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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ein Spiegel der Tauffe

Here is another old book I saw yesterday. It is in the rare book collection at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. The title is Ein Spiegel der Tauffe. It was written by Henry Funck, a Mennonite bishop at Franconia and was printed in 1744. The small 94-page book was written to show pouring is the scriptural mode of baptism in response to the pressure being put on the Mennonite by the Tunkers (Brethren) who insisted immersion is the only valid mode of baptism. Philadelphia's German printer, Christopher Saur, was a Tunker and refused to put his imprint on the book.
Since I can't read much German, the name written on the fly leaf means more to me than the contents of the book. It says (in English) "This book belongs to me Barbara Burkholder." The "i-n" on the end of the surname was used to indicate the feminine gender.

Amos Hoover told me about this book. He thinks it probably belonged to the immigrant widow Barbara Burkholder, my ancestor and mother of Bishop Christian Burkholder. There is nothing in the book to verify