Monday, December 13, 2010

Jacob Eby grandfather clocks

Jacob Eby is my 5x great-grandfather, a descendant of Theodorus Eby. Born outside of Lancaster Pennsylvania, he became a rather renowned clock-maker based in Manheim, Pennsylvania.

I first came across a mention of his clockwork on Dawn Eby Quast's site about the Eby family, where she mentions that she has an original Jacob Eby clock in her home. Intrigued, I set out to learn more about this ancestor - turns out he was quite the clock-maker, and a number of 200 year-old clocks made by him still exist.

Three museums have an Eby clock in their collection: the Winterthur museum in Delaware, the Henry Ford museum in Detroit (large PDF), and the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. Here's a photo of the face of the clock in the DeYoung:

Photo by Flickr user bmljenny
I found a clock shop in Georgia which is selling two Eby reproductions - the brochure for the reproduction is here, and this is a photo of the clock in their showroom:

Eby Reproduction, at Champ's Clock Shop
Amazingly, the owner of Champ's clock has an original Eby clock in his house - which he made sure to tell me was not for sale!

We visit the DeYoung museum rather frequently, and it's amazing to me to think that we've been in the room with a clock made by my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather without realizing it! We're going back over the holidays and I can't wait to see the clock in person now that we know its history.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Theodorus Eby (b. 1663) settles in Pennsylvania

Theodorus Eby is my 8x great-grandfather, a Swiss Mennonite settler who was one of the first Mennonites in Pennsylvania. He arrived in Lancaster in 1715, lured by William Penn's promise of religious tolerance to anyone who came to Pennsylvania. Theodorus (also referred to as "Durst") Eby left Switzerland as a result of religious persecution in Switzerland - he originally went to Germany, but faced similar persecution there and left for America.

From a family history written by Ezra Eby in 1889:

Dawn Eby Quast maintains a remarkable collection of descendants of Theodorus here, and the Eby Family Association's website is here. In 1727, Theodorus built a house with his sons which still stands in Lancaster, Pennsylvania:

Eby Family home, built in 1727.
(Originally found at the Eby Family website.)

(Until I started this family tree research, I had no idea of this connection to the Eby family. Two weeks ago, my grandmother mailed me some family tree research other relatives had done, and on one of those pages was my grandmother's great-grandmother, Sophronia Eby. made tracking backwards from Sophronia pretty easy, and from there the connection to Theodorus became apparent.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Richard Klau (b. 1848) comes to America

Richard Klau is my 2x great-grandfather, and came to the United States in 1859. The History of Milwaukee has a little about his arrival and background:

There are six men named Richard Klau in my family; for my son's first 7 years, four of the six of us were living. Here's a picture of all four generations, taken at my parents' house at Christmas in 2001:

More on my Grandfather (the third Richard Klau) is here in my blog post on the day of his death.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Matthias Stein headstone - Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee

While looking for the date that Matthias Stein died, I discovered that he's buried in the Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, and that his gravestone is actually among the historic grave markers in the cemetery:

Matthias Stein, 1808 - 1896
Milwaukee's first gunsmith
I hadn't known that Matthias Stein was Milwaukee's first gunsmith. And according to Forest Home's notes for their historical tour, maybe Matthias's stories of his long walks with Andrew Jackson were true?
4. Matthias Stein, 1808 to 1896
Section 8, Block 11, Lot 8
A mechanic by trade, Stein was Milwaukee’s first gunsmith. Prior to arrival here, he spent three years in Washington D.C. There, he regularly took morning walks, befriending an older gentleman who did the same. Eventually, Stein found out that his walking companion was President Andrew Jackson.
Looking forward to visiting his grave the next time we're in Milwaukee.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Matthias Stein

Matthias Stein is my 4x great-grandfather. I found this collection of anecdotes about him to be quite interesting - while I have my doubts about the veracity of his claims of hanging out with the President, Chief Justice and others, you have to hand it to the guy: he sure could tell a good story.

From the History of Milwaukee:

The full text follows, originally from Google Books: History of Milwaukee, City & County, Volume 3:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Family Tree blog

I'm going to use this blog to document additions/modifications to the family tree, and capture new/interesting information as I find it.

If you'd like to receive e-mails when this is updated, you can fill out the form on the right-hand side of the blog. The most recent 5 posts will also be visible on the Klau Family Tree site.

Thanks for stopping by!