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Dr. Peter Zehr b. 20 Aug 1809 Gros-Réderching, Moselle, Lorraine, FR d. 2 Jan 1898 Ontario, Canada: The Schrock-Birkey Connection

Dr. Peter Zehr[1, 2]

Male 1809 - 1898  (88 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name Peter Zehr 
    Prefix Dr. 
    Born 20 Aug 1809  Gros-Réderching, Moselle, Lorraine, FR Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    Education Attended Medical Classes In Paris  [4
    Immigration 28 Dec 1835  NYC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Ship Formosa from Le Havre, along with family of Joseph Risser and Magdalena Farny.
    Occupation Cultivateur at Lagny, Minister, Medicine 
    Religion Amish Mennonite 
    Died 2 Jan 1898  Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • South Easthope, Perth Co.
    Buried East Zorra-Tavistock, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • East Zorra Mennonite Cemetery
    Person ID I4779  Schrock-Birkey Connection
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2019 

    Father Michel Zehr,   b. ca 1755/1759,   d. 1 Jun 1813, Gros-Réderching, Moselle, Lorraine, FR Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 54 years) 
    Mother Magdalena Farney,   b. 1783, Bistroff, Moselle, FR Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 7 Sep 1809  Gros-Réderching, Moselle, Lorraine, FR Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    • Olferding estate
    Notes 
    • Michel registered their marriage at the same time as son Peter’s birth: on 7 Sep 1809. [6]
    Family ID F3375  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Barbara Roth,   b. 12 Dec 1813, Alsace Lorraine, FR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Sep 1888  (Age 74 years) 
    Married 1831  Alsace Lorraine, FR Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Children 
     1. Andrew Zehr
     2. Barbara Zehr,   b. 10 Dec 1837, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Nov 1886, Wayland, Henry Co., IA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years)
     3. Joseph R. Zehr,   b. 1849,   d. 1915  (Age 66 years)
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2019 
    Family ID F3377  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 20 Aug 1809 - Gros-Rederching, Moselle, Lorraine, FR Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 28 Dec 1835 - NYC Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 2 Jan 1898 - Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - East Zorra-Tavistock, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Obit: Herald of Truth, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, February 15, 1898 - page 60, 61.
      PRE. PETER ZEHR
      The township of South Easthope lost one of its very oldest and most highly respected residents on Sunday morning, January 2, 1898, by the death of Brother Peter Zehr at his home, lot 11, con. 2, aged 89 years and 8 months. He was widely known throughout this entire section, and while the sorrow of his death is general yet it is mitigated by the knowledge that after a long, useful and happy life, a good man has gone home. Deceased was born in the then French province of Lorraine in 1808, and was therefore about seven years old at the time of the battle of Waterloo. He chose medicine as a profession, and underwent a thorough study in his youth. In 1831 he was married to Barbara Roth. He emigrated with his family, landing in Lewis Co., New York, 62 years ago. After remaining there for three years he came to South Easthope, Perth Co., Ontario, in 1836, settling on the farm upon which he died. The township was then a wilderness and he had to make his way through the woods to Goderich to get the title to his land. Being a prudent, hard-working man he accumulated a competency besides placing each of his four sons upon farms and providing for his daughters. His family consisted of four sons and three daughters of whom one son and two daughters preceded him to the grave; four children, 41 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren survive. A year ago the old minister's' rugged health gave way before the encroachments of old age and since that time he has gradually failed until the end came. He was a strong Christian character and for about 67 years he was a preacher in the Amish Mennonite church. His funeral drew out an immense gathering at the East Zorra Amish Mennonite M. H. from far and near who came to pay their last tribute of respect to the departed friend whose kindness and skill and generosity had brightened the lives of so many in this section. Funeral services by Chr. Litwiller from Mark 12:26, 27 and by Jacob M. Bender from John 17:3.

