Monument to Original Settlers of Germantown
September 1729- My eighth great grandmother, Elin Theisson, wife of Thones Kunders, dies in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Elin was born in Kirchen, Altenkirchen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany to Mathias Dohrs (Theiss) & Agnes Neesgen Op den Graeff. Her name in German was Lyntgen.
In 1670, she was baptized in the Mennonite Church in Goch. She came to this church while she was employed as a maidservant to a Mennonite family. In 1677, she married fellow Mennonite Thones Kunders, a linen weaver and blue dyer from Krefeld. (Portrait of Thones Kunders at left.)
Thones and Elin, with their three young sons, were among the first 13 German families to come to America aboard the "Concord" in 1683 and establish Germantown, Pennsylvania. The colonists had been preceded by Francis Daniel Pastorius, who had been charged with the duty of finding home lands for them within the province lately granted by the English sovereign to William Penn. After a voyage of seventy-four days the "Concord," five hundred tons burthen, William Jeffries, master, landed at Philadelphia, October 6, 1683. The passengers were all Quakers and Mennonites, escaping persecution in Germany.
They initially sought shelter in caves along the banks of the Delaware River.
The first Friends meeting in Germantown was held in the house of Thones & Elin Kunders, and likely was continued there until the first meeting-house was built in 1686. It was in this house that the first Anti-Slavery document in America was written in 1688. It proved too controversial for even the Quakers to approve at their monthly and yearly meetings.
The site of the house is a national historic site today.