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Birth and Baptismal Certificate for Georg Adam Derr

1779
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Montgomery County (n. 1)
Primary Support: 13 1/2 x 8 7/8in. (34.3 x 22.5cm) and Framed: 17 5/16 x 13 1/4 x 5/8in.
Watercolor and ink on laid paper
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1966.305.1
A birth and baptismal certificate with, at top, a large, labeled basket or pot of flowers with birds perched on each side of the rim, another pair of birds flanking the basket at its base. The text is enclosed in a rectangular reserve in the lower portion of the sheet. Meandering vines fill the side and lower borders.

The 1 7/8-inch flat, unpainted, refinished wood frame is joined by corner laps mitred on the front; it is a period replacement, believed to have been added by former owner Richard H. Wood.
Label:The birth and baptismal certificate Georg Adam Derr made for himself contains most of the few basic facts known about his life, namely that he was born August 10, 1753, to Johan Georg Derr and his wife, Barbara, in Macungie Township, Northampton (now Lehigh) County, Pennsylvania.

Derr made his own certificate in later life, in 1779, when he also made certificates for two of his children. The children's certificates note that Derr's wife was Christina, but they do not include her maiden name.

Derr decorated his daughter's birth and baptismal record with the same distinctive flower pot or basket that appears here, but he used a crown on his son's certificate.

Provenance:Ownership prior to Richard Wood, CWF's source, is undocumented.


Inscription(s):Handwritten in fraktur-style lettering is:
[heading]: "17 Tauffschein 79"
[below heading]: "Georg Adam Derr/Gebohren von Ehrlichen Eltern Im Magunschie/Taunschib Northemtaun Caunti/Im Jahr Christi/1753 den 10 Augusti seine Eltern sind/Georg Derr und seine frau Barbara/und ist nach Christlichem gebrauch zur Heilich-/en Tauff Bestattet worden Ihm seinen/Peter und Getel heissen Adam Gramus und seine/frau Gertraut."

The English translations reads:
[heading]: "Baptismal Certificate 1779"
[below heading]: "Georg Adam Derr was born to honorable parents in Macungie Township, Northampton County, in the year of Christ 1753 the 10th of August. His parents are Georg Derr and his wife Barbara, and he was received by Holy Baptism according to Christian usage. His Petter (male sponsor) and Getel (female sponsor) are named Adam Gramus and his wife Gertraut."