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Gerwig

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The Gerwig family came from Alsace, which is on the border of the France and Germany. They were German but lived on the French side of the border. Jacob Gerwig came to the United States in 1834.

gerwigssmall.jpg
Sarah Gerwig, early 20th century

Updated: July 2005

JACOB and MAGDALENA GERWIG
Georg Jacob Gerwig was born in about 1797, probably in Oberbetchdorf in the Alsace region of France. (1)
Married Magdalena Milleman. She was born about 1803, probably in Oberbetchdorf. (2)
Children: (3)
Jacob, born Sept. 3, 1827.
Magdalena, born May 31, 1829.
Salome, born June 3, 1831. Married Christoph Groetzinger (or Christian Kritzinger).
Caroline, born Oct. 18, 1834. Married Michael Shiever. (or Shearer)
Heinrich, born Oct. 19, 1836.
Dorthea, born Aug. 26, 1840. Married Adam Dambacker Jr.
Before immigrating to the United States, the Gerwigs lived in Oberbetchdorf, which is in Alsace, on the border of France and Germany. The region has been claimed and captured by both countries over the centuries and has a blend of cultures. An example of this mixture appears in Salome’s birth record, which lists her parents as George Jacques and Madeleine Gerwig. However, the signature at the bottom is in a strong, clear German script that says "Georg Jacob Gerwig."
Jacob’s occupation is listed as tiler.
The Gerwigs immigrated to the United States in 1833 or 1834. (4) They settled in Beaver County, Pa., where they farmed. They attended St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church in Zelienople.
Jacob appears to have been just one of several – probably related – Gerwigs who arrived in western Pennsylvania together or in rapid succession. A Georg Paul Gerwig also appears in Beaver County about this time. Paul was born Jan. 24, 1800 in Obertetschdorf, according to St. Paul’s records. He appears as a baptismal sponsor of Jacob’s children. Jacob’s son, Jacob, appears in Paul’s household in the 1850 Census. Other possible relatives in St. Paul’s records are a Dorothea Gerwig, who married George Friedrich Pflug in 1844, and an Eva Gerwig who was married to Jakob Ketterer.
Jacob died in 1841.
On Dec. 16, 1844, the marriage of Magdalena Gerwig and Michael Hache is listed in St. Paul’s records. This is almost certainly a reference to our Magdalena and a misspelling for Hahn. (5)
Orphan’s Court records say the family live in North Sewickley Township. The records, which were from proceedings in 1846, show that Michael Hawn was appointed the guardian of Sarah (probably the girl listed as Salome above), Caroline, Henry, Dorothy and Jacob.
Jacob and Magdalena and her second husband are buried in the Zelienople cemetery. (6)
(1) Year comes from French civil records for Oberbetchdorf, Bas-Rhin. Thanks are due to Oscar E. Moyer of Manheim, Pa., for pointing me in the right direction for this family in 1990. (2) Name and birth year come from French civil records for Oberbetchdorf, Bas-Rhin. One of the witnesses at the baptism of Salome was Heinrich Millemann, age 30, who may have been a brother. (3) All except Salome appear in baptismal or confirmation records in "St. Paul’s German Lutheran and Reformed Church, Zelienople, Butler County, Pennsylvania," transcribed by Gertrude M. Ziegler: Jacob on page 13; Magdalena, page 14; Caroline, page 38; Heinrich, page 42; and Dorothea, page 48. Salome’s birth is recorded in the French records cited above. Salome (Sarah), Caroline, Heinrich (Henry), Dorthea (Dorothy) and Jacob also appear in Beaver County Orphan’s Court records, Reel 14, March Term 1846, pages 68 and 69. Caroline’s birth date and husband’s name are in "Connoquenessing Valley News Abstracts Zelienople, Butler Co., PA," compiled by Marilyn H. Humes, page 262. Salome’s marriage is recorded on page 127 of the St. Paul’s book. Jacob’s children are also listed in Beaver County Deed Book 45, page 191, which also provides the names of the women’s spouses (the ones in parentheses are from this source). Oscar Moyer also indicated that the Gerwigs may have had a son named Nicholas and that Caroline may have married a man named Wilhelm Erb at one point. (4) Jacob Jr.’s obituary, cited in "Connoquenessing Valley News Abstracts," page 251, states that he was born in Alsace and his parents immigrated when he was 6. Mr. Moyer said that the Gerwigs arrived in 1834, landing in Baltimore on Sept. 30. They are listed under the name Gohrig. (5) St. Paul’s records, page 119. (6) Oscar Moyer.


