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Descendants of John Nicholas (Peconier) PROCUNIER


1. John Nicholas (Peconier) PROCUNIER

#1. "Memorials of the Huguenots of America" pg 135 lists John NicholasPeckoner as a refugee & progenitor of Braguniers. by Rev. A. Stapleton1901. Carlisle, PA. page 135, " the notable Bregunier family came froma refugee who appears on the arrival list at Philadelphia, in 1740, asJohn Nicholas Peckenier, and who located at Clear Spring, MD." (quotedfrom Robinson's book, full title below.)

#2. Pennsylvania German Pioneers" by Ralph Beaver Strassburger, Vol. 1,pg 276, 1934 records John Nicholas' arrival as Sept, 27 1740 atPhiladelphia on the ship-Lydia.

#3. "Bragunier Family in America -also Braguniar-Brockunier-Procunier" byBrittain Bragunier Robinson.

#4 John Nicholas Sr. has been proven to be a great-grandpa to WilliamBragunier who was father to William Brockunier b: 19 Feb 1812 a twin &died KS ca 1893. The 1st William was s/o Daniel, a brother to Peter Sr.

Sources: Elaine Allen, David C. Procuniar & Joanne Harvey

Elaine copied the rest of John's notes from the internet and doesn't knowif it is proven or not. (1999.)

The Procuniar\ier-Bragunier-Brockunier
Family Genealogy 1997-1998

Procuniar\ier Family Tree 1997-1998
To view my 10 generation Family Tree for Peter Brockunier Sr.'sDescendents click HERE!
The file is about 400k so it will take a few minutes to load depending onyour Modem & CPU Speed.
Use your Browser "Find" command to locate your name or your relative'sname!
*Those of you who's lineage is from George Braconnier i.e. WendellHughell Bragonier family etc.
Click HERE to see a Tree of George Braconnier's descendents which include
Wendell & Abraham Justice Bragonier, the Vandevere-Borke family.
(also Jeanie Simpson & J. Robert Bragonier) Our research has not beenable to connect
the Procuniers and this George Braconnier, just some strong hints thatthey may be related.
For the Burgoon family that have similarities here with our Brockuniers,Braguniers and Broguniers there is a web site for the descendents ofJacob Burgoon that you can check out. Click HERE to see that web site!You'll notice that several of the Burgoon families appear to be the samefamilies here in our data but with the surname spelled differently. DCP(David C. Procuniar)

Progenitor & More Braconier Early Census Records Talk by Gordon W.Procunier

The most probable progenitor of our family, Johan Nichol Peckoner SR,arrived at Philadelphia on the Ship "Lydia" in September 1740. CaptainJames Allen brought the ship from Rotterdam. There are no records ofJohan Nichol Peckoner SR, that can be found after his entrance to Americaat Philadelphia in 1740 except his short existence in Clear Springs,Maryland where his brother or cousin George Braggoonner lived. Howeverthere are other records in Maryland that continue the Peckoner lineage.There are some genealogists (Brenda & Barbara Beckner) who think JohanNichol Peckoner Sr. may be John Nicholas Beckner who with his family wentto New Jersey after arriving in America. There are several records inMiddlesex County, NJ where a John Nicholas Sr & Jr lived. One marriagerecord for that county lists John Brackner to Charity Stephenson.

For example, Brumbaugh's Maryland Records - TRUE LIST OF ALL THE SOULS... Elizabeth Hundred in the County of Frederick,... taken August 1776,lists the entire Prakunier (Brockunier) family with Rohrers andBaumwarts. This 1776 list includes: ....

Peter Prakunier age 49; Peter Jun age 11; Margaret age 42; David age 9;Margretha age 17; Barbara age 6; Lafanna (Susanna) age 15; Henry (twin)age 4; Elizabeth age 13; Jacob (twin) age 4; Born in 1777 was Daniel mygr gr gr grandfather

In the 1790 Federal Census of Pennsylvania there is a Peter Parcunia(Peter Procunier Jr.) in Huntingdon County, one male over 16 and onefemale over 16. Census takers never could spell very well.

However, Jacob (twin) Prakunier and his descendants went on to spelltheir name Bragunier, while their brother Henry (twin) Prakunier and hisdescendants went on to spell their name Brockunier.

