George Traxler .. et al.

This is research that I have done on my line (South Carolina Traxler line). This is the kind of thing you really to do when I talk about ‘due diligence” .. in your research. This was gathered and thought about and studied and researched and looked over and mumbled over .. over several years. Just saying:


John Peter Purry; “a Swiss gentleman”, enamored of South Carolina gave glowing accounts of the country in a pamphlet which was freely distributed throughout Switzerland, Holland, North Germany and the Provinces of the Rhine. This induced a great many settlers to migrate to the Carolina. The first shipload arrived in Charleston in July 1735 and immediately set out for a township on the Edisto river; thereafter named Orangeburg. More settlers arrived the next year and then a third installment arrived in 1737. With that third ship was a Luthern minister, the Rev. John Ulrick Glessendanner.

The settling of Orangeburg by the Swiss and Germans may be represented by an account from “The History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina” by Rev. George Howe, D.D.

The following from the South Carolina Gazette, dated 26 July 1753:

On Sunday last arrived two hundred Palatines: most of them being poor, they were obliged to sell themselves and their children for their passage (which is six pistoles in gold per head) within a fortnight of the time of their arrival, or else to pay one pistole more to be carried to Philadelphia.

it goes on to say ..

… Germans of the [Lower] Palatinate settled in the township, but some portion of the settlers were from Switzerland, from the Cantons of Berne, Zurich and the Grisons, and were Calvinists we suppose of the Hevetic confession, and Presbyterian in their views of Church government. Their minister, John Urich Giessendanner, came with them (wrong. He came over in 1737), and the register of marriages, baptisms, and burials, commenced by him in the German language, was continued by his nephew and successor, John Giessendanner, down to the year 1760.

In 1749, Rev. John Giessendanner went to London where he received Episcopal ordination and returned in 1750 as an Episcopalian minister. The settlers themselves were mainly of the ‘Calvinistic or Reformed church, and Presbyterians‘ .. and then .. ‘From want of preachers of their own denomination, the descendants of the old stock are falling either with the Baptists or Methodists, according tho the neighborhood in which they live.

Evidently Rev. John Giessendanner had received ordination and a licence to preach from the Charleston Presbytery, he continued to preach in Orangeburg as a Lutheran minister until the time he left for England to be ordained as an Episcopal Clergyman.

Having set the stage, on to the Giessendanner Book. After the death of John Giessendanner in 1761, the book went to his son Henry, then to his (Henry’s) second wife the widow Larey, to her son Daniel larey, to a Mrs. Tredwell. To a John Lucas, Warden of the Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) at Orangeburg and finally to the Diocese of South Carolina.

The record kept by the elder Giessendanner and most of the kept by the younger before his trip to England for ordination was written in German. His records after his return were kept in English.

The following is recorded in the book for 4 November 1758:

(522.) On Saturday Novembr 4th At the House of John Aberly below Orangeburgh Township Anna,,Barbara, Daughter of John & Margaret Anding; born Septr 8th 1758. Suret= Frederick and Barbara Huber, & Barbara, wife of Peter Shoeman.

Eodem Die et Loco:

(523.) Anna„Barbara, Daughter of Peter & Barbara Shoeman; born in Decembr 1757. Suret: George
Drechsler, Margaret, wife of John Anding, & Anne Aberly.

Eodem Die et Loco:

(524.) Anna„Margaret, Daughter of Peter and Katharine Dirr; born January 20th 1758.. Suret: Peter &
Barbara Shoeman, & Magaret, wife of John Anding…

So. In one house; that of John Aberly we find three baptisms on this Saturday, 4 November 1758; Anna Barbara Anding, Anna Barbara Shoeman and Anna Margaret Dirr. (the latin Eodem Die et Loco means at the same time and location).

Suret: German Catholic Records from the mid through the late 1800’s are in a mixture of Latin and German. Lutheran records were in German. There the word ‘Patrini’ means Godparents and was used by both faiths in their records. In German families, brothers and sisters of the parents served as the sponsors. The child was named after the Godparent, and names were repeated from generation to generation.

Could Suret be for a sponsor for the child? From the Book of Common Prayer, Public Baptism of Infants we have “This child have promised by your his suretice to renounce the devil and all his works.

Not being Catholic I had to look up what a sponsor does.

The role of the sponsor was originally to give assurance to the Church for the faith of the one who was to be baptized; this is still the practice in the case of adult baptism or chrismation. In the case of infant baptism, the Sponsor stands and vouches for the child, who is unable to make the necessary confession of faith.

This is from guidelines for a Greek Orthodox baptism. I imagine that the guidelines were similar –

All things considered, this Surety seems to equal being a Godparent. A search for Lutheran baptism sponsor found the following: “a godparent means you’re taking an oath to raise the child in the parents’ religion if something should happen to the parents. Since you might not be willing to do this, you shouldn’t take an oath. Settle for “witness” instead; you’re witnesses the baptism, witnessing to the parents’ intent, and most important, you CAN do everything a sponsor does–you just aren’t taking a sacred oath to do so.


Anna Barbara Anding, daughter of John and Margaret Anding – Suret: Frederick and Barbara Huber and Barbara Shoeman.
Anna Barbara Shoeman daughter of Peter and Barbara Shoeman – Suret: George Drechsler, Margaret Anding and Anne Aberly.
Anna Margaret Dirr daughter of Peter and Katherine Dirr – Suret: Peter and Barbara Shoeman and Margaret Anding.

Looking at that and back at the paragraph on the naming conventions in German families ..

