Dorothea Burgauer


Family Links

1. John Jacob Bucher

Dorothea Burgauer 2

  • Born: , , , CHE
  • Marriage (1): John Jacob Bucher on 13 Dec 1725 in Neunkirch, Schaffhausen, , CHE 1 2

   Another name for Dorothea was Dorothea Burganer.

   FamilySearch ID: K4RN-SYX.

  Noted events in her life were:

1. Letter: Transcription and translation of a letter written in German dated April 16, 1768, from Anna Dorothea Burgauer Bucher (born in 1709), in Neunkirch, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, to her son Rev. John Conrad Bucher (June 10, 1730-August 15, 1780), 16 Apr 1768. 3 Transcription and translation of a letter written in German dated April 16, 1768, from Anna Dorothea Burgauer Bucher (born in 1709), in Neunkirch, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, to her son Rev. John Conrad Bucher (June 10, 1730-August 15, 1780) who had come to the America in 1755 and was living in colonial Pennsylvania. Bucher served in the military expedition of General Forbes that fought the French at Fort Duquesne in 1758, and he fought in the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763. On February 26, 1760, Bucher married Maria Magdalena Hoch (February 2, 1742-March 11, 1819) in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. On April 16, 1768, his mother Anna Dorothea Burgauer Bucher (1709-?) wrote a scathing letter about John Conrad's debts and work prospects, and also about his lack of communication with his parents about the woman he had married. This is a translation of the original letter that was owned by Jean Harshbarger of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, which was donated to the Huntingdon County Historical Society. Disclosure: All original language, grammar, italicizing, bold, capitalization, printing, and underlining reflects the actual document. The views that are implied or expressed in the transcriptions reflect the original authors' language and are not the views of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. (Beginning of the Letter) [Neunkirch, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, April 16, 1768] My son, Were I not a mother and did I not have a lively and tender feeling for the close union of wellbeing between parents and children, since up to now you have shown yourself to be my greatest cause for worry, you would not have much hope of ever seeing an answer to the letter which I received from you a few days ago dated the 28th of July 1767. My heart can neither excuse nor justify solely on the basis of a lack of fulfillment of filial duty toward me; I shall show you till my last breath that I will fulfil to the utmost my duties as a genuine mother toward you. However, before I go into this further, I must point out to you the unfairness of your conduct, in order to convince you and bring you to better intentions. Since your departure from Namur [?], that is, from February 1756, we have not heard anything from you other than that your late father was supposed to pay an account, to [illegible abbreviations], which was so much greater than he expected that he at first repudiated it, and of which I, to avoid a still greater misfortune, had to pay a part secretly. The following year again came a note from Marburg, which they wanted urgently to have redeemed through the agency of a man from Canton Glarus who is supposed to have bought it for cash. The demand amounted to 500\emdash , in fact, if I am not mistaken, to between 500\emdash and 600\emdash , of debts attested to by the university which you should pay in the immediate future or which should be gotten through a lien issued by the local magistracy against your property and you could get the means to pay wherever you were able. Upon this new outrage, it seemed hardly possible that your sister and I could dissuade your extremely exasperated father from his intention of disinheriting you 1768 Letter from Anna Dorothea Bucher 2 entirely. Shortly afterward he became sick and died peacefully after undergoing a severe sickness of some nine months duration without having the slightest news from you-whether you had survived your trip or if there were otherwise hope that you might be happy in another continent. Also, the [illegible] state of your effects, which you sent to the [illegible] clerk Bucher in a trunk without any further indication or note about all the things which your people in any case [illegible words] had a right to expect, caused us not only much trouble but also great and needless annoyance, since we were unable to do anything and only after Bucher's death it is supposed to have come out that the trunk was entirely empty. The half founded [illegible] also half-unfounded reports about you, that you had left the Royal American Regiment without any great honor, and that you had no work anywhere, increased our worry not a little, as you can well imagine, if you will put yourself in my place. Adding to my troubles regarding you was your first letter of the 16th of April 1760, which in no way gave me the slightest consolation. I don't ever want to go into the matters contained there\emdash the flimsy excuses for not writing, the very shallow reasons why you gave up the [illegible] position, the reason, so worthy in your opinion, for your getting married, because you were staying at an inn where there was a seventeen year old girl whose father was supposed to have also been from Schaffhausen\emdash and that at a time when you were just seeking a place in the militia, which could only obtain you a few months' living. This circumstance alone extinguished for me at once the thought of any possibility that you should ever be a support for me in my old age, even if, compelled by care and misfortune, you finally wanted to work on a more sensible basis for your wellbeing. When I imagined your wife as a person of bad character, I could never bring myself even to consider calling her my daughter. If, on the other hand, I imagined her as an honest, solid, innocent, and at the same time credulous person, I naturally could only feel pity for her. That is the way it seemed to me when I got your letter. Judge for yourself whether it would have been possible for me to write to you in a cordial and congratulatory tone, since all your actions gave evidence that you were a frivolous person who made his judgments on the basis of his own sensuality and from external appearance rather than