Intro-Procuniar\ier Family Tree
To view my 10 Generation Family Tree for Peter Brockunier Sr.'s Descendents click HERE! The file is about 400k so it will take a few minutes to load depending on your internet connection & CPU Speed. Use your Browser "Find" command to locate your name or your relative's name! Those of you who's lineage is from George Braconnier i.e. Wendell Hughell 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) My research has not been able to connect the Procuniers-Brockuniers or Braguniers to this George Braconnier, just some strong hints that they may be related. I have not found any information that would suggest that the Burgoon family is related to our family tree, but there are so many similarities that I have included some Burgoon research on this website in hopes that one day we can prove or disprove that relationship. For the Burgoon family that have similarities here with our Brockuniers, Braguniers and Broguniers there is a web site for the descendents of Jacob 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 very same families you see here in our data but with the surname spelled a little differently. However I DO NOT think this Jacob Burgoon is related to our family but one never knows for sure. However you can click HERE and go to the Burgoon Forum for more information. DCP
Progenitor & More
Braconier Early Census Records
Talk by Gordon W. Procunier
Progenitor & More
The most probable progenitor of our family, Johan Nichol Peckoner SR, arrived at Philadelphia on the Ship "Lydia" in September 1740. Captain James Allen brought the ship from Rotterdam. There are no records of Johan Nichol Peckoner SR, that can be found after his entrance to America at Philadelphia in 1740, using the spelling of Peckoner or similar spellings, except his short existence in Clear Springs, Maryland where his brother or cousin George Braggoonner lived. However there are other records in Maryland that possibly continue the Peckoner lineage under other spellings.
During further research in 1998 I found two genealogists (Brenda & Barbara Beckner) who together researched their husbands surname "Beckner" and after collecting their data published a book "BECKNERS in America" the first 250 years 1996. They state that their book consists of the John Nicholas line, that was of Swiss-German descent. Their research contains data (birth, marriages and christenings) located in the Bavarian, Wurttemberg. and the Rhine-Palatinate regions of Germany. They also state that the village which houses the records for the Johan Nicholas line has "not yet" been located.
What caught my attention was that these Beckner researchers found Johan Nichol Peckoner who came to America in 1740 on the ship Lydia and connected John Nicholas to their family lineage and then changing his surname from Peckoner to Beckner. Further research is needed to sort out the facts if Johan Nichol Peckoner is believed to be the J N Beckner they say he is or if John Nicholas Peckoner is the progenitor of our Procunier clan. I found no spellings from the ship Lydia's logbooks with the spelling of Beckner for September 27, 1740. However this could possibly be why our earlier family genealogists could not find Johan Nichol Peckoner after his entrance into America in 1740 because they searched under the Peckoner spelling instead of Brackner, which Brackner or Beckner may have been set in motion by a census taker or some other recorder of land deeds etc. after coming to America. At this moment I really don't know one way or another. It would be nice if someone who has accomplished more research for Johan Nichol Peckoner who arrived on the Lydia on September 27, 1740 that could clear this up please contact me!
There are several records in Middlesex County, NJ where a John Nicholas Brackner SR & JR lived. One marriage record for that county lists John Brackner married 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 and Baumwarts. This 1776 list includes: .... Peter Prakunier age 49; Peter Jun age 11; Margaret age 42; Margretha age 17; Lafanna (Susanna) age 15; Elizabeth age 13; David age 9; Barbara age 6; Henry (twin) age 4; Jacob (twin) age 4; Born later in 1777 was Daniel my gr gr gr grandfather
In the 1790 Federal Census of Pennsylvania there is a Peter Parcunia (who we know was Peter Procunier Jr.) in Huntingdon County, one male over 16 and one female over 16. Census takers never could spell very well. However, Jacob Prakunier (twin) and his descendants went on to spell their name Bragunier, while his brother Henry (twin) Prakunier and his descendants went on to spell their name Brockunier.
Since the Procuniers were German speaking and couldn't spell or pronounce their name in English very well when they came to America, they were therefore at the mercy of recorders or Census takers to set their spelling in motion. However, when some of the family became more literate in later years they changed their last name to its original state of Procunier.
