It is not known when the first Stalnakers came to America. Some writers believe they entered at Charleston, South Carolina, possibly Samuel and some brothers. It is known that Samuel was in the Upper Holston River area in 1746. Harassment by the Indians after arrival may have caused dispersion, or even murder of some of the family, driving Samuel into the mountains of southwestern Virginia. A search of history in Charleston shows that no considerable groups of Germans were known to have immigrated to Charleston from 1696 to 1730. Howver, from 1730 to 1750 the counties of Orangeberg, Congaree, and Wateree received a large proportion of German immigrants. In July 1735, and in 1736 and 1737, Jean Pierre Perry, for the Colony, solicited and brought over a large body of immigrants from the German Cantons, who were settled in Orangeberg County. The record did not reveal any by the name of Stalnaker. The record did say that some of the German immigrants left Chrleston and sailed to Philadelphia.

Correspondence with the Bucks County (Pennsylvania)Historical Society brought information that in the latter two-thirds of the 19th century, there were records of Stahlneckers among the descendants of the Schwenkfelder exiles.

Spelling of this name varied as Stalenecker, Stallenecker, Stalnecker, Stahneker, and Stahnecker. Records from the History of the Goshenhoppen Charge in Lancaster County shows the above family names between 1767 and 1803. Northumberland County also shows Jacob Stahlnecker as a free man in the late 1700s. The name was not found on German Pioneer immigrant lists of those who entered at Philadelphia.

In the Genealogical Division of Western Reserve Historical Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, it was found that passenger lists were required of ships entering Philadelphia. It is apparent that some ship's passenger lists were not available, but those that were revealed only the following similar names between 1727 and 1750: Jurgh Steiniger, family of 7 arrived September 27, 1727 on ship James Goodwill from Rotterdam, via Falmouth, England. Captiain was David Crockett. On list 2-B, same ship was listed Jerg Steinieger. On September 11, 1731, the ship Britainia arrived from Rotterdam via Cowes, England with 269 passengers, including Johan Leonard Steininger on List 16-A. List 16-B showed Leon Hart Steininger (probably the same person), aged 35. Then, on May 29, 1735, Ship Mercurius arrived with a load of Switzers, including Magdalena Steininger, aged 30, ship's Captain William Wilson.

Jacob Stalnaker, Sr., son of the pioneer Samuel, married Elizabeth Truby, daughter of John Truby, whose land was next to Jacob Sr.'s in Randolph County, near Beverly, West Virginia. John Truby came from Pennsylvania; therefor, one could deduce that Jacob and his father Samuel could also have come to Virginia from Pennsylvania.

A History of Early StalnakersStalnaker Origins in Germany by Lisa DeGruyter is an excellent, in-depth article.

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