Abt 1565 - Abt 1630 (~ 65 years)
||George WEISER |
(1) Weiser, Frederick Sheely, The German Origins of the Weisers, Manheim, PA: John Conrad Weiser Family Association, 1965, pp. 7-9:
George Weiser ([1565-1630])
One of the unnamed ones must have been "Young George" Weiser, whose name occurs in the 1591 Kleinaspach tax list, in the 1603, 1604, and 1605 list from Grossaspach, and in an entry in the land transactions of Grossaspach dated 22 April 1602. Whether he is the Jerg Weyeser who sold property in Grossaspach in 1591 is uncertain. George's name occurs again in 1602 and 1608, and then again in an extremely important entry in 1624: On November 15 old George Weiser sold certain property to his two sons Hanns and Jacob Weiser. This record establishes beyond question that George was the father of the first Jacob Weiser named in Conrad Weiser's autobiography. The fact that George is designated as "old" George probably means he had a son of the same name. There is, in fact, a George Weiser on a tax list from 1632.
(The other son Hanns Weiser is probably the Johannes Weyser mentioned as a judge in a record of 1620 and again in a land transaction of 1636.)
The records cited thus far suggest that there were a large number of male Weisers living in Kleinaspach or Grossaspach early in the seventeenth century. Yet, only the family of Conrad Weiser's grandfather Jacob Weiser and of his supposed brother, Johann Konrad Weiser (1642-1720) the town clerk of Backnang, survived. This fact is best explained by an event which may very well have contributed to the death of George Weiser. Since the records of land transactions for the years 1625-1632 (fifty-one pages) have somehow been cut from the Grossaspach record book, no clue as to when George Weiser died is to be found.
The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) had a profound effect upon the population of Germany. The usual suffering an economy undergoes in war was intensified by plundering and robbing. And, even worse for the population itself, the troops invariably brought the "black death" with them. As a result, whole villages in some sections of Germany died out and universally the population was reduced. It is estimated that one-third of the population of the area around Backnang had died by the end of the year 1626. Even sharper are statistics from Kleinaspach. In 1654, six years after the war's end, the population in Kleinaspach and the settlements which belonged to it was 251. Twenty years before it had been 1075I"
Pastor H??gelin in 1693 wrote something of Grossaspach's fate in his statement at the beginning of the new church register:
"Most of the parishioners, on account of war and merciless hunger, died of starvation or sought food and shelter elsewhere. The few left worshipped in the neighboring churches wherever one or another clergymen could get along. As late as 1653 the local vineyard was still uncultivated because of the wretched war and lack of manpower. In a great part of the fields nothing could be cultivated because of the scarcity of citizens and because of the wild game."
What is more, the population after the war consisted also of immigrants from other villages and other parts of Europe. Some family names simply disappear from Grossaspach's land record book and others just as abruptly appear. In fact, only a few of the families active in Grossaspach about 1700 are listed in the records for the periods prior to 1625.
It is more a wonder, therefore, that Jacob Weiser, George's son, survived this holocaust, than it is that all of the others of this name disappeared from the records. And it is most interesting that the Weisers?unlike countless other families?lived in the same village before and after the Thirty Years War.
||Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
||24 Feb 2016 |