Joseph Ferdinand Bullitschek


The name Bolejack (and variants Bojack, Bolerjack, Bolyjack, Boleyjack, Bojeck) has been claimed to be a corruption of the French Huguenot name Beaujacques/Bolejacques; however, to date nearly all families seem to be related to the following lineage who are of Eastern European origin.  Variations on the name in Europe include Holeek and Bohaek.


Joseph Ferdinand Buliek (later Americanized to Bullitschek and then shortened to Bolerjack and Bolejack) was born 11 Dec 1729 in Cöhnon/Cohman, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, according to the Lititz Pennsylvania Perpetual Soul Register.  The Bethlehem Pennsylvania archives list his place of birth as Tumigad.  George Neisser=s AA List of the Bohemian Emigrants to Saxony@ lists him from Fumigad in Bohemia.  None of these cities have been located.  He was listed as Catolisch (Catholic).    

Joseph left Tumigad to go to a Moravian School in Niesky, Saxony, Germany, on 21 Nov 1745 where he came to the Moravian Congregation ("Gemeine Headu").  The Moravians had two settlements outside of Austria, which controlled Moravia and Bohemia.  One was in Poland across the Niesse River from Bohemia.  During the war between Poland and Russia, the city was sacked and burned.  The survivors went to the settlement at Niesky in Saxony.  Many of these settlers later came to America.

Joseph was received as a member on 30 Jul 1746 in Herrnhut, which was the principal headquarters of the early Moravian Church.  From this city, missionaries were sent to newly colonized areas of the world.  His first communion was 04 Dec 1748. 

In 1747 the population of Herrnhut was more than 800, with seventy-three different occupations represented and eighty-seven members of the nobility.  Because a relatively large number of aristocrat friends of Zinzendorf also lived at Herrnhut, the standard of living was quite good, often beyond the level that the community could actually afford.  They had white bread and cakes several times a week while the outside world was happy to partake several times a year.  Expensive wines, coffee, tea, spices, tobacco, and other foods were available on

a regular basis. 

The day began at 5 a.m. with the town crier awakening the village.  Everyone gathered in the Hall for morning prayers.  At six a.m. the day's work began.  The work day ended no later than 8 p.m. with a Singstunde at 9 p.m., followed by bed.

By profession, Joseph was a carpenter, mill builder, and glazer.  The community of Herrnhut had an organ-maker as early as 1727, so it may have been here that Joseph learned that trade, which he later practiced in Wachovia.

By the time of his departure, Herrnhut was in a very poor financial situation because of over-indulgences and poor management.  The congregation could barely mustered enough money to cover interest payments on their loans, let alone pay off the principal. 

There are no records of his trip from Germany to England; however, most people sailed down the Rhine River to some port in Holland.  This trip took four to six weeks.  The Rhine was lined with customhouses high on the valley tops, often supported with heavy artillery aimed directly at the river traffic far below.  River traffic was required (for its survival, literally) to stop with a representative climbing the steep hill to pay the tax and then returning, only to have to repeat the process a short distance down the river.  This ritual made the trip slow and costly.  In many cases, passengers ended up spending most of the money they had saved for the trip to America just to travel to the ports of Holland.  However, as the Colonies were English, only English ships or English charter ships were legally allowed to take new colonists to the New World.  Most often, they would sail to a port on the southern coast of England and from there to the Colonies.  Unseaworthy vessels, storms, fire, pirates or enemy warships made the trip risky.  Seasickness, scurvy, dysentery, typhoid and smallpox added to the dangers.  Of the estimated 200,000 who came to America before the Revolution, as many as 20,000 or more may have died in the attempt.

On 22 Sep 1754, "Joseph Bulitshek, Carpenter, Bohemia" sailed from London on the ship Irene with a colony of fifty-three single men with Gottlieb Pezold as captain.  The captain had specifically gone to Europe to bring back this group of single men to help build the Moravian settlements in the colonies.  The men represented 16 different trades.  They arrived in New York on 16 Nov 1754, a voyage of 54 days which was relative fast for such voyages.

On the long voyage, time was plentiful and activities few.  Many who spoke English spent their time learning German, and those whose spoke German worked on their English.  Women were usually housed in tiny rooms below deck while men were often given hammocks on the lower level.  Food was very limited in variety.  Salt beef, pork and fish, dried fruits and vegetables (i.e. prunes and peas), and  stale water with sometimes a little beer constituted the bulk of the diet.  Between the close quarters, the poor diet, and the tossing ship, illness was not uncommon.

Pirates often sailed the seas, looking for ships to plunder and captives to sell into slavery.  Four years after Joseph's voyage, the Irene was captured and later destroyed when it ran aground.

On 24 Nov 1754 "Brother Bullitschek became ill in New York and had to remain behind.  Brother Bacher, as his attendant, stayed with him" (BD).   

On 05 Dec 1754, "Brother Geutner came back from New York [to Bethlehem, PA] along with the brother who had been ill, Bullitschek, and also with Brother Bacher" (BD). 

On 17 Dec 1754, work began quarrying stone and cutting timber to build a manor house for Count Zinzendorf.



Joseph probably lived in the Brothers' House which had only recently been completed.  It stood until 1869 when it was torn down and replaced with the current Moravian Publication Office.  The building contained three floors.  The north end of the ground floor was used as a shop for cabinet workers and joiners.  Joseph almost certainly worked in this shop.  The south section was a shoe-makers' shop.  The second floor was individual rooms and a large room on the south.  The third floor was used as a dormitory.

Earlier that year the city had completed work on the water works which pumped water from the well at the bottom of the hill to the tank in the town square.

On 20 Feb 1755 the single men moved to a log house to make room for the  boys' school and house.

            On 31 May 1755 a heavy frost did great damage to the crops and gardens in the area.  This loss cause food shortages throughout the summer which helped bring the general discontent of the Indians to the surface.


After the attack on British forces by French forces near Fort Duquesne in 1754, tension continued to build.  On 09 Jul 1755 General Braddock and his men were attacked by 900 Indians.  Braddock was killed and many of his men killed or wounded.

On 19 Jul 1755 Bethlehem received word of the defeat of the British at Fort Duquesne.  Because of the Moravians' work with the Indians, many non-Moravian colonists felt that the Moravians were probably secretly on the side of the French forces.

On 24 Nov 1755 the Moravian settlement of Gnadenhuetten, which housed many Indians, was attacked and burned.  Many of the surrounding settlers fled to the safety of Bethlehem and Nazareth, further straining the resources of the settlements.  This attack by the French Indians on the Indian settlement of the Moravians removed much doubt about the loyalty of the Moravian community.

On 19 Dec 1755 Lieutenant General Benjamin Franklin arrived in Bethlehem.  The city was fortified in anticipation of an attack which never came. 

By this time Bethlehem was a town of about 500 people surrounded by 2,454 acres of cleared land.  It was just recovering from a period of poor management which caused a decrease in the efficiency of production of food and products.  As a part of the reorganization, the Brotherly Agreement was developed which stated that members could not own property, earn money for their work, accumulate money, or borrow money.  In order for the community to prosper, members needed to accept the authority of the Elders and to appreciate the food, shelter, clothing and care which they received in return for their labors.

The Single Brothers' House was a five-story sandstone building, with over seventy rooms.  The basement had several carpenter shops where Joseph probably worked.  On the first and second floors were two dining halls with five tables each.  Each table could hold 20 men.  The third floor contained the sleeping quarters with 200 beds.  The fourth floor housed a silkworm industry.  The fifth floor was used to hang the Brothers' clothing.  The roof was flat which allowed limited outside use.

Because of economic and religious difficulties known as the Sifting, life in Bethlehem was not easy.  They had meat twice a week.  The most common foods were soups, puddings, and vegetables.  Butter was sometimes available.  Coffee was made from barley oats.  Teas were often prepared by the doctor from his collection of herbs.  They brewed some beer, given mostly to the ill.  Though their diet was limited, most members were healthy.

Most members relied on the clothes that they had brought with them from Germany.  Because of the hard nature of the work, most men required three or four new shirts a year.  Learning English was also a task that most of the new arrivals were expected to master though German was still the standard language.

On 14 Apr 1756 the Governor declared war on the Delaware Indians and offered a bounty for Indians captured or killed.  This became known as "scalp money" with the settlers indiscriminately killing hostile and friendly Indians, and scalping them to collect the reward.  It was from white men that the Indians learned to scalp victims.

