Rev. Valentine Clemmer 718
- Born: 12 May 1655, Affoltern, Am Amblis, Zürich, Switzerland
- Marriage (1): Barbara Beyer on 26 Feb 1677 in Ottenbach, Zurich, Switzerland
- Marriage (2): Unknown
- Died: Abt 1734, East Swamp Mennonite Church, Milford Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania about age 79 719
- Buried: East Swamp Mennonite Church, Milford Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Another name for Valentine was Velte.
Noted events in his life were:
• Occupation. I held the office of minister in the Mennonite church in Switzerland.
• Immigration, 1717. I immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1717 with my five sons and one grandson. Those traveling with me were Valentine Husiker my grandson and my sons Jacob, Christian, Johan Jacob, Henrich and Hans. We also traveled with Mennonite friends namely, Dileman Kolb, Jr., Bishop Henry Funk, Hans Detweiler, Bishop Benjamin Landis, John Landis, Henry Ruth, Bishop Brechbill, Bishop Burkhalter and John Bergey. There were so many emigrating from the Palatinate to Pennsylvania that we filled three ships.
Heinrich tells of his experience: “We endured a long arduous journey that began with a 6-week trip down the Rhine River to Rotterdam, Holland. We were delayed for several months in Holland waiting for a ship to take us across the ocean. We sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for 7 weeks until we finally reached Pennsylvania. During the journey, I was seasick most of the voyage. We had trouble with rats scouring around the decks and getting into our supplies. We suffered from sour beer, worms in the drinking water and fighting among fellow passengers. Each passenger had a sleeping and sitting area of 2' by 6'. The meat, fish and butter were so heavily salted and smelled so terrible that I could barely swallow. I was always thirsty and either too hot or too cold! Someone opened our chests that we had put in the cargo area of the ship and our valuables were stolen. I remember my father Valentine and the other Mennonite Bishops sitting together and studying their German Bibles and the one map they had of William Penn's Colony.”
• Occupation: Minister: Switzerland. Office held: Minister in Switzerland, then minister and bishop in Great Swamp, Millford Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania Signed: 1725, CONFESSION OF FAITH, English version of the Mennonite teaching as written in the 1632 Dortrecht CHRISTIAN CONFESSION OF THE FAITH OF THE HARMLESS CHRISTIANS, IN THE NETHERLANDS KNOWN BY THE NAME OF MENNONISTS --- Published by Andrew Bradford
• Occupation. 720,721,722 Bishop In The Mennonite Church
I lived in Germantown a few years and earned a living by weaving. Later I settled in what was known as “Grooten Schwamb”. I helped establish the Swamp Mennonite Church in Milford, Bucks County, Pennsylvania shortly after my arrival in Pennsylvania. The earliest services were held in private homes. The first building was erected in 1735 on the land of William Allen. In 1771, a second building was erected a mile east of the original one, on a piece of land conveyed by Ulrich Drissel, Abraham Taylor and John Lederach. This land was turned over to Valentine Clemmer, Peter Sager, Christian Beidler and Jacob Clemmer who were Trustees of the Religious Society or Congregation of Mennonites in the Great Swamp.
My son Henrich, along with the assistance of my grandson Valentine Hunsiker, used his skills as a stone mason to build the Skippack Mennonite Meetinghouse in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1720. It was the second Mennonite Church built in the New World! Christophe Dock taught the Mennonite children at the Skippack Meetinghouse. Backless benches filled the main room and two stoves kept the worshipers and students warm. A stable was built ouside for the horses.
• Occupation: Weaver.
• AKA: Velte.
• Signed, 1725. I signed the confession of Faith in 1725, which was the English version of the Mennonite teaching as written in the 1632 Dortrecht “Christian Confession of the Faith of the Harmless Christians, in the Netherlands known by the name of Mennonist.”
• Friend. 723 Hans Detweiler immigrated to Pennsylvania with me. The first record of Hans Detweiler can be found in the petition to the Governor of Pennsylvania regarding protection from the Indians in Falkner's Swamp. Hans was one of the signers of this petition. On January 24, 1737, Hans was a signer of a bond involving Ann Clemmer who was obliged to give as administratrix of her husband John Clemmer's estate. Hans signed this document in beautiful German script and described himself as a yeoman of Philadelphia County
• Friends. 724 Benjamin John and Felix Landis all Swiss Mennonites came to America in 1717. They came from the vicinity of Manheim on the Rhine where they had been driven from Zurich, Switzerland. They purchased land in Pennsylvania from William Penn and the Conestoga Indians. Rev. Benjamin Landis and his only son Benjamin, Jr. worked their 240 acres of land, which they received a patent for in 1718. Benjamin was a minister in the Mennonite church. John Landis located in Buck County where he established his family
• Friend. 725 Ulrich Brechbill was of Swiss origin and a fellow immigrant with me. He was a Mennonite Minister both in his former country as well as in Pennsylvania. Ulrich was killed on October 19, 1739 while driving his team on the road to Philadelphia
• Friend. 726 Ulrich Burkholder was a native of Switzerland, who emigrated on the ship Samuel landing in Philadelphia on August 11, 1732. He settled in Lancaster County
• Friend. 725 Hubert Cassel came to Pennsylvania around the same time period as I did. He emigrated from Kriesheim, called the Palatinate (Pfalz) a province of Germany, west of the Rhine. He was a single man when he emigrated. On his arrival in Pennsylvania he stopped in Germantown to hire himself out to different individuals as a husbandman (colonial term for farmer) and weaver. He worked in this manner until he met a Dutch woman name Syche with whom he was married as soon as his circumstances would allow.
