NameGeorge BACHMAN
Birth30 Nov 1724, Upper Saucon Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania727,672
Deathbetween Apr 1806 and 1812, Upper Saucon Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania168, p. 28.,736, v. 2, p. 56 (Davis gives death date as 1806). Age: 81
FatherGeorge BACHMAN (1686-1753)
MotherAnna Maria SCHNEBELE (1698-1776)
Birth1728, Deep Run, Bucks County, Pennsylvania736, v. 2, p. 57.,672
Death1812, Upper Saucon Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania736, v. 2, p. 56.,672 Age: 84
Marriage16 Nov 1748, Pennsylvania727
ChildrenEsther (1756-~1830)
 Susanna (1763-1802)
Notes for George BACHMAN

Biographical Sketch (1992):672 "George Bachman, Jr. was married in 1748 to Esther Oberholtzer (1728-1812), daughter of Jacob and Barbara Oberholtzer of Deep Run, Bucks County. They lived and died in Upper Saucon Township, Northampton County, and are probably buried in the Saucon Mennonite Cemetery although no gravestones exist for them. The Bible records the birth of their eleven children (one son, ten daughters) from 1749 to 1774, and the death of their youngest daughter Rebecca in 1776.

These family records are in a beautiful, full-page Fraktur done in Bucks County schoolmaster John Adam Eyer's fine hand. Although the last entry in Eyer's hand is dated 1776, the fraktur could hardly have been made before 1779 as this is when he started his teaching career and fraktur work.104

In August of 1778, this already old and highly prized Bible must have been confiscated or hidden during the confiscations and sheriff's auctions in the Saucon Congregation during the American Revolution. The twelve men had refused to take the Text Oath (of allegiance), were imprisoned at Easton, and had their estates confiscated by the over-zealous sheriff of Northampton County.

In September 1778, two of the wives, Esther Bachman and Eve Yoder, sent a petition to the Pennsylvania General Assembly asking for some relief and stating: 'all their said personal estate, even their beds, beddings, linen, Bibles & books were taken from them and sold by the Sheriff to the amount of about forty thousand pounds.' [The 1536 Froschauer Schnebelli-Bachmann Family] Bible must have been one of those Bibles.681, p. 441-442. As his authority, MacMaster cites the Records of the Supreme Executive Council, Clemency File, P.H.M.C.,682 This amazing story of intolerance in Pennsylvania is an important part of the permanent exhibit at The Meeting House.

It was after this incident that the fraktur family record for George and Esther Bachman was made by John Adam Eyer.

The Bible must have been returned to or reclaimed by the family after the confiscations, or simply hidden during the whole affair.

The fraktur must have been one of John Adam Eyer's earliest pieces and is a very fine example of his work. Its design is similar to the April 1780 Abraham Landes Vorschrift Booklet Cover done by Eyer, now in the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Books Department.

We have to wonder why the Deep Run schoolmaster made a fraktur record for a family from the Saucon Mennonite community. We have no evidence that Eyer taught at the Saucon school. But we can note that Esther Oberholtzer Bachmann's family was from the Deep Run community and would have known John Adam Eyer.

A transcription of the Bachmann family record follows:727

'This Bible belongs to Johann George Bachman; it belonged to my father George Bachmann, and after his death it was given to me by all my brothers and sisters.

Anno 1724, the 30th of November, I Joh. George Bachmann, as is recorded on my parents' (family) birth register, was born into this World. And on the 16th of November 1748 — old style — I entered into Holy Matrimony with Esther Oberholtzer, daughter of Jacob Oberholtzer and his wife Barbara. She was born into this world the 16th of May, 1728.

In our married life, the Lord blessed us with the following children:

Then follows the birth records of eleven children which we will abbreviate:

Maria, born August 22, 1749
Jacob, born October 15, 1750, at 4 o'clock p.m., in the Sign of the Maiden
Barbara, born July 6, 1752, at 9 o'clock a.m., in the sign of the Scales
Rahel, born January 7, 1754, at 7 o'clock p.m., in the Sign of the Twins
Esther, born March 8, 1756, at 1 o'clock p.m., in the Sign of the Twins
Anna, born October 14, 1758, at 10 o'clock p.m., in the Sign of the Fish
Lidia, born October 14, 1761, at 8 o'clock a.m., in the Sign of the Steer
Susanna, born January 9, 1763, at midday, in the Sign of the Scorpion
Elisabetha, born April 22, 1765, at 8 o'clock a.m., in the Sign of the Twins
Catarina, born March 5, 1770, at 10 o'clock p.m., in the Sign of the Crab
Rebecca, born May 20, 1774 and died April 29, 1776."

Biographical Sketch (1986):168, p. 27-28. "Johann (or Hans) Georg Bachman (b. Nov. 30, 1724, probably in the Palatinate, Germany) married Esther Oberholtzer Nov. 16, 1748, according to his entry in the family Bible, which came to his father from his mother's family, the Schnebelli's of Ibersheim.

Johann Georg Bachman, who anglicized his name to John, owned 60 acres in Lower Saucon Township. In 1778 he and seven other Mennonites refused to take an oath requiring them to bear arms. They were imprisoned by the local representatives of the British government and their property disposed of by sheriff's sale. His wife petitioned for his release in the Philadelphia Court. He died in April. 1806; another record gives 1812."

Biographical Sketch (1970):234, p. 9. "George Bachman, Jr., appears on the regular tax lists for 1762 and 1781. George married Esther Oberholtzer on November 16, 1748. They had one large family which is shown in the family Bible. On July 4, 1778, George Bachman, Jr., was one of several petitioners for leniency with a sentence of banishment for refusing to enter military service because their Mennonite beliefs prohibited such service. His wife, Esther, was one of several petitioners for relief from the banishment sentence on September 10, 1778. These petitions apparently had no effect on the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because the goods of George Bachman, Jr., were sold by the Sheriff on August 24, 1778 and realized £445 16s in Continental money."

Biographical Sketch (1986):
168, p. 27-28. "Johann (or Hans) Georg Bachman (b. Nov. 30, 1724, probably in the Palatinate, Germany) married Esther Oberholtzer Nov. 16, 1748. According to his entry in the family Bible, which came to his father from his mother's family, the Schnebellis of Ibersheim. 'I George Bachman, according to my parents' baptismal register, was born Nov. 30, 1724, on the 16 of Nov. 1748, old style, I entered the state of holy wedlock with Esther Oberholtzer, a daughter of Jacob Oberholtzer and his wife Barbara, she was born into this world May 16, 1728. This Bible belongs to Johann Georg Bachman. It was the property of my father Georg Bachman, and after his death with the sanction of my brothers and sisters, it came into my possession.' Would that the former owners of the Bible had been as meticulous and detailed in their entries as Georg was. His Bible inscription concludes: ‘Our wedded life God blessed with the following children.'

Johann Georg Bachman, who anglicized his name to John, owned 60 acres in Lower Saucon Township. In 1778 he and seven other Mennonites refused to take an oath requiring them to bear arms. They were imprisoned by the local representatives of the British government and their property disposed of by sheriff's sale. His wife petitioned for his release in the Philadelphia Court. He died in Apr. 1806; another record gives 1812.

Children probably all born in Saucon Township, Bucks (now Lehigh) County, Pennsylvania."

1752 Formation of Northampton County:15, p. 634. Northampton County formed from Bucks County.

1773 Quakertown Land Owner:225, p. 602. John George Bachman owned 234 acres of land near the borough of Quakertown.

1778 Forced Sale of Personal Property:682 "An account of sundries sold at publick vendue seized by Stephen Balliet and Jacob Miller, then agents for Northampton County, and sold by John Siegfried, then Sheriff, this 24th day of August 1778. 1778 August 24 George Bachman’s Estate." Items sold include 700 sheaves of wheat, 2 ploughs, bedstead and bedding, a bag with flaxseed, clock and case, stove with pipe, 3 chairs, iron kettle, and chest of drawers. Sale proceeds were £445, 16 Shillings 2.

1778 Forced Sale of Personal Property:886, p. 171-173. "By the end of August, time had run out for the Saucon Mennonites, and no relief had been granted by the state government. Sheriff John Siegfried supervised a 'Publick Vendue" at which the movable goods of George Bachman were sold to the highest bidder. Members and relatives of the Bachman family managed to buy twenty-six of fifty-six lots of their own goods, including the clock for seventy-five pounds and all the furniture except one bed, the spinning wheel, and some hogs and sheep, but none of the cows or horses. On the same day a larger sale was held disposing of the goods of Caspar Yoder. Here the only Mennonite buyer was John Bare, who got the Bible. The pacifist-hater Squire Limbach was on hand, and bought himself a 'hand screw.'