In Sep 1756 work was completed on restoring the sawmill in Bethlehem.  Joseph probably worked on this mill, either as an apprentice or as a skilled mill worker, as he later was responsible for the construction of several mills in North Carolina.  In order to practice this craft, he had to learn about surveying, architecture, carpentry, metal work, and have a knowledge of water and its uses.  These early water mills were driven by wooden or metal gears and leather belts.  The mills themselves might power grist mills, saw mills, band saws, lathes, milling machines, and planers among other machines.

During the winter of 1756 more land was cleared around Bethlehem, often with guards watching for hostile Indians.  In many cases, friendly Indians were hired as guards.  The city itself was again fortified to protect against hostile warriors who wandered the area, often threatening outlying settlers.

On 05 May 1757 the Synod opened in Nazareth with many from Bethlehem attending.

On 07 Aug 1757 English Governor Denny concluded a peace treaty with the Indians, relieving some of the conflicts in the area.

On 25 Nov 1757 John Gottlob Klemm arrived in Bethlehem.  He was most famous as an organ builder who worked with David Tanneberger.  Tanneberger later moved to Lititz where he taught Joseph the craft.  It is possible that Joseph began learning the craft in Bethlehem as the two master craftsmen built many organs for the area, including a new organ for Bethlehem.

On 30 Nov 1757 the ship Irene on which Joseph had sailed was captured by pirates off Cape Breton.  The ship was run aground on 12 Jan 1758.

In Nov 1758 the French abandoned Fort Duquesne, leaving the land east of the Ohio River in English control.

When Joseph left Bethlehem in 1759, only two construction workers remained of the twenty-two when he arrived in 1752.  The population in 1759 was 618 in Bethlehem and 268 in Nazareth.

On 25 Apr 1759, "The single Brother Bullitschek left for Lititz [PA.] to work as a carpenter in the choir houses" (BD).  He was accepted into the Single Brothers' building on 27 Apr 1759.  He seems to have worked on the Single Sisters' House which was started in 1758 and completed in 1760.  The building still stands in Lititz, but the cabinets that he built were removed during one of several renovations.

The Moravians avoided paying for goods that they could make themselves.  Often Moravian travellers to the larger settlements would make mental notes of some product that they had seen for sale.  They would then describe the item to Moravian builders who would build the product.  Joseph was said to have been talented at reconstructing carpentry goods from such descriptions.           

Life in Lititz was highly structured.  Brother Haller (Joseph's future father-in-law) brought a bell from Philadelphia which was used to signal daily activities.  After arising, morning prayer was offered, followed by the signal for breakfast.  Dinner was at 6 o'clock, followed immediately by the liturgy.  A general meeting was held in the resting hour after dinner where one of Count Zinzenforf's addresses might be read or singing offered.  Saturday and Sunday liturgy was held at 5 p.m.   

On 09 May 1760 Count Zinzendorf died in Herrnhut.

On 16 Oct 1760 John Henry Holler moved into the new farm house in Lititz.

On 05 Dec 1761 the Single Brothers' House was dedicated, but it seems doubtful Joseph moved into the new facilities.

On 02 Feb 1762, the Lititz diary records that the "Roslers visited the Bullitscheks who live with the Joh. Thomas'."  It is unclear why the Bullitschek name is plural since he hadn't married yet.  Joseph lived with Johann Thomas, later to become the town baker, in Lot # 39.  The house still stands on the north side of Church Square although the original house has been covered over with a different exterior.  The doorway also used to be located in the center of the facade (where the west window is located currently), but it was moved.  The walls were two feet thick to allow for the addition of a second story later if need.  This second story was later added because John had nine children (although probably not when Joseph was living there).  That same year Brother John William Woerner, the village doctor, built a new house, which still stands, in the new town. 

The usual procedure for a marriage proposal consisted of the Board of Elders suggesting a match and confirming it by Lot or a brother requesting a match from the Board of Elders.  If all parties were in agreement, there was a very brief delay between the engagement and the marriage itself since it had already been approved by God via the Lot. 

Joseph married Maria Charlotta Holler/Haller (B/W/, born 31 Aug 1741 in Muddy Creek, Lancaster Co., PA., daughter of John Henry (Godfrey) and Anna Maria (Hundsecker) Holler) on 28 Feb 1762 in Lititz, Lancaster Co., PA. 

Translation of the Lititz Marriage Register: "On Sunday, February 28, in the Meeting of the Married People's Choir of Lititz and Warwick, was the Single Brother Joseph Bulitschek united in Holy Matrimony, by Br. Rusmeyer, with the Single Sister Charlotte Haller, Henry and A.M. Haller's eldest daughter." 

Most weddings were solemnized by noon so that the newly married couple might receive Holy Communion.  The present church at Lititz was not built until 1787, so they were probably married in the Single Sisters' Buildings.  The large room on the western end of ground floor of the Sisters' House was used as the Gemeinsaal from 1760 until Sep 1763.  They may also have been married in the second floor meeting room.

David Tannenberg, from whom Joseph later learned the organ building craft, set up a new organ in the temporary Gemeinsaal on 19 Nov 1761.  The organist was John Thomas, Joseph's former landlord.  On 16 Jan 1762 the first communion took place in the Gemeinsaal.

Charlotte's birth place Muddy Creek, which no longer exists, was located near Adamstown, PA.  The small congregation at Muddy Creek often came to Lititz.  Maria was accepted into the Single Sister's House on 04 Feb 1756 in Lititz.

They apparently either lived with the Holler family or continued to lease the rooms from Johann Thomas.  On 01 May 1762, Joseph leased house # 15 for ,5 Sterling from Bishop Nathaniel Seidel.  This house, which is said to have burned in 1903, was just west of the site of the present Lititz Post Office (see old plat map), but modern plat maps use different numbers (# 8) from the original city plat maps.  Joseph signed and dated this lease agreement, which is in English.  On 01 May 1763, Joseph and Maria Charlotta leased house # 14.  The house was on the site of the current Lititz Post Office, next door to the house that they had rented the year before.  Joseph signed and dated this lease agreement, which was in German.  They also received a meadow lot in the lease.

On 17 May 1762, the cornerstone for the new Gemeinhaus was laid.

In Oct 1762, the love-feast tax was established of three copper pence per member and two pence for the expenses of communion.

On 09 Aug 1763, a day of thanksgiving was held for the return of peace after the end of the French and Indian Wars.

On 03 Jan 1763 Joseph's former landlord John Thomas received permission to start a bakery.

On 12 Feb 1763, Joseph and Maria's first child Joseph Ferdinand Bullitschek, Jr. was born.

Translation of Lititz diary: "Brother Joseph and Charlotte Bullitschek's little son and first child, born Saturday the 12th of February in the morning about 9 o'clock in Lititz, and baptized into Jesus' death, Sunday the 13th in the Children's Services (Kinderstunde) by Brother Krogstrup.  The workers (male and female) present at the service were sponsors at the baptism."

On 07 Nov 1764 their second child Johannes (John) Bullitschek was born.

Translation of Lititz diary: "1764 Johannes, Br. and Sr. Joseph Fredinand and Charlotte Bullitschek's second little son and child, was baptized into the death of Jesus by Br. Matthaeus (Hehl) on Wednesday the 7th of November in the afternoon in the presence of the congregation.  Sponsors were Br. Franz Boehler and Br. and Sr. Henry and A. Mar. Haller, as grandparents, together with the workers present.  Born Wednesday about midnight at the beginning of November 7th in Lititz."     

In 1764, Joseph bought the house (Lot # 15) next door to their current leased home.  This was the same house that they had leased in 1762.  Because the community at this time was a closed community, with the Church owning all the property, Joseph "owned" the house while the church retained the actual property rights on the land, retained in trust.  Only Moravians were allowed to live in the city at the time.  The Board had to approve the sale of houses, and thus who bought the house, enabling them to control who could settle in the community. 

Lititz at the time was an unlighted village with muddy streets.  Most houses were story-and-a-half buildings set directly on the street.  The upper floors, often unheated and unplastered, included sleeping quarters.  The houses were lighted by candles or fat lamps and heated by fireplaces and sometimes small wood stoves.  Stoves were not used for cooking until the Revolutionary period.

