Jacob Bucher


Family Links

1. Barbara Albrecht

Jacob Bucher

  • Born: 10 Apr 1696, Buchss, , Zurich, CHE
  • Marriage (1): Barbara Albrecht on 16 Jan 1720 in Stadel, , Zurich, CHE
  • Died: , Montgomery, PA

   FamilySearch ID: LZDK-WN6.

  General Notes:

Many researchers feel Barbara Albrecht who arrived on the same ship was Jacob Bucher's wife. Evidence of this would be a marriage record in Switzerland which we have not yet verified.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. He emigrated on 4 Oct 1734 from Stadel, , Zurich, CHE. 1 On October 7, 1734, the Nachrichten von Zürich, a newspaper of the city, published the following account of the departure of the colony of Maurice Goetschy:

Departure of Mr. Maurice Goetschy from Zurich, October 4, 1734. The past Monday [October 4th], Mr. Maurice Goetschy, together with his wife and children and with a considerable number [98] of country people, old and young, took passage on a boat, and started for the so called Carolina island, in the hope of meeting there with better fortune than he had found in his native land.

He was urgently dissuaded by our gracious Lords [of the government] and by the local clergy, but he persisted in his resolution, and took his departure. Shortly afterwards another boat followed him with like, we must say, silly people, making a total of 174 persons for that day.

Many thousands saw them depart with great pity for them, especially because they were under-taking so thoughtlessly, with wife and child, and but poorly provided for, the dangerous journey of 300 hours in cold, rain and wind, now, when the days are getting shorter. Nevertheless, kindhearted and distinguished persons supplied them with all kinds of articles, such as bread, shawls, caps etc.

The following day the third boat started off. These were liberally provided, from the office of charities, with a large amount of bread, flour, stockings and other supplies. Especially the neighborhood of the exchange showed itself deeply sympathetic; nor will they be likely to forget what was given to them at the Salthouse for bodily refreshment. In like manner many merchants assisted them.

Upon the last boat were 82 persons, who would have been worthy of more consideration if they had been compelled to leave for the honor or the truth of God. They must bear the consequences of their act, be they good or ill.

At the same time, upwards of 20, induced by the wise representations of worthy gentlemen and citizens, changed their intentions, choosing the better part. They remained here and will be very kindly returned to their homes. Meanwhile we should pray God that the great number who have gone on this journey, may either soon return or reach the destination they so much wish for. May He fill their hearts with patience, and, as many sad hours are likely to embitter their voyage, may He comfort them with the thought that, if they remain faithful, a far better life is reserved for them.

2. He immigrated on the ship Mercury, last from Rotterdam, on 29 May 1735 to Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

3. Occupation: shoemaker on 29 May 1735 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

4. He immigrated with the Goetschy Colony, whose leader sent this letter back to Switzerland. on 21 Jul 1735.

LETTER OF JOHN HENRY GOETSCHY TO ZURICH, JULY 21, 1735. Very Reverend, Very Learned Mr. Deacon! I, the most submissive servant of my very reverend, highly and very learned Mr. Deacon, cannot forbear to report to your Reverence, how we are getting along. After we had left Holland and surrendered ourselves to the wild, tempestuous ocean, its waves and its changeable winds, we reached, through God's great goodness toward us, with good wind, England within 24 hours. After a lapse of two days we came to the island of Wicht [Wight] and there to a little town, called Caus [Cowes], where our captain supplied himself with provisions for the great ocean [trip] and we secured medicines for this wild sea.

Then we sailed, under God's goodness, with a good east wind away from there. When we had left the harbour and saw this dreaded ocean, we had a favorable wind only for the following day and the following night. Then we had to hear a terrible storm and the awful roaring and raging of the waves when we came into the Spanish and Portuguese ocean. For twelve weeks we were subjected to this misery and had to suffer all kinds of bad and dangerous storms and terrors of death, which seemed to be even more bitter than death. With these we were subject to all kinds of bad diseases.

The food was bad, for we had to eat what they call "galley bread." We had to drink stinking, muddy water, full of worms. We had an evil tyrant and rascal for our captain and first mate, who regarded the sick as nothing else than dogs. If one said: "I have to cook something for a sick man," he replied: "Get away from here or I'll throw you overboard, what do I care for your sick devil." In short, misfortune is everywhere upon the sea. We alone fared better. This has been the experience of all who have come to this land and even if a king traveled across the sea, it would not change.

