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The following is from SHOEMAKER PIONEERS by Benjamin H. Shoemaker, 3rd. 2nd Edition 1986. p. 75 and will be of interest to researchers of Frances (Feronica} SHOEMAKER and Issac Jacob van BEBBER. [The names are spelled as printed in the book].


European followers of Menno Simons

    "The early European followers of Menno Simons banded together to escape regious persecution, and established colonies at strategic points in central Europe, where the government was tolerant, and they were more or less welcome. Peter and George, brothers, were of these Mennonite families, and iut is possible that their roots go back to a small Mennoite colony at Monschau, in the Rhine Province of Germany, just south of Aachen and a few miles east of the Belgium frontier. At Monschau in the year 1597, is found a Henrich Schumacher and his wife and Arndts (Arnold) Henrich and his wife, Dederborn. When persecution began in this area, and these Mennonite families began to lose their possessions by confiscation, the colony appears to have moved to Dollendorf, near Lowenburg in the Siebengenbirge hills on the east bank of the Rhine River, south of Cologne.

    It is here at Dollendorf that is found the earliest definte knowledge of Peter and George Shoemaker. The Duke of Julich und Berg in 1652 gave notice that this religious sect must sell their possessions and vacate their land, and he gave them two years to do it. In the Staats Archiv Dusselforf is found the following "On the 15th February, 1655, there came before the rent controller, Agnes, widow of Arnold Schumacher, to state that she appoints Eithumb, her son-in-law, as trustee for Peter and George, both of age and guardian for her minor children:- Arnold, Treinchen (Catherine), and Adelgen (Adele)". This family had sold its possessions at Niederdollendorf, including many meadows, vineyards, and lands in and around ther Siebengebirge, cooling equipment, stable and furniture to Gerhard von Bonn and his wife, Catherine Benders von Bonn, for 1440 taler. From this money they had to take 300 taler for debts, but the rest was divided among the children. They received free transportation to Mainz. Arnold Shoemaker's widow was Agnes Roesen, and the family estate was from the mother's not the father's side. Agnes died soon after 1655. Of the minor children mentioned above, Arnold was the son of Arnold and Agnes; Adele was the daughter of Theiss (Matthias) Bonn, son-in-law of Agnes; about Catherine there is a question, although Peter Shoemaker did have a daughter, Catherine, who could have been named for Perter's sister.

    From Mainz the family moved to Kriegsheim, near Worms, and it is well known that Peter and George Shoemaker were converted at Kreigsheim about 1659 from the Mennonite to the Quaker faith by William Ames and George Rolfe, missionaries of William Penn. By the year 1685, Peter's wife and George Shoemaker himself had both died. Arnold Shoemaker, the younger, third brother of Peter and George, remained a Mennonite and was still living in Kriegsheim in 1685. There is no reason to believe he ever emigrated to America. A brother-in-law of Peter, George and Arnold was Mathias Bonn, who was living at Kriegsheim in 1685. Records also speak of a foster son of Peter Shoemaker also at Kriegsheim in the same year - Rohrig Otto, possibly Otto Rohrig.

    The preceding material was brought to light and developed through the research of Wilhelm Niepoth and Dr. Walther Risler, both of Crefeld, Germany. (See "From Kreigsheim to Pennsylvania" by Wilhelm Niepoth, Germantown Crier, March 1957)."

    Peter Shoemaker, widower, arrived in PA in 1685 and settled in Germantown with his only son, Peter Jr., and three daughters:- Mary, Frances and Gertrude. Another daughter, wife of Dielman Kolb, remained and died in Germany. His daughter, Mary, married Reynier van Burkelow; his daughter, Frances (Feronica), married Isaac Jacob van Bebber; and his daughter Gertrude (Catherine), married Peter Cleaver. Peter Shoemaker remained a Quaker. He was born about 1622 and died in 1707.

    Isaac Jacob von Bebber and his wife, Frances Shoemaker, moved with Reynier Herman von Burkelow to Bohemia Manor in Maryland. This family remained in Maryland and had many notable descendants.

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