Thursday, September 30, 2010


Called the United Brethren and from Bohemia and Chen country, many lived in the Village of Herrnhut Germany.  Persecution caused many  to flee from Saxony, Germany.  They came to the US in 1735, settling in Georgia, PA and then many migrated to North Carolina. Other Moravian settlements included Salem Mass, many there in the (1766) 18th century, Bethlehem PA and Nazareth PA .You had to be Moravian to live in Bethlehem and Nazareth.

This is a Christian based religion but do not live as a family unit.
Families lived separately…. Divided by age groups and lived in separate houses which they called “choirs.”

The were distinguished by their simple clothing. Dresses were brown or gray with white for special occasions. They were plain with tight laced bodices, white kerchiefs and full skirts. Capes were worn outdoors when the weather got cold. They wore tight fitting white caps, known as Schnepplehaube, came to a point in the middle of the forehead and were tied under the chin with a bow. Red bows for little girls, rose for older, pink for unmarried women, blue for married and white bows for widows.  At Nazareth, the caps had a crimped border with scallop shells to cover the ears.

The men were all were clean shaven, wore broad rimmed hats with low crowns, straight dark coats without lapels, and the 18th century knee-buckled breeches.

They were great lovers of music… They would play instruments and sing while plowing fields, doing chores, cooking etc.

Monrovian cemeteries are laid out just as they lived, in “choirs” Families are not buried together. All are buried according to the group that they lived with. Tombstones are not upright, but are called breastplates and lay flat on the chest of  the person’s grave. All stones were the same size, for all were equal in the eyes of the Lord.

The only exceptions were the un-baptized babies, all the little baby boys were buried together with headstones that said “blessed” but not named and the same with the baby girls, “blessed’.“ The German word was BEATUS so when doing your research, if you see this on a tombstone you will know that this is the grave of a Monrovian baby boy or girl.

Around 1817- the “lot system” for marriage was abandoned and in 1818 the women revolted and said they were no longer going to wear the traditional bonnets but were going to wear English hats. They didn’t ask… they told! At this time the towns opened up and anyone could move in, no matter what their faith was.

Migration continued and the Monrovians established towns in Green Bay Wisconsin and Utica New York .

No comments:

Post a Comment