 daughters).

11.iii.Anna Maria Geiger married bef. 1784 Lllewellin Threewits b. Brunswicck County, Virginia. (No issue).

8. Hans Ulrich Geiger, b. 14 May 1729, bapt. 18 June 1730, d. 12 June 1777 in Georgia, married Ann Mary Magdalen [unknown]. He left SC on 1 July 1766 for St. Phillips Parish, Georgia.

Children of Hans Ulrich and Ann Mary Magdalen [unknown] are:

12.i.Anna Maria (Mary) Geiger married (1)William Stafford, d. bef 1788 at Jerusalem Church, Ebenezer, Georgia, on 18 May 1773, (2)Jacob Hoffman/Huffman d. 1812.

13.ii.Abraham Geiger, b. 11 June 1761 in Saxe Gotha, d. 1830-32 in Bryan County, Georgia, married Mercy Martin.

14.iii.Felix Geiger, b. 30 Sept 1763, d. 17 Feb 1827 in Wayne County, Georgia, married Mary Martin.

15.iv.John Geiger, b. 1765 in SC, d. 1826 in Bulloch County, Georgia, married Sarah (widow of Austin Sheffield) on 16 April 1816.

16.v.Rachel Geiger, b. 6 Feb 1769 (not mentioned in Ulrich’s estate) Geiger, b. 1 Feb 1774, d. Marion County, Florida married Rebecca Bennett.

Research Notes

a. The murder trial was reported in the South Carolina Gazette on 25 Apr 1761 and 16 May 1761. The four convicted persons were identified as Jacob Wieber, John Geiger, Jacob Bourghart and Hannah Wieber. Jacob Wieber/Weber was hanged on 17 Apr 1761, while the other three were released on bail. Gov. William Bull wrote a letter to the Hon. William Pitt, Secretary of State to His Majesty, seeking pardon for the other three, “each with numerous Families, bear the character of being long known, orderly and industrious”, etc. [Letter of 26 Apr 1761, P.R.O. Trans., XXIX, 80-82]. The response was not preserved, but each of the three was attested in land, tax and jury records over the following 20 years, implying that a pardon was granted.] These were very close neighbors: as of the late 1750’s, the lands on the north bank of the Saluda River between Rawl’s Creek and Geiger’s Creek were held in the names of Jacob Burghard, Jacob and Magdalen Appeal Weber, John and Barbara Zanger Geiger, and Hans Jacob and Anna Maria Fridig Geiger. Magdalen Appeal Weber and Hans Jacob Geiger both died by 1760, and the surviving spouses married.

References to this surname are found in OGSGS Newsletters: Vol. 1, p. 17; Vol. 2, p. 141; Vol. 3, pp. 8, 15; Vol. 4, pp. 27, 40; Vol. 5, pp. 22, 13; Vol. 6, pp. 10, 39, 79, 106, 126, 128, 156; Vol. 7, pp. 4, 57; Vol. 8, p. 43; Vol. 11, pp. 92, 105.

Information provided by Harriet Imrey on 28 Aug 2013 and 25 Jun 2016.

1 Births, marriages and deaths in Switzerland from parish registers of Reformed Churches of Berneck and Diepoldsau, Au (currently St. Gallen), Switzerland.

2 Schelbert, Leo. (2004). America Experienced, Eighteen and Nineteenth Century Accounts of Swiss Immigrants to the United States. Rockport, Maine, Picton Press. Pp. 64-78 (Jacob Gallman and Johann Ulrich Giezendanner), 118-124 (Hans Wernhard Trachsler).

3 Cordle, George C. (Feb-Nov 1939). "The John Tobler Manuscripts: An Account of German-Swiss Emigrants in South Carolina, 1737." The Journal of Southern History Vol. V: 83-97.

4 Jones, George. F. and Wilson., Renate (1976). "Urlsperger Reports (Diaries of pastor Johann Martin Boltzius, Ebenezer GA Evangelical Lutheran Church)." Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants who settled in America. IV, 1737.

5 Plat to John Ulrich Shillig, 200 acres, 17 Sep 1737, S213184, Vol. 0004, Page 00160; granted 5 Jun 1742; plat to Herman Gyger, 200 acres, 12 Sep 1737, S213184, Vol. 0016, Page 00261; granted 5 Jun 1742.

6 Memorial of Henry Harth (sic: Hartley), 20 Jun 1762, re purchase of Hans Jacob Gyger plat from Harry (Henry) Geiger, S111001, Vol. 0014, Page 00235.

7 Estate disposition of Henry Weber to Harry Geiger, husband of widow (Anna Urner), 12 Nov 1751, S213003, Vol. 0021, Page 00204.

8 SC Will Book 1740-1747, p. 22.

9 SC Will Book 1747-1752, p. 450.

10 Will signed on 20 Oct 1751, proven on 6 Dec 1751.

11 Will proven on 10 Dec 1772 with executors as widow Barbara and brother, John, qualified 2 March 1773.

12 Will signed 8 Aug 1772, proven 18 Sept 1772.

13 Will signed 18 June 1816, probated 18 Sept 1817, estate appraised 20 Oct 1817.

14 Holcomb, Brent H. (1996). Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Vol. I: 1734/5-1748. Columbia SC: SCMAR, p. 178.

15 Holcomb, Brent H. (1997). Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Vol. II: 1748-1752. Columbia SC: SCMAR, p. 48.

16 Will signed 8 Aug 1772, proven 18 Sept 1772.

17 Will signed 21 Nov 1779, proven 1 July 1781.

18 When Ann qualifies as executor for William Geiger’s estate.

19 John identified as a minor in William Geiger’s will.

20 Obituary publish 31 Aug 1797 “on the 29th instant departed this life, in the 19th year of his age, Mr. John Geiger jun. son of John Geiger, Planter, of the Congarees”.

21 SC Deed Book R-3, 450-456. 26 & 27 Mar 1759, L&R. John Geiger (of fork of Broad & Saludy) and his wife Barbara sold 150 acres in Orangeburgh TWP, her inheritance from father Simon Zanger, to her Ott step-brothers.

22 Date of death of Ulrich Geiger, and of his father Abraham, from the Bible of Felix Geiger Jr. (1804-1889), Bible published 1859. Dates were presumably copied from earlier records, and may contain transcription errors.

23 The Quit Rent roll of 1771 includes an entry for “Mary Geiger (now Weaver) 200 acres. Jacob Geiger’s Est. paid by her. 150 acres.”

24 The South Carolina Gazette, 25 Apr 1761 and 16 May 1761