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American Pioneer Chronicles: Colonial Women, The Heart & Backbone of Our Nation
Rare was the widow brave enough to leave home and relatives behind and strike out for the new world with her children in tow. Given the time frame and rigors of such a perilous journey, it would take remarkable courage for any woman, but Margaret Grunagel Emmerich, widow of Heinrich, was just this woman. She had been widowed for six years when, after also losing an infant child, used a portion of her husband’s estate to take her five surviving children and departed the war-torn, religious-turmoiled Delkenheim. She traveled with three other Protestant families leaving the Palatinate in 1709 after an incredibly harsh winter, which not only decimate the crops, but also killed many citizens, including numerous folks who had decided to emigrate. Her eldest children were 19 and 18 years old, but the youngest was only seven. All survived the hardships and deprivations of the journey to Rotterdam, through London, and on to New York Colony. Margaret was the first Emmerich to reach the New World! Courageous and determined, Margaret gave everything for her children, without the assistance of a husband or a deeply rooted community, and saw them on a path to prosperity before she died in 1711. After her death, her son Michael took up the family reins and moved on to the Tulpehocken settlement in Pennsylvania Colony, where they prospered and honored their matriarch with many grandchildren.