After having been in this misery sufficiently long, God, the Lord, brought us out and showed us the land, which caused great joy among us. But three days passed, the wind being contrary, before we could enter into the right river. Finally a good south wind came and brought us in one day through the glorious and beautiful Telewa [Delaware], which is a little larger than the Rhine, but not by far as wild as the latter, because this country has no mountains, to the long expected and wished for city of Philadelphia.

When we reached here our dear father, because of the great and tedious journey and the hardships so unbearable to old people, was very sick and weak. On the last day, when we were before Philadelphia, the elders of the Reformed congregation came to him and showed their great joy over him. They spoke with him as their pastor, who had been appointed to that position by the ruling persons in Holland, as was shown by his testimonials which be had with him. They discussed one or other church affair with him and showed their great joy. He spoke heartily with them, as if he were well.

The following day they came and took him to the land. When he reached the land he was so exhausted by his sickness that he could not walk alone, but was carried in a chair to the house assigned to him. When they were there, they wished to talk with him about one or other subject. Of his own people none were with him but mother, the children were yet on the ship on the water. Then he said: "It is so dark before my eyes, let me lie down and sleep." As they did not want him to sleep in that room, since people were coming in continually and he would have been unable to sleep, they carried him upstairs to the bed room.

In the middle of the stairway he sat down, lifted his hands to his heart and his eyes to heaven, heaved a sigh and died. On the third day a very distinguished funeral took place in the principal English Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, with a large attendance of people. All the members of the consistory of the Reformed church and very many of the congregation were present.

Now we, his wife and eight poor, forsaken orphans, are in a strange land among strange people, who do not know us, poor and without comfort. We, therefore, commend ourselves most submissively to all those in Zurich to whom our misfortune will become known and whose hearts will be touched, in order that they may graciously grant us their assistance. It can easily be sent into this country, if they will only send it through Mr. Wilhelmius at Rotterdam, for which I ask most humbly, for the sake of the merciful Jesus.

Very Reverend Mr. Deacon, when I showed my testimonials, and the people saw that I had been engaged in study, they almost compelled me to preside over the congregations as well as I could.

Hence, through the goodness of God, I preach twice every Sunday and teach two catechetical lessons. For this I make use of the books which I have brought with me and through good diligence I am enabled, thank God, to perform this in such a way, that each and every person is well satisfied with me.

Now the first Sunday I preach in Philadelphia both in the forenoon and the afternoon and always give with it catechetical instruction. On the second Sunday in Schippach, which is a very large congregation, a sermon and catechetical instruction in the forenoon. In the afternoon at Old Goshenhoppen, two hours [six miles] from Schippach, a sermon and catechetical instruction. It is also a pretty large congregation, as large as any in the canton of Zurich. On the third Sunday I preach in New Goshenhoppen and have catechetical instruction there in the forenoon. In the afternoon at Great Swamp [Grossen Schwam], which is also one of the large congregations. All this I can do through the strength given me by God's spirit, to the great satisfaction of the people.

I expect to be consecrated next Christmas by the English Presbyterians, in order that I may be able to administer the communion, unite people in marriage and baptize children. With the help of God I intend to do this. I would be able to do this all the better and put forth greater efforts for the souls of abandoned and confused sheep, if I had my library, which is in charge of Mr. Gorchen [George] Kromer.

I therefore ask your Reverence most humbly, if at all possible, to send it to me very kindly, not only for my sake and the large number of poor orphans left by my sainted father, but also for the sake of the many thousand strayed and shepherdless sheep, who go about in error and in a destitute condition, yea for the sake of the many heathen, who thereby might be led to the Lord Jesus, as has already been done.

Given on the 21st of July 1735.

Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

5. In 1736 in Upper Salford Twp.: Goshenhoppen Reformed Church, Montgomery, PA. Upon his arrival in America, Maurice Goetschy who led his colony of followers from Switzerland died. His son, Henry, became the minister of one of the oldest churches founded in the area, where the colonists gathered.

Jacob married Barbara Albrecht on 16 Jan 1720 in Stadel, , Zurich, CHE. (Barbara Albrecht was born on 12 Oct 1695 in Stadel, , Zurich, CHE and died in , Montgomery, PA.)


1 Dotterer, Henry S., Editor, Historical Notes Relating to the Pennsylvania Reformed Church (Vol. 1; 1900).

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