(Research):http://www.ourancestry.org/b37.htm#P128

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(Research):http://www.ourancestry.org/b37.htm#P128

The brothers John, and Christian Fretz, together with a third brother (name unknown, and who died on the voyage), emigrated from near the City of Manheim, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, formerly known as the Palatinate, or Rheinish Prussia. They were of German origin, as is quite evident from the fact that they wrote and spoke the German language, and were connected with a distinctively German church. That they were of German origin, is also evident from the fact that on the opposite side of the Rhine, in the province of Alsatia, there are to this day, living where they have lived for the past two or three centuries, many Fretz's of an old Alsatian Stock, who claim they are of German origin, ''as all true Alsatians are". The Province of Alsatia was annexed to France in 1648, prior to that time it was always under German Dominion, and while the French language was exclusively taught in the schools, the language spoken is a German dialect, with decided variations in different localities. At what port the Fretz ancestors landed, or the exact date of their arrival into this country is not known, but may have been between the years of 1710 and 1720. It is said that they came to this country during what was known as "the last persecution." They were given the alternative of connecting themselves with the state church, or leave the country, and they chose rather than to give up their religious liberty to leave the "Fatherland," the land of their birth, and the homes of their kindred and friends, the graves of their ancestors, and all the hallowed associations of the home and country of their nativity, and found for themselves a home in a strange and far-off land where they could worship God "under their own vine and fig tree," according to the dictates of their own conscience without fear of molestation. Undoubtedly they had heard that America afforded a refuge for the oppressed and granted religious liberty to all its subjects, and naturally enough they turned their steps hither, where they too, might enjoy liberty of conscience. And thus are we, as their descendants, citizens of this great liberty loving country. How we, of today, should prize this liberty! Think what our Ancestors sacrificed to enjoy it. How they left their native land, a country established many hundreds of years, to seek a home in the new world, in the wilds of America. They came about thirty-five years after the charter was granted, and the great seal of England, with the signature of Charles II. was affixed, and William Penn became the proprietor of Pennsylvania. They were here about thirty-five years before the French and Indian war, in which George Washington, was a British Colonel. Our first ancestor, John Fretz, slept beneath the sod before the fires of the Revolution were kindled, or about three years before the battle of Lexington. They came when the country was but sparsely settled, when the inconveniences were great, and when the equally dangerous red man infested the land. They were still living during the period when some of the great subjects which eventually led to the war of the Revolution were being agitated, and their children were settled with families during the bloody struggle for Independence, and although being non-combatants, they were true and loyal to the American cause, and aided it as best they could, without compromising their religious faith by bearing arms. Our ancestors and their immediate descendants were Mennonites, who worshiped at Deep Run, Bucks Co., Pa., first in the old log church, which was probably built in 1746, and later in the old stone church, built in 1766, and which stood for over a hundred years. They no doubt aided in erecting this church, both by contributing of their means and labor, and from it they were carried to their last earthly resting place in the cemetery adjoining. There may their ashes rest in peace until the trump of Gabriel shall awake the dead to come forth, and obtain the inheritance of the faithful. Which of the two brothers was the elder is not known as no records of the birth of either have been found. Christian, settled in Tinicum township, Bucks Co., Pa., along the Tinicum Creek, on what is now known as Heaney's Mill. It is not known where John Fretz at first settled. He afterward settled in what was then Plumstead township, but now Bedminster, on what is known as the Old Fretz Homestead, situated about one mile North East of Bedminsterville, now owned by Ely Fretz, and occupied by his son, Mahlon M. Fretz. The homestead originally consisted of 230 acres of land, which John Fretz purchased of Bartholomew Longstreth in 1737 or 1738, for which he paid 106 pounds. The release being given in the latter year in the month of May. The tract when purchased had a house, barn, and other buildings, but was surrounded on all sides by vacant and unimproved wild land. A veritable wilderness. The homestead now includes the whole or part of four farms - viz, Samuel High's 69 acres, Ely Fretz's 57 acres, Isaac L. Fretz's 44 acres, and Reuben Miller's 60 acres. John Fretz was a weaver by trade, and is known as "Weaver John." Of his public services nothing is known of especial interest further than that he was one of the committee to form the new township of Bedminster in 1741. He was twice married, but the maiden name of neither wife is known. By his first wife Barbara, he is known to have had five children, and by his second wife, Maria, three. There may have been more, but if there were they died young. John Fretz died in 1772, probably in February. His last will and testament, was dated January 29, 1772, and was probated on the third day of March of the same year, which shows that he died between the two dates given. The provisions of the will were that his son Christian should have the farm, and pay 800 pounds, and each of the children were to have equal shares, except the sum of 60 pounds which was to be distributed among the children of his first wife, and which came from their Grandfather, (probably on the mother's side.) To the widow was willed a 100 pounds of which she was to receive the interest as long as she remained his widow. She was to have the house in which George White lived at that time. The last Will and Testament of John Fretz, as an old and rather peculiar document, will no doubt be interesting reading, and of sufficient importance to warrant its insertion in the history of the connection. Reference: Moyer Family, by A. J. Fretz, 1896.

John Fretz was a weaver by trade and was known as "Weaver John." Of his public services nothing is known of special interest, further than that he was one of the committee to form the new township of Bedminster in 1741. John and his wife, Barbara, and their immediate descendants were Mennonites and worshipped at Deep Run, first in the old log church, built about 1746, and later in the old stone church built about 1766, and which stood for over 100 years. John's last will and testament was dated January 29, 1772, and was probated on March 3 of the same year, which shows he died between the two dates."

Given names Surname Sosa Birth Place Death Age Place Last change
Johannes Fretz
February 2, 1704
316 Hagenau, Alsace, France
5 February 1772
248 67 Bedminster Twp, Bucks Co., Pennsylvania, USA
Tuesday, January 30, 2007 5:22 PM
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