Less than a block from Joseph's house lived David Tannenberg who was the earliest organ builder for the Moravians.  Joseph worked as one of Tannenberg's assistants, learning organ crafting from TannenbergTannenbergDavid  whose organs were judged, at the time, the best and largest in America.  Tannenberg had arrived in Bethlehem in 1749 and then he moved to Lititz. After Joseph moved to North Carolina in 1771, he used his acquired skills to built two organs for churches in the area.  In 1798 Tannenberg built a new organ for Salem which replaced an earlier organ constructed by Joseph Bulitschek.

In 1765 Adam Grube organized the first orchestra and a church choir.

On 20 Jan 1767 Joseph and Maria's third child Anna Maria Bullitschek was born.

In March of 1769, a smallpox epidemic raged through the town.

On 05 May 1769 Joseph and Maria's fourth child Maria Elizabeth Bullitschek was born.

On Sep 28 1770, the church council decided that each householder should lay a pavement in front his house to help solve the problem of mud.

On 01 May 1771 "Bro. Bullitschek dealt with Bro. Albrecht regarding selling his house."

On 31 May 1771 "Bullitscheck's house bought by Andr. Albrecht [Andreas Albright]

On 04 Jun 1771, "Bullitschecks left for the Wachau with their four children."  Maria Charlotta was four months pregnant.  The family was one of four making the trip from Pennsylvania.     

They probably traveled from Easton, PA. via a river boat down the Delaware River to Philadelphia and from there along the "Great Wagon Road" which ran from Philadelphia, by way of ferries over the Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers.  From there the road led down the Great Valley of Virginia to Carolina to the settlement. Although it was called a road, some sections were just a narrow, winding trail which allowed the travelers to take only the most essential needs.  The Moravians quickly seized an opportunity to produce those goods which new settlers, Moravian or non-Moravian, were unable to bring with them.

Typical staples on the trail were preserved ham and tongue, chocolate, tea coffee, and salt.  Johnny-cake prepared for the evening meal was also served as bread the following day.  Cornmeal mush was often prepared for breakfast.  Sometimes travelers were able to buy meat from local farmers as well as oats and/or corn for the livestock.

The family arrived in Bethabara, NC., on 28 Jun 1771.  They were lodged temporarily in the tanner's house.  They may have traveled with the Tiersch family and several single sisters who came from Lancaster.

Earlier in the year, the Assembly of North Carolina had divided Rowan County with an east-west line.  The northern part was become Surry County.  However the line split Wachovia between the two counties, causing obvious difficulties.  Eventually the entire Wachovia tract became a part of Surry County.  At the same time Dobbs Parish was re-established by act of the Assembly.  A parish was a smaller unit of government than the county.

At the end of the year in Bethabara there were 15 married couples (30 people), 3 widows, 18 single sisters, 8 girls, 22 single brethren, 7 boys and 16 children, for a total of 104 inhabitants.  Salem had 12 married couples (24 people), 23 single brethren, 2 boys, 1 widower, 1 single sister, and six children for a total of 57 people.  The city was still in the building process, so most of the people living there were doing construction work.  Bethania had 17 married couples (34 people), 2 widows, 1 single sister, 9 girls, 1 single brother, 8 boys, and 45 children for a total of 100 people (Fries, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, v.1, 435-6).  Bethania was more of a farming community, so most of the population was composed of established families.

In Bethabara, the boys school had two hours of classes in reading, writing and arithmetic each evening during the winter.

On 09 Jul 1771, "Bullitschek has come to no decision as yet where he wishes to stay.  Bethania would probably be the most suitable place for him and his family, especially since Seiz again is strongly minded to move away from there to the Broad Bay settlement.  Several Brethren could sound out Bullitschek whether he could and would undertake to make a small organ for us [Salem]."

In Road to Salem, Adedlaide Fries wrote that the Board planned to leave the small organ in Bethabara and "have a another and somewhat larger organ made for Salem.  There is a man named Bullitschek living near Bethania who is a trained organ-builder, and we expect to have him build an organ for us and probably on for Bethania also" (180).

On 13 Jul 1771, "Bullitschek has expressed himself . . . that he would like best of all to stay in Bethabara, but since he often expresses himself differently to others, we will be patient with him until he makes a positive decision."

On 13 Aug 1771 "Bullitschek has written this Conference, asking to be permitted to live in Bethania for 1 year and to rent the present schoolhouse as soon as Ernest's [Ernst] can move out of it.  We shall tell him that if the

            Bethania people are willing to have him and his family stay there without being regarded a regular inhabitant either of Bethania or Bethabara, we shall not say anything against it.  Meantime the situation with him will clear itself more and more, and we shall see further.  About the Holy Communion for which they applied also, we asked in the Lot, 'May they come at this time?'  We received, 'No.'"  Brother Jacob Ernst, the minister of Bethania from 1770-1784, had just moved into a new house in Bethania, where he would conduct his school.  This freed up the former schoolhouse for the Bullitscheks.

Because Joseph chose to settle in Bethania which was composed of Moravians and non-Moravians and because the family was denied communion which would have indicated that they were full members, it is unclear whether Joseph ever became a full member of the church in Wachovia.

On 21 Oct 1771 Bethania decided to buy 2,000 acres of land rather than continue with long-term leases, allowing individuals to buy their own land rather than the traditional community-held property.  The price would be ,32 North Carolina money per acre.

Before Nov 1771, the family moved to Bethania, NC., three miles from Bethabara. 

On 09 Nov 1771 Joseph and Maria's fifth child Samuel Heinrich Bullitschek was born.

In December Charlotte was received into the Bethania congregation as a communicant member.  Joseph did not join with her, and it seems that he transferred his membership as he was referred to as Brother Bulitschek, a term used for members. 

On 30 Dec 1771 "Br. Bullitschek has submitted a sketch for a small organ in Salem.  It would have 3 stops.  Estimate: ,70, N.C.  This matter was carried over."

It was reported that squirrels did much harm to the corn crop in 1771.

On 21 Jan 1772, "on Br. Bullitschek's plan for a small organ for Salem the following was resolved: He shall work on a small instrument of one stop, the cost of it to be charged to the present account."

On 04 Feb 1772, "We have spoken with Br. Bullitschek about building a little organ for Salem.  He makes the following propositions:  a. To make an organ like the one in Bethabara.  For this he asks ,26 N.C.   b.  If he would arrange the windchest and bellows so that another stop in the bass register could be added later (that stop, of course, to be paid later) he would charge ,30.  If one or more additions would have to be made to take care of future expansion, the cost might possibly be ,32 N.C.  Conference approved 'b'.  He promises to deliver the organ by the beginning or middle of May.  At Br. Emerson's there is a good supply of dry walnut wood.  One could give Br. Bullitschek a quantity of this in lieu of a first payment on the organ; the whole cost, however is to be charged to the present building account and congregation council so notified."  The Salem Diary records, "In the Conference at Bethabara it was decided to contract with Br. Bulitschek for a new organ, to cost ,32: Proclamation money.  It is to be used in our Gemeinsaal [in Salem]."  The Salem Gemeinsaal was on the site of the main building of the current Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC.

The money system of the time was confusing.  English and Spanish coinage was in circulation, but often in short supply.  Proclamation money was the colony's attempt to alleviate the problem.  With all these currencies floating in the colony, it was difficult to keep their relative values straight.  One Spanish dollar equalled eight shillings of proclamation money which equalled four shillings six pence sterling.

On 26 Feb 1772, "George Hauser came in his wagon from Bethania [to Bethabara], bringing the archive closet made by Bullitschek."

Joseph Bulscheck appeared in the 1772 list of taxables for Surry Co., NC.

On 04 May 1772 "it was resolved that ,10: in addition to the ,32: be made available to Br. Bulitschek in order that he can complete two registers [on the organ]."  This organ was first played on 09 Sep 1772 at Bethabara though it was not complete.  "Br. Bullitschek has the new organ for Salem so far complete that one stop can be used, so in the afternoon it was brought into the Gemeinsaal, and in the evening Singstunde.  Br. Graff played on it, giving pleasure to the entire congregation."

On 16 Jun 1772 the Lititz congregation received letters from Wachovia, indicating that Wachovia was experiencing a famine, but that the Moravian settlements were well. 

On 06 & 07 Oct 1772 "Br. Bulitschek set up our new organ, and tuned it with Graff's help.  When finished it was at once played for services, and will make them, and especially the Singstunden more attractive.  It has two stops, is neatly made, has a very good tone, the organist can see the minister through it, and in general it is as well arranged as we could wish."  The organ was installed in the Gemeinsaal in Salem, the first to be made in Wachovia.  Joseph received ,1 sterling for the organ on 12 Oct 1772.          

