Friday, May 5, 2017

Harshbarger line: Jacob Maag 1703-1767 Immigrant

Every time I write a Harshbarger blog post now, I fear that I've found the last ancestor who is "findable", and it makes me feel like a failure even though I've set the rules for this post, and I could always change them.  The rues are pretty loose.  It needs to be a direct ancestor (for the most part) and it needs to be an immigrant or have another compelling story to tell.  Of course, I could always break those rules, and I may have to, if I want to keep writing about people in the Harshbarger line.

However, I did find "just one more" ancestor who is an immigrant and from everything I can tell, is a Harshbarger.  He follows much of the typical Harshbarger story, which is a good thing because I don't have very many details about him.  Jacob Maag was born in Endhori, Zurich, Switaerland.  He was born or baptized on May 22, 1703.  His parents are given as Heinrich Maag and Klienvre Volkhart, or Jacob Maag and Barbara Surber.  There are good reasons to accept either pair of parents but I have no opinion.  It's enough to know he came from Endhori, which may have been a small town on the southern border with Germany, near Zurich.


Jacob was 42 when he came to America on the  "Loyal Judith" in 1743, according to the ship manifest.  There was also a Henry or Heinrich who was 15, and who is as yet not identified to my satisfaction.  He could be a younger brother, or a son, or nephew.  It is possible that Jacob went back to Switzerland a few years later and brought his family back, as it seems he didn't take the oath until 1746.  Usually the oath was taken as soon as one stepped off the ship.  Or the 1746 date could possibly be a typo. 

Jacob married Anna Surber, as yet not further identified, in Bolach, Zurich Canton in March of 1721.  I've found several conflicting records of their children but they had several, and they seem to have all come to America also.  I found a will that Jacob witnessed on April 17,1748, for Maria Gertraut Seibel, in Philadelphia.  I've not yet determined whether she was a family member or a friend.  I've found a listing for him at the Red Lion Inn in 1758 in Philadelphia and one mile from Germantown in 1761, so it doesn't appear that he left the immediate area, although I've not yet found land records.

He and his wife "Barbara" were sponsors for two of the children of Isaac Wetstein (Whetstone) and Anna Maria's children, and also for other Maags.  These records are in the First Reformed Church of Philadelphia.  This church began as a German Reformed (Calvinist) church but the Maags would have been quite at home there and may well have been German speaking even though their home was in Switzerland. 

I haven't found Jacob's will yet but I've found a reference to it, so I'm anxious to see it  He died May 18, 1767, in Philadelphia.  The fact that he stayed so near to, or in, the city makes it likely that he was a tradesman or merchant of some kind.  I'd sure like to learn his occupation.  The "city" dwelling aspect here is a little different than those of the family who have farmed, and that makes him interesting.  I'd love to learn more of Jacob's story!

The line of descent is:

Jacob Maag-Anna Barbara Surber
Anna Maria Maag-Isaac Whetstone
Jacob Whetstone-Anna Maria Schaeffer
John Whetstone-Maria Magdalena
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook
William Cook-Elizabeth Brown
Barbara Cook-William A Withers
William H Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants