Peter Schumacher Jr.

M, (1667 - 1 March 1741)
     Peter Schumacher Jr. was born in 1667 at Kriegsheim, Duchy of Pfalz. He was the son of Peter Schumacher and Sarah Hendricks. Peter Schumacher Jr. married Margaretha Updegrave, daughter of Herman Isacks Op Den Graeff and Lisbet Isaacs VanBebber, on Wednesday, 6 February 1697 at Abington, Philadelphia County, Province of Pennsylvania, America. Peter Schumacher Jr. died on 1 March 1741 at Germantown, Philadelphia County, Province of Pennsylvania, America, at age 74 years.
     He From Gary R. Hawpe, ed. and Duane Shoemaker, comp., 'Peter Schumacher, Jr.,' Van Bibber Pioneers E-Newsletter, Vol. 5 No. 2 (December 2001), pp. 15 - 16.


Peter Schumacher Jr. was born in the year 1667. His father was 45 years of age at the time of his birth. Peter was born after the Thirty Year's War in Crefeld (or Krefeld), Germany. He was brought up in a religious family of the Quaker faith. One can only imagine the moral character that his father had taught him. He never knew his grandfather, as Arnold Schumacher died before he was born.

When Peter Jr. arrived in America he was only 18 years old. Although he was a young man at the time, he had already witnessed the persecution for religious beliefs at first hand. He was 10 years old when William Penn gave his speech to the Kreigsheim Quakers. He was old enough to witness the persecutions that his father endured when he subscribed to the religious tract titled 'The Warning'.

Peter Jr. followed in his father's footsteps. He learned about farming and took an interest in community affairs. Although there are very little writings about Peter Jr., one can only visualize that he was well respected within his community. During his life, he held the offices of Bailiff and Burgess.

The officials of the Borough were a Bailiff (the chief executive), four burgesses and six committeemen who together made up the General Court. There was also, a recorder, a clerk, a sheriff and a constable. The officials imposed taxes and elected their own successors. The General Court had authority to admit new settlers and to establish new laws for the Borough. The bailiff and the two oldest burgesses, in point of years, were Justices of the Peace. The bailiff and three burgesses, together with the recorder, sat as a Court to hear civil cases every six weeks. The records of the General Court 1691 to 1707 are written in Dutch and Germand Some of the laws passed by the General Court of Germantown were as follows:

All residents had to clean in front of their property and remove the weeds. If after notice was given, the condition persisted a fine of two shillings was levied.

Cattle had to be fenced in with a fence at least five feet high.

Wandering chickens could be chased, but not killed.

Citizens could not sell liquor to the Indians.

On the 19th day of March of each year, all the people were to assemble, then the laws and ordinances were read to them.' (Germantown Crier, Vol. 3, No. 2, September 1951, titled The Legal System of Germantown, 1683-1951, by Frank Rogers Donahue, Jr.)

He also served as juror on some occasions, and he learned the trade of a 'turner'. (A turner is one that makes articles using a lathe.)

In 1697, Peter Jr. married the daughter of Herman Op den Graeff. The following is taken from the Abington Meeing Records:

'Whereas Peter Shoemaker, Jr. and Margaret Op de Graeff both of Germantown in y'county of Philadelphia. Having proceeded according to the good order used amongst friends; in declaring their intentions of marriage did upon the Sixth day of the Second Month 1697. At the publique meeting house of friends in Germantown, accomplish their marriage, many friends being present as witnessesd'

This must have been a romantic union as Peter Jr. lived on the land that was sold to his father by his father-in-law: Herman Op den Graeff. In speculation, one can only romanticize that Margaret and Peter Jr. had feelings for each other from the time that they were small children. And, while living on the same property, their affection for one another grew even stronger in their early adult life.

This marriage brought forth 9 children: Peter III, Isaac (born Jan. 15th, 1711), Mary, Margaret, Sara, Daniel, Elizabeth, John, and Agnes.

Peter Jr. continued to serve his community. In the Abington Meeting records it states that on Decemter 30, 1701, 'it was found good to start a school in Germantown, and Arent Klinken, Paul Wolf, and Peter Schumacher Jr. were appointed as overseers to collect subscriptions and arrange with a teacher.' The teacher they chose was Francis Daniel Pastorius. Pastorius was now reaching his 51st year and was highly respected among the people. His legacy was well known among the people and he was well educated, having written many books during his lifetime. He studied law and French at the University of Strasburg. It is no doubt that Peter Jr. was well aquatinted with Pastorius, and was probably the best of friends, as all of Peter Jr's children were taught by the famous Francis Daniel Pastorius.

In another Abington Meeting the following was recorded:

On the Twelfth month on the 31st day, 1703, we find that 'Peter Schumacher and Isaac Schumacher shall arrange with workmen that a prison house and stocks be put up as soon as possible.'

Throughout his life, Peter Jr. sought only to serve his God, family, and fellowmen. At the age of 74, Peter Jr. left this life, leaving a great example for his descendants to follow. With the gift of freedom at his side, Peter Jr. learned the value of education, being true to one's belief, and serving his community. His ideals were passed on to his children who also grew to be well respected among the people. He was the first generation to experience how joyous life can be in a world where freedom of religion prevails. His life was a monument to his forefathers' dreams, and the hopes of his children's children.

Children of Peter Schumacher Jr. and Margaretha Updegrave

Last Edited=26 May 2004