In Road to Salem, Adedlaide Fries wrote that Brother Michael Graff "has come down [to Salem] to help Bullitschek tune the organ for the meeting-hall" (184).

The organ was placed at the back of the Gemeinsaal, where the organist could see the minister through a small window in the organ directly over the head of the congregation.  The back bench of the Saal was reserved for young Single members.  Apparently the young members behaved in some unseemly ways as in 1780 a new rule that "the young Brethren should sit on the front benches." 

In 1781 the organists proposed to turn the organ around with its back to the wall in order to limit its volume.  The proposal never happened because of the fear of moisture build-up.  Instead, Br. Johann Krause, a blacksmith, boxed up the side nearest the congregation and a top that could open or close by means of a pedal, similar to the swells on modern organs.  The organ no longer "shrieked aloud."  However, on 19 Jul 1781, the "pedal to the swell on the organ shall be improved so that its creaking does not disturb the devotions of the congregation."

On 22 Jan 1773 "Br. Bullitschek came from Bethania to make a coffin for Br. [Jacobus van der] Merk" (Bethabara Diary).  He had passed away the day before.

On 06 Jul 1773 Brother Michael Graff was consecrated Bishop of the Unity of the Brethren, making him the first bishop in the settlement.

On 10 Aug 1773, after two years as a guest in Bethania, Joseph took a lot in the town.

In the summer of 1773 Joseph built a new organ for his home church at Bethania.  It was played for the first time at the Sunday evening service on 10 Sep 1773.  "In Bethania, Br. Bullitschek placed the new organ in the Saal; one stop is so far finished that Br. Meinung could play for the evening service."  The organ was described by Pearl Strupe (Organist, 1941), "It has one manual of only four octaves, the keys are reversed, the 'black keys' being ivory and the 'white keys' being made of dark wood which were given a brown stain that imparted a gloss and smoothness.  These keys are worn from use.  There are three stops.  The lower one on the left side of the console is just a dummy.  Two of these stops include eight base or pedal notes and the third has 16 bass notes.  There are no pedals, and no swell except the canvas swell opening at the top of the organ.  All three stops are used for congregational singing with combinations of one or two as needed for the other parts of the services."  The bellows were operated by the bellows-treader who stood at the back, stepping alternately on the two pedals.  The organ cost a total of ,42 (North Carolina pounds) or about $105.00. 

This organ was housed in the older church until the completion of the new church in 1806.  David Tannenberg, the organ maker from whom Joseph learned the trade, added a third stop to this organ.  The instrument was in continuous use until the church was destroyed by fire on 03 Nov 1942 and with it the organ.  A replica was produced in the 1970's which is now used in the church.  The cost of the reconstructed organ was $13,000.

On 10 Aug 1773, "In a letter to Br. Graff, Br. Ernst mentions that Bulitscheck who has lived in Bethania two years as a guest, now wishes to take a lot there."  Brother Jacob Ernst was the teacher and lay pastor of Bethania.  Like Lititz, when one built a house in Wachovia, the house was the property of the owner but the land remained the property of the congregation.  The lease payments were used to pay the annual quit rent due to Lord Granville as a part of the general purchase agreement of Wachovia.

Joseph continued his work as cabinet maker, mill-wright, organ builder, and glazer.  Records indicate that he built a bolting chest for flour, cupboards, coffins, houses, bark and filling mills, a saw mill, organs, a schrank (cabinet), secretary-press (writing cabinet), a map case, and a love feast cabinet.  The last five are still in the Winston-Salem, NC. area. 

The Secretary-Press (Piece 447.2) is described as a "walnut secretary-press with heavy straight bracket feet and typical Moravian cornice molding at the top.  The base has writing board which surmounts a single drawer, flanked at each end with a pull-out support for the writing board.  The outset paneled doors are under the drawer.  The top, which sets back in the frame, contains tow paneled doors which enclose a series of 'pigeon-holes'.  The bottom section also contains several partitions, or pigeonholes.  It is believed that this piece was made for the Archives' or Vorsteher's use.  This piece is attributed to Joseph Bullitschek, who in 1772, made an 'archive closet' for the Salem Diacony."  This secretary is housed in the Tavern Museum in Old Salem, NC.

Joseph built a schrank (Piece 519), described as a "walnut wall cabinet with typical Moravian molded top and straight bracket feet.  Because of these features, this piece is also attributed to Joseph Bullitschek (along with the secretary #447-2).  This schrank was apparently designed for books, containing a number of shelves.  The doors have rat-tail hinges.  The secondary wood is poplar."  This piece is also in the Tavern Museum in Old Salem, NC.

Joseph is credited for the construction of a map case in 1772 which is housed in the Single Men's House in Old Salem.

Joseph is also credited for the construction of a case that is housed in the school room of the church a Bethabara, N.C.

On 02 Nov 1773 "The Brn Bullitschek and Schor began repairing our saw-mill."

By 1774 there were 64 members of the Bethabara congregation and 125 in Salem.

Replica at Bethabara of original Bullitschek organ that burned in 1942.

Photograph of the Original Bullitschek organ




Bethabara Church



On 05 Jan 1774 Steiner of Salem Mill "has also heard that there is no prospect whatsoever that his saw-mill be built soon, because Bulicheck, who has promised to do the work, has told him that he has to do a merchant way to the Bethabara Mill, where he has to use all the dry wood which has been for the saw-mill.  Br. Marshall, however, reported to the Collegium that this was not the intention at all, and that Br. Steiner may continue to contract with Bulicheck for the construction of the saw-mill. . . ."

On 11 Feb 1774, "There was a discussion with Br. Steiner about a saw mill and a merchant way.  We all had the opinion that the thing should be started, but that before this, Bolicheck and Transou should be asked for their advice."

On 30 Jun 1774, "Br. Marshall reported that Bolitschek has looked at the place for the saw mill and that he has made a plan for it.  He thought that one should take away the existing stone work there and build stronger walls."

On 04 Jul 1774 Joseph bought 360 acres of land in Surry Co. for ,216 from Adam and Ann Lash near Germantown, N.C.  "Br. Bulitschek, his wife and five children, have moved from Bethania to their farm."  Joseph was listed as Joseph Bulucheck cabinet maker.  The land included "both sides old Shallowford Road on Stuards branch, waters Gargoles Creek."  The Bullitschek farm was still a part of the large tract of land known as Wachovia which was purchased by Count Zinzendorf.ZinzendorfCount  GransvilleLord  The area remained a wild area with Indians wandering the area.  A story tells of the Cherokee Indians who came to Bethabara to negotiate the sale of some land.  They saw and heard the organ in the Saal which Brother Graff had brought from Bethlehem in 1762.  The Indians were convinced that children were hidden inside.  The Moravians opened the case to convince the Indians that there was no deception. 

Joseph built a log cabin north-west of the later home of Joseph Bolejack, Jr.  Remnants of cabin are still visible.

On 17 Jan 1775 Joseph and Maria's sixth child Charlotta Catharina Bullitschek was born.

On 24 Feb 1775, "Br. Wallis went to Steiner's mill to see what progress is being made in building the flour mill.  Br. Joseph Bulitschek met him there, and they discussed the saw-mill; Bulitscheck will be given the contract as soon as he is ready to begin the work."

On 08 Mar 1775 the Salem city "discussed the construction of the sawmill, and we decided that we would give Br. Triebel the construction as piece-work under the direction of Br. Bulicheck a [millwright]."

On 19 Apr 1775 the Battle of Lexington took place.

On 08 May 1775 reports reached Wachovia that there had been a skirmish in New England between British soldiers and a group of American colonists, foreshadowing the conflict that was coming. 

On 15 Sep 1775, "Our neighbors are steadily increasing the amount of wheat raised, and as the grain cannot be as readily bartered at Cross Creek as flour, request has been made that we furnish  merchant flour; therefore a separate, finer, bolter is being installed, in order to bring more customers to our mill, as without it they will go elsewhere.  Br. Bulitschek, who is doing the work, is the only capable mill-wright in this neighborhood; he charges a good deal and is slow, which means a considerable reduction in the profits of the flour mill, but we hope this will be more than covered in the future." 

During the night of 04 Dec 1775, the skies over Wachovia were filled with a massive meteor shower, perhaps a foreshadow of what the coming year was to bring.

