In 1751, Johann Nicholas and Catharina Magdalena Weyerbacher emigrated from Baumholder, Germany to Philadelphia, PA aboard the ship Edinburgh. This site provides information about them, their descendants and even several generations of their ancestors.
This monument honoring the first Weyerbachers to come to America can be viewed at Trinity Lutheran Church, Pleasant Valley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please send them to Contact Us or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional photos can be viewed and added here.
"THE WEYERBACHERS OF PENNSYLVANIA"
The Weyerbacher Family Genealogy project has been completed thanks to the herculean efforts of Robin and Lisa Jones. This book contains 710 pages and includes nearly 14,000 names, as well as over 200 photos and illustrations. This project is the result of 40+ years of research by Warren W. Wirebach and the late Dr. Lily Weierbach.
The book is available directly from the publisher either as a HARD COPY ($60 + shipping + applicable sales tax) or as a PDF FILE DOWNLOAD ($20). The pdf file requires Adobe Reader (free) or equivalent to read.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the
See details here.
Tribute to Warren W. Wirebach
(June 1, 1916 - December 8, 2011)
delivered by Robin Jones, President
at the 47th Weyerbacher Family Reunion
July 8, 2012
At the 1970 reunion, Warren gave a tribute speech to commemorate the life of the recently departed Lily Weierbach, his righthand woman and great friend. In 1965, Warren briefly lived in Philadelphia in the same building as Lily. It was here that they began to collaborate on Weyerbacher genealogy. This was effectively Warren's introduction to genealogy beyond his own more immediate family lines. In their research together they traveled throughout Pennsylvania and into Ohio tracking down relatives and visiting graveyards, where they would often have a semi-formal picnic. Warren told me last December that they would get some funny looks from people passing by.
Lily and Warren organized the Silver Creek Park reunion beginning in 1966. And it is to Warren's credit that we are here today, having never missed a year.
In 2006 in preparation of writing the Weyerbacher book, Warren gave me his Weyerbacher archives. I was amazed how so many people loved Warren as expressed by the many thousands of cards and letters addressed to him over several decades. A few days before Warren passed on December 8, 2011, he entrusted me with his archives covering all his non-Weyerbacher family lines. Included were another 1-2 thousand letters and cards of conversation and thanks. It is really overwhelming when you consider how many people corresponded with Warren and how many lives he touched.
In his speech celebrating Lily, he concluded "No one will ever know how many lives she touched, and they were the better of it". And with that comment in mind, I will begin my tribute speech to Warren.
Warren William Wirebach was born June 1, 1916 in Clark's Green, PA, a suburb of Scranton.He was an only child of Warren Edgar and Olive Marie Nothacker Wireback. His father was also an only child. During his youth, three of his four grandparents lived with Warren and his parents. His grandfather John Frederick Wireback held a patent on a whole house water filter near the turn of the 20th century. They raised chickens and there was always a dog around. Warren's upbringing appeared to be a very happy one.
In 1938 he was employed by the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry (Employment Services) as a clerk at $1140.00/year. The beginning of a long career of public service.
He entered the U.S. Army on September 9,1942 and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sargent, 161st Quartermaster CO on November 18, 1945. Warren was stationed in Port of Spain, Trinidad. His company was responsible for a supplies warehouse and for keeping those vital supplies moving to passing war ships. Warren was responsible for answering all correspondence and radiograms, maintenance and stock control with 15 men under him. I read in one document that Warren said he got the job because of his civilian experience. Well, if anyone could handle correspondence...
Warren earned a Good Conduct Medal - a Merits Unit Award or Victory Medal and the Theater Insignia, Badge of Security.
While in Trinidad, Warren became a good friend of the St. Joseph's Convent and other Trinidadians and was still corresponding up into the late 1960's. Through the convent, Warren and other troops donated dolls for the local children afflicted with leprosy.
On VE and VJ Days, Trinidad celebrated with a two-day unmasked carnival, throwing open grocery and liquor stores all day. All military personnel with the exception of necessary administrators attended. I wish I could have asked Warren what he did on those days of celebration!