JACOB and SARAH GERWIG
Jacob Gerwig was born Sept. 3, 1827 in Alsace, France, to Jacob and Magdalena (Milleman) Gerwig. (1)
Married Sarah Erb on Aug. 25, 1850, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Zelienople, Butler County, Pa. (2) Sarah was born July 2, 1831 near Zelienople, Pa., to Georg and Hanna (Schwenk) Erb. (3)
Children: (4)
Caroline, born July 7, 1851.
Mary Ann, born July 22, 1852. Married George Adam Graff.
George, born in 1854.
Sarah, born in 1856.
Magdalena, born July 18, 1857.
Louise, born in 1860.
Wilhelm Heinrich, born July 31, 1863.
Elizabeth, born July 7, 1865.
Jacob Eduard, born May 30, 1867.
David, born Jan. 3, 1869, and died May 2, 1869.
Matilda Catherine, born March 20, 1871.
Albert, born Aug. 19, 1873.
Franz, born Dec. 30, 1874 and died Feb. 5, 1875.
Clara Eveline, born May 3, 1877.
Also living with the Gerwigs at the time of the 1880 Census was a granddaughter named Clarah, born in 1877, and Sarah’s mother, Hannah.
Jacob immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1834 and settled in Beaver County, Pa. After his father’s death in 1841, Jacob lived with Michael Hahn, his mother’s second husband, and later Paul Gerwig, probably his uncle. (5)
Jacob was a farmer and he and Sarah lived on the family homestead in Franklin Township, Beaver County, their entire lives. (6)
The Gerwigs were part of a group of 30 families who separated from St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church to form St. Peter’s German Reformed Church in Zelienople. In 1873, Jacob was among the signers of the new church’s constitution. (7)
Jacob died Dec. 21, 1904, and Sarah died Dec. 16, 1905. They are buried in St. Peter’s cemetery in Zelienople. (8)
(1) Confirmation record in "St. Paul’s German Lutheran and Reformed Church, Zelienople, Butler County, Pennsylvania," transcribed by Gertrude M. Zieger, page 13. (2) St. Paul’s marriage records, page 124. (3) St. Paul’s baptismal records, page 31. This Sarah Erb’s birth date matches that of the Sarah Erb who married Jacob Gerwig, according to her death record. (4) From St. Paul’s records: Caroline, page 63; Anna Maria, page 64; and Magdalena, page 71. From "St. Peter’s German Evangelical Protestant United Church, Zelienople, Butler County, Pennsylvania," transcribed by Getrude M. Ziegler: William H., page 38; Elizabeth, page 41; Jacob Eduard, page 43; Mathilda Catherine, page 48; Albert, page 51; Clara Evaline, page 54; David, page 115; and Franz, page 119 George, Sarah and Louise appear in the 1870 and 1880 Census records for Franklin Township, Beaver County, Pa. Oscar Moyer of Mannheim, Pa., stated in a 1990 letter than David had a twin brother named Daniel who died March 2, 1879. However, he does not appear in the 1870 Census and I did not locate him in the St. Peter’s records. (5) Michael Hahn was appointed his guardian, according to Beaver County Orphan’s Court Records, Reel 4, pages 68 and 69. Paul is listed in the 1850 Census of Franklin Township, Beaver County, Pa. (6) The site of the Gerwig home is marked in "Caldwell’s Illustrated Combination Centennial Atlas of Butler County," page 169. Published in 1876. In addition, "Beaver County Centennial Directory," by J. Weyand and W.I. Reed, page 141, lists Jacob Garwick as a farmer in Franklin Township. (7) "History of Butler County, Pa.," page 407. (8) Jacob’s death is listed in St. Peter’s records on page 134 and in Beaver County Register’s Docket 9, page 46. His will is in Will Book O, page 7. Sarah’s death is in St. Peter’s records, page 135. Burial sites listedin "Butler County Cemetery Inventory, Vol. 4," by the Butler County Historical Society, page 14.

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