On 03 Jan 1776 "Br. Wallis is going to talk to Bulichek concerning the sawmill, because if we have to wait for him it can take such a long time until he comes over.  Br. Wallis is going to try to make a contract with Bulichek concerning the work at the mill, though we all believe that he is not going to agree to a contract.  If he does not agree we [will] have to take him per day.  We shall, however, give him the journeyman Jacob Beroth and Strub to help him, so that the work will go quicker."

On 10 Jan 1776 "Br. Wallis reported that he had talked to Bulichek concerning the construction of the sawmill, and he has made him the offer of a contract, to which Bulichek does not seem to oppose.  He does not, however, want to take Jacob Beroth and Strub because it takes too much time for him to instruct them in all his methods, etc.  He only wanted Beroth . . . .  He said that he could not come before the 1st of February because the days are still too short."

On 31 Jan 1776 "Br. Wallis reported that Bulichek . . . told him his opinion about the sawmill contract.  He demands ,90.  Br. Wallis asked him whether he did not think this was too much, and whether he would not rather take a daily wage and we would give him, except Beroth, some other good workmen, so that the whole work comes much quicker to an end.  He answered . . . that he would rather work under contract and not take any other workers, because they distract him so much . . . .  We thought of other means . . . ."  It seems possible that Joseph was trying to protect the monopoly of know-how on mill construction that he had to that point.

On 07 Feb 1776, "a letter has been read by Bulichek in which he has lowered the sum of his demand to ,80 . . . .  As to the flour mill he is not yet able to determine anything until he has looked at the place.

On 14 Feb 1776, "After long discussions in previous meetings concerning prices and the need to train a local man to build a mill, the contract was given to Johann Krause instead of Bullitschek because Krause was a local man and the need was great for a local mill-wright.

On 21 Mar 1776 "Bulichek was here yesterday, and Br. Wallis asked him what he would demand for the construction of the flour mill.  He said ,24 . . . .  He will come next week and start the work."

On 26 Mar 1776 "According to the summer schedule breakfast was at seven; at sunset the bell rang for stopping work, and three-quarters of an hour later the twilight service was held.  Br. Bulitschek took his tools to Steiner's mill, where he will make a bolting-chest for flour." 

On 10 Apr 1776 Joseph signed a contract to build a flour mill for ,24.  "The contract with Joseph Bulichek and the Collegium concerning the construction of the flour mill and all the necessary equipment has been made for ,24."

On 12 April 1776 elected representatives of North Carolina met for the Halifax Convention and passed resolutions urging the Continental Congress to declare independence from Great Britain.  They also authorized the issuance of paper money, thus putting four paper currencies in use at the same time:  North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Continental.  Barter became a safer way of doing business because one was never sure of the value, if any, of the paper being circulated.  Counterfeiting was a profitable business at the time.  The old English paper money was recalled and was to be burned, but often it was redeemed several times at a tidy profit.

The Convention also enacted a decree that since the Moravians did not bear arms, their guns should be taken away after they had been paid a reasonable sum for them.  However, nothing really ever came of the decree.

In May Lord Cornwallis landed on the Carolina coast with seven thousand men.  It seemed doubtful that Washington's raw troops would be able to stop Cornwallis' well-trained mercenaries.

On 01 May 1776 rumors spread that "Indians have already killed seventeen people, and horribly mutilated them, scalping the entire head, and hacking the body into many pieces." (Bethania Diary)

On 13 Jun 1776 the Bethania water pump had not been working for eight days.  It was finally repaired on 15 Jun.

With the declaration of freedom from English control on 04 Jul 1776, the Moravian Church faced with a dilemma.  Because of the church's pacifist beliefs and because of the Biblical advice to obey the civil authority (the English), many in the church felt a deep connection to the King.  The Moravian refusal to bear arms helped reinforce the image that they supported the English cause.  However, the congregations helped both sides out of necessity and self-preservation.  The international nature of the Unity and the fact that its central committee was located overseas added an additional complication to the situation.  Neutrality had its advantages.  Who would have been in a better position had the new colonies not been successful in the fight for freedom?  Because the Moravians did not fight for the colonies and because of their belief in respecting the existing authority, the church was often suspected of secretly supporting the British (which in many cases was probably correct).  After repeated "raids" on the stocks of the community, the Board suggested that the merchants reduce the stock of goods on hand at a time when demand was high.  Guns used for hunting and gun powder were kept "out of sight" to prevent confiscation.

The Moravians were not required to serve during the war.  Moravians who lived in non-exclusive congregations were allowed to serve if they chose and no one who chose to serve from any congregation was censured as they would have been for other breaches of behavior.  All Moravians who did not serve were required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the new government.  Moravians between the ages of sixteen and fifty could be conscripted and then had to serve or pay ,10 for each exemption which was used to hire and equip a substitute.  Because many Moravians did not speak English well, many did not completely understand all the events that were going around them. 

Because Bethania had non-Moravian settlers, the community seemed a much stronger supporter of independence than most of the others in Wachovia.  However, even there, the issue was often divisive, a fact mentioned in the diaries several times.

On 11 Jul 1776 the Moravians and Quakers of North Carolina were ordered to send men to take part in an expedition against the Indians who were raiding villages on the Broad River, or pay a ,10 fine.

On 13 Jul 1776 "After a somewhat long drought there was a fine rain this afternoon which was much needed by the gardens and fields.  Br. Bulitschek measured the fall of the run near Br. Herbst, and found twenty feet, so a small bark-mill and fulling-mill can be built there."

On 15 Jul 1776 it was "reported that the Indians are only fifty miles from here."

On 31 Jul 1776 a Virginia paper reported that "prayers for king George III are to be dropped from the public litanies of the churches, and a prayer substituted For the Magistrates of the Commonwealth."

On 06 Aug 1776 news finally reached Salem that the colonies had declared their independence.  They dropped King George from their prayers and added instead "for the ruler of our country."

On 02 Oct 1776 "Br. Bulichek has been here and he has looked once more at the place for the tanning mill.  He thinks that he will have finished the new plan for the construction by next Sunday."

On 30 Oct 1776 Joseph started on the saw mill.  "It has been reported that Bulichek has come finally to start the construction of the saw mill.  Thus we have to make a written contract with him, in which the water wheel, the run, spillway gate and (Schuetze ?) shall be mentioned before all.  At the same time we have to fix a contract with Triebel."

On 06 Nov 1776 "Since both Brn. Rasp and Bulichek are sickly and also winter is at hand, it was decided to start with the construction of the tanning mill in the coming spring.  In the meantime we shall try to get all the building materials together and we shall also make the contract with Bulichek."

At the end of 1776 the Provincial Congress of North Carolina elected Richard Caswell as governor.

On 09 Jan 1777 there was a three-quarters eclipse of the sun starting at 9 a.m.

Early in 1777 the newly formed North Carolina Assembly passed a conscription act that required all able-bodied men between age 16 and 50 to report for muster, including the Moravians.  They also passed a law that required all parties to swear allegiance to North Carolina and to renounce the King.  Swearing in itself was a problem, and even the pledge to the state could be tolerated, but the renunciation of the King was a little more difficult for most members.

On 02 Apr 1777 Joseph was contracted to build a tanning mill. "Since we now took the resolution to have finally built the tanning mill, and since Br. Bulichek  has assured us once more that the water at the assigned place would be sufficient to have the mill going, we have made a contract with him for ,36: with free meals for him and his men.  He shall make four vats with eight stamps (pestles) namely two vats for the bark and two for leather.  Moreover, he has to bring the water from the mill race in a tube onto the job.  He has promised to make the axle tree under the same contract.  As to the crooked wood he needs for the water wheel, he and his men shall be paid for it separately, if they make it by themselves and have to have the wood cut, etc.  Also the spot where the water has to shoot down near the dam shall be paid for separately.  This contract shall be written down in duplicate."  "The Aufseher Collegium [Board of Overseers composed of seven men] met, and agreed with Br. Bulitscheck, who came yesterday, to pay him ,36: for building a bark and fulling mill on the run below Br. Herbst's house.  The water will be raised and held back by a dam, and will so have a fall of 16 feet for an overshot wheel." (SD)

On 07 May 1777 "Near Br. Herbst's work is being energetically pushed by Br. Bulitschek in wood and by Br. Melchior Rasp in masonry." (SD)

            In Jul 1777 the 19 year-old Marquis de Lafayette joined General George Washington's army.