Since the Procuniers were German speaking and couldn't spell or pronouncetheir name in English when they came to America, they were therefore atthe mercy of recorders or Census takers to set their spelling in motion.However, when some of the family became more literate in later years theychanged their last name to its original state of Procunier.

The only records that we have showing that Johan Nichol Peckoner SR wasthe father of Peter Brockunier SR, is the Bragunier Genealogy in Americaby Brittian Bragunier Robinson 1969 page 57 and page 58. (also Referenceof Rev. A. Stapleton's book Memorials of the Huguenots in America, page135, 1901.) This connection will take more study of the Huguenots, sincetheir records are more detailed for that era.

If you look at a map of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and look at HuntingdonCounty PA, Franklin Co. PA, Bedford Co. PA, Washington Co. MD andFrederick Co. MD in 1800, you'll see that they are all very close to eachother. So when the Hamers, the Gahagans, the Van Cleves, the Lemons,the Kemps, and the Dilles came to Mad River Township Montgomery County,Ohio in 1795-1804, the word spread back to the Pennsylvania and Marylandthat Ohio was the place to settle. This is why I feel Samuel Procuniarcame to the Mad River Township (Ohio) area to live because some of hisfamily & friends had already came to this area. They could depend on eachother whenever they needed help. Samuel lived with his son JacobProcuniar on Valley Pike until his death in 1880. His wife Catharine diedin 1871, both are buried in the Dille Cemetery. Most of Jacob Procuniar'sdescendants through John Henry Procuniar lived on or near Valley Pike inDayton, Ohio.


As per Brittian Bragunier Robinson there are publications of the HuguenotSociety of London that show nine references with the spelling Braconnierand one with the spelling Bracognie before 1700. In les Montalbanais etLe Refuge by Paul de Felice, page 121 and in Protestantism Francais byHaag there are references to "Braconniers in Germany before 1700."Further a Josur Braconnier was "Elder" of the Walloon Church in La Hage,Holland in 1618. These early Huguenots or their progenitors fled Franceto England, Germany and Holland.

Brittian Bragunier Robinson states in 1969 that the Braconiers areprobably related to the Braguniers, the relationship, if any, for theUnited States members, is very old as the division of the two branchesmust have occurred in Europe before 1740.

Early Census Records

In the first Census of the United States taken in 1790 there is only oneBragonier recorded as Head of a Family. A George Bragonier [probably thebrother of Johan Nichol Peckoner SR] is recorded with a family of fourmales 16 years old or older and 3 females. Brumbaugh in Maryland RecordsColonial Rev County Church 1928 Vol. II page 523, gives the record ofGeorge Bragonier marrying Margaret Otto in January 27 1795 in the GermanReform Church at Elizabethtown, Maryland. An Act of Legislature inJanuary 26 1814 changed the name of Elizabeth Town to Hagerstown.

1800 Maryland Census lists three (3) Jacob Bragooniers, two (2) GeorgeBragooniers and one Peter Bragoonier, all living in Washington County,Maryland.
In the 1804 Wills of Washington County, Maryland is listed a PeterBrockunier, probably the same Peter Bragoonier in the 1800 census. Inthe 1776 Elizabeth Hundred Frederick county, Maryland lists Peter'sfamily and spells his name Peter Prakunier.

1820 Maryland Census lists a Daniel Braggoonier, Jacob Braggoonier,Samuel Braggoonier and a Henry Bragonyer.

Talk given by Gordon W. Procunier

"Neal Memorial Church", Port Rowan Canada
Talk given during the Procunier Family Picnic on July 12, 1981

By Gordon W. Procunier

Friends, this talk is especially for you who are interested in yourProcunier Ancestors. Whenever I listen to a talk, I like to know, who isthe speaker, what is the talk about and who are his references or sources.

