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Notes for Hans Jacob Forrer

The Mennonite census records at Ibersheim, Germany are consistent with possibility that Hans Jacob Forrer was the father of Hans Jacob and Johannes Forrer of Ibersheim. [1] [2]

1664 Hans Jakob Forr (Forrer?) was perhaps father of this Jacob (1653). [3]
1685 Hans Jakob Fuhry with 6 children was perhaps this Jacob (1653). [4]
1724? Jakob and Johannes Forrer were perhaps sons of this Jacob (1653). [5]
1732 Joh. Forrer, the elder with 7 family members. Johannes Forrer with 2 family members who were perhaps with Johannes' father in Mettenheim. [6]
1743 Hans Jacob Fuehrer was perhaps a son or grandson of this Jacob (1653). [7]

c 1650 Ibersheim was a center for Mennonites near the Rhine, north of Worms, Germany. [8]

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. [9]
1704 Ubersheim is shown. [10]

1708 Cense des Anabaptistes is shown. [11]
1744 Ubersheim is shown. Worms is further South. [12]

1752 Wieder taufhoff is shown. [13]
1795 Ibersheimerhof is shown. [14]

Research Notes:

Peter Bachmann. Mennoniten in Kleinpolen, 1784-1934. Lemberg, 1934. The second appendix, "Stammbäume der mennonitischen Familien in Kleinpolen," consists of genealogical charts for the following families: Bachmann, Bergthold, Brubacher, Ewy, Forrer, Hubin, Jotter, Kintzi, Klein, Laise, Linscheid, Merk, Muller, Rupp, Schmidt, Schrag, and Stauffer.

Ibersheim -
once a small farming village is now incorporated as part of the city of Worms. The village was located about eight miles (13 km) north of Worms, near the Rhine River.

Source: Page 86 of Across the Atlantic and Beyond: The Migration of German and Swiss Immigrants to America by Charles R. Haller (Heritage Books, 2008).

Elector Karl I Ludwig and Palatinate Restoration Following the Thirty Years War
In 1656, eight years after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia treaty that brought an end to the Thirty Years War, Swiss Anabaptist refugees began settling in the village that was later known as Ibersheim. As early as October 8, 1661, it was evident that the Elector Prince of the Palatinate had an interest in assisting the Swiss refugees living under his domain. On that date he sent a letter to the government of Zurich on behalf of two of the Anabaptist tenants living on his land, petitioning for the release of their maternal inheritance.

In 1664, Elector Karl I Ludwig decreed that Mennonites ("Mennonists") could settle in his domain if they paid a yearly poll tax of six guilders per family and observed some religious restrictions not required of Catholic, Reformed, and Lutheran groups. The 1664 decree made the permission for Mennonite occupancy in the Palatinate official. And the poll tax necessitated census records for these Mennonite families. In return, the Elector Prince received much needed and very capable help in restoring the Palatine farm lands that had been depopulated and devastated by the war.

The entire Ibersheim estate was leased to Mennonite families and was divided among them in six parts originally (later into 12, and later into 24 parts). On a 1752 map, the village is designated as "Wiedertaufhof" (Anabaptist Estate) because it was wholly populated by Mennonites since 1661. The Ibersheim Mennonites were given 12-year leases from the elector, which was a different status than that given to other Mennonite congregations in the Palatinate. And as early as 1685, it appears that the Mennonites of Ibersheim had the right of ownership of property--a right unknown to other Mennonites in the Palatinate.

The Mennonite Concession of 1664 granted Mennonites freedom of worship but not in public meeting houses. And no more than 20 people could meet at any one time in a given place. No revolutionary or "heretical" doctrines were allowed and religious propaganda among members of the state church was not permitted. But their freedom was not totally "free." They were required to pay an annual toleration or protection tax. But in spite of these promised freedoms, there were occasional hardships they suffered in Ibersheim for their faith. Compared to what these Mennonites endured in Switzerland, life in Ibersheim was blessed. And as time passed, some of the earlier restrictions were relaxed.

