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Maybe Not Bavaria at all
Most of the Frisingers with all the alternate spellings in the United States trace their ancestors back to Ludwig Fredrich Freysinger who everyone agrees sailed down the Rhine to Rotterdam where he boarded  the Good Ship Peggy which landed in Philadelphia October 16th, 1754.

There is good documentation about this voyage. The records from that time say the passengers were mostly from Wirtenberg (Württemberg was a small kingdom in southwest Germany It was combined with Baden in the 19th Century. It is now called Baden-Württemberg, with Stuttgart as its capitol, and the Palatinate.  The Palatinate is now combined with Rhineland to make Rhineland-Palatinate and is just north of Baden-Württemberg.

According to these documents, the ship had made stops at Rotterdam and Cowes, England. A common immigration pattern at the time was to take a boat down the Rhine River to Rotterdam for transfer to an America-bound ship. Both Wirtenberg and Palatinate are on the Rhine near Switzerland in the South West corner of Germany

The Rhine River Watershed is shown at right, double click on the picture to see a larger image.


Nobody has found firm documentation about anything related to Ludwig in Germany, but tradition in almost all the Frisinger families has him coming from Freising in Bavaria or at least somewhere in Bavaria, sailing down the Rhine and departing for British America from Rotterdam. There is one tradition that he came from the Black Forest. The Frisingers spread out quite a bit within a few generations so this idea of the Bavarian origin clearly goes way back.

There is, however, a serious problem with this theory. Bavaria is principally in the watershed of the Danube which flows into the Black Sea not the North Sea. The Rhine River is the one that flows to Rotterdam and the North Sea. In the very north of Bavaria is the Main River which does flow into the Rhine so he could have gone overland up north but it would have been a harder journey for someone from Bavaria than sailing down the Danube and then immigrating to Eastern Europe. Danube Watershed

There are some ways someone from Bavaria could have sailed down the Rhine River.  If he lived in the very northern part of Bavaria, he could sail down the Main River, a tributary of the Rhine.  If he was willing to travel overland, he could make it up to northern Bavaria and come down the Main, or he could have gone up the Danube into Baden-Wurttemberg then traveled overland to the Nectar River which flows into the Rhine. Bavarian Rivers

 According to Hopeful Journeys, German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America, 1717 to 1775 by Aaron Spencer Fogleman, published 1996 and originally presented as the Author’s thesis (Ph.D.) – University of Michigan, 1991, about 85% immigrated to Eastern Europe with the remaining 15% coming to British North America. The advantage of Eastern Europe was that it was a much shorter and easier trip, offered land, religious freedom, and protection from enemy attack. Also there were often significant governmental help for immigrants. The advantage of British North America was huge amounts of land and very minimal governmental interference. Religious freedom is often cited but it was not all it was cracked up to be. Officially the British did not accept Roman Catholics, a major part of the South Western German Population. The passenger lists break out the number of Catholics in their list of the immigrants and the number is normally small. The threat of Indian attack was always real and in Pennsylvania for most of the Colonial period, was a pacifist society (Quaker) and did relatively little to protect its frontier.

In summary I see 5 possibilities.

1. He came from Northern Bavaria, not close to Freising at all.

2.  He took a relatively difficult trip that was partly by land.

3. He was from the Black Forest which is relatively close to the Rhine and people who lived there probably had to do a lot of overland traveling.

4.  He was from Gera which is on the Elster river which flows into the Saale which in turn flows into the Elbe which in turn flows into the North Sea where Ludwig could catch a boat for Rotterdam and America.  See possible missing link page for more details of this.

5.  The Bavaria story is not true, Bavaria is the best known district in Germany and may have been mentioned just to give people a story when they did not really remember.

I have links to some more relevant maps.  Baden-Württemberg and The major tributaries of the Rhine.

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