So I will give you this information at the start of my talk. I am GordonProcunier of the Bayham Ontario branch of the family. I am a professionalengineer living in Toronto Canada. My work involves technical writing. Asa hobby I have been doing some research on the Procunier Genealogy. Mysubject is "The Procunier Connection with the Huguenots". In it I willtrace what we know of the Procunier's from France through fourgenerations to Adam Procunier who married Desire Neal. My references arefour, three of them are books and the fourth is family history handeddown from parent to child. Two of them are books about the Huguenots. Thefirst is The Days of the Upright by OIA Roche, an American Historian. Thebook was published in 1965. The second book is The Trail of the Huguenotsby Dr. G E Reamon. Dr. Reamon was a professor of English at OAC, Gueeph,his book was published in 1963. The next book is The Procunier Family inAmerica by Britain Bragunier Robinson. Robinson is an American Procunierdescendant who has done his research for the book in France and in theU.S.

A word about references. Two independent publisher references that agree,are much more authoritative than one! Other good sources of historicalinformation are gravestones, national censuses, church records and ship'slist of passengers.

Before exploring the Procuniar Connection to the Huguenots, let us try tounderstand some of the highlights about the Huguenots. The word isspelled "HUGUENOT". It is believed to be derived from two Flernish words:Huis meaning home and Genooten meaning fellows. It referred to ProtestantBible students who met secretly in each others homes to study the bible.The bibles they studied were a French version produced by John Calvin andhis followers in the 1550's in Geneva Switzerland. Note that John Calvinwas a famous French Protestant of the 16th century. Much of the faith ofthe Scottish Presbyterian Church is based on the teachings of John Calvin.

John Calvin grew up in the Province of Picards in northern France. He wasone of the earliest Huguenots to be persecuted. He had to go toSwitzerland in order to carry on his work.

Why were the Huguenots persecuted? Chiefly because they were critical ofthe Pope and several of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church,particularly that of easy forgiveness of serious crimes and thepurchasing of indulgences. Because of their outspoken criticism theHuguenots were called heretic.

Huguenots had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and in the life hereafter asdescribed in the New Testament. This faith gave them great courage toendure persecution. Some were remarkably cheerful under dreadfulconditions. Many were hard working, skillful, self-reliant professionalswho ran their own businesses and made them prosper. Many of them hadexperience in making textiles, plus fine laces, others were good in metalworking, in manufacturing. Still others had experience in specializedagriculture.

Faced with persecution. these Huguenots, or French Protestants joinedtogether to form the "Protestant Reform Church" in France. During most ofthe 275 year period from 1525 to 1800 the Huguenots were persecuted.

At that time the population of France was in the range of 12 to 13million and the Huguenot population at its peak was only 1 1/4 million,i.e. 10% of this. For almost all of that time the Huguenots were hatedintensely by the Catholic majority, and they were persecutedsystematically by the Catholic Church (especially the Jesuits), theFrench Army, and the French government. Many Huguenots were massacred,many of their leaders were burned at the stake, some were tortured, manymen died at sea as galley slaves. Part way through this period for abrief 12 years following the Edict of Nantes of 1598, the Huguenots hadsome protection under the Protestant French King, Henry the IV. Howevernear the end of his reign he became a Catholic. He was assassinated in1610. From then on the persecution of the Huguenots continued. Towardsthe end of the 1700's the persecution in France decreased.

At various times during the persecution period edicts of laws were passedthat made it a crime for Huguenots ...

-to have a copy of John Calvin's French Bible in their homes.
-to provide help to other Huguenots who were fleeing from theirpersecutors.
-to worship in their own churches.
-to sell their property and then emigrate with young children because theCatholics believed they could train Huguenot children who were under 16to become Catholics.

As a result of these restrictions members of Huguenot families had todisappear secretly, one or two at a time. Sometimes they changed theirnames. Catholics were continually seizing Huguenot Property, with thearrangement that 1/3 of the seized property would go to informers and therest went to the church or the state.

All major ports (usual shipping routes) and border crossing points werepatrolled so that Huguenots caught leaving with money or jewels, hadtheir goods seized and they were jailed. Often then their children under16 were forcibly taken and put in Catholic Schools and the men were sentto galley ships. As a result many thousands of those who did leave Franceescaped with very little money or goods!

After a while the neighboring Protestant countries of Britain, TheNetherlands, Germany and Switzerland , became crowded with pennilessrefugees and there was scant opportunity to make a living, after thatmany tried to go to America. During the 100 years, 1550 to 1650, many ofthose who went to America perished, either due to shipwreck orstarvation, or massacre in America by the Spanish, the French or theIndians!

From approximately 1650 onward conditions for settling in the Britishpart of America improved and it became known as the land of religiousfreedom and of economic opportunity.

The regions of France where Huguenot populations were strongest were:

The fortified City of La Rochelli in the Province of Saintonge in thesouth west.
Province of Normandie in the north west.
Province of Picardy (where John Calvin was born) in the north next toBelgium.
Province of Alsace in the north east next to Germany and Switzerland

John Calvin lived for several happy years in the city of Strasburg, theprinciple city of Alsace. He was married in Alsace. With this as abackground

let us now turn to the Procunier's.

One of the earliest Procunier's of which there is a record, is HenryProcunier. He was governor of the city of Strasburg in the year 1235.There are records of other Procunier's either owning land or renting landin various parts of France in the many years following Henry Procunier'stime.

Let us move on to John Nicholas Procunier [it was spelled Johan NicholPeckoner on the ship Lydia's log 1740] who we believe was the firstProcunier to come to America! John Nicholas, early in the summer of 1740,at the age of 36, was living in Strasburg with his wife and three boysaged 15, 12 and 10. Our family history suggests John Nicholas may havebeen a tailor and definitely was a Huguenot. John made a careful plan toimmigrate to the British colony in America. In order to avoid attentionwhen crossing the border, John may have arranged for his wife and twoyounger boys to leave Strasburg ahead of him. Also it is probable theywent to visit John's younger brother George and his wife Anna who wereliving in Hanover, Germany. John and John Jr. followed soon after. Theythen proceeded to Rotterdam and signed on, as passengers on the shipLydia. Probably the mother and two younger boys came at the same timealthough the ship's records did not show their names whereas it did showJohn Nicholas and his son John Nicholas Jr.

Anyway, the ship arrived at Philadelphia early in September 1740 and onSeptember 28, 1740 John Nicholas was qualified (registered) as animmigrant at the State House in Philadelphia. Soon afterward the familysettled along with other German speaking Protestants in a communitycalled "Clear Springs" near Hagerstown, Maryland. Records indicate thattheir church was called the German Reformed Church of Hagerstown. LaterEva Procunier of Hanover Germany, and the daughter of George and AnnaProcunier, married Michael Bergman (a Lutheran) and came to live nearClear Springs too. Eva's gravestone states "She lived and died aLutheran".

REV. Daniel Bragunier, a grandson of John Nicholas, was a distinguishedminister of the Reformed Church in Hagerstown Maryland. He was called the"Original Old Mr. Huguenot" and was an important character in a bookwritten by Sr. Peter Davis entitled The Young Parson. This indicates thatDaniel firmly believed his grandfather was a Huguenot.

Family history, handed down from parents to their children, in bothAmerica and Canadian branches of Procunier's has traced back to theinitial French Huguenot, John Nicholas Peckoner (Procunier). All of uswho are his descendants have reason to be proud of these ancestors.

Let us now trace this first family for three more generations. We do nothave much record of what happened to John Nicholas Jr. or the youngestbrother Henry. They do not appear to have had any descendants. The secondson Peter Sr. aged 12 in 1740 later became active in real estate. Hebought and sold lands extensively. By the time he was 32 Peter Sr. owneda choice 50 acre farm called "Hager's Long Hickory". On this farm he andhis Dutch wife Margaret, spelled Margret in the census, brought up theirfamily of five boys and four girls and the family prospered.

Then came the year 1776 and the American War of Independence! Peter Sr.was 49 in 1776 and his eldest daughter Margretha was 18. This son Peter,who I shall call second Peter, was 12. Peter SR's youngest son Daniel wasborn in 1776. What were they to do? Should they renounce loyalty toBritain and become Americans or should they remain loyal to Britain andbe persecuted? During the next few years I am sure they saw and heard ofmany families who lost their farms and were persecuted for staying loyalto Britain. Peter Sr. (who I shall call first Peter) decided to become anAmerican and thereby keep his farm and support his young family. PeterSr. took the oath of Allegiance in 1778.

On the other hand, a few years later, two of his married daughters andhis eldest son Peter Jr. went to Canada. Peter Jr. settled in Normandaltownship of Norfolk county, near Port Rowan. Peter Sr. did not approve ofhis son Peter JR's decision to go to Canada. To show his disapprovalPeter Sr. only gave Peter Jr. 5 pounds and some canceled loans in hiswill of November 18, 1804. Most of Peter SR's estate was given to threeof the sons, David, Jacob, and Daniel Brockunier, that stayed at ClearSprings. Each of Peter SR's daughters received 40 pounds.

Peter Jr. and his wife Elizabeth had four sons, named Henry, Peter, Adamand David. Their farms were in the Port Rowan and St. William's area.Peter Jr. lived to be 83 and the gravestone for him and his wifeElizabeth is in the Johnson Cemetery in St. Williams Canada.

I believe that this first Procunier family in Canada, like many otherloyalists, had high ideals, and were willing to suffer great hardships inorder to maintain their faiths, their traditions and their self-respect.

In 1817 Peter JR's son Adam, at the age of 19 married Desire Neal, aged18, the daughter of Major George Neal, also spelled Neil, was a Loyalist,who had come to Canada in 1786. George Neal was the Methodist ministerafter whom the church was named. Major Neal lived and served for manyyears in St. Williams.

This ends my talk on the "Procunier connection with the Huguenots" andtheir Loyalist background.

Gordon Procunier

*Comment by this author about Gordon's talk in 1981 ................
Though Gordon's talk at the 1981 Procunier picnic presented a fairlyaccurate picture of our ancestors, some points may not conform to thefacts. For example Gordon states that "Eva Procunier of Hanover Germany,the daughter of George and Anna Procunier, married Michael Bergmann (aLutheran) and came to live near Clear Springs, Maryland. Eva's gravestonestates She lived and died a Lutheran".
Eve's gravestone is located in the St. Paul's Lutheran & ReformedChurch in Washington County, Maryland, which is located on Route #40,near Clear Springs, Maryland. On Eve's gravestone it states "EveBargmann, wife of Michael Bargmann, daughter of George and Anna EveBrakonier", born 30 Nov 1752 in Hanou in Europe, died 18 May 1827, amember of the Lutheran Church. Her husbands gravestone says "MichaelBargmann, born 1738 in Europe & died 17 Dec 1818 age 80-1-15.
It seems that Gordon has chosen to change Eve's surname fromBrakonier to Procunier for the purpose of his talk to his "Procunier"family. I have found that some other family genealogists do the samething as Gordon when recording their ancestors. We must "preserve" thespellings of our ancestors as it was recorded and not change theirsurnames to our own liking!! Gordon also spells Eve's name as Eva.
Buried next to Eve is her daughter Catherine Smith. Her gravestonestates that she is the daughter of Michael & Eve Bargmann, born 26 March1776 Berkeley County, Virginia, died 5 June 1827 aged 51-2-10.. Also inthis cemetery is Catherine's sister Dorothy Heller, wife of Daniel Heller& daughter of Michael & Eve Bargmann, born 20 June 1782 & died 25 Jan1829.
Buried in this same cemetery is George Braggonier who died 2 October1862 aged 61-5-7, who we know is the son of George Bragonier and thegrandson of George & Anna Eve Bragonier. Also buried there is the sisterof this youngest George Bragonier, Elizabeth Brewer, and her husband,Jacob Brewer.
Baptized in the St. Paul's Lutheran & Reformed Church in 1801 wasCatherine, daughter of Jacob & Elizabeth Brakunier. (This Jacob was a sonof this George Bragonier)
To read more on George Braggoonier check our Biographies page! REF:"The Bragonier Family" by Georgiana H. Randall 1969.

David Charles Procuniar .... September 1998


Anything not copyrighted in this publication can be reprinted withpermission from the author David C. Procuniar. (It is appreciated if acredit line be given) Certain advertisers and writers may retaincopyright on material which will be clearly marked as such. You mustcontact them about use of their material. Information in this publicationwas/is obtained from correspondence, newsletters and miscellaneoussources, which, in many cases cannot be verified 100%. In cases where youneed to write the author for material, please send along a SASE (SelfAddressed Stamped Envelope).

Copyright 1997 David C. Procuniar Reprinted with permission

4. Henry Peconier PROCUNIER

Lived on Israel's Creek, Frederick co. MD

6. George Peconier PROCUNIER

Additional to Father's notes- MD Records 1777 Elizabeth Hundred,Frederick co.