1671 430 destitute Anabaptists (or related) refugees from the Bern territory of Switzerland arrived in the Palatinate. Mennonite families within a circle of about 12 miles of Kriegsheim took them in and provided food and shelter for them, even though most of these Palatine families were poor themselves. Ibersheimer Hof families played a major role in this sacrificial response to needs of their Swiss brethren. Source: Page 407 of Documents of Brotherly Love by James W. Lowry.

When the 1683 contract of lease was created, ten names were included in the lease: Heinrich Neff; Konrad Hiestand; Hans Jakob Forrer; Heinrich Gochnauer; Hans Jakob Brubacher; Jakob Dentlinger; Hans Leitweller; Peter Opmann; Heinrich Reif, and Ulrich Hagmann's widow. Several of these family names have been variously interrelated with the Hiestand family down through the years.

In 1685, the special privileges and rights of the Ibersheim Mennonites were challenged but their right to ownership - not just rental rights - of their land was upheld by the Elector:

"Everyone must give them the testimonial that they live quietly and peaceably, live in harmony with their neighbors, and have proven themselves more industrious than others, obedient to the government, true and constant in all things."

But invading armies again devastated Ibersheim and the Palatinate in the "War of the Grand Alliance" or "Nine Years War" (1689-1697) when France's King Louis XIV vowed to "burn up the Palatinate." Much of the land restored by the Mennonite farmers was again laid waste and many of the Mennonite families were forced to flee their homes.
See. [15]

James W. Lowry, David J Rempel Smucker, John L. Ruth, Documents of brotherly love : Dutch Mennonite aid to Swiss Anabaptists Vol. 2 (2007), 407

The Mennonite Quarterly Review, Volume 14, Issue 1,
115. Samuel Mayer
116. Hans Nieger
117. Jakob Rosenberger
118. Jakob Wisman
119. Hans Rudolph Küner
120 Bernhard Rohrs Wittib
121. Vincenz Mayer
122. Jakon Nessle
123. Marx Graff
124. Hans Mayer der Alt
125. Hans Mayer der jung
130. Johannes Hohl [Wohl]
Ibersheimerhof so Ebbeständer [Erbestenderer]
131. Heinrich Reiff [Neff]
132. Konrad Heistand
133. Hans Jakob Forrer
134. Heinrich Gochnauer [Hoch-
135. Hans Jakob Brubacher
136. Jakob Dendlinger [Bendlinger, Danhauer]
137. Hans Leitweller [Leutweyler]
138. Peter Opmann [Hackmann]
139. Heinrich Reif [Neff]
Ulrich Hagmann's widow

page 16
Verzeichnis auf dem Jbersheimerhof.
Konrad Heistand: 5 kinder und 2 stiefkinder
Hans Jakob Fuhry (Forrer) 5 kinder
Rudolf Müller 4 kinder
Heinrich Hiestand 10 kinder
Heinrich Gochnauer
Heinrich Reiff 6 kinder
Leutweiler mit seiner Frl. Schwester
Heinrich Neff 4 kinder
Peter Opmann 3 kinder
Hans Jakob Brubacher hat noch keine Kinder
Hans Bachman mit 4 Schwestern
Hamm 10 December 1685

Mennonite Family History, Volumes 7-9

The Neff-Näf Family: A History of the Descendants of Henry ... - Page 33
William Alfred Neff · 1991 · ‎Snippet view
In the land lease contract of 1683 , we find among the names Heinrich Neef , Konrad Hiestand , Hans Jakob Forr ( Forrer ) , Heinrich Hochmeyer ( Gochnauer ) , and Hans Jakob Rupacher ( Brubacher ) . These names will again be seen in ...


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

[2] Liselotte Wagner, translator, "Mennonites at Ibersheim, Germany," Mennonite Family History 9 (1990), 84-89, at 87.

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

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

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

[6] Liselotte Wagner, translator, "Mennonites at Ibersheim, Germany," Mennonite Family History 9 (1990), 84-89, at 87.

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

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

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

[10] 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].

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

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

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

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

[15] Wayne Haston website: Ibersheim, [URL].

[16] WorldCat Documents of brotherly love, [URL].