Abt 1667 - 1746
||John Conrad WEISER, Sr. |
- (1) Weiser, Frederick Sheely, The German Origins of the Weisers, Manheim, PA: John Conrad Weiser Family Association, 1965, p. 14:
Hans [John?] Conrad Weiser, born about 1667, married first Anna Magdalena Übelin, whose family also lived in Grossaspach. . . . A biographical sketch of Hans [John?] Conrad appears in The Weiser Family, pp. 3-6. Whereas his two older brothers began public careers comparatively early, each as Schultheiss of his village, Hans [John?] Conrad embarked on a military career. Though he likely considered Grossaspach his home, his name does not appear in the church register at Grossaspach at least until 1699, although in a civil record dated 20 April 1696 he is listed as a resident. At any rate, he found himself a third son, his two older brothers well settled in the village's life. For a time he was the village's baker, a position his brothers had also held, but he likely was dissatisfied. This and the circumstances of the economic and political situation of the neighborhoods plus the death of his wife combined to persuade him to wipe the slate clean by emigrating. His family's history in America is recorded in The Weiser Family.
(2) Weiser, Frederick S., The Weiser Family, Manheim, PA: John Conrad Weiser Family Association, 1960, pp. 3-6:
John Conrad Weiser (ca. 1660-1746)
John Conrad Weiser, the emigrant, is presumed to have been born about 1660, in Gross Aspach. He married first, Anna Magdalena Ubelen, daughter of Hans Ubelen. They were the parents of likely fifteen children, of whom thirteen are known by name. John Conrad, at the point he first enters written history, was a corporal (a non-commissioned officer) in the Wurttemberg Blue Dragoons, which office he must have held until about 1700, when he is first listed as a baker, the position he occupied until his removal to America in 1709. On May 1, 1709, Anna Magdalena died suddenly, due to an attack of gout while pregnant for the fifteenth time. John Conrad, perhaps dissatisfied with conditions at Gross Aspach, left the community soon thereafter, June 24, selling his property there to his eldest daughter, already married, and taking with him his other eight surviving children. They went to London, from which they embarked several months later for America. Their vessel, the Lyon, landed at New York on June 13, 1710.
There began a fascinating career for the German peasant. whose fifty years until then had been spent in hard work and fighting in the Wurttemberg countryside. Almost as soon as John Conrad was in company of his fellow Germans, he showed qualities of leadership. In New York, the several thousand Palatine immigrants were bound to produce tar from the pitch of pine trees at camps near the Hudson River, about 100 miles north of New York City. The settlers were divided into five villages, at first, and John Conrad was the headman of one. As such, he voiced the complaints of his fellowmen before the Governor, Robert Hunter, who was caught in an impossible situation: the trees could produce no tar, the overseer of the Palatines (Robert Livingstone) was a scoundrel; the Germans expected better conditions?food aplenty and land of their own.
A military campaign in 1711 provided the occasion for the climax of the difficulty. One of the captains of the Palatine contingent was John Conrad Weiser, and when the soldiers returned from a futile march into northern New York, only to discover their families nearly starved, Weiser led the Palatines in a complaint before the Governor. The incident ended when Hunter lost his temper, shouted at the Palatines, and ordered them disarmed, but in the year following he released them to go where they pleased. John Conrad Weiser was one of a number of men deputized by the Germans to seek land at Schoharie, about fifty miles west of Albany. After some time, the Germans were settled there in a collection of little "doffs" or villages, of which one bore the name Weiserdorf (and is today known as Middleburgh). Conditions were poor, but hard work began to make a home of this wilderness. Since the Palatines were squatters before the law (even if they had made a purchase deal with the Indians), it was inevitable that there would be trouble. When the Governor sent an agent to make deeds for the Palatines, they so mistreated him out of suspicion that the government eventually granted the land to others, one of whom, Adam Vroman, arrived in 1715. Evidently the two Weisers (John Conrad Jr., having returned to his father's household after living with the Indians and learning their languages) made conditions so miserable for Vroman that he petitioned Governor Hunter for aid. A warrant was placed in the hands of the justices of the peace in Albany and Dutchess Counties for the senior Weiser's arrest, but he managed to escape the hands of the law.
Nearly crushed, the Palatines resolved to send Weiser and two others to London to appeal to King George I, a fellow German. This venture proved to be the most bizarre on which John Conrad embarked. Attacked and stripped by pirates enroute, the three men contracted so many debts in London that they were thrown into prison. One of them died there, another returned to New York, and John Conrad stayed behind, seeking in vain to establish the Palatines' rights. After five years, he returned to America, only to find that his colony was scattered.
The remaining years of life found him in several places, never settled down, always following some scheme. He tried to purchase lands on the Delaware, but ran afoul the Proprietors of Pennsylvania. Late in life, after many years of silence toward his family, John Conrad was discovered in upstate New York, not too far from old Livingstone Manor, his first home there. Conrad, his son, visited him, and later when conditions became dangerous, he sent two of his sons to bring him to Pennsylvania, in May 1746.
The old patriarch's last days were described by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg as follows:
He was so worn out by his long journey that he was carried into my house almost dead. After he had lain in bed for 24 hours and had taken some nourishment, he came to himself again and began repeating in broken words the hymn: Schwing dich auf zu deinem Gott, &c. . . . His eyes were almost dark and his hearing gone, so that I could not converse with him. But I could not withhold my tears when I heard him repeating over and over the great texts relating to the blessed atonement in Christ, such as: Himself took our infirmities &c. . . to which he added companion texts, such as: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden. . . .
My father-in-law meanwhile sent a wagon with a bed and had him brought fifty miles farther to his home, and when he had given us his blessing, had with great difficulty reached his destination, and had lived for a short space longer with his Joseph in Goshen, he fell asleep at last amid the heartfelt prayers and tears of the children and grandchildren who stood around him, after having been between eighty and ninety years on his pilgrimage.
He had married a second time, in the spring of 1711, to Anna Margaret Miller, and they had three children. Of her life, nothing is known.
There is a widespread belief that John Conrad Weiser is buried at Zion, or Reed's Cemetery, near Stouchsburg, Pa., but there is no reason to doubt that he might have been buried, instead, on the Weiser farm, now Weiser Park, at Womelsdorf.
Children of John Conrad and Anna Magdalena (Ubelen) Weiser:
1. Maria Catharina Weiser, m. May 19, 1705, Hans Conrad Boss, son of Jerg Zacharias Boss. Remained in Germany.
2. Anna Margarete Weiser, d. September or October 1748 in New Jersey; unm.
3. Anna Magdalena Weiser.
4. Maria Sabina Weiser.
5. John Conrad Weiser, November 2, 1696.
6. George Frederick Weiser.
7. Christopher Frederick Weiser, February 24, 1699.
8. Anna Barbara Weiser, October 17, 1700.
9. John Frederick Weiser, June 25, 1702 - July 2, 1702.
10. Rebecca Weiser, June 6, 1703 - June 8, 1704.
11. John Frederick Weiser, February 27, 1705 - December 1711, at Livingstone Manor.
12. Erhard Frederick Weiser, June 11, 1706 - November 29, 1707.
13. Rebecca Weiser, June 11, 1706 - d. 1709.
Children of John Conrad Weiser and Anna Margaret (Miller) Weiser:
14. Jacob Weiser
15. Rebecca Weiser
16. John Frederick Weiser, November 14, 1714 (12)
Of the sixteen children whose names we have, it has been possible to obtain substantial data on the descendants of only two: John Conrad Weiser and Christopher Frederick Weiser. Additional information has been discovered concerning George Frederick Weiser and John Frederick Weiser. One of the sisters?either Magdalena, Sabina, or Barbara, or perhaps Rebecca, married a Mr. Picket, whose son Conrad Weiser, Jr., recommended for learning the Mohawk's language in 1750. This leaves on the male side only Jacob Weiser, a child of the second marriage, for whom we have no record. The complete silence attending him may indicate that he died in youth.
||Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
||12 Nov 2013 |
||Anna Magdalena ÜBELIN, b. Abt 1668, d. 01 May 1709 |
| ||1. John Conrad WEISER, Jr., b. 02 Nov 1696, Affstätt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany , d. 13 Jul 1760, Womelsdorf, Berks County, PA |