The only records that we have showing that Johan Nichol Peckoner SR was the father of Peter Brockunier SR, is the Bragunier Genealogy in America by Brittain Bragunier Robinson 1969 page 57 and page 58 and the Reference of Rev. A. Stapleton's book Memorials of the Huguenots in America, page 135, 1901. This connection will take more study of the Huguenots, since their records are more detailed for that era. If you look at a map of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and look at Huntingdon County PA, Franklin Co. PA, Bedford Co. PA, Washington Co. MD and Frederick Co. MD in 1800, you'll see that they are all very close to each other. 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 Maryland that Ohio was a fruitful and safe place to settle. This is why I feel my gr gr grandfather Samuel Procuniar came to the Mad River Township (Ohio) area to live because some of his family & friends had already settled in this area. They could depend on each other whenever they needed help. Samuel lived with his son Jacob Procuniar on Valley Pike after he became ill in 1879 until his death in 1880. His wife Catharine died in 1871, both are buried in the Dille Cemetery where some of their children and grandchildren are buried. Most of Jacob Procuniar's descendants through John Henry Procuniar lived on or near Valley Pike in Dayton, Ohio.
As per Brittain Bragunier Robinson there are publications of the Huguenot Society of London that show nine references with the spelling Braconnier and one with the spelling Bracognie before 1700. In les Montalbanais et Le Refuge by Paul de Felice, page 121 and in Protestantism Francais by Haag 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 France to England, Germany and Holland.
Brittain Bragunier Robinson stated in his book in 1969 that the Braconiers are probably related to the Braguniers, the relationship, if any, for the United States members, is very old as the division of the two branches must have occurred in Europe before 1740.
Early Census Records
In the first Census of the United States taken in 1790 there is only one Bragonier recorded as Head of a Family. a George Bragonier [probably the brother of Johan Nichol Peckoner SR] is recorded with a family of four males 16 years old or older and 3 females. Brumbaugh in Maryland Records Colonial Rev County Church 1928 Vol. II page 523, gives the record of George Bragonier marrying Margaret Otto in January 27 1795 in the German Reform Church at Elizabethtown, Maryland. An Act of Legislature in January 26 1814 changed the name of Elizabeth Town to Hagerstown.
1800 Maryland Census lists three (3) Jacob Bragooniers, two (2) George Bragooniers and (1) Peter Bragoonier, all living in Washington County, Maryland. In the 1804 Wills of Washington County, Maryland is listed a Peter Brockunier, probably the same Peter Bragoonier in the 1800 census. In the 1776 Elizabeth Hundred Frederick county, Maryland lists Peter's family 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
Friends, this talk is especially for you who are interested in your Procunier Ancestors. Whenever I listen to a talk, I like to know, who is the 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 Gordon Procunier of the Bayham Ontario branch of the family. I am a professional engineer living in Toronto Canada. My work involves technical writing. As a hobby I have been doing some research on the Procunier Genealogy. My subject is "The Procunier Connection with the Huguenots". In it I will trace what we know of the Procunier's from France through four generations to Adam Procunier who married Desire Neal. My references are four, three of them are books and the fourth is family history handed down from parent to child. Two of them are books about the Huguenots. The first is The Days of the Upright by OIA Roche, an American Historian. The book was published in 1965. The second book is The Trail of the Huguenots by 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 in America by Britain Bragunier Robinson. Robinson is an American Procunier descendant who has done his research for the book in France and in the U.S.
A word about references. Two independent publisher references that agree, are much more authoritative than one! Other good sources of historical information are gravestones, national censuses, church records and ship's list of passengers.
Before exploring the Procuniar Connection to the Huguenots, let us try to understand some of the highlights about the Huguenots. The word is spelled "HUGUENOT". It is believed to be derived from two Flernish words: Huis meaning home and Genooten meaning fellows. It referred to Protestant Bible students who met secretly in each others homes to study the bible. The bibles they studied were a French version produced by John Calvin and his followers in the 1550's in Geneva Switzerland. Note that John Calvin was a famous French Protestant of the 16th century. Much of the faith of the Scottish Presbyterian Church is based on the teachings of John Calvin.
John Calvin grew up in the Province of Picards in northern France. He was one of the earliest Huguenots to be persecuted. He had to go to Switzerland in order to carry on his work.
Why were the Huguenots persecuted? Chiefly because they were critical of the Pope and several of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly that of easy forgiveness of serious crimes and the purchasing of indulgences. Because of their outspoken criticism the Huguenots were called heretic.
Huguenots had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and in the life hereafter as described in the New Testament. This faith gave them great courage to endure persecution. Some were remarkably cheerful under dreadful conditions. Many were hard working, skillful, self-reliant professionals who ran their own businesses and made them prosper. Many of them had experience in making textiles, plus fine laces, others were good in metal working, in manufacturing. Still others had experience in specialized agriculture.
Faced with persecution. these Huguenots, or French Protestants joined together to form the "Protestant Reform Church" in France. During most of the 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 13 million 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 hated intensely by the Catholic majority, and they were persecuted systematically by the Catholic Church (especially the Jesuits), the French Army, and the French government. Many Huguenots were massacred, many of their leaders were burned at the stake, some were tortured, many men died at sea as galley slaves. Part way through this period for a brief 12 years following the Edict of Nantes of 1598, the Huguenots had some protection under the Protestant French King, Henry the IV. However near the end of his reign he became a Catholic. He was assassinated in 1610. From then on the persecution of the Huguenots continued. Towards the end of the 1700's the persecution in France decreased.
At various times during the persecution period edicts of laws were passed that 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 their persecutors. -to worship in their own churches. -to sell their property and then emigrate with young children because the Catholics believed they could train Huguenot children who were under 16 to become Catholics.
As a result of these restrictions members of Huguenot families had to disappear secretly, one or two at a time. Sometimes they changed their names. Catholics were continually seizing Huguenot Property, with the arrangement that 1/3 of the seized property would go to informers and the rest went to the church or the state.
All major ports (usual shipping routes) and border crossing points were patrolled so that Huguenots caught leaving with money or jewels, had their goods seized and they were jailed. Often then their children under 16 were forcibly taken and put in Catholic Schools and the men were sent to galley ships. As a result many thousands of those who did leave France escaped with very little money or goods!
After a while the neighboring Protestant countries of Britain, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland , became crowded with penniless refugees and there was scant opportunity to make a living, after that many tried to go to America. During the 100 years, 1550 to 1650, many of those who went to America perished, either due to shipwreck or starvation, or massacre in America by the Spanish, the French or the Indians!
From approximately 1650 onward conditions for settling in the British part of America improved and it became known as the land of religious freedom 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 the south west.
Province of Normandie in the north west.
Province of Picardy (where John Calvin was born) in the north next to Belgium.
Province of Alsace in the north east next to Germany and Switzerland
John Calvin lived for several happy years in the city of Strasburg, the principle city of Alsace. He was married in Alsace. With this as a background let us now turn to the Procunier's.
One of the earliest Procunier's of which there is a record, is Henry Procunier. He was governor of the city of Strasburg in the year 1235. There are records of other Procunier's either owning land or renting land in various parts of France in the many years following Henry Procunier's time.
Let us move on to John Nicholas Procunier [it was spelled Johan Nichol Peckoner on the ship Lydia's log 1740] who we believe was the first Procunier 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 boys aged 15, 12 and 10. Our family history suggests John Nicholas may have been a tailor and definitely was a Huguenot. John made a careful plan to immigrate to the British colony in America. In order to avoid attention when crossing the border, John may have arranged for his wife and two younger boys to leave Strasburg ahead of him. Also it is probable they went to visit John's younger brother George and his wife Anna who were living in Hanover, Germany. John and John Jr. followed soon after. They then proceeded to Rotterdam and signed on, as passengers on the ship Lydia. Probably the mother and two younger boys came at the same time although the ship's records did not show their names whereas it did show John Nicholas and his son John Nicholas Jr.
Anyway, the ship arrived at Philadelphia early in September 1740 and on September 28, 1740 John Nicholas was qualified (registered) as an immigrant at the State House in Philadelphia. Soon afterward the family settled along with other German speaking Protestants in a community called "Clear Springs" near Hagerstown, Maryland. Records indicate that their church was called the German Reformed Church of Hagerstown. Later Eva Procunier of Hanover Germany, and the daughter of George and Anna Procunier, married Michael Bergman (a Lutheran) and came to live near Clear Springs too. Eva's gravestone states "She lived and died a Lutheran".
REV. Daniel Bragunier, a grandson of John Nicholas, was a distinguished minister of the Reformed Church in Hagerstown Maryland. He was called the "Original Old Mr. Huguenot" and was an important character in a book written by Sr. Peter Davis entitled The Young Parson. This indicates that Daniel firmly believed his grandfather was a Huguenot.
Family history, handed down from parents to their children, in both America and Canadian branches of Procunier's has traced back to the initial French Huguenot, John Nicholas Peckoner (Procunier). All of us who are his descendants have reason to be proud of these ancestors.
Let us now trace this first family for three more generations. We do not have much record of what happened to John Nicholas Jr. or the youngest brother Henry. They do not appear to have had any descendants. The second son Peter Sr. aged 12 in 1740 later became active in real estate. He bought and sold lands extensively. By the time he was 32 Peter Sr. owned a choice 50 acre farm called "Hager's Long Hickory". On this farm he and his Dutch wife Margaret, spelled Margret in the census, brought up their family 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 was born in 1776. What were they to do? Should they renounce loyalty to Britain and become Americans or should they remain loyal to Britain and be persecuted? During the next few years I am sure they saw and heard of many families who lost their farms and were persecuted for staying loyal to Britain. Peter Sr. (who I shall call first Peter) decided to become an American and thereby keep his farm and support his young family. Peter Sr. took the Oath of Allegiance in 1778.
On the other hand, a few years later, two of his married daughters and his eldest son Peter Jr. went to Canada. Peter Jr. settled in Normandal township of Norfolk county, near Port Rowan. Peter Sr. did not approve of his son Peter JR's decision to go to Canada. To show his disapproval Peter Sr. only gave Peter Jr. 5 pounds and some canceled loans in his will of November 18, 1804. Most of Peter SR's estate was given to three of the sons, David, Jacob, and Daniel Brockunier, that stayed at Clear Springs. Each of Peter SR's daughters received 40 pounds.
Peter Jr. and his wife Elizabeth had four sons, named Henry, Peter, Adam and 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 wife Elizabeth is in the Johnson Cemetery in St. Williams Canada.
I believe that this first Procunier family in Canada, like many other loyalists, had high ideals, and were willing to suffer great hardships in order 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, aged 18, the daughter of Major George Neal, also spelled Neil, was a Loyalist, who had come to Canada in 1786. George Neal was the Methodist minister after whom the church was named. Major Neal lived and served for many years in St. Williams.
This ends my talk on the "Procunier connection with the Huguenots" and their Loyalist background. By Gordon Procunier
*Comment * by this author about Gordon's talk in 1981 ................
Though Gordon's talk at the 1981 Procunier picnic presented a fairly accurate picture of our ancestors, some points may not conform to the facts I have found through my research. For example Gordon states that "Eva Procunier of Hanover Germany, the daughter of George and Anna Procunier, married Michael Bergmann (a Lutheran) and came to live near Clear Springs, Maryland. Eva's gravestone states She lived and died a Lutheran".
Eve's gravestone is located in the in Washington County, Maryland, which is located on Route #40, near Clear Springs, Maryland. On Eve's gravestone it states "Eve Bargmann, wife of Michael Bargmann, daughter of George and Anna Eve Brakonier", born 30 Nov 1752 in Hanou in Europe, died 18 May 1827, a member of the Lutheran Church. Her husbands gravestone says "Michael Bargmann, born 1738 in Europe & died 17 Dec 1818 age 80-1-15.
It seems that Gordon has chosen to change Eve's surname from "Brakonier" to "Procunier" for the purpose of his talk to the "Procunier" family picnic. I have found that some other family genealogists do the same thing as Gordon when recording their ancestors. We must "preserve" the spellings of our ancestors as it was recorded and not change their surnames to our own liking!! Gordon also spells Eve's name as Eva.
Buried next to Eve is her daughter Catherine Smith. Her gravestone states that she is the daughter of Michael & Eve Bargmann, born 26 March 1776 Berkeley County, Virginia, died 5 June 1827 aged 51-2-10.. Also in this cemetery is Catherine's sister Dorothy Heller, wife of Daniel Heller & daughter of Michael & Eve Bargmann, born 20 June 1782 & died 25 Jan 1829. Buried in this same cemetery is George Braggonier who died 2 October 1862 aged 61-5-7, who we know is the son of George Bragonier and the grandson of George & Anna Eve Bragonier. Also buried there is the sister of this youngest George Bragonier, Elizabeth Brewer, and her husband, Jacob Brewer. Baptized in the St. Paul's Lutheran & Reformed Church in 1801 was Catherine, daughter of Jacob & Elizabeth Brakunier. (This Jacob was a son of 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
Note: Anything not copyrighted in this publication can be reprinted with permission from the author David C. Procuniar. (It is appreciated if a credit line be given) Certain advertisers and writers may retain copyright on material which will be clearly marked as such. You must contact them about use of their material. Information in this publication was/is obtained from correspondence, newsletters and miscellaneous sources, which, in many cases cannot be verified 100%. In cases where you need to write the author for material, please send along a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope).