Johann Philip Zecht

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Johann Philip Zecht (Sixt)

Also Known As: "Johann Philip Zecht", "Sechs", "Six", "Siex"
Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Marienfels, Nassau, Hessen, Germany
Death: 1710 (54)
Mohawk Valley, Schoharie, NY
Immediate Family:

Son of Hans Bernhardt Zecht and Moeder van Sixt
Husband of Anna Elizabeth Sixt
Father of Henrich Six; Anna Elizabeth Meisser and Johann Gerhardt Six

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Johann Philip Zecht

Johann left Germany in the early 18th century as part of the great Palantine emigration. View a reconstructed copy of the passenger list from the ship, "James & Elizabeth" on which Johann and his family sailed to America:


In the late 17th century Louis XIV's France was waging war throughout the Palatine, his goal being to push the French kingdom's borders out to the Rhine. Religious conflicts between a Protestant population and a Catholic ruler followed. Calvinists, Lutherans and French Hugenots who refused to convert to Catholicism, suffered greatly at Louis' hand. Finally, in the winter of 1708, record low temperatures froze the Rhine River and closed this waterway for five weeks. Grapevines died, cattle froze, and any wine from previous harvests was ruined. Along with two previous years of crop failure, there was no immediate recovery in sight. For 30 years leading up to this point, the Germans of the Palatine had endured war, religious persecution and now potential starvation and, for many, this was the final blow.

The Reverend Joshua Von Kochertal, a Palatine, was the moving force behind the first Palantine emigration to America. As early as 1704 he went to London to negotiate transportation for the Palatines out of their war-ravaged country. England under William and Mary had taken the lead in opposing Louis XIV's aggressive plans and in supporting the Protestant cause. Queen Anne had continued these policies.

In 1706 Reverend Kochertal published a pamphlet in which he recommended South Carolina as a favorable site for German colonization. He later petitioned Queen Anne to permit 60 Palantines then with him to sail for one of the British colonies in North America. "We humbly take leave to represent," he wrote to the London Board of Trade, "that they are very necessitous and in the utmost want, not havlng at present anything to subsist themselves: that they have been rendered to this by the ravages committed by the French in the Lower Palatinate, where they lost all they had." On 28 April 1708, permission was granted Kocherthal and his 53 Paletine refugees to sail for America. They founded the town Newburgh, on the Hudson.

In 1709, Britain passed a naturalization act that allowed any foreigner who took oaths professing to be a Protestant and pledging allegiance to the British government would be immediately naturalized and have all privileges held by English-born citizens for the cost of a shilling. These offers brought opportunities for a new life. Under Queen Anne's direction, land speculators who had obtained land patents in the colonies sent agents to the Palatines with offers of forty acres of land, plus paid transportaiton to the colonies and maintenance. In addition to the goal of supporting these Protestants, resettling these emigrants to New York, north of New York City, would provide a buffer against the French in Canada.

The emigration took place via England, and at one point 14,000 German emigrants were camped in Britain in Blackheath, Greenwich Heath and other sites near London in appalling conditions.

The first German emigrants began arriving in England in May 1709. Some of these emigrants eventually returned home. Others went to other parts of England and Ireland, and some settled in North Carolina and the West Indies. Of the 13,000 Germans who reached London in 1709, about 3000, including the Philip Sixt family, continued on to the New York colony. Most of the Palatines for New York began boarding ships in December 1709, but these did not leave England until April 1710. The Palatine Emigration, continued.

Reverend Kochertal returned to London to straighten out the deed to their land and discovered that thousands of Palantiners had followed him to London. He helped arrange for 3000 of them to be transported to America in a fleet of eleven ships.

Conditions on the ships were poor. Food and water were spoiled, vermin ran rampant, and illness spread quickly. Many of the emigrants, especially the elderly and children, died either on board ship or shortly after landing. After spending three months on shipboard in port and three months crossing the Atlantic, the Palatines' suffering was intense. Upon arriving in New York in 1710 they were housed in a tent city on what is now Governor's Island.

Johann Philip Sixt and family arrived in the New York colony on 14 June 1710 aboard the JAMES & ELIZABETH. They were amongst the 3rd set of arrivals in America. They were Lutherans, and he a husbandman and vinedresser. From the London Lists:

"1710, Sixth ListShip: JAMES & ELIZABETHCaptain: Henry GravenerFrom: LondonArrival: 16 June 1710This reconstructed passenger list is based on the first part (60 names) of the 4 July 1710 subsistence list along with any who appear to have been part of their households. Johann Christ Gerlach, a passenger listed below, was the listmaster on the ship James & Elizabeth which arrived 16 June 1710 indicating most of these passengers were probably on that ship.. . . Johann Philipp Sex, 53Anna GertraudJohann Henrich, 20Anna Elisabetha, 16Anna Magdalena, 13(son), 5(daughter), 1 1/2Place of Origin: Marienfels, Hessen-Nassau10+/Under 10: 3-0Remarks: Sixt; listed on Hunter lists as Heinrich Sex. 3rd arrivals in London.

