There are a million questions to be answered in every family’s genealogy. One person cannot ask nor answer but a small amount of them, though each of us may try. A collective effort, on the other hand, offers facts and stories unknown or forgotten which can expand our understanding of who we are and who our ancestors were. Join me here to enlarge the history, research, and memories of the Phlegar Family.
To begin, who is this Phlegar Family? We are the descendants of a couple, Hans Georg and his wife Eva Pflüger, who left their homeland in the Württemberg province of Germany in 1731. They arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Ship Samuel on the 17th of August that year. With them were Marie and Katarina, members of their family whose relationships are not perfectly clear. These two females will be investigated in a future blog.
Hans Georg and Eva also brought with them a German name with a spelling that was obviously difficult for the Englishman who recorded their surname—in the Provincial council of Philadelphia—as “Fleger.” Over the centuries the name has maintained an almost consistent pronunciation, but the spelling has been topsy-turvy. Take a gander at these examples: Pflueger, Pflieger, Pfleiger, Flieger, Pflegar, Flegar, Phlegar, and more. Hans Georg used Pflüger when he signed the ship’s log in 1731.* That German umlauted ‘u’ (ü) sounds very much like the phonetic sound of a long ‘e’ (eeee). The change over to the first letter in the name, from ‘Pf’ to ‘Ph’ occurred in early 19th century Virginia where the pronunciation still carries the long ‘e’ as if to say “Fleeeger” for Phlegar.
Thus the Phlegar Family here is just a variation on the first immigrant’s name. In future blogs and data postings, the spelling will make no difference; the referenced family will also reflect the immigrant’s line, in which the Pfluegers, Pfliegers, Pfleigers, Flegers, and Phlegars are merely cousins.
* Strassburger, Ralph Beaver, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol 2, William John Hinke, editor. Morristown, PA: Pennsylvania German Society, 1934