Birth and Baptismal Certificate for Johan Georg Derr
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Montgomery County (n. 1)
Primary Support: 13 5/8 x 8 1/2in. (34.6 x 21.6cm) and Framed: 17 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 3/4in.
Watercolor and ink on laid paper
Acc. No. 1966.305.2
A birth and baptismal certificate with, at top, a large, labeled crown flanked (in the upper corners) by flower blooms and (beside the crown) by trumpeting angels. The text is enclosed in a rectangular reserve in the lower portion of the sheet.
The 2-inch flat, unpainted, wood frame is a modern replacement.
Label:Georg Adam Derr's birth and baptismal certificate for his son, Johan Georg Derr, features a prominent crown, with text in the reserve below it. The large-scale word "Taufschein" at the base of the crown makes clear the purpose of the fraktur.
Derr also used the same title on a certificate he made for himself and on one he made for his daughter, Ana Barbara Derr. Each of these latter, however, bears a large, anvil-shaped flower basket or pot in place of the crown on Johan's. All three family certificates appear to have been made at the same time.
Provenance:Ownership prior to Richard Wood, CWF's source, is undocumented.
Inscription(s):Hand-written In German in fraktur-style lettering is:
[at the base of the crown]: "Tauffschein"
[below]: Johan Georg Derr/Gebohren von Ehrlichen Reformirten Eltern im Obe-/hanover Taunschib Philadelfia Caunti/Im Jahr 1779/den 25 februarius um 11 uhr nachts Seine Eltern sind/Georg Adam Derr und seine Frau Christina/und ist nach Christlichem gebrauch zur heiligen Tauff Bestattet worde-/den 18 April/Ihm seinen Petter und Getel heissen Lenhart Schneiter und seine frau Barbara/Geschrieben von Georg Adon Derr den 22 Apriel im iahr 1779/Gott allein die Ehr und niemant anders mehr."
N. B. Two year dates ("1870/1779") were added in the lower margin by another hand; it is unclear why, but the first may have been the year of the subject's death --- and the writer may have used them to figure, by subtraction, the subject's age at the time of his death. At far right, also below the lower border, are "87" and, below it, "6." The meaning of these digits is unknown.
The translation reads:
[at the base of the crown]: "Baptismal Certificate"
[below]: Johan Georg Derr was born to honorable Reformed parents in Upper Hanover Township, Philadelphia County, in the year of Christ 1779, the 25th of February at 11 p.m. His parents are Georg Adam Derr and his wife Christina, and he was received by Holy Baptism according to Christian custom on April 18. His Petter (male sponsor) and Getel (female sponsor) are named Lenhart Schneiter and his wife Barbara. Written by Georg Adam Derr April 22 in the year 1779. To God alone the glory and to no one else."