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Georg Theobald Scherrer

  The son of Hanss Nickel Scherrer and Maria Catherine Noll, and brother of Jacob Daniel Scherrer apparently inherited and lived on his father's farm. He was a schoolmaster. Georg was married twice: first to Catherine Elizabeth Scherrer by whom he had two daughters: Marie Elizabeth Scherrer, and Catherine Salome Scherrer. This wife died in 1756. Second, in 1758 Theobald married Angelia Miller, daughter of Jochem Christian Miller. By her he had two sons. This information came from a letter written to Jacob Daniel in 1764, following the death of his father. It tells also about the conditions at home, the high burden of taxes and forced labor, and of Georg Theobald's dissatisfaction with the problems of making a living. The letter written in German was received and kept by Jacob Daniel and has been kept with loving care by succeeding generations. It was translated by Rev. M.G.G. Scherer, and is taken from the Scherrer Family Genealogical Journal published by him in 1909. The original is said to belong to a descendant in California. The translation follows:

"First of all, Greetings to you heartily and much beloved brother Jacob Daniel Scherrer, as well as to thy wife and children. I will write to you now how it is with us, and how I am, but I expect an answer from you. It is eight years the present Easter 1764 that I took charge of the farm and have not made anything but rather lost by degrees. My first wife Catherine Elizabeth, died eight years ago, but I have two children by her - two daughters, namely, Marie Elizabeth, the older, and the younger, Catherine Salome. Six years ago, two weeks before Christmas, I married again, and from this union have come two sons, named John Ludwig the older, and John Jacob the younger. (One sentence omitted.) She (my wife) is Angelia Miller, daughter of the village official, Jochem Christian Miller. As for us, we are all, thank God, well and hearty. Mother died on St. Gertrude's Day (November 15) 1763, and father one week before Shrove Tuesday of the present year, 1764. Eternal thanks be to the Almighty that he relieved me of this burden, for which I have long sighed. Had he lived longer he would have reduced me to poverty. I never had any peace and was constantly obliged to resort to litigation with him so that I wished well nigh a thousand times that this might end. I could truly say, "father and mother have deserted me but the Lord careth for me." Unable to support myself any longer, I was constrained and compelled to sell my house and land and move to you in the new country. When the bargain was closed it was recorded by the bailiff and then carried by him to the county judiciary at Ottweiler. It was reported to me that I would have to supplicate to my Prince for a certificate of dismission from his allegiance. Thus I had to have written a supplication to my most serene Prince and Lord. When therefore, I brought my application to the county judiciary he replied that I would not be permitted to leave the country but that the Prince had promised that the things should again improve in the land. He would recall all objectionable regulations. I however, refused and entered into a disputation during which the judiciary said that if I should leave the country without securing a certificate of dismission from the Prince, all my property would be confiscated and seized by the Prince, and the same thing would happen to my brother's possessions. Then I answered that the Prince could not confiscate my brother's possessions, because when he left those regulations were not in force. Now because of the great excitement everywhere about the "new country" no one is permitted to take even one Kroutser along. Not being permitted to take anything along, I was obliged to take charge again of my house and land, for I did not want to leave everything behind with wife and children for a strange land as Jacob did when he fled from his brother Esau, having nothing but a staff.
    "Dear brother, since the Prince is going to confiscate your inheritance I write you not to return on account of your inheritance. I beg of you, dear brother, to have the goodness at your first opportunity to write me or come yourself, that I may know what to do regarding your inheritance; whether you wish to give it to the Prince or give it to me. In the latter case I would petition my most serene Prince and Lord accordingly.
    "Dear brother, please write me if I may still be able to secure a position where you are, and how one may get to your country. One is not able to take anything along, and it is well nigh impossible to live here. The Prince is very exacting - we have much compulsory service to render - every week, forced labor or help in the chase.
    "I have two-thirds of our estate, that is about 30 acres, for which I am obliged to pay annually to the Prince 18 to 19 Ruchstaller and five Gulden socage money. For two whole years we have had to survey the land (Lansmisseri). Our former system of taxation has been done away with. We now have the direct taxation and we are so over burdened that we find it difficult to exist. Our forest is gone - the Frankholzer forest is cut down and turned into charcoal, the grove called Hohwaeldchen is cut away and made into cord wood and sold to the surrounding villages. Thus we have nothing but fallow ground and plats of misfortune. Now I will write to you why we have had the lawsuit. Father, mother and our sister kept together and suppressed me because I did not give my consent that father bestowed so much on our sister, especially the dowry, while we have nothing. I reproached him about it, but the judiciary upheld his part, and said that he could do as he pleased with his things. Now I know nothing more to write you except that the peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, our Lord, and the God of peace sanctify us through and through, and the God of peace keep us from this time forth to Eternity. I remain your faithful servant and dear brother, Georg Theobald Sherrer, unto death. We wish all a thousand times goodnight. Oberbetsbach, April 19th, 1764.
   "Your letter written to me I received February 27th. Father was dead seven days when I received the letter. My letter was written to you April 19th, 1764, and I carried the letter to Zweibruchen to John Nicholas Hibner, who went to his brother at Krumbach, where George Hibner is staying with his father. Now I know nothing more to write at this time except the peace of God which passeth all understanding keep all our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus until Eternal Life, Amen. We wish you all many thousand times goodnight. Unto God alone be the glory. The piece of money of which you wrote to me in your letter I have given to your God parents."

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