Documented information on our immigrant ancestor, Georg Wendel Silber, who was born to Hanss Jurg and Agnes Eplin Silber on June 27, 1731 in Denkendorf, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemburg, Germany, is rather scarce. Georg Wendel was the descendant of well known metal workers. The Silber men were considered masters of the art of wrought iron designing and blacksmithing.
Georg arrived at the port of Philadelphia on September 26, 1749 on the ship, “Speedwell,” which sailed from Rotterdam, Holland to Cowes, England, and then to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with “240 souls from Wirtembergh, (now spelled Wuerttemburg) Alsace and Hanau.” His name was obviously written on the manifest by an English speaking crew member since it was written as "George (H) Silber."
Checking an atlas, we find that the area of Wuerttemburg that includes the Neckar River Valley, the location of Denkendorf, Neckarkreis, to lie some 20 kilometers south of Stuttgart, Germany. This is the southwestern district of Germany and is bordered on the west by France and to the south by Switzerland. Neckarkreis is the "county" while Wuerttemburg is a province or state, the capital of which is Stuttgart.
Recent research reveals that Georg, upon arriving in Philadelphia, made his way to and settled in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The records of the Evangelical Lutheran Augustus Church at Trappe, New Providence Township, Montgomery County, the oldest Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania, show that Jurg Silber and Elisabeth Margaretha Schmieden (widow) were married on February 16, 1752. Further records show that Elizabeth and Georg are the parents of twins which are baptized on October 28, 1753 with the names of Johann Jurg and Elizabeth. The church records reflect the birth of another son, Jacob, who is baptized at Christ (Mertz's) Lutheran Church, Rockland Township in Montgomery County on August 25, 1765. The Tax List of Berks County for the year 1767 shows that George Silver paid taxes in Ruscomb Manor Township in Berks County, Pennsylvania that year.
Maryland archive records show that George Silver patented land in Frederick County in 1774. This consisted of three pieces of property and these adjoined were called the Littleworth Tract. More information comes from his will, which he dictated to lawyers on October 21, 1785. We know that he died shortly thereafter since Johann Jurg (George Jr.)
lists his father as deceased when he attested to the will before the Frederick County, Maryland registrar on December 7, 1785. A copy of that will is presented here.
In the name of God Amen. The twenty first day of October in the year of our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Eighty Five.
I, George Silver Senr. of Frederick County in the State of Maryland, farmer, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men one to dye and being at this time of sound and perfect mind and of memory do make and publish this my Last Will and Testament in a manner and form following Vis
Impremis first I recommend my soull to God who gave it to me, my body to return to the Earth to be buried in a decent Christian like manner at the charge of my Executor hereafter named and as worldly goods as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life. I give and dispose of the same in manner and form following
Item My will and meaning is that all my just debts be first paid out of my effects
Item I give and bequeath to my beloved wife "Syssy Market" Silver (Elizabeth Margaretha Silver) all my lands and tenements, my stock of cattle, horses, hogs, and household furniture and everything belonging to the Plantation both within doors and without to be possessed and enjoyed by her during the course of her natural life and after her decease to be possessed and enjoyed by my son George Silver his heirs and assigns forever.
Item I will and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Silver the sum of thirty pounds common circulation money as it now passes that is to say Spanish Dollars at seven shillings and six pence. Each half Johannes at three pounds each and all other money as it now passes to be paid her by my Executor within six months after the decease of my wife and not before.
Item And do hereby constitute make and appoint my well beloved son George Silver whole and sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament and I do hereby renounce and revoke and make void all and every other wills and testament bequeaths and legacyes by me formerly made retifying and confirming this and none other to be my Last Will and Testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written. N B my will and meanings that if my son George should dye without lawful heirs and that then my land shall fall to my daughter Elizabeth and her heirs.
Signed sealed published and declared by George Silver, Senr. to be his Last Will and Testament in presence of
Then came George Silver and made oath that the
aforegoing instrument of writing is the true and whole Will and
Testament of George Silver late of Frederick County deceased that hath
come to his hands and possession
and that he doth not know of any other.
Geo Murdock, Registrar
Frederick County December 7, 1785
Then came Alexander Pearre and Ralph Hilliary two of the subscribing witness to the aforegoing Last Will and Testament of George Silver late of Frederick County deceased and made oath that they did see the Testator herein named sign and seal this will.
That they heard him publish and pronounce and
declare the same to be his Last Will and Testament that at the time of
his so doing he was to the best of their apprehensions of sound and
disposing mind and memory and understanding that they respectively
subscribed their names as witnesses to this will in the presence and at
the request of the Testator and that they did also see Philip Suign the
other subscribing witness sign his name as a witness thereto in the
presence and at the request of the Testator
and in the presence of each other ____________Sides
Geo Murdock Registrar
(From the Frederick County, Maryland, "Will
Records, Liber GM, No. 2. (1783-1794), pages 184 - 185, Frederick
County Courthouse, Frederick, Maryland.)
|Updated 11 August 2013, Barney Kaufman