On 07 Jul 1777 notice was given in Bethania that "all men between the ages of 16 and 50 should appear in Bethabara on the 14th, armed and accoutred.  No one agreed." (Bethania Diary)

On 19 Aug 1777 a birth was reported in the Deep Creek area.  The child was born with "two heads and four arms, and seven fingers on one hand.  It lived eight hours, and one head died before the other." (SD)

On 15 Aug 1777 a Surry Co., NC. court ruled "That all those persons who have neglected or refused to appear before a Justice and take the Affirmation of Allegiance to this State, and have given the Court no Excuse therefor, shall leave the land within sixty days, and go to Europe of the West Indies" (Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, v.3, 1207).

A bushel of good wheat could make 16 loaves of bread that weighed 33 pounds which then sold for a total of 8 shillings for the loaves.  A bushel of wheat cost 6 shillings.

On 06 Oct 1777 "The bark-mill was used for the first time as a fulling-mill and worked well; this will be very useful in the future."  (SD) This is the mill that Joseph Bullitschek had begun on 13 July 1776.

Since taxes had not been collected since the beginning of the war with England, new taxes were levied at the rate of 2 penny for each pound value of land, houses, town lots, slaves, cattle, money.  Any man not worth ,100 had to pay 4 shillings. 

The value of the paper currency continued to decline.  In the first months, the rate was 32 paper to 1 in hard currency; in March 3: to 1; April-July 4 to 1; August 43 to 1; September 42 to 1; October 4: to 1; November 5 to 1; and in December 52 to 1.  Anyone who accepted paper money risked losing money before they could use it for goods, assuming they could find something for sale and someone who would accept paper money.

In the November North Carolina Assembly, part of Surry County was taken to form a part of the new Wilkes County.  The Moravians sold part of their land for the construction of the new courthouse.

On 17 Dec 1777 "Br. Herbst reported that Bulitscheck claimed that the contract made with him did not cover his expenses in building the bark mill [which ground oak bark to make tannin, used in tanning leather] and he said a promise had been given to protect him from loss.  We looked up the minutes and found nothing of that sort but the Collegium decided that Br. Herbst should give him an additional ,4 as a gift." (SD)

The year 1778 brought new challenges to the Moravians.  A land office was opened so that owners could register their land.  However, only those who had sworn allegiance could register their land.  This presented a major difficulty for the Moravians who refused to swear, especially since Wachovia was held in trust.  All land belonging to the English was to be confiscated.  Settlers who suspected that the Moravians secretly harbored allegiance to the King started filing illegal land claims against the Moravian territory, believing that after the war, the Tory-sympathizing Moravians would lose all claim to the lands. 

The North Carolina Assembly, fearing the loss of the Moravian artisans, farmers, and shop keepers, allowed the Moravians to take a more acceptable oath and to be exempted from conscription if they paid three times the tax.

The clamoring for freedom seemed to have had an influence on the congregations.  The autocratic control of the church over its members came increasingly into question, at least in the minds of some members. 

The fines for not serving in the army were raised from ,10 in 1776 to ,25 in 1778.  Surry County had to provide 88 men.  Each man was to have "one pair of shoes, one pair of stockings, two undershirts, one hunting-shirt, one jacket with sleeves, one pair of breeches, one pair of trousers, one hat, one blanket, and five yard of tent-cloth; each group of six men were to have one ax and one kettle or iron pot."  (Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, v.3, 1204)

Hard currency was scarce and the paper money, both Continental dollars and North Carolina money that the colonies were issuing, commanded little respect.  The Moravians would often accept a smaller price for goods if payment were in hard rather than paper currency.  The church economies suffered very difficult economic situations because of inflation and the nearly constant devaluation of the paper currency.  The members of the congregations tended to trade among themselves, but traded with outsiders only in hard currency whenever possible.  They paid the taxes with the paper currency which held no real value, probably to the great regret of the state's officials.

On 19 Mar 1778 Joseph and Maria's seventh child Matthaus Gottfried Bullitschek was born.

On 24 Jun 1778 there was a near total eclipse of the sun at about 9 a.m.  Because the sun was also under a cloud, candles had to be lighted.

On 04 Jul 1778 Justice Michael Hauser requested that every resident of the area appear before him in Bethania to swear allegiance to the land.  No one went from Salem.

On 15 Jul 1778 the deputy sheriff brought a bill for ,333 the Moravians would have to pay because they chose not to provide three enlisted men.

On 20 Jul 1778 it was decided that in order to pay for the three substitute enlisted men, each Brother of fifty should contribute ,2 and every Brother under 50 should contribute ,4 each.

On 22 Jul 1778 Joseph delayed laying the floor of the mill, requesting more money.  "Bulichek may refuse to lay the ground floor in the mill, because he thinks that he did not get enough in the last contract.  In any case we shall not wait for him, but we shall just very simply appoint someone else."

In Nov 1778 four Brethren were drafted and it was decided that each father who had sons of draft age would contribute ,16:18 to pay the fines.  The fine for not serving in the army was raised to three times their normal provincial taxes.  However, they only had to pay their face value of their county taxes.

In Jan 1779 the North Carolina Assembly passed a resolution that "if the Moravians would render the prescribed affirmation of fealty to this and the other United States of America, they should remain in the undisturbed possession of their property, also be exempt from all military service, but instead of it pay a twofold tax" (Reichel 89)

On 23 Jan 1779 the North Carolina Assembly approved a resolution that allowed the Moravians to take a revised Affirmation of Allegiance which would restore all their former privileges, including ownership of land.  It did not excuse them from paying taxes or from fines for not serving.

On 04 Feb 1779 "Toward noon nine Brethren went to Bethabara, namely Ernst, Grabs, Hege, Sehnert, Beroth, Cramer, Ranke, Fischer, and Bulitschek, the latter a country member; also the five boys. . . .  In the Gemein Saal they all took the Affirmation before the above mentioned Justice [Captain William Dobson] who signed a Certificate for each of them."  Each man received a signed certificate from Justice Dobson to prove that he had taken the affirmation.  The following is believed to be the Affirmation that they took:


I, __________, do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm in the Presence of Almighty God, that I will truly and faithfully demean myself as a Peaceable Subject of the Independent State of North Carolina, and will be subject to the Powers and Authorities that are or may be established for the Good Government thereof, by yielding either an active or passive Obedience thereto, and that I will not abet or join the Subjects or Forces of the King of Great Britain or others the Enemies of this State by any Means in any Conspiracy whatsoever against the said State or any of the United States of America; and That I will make known to the Governor or some other Member of the Council of State, Judge of the Superior Court or Justice of the Peace all Treasons, Conspiracies or Attempts committed or intended against the same, which shall come to my Knowledge. (Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, v.3, 1431)    


The Bethania diary records in 1779, "Yesterday February 8 and today, February 9, many passed on their way to Conference.  Br. Bulitscheck came to tune the organ."

A late frost largely ruined the peach and apple crops.  The wheat was damaged by mildew.  The cost of many goods went up because of shortages and the demand created by the war.

In May 1780 there were reports of horse thieves in the area, probably because of all the deserters who wandered the woods and robbed to survive.

During the summer of 1779, many militiamen passed through the Salem area on their way south to reinforce American forces fighting against Lord Cornwallis.  They brought with them smallpox epidemic which claimed several lives.  Some smeared tar on their forehead or lips while others stuck tobacco leaves in their nostrils in hopes of preventing the disease.  Inoculation against smallpox was available, but not well received in the area.  The idea of making someone intentionally ill with the disease seemed ridiculous to most in the colony.

The disease hurt the trade of the Moravian settlements, but it at least had a side benefit of limiting the visits and the demands for goods from the passing armies of both sides for fear of falling ill with the disease.  In January paper money was valued at 6 to 1 for hard currency; in October it was valued at 25 to 1.

On 05 Nov 1779 Brother Frederic Marshall, who had recently returned from Europe, took the Affirmation of Allegiance and the deeds for Wachovia were placed in his name, ending a long struggle to secure clear claim to the land.

Joseph was listed in the 1780 Bethania tax list.  Coffee cost three shillings and sugar four shillings per pound.

In Jun 1780 over a thousand Tories appeared in Wachovia, causing trouble and scattered violence.  A militia of 7,000 was gathered and were joined by 3,000 Continental soldiers. 

On 05 Aug 1780 "At Steiner's mill Br. Bulitschek changed the shorts-mill so that it would grind flour, in order to hasten the work with the much wheat brought in by the troops."  The army also took wagons and horses to take the newly ground flour to the troops.

