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Notes for Johannes Forrer

Research Notes:

There were several Forrer entries on the Mennonite census at Ibersheim. [1]

1664 Perhaps father of Jacob (1653). [2]
1685 Perhaps Jacob (1653). [3]
1724? Jakob and Johannes. [4]
1743 Perhaps a son of Johannes. [5]

c 1650 Ibersheim was a center for Mennonites near the Rhine, north of Worms, Germany. [6]

The time of the coming of the first Anabaptists cannot be ascertained; they stemmed from the region of Bern, Switzerland, and probably came after the Thirty Years' War, likely in the 1650s. The land had been devastated and depopulated by the war. The great electoral estates in and around Ibersheim had been abandoned. The immigrant Mennonites were welcomed as capable farmers to reclaim this land. It was to the advantage of the Ibersheim Mennonites that they received 12-year leases of the crown estates from the elector, giving them a different status from the other Mennonite congregations.

The Ibersheim estate, which was leased as a whole to the Mennonites, was divided among them into 6 parts, later into 12, and finally into 24 still recognizable parts. To it the neighboring villages, Hamm, Eich, Gimbsheim, Alsheim, Osthofen, and Westhofen, owed feudal service. [a census was used to assure tax collection]

Ibersheim was probably the oldest of the Mennonite churches established after the Thirty Years' War in the Palatinate west of the Rhine. In 1661—three years before the first general Mennonite "Concession"—the inhabitants of Ibersheim had been accepted as subjects of the Palatinate. Upon this Concession all subsequent decisions and measures by the government concerning the Mennonites were based. It states: "That they may for the sake of their faith, for which they are not to be molested, hold no public or private meetings or conventicles attended by others that do not live on the estate, much less attract and mislead others of our subjects." The church chronicle of 1683 makes the first mention of a rental contract.

In the contract of lease of 1683, renewed in 1745, 1753, and 1762, ten names occur: Heinrich Neff (Trieb has "Neef"); Konrad Hiestand; Hans Jakob Forrer; Heinrich Gochnauer; Hans Jakob Brubacher; Jakob Dentlinger; Hans Leitweller; Peter Opmann; Heinrich Reif, and Ulrich Hagmann's widow.

Ibersheim/Ubersheim is North of Worms, on the Rhine River, which flows to Rotterdam. Several maps show different aspects of the region. Ibersheim is not shown on some maps but is south of Ham. Some maps indicate the area as Anabaptist or Wieder tauf.

1700 Vbersheim is shown. [7]
1704 Ubersheim is shown. [8]

1708 Cense des Anabaptistes is shown. [9]
1744 Ubersheim is shown. Worms is further South. [10]

1752 Wieder taufhoff is shown. [11]
1795 Ibersheimerhof is shown. [12]

1729 Johannes Forrer may have sailed to America, from Rotterdam, via Deale, England on the ship Mortonhouse.

c 1700 Cornelis Boumeester, View of Rotterdam.
A tile painting, composed of 33 Delft tiles (trimmed).
Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston [13]

Deal Castle
c 1650 Wenceslas Hollar, Deale Castle, Kent, England. [14]

1729 John Furra arrived in Philadelphia on August 17 on the ship "Mortonhouse" from Rotterdam, last from Deal, Great Britain on June 21, commanded by James Coultas. He was listed as John Furra. He was not listed as a subscriber at the courthouse in Philadelphia on August 19. [15]

1768 The city of Philadelphia, from the Jersey shore [16]

1752 Philadelphia State House (built in 1732) and map [17]

Research Notes:

Johannes Forrer is not found in any records in Lancaster and may have died shortly after his arrival. He may be the father of Christian who arrived in 1726 and Johannes who arrived in 1727. [18]


[1] Hermann and Gertrud Guth, Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793 (Mennonite Family History, 1987), 15, [GoogleBooks].

[2] Hermann and Gertrud Guth, Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793 (Mennonite Family History, 1987), 15, [GoogleBooks].

[3] Hermann and Gertrud Guth, Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793 (Mennonite Family History, 1987), 16, [GoogleBooks].

[4] Hermann and Gertrud Guth, Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793 (Mennonite Family History, 1987), 30, [GoogleBooks].

[5] Hermann and Gertrud Guth, Palatine Mennonite Census Lists, 1664-1793 (Mennonite Family History, 1987), 44, [GoogleBooks].

[6] Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online Ibersheim_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany), content subject to change, [GlobalAnabaptistEncyclopedia].

[7] Guillaume Sanson, Partie Occidentale du Palatinat et Eslectorat du Rhein (1700), [Old Maps Online].

[8] David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, Guillaume de L'Isle, Le Cours du Rhin depuis Worms, jusqu'a Bonne, et le pays adjacens, (Paris:1704), [Rumsey Map].

[9] Gaspard Baillieul, Part of the Courts of Palatinate of the Rhin Levesché de Spire and of Worms (1708), [Old Maps Online].

[10] Guillaume Delisle, Le Flambeau de la Guerre Allumee au Rhin (1744), [Old Maps Online].

[11] Johann Baptist Homann, Territorium Seculare Episcopatus Wormatiensis Tabula Geographica (1752), [Old Maps Online].

[12] Peter Dewarat, Aegid Verhelst, Special Carte des Rheinlaufes von Speier bis Bingen (Schwan und Götz: 1795 [Digital Archive of Charles University]), [Old Maps Online].

[13] Cornelis Boumeester, View of Rotterdam, A tile painting, composed of 33 Delft tiles. (about 1700–20, Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), [MFA], [MFA terms of use].

[14] British History Online, "The town and parish of Deal", [URL].

[15] Ralph B. Strassburger, William J. Hinke, ed., Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol. 1 (1934, Pennsylvania German Society), 23, [HathiTrust], [InternetArchive].

[16] Thomas Jefferys, George Heap, An east prospect of the city of Philadelphia; taken by George Heap from the Jersey shore (London: 1768), [LibraryOfCongress], [LibraryOfCongress Catalog].

[17] Nicholas Scull, George Heap, A Map of Philadelphia and Parts Adjacent with a Perspective of the State House (Philadelphia: 1752), [LibraryOfCongress], [LibraryOfCongress Catalog].

[18] Richard Warren Davis, Mennosearch.com Family Notes, Forrer H, [Website].