List of Lancaster prisoners were made for various reasons. One such list names those went out to work and their employers, three name members of groups ready to be sent to Philadelphia for exchange, and another names the ones in a group that had arrived at Philadelphia on its way to be exchanged. This combination of the lists is useful to establish the whereabouts of individual prisoners during their captivity.
The original documents are old, some are fragile and stained. Poor penmanship and spelling combined with the stains of age made interpretation of some names difficult. The handwriting was done by three different persons whose ability with the German names varied from good to poor. Interpreting some of them was made easier by consulting presently available lists of the Von Lossberg Regiment.
Some names of the men who went out to work do not appear on the exchange lists. In some cases this may be the result of misinterpretation. In others the man may have been sick, died, or deserted. If any employers paid the fine for allowing their employed prisoner to escape, no record of it has been found. Apparently only one of the British prisoners went out to work. Whether they were not be trusted, refused, or were listed separately on a lost document is unknown. The Waldeck prisoners could have been among the 80 captured about January 21, 1777 near Springfield, New Jersey. The British were probably taken in several engagements.
Henrich Geldmacher was found among this list.
File No. = 191
Source Code = E
Name = Geldmacher, Henrich
Regiment = Rall
Co. = 5
Lancaster Exchange List = 1
Number on Exchange List = 283
Worked For = John Alspaugh
Location = Lancaster
E = Name appeared on lists A & B.
A = Name appeared only on one of the three lists of prisoners sent from Lancaster to Philadelphia.
B = Name appeared only on the list of prisoner from Lancaster received at Philadelphia.
CO.: Number to identify the company in the table of companies.
LANCASTER EXCHANGE LIST: 1 = "List of Hessian, Waldeck & British Prisoners of War sent from Lancaster the 17th of June 1778 under the Escort of Capt. Michale Opp -- towards Philadelphia for exchange--by order of Elias Boudinot Esquire, Commisary General of Prisoners." The words "and British Prisoners" were crossed off as were 41 of the names, most of them British. The original document had 413 names. At the bottom was the notation: "372 sent with Capt. Opp."
Source of information was found in, "The German-American Diary" by C. W. Heckert.