Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Is for Mothers: Anna Wildberger (About 1709 - After 1765)

At little Anna Wildberger's baptism on February 24, 1709, in Neunkirch, a medieval town in the Swiss Canton of Schaffhausen,* her godparents Philipp Waldvogel and Barbara Pfister probably never imagined that their godchild would end up in York County, Pennsylvania.
[Staatsarchiv Schaffhausen, added to an profile by Jeffrey Bernstein]

[Carte de Suisse ou sont les Cantons de Zurich, Berne, Lucerne, Uri, Schwitz, Underwald, Zug, Glaris, Basle, Fribourg, Soleurre, Schaffouse et Appenzel, les Alliez quisont la Ville de Bienne, l'Abbe de la Ville de S. Gal, Grise, de Cadee et des Dix Droitures, le Pays de Valais, l'Eveche de Basle, Mulhausen, Neuchatel et Geneve. Dressee sur les memoires de Mr. Merveilleux, Coner. Secr. Interprete de S.M.T.C. aux Grisons par Guillaume delIsle, Prem. Geographe du Roy de l'Academie Rle. des Sciences. A Paris, chez l'Auteur sur le Quay l'Horloge avec Privilege, Aout 1713. Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection]

But this maternal sixth great grandmother did just that, after marrying Hans Segrist (from Rafz**) in Neunkirch on June 2, 1731 and bearing him at least four children*** over the next dozen years.
[Staatsarchiv Schaffhausen, added to an profile by Jeffrey Bernstein]

The family's emigration record from Rafz dated March 21, 1744, gives us an insight into what led them to leave their homeland and seek a better life in the new world.
[Staatsarchiv Zurich, added to an profile by Jeffrey Bernstein]

A transcription of that document reads:
Hans Sigerest, son of Hans Jorlis, born 1705. Anna Wildberger, from Neunkirch, his wife, 1709. NB: This man has had respectable means, but has been a poor manager, and as a result could not for long have kept up. Therefore he was also ill-provided at his departure. Children: Hans Jacob, 1731. Franz, 1738. Anna, 1740. Susanna, 1742.
According to The Five Sisters: A Sechrist Heritage, Hans, his wife Anna and children: Hans Jacob, Franz, Anna, Susanna and Mary arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam via Cowes on the ship Brotherhood on November 3, 1750, confirmed by a passenger list with his name and mark. (Anna gave birth to their daughter Mary during the voyage.)

[Pennsylvania German pioneers; a publication of the original lists of arrivals in the port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, By: Strassburger, Ralph Beaver, 1883-1959. Published: (1934) Source: Hathi Trust Digital Library, Original, University of Michigan]

[New York And Pennsylvania. (to accompany) Atlas Minimus or a New Set of Pocket Maps of the Several Empires, Kingdoms and States of the Known World, with Historical Extracts relative to each. Drawn and Engraved by J. Gibson from the Best Authorities, Revis'd, Corrected and Improv'd by Eman: Bowen Geographer to His Majesty. Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection]

Hans (John), Anna and their family settled in York County, Pennsylvania, where two more daughters were born and where, sometime before May 29, 1765, John died without leaving a will and Anna, as his widow and acting as administratrix, filled a petition regarding the division of the money remaining in the estate, naming his two sons and five daughters. Her daughter Anna is named together with her husband Francis Grof.

Apparently 50 acres of land in the estate was not considered not part of the marriage settlement and the oldest son Jacob filed a separate petition with the Court on behalf of himself and his siblings.
["Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994," images, FamilySearch (,268508701 : accessed 21 April 2015), York - Orphans' Court dockets 1749-1781 vol A-D - image 204 of 593; county courthouses, Pennsylvania.]

This document is the last record we have of Anna. So far no date of death or place of burial has surfaced for either Anna or her husband.

*Canton Schaffhausen is the northernmost part of Switzerland surrounded on three sides by Germany. Almost the entire canton is located on the north bank of the Rhine River
**Rafz is located in the northwest part of the Canton of Zurich.
***My descent is through their oldest surviving daughter, also named Anna who married Francis Grof/Groves.
****It's on the fifth line from the top on the last page above.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment