An ethnically mixed group produces the finest people, so say some of the experts. If true, the Palatines should have been best at the end of the Holy Roman Empire. From Roman times, and even before, no long era occurred when no race was over-running the Rhine valley, Romans, Spanish, French, Swedes, and many others. The German "Palatine" was the ethnic result.

Among the Palatines coming to Pennsylvania in response to Penn's invitation was one, and probably only one family bearing the name Bollman. Johan Adam Bollman was a farmer, a property owner, living not far from Mainz. He had a family of boys, the eldest nearing army age when he would be forced to fight for the Catholic Prince who ruled the province. Johan was otherwise penalized because he was a Lutheran. Freedom of religion appealed to him strongly, so he decided to go to Pennsylvania.

The trip to America was not easy, even the Rhine passage to Holland was beset with river profiteers, exacting tolls. At Rotterdam accommodations were secured on the "Loyal Judith" in June 1739. Fortunately Johan had sold his property for enough to pay his family's passage. Some who went on the ship sold themselves into servitude from three to five years for transportation.

Comparatively the trip was pleasant on a calm sea, but more than two months were required. Passengers were packed in like beans in a jar, with heat, hunger, foul food, and sickness causing anxiety among the emigrants. At Philadelpeia Johan took the oath of allegiance to England, and to the colony, on September 3, 1739. His signature is preserved in the Pennsylvania Archives.

Johan's family included a wife, several sons, and probably a daughter or two. His sons were: Johan, Adam, Abraham, David, and Frederick. Names of women and children arriving on the Loyal Judith were not given, but, the original mother of nearly all of the Bollmans in America merits a recorded given name, therefore I am correcting this historical oversight. The names, Maria and Catrina appear most often in first and second generations of Bollman girls born in Pennsylvania, probably named after grandmother, consequently, for this record her name will be "Maria Catrina."

Soon after arrival in the colony Johan settled in Berks county northwest of Philadelphia, among a group of Germans. As far as known he lived there the rest of his life. His sons moved to Lancaster county later, four of whom are listed in the Pennsylvania Archives as property owners in Heidelburg township. Still later, by 1784, one Bollman family had located in Bedford county.

Bedford co. is still well inhabited by Bollmans in 1967. They claim to be all descendants of Isaac, b. 1778, a brother of our great grandfather. Isaac was the father of 14 children, and a son, David had 17. Many Bollmans were located in Berks, Lancaster, and in adjacent counties, but a far greater number moved west, helping to conquer the continent, and supplying the Nation with upright citizens in all walks of life.


This shrine was built in early 18th century years, and was known as "The State House" until after the Revolution. Many of our German ancestors had their initial contact with the Pennsylvania colony when they arrived at Philadelphia, and took the Oath of Allegiance to the King, and to the Colony, at the State House.