On 18 Sep 1780 "We visited Bultischek where we met Nilson, who expressed regret over his separation from the Brethren."

On Thursday, 12 Oct 1780, members of the Tory army appeared in Bethania, looking for the 500 liberty men who had been lodging there.  Fortunately, the last of the men had just left the town an hour earlier after being in town since Monday.  The community fed breakfast to the one hundred men, who all remained on their horses.

On 13 Oct 1780 the Tory army again passed through Bethania after midnight, looking for the liberty men.  Early in the morning, the main band of Tory soldiers was followed closely by a small party of anger Tory soldiers who claimed that they had been fired upon as they were approaching the village.  The Moravians assured them that it must have been some of spies in the area, not them.

After the Battle of Kings Mountain, liberty men showed up in Bethabara with 250 prisoners.  Other sources say they were taken to Bethania.  The British officers were lodged in private homes and the common soldiers in an abandoned store.  The Tory sympathizers were kept in a cattle pen, exposed to the elements with only raw meat and raw corn on the cob for food.  Most changed their allegiance to the American cause after a two-week stay in the pen.

Some of the children in Wachovia were inoculated against smallpox in 1780.

On the morning of 09 Feb 1781, Lord Cornwallis and his army of 3,000 men took over the village of Bethania.  Cornwallis' actions seemed to be a warning to Bethania for their more vocal support of the American cause than most Moravian communities.  As a cold rain fell, the soldiers butchered more than 60 head of cattle, plus many sheep, chickens, and geese.  As they prepared their meals in the different quarters that they had taken over, they tracked in mud from the unpaved streets.  As darkness set in, the 100 gallons of whiskey and 300 hundred pounds of bread that they had sent for from Bethabara added to their meal. 

Many of the soldiers must have been drunk later in the evening when someone decided that the Moravians ought to drink to the health of King George.  The first man Hauser at first refused and was threatened with a sword.  He then took the bottle, tipped it up, letting it gurgle, but not swallowing any of the whiskey.  Cornwallis then ordered that 20 fresh horses were to be ready at 6 a.m. the next morning.  The Moravians tried to explain that they could not supply so many horses.  The army left finally with 17 horses, six of which had been freshly stolen from the British army itself. 

On 15 Mar 1781 the battle near Guilford County Courthouse took place, forcing General Greene and his American forces into a retreat. 

Receipts for aid that the Moravians supplied to the American cause could be used to pay taxes, thus lightening the costs of food, lodging and other supplies given to the soldiers passing through the area.

By the late spring of 1781 most of the fighting had moved north, leaving a relative calm in Wachovia.

On Apr 16 1781 a snow storm hit the area, killing most of the fruit and hurting some of the other crops.  The storm was the only snow of the winter.  On 20 Apr another storm passed through, dropping large hailstones.  On 11 May a late frost hurt many of the gardens.

On 27 Aug 1781 Joseph and Maria's eighth child Georg Friedrich Bullitschek was born.  He died 23 Nov 1781 and was buried in God's Acre in Bethania.  His death may have been a result of the smallpox epidemic hit the area in 1780-81.

On 30 Oct 1781 Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, VA.

In 1782 Salem blossomed with ruffs and leggings on men's clothing.  One brother shocked the community by wearing a plain waistcoat into the meeting hall and then opening it to reveal a shiny row of buttons on his shirt.  The Elders also opposed big shaggy hats, those with drooping brims, and those with ribbon or cord.  The Congregation Council admonished the new styles as unbefitting of a brother.  Typical attire in the Carolina colony included men wearing buckskin knee breeches and dark single color high-buttoned jackets which were wool in winter and linen in summer.  Women wore plain ankle-length dresses or skirts with their hair pulled under a knit or linen cap.

The Moravian community of Wachovia faced another threat in 1782.  Because of the Confiscation Act of 1777, which allowed the confiscation of lands in America owned by Englishmen, Wachovia faced an uncertain future.  When the church first bought to land, the deeds were placed in the name of John Hutton, an Englishman; therefore, all of Wachovia could technically be retaken.  However, the Moravians used their influence to promote passage of an act by the General Assembly which exempted Wachovia from the confiscation act by transferring title to the lands to Fred Marshall, an "American".

On 30 Nov 1782 the Revolutionary War ended with the signing of the preliminary articles of peace.

On 24 Apr 1783 "Br. Marshall came from Salem and inspected the mill site, where half of the race has been finished, and wood has been cut for the dam and mill-house."

On 23 May 1783 "Digging for the mill-race is finished.  Br. Bulitschek and his son John are preparing to build the mill."

The Fourth of July 1783 was declared a day of thanksgiving to God for the end of the Revolutionary War.  The morning featured a worship service with the 46th Psalm.  The afternoon offered a music program and community love feast, a service with sweet buns and coffee, symbolizing the love of Christ and the unity of Christians.

With the end of the Revolutionary War, an outward peace returned to Wachovia.  However, the struggle for political and economic freedom had kindled a fire for greater personal freedom.  Some of the beliefs of the Moravian church were called into question, including the Lot for selecting a mate.  The wages of the members of the congregation were often very highly regulated while the wages in the outside world rapidly increased with the close of the war.  For some the only choice was to leave the community and the church in order to make a decent living.

On 01 Feb 1784 "About three o'clock Joseph Bulitschek [Jr.] came for me, to take me to his sick brother Johannes; I stayed with him all night."  Outbreaks of measles and whooping-cough raged through the settlements during this year.  The Moravian settlements usually had a doctor, which attracted settlers from miles around.  A common remedy for the common cold of the period contained 2 tablespoons caster oil, 1 teaspoon peppermint, 1 teaspoon perogaric, and 2 glass molasses.

The summer of 1784 was very hot.  Valentin Beck replaced John Jacob Ernst as minister of Bethania.

On 11 Oct 1784 "This evening Br. Bulitschek and his son Joseph took leave of us; they plan to take the upper road to Penn. tomorrow."  It was unclear why Joseph and his son were returning to Pennsylvania.

On 02 Nov 1785 "Bulitschek shall be engaged to come from Bethania on a convenient day to tune our congregation organ."

The 1786 tax lists include Bulitschek Jos. Ferdinand.

On 16 Apr 1786 "Admitted to Bethania Society - Anna Maria [B3] and Elizabeth Bulitschek [B4]."

On 11 Aug 1786 Joseph's second son John Bolejack married Mary "Polly" Forrest.  They had to go to the county seat and post a marriage bond ,500 to insure that there was no lawful reason why the marriage could not proceed and then to purchase a marriage license.  The marriage bond was signed by John Bolisheck, John Forrest and James Forrest, who held and firmly bound themselves to his Excellency, Richard Caswell, Governor.

The new nation voted on the Constitution.  North Carolina was the last of the new states to approve the Constitution on 02 Aug 1788.  The northern counties of North Carolina opposed the new Constitution while the southern counties favored it.

On 26 Nov 1788 the church at Bethabara was consecrated.  It is still in use.  The church that Joseph and his family would have originally attended in Bethania is no longer in existence.

On 10 Dec 1788 "I rode with Johann Conrad to Bulitschek's where we rested a while and then rode on to the church half a mile from his house.  At two o'clock there was the funeral of a man named Hironimus Henning."

By 1789, the family did not seem actively connected with the Moravian church any longer.  Usually when a member left the church there was a note in the Memorabilia section of that year's diary indicating the reason why.  There is no note in the Salem diaries between 1786-92.  There is no proof that he ever became a full member while in Wachovia.

By this time preaching was conducted in English every fourth Sunday in Bethabara. 

On 04 Feb 1789 George Washington became the first President of the United States.

The outbreak of the French Revolution on 14 Jul 1789 severely hurt trade between Europe and the United States.  Barter became the safest way to conduct business.  When customers were due change from a purchase, they would often ask for additional goods rather than accepting the change.

In the first United States census of 1790, Joseph Bolingjack was listed in Salisbury District of Stokes Co., NC. with three white m 16 and up (Joseph Sr., Samuel Heinrich, and probably Joseph, Jr.), 1 white m under 16 (Matthew Gottfried), and 4 white f (Charlotte, Anna Maria, Maria Elizabeth, & Maria Charlotta).  They had no slaves. 

By this time Joseph had accumulated a large holding of land on both sides of Town Fork Creek where he raised wheat, corn, oats, rye and tobacco. 

In 1790, children in Bethania paid eight pence per week for school.  No record has been found of Joseph's children attending school, but it seems likely that they did considering the importance the church placed on education.  While many outside settlers could not read or write, Moravian students were taught geography, geometry, Latin, history, penmanship, English grammar, and German, the common language of Wachovia of the time.

The use of the Lot to approve a marriage was dropped in the country congregations unless requested.  In Bethania, the Lot was selectively used.  In Salem and Bethabara, it was still used.

On 20 Oct 1790 Joseph Bolitjchk witnessed the signing of the will of Abraham Lineback/LienbachAbraham Lienbach.

On 31 May and 01 Jun 1791, President George Washington visited Salem, spending two nights at the inn.  He was impressed by the general cleanliness of the city, the water works, and the musical talents of the community.  Washington addressed the citizens on 01 Jun:

Gentlemen: I am greatly indebted to your respectful and affectionate expression of personal regard, and I am not less obliged by the patriotic sentiment contained in your address.

From a society whose governing principles are industry and the love of order much may be expected towards the improvement and prosperity of the country in which their settlements are formed, and experience authorizes the belief that much will be obtained.

Thanking you with grateful sincerity for your prayers in my behalf,        I desire to assure you of my best wishes for your social and individual happiness.


On 05 Jun 1792, "I was called to Bultischek who formerly belonged to us, and whose daughter [Charlotta Catharina] had died.  They asked that she be buried on our God's Acre, but the request was refused by the committee."  The request was denied because only members were allowed to be buried in God's Acre.  The family had definitely left the Church by this time.  An epidemic of scarlet rash passed through the area in 1792.

On 09 Jun 1792, "Bro. Kramsch went ten miles from Salem to hold the funeral of Charlotte Bulitzcheck whose parents formerly belonged to the Unity."  Charlotte was buried in Shiloh Church Cemetery, also known as Muddy Creek, ten miles west of Salem near present-day Lewisville.

On 01 Jul 1792, a postal rider arrived in Salem for the first time, lessening the isolation from the outside world.  A letter to Philadelphia cost two shillings (about 25 cents).  The mail arrived by rider every two weeks.

On 29 Oct 1792, Joseph Bolejack, Sr. and Joseph Bolejack, Jr. purchased for ,55 ten acres of land with a mill in Stokes Co., NC. on Townfork of the Dan River from William Follis/Fallis (Vol. 1, p 244).  The deed was signed by William Follis and Perry Sims.  It seems very possible that these two were both brothers-in-law of Joseph Bolejack, Sr's daughter-in-law Martha (Martin) Bolejack (B5/W/)  Two witnesses Ephraim Banner and William Martin seem to be Martha's brother-in-law and brother, so this land may be part of an estate (Bk1, p244).  The purchased of the land seems to be the final step in the step from Joseph Bulitscheck, Moravian from Bethania, to Joseph Bolejack, miller from Townfork.  Joseph operated this mill until his death when his son Joseph took it over.

On 15 Aug 1793 J. Bolejack, Sr. served as witness to the sale of land belonging to Sibbellar Angel to James Angel (Bk2, p1).

On 11 Mar 1795 the Court of Pleas and Quarters of Germantown ordered that "David Dalton, John Vest and Ivy Blum be appointed a committee to keep the Town Fork Creek open from Bolejack's Mill to its confluence with the Dan River, agreeable to Act of the General Assembly for the passage of fish."  Apparently this committee served to keep the creek clear of natural and man-made (dams, nets, etc.) obstructions for the movement of the fish.

Joseph and Maria were listed with an address of Germantown, NC. when the post office started service to the city in 1795.

On 19 Feb 1796, Joseph Bolejack, Sr. and Joseph Bolejack, Jr. purchased for ,50 72 acres of land on the waters of Townfork from William Follis (Vol. 2, p 260).  The Heritage of Stokes County North Carolina (Stokes County Historical Society, 1981) mentions the Bolyjack Lime Kiln and Quarry.  Most of the limestone mines were operated in connection with iron works.  The North Carolina Tribute Stone which was used in the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. came from the Bolejack Quarry.  After the stone was quarried, it was carried by wagon to Wilmington, Delaware, where it was placed on a boat for Washington.  This five foot by three foot white marble stone was donated at a public presentation for the State of North Carolina on 22 Feb 1853.  The stone is located on the west side of the monument at the 100 foot level, 8th landing # 2, with the seal of North Carolina inscribed on it.  However, the stone has deteriorated over the years with discoloration from dirt.

In 1798 the organ that Joseph had made for the Salem Church was given the Bethabara to replace an earlier organ.  The organ was rebuilt by Br. David Bachmann who had come from Lititz.  Later it was placed in the chapel of the Single Brothers' House in Salem.  Stories tell that it was later given to Friedbery/Friedberg Moravian Church and later was put into storage where it rotted and the pipes melted down for lead.

Joseph made his will on 02 Oct 1799 with George Biweghauss serving as witness.


Will of Joseph Bolejack


In the name of God Amen.  I Joseph Bolitsheck of Stokes County in the State of North Carolina, Miller, being of good health & of sound mind & memory thanks be given to allmighty [sic] God calling into mind the mortality of Men, and knowing it to be the destination of all men once to die, do make & ordain this my last will & Testament: that is to say Principally and first of all I recommend soul into the hands of my dear Creator Jesus Christ who gave it & my body to be interred in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executor and as touching (?) such worldly estate where with it hath pleased God to bless me in this world I give & devise the same in manner & form following:

1) I give & bequeath unto Charlotte my dearly beloved wife all my household furniture my old mare & one cow as her property forever.

2) And whereas my son Joseph has paid the half of the money that my mill & a small tract of land _________ (?) now thereto has cost which is situated about one mile from Germantown & consequently the half of the said mill & land belongs to him & his heirs which I hereby devise & grant to him & them accordingly.  I hereby give & devise the other half of said mill & land to my said wife Charlotte during her natural life but after her decease this said share of my wife shall be valued & the money arising from the sale thereof shall be equally divided amongst my six children named Joseph, John, Samuel, Mathhew, Ann Mary, & Elizabeth share & share alike, each of them one equal share.

3) My other tract of land with the improvements thereon lying on the waters of Muddy Creek whereon my two sons John & Samuel live at present shall after my death be sold by my executors and the money arising from said sale shall be likewise equally divided amongst my six aforementioned children share & share alike.

4) My daughter Ann Mary who is not yet married shall have out of my estate on horse creature & two cows with their calves as her own sole property forever.

5) All my tools for my trade shall be divided equal in value amongst my aforenamed four sons by my executor hereafter mentioned who are likewise empowered & charged to pay all my debts & funeral expenses

6) And I do hereby make order constitute & appoint my beloved wife Charlotte & my son Joseph executors of this my last will & Testament and hereby _________ and make void all former wills & legacies done by me either in writing or by word of mouth & applying & conforming this & no other to be my last will & testament.  In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand & seal this twenty-second day of October in the year of our Lord 1799.


Joseph Bolicheck (Seal) 


Joseph and Charlotte seemed to be living with their oldest son Joseph in the 1800 Stokes Co., NC census (1 m & 1 f 45+).

George Washington died 14 Dec 1799.

Joseph died __ ___ 1801 in __________ Co., NC.  His will was proved Jun 1801 with Charlotte and Joseph being appointed as executors.  In a deed signed 28 Dec 1801 (Bk 4, 117), "John Bollijack, Samuel Bollijack, Matthew Bollijack, Mary Ann Bollijack, and William Francis, for wife [Elizabeth], of the county of Stokes, the surviving heirs of Joseph Bollijack, deceased" sold Joseph Ferdinand's 72 acres of land to Joseph, Jr.

Charlotte died __ ___ 18__ in __________ Co., NC.  Joseph and Charlotte were probably buried in the Bolejack Cemetery in Forsyth Co., NC (at the corner of Dale and Mercer Streets near Germantown, Stokes Co., NC.)  This cemetery is also known as the Westmoreland Cemetery.

Gravestone thought to be for Joseph F. Bullitschek

Germantown, NC




Joseph and Charlotte had eight children:  1.  Joseph Bullitschek/Bolejack   2.  Johannes Bullitschek/Bolerjack   3.  Anna Maria Bullitschek   4.  Maria Elizabeth (Bullitschek) Francis   5.  Samuel Heinrich Bullitschek/Bolejack   6.  Charlotta Catherina Bullitschek   7.  Matthaus Gottfried Bullitschek   8.  Georg Friedrich Bullitschek.