Loudermilk (Lautermilch, Lautermilche) History


The original home of the Lowdermilk family was Bavaria, Germany.  It was situated in a region west of the Rhine River. Here was found the Glan Lauter, in all probability, from whom the Lowdermilk name was derived.  The word "lauter" in German means "pure." As the spelling of the family name was Lautermilch, some decided that as much as "milch" in German is "milk," that the original family name means pure milk. As all of this region was known for its fine dairy products, it is reasonable to conclude the origin of the name is wrapped in these meanings.


This territory was ruled by a court Palatine, beginning in the 10th Century when Herman the First ruled from 945 A.D. to 996 A.D. to be followed by a long list of his descendants until 115 A.D. when the German King Frederic the First appointed his step-brother Conrad as court Palatine.  Most of the inhabitants of the Palantine region were of Protestant faith; hence, when in 1685, a Roman Catholic ruler was appointed, religious troubles began and soon we find many people of the Palatine region beginning to look elsewhere for their homes.


Emigration began, resulting in thousands of these people coming to America.  In the Secretary’s office at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the lists of many of the early settlers who landed at the Port of Philadelphia are preserved giving their names and the names of the boats on which they sailed.  It is notable that many on the first list that was recorded and later published in such computations as Professor Lupps’ list of 30,000 German, Swiss, Dutch and French immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1729-1776 were mostly from the Palatine region.  They were some of the earliest to come across to accept the cordial invitation of William Penn (an English Quaker and the founder of the colony of Pennsylvania) which was issued to all peoples who wished for freedom from religious persecution.


On November 3, 1939, Philip Kinsley (possibly Kingsley) wrote an article in the Chicago Tribune which was later included in his book on "Origins of American Population." He stated that, "Next to the English and Irish, the largest national group coming to America in the Colonial Period was the Germans.  Migration originated chiefly in the Upper Rhine Valley on the Palatine, where economic disorganization, political discontent, and religious persecution were the causes.  More than 100,000 came during the 18th Century.  Here were thousands of German settlers pouring into Pennsylvania, representing the Lutheran faith and the Reformed faith.


Then other Germans of the Moravian faith came to make their homes in Wachovia, now known as Winston Salem.  It is in Forsyth County where Scotch-Irish Presbyterians were added to the others.  The promise and attractiveness of this Piedmont territory was becoming well known.  No place in all the world seemed to offer more to the large numbers of German settlers than this particular part of North Carolina, and it was natural that they should seek this section for their homes.  While there is no exact date of their move from Pennsylvania, they had to go over 435 miles to reach North Carolina.


In the first census of 1790, the record stated that Jacob Lowdermilk and his wife and 4 sons and 4 daughters and his brother John Lowdermilk with his wife and son and daughter were in Randolph County.  Then in the 1800 census they were both recorded as living in the Iredell County of North Carolina.