Jacob Bartell was a Hessian soldier who fought with the British in The Revolutionary War in South Carolina.  It was reported in a family legend that he was captured by some men of the Francis Marion Brigade when he would not abandon his horse which broke through a bridge over Mingo Creek (or another creek in that area).  The details of the legend may vary depending upon the source.

We know for certain that he chose to remain in America after the war and settled first on the Marion County side of the Lynches River and later in Rheims, SC.  His descendants later settled in the Indiantown Community, Williamsburg County, South Carolina, and became prosperous farmers and prominent citizens.

The Eaddy and Bartell families have intermarried numerous times beginning with Edward Drake Eaddy and Mary Bartell. He must have been a superb craftsman and teacher.  This became evident in the lives of his sons who kept meticulous diaries and were known to possess skills including blacksmithing, watchmaking, carpentry, coffin making, farming, soldiering, and numerous other pursuits.  The best known of his sons was William Bartell who was Commissioner of Roads and Waterways.  He recorded the daily events for over 30 years of his life.  In his diary are found accounts of the lives of numerous residents of the communities in which he traveled to perform all those extraordinary skills.

Jacob Bartell left a legacy of superb genetics in his descendants as well as demonstrations of "Old World" artistry and craftsmanship.  His talents were surely needed in the development of that wilderness into the prosperous agricultural region it became under the management of his descendants and many others in this region who persevered through numerous challenges to provide a legacy for their descendants to enjoy.


I have long been interested in the legend concerning Jacob Bartell's having been a Hessian Soldier in the Revolution.  If I am correct in what I have found, there can now be no doubt that he was indeed exactly what the story says he was.  I see no reason to doubt that this was our Jacob Bartell.  The dates fit, the places fit, the listing as prisoner of war fits, and Barthel in German is pronounced Bartell.  The rest of the legend would easily fall into place.

The following information was found in a book entitled  HESSICHE TRUPPEN
America ( Index to Family Names), as far as my very limited German goes.
Entry no. 471 is as follows:

Barthel, Jakob

- Born 1747/1748 in Knichhagen, Hesse-Kassel, now in the Federal Republic of West Germany;
- Rank, Private (Gemeiner) in the von Knyphausen Regiment of Grenadiers (after 1784 the von Donop Regiment); and
- listed as a prisoner of war.

This regiment was formed in Zurenberg, Germany at the end of January, 1776 as part of the Grenadier Battalion Block (later Lengerke).  The unit was newly formed at the request of the British especially for the American Campaign.

Forming the largest contingent of troops in German mercenary units serving in North America from 1776-1784, it consisted of:

 15 infantry regiments
   4 grenadier battalions
   1 courier corps
   1 artillery corps
 Total:  15,000 men

Most of these troops arrived in August, 1776 and were first used in New York and New Jersey.  In 1777 the Grenadiers were in Pennsylvania, then embarked for North Carolina where they arrived in February, 1780.  They saw service in Charleston and Savannah, and were part of the British forces storming Ft. Moultrie in April of 1780.  In May/June, 1780 they returned to New York.  A proposed expedition for the relief of General Cornwallis at Yorktown was cancelled and what remained of the Block eventually returned to Germany and was disbanded there.







The man known as Jacob Bartell, Sr., Hessian Soldier of the American Revolution, was a German Christian who was probably descended from a Jewish family.  The family may have been exiled from Israel after the crucifixion of Jesus and destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the Nation of Judea at Masada in 73 A.D. by the Romans.  We do not know the circumstances under which they moved to Germany and converted to Christianity.  A casual observation of his name might suggest that the family was indeed Jewish.  A closer study of his family history and family names might confirm this hypothesis.  See the genealogical history of Jacob Bartell, Sr. aka: Johann Jacob Berthold/Barthel/Bartell.  Note the repetition of Jewish names appearing in the family genealogy.

Hebrew names containing the prefix of “Bar” usually denote “son” or descendant of someone.  DNA testing is needed to prove or deny the assertion that Jacob Bartell was descended from Jewish ancestry.  Male direct descendants of Jacob Bartell are invited to submit their DNA for analysis to validate the paper genealogy record available.

Jacob Bartell’s full name was recorded in the Lutheran Church records in Knickhagen and Holhausen, Germany as Johann Jacob Berthold.  He was cited in those records as being born May 1, 1751 in Knickhagen, Germany.  These accounts confirmed that Jacob Barthel/Berthold was in America with status unknown.

Dr. Karl-Rudolf Höhn stated that Barthel was the spelling of the family name before and after the recording by a church cleric as Berthold.  Moreover, he stated that the original rendering of Barthel was “Bartholomew”.  One of the disciples of Jesus Christ was named Nathaniel of Cana of Galilee, aka: Bartholomew.  (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; John 1:47; John 21:2; and Acts 1:13)

"Barthel" is rather a common German surname.  In colloquial language it was, and in Southern Germany still is, basically an abbreviation of the given names of both "Berthold" and "Bartholomäus" (Bartholomew).  “The first of them who came to Knickhagen from who knows where appears as Ludolph Berthold.  For more than 100 years, his descendants were filed in the church registers as ‘Berthold’.  In about 1781, Johann Jacob's elder brother Johann Peter Berthold moved to the nearby village of Hohenkirchen, where he married and stayed for a couple of years.  He returned to Knickhagen in 1785.  With the baptism of Johann Peter's second son (Jacob, again ), the church records all of a sudden dropped ‘Berthold’ in favour of ‘Barthel’.”  Comments provided by Dr. Karl-Rudolf Höhn.

Decent from the disciple known as Nathanael of Cana of Galilee, aka: Bartholomew has not been verified; but, an interesting occupational finding has surfaced.  The Barthel family had a history of being grain millers.  Ludolph Berthold who was born about 1645 was the first of this family to be recorded in the Lutheran church records in Knickhagen, Germany area.  He was cited as a miller of grain and this trade was followed by his descendants for many years.  Jesus lived with Simon Peter and family in the city of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.  The site believed to be the ruins of this home can be observed even today.  The ruins of this city contain many cone-shaped grain grinding implements.  This area of the Galilee was known for its high quality wheat and barley production; hence, the center of flour milling.  It is possible that Bartholomew was from a family of grain millers and that his descendants continued in this occupation.  The distance from Cana of Galilee to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee is only a walk of one day.

* Credits for this article should be extended to Mr. Chris McNeal Sandifer, who is an Eaddy cousin and a descendant of Jacob Bartell, Sr.  Chris Sandifer established contact with Dr. Karl-Rudolf Höhn, Universität, Fakultät Bildungswissenschaften in Germany who provided the details and genealogical records of the Bartell/ Berthold/ Barthel Family reported here.  We are indebted to them for these findings.

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