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  • Chelsea Joy Arganbright

283 Years of the Butterfly Effect | Family Tree | 26 Years Old | Perth, Australia

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

On September 26, 1732, my great x7 grandfather Hans Georg Erchenbrecht, his wife Ursula Metzger, and their seven children sailed into Philadelphia Harbor, Pennsylvania on the Mary of London ship from Germany. Previously, in 1717, Hans George changed "Erchenbrecht" to "Argenbright." Upon arriving in America, they chose to settle in the German-speaking community near Philadelphia, so although it was far from his birthplace of Daudenzell, Baden, he would have still felt right at home!

Most of their children married and began their own families in Lancaster & Berks County Pennsylvania, all except two of his sons, Hans Martin and Hans Jacob. Hans Jacob - my great x6 grandfather - and Hans Martin took their families to the Shenandoah Valley, what would later become Virginia. Hans Jacob was considered one of the "early settlers" of Augusta County along Cub Run on Mt. Massanutten in the early 1760's.


Hans Jacob married Susannah Margaret Pardemer in 1746, in what was to become America's largest Amish community: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They had 10 or 11 children - three dying as infants/toddlers. One of these kids was my great x5 grandfather Augustine, who later became a famous Captain in the Revolutionary War!


From a 1778 Revolutionary War publication: "Augustine volunteered under Captain Alexander Robertson on the expedition against the Shawnee Indians who were making incursions on the Northwestern frontier; proceeded from Staunton to Tygert's Valley which was then with the immediate county almost a wilderness.


In 1781, Captain Augustine volunteered and marched with many others from Augusta to repel the invasion of the British under Cornwallis who was then advancing into the interior of North Carolina. Shortly before the Battle of Guilford, he received a furlough to enable him to visit a sick brother attached to another corps of the army who had been left on the road on account of sickness.


Before his return, the Battle of Guilford was fought, shortly after which the troops were discharged. Captain Smith of Staunton was commandant of his company. During the war a contractor arrived in Staunton with an immense number of horses and the declarant was employed for four months (during which time he laboured much on Sunday, such was the urgency of the times) shoeing horses, he being a blacksmith."

Augustine married Anna Barbara Hanger and they had three children, one of which was my great x4 grandfather Frederick, born 1784. Frederick married Elizabeth Baylor, and his two sisters married Elizabeth's two brothers!


Frederick and Elizabeth produced only two children, Lucy Ann and Christian (my great x3 grandfather). Christian became a farmer and married Margaret A. Wolfe. They bore six children including my great x2 grandpa Lyman, born in Indiana (funnily enough ended up buried in Wolfe Cemetery.)


Lyman was a Sergeant in the 53rd Regiment, Indiana Infantry on the Union side of the Civil War! In 1866, Lyman married Martha Taylor and had my great grandfather Clarence (pictured in the beach-appropriate black suit on the left).


Clarence married Jessie Collins and they had Vance (pictured looking sour on the right), and also my beloved grandfather, Russell ("Papa," to me), the cheeky one with the smile in the middle!

In essence, it's really quite amazing how by sheer miracles and through wars fought, expeditions sought, and literally pioneering new lands, a person can be alive today. It is the Butterfly Effect in its glorious essence, when you think of every single small choice that had to be made, every serendipitous moment which had to occur in order for the placement of events to transpire in which YOU could ultimately be born!



Arganbright Family Tree:


Papa and me:



Edit: Since originally publishing this post, I have located the family tree of Hans Georg Erchenbrecht who was the first German ancestor to migrate to America! Here is his lineage, traced back to 1530 in Baden, Germany!


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