      GAMEO
      Zehr, Peter (1809-1898)
      Peter Zehr is believed to have been born in 1809 to Michel Zehr and his third wife, Madeleine Farny, on the Olferdingerhof at Gros-Rederching, Moselle (also known as Lorraine), France. In 1813, Peter's father died and his mother married Joseph Risser.
      During Peter's youth, military training and service was compulsory in France and no doubt Peter served in the army. It is believed that he served in the medical core, thus gaining the medical knowledge which he used during the rest of his life. Peter married Barbara Roth of Baden, Germany.
      On 28 December 1835, Peter, Barbara, and their son, born enroute, landed in New York, probably remained in Pennsylvania over winter and proceeded to Lewis County, New York the following spring. The congregation in Lewis County probably ordained both Peter and his half brother Michael, possibly in 1836.
      Many of the settlers in Lewis County were looking elsewhere for less rocky land, and some of them, including Peter and Barbara chose to come to Canada. By the summer of 1839 they were in Canada where Peter was reported to be treating a boy with an injured leg. Dr. Scott of Berlin (now Kitchener) was not pleased with the report. Although the altercation in the newspaper was between Doctor Scott and the editor, it may have prompted Peter not to flaunt his medical practice. At any rate, he was always Peter Zehr, the farmer, not "doctor" or "minister."
      Peter and Barbara purchased a lot in South Easthope Township from the Canada Company and proceeded to create a farm. Peter set aside a parcel of land at one corner for a burial ground, and later a school was built beside it - as was the custom in rural Ontario.
      The South Easthope - East Zorra Amish Mennonite congregation had organized in 1837 with the services of a resident deacon. Peter became the first resident ordained minister, serving in that capacity until his death 60 years later. It is said he received some criticism from his parishioners when he was called away to tend the sick instead of filling his place in the pulpit (or table, as long as services were held in homes and barns). When the congregation built their first meetinghouse in 1883 in East Zorra, it became known as the East Zorra Amish Mennonite Church.
      In 1871, Peter Zehr and his fellow minister, Daniel Schrag, traveled to Illinois to attend the Amish Mennonite Ministers' Conference. Peter was chosen as part of a council to investigate the circumstances in various congregations in Illinois. No doubt, they both used this opportunity to visit relatives as well. Most, if not all, of Barbara (Roth) Zehr's family had migrated to Illinois.
      With the founding of the Upper Canada School of Medicine in 1850 and the college of Physicians and Surgeons in 1869, more pressure was brought on unlicensed practitioners like Peter Zehr. In 1878, at the age of almost 70, Peter went to Toronto to obtain a license. Whether he wrote tests or gave demonstrations is not known, but on 8 April 1878, he was granted a license by the college of Physicians and Surgeons.
      Peter had always been referred to as Dr. Zehr by his clients, but after his licensing he was referred to as "doctor" or "physician" in the census records and in the numerous land purchases and sales in which he was involved. The civil birth and death records frequently cite Dr. Zehr as the attending physician.
      According to family tradition, Zehr kept office hours in what is now the Walper Hotel in Berlin ( Kitchener) on a weekly basis. He remained active until shortly before his death on 2 January 1898 at the age of 89 years.
      ©1996-2012 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
      To cite this page:

      MLA style: Roth, Lorraine. "Zehr, Peter (1809-1898)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2004. Web. 13 December 2012. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z449.html.

      APA style: Roth, Lorraine. (October 2004). Zehr, Peter (1809-1898). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 December 2012, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z449.html.}

  • Sources 
    1. [S274] Widrick Genealogy & Mennonite Surnames of Lewis County, New York & The Widrick (Wuthrich) Genealogical Database.

    2. [S722] Dr. Peter Zehr’s European Ancestry, Ray H. Zehr.

    3. [S1060] Find-A-Grave, Birth date given as 2 May 1808 -https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23784586/peter-f.-zehr.

    4. [S398] Amish Mennonites in Tazewell Co., Joseph Staker.

    5. [S400] Roggy families in Widrick Genealogical Database .

    6. [S137] Valentine Birky Remembers--1935 .

    7. [S269] GeneaNet Family Tree of Jean François Lorentz .

    8. [S398] Amish Mennonites in Tazewell Co., Joseph Staker, 1832.


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