If you read Anna’s Crossing, you know the story of the first Amish who came to America in 1737, on a leaky, creaky merchant ship named the Charming Nancy.

This week, I received an e-mail from a gentleman whose ancestor, George Arnsparger, was ON the Charming Nancy in 1737! He was Penn Dutch, though not Amish, and came from the Palatinate region of Germany. The wooden chest that George brought with him has survived for nearly three hundred years. It probably held everything he owned in it.

I asked David, George’s great-great-great-great (how many?! I’m not sure!) grandson if he would send some pictures of the chest. The very next day, he did! And gave me permission to share them with you.

Looking at the pictures gave me chills. Oh, the stories this chest could tell!


From David: “The chest is not what I would call huge. Two people could easily carry it.”


From David: “It has a lock. It is in excellent condition. There is a crack on the back. Interestingly the handles can spin in place. They are not fixed.”


From David: “My grandmother told me years ago that there is a date on it. I’ve not found it.”

Thank you, David, for bringing the story of the Charming Nancy to life by sharing your story. Imagine how pleased George would be!

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