on the basis of reason and the true state of things. Provoked at your last rash step, taking a wife without knowing where you would earn your bread, I wanted to answer you myself and take you to task right earnestly regarding your conduct. However, it was impossible for me; I [two illegible words] your uncle that he should write you according to my directions. You would be doubly wrong to blame your uncle in the slightest for this or to hate him on this account. I have both the draft which I made up at that time and the one you received from your uncle on the table before me, from which I plainly see that your uncle added nothing on his own account; on the contrary, he tried to calm me down and really toned down many of my hard and at times very sharp expressions a great deal. I could do no less than make the most bitter reproaches on account of your conduct toward your parents and on account of their unhappy effects upon the health of your late father. Since you still have criminal pride, that causes you to believe that you are right in revenging yourself on 1768 Letter from Anna Dorothea Bucher 3 your long suffering mother by purposely remaining silent for more than six years, I am afraid that you are not yet on the right path. God grant that I might be wrong in my supposition. Who would begrudge it, that you are peacefully married and that in things of the flesh you are getting along well? But your heart is too coarse, your feelings too blunt or you are entirely lacking in judgment. If you only knew, my son, how much it hurts me that I must make such reproaches to you! You would not heap insult upon insult, you certainly would [not] accuse me, and you would take more interest in removing the gnawing care from our souls. You would recognize that I have your worldly and especially your spiritual welfare at heart; that even yet I should like to sacrifice a part of my own wellbeing in order to better establish yours. Up to now my only consolation in regard to you has been that God can easily grant anything we ask. I know His mercy can warm even ice cold hearts, that His power is strong in the weak, through this merciful love and through Jesus. I want to commend you, your wife, and children, in prayer, that He may bless you in body and soul, that He may bless you in your profession, that He let your children grow up to be a pleasure to you and finally that He give us and them from His grace the eternal citizenship of Heaven. [Handwriting now changes] That the above is word for word the true sentiment of my heart, I testify as your [illegible] but true spirited mother. I am unfortunately not in condition to have been able to write the whole letter, since I lost my left eye five years ago and the other is failing considerably. I should have had still more to say were I in condition to write it. What is important is, that your sister, whom you used to love dearly, has been married for five years to Doctor Ott, Mr. [illegible] son, who, God be praised, is well endowed in body and soul. God has also taken care of me in that he [Dr. Ott] treats me just as affectionately and takes all possible care of me, which I should expect from you as the son of my own flesh. I cannot thank God enough for the consideration that he shows us, inasmuch as he did not ask whether your sister has anything or not, he is therefore satisfied with her person alone until my death. God grant that it be blessed. The little that I have must serve for my own support. Everything here [illegible] is really expensive, all groceries [illegible] a hundred weight of butter 30 to 31 hellers [three words illegible] 20 to 40 kreutzers, wine of medium quality 20--- meat 7 kreuzers 4 hellers, a cord of wood six---. You can easily imagine that it *illegible+ hard to get along decently. I must still tell you that through God's wonderful Providence we are again in the "Schwartzen Rosslein" (Black Horse) which the Bucherin *several words illegible] had to give up the house to pay debts. She died not long ago. The daughter is in the hospital for life. She is not in complete possession of her reason. The Doctor bought the house for himself. I would have done it more cleverly, if I had been in a position to do so. I must also say that my dear father lived happily five years with us and that he was stricken the 25th of March with a stroke. It affected his whole right side and his speech [three words illegible] at twelve noon in [illegible] died peacefully. Your letter arrived just one day before his blessed departure. I wish that it had come two days earlier when he was still in complete possession of his faculties. He made many a sigh on your account, while he prayed for you regularly. I cannot write any more. Try to come and do tell us from time to time about how you are faring. Especially, however, I should like to have in the future better 1768 Letter from Anna Dorothea Bucher 4 and more complete news from you. I recommit you once again to God's grace and protection and remain your loyal mother, Anna Dorothea Bucher born Burgauerin Everyone sends his greetings without exceptions. Schaffhausen, 16th of April 1768 [Same handwriting as in first part of letter]: A sickness from which my husband is just recovering prevents him from writing to you; he will soon do so upon another occasion. (End of the Letter) [Writing on envelope accompanying the letter]: With a package of books, wrapped double in wax cloth and sealed. Translated by Charles Bidwell.

Dorothea married John Jacob Bucher, son of John Jacob Bucher and Elizabeth Steiner, on 13 Dec 1725 in Neunkirch, Schaffhausen, , CHE.1 2 (John Jacob Bucher was born on 1 Jan 1699 in Neunkirch, Schaffhausen, , CHE 1 2 4 and died in 1788 in Neunkirch, Schaffhausen, , CHE 1 2 4.)


1 Bertha McGeehan collection, Bucher Families of Switzerland and Pennsylvania (Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Call # FC Bu).

2 Egle, William Henry, Pennsylvania Genealogies, Mainly Scotch Irish And German (1896, 798 pp.
Reprinted Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969. Online via Google Book Search.), Page 123.

3 "Indiana University of Pennsylvania Library,"

4 Egle, William Henry, Pennsylvania Genealogies, Mainly Scotch Irish And German (1896, 798 pp.
Reprinted Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969. Online via Google Book Search.), Page 122.

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