PHILIP CHRISTOPH VOGLER’S 1790 MEMOIR: Transcribed with Corrections Inserted

by Frederick W. Vogler


Copy of English translation of original German text of memoir filed in Winston-Salem Moravian Archives (insertions by F. W. Vogler, Jan. 2002):

Memoir of the married Brother, Philipp Christoph Vogler, who fell asleep in Bethania, August 20, 1790.

He was born at Gundelsheim, in the Palatinate [modern Gondelsheim / Baden], April 7, 1725 [actually April 2, 1723, acc. to Gondelsheim Lutheran parish birth record], and was brought up in the Lutheran faith, by his parents. Along with farming he learned the trade of a tailor.

In his seventeenth [actually nineteenth] year, A.D. 1742, he moved with his father to America, in the New England district, and then to Broadbay. During the Indian War he was on Cape Breton, where he served as a soldier for three or four years; and there he married his first wife, Catharina Seitz, being then in his twenty-first [actually twenty-third] year. Their marriage was blessed with six sons and four daughters, of whom one son and one daughter preceded him out of time.

In 1761, there was an awakening in his neighborhood, and he became concerned about his salvation. His youthful years had been spent in ignorance, and in school he had not gone far enough to learn to read, so now he grieved that he could not seek for himself the comforting words of the Holy Scriptures, nor read them.

About this time, Brethren from Bethlehem [Pennsylvania] visited them several times Â… From their witness he received a lasting impression, and the change in him had a good effect upon his wife and children. They all joined the group which Brother [Georg] Soelle served, also keeping school for the children, and our Brother took this opportunity and learned to read.

In the fall of 1769, a number of these families moved to Wachovia [North Carolina]; and in 1770 he and his wife and children (except one son [eldest child John] who remained in New England), together with seven other families, under the leadership of Brother Soelle, also came hither. His wife, however, who was sick when they reached Wilmington [NC], passed out of time as they landed at Cross Creek [modern Fayetteville, NC], in believing trust in the redemption through Jesus. This was a great loss for him.

They arrived in Wachovia in November, and joined those who had preceded them in the founding of the Friedland settlement, and the organization of that congregation.

In 1772, he married his second wife, the single woman Barbara Fiscus, and they had two children, both of whom died in infancy. His wife also went home in Friedland in 1780. In the same year, he was received into the congregation; and in January, 1781, partook for the first time of the Holy Communion.

For a while he remained in Friedland, then he sold his farm to his son Michael, moved to Bethania, and on August 14, 1783, married his third wife, the widow Christina Margaretha Sehnert, maiden name Born. He was faithful and industrious, and did what he could for the honorable support of his family. Naturally he had his faults and weaknesses, and if something came up of which he did not approve he spoke too heatedly. The salvation of his own [soul] and of his own and of his stepchildren lay much upon his heart, and he could not stand it when anything was done that was contrary to the rules of the congregation.

On August the 8th of this year [1790], he and his wife and daughter became ill with high fever, and had to go to bed. He also had attacks of something resembling gout, which greatly weakened him, though between attacks he was somewhat more comfortable. He, however, was sure that he would go home, and several days before the end he told friends that it would come that week. In the evening of the 17th he was so weak that it seemed he could not live through the night; a home-going liturgy was sung for him, and he received the blessing of the Lord. About half past two in the morning of the 20th came the blessed moment of his release, and he fell asleep gently, his age being 65 years, 4 months and 13 days [actually 67 years, 4 months and 18 days].

Through his children by his first marriage he has had 27 grandchildren, of whom four have gone home. Two sons and a daughter live in Salem; one son and two daughters in Friedland; and one son in this neighborhood. The eldest son is in New England. He also leaves a stepson and a stepdaughter.