Georgia Moravians

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1735 to 1740
Location: Province of Georgiamap
Surnames/tags: Southern Colonies Georgia Moravians
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The goal of this project is to identify and categorize the distinct group of immigrants and their children of the Moravians of Bohemia, funded by Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. They came to minister to the scattered German immigrants, to the Native Americans and to enslaved Africans. Within ten years, it collapsed because of internal discord, and government pressure for Moravians to serve in the militia in defense against Spanish raids from Florida (1740, the so-called "War of Jenkins' Ear"). [1]

The sticker for Immigrants of Georgia Moravian Profiles:

Profile Sticker Code Produces
{{Nonmigrating Ancestor |addinfo=Moravian Immigrant to Province of Georgia |flag=Georgia_Moravians.png |tooltip=Moravian Church Logo}}
Moravian Church Logo
Moravian Immigrant to Province of Georgia
{{Migrating Ancestor | origin = Moravia | destination = Province of Georgia | origin-flag = Flags-16.jpg | destination-flag = US_Southern_Colonies_British_Georgia-4.jpg }}
Flag of Moravia
... ... ... migrated from Moravia to Province of Georgia.
Flag of Province of Georgia
{{Religion|image=Georgia_Moravians.png|text=was a member of the Moravian Church}}
... was a member of the Moravian Church
{{US Southern Colonist Sticker|Georgia}}
U.S. Southern Colonies Project logo
... ... ... was a Georgia colonist.

Also appropriate for all Province of Georgia Moravians is this category with this text [[Category:St. Matthew Parish, Georgia]]



The Moravians' move to Georgia in 1735 was one of many in their worldwide missionary campaign during the mid-eighteenth century to unite Christians and convert non-Christians. The campaign included efforts in Africa, the Caribbean, India, North America (including Greenland), Suriname, and much of Europe. [2][3]

Many German and other Protestant leaders mistrusted or condemned the group because of its desire to unite the Christian churches and several unusual practices that deviated from traditional Protestant thought, including an acceptance of women preaching and holding religious offices.

During their ten years in Georgia (1735-45) the Moravians, led initially by August Gottlieb Spangenberg (1704-1792) and David Nitschmann (1696-1772) and later by Johann Hagen, lived in a communal settlement in Savannah. Things did not go well for them. They had hoped to bring with them a few hundred Schwenkfelder refugees, a persecuted religious group from Silesia, but this group decided at the last minute to go to Pennsylvania instead.

The Moravian leader Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf had also hoped to assist the persecuted Lutheran refugees from Salzburg who were on their way to Georgia. But the Lutheran leaders in Halle, Germany, intervened, wrestled this mission away from the Moravians, and kept the Salzburgers in Ebenezer, a few miles upriver of Savannah. After these disappointments the Georgia Moravians began to concentrate on converting Native Americans and also enslaved Africans across the river in Purysburgh, South Carolina.

In spite of their promising start settling in and around Savannah, the Moravian mission was not a success. The ultimate cause for the dissolution of the pacifist Moravian colony was not the pressure to bear arms in the war against Spain, as some have suggested, but rather a crisis within the Moravian community. The group, which lived in communal quarters in Savannah and maintained no individual, private property, was plagued by quarreling, lack of cooperation, and other internal problems. These tensions drove many individuals and married couples away from Georgia; they either returned to Europe or scattered into Pennsylvania, never to rejoin the group. Others went to Pennsylvania and helped build what became the very successful communal settlements at Bethlehem and Nazareth. The communal ideal seemed to work better for Moravians and other German pietist groups when they moved into the backcountry and separated themselves from other colonists. [4]

A single Moravian congregation exists today in Georgia, at Stone Mountain.

Further Reading

  • James Nelson, "John Wesley and the Georgia Moravians," Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society 23 (1984): 17-46.
  • Edmund Schwarze, History of the Moravian Missions among Southern Indian Tribes (Bethlehem, Pa.: Times Publishing, 1923).


  1. Wikipedia: Moravian Church in North America
  2. Fogleman, Aaron S. "Moravians." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 28 September 2020. Web. 14 January 2021.
  3. A List of the Early Settlers of Georgia, edited by E. Merton Coultyer and Albert B. Saye. 1949. The University of Georgia Press.
  4. Georgia Encylopedia: Moravians in Georgia 1735-1740

Early Moravians of Georgia

The original Moravians to settle in the Province of Georgia were abroad the Simmonds, Arrived 4 February 1736.

Jagg, David—Husbandman; embark'd 14 Oct. 1735; arrived Feb. 1735-6. Moravian. (#726)
Jaskin, Juliana—Spinster; embark'd 14 Oct. 1735; arrived Feb. 1735-6. Moravian. (#727)
David Nitschmann (1696-1772), Moravian Minister
Ruscher, Godtfrid—Linnen weaver; embark'd 14 Oct. 1735; arrived Feb. 1735-6. Moravian #1288
August Gottlieb Spangenberg (1704-1792), Moravian Minister

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