Returning to Pennsylvania, Warren again was employed by the State of PA when he worked until 1973 when he temporarily retired, only to find himself soon again employed by the state.
Prior to joining the Army, Warren dabbled in writing and took courses up until only a few years ago. He wrote what appeared to have been radio plays and had at least one read on the air. His plays favored emotional conflict, usually involving a couple in love, which was often told by the woman's point of view and usually resolved itself on a positive note. Warren won a prize for best letter written home regarding the 1939-1940 NY World 's Fair and was recognized along with others on a sponsoring radio program. He also wrote lyrics for many songs, including one which was copy written.
A copy of his scripts, lyrics, photos and other documents are included in the memorial album I assembled for today's reunion.
In 1985 already well entrenched in genealogy and history studies, he volunteered for the Dauphin County Historical Society, serving again countless others. When Warren left the society in 2005 they awarded him with a plaque and named a research wing in his honor in loving appreciation for all his dedicated work.
Although Warren never married, he and Mary Turns were significant friends for life beginning before WW II and continuing until her death in 2002. Warren said that he could not marry her because he was taking care of his elderly parents until their deaths in 1950 and 1960 and it would not have been fair to burden her. She complimented Warren perfectly - soft spoken, very pleasant and always well dressed.
Warren served as our historian and president until 2002. And although there have been others serving as president, we never stopped considering him our historian, even after he missed a few reunions in more recent years due to failing health. We were so fortunate to have him at last year's reunion. His life was long and fulfilling, steeped in humanitarian deeds. He was a good friend and good company up to the last days of his life.
Thank you Warren for all you have done for all for us all these years, "we were the better of it having known you".
Now that Warren is gone, where do we go from here? We all have noticed the attendance diminishing over the years. I have heard on previous occasions that some cousins would cease attending when Warren does. Perhaps to some extent this has already occurred. But for the rest of us, I would like to think that we return to these hallowed grounds out of tradition and tribute to cousins Lily, Warren and so many others who also attended year after the year. How pleased they would be to know that the tradition continues. I would also hope that like me, you look forward to seeing our present Weyerbacher family each year as well.
Last month I attended the Lebanon and Lancaster family reunions in hopes of learning from their dynamics and to talk up our reunion. Both reunions celebrate ancestors within memory of the attending elders. This results in a much tighter knit of relations compared with us. Lebanon attendance was about 70 while Lancaster was only about 12. Many cousins from both reunions have attended our reunion in years past. So this can explain some loss of attendance for our own reunion.
Our reunion is very unique in that we celebrate all our ancestors going back to Germany. We attend our reunion in the immediate neighborhood of Johann's 1754 farm property and the cemetery where centuries of our ancestors rest within the yard of the church Johann co-founded. In addition, we have accumulated a fine collection of interesting documentation for viewing, spanning the centuries.
But history alone attracts only so many curious cousins. What makes a family reunion work best is family. We all would love to see attendance improve, but how can this be accomplished? Perhaps we should start by asking ourselves how can we get more of our own immediate family to attend? Can we each pursue this more intimately among our own clans? Every family gets at least some members of the family together at least once a year to catch up. Why not hold one of these events here? Please let me know your ideas.
But for today, let us celebrate the past, enjoy today's company and look forward to much health and happiness until we meet again.
Robin Jones, author, presents "The Weyerbachers of Pennsylvania" to
Weyerbacher Family Historian, Warren W. Wirebach, on April 3, 2011.
On June 26, 2011, Warren became the oldest ever male Weyerbacher descendant, at age 95 years, 25 days, eclipsing the life of William Mann Weierbach (1845-1940).
Calling all Weyerbachers
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Family History Researchers
The recently published book, "THE WEYERBACHERS OF PENNSYLVANIA," (see above) contains virtually everything we know about our ancestors and their descendants. We encourage you to buy it and submit any corrections and/or additions for future editions.