If we look at all the sponsors then we have Margaret, Barbara (2x) and Anne. The question that comes to my mind is .. what was the relationship between these people? They could have simply met at John Aberly’s house for our traveling priest to visit and baptize the children at one location. Neighbors or relatives they seem to have filled the German naming convention for Godparents.

Were they siblings then?

Obviously, John Aberly, Peter Shoeman and Peter Dirr were not brothers. (sure, they could have been half-brothers but .. geeze .. I have to draw the line somewhere!)

How about the ladies and George Drechsler?

John Aberly and Anne had a daughter named Mary (b.1750) who married a Michael Durr (b.1750). Michael was the son of Peter and Katherine Dirr who’s daughter was one of the babies baptized that day (note the name changed from Dirr to Durr). Could Mary and Michael have been first cousins? Possible .. evidently is was common at the time but Anne as I go through below was most likely Anna Long. I can’t find anything on siblings to the Dirrs or the Andings.

My interest with this service is with the people themselves. My 5th Great Grandfather was a George Traxler. In a will for John Aberly dated 1766, eight years after this baptism the executors are identified as Anne Aberly, Felix Long and George Draxler.

Now, both Traxler and Draxler are variations on the German surname Drechsler.

Look back. These baptisms were held in the home of John and Anne Aberly. Anna Barbara Shoeman had George Draxler and Anne Aberly as two of her sponsors. That then leads me to question if George Drechsler of 1758 is George Draxler of 1766 and what relationship if any of these two gentlemen are to my George Traxler.

In a typed transcript of the will of John Aberly, it says .. “my Brother in Law Felix Long and George Draxler“. A book on the Long family which quotes the will has it as “my Brother in Law, Felix Long and George Draxler“. The difference between the two sentences is that the Long book quote has a comma after the word ‘Law’. That seems to indicate the possibility that George Draxler was a brother-in-law to John Aberly.

Even if true- George Draxler could have been married to John Aberly’s sister or Anne’s sister and still been John Aberly’s brother-in-law.

Felix Long was surely a brother in law. Most researchers have John’s wife Anne as Anne Long, sister of Felix and Jakob Long. No other sister so if George was also a brother-in-law (depending on how you read that passage in the will) then it was by being husband to a sister. The other way to read that passage is that George is mentioned as .. “my Brother in Law Felix Long” .. AND .. “George Draxler“.

In a Memorial dated 24 March 1766, George Draxler receives 300 acres of land conveyed to him by Daniel Linder where George is described as his (Daniel) Father-in-law.

So .. now we have ….

George Drechsler – 1758 .. Sponsor for baptism
George Draxler(1) – 1766 .. receives 300 acres in a memorial .. father in law of Daniel Linder
George Draxler(2) – 1766 .. executor of will .. perhaps brother in law of John Aberly.
George Traxler – my 5th Great Grandfather

Drechsler is a German surname meaning ‘wood turner’ .. probably a lathe operator. Traxler and Draxler are just two of many variations on the name.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Drechsler spelling of the name isn’t the original version. John Giessendanner would have used the German version when writing down the sponsors at the baptism.

The Draxler version seems to me to be easy to understand .. if a German speaker is talking to an English speaker and says his name .. the ‘echs would sound like X leading to Draxler.

Let’s add to the noise ..
In 1738 a PLAT of land was issued to a John Tracklier .. and a PLAT for a neighboring piece of land where he (John) is named as John Trucklier.

The ‘guess’ has been that John Tracklier/Trucklier is the father of George Traxler. From that, I can make a few ‘assumptions’ .. with the full understanding what assuming something means … but you have to start somewhere.

Firstly .. it wouldn’t have been John, it would have been Johann or Hans (Hans is the diminutive of Johann so suppose that matters little).

I would imagine that you needed to be 18 years old at minimum to be given a PLAT of land (that though is just a guess). While 50 acres may have been allocated to each of several children .. that acreage would have still been given to the head of house.

Assuming (*) .. Johann Tracklier/Trucklier was at a minimum 18 years old in 1738, then he would have been born, at the latest, in 1720.
Assumption (*) that George Drechler would have been a minimum of 18 years old at the baptisms in 1758 which would make him born at the latest, 1740.

Assumption (*). In the Memorial from 1766, George Draxler(1) is mentioned as the Father in Law of Daniel Linder. Let’s assume that (again for the latest dates) George married here in 1766. Let’s further, assume she was 18 years old. That would put her birth at 1748 at the latest. George Draxler(1), her father, could have married at 18 years minimum. Add one year for gestation and if we subtract nineteen years from the daughter’s birth we get 1729 for the latest that George Draxler(1) could have been born.

Assumptions (*): George Draxler(2) is mentioned as executor in John Aberly’s will as I stated earlier. If George Draxler(2) and George Drechsler are the same person .. then George Draxler(2) would have a birth date at the latest of 1740 .. at calculated for George Drechler. If we simply assume that a man was required to be at a minimum, 18 years old to be the Executor of a will .. then that would place the latest that George Draxler(2) could have been born would be 1748.

So. Let’s write down (again) the latest that these individuals could have been born arranged by date:

* Johann Tracklier/Trucklier – 1720
* George Draxler(1) – 1729
* George Drechsler – 1740
* George Traxler – 1740 (based on a birth for him in “Orangeburg Immigrants and 1st Families” published by OGSGS. I have not found the source they used.
* George Draxler(2) – 1740-1748

From these ‘latest dates of birth’ I come to this conclusion:

George Draxler(1) is neither George Draxler(2) or George Traxler.
George Draxler(2) and George Traxler may well be the same person.
George Draxler(1) and Johann Tracklier/Trucklier may be brothers .. or the same person with a name such as Johann Georg Drechsler or Georg Johann Drechsler

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