His brothers Yelles and Johannes, who were corresponding with him from Germany, urged him to not marry a Dutch girl. They had a deep seeded prejudice against women from Holland. Soon, Yelles and Johannes immigrated to America arriving on the ship Friendship on October 16, 1727 after a four-month passage from Rotterdam. Yelles settled in with his brother Hubert and his Dutch wife who received him with great kindness. They boarded and lodged Yelles and later even divided their land with him. They assisted Yelles in building his home and barn. Yelles later claimed that his Dutch sister-in-law was noble, kind-hearted and devotedly pious whose equal could not be found. In consequence of his previous letters, he often confessed and implored her for forgiveness for having so unkindly and undeservedly despised her.
Sadly, Hubert was a man with very delicate health. He died a poor man
• Friend. John and Christian Fretz, together with a third brother whose name is said to be Mark emigrated from the City of Manheim in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany formerly known as Rheinish Prussia. The third brother Mark died on the voyage to America. The date of their arrival in Pennsylvania is not known. They were Mennonites who lived and worshiped in Deep Run, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. John Fretz first settled in what became known as Montgomery County and later pushed further into the countryside to Plumstead Township known today as Bedminster. The old Fretz homestead was situated about one mile northeast of Bedminsterville.
• Friend. Christian Meyer originally from Switzerland and later from Amsterdam sailed for Pennsylvania about 1700 or later. He located in the area of Indian Creek, in what is now Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, where he purchased 150 acres. Christian died in the early part of 1751
Christian Meyer's built his cabin using only an axe. The cabin consisted of four forked saplings driven into the ground, marking out a square in the forks were laid poles, on these poles were laid more poles as a roof, and the walls were of upright poles. There was a single opening for an entrance. One piece of furniture adorned this primitive home, which was a large Dutch clock, brought over from the old world.
• Friend. Hans Meyer settled in Upper Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was a farmer and paid quit rent. His homestead was situated on the south slope of the west branch of the Perkiomen creek. He was a member of the Mennonite Church
• Notes of Interest. 717,725 1. The History of Lancaster County written by Ellis and Evans, says: “The German Settlers followed the streams large and small. One of the first things which they did was to erect a grist and saw mill.”
Accounts of the life of these people of more than two hundred years ago give that the houses of the settlers were built of logs, the chinks daubed with clay, and the roof thatched with long grass. In the better class of dwellings the logs were hewn square so as to need no chinking; or a frame was made of heavy oak timber, some of them eighteen inches in diameter, and all mortised and braced together in a manner that would be bewildering to a carpenter of today. The sides were then covered with split oak clapboards, and the roof with split cedar shingles, fastened with large wrought iron nails. The windows consisted of two small lead frames, set with a few tiny diamond shaped panes of glass and hinged so as to open outward against the house. The house was built so as to exactly face the south and the sun “shone square in” at noon.
The doors were of oak plank doubled and nailed together with spikes arranged in the form of diamonds. They were often hung on wooden hinges and were securely fastened at night with heavy wooden cross bars.
At one end was the huge fireplace. We can picture our German grand-mothers in one of these homes; the lovely home made comforts, hand woven rugs, lovely quilts, the bare floor sanded and scoured to extreme whiteness as was the custom among the thrifty in those days, and the well prepared, though possibly for a number of years, common food.
(1) Three rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs.
(2) Double purloined beams supporting the roof.
(3) Enrty was into the kitchen (kuche) with front entry and back entrance directly opposite each other for air circulation with the fireplace on the inner wall(examination of the attic indicated that the kitchen fireplace was 14 to 16 feet wide.)
(4) The second room downstairs was the parlor (stube) this room was heated by an iron box stove.
(5) The third room (Kammer), behind the parlor, was the downstairs sleeping room for the parents and infants.
(6) Upstairs were sleeping rooms for the children. This house had three rooms upstairs.
This house is the only remaining example in this area of the 1700's Mennonite “plank” house with vertical corner post and log construction. “Plank” is used to describe logs, which were “shaped” or hewn flat on all four sides. The visible wall inside the house appears to have logs about 12 to 14 inches wide with wood pegs. The original dimensions of the house were approximately 32 feet long and 27 feet wide.
The cellar had several revealing characteristics as to the age of the structure. One was a ledge in the floor joists just under the house floor. This ledge was included to hold ''palings”. Palings were small strips of wood 4 to 6 inches wide, shaped and wrapped in clay mud, grass and then dried. They were placed with either end resting on the ledge tightly against each other. This was for insulation against cold and dampness. Mr. Bucher said this dated the house to earlier than 1770, as these palings were not used after that time. The stone cellar steps and walls gave evidence of being original to when the house was built.
Another characteristic of Swiss-German Medieval Architecture was that the cellar excavation was under the whole house except the kitchen, because the fireplace was situated there. Also, there was evidence of two “medieval type slanted openings” in the cellar walls, one on either side, for light and ventilation.
These houses were generally oriented to the sun for warmth, with the front door facing south and the parlor in the southwest corner. The Clemmer house appears to have at sometime in the past had the front and back entrances reversed, perhaps after the Lower Road was built and the family wanted the house to face the road
Valentine married Barbara Beyer, daughter of Hans Jagli Beyer and Anna Syedler, on 26 Feb 1677 in Ottenbach, Zurich, Switzerland. (Barbara Beyer was born on 11 Sep 1659 in Ottenbach, Germany and died before 1717.)
Valentine next married.