So it went for the next ten days until 40,000 pounds worth of farm and household goods had been sold for the support of the war and the punishment of traitors. At one of the sales Sheriff Siegfried himself bought the large Bible, a chair, two beds, books and a hand screw. Three other parcels of books were sold from the same home - Jacob Yoder's. Doubtless among them was the Ausbund, an American reprint of the Mennonite hymnbook containing ballads and accounts of jailings, confiscations, and executions suffered by the ancestors of these peaceful farmers in the old country. A list of the Yoder's worldly goods passing into the hands of their neighbors evokes the flavor of their life: churn, spinning wheel, walnut table, scythe, sickles, chisels, currycomb, augers, cow chains, ax, saw, shovel, rakes, leather and wool, harrow, plows, hayforks, clock, and two stoves. Finally on September 3, the corner cupboard of the Abraham Yoders, the large spinning wheel and looking glass of Christian Young, and the cattle of both farms 'mixed together by the carelessness of the drivers' were auctioned off with Henry Geissinger's blacksmith tools, and the law protecting Pennsylvania from traitors had taken its course. Now, in addition to their unfurnished houses and the clothes on their backs, all that the families of the jailed men owned was the standing hay and grain in their fields.

Six days later an anguished petition, signed with the marks of Eve Yoder and Esther Bachman, wives of two of the imprisoned farmers was sent to Pennsylvania Assembly in Philadelphia. It rehearsed the pathetic details of the justice Northampton County had exacted from the harmless Mennonites. 'From some of them,' read the plaint, 'all their provisions were taken and not even a morsel of bread left them for their children.' Since all their iron stoves were taken from them, though fastened to the floors, 'they are deprived of every means of keeping their children warm in the approaching winter, especially at nights, being obliged to sleep on the floor without any beds.' The women begged the Assembly to mitigate the severity of the sentence, to allow their husbands 'to dwell with' them again, and not to take their children from them. They reminded the legislators of the command in the Scriptures, 'What God hath joined together let not man put asunder.'

The Assembly, after hearing the petition, asked for a quick investigation of the facts, with the request that if they were found to be true, money should be taken from the state treasury to relieve these Mennonite victims of overzealous patriots. Three men who looked into the matter reported that Abraham Geissinger's wife had indeed 'not a bed left her although she was near the time of delivery,' and also was one of the most needy in the group. Henry Sell, shortly before his goods were seized, had also been robbed of his cash, and was not 'at some times somewhat delirious.' By what the committee could learn, the crops that had been gathered after the seizure would last the petitioners for a year, and they estimated the loss at only one fourth of what the goods had actually brought at the auctions.

Such tardy and fragmentary inquiry doubtless did little to alleviate the stings of the loss of painfully collected family possessions, but it fell short of the crowning irony which was to make the memories of Jacob Yoder, John Geissinger, and their friends who sacrificed all they had to separate themselves from the Revolutionary War for conscience' sake. For all their pains, their graves are yearly marked with American flags placed by modern patriotic organizations, who, having carelessly read the rosters of Colonel Siegfried's militia, in their myth-making zeal designate these defenseless, dispossess Christians as soldier heroes of the American Revolution."

1778 Mennonite Wagon Service:681, p. 297-298. "Mennonites in the Wagon Service. Some Mennonites assisted the Patriot cause in various ways that escaped the censure of military service. When barracks and a stockade were built in Lancaster in 1776 to house British prisoners, George Horst and Abraham Hare sold them lime for the barracks. Andreas Bear and Christian Musselman were paid for 'billeting and providing for the Militia on their march to Jersey' in November 1776.

The need for horses and wagons was as imperative for the American army as the ammunition and flour barrels they hauled. Commissary officers looked first to the famous Conestoga wagons of Pennsylvania and the powerful draft horses that drew them. That these teams belonged to Non-Associators made it all the more appropriate to press them into service. Mennonite farmers went along to protect their property and bring it safely home. Eve Yoder and Esther Bachman protested in 1778 that their husbands had served as teamsters, along with others in the Northampton County community."

1778 Forced Sale of Personal Property:681, p. 399-400. "Harsh enforcement leads to repeal of some provisions. Frederick Limbach, the Northampton County justice whose harsh enforcement of the 1777 test act drew a reprimand from the Pennsylvania Council, applied the letter of the law in forcing the test oath on Mennonites and Moravians and jailing them when they refused. His excesses led finally to repeal of some of the harsher provisions in the 1778 act.

Sheriff John Siegfried and Stephen Balliet and Jacob Miller, commissioners of confiscated property, sold the cattle, horses, farm implements, books, and furniture of George Bachman, Casper Yoder, and Abraham Geisinger to the highest bidder on August 24, 1778. Relatives and friends recovered some household goods. Others sold at low prices to neighboring farmers and even Sheriff Siegfried and Justice Limbach loaded farm tools into their wagons when the sale was over. Over the next few days auction sales disposed of the property of Henry and Peter Zell, John Geisinger, Henry Geisinger, Abraham Yoder, Christian Young, Jacob Yoder, and John Newkommer. The sales brought a total of £6,455..7..5 into the coffers of the Commonwealth.

With the first hint of autumn in the air, these destitute Mennonite families faced a winter without food, bedding, or even the warmth of the iron stoves unbolted from the floor and sold by the sheriff's order. Eve Yoder and Esther Bachman sent a petition to the Pennsylvania Assembly in September telling them of their plight. Quakers tried to win the support of powerful and influential people. The French Minister to the United States reported that Anthony Benezet and other Quakers appeals to him 'to exercise my good offices in behalf of some Mennonites affiliated with them, who had been imprisoned and fined for not taking up any arms.' Minister Gerard informed them 'that it was not in my mission to arrest the energies of the American government and that when the Quakers had performed their duties they would no longer be in fear of prosecution.' In the end, the simple eloquence of Eve Yoder and Esther Bachman's petition made the Assembly reconsider. Shortly before adjourning, the Assembly asked the Council to investigate and take action to right the wrong done in Northampton County."

1778 Forced Sale of Personal Property:681, p. 438-439. "The arrest of ten Northampton County and their subsequent banishment by the court when they refused to affirm their allegiance followed the letter of the act passed by the Pennsylvania Assembly on April 1, 1778. Their cruel treatment at the hands of the Northampton County justices led to the repeal of the worst features of the test act. The petition sent to the Supreme Executive Council by George Bachman and the others on July 4, 1778 as well as Jacob Bachman's petition to the Assembly had little effect. Both the Council and the Assembly were well accustomed to petitions from imprisoned Tories and suspicious persons by the summer of 1778. Eve Yoder and Esther Bachman's straightforward account of the banishment order and the forced sale of even the stoves and beds from their houses touched a different response. The Assembly ordered the Council to investigate and to right this obvious wrong."

1790 Restoration of Rights:749 "After the war was over Mennonites were again granted the rights of citizens. The Constitution of 1790 specified that ‘those who conscientiously scruple to bear arms shall not be compelled to bear arms but shall pay an equivalent for personal service.’ The immunities granted by this law are still guaranteed in Pennsylvania."

1790 U.S. Census:1923
Pennsylvania, Northampton County, Upper Saucon Township
Head of Household •• George Bachman
Males 16 and over •• 1 << George, about age 66
Females •• 3 << wife Esther and unknown daughters or granddaughters

1806 Will:62 (Written 2 April 1804; probated 14 April 1806) In the name of God Amen I George Bachman of Upper Sacon Township in the county of Northampton and in the State of Pennsylvania Yeoman tho reduced to a low state of bodily strength yet being of sound Mind Memory and understanding and considering the uncertainty of this transitory life have thought fit to make this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say first I recommend my soul into the hands of God and my body I recommend to the earth and respecting the worldly estate and effect wherein it has pleased God to bless me I dispose of them in the following manner that is to my will that my just debts and funeral expenses be paid by my executors hereafter named and the remainder of my worldly estate I give and bequeath unto my son Jacob Bachman the sum of three hundred pounds out of my Estate. Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Molly the wife of Mathias Gangewer the sum of fifty pounds in said manner that she shall have interest out of said fifty pounds as long as she has life and after her decease and the sum shall coming to her heirs. Item I give and bequeath unto her all the closes to her which my beloved wife Ester has. Item II give and bequeath unto Rebecca the wife of Isaac Stout the sum of fifty pounds  Item III give and bequeath unto my daughter Anna dec'd the wife of John Zuck to her children the sum of fifty pounds Item IV give and bequeath unto my daughter Ester the wife of Henry Bachman the sum of fifty pounds Item V give and bequeath unto my daughter Susanna dec'd the wife of Peter Sell to her children the sum of fifty pounds Item VI give and bequeath unto my daughter Lily the sum of fifty pounds Item VII give and bequeath unto my daughter Catarina the wife of Jacob Oberholzer to her children the four oldest the sum of eighty pounds and the remainder of my estate shall be divided unto my children share and share alike and I do hereby nominate my beloved son Jacob Bachman, Isaac Stout, and Peter Sell executors of this my last will and testament. NB If the said Mathias Gangewer douth then he shall receive the sum of fifty pounds and all the cost of this my last will and testament shall all be paid by my son Jacob Bachman out of said three hundred pounds and settle all accounts by the other two executors. In witness whereof I George Bachman the Testator have hereunto set my hand and seal the second day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and four George Bachman (in German) Witnesses: David Cooper, David Bachman. Witnesses came forward April 14, 1806.
Last Modified 9 Aug 2002Created 5 Aug 2014 using Reunion for Macintosh