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Taufschein of Maria Margreda Schmitt

Place Made:
Berks County Pennsylvania United States of America
Date Made:
ink and watercolor on laid paper
HOA: 12 1/4; WOA: 14 1/2 (approx)
Accession Number:
Taufschein for Maria Margreda Schmitt. Ink and watercolor on laid paper. Across the top the name “Maria Margreda” is drawn in large fraktur lettering embellished in red and yellow. The remainder of the text is in old German script, including the birth and baptismal information and verses from Psalm 143. Above the text are symmetrical images of two storks flanked by two peacocks and two angels above reclining figures. The text is flanked by large flowers on entwining stems embellished with birds and small flowers rising from vases, each of which has the date 1768 on the base. Rising from the lower corners on either side of the flower vases are unfilled drawings of leaves in red ink. Border: red and green leaves. Marriage information is added in a different hand on each side between the angel and peacock figures.

Top: Maria Margreda
Main text:
Schmittin is Von Christlichen und Ehrlichen / Eltern gebohren worden in pensel- /vanien in North America in dem Taun / Ship Bernen in County oder Graftschaft Berks in dem Jahr den Hearn 1767 /
Der 11ten Marzt und getauft den 29ten / Martz. Ihr Vatter ist her Ehren geachte / Eberhart Smitt die mutter aber Maria / Margreda, beӱ der Heil. Tauf dieses /kindes sind geehrten Johann Wolff Lindemuth
und Johannes Lepler Maria Leplerin / und Maria Margareda Schwindin ledigen / personen ist getauft worden vom pfarrer /Mischler Minister In Winsor Township
CXLIII. Der herr lehre dich thun nach seinem / Willen und Wohlgefallen und Er Seӱ / Dein Gott dein guter Geist fuhre dich Auf ebener bahn fur Seiner Namens Willen und fuhre dich hier Zeitlich und / Dort ewiglich Amen
In base of flower pots: 1768
Upper left in a different hand: Margareda Schmittin / hat sich in ______ / ___ Friedrich Steigerwalt
Upper right in a different hand: Den Laurentius / Den 10 ten August / 1785

Maria Margreda Smith was born of Christian parents in Pennsylvania in North America in the township of Bern in the County or shire of Berks in the year of our lord 1767 on the 11th of March. Her father is the honorable Eberhart Smith, the mother Maria Margreda. At the holy baptism of this child were the honorable Johann Wolff Lindemuth and Johannes Lepler, Maria Lepler and Maria Margreda Schwind, single persons. She was baptized by Pastor Mischler, minister in Winsor Township.
CXLIII (143). The Lord teach you to live according to his will and pleasure and be your God; may his good spirit guide you on the level way for his name’s sake and guide you here for a time and there forever. Amen
Upper left: Margareda Schmitt / [was married / to] Friedrich Steierwalt
Upper right: On St. Lawrence’s Day / the 10th of August / 1785

Related Objects: 3416.3: Fraktur Taufschein for Margareda Steigerwalt; 3416.4: Fraktur Taufschein for Johannes Steigerwalt; 3416.1: Fraktur Geburtschein for Friederich Steigerwalt

This Taufschein commemorates the 1767 birth and baptism of Maria Margreda Schmitt in Bern Township of Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is believed that the taufschein was created in Pennsylvania before the Schmitt family moved to Rowan County, North Carolina. Maria Margreda’s father, Eberhart Schmitt was listed in the 1790 Rowan County list of heads of households, and in 1795 was recorded as owning land neighboring the Steigerwalt family. Maria Margreda married Friedrich Steigerwalt (1762-1838) on August 10, 1785 in Rowan County, North Carolina. This marriage is recorded on this fraktur in a later hand. An unusual feature of this inscription is that it mentions the marriage taking place on St. Lawrence’s Day. Their children included Johannes (b. 1796), Margareda (b. 1794) and Friedrich (1805/1806-1887) Steigerwalt whose taufscheins are also displayed in the MESDA collection.
The minister for this baptism was Peter Mischler, the first pastor of the Lutheran church in the township of Windsor in Berks County, Pennsylvania from 1767 to 1778. His name and title are written in a different hand than the remainder of the text, perhaps that of Mischler himself.
Credit Line:
Lent by the Family of Mrs. C. J. A. Stirewalt