I happened to mention to my aunt that I was looking for something that might tell me whether Nora’s father’s name was John Llewellyn or Llewellyn John Eberhard. He usually went by the latter, but it appeared in various records both ways. Someone with a better understanding of German heritage had told me that if I could find his baptismal record, it should settle the matter.
“I wonder if that’s what that is?” she mused. “What?” I asked. “Oh, it’s down the basement. It’s all rolled up. I don’t know what it is.” Well, I was curious by then. I asked if she’d look. She said she’d see if she could find it. Whatever it was.
She came up awhile later with two thin, brittle, rolled-up parchments. We gingerly unrolled one. Now, I’d never seen anything like it before, and neither of us can read a word of German, but it didn’t take long to figure out what it was. It was paydirt: his original baptismal certificate, or fraktur, in all its decorated glory. And she not only had the one for John Llewellyn (as it turns out he was named), but she had the one for his wife, Mary Madina Comfort, as well.
Nora was the eleventh out of sixteen Eberhard children. How the frakturs happened to go to her is a mystery to me. She never mentioned them, to my knowledge. And if I hadn’t wondered aloud about John’s name that day, I imagine they’d still be hiding out in my aunt’s basement. Just goes to show you. You never know unless you ask.
My aunt generously made full-size copies of the certificates for me. What you see here is the section with the baptismal information. I haven’t had it fully translated yet, but in my best attempt to read it (pardon my German), I believe it says:
Mr. David Eberhart
and his wife Catharina
who was born Eisenhart
had born to them a son on the 29th day
of January in the year 1868
This son was born in Upper Milford
Township Lehigh County, in
the state of Pennsylvania in North America and
on the 16th day of May in the year
1868 has been baptized
and given the name John Llewellen
The sponsors are:
Joel Schafer and his wife Polly
Needless to say, I went home happy that day!