Did Johann Philip come to America with the intent of founding a vineyard and did he possibly emigrate with like-minded Rhineland vintners? Some of the country's oldest vineyards can be found in the Hudson River Valley of New York.

The Hunter Lists

These were lists of Palatine emigrants to the New York colony who were on state subsistence in the first years after their arrival. Named for the New York Governor, Robert Hunter. The lists were maintained from 1710 to 1712.

One of the eleven emigrant ships was wrecked. 470 emigrants died during the voyage and 250 succumbed to a fever after landing at New York. Johann Philip himself died not long after arriving. He was the head of the household on the London List of 16 June 1710, but by the time of the Hunter List of 4 July 1710 his son, Heinrich Sex, was listed as the family's head. The Hunter List had 3 persons over 10 years under the heading Heinrich Sex, Johann's eldest son. Heinrich again was listed as head of the household on 24 June 1712 with one person over 10 years of age. The Palatine Emigration, continued

In the winter of 1710 Governor Hunter purchased 12,300 acres of land from Robert Livingston and resettled 1400 of the Palatines on land that had been part of the baronial Livingston manor, as well as other sections along the Hudson river south of Albany. The villages they set up were generally referred to as East Camp, West Camp, Germantown and Saugerties. These settlements were in Columbia, Greene and Dutchess counties.

Initially, life seemed to hold promise and the Palatines worked hard to fulfill their part of their contracts that guaranteed each family 40 acres of land. Under this contract their passage should have been paid by Britain and Queen Anne. The contract stated

"that after seven years after they had forty acres a head given to them, they were to repay the Queen by Hemp, Mast Trees, Tar and Pitch, or anything else, so that it may be no damage to any man in his family."

What they found was that they were now working under different expectations, with no time frame with which to complete their service, almost making them indentured servants. They claimed that they were deceived and bitterly complained to the Governor of New York. A number of them secretly decided that they would resettle to Schoharie to claim the rights that they felt were previously promised to them by Indian leaders.

The Sixt family lived on the Livingston Manor for about 2 years. They were, however, amongst the rebellious group that felt they had been cheated into a state of servitude by the government. In the winter of 1712 a group of 150 Germans, including presumably the Sixt family, moved to New Annsburg [Schmidsdorf], about 60 miles to the northwest. This trip took three weeks, the people pulling sleds loaded with their few goods through the deep snow. The Palatine Emigration, continued

In October 1712 fifty families arrived in Schoharie and managed to survive the winter with the aid of friendly Indians. The second group of families came in March 1713 by way of Schenectady, living off the land, in loosely constructed huts and walking 40 miles in deep snow to get to their destination. The first few winters were hard but along with assistance from friendly Indians and a fierce determination to survive, the Palatine families began to establish a thriving community.

Unfortunately the settlers didn't have clear title to these lands which resulted in many years of legal disputes. In the end, many of these families were forced to relocate again, some further along the Mohawk river valley, while 15 [60?] families emigrated to Pennsylvania.

After Johann Philip's death Anna married Johannes Christman. The Christmann and Sixt families were linked together twice in Kocherthal's records. Gertraut Christmann sponsored Heinrich Sixt in 1717 and Hans Christmann and Anna Gertraud were recorded living next to Heinrich Sixt at Neu-Ansberg circa 1716/17. Kocherthal's Records

These were the records of the Reverend Joshua Von Kochertal, the moving force behind the first Palantine emigration to America.

Anna Sixt Christman was recorded as a member of church congregations at Germantown, Schoharie and Manheim, in New York. These towns are all in and around the Mohawk Valley. She probably died there, already around 65 in 1720.

According to Sandra Purcell, Johann and Anna's children were, (19) Johann Heinrich Sixt (1689)(19) Johann Gerhardt Sixt (1692), he was born on 28 February 1691/2 in Marienfels, not in the Hunter List(19) Anna Elizabeth Sixt (1693/4)(19) Anna Magdalena Sixt (1696)(19) Son (1705)(19) Daughter (1708) (19) Johann Heinrich Sixt (1689)(17) Hans Bernhardt Sixt (1625) (18) Johann Philip Sixt (1656)

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Johann Philip Zecht's Timeline

Marienfels, Nassau, Hessen, Germany
September 4, 1689
Age 33
Marienreis, Nassau, Hessen, Germany
January 25, 1694
Age 38
Marienfels, Rhein-Lahn-Kreis, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Age 54
Mohawk Valley, Schoharie, NY
Marienfels, Rhein-Lahn-Kreis, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany