The Circumstantial Evidence

    What is "Circumstantial Evidence"?
    In courts of law it means "A set of facts or circumstances that would cause a person of ordinary and prudent judgment to believe beyond a mere suspicion (1882 Hicks Vs Faulkner)".  Nothing more, nothing less.  Many people have been convicted on "circumstantial evidence".
    In this case, I intend to present to you, what I believe is the identity of George Schryver.  Please check all the information carefully and then please give me your opinion.
    I have spent a great deal of time checking LDS microfilms 1312256 and 1312257, the records of St. Michael's and Zion Lutheran Church in Philadelphia and I invite you to check them also.  I have also checked other neighbouring Parishes without success.

This is my theory:

     Johann Martin SCHRYVER married Anna Rosina WAHLIN.  I checked the records for any evidence of a baptism of George WAHL to dispel any argument that George may have been illegitimate, however no baptism was found.
    From reading the church records these people believed in the Sacraments of Marriage and Baptism. Martin and Rosina were married on 08 April 1760 in the Lutheran Church.   Their first child Johann Peter was born 04 February 1761 and was baptised 22 February 1761 in the Lutheran Church.   Their next son, Johann Martin was born 17 October 1762 and was baptised 31 October 1762 in the Lutheran Church.
    Martin and Rosina now have 2 boys and on 05 January 1763 George is indentured by his mother.  Johann Melchior (Martin) SCHRYVER died  04 April 1763 at age 6 months (3 months after George was indentured).  Therefore George must have been baptised as "Johann Peter" SCHRYVER and was nick-named "George" or..... the minister made a mistake.  He may have been baptised as "Johann George" but the minister may have incorrectly recorded the name as "Johann Peter".  Mistakes were often made.  Look at the spelling of the surnames throughout the records. Seldom are they the same.  If you were to examine the records closely you would find, as I did, that a lot of children were named after their sponsors.   If a minister were busy on a particular day and had 3 baptisms, as were performed on 22 February 1761, he may have easily forgotten the name of one of the children and assuming that the child was named after the sponsor, as was quite common, he recorded the name "Johann Peter" after the sponsor "Johann Peter" KLEIN.

    Lets examine more of the obvious errors.

    Johann Martin SCHRYVER is baptised on 31 October 1762 and his father is listed as Johann Martin SCHREYER and his mother is listed as "Hannah Barbara".  The sponsors were listed as Johann Peter KLEIN and his wife "Eva Maria". Wasn't the wife of Johann Peter KLEIN named "Eva Dorthea" as listed on Johann Peter Schryver's baptism? I think not. Later baptisms also give her name as Eva Maria.  Therefore the record of Johann Peter's baptism had another error.
    Look at the baptism of Johann Martin SCHRYVER on 01 July 1764. The only obvious error is the spelling of the surname.  Why another son named Johann Martin? The only explanation is that the Johann Martin SCHWERERS who died 04 April 1763 was the son of Martin and Rosina and they again named a son after the father and also the sponsor, Johann Martin WOLL (should that not have been WAHL? Probably the father or brother of Anna Rosina WAHLIN?).
    One very obvious error, that was later corrected, occurred on 31 March 1765 at the baptism of Eva Maria. Her name was recorded as Rosanna and the wife of Peter KLEIN was also recorded as Rosanna.  When Eva Maria died 04 September 1766 someone must have checked the record book for her baptism and discovered the error and made the corrections.   Both Rosanna names were changed to Eva Maria.
    The next baptism was Henrich born 17 February, son of Martin and Anna Rosina (surname difficult to read) and bp on 08 March 1767. Heinrich died 10 April 1769.
    Another Eva Maria was baptised on 09 July 1769 and her parents were listed as Martin and Anna Rosina and the sponsors were Peter KLEIN and his wife Eva Maria. The surname is difficult to decypher but it does appear similar to the rest.
    Then on 14 September 1771 another Peter is baptised as son of Melchoir and Rosina.  Why would they have two sons named Peter? Their first son was indentured for 17 years and may return some day, so why name another son Peter as that might only cause confusion.  The only reasonable conclusion one could reach is that the first son was "Johann George", not Peter.
    On 02 January 1774 another Eva Maria is baptised as the daughter of Martin and Anna Rosina and the sponsors were Peter and Eva Maria KLEIN.

    I also saw an internment on 13 January 1760  for Johann George Schafer who died at age 59.  I wonder if this would have been the father of Johann Martin Schryver. And if it is, it is also possible that a year later George was named after him.

    Now let's progress to the late 1700's in Ontario.   The records of Rev John Langhorn have the following in Fredericksburgh:
George Shriver 3rd (twp) & Catharine Pickle m 03 Mar 1789.
John s/o George & Catharine Shriver bp 24Feb1790.
Mary, d/o Johannes Jerry & Katreen Shriver bp 29Jan1795.
Nancy, d/o Johan George & Catharine Shriver bp 03Oct1798.
    The last 2 entries indicate that George knew his first name was Johann and it is again obvious that a Minister made a mistake as Rev Langhorn recorded the name at the bp of Nancy as Jerry instead of George.

    It is unfortunate that George's age or date of birth was never recorded in any documents, at least none that I have been able to locate at this time.  It would have been conclusive evidence if he had recorded his birth date as 04 February or even given us his year of birth.  The records of the KRRNY do not include either age or year of birth for George.


    George Schryver was born 04 February 1761 and bp 22 February 1761 as Johann Peter. There is no other reasonable explanation for his missing baptism.  His parents were married in 1760 and there were only 2 baptisms between then and 05 January 1763 when George was indentured.  We know Johann Martin died in 1763 just after George was indentured and the remaining child MUST BE Johann (Peter) George SCHRYVER.

    What do you think?  Do you agree or not?   Go to the MAIN PAGE and click on "Comments or Suggestions at the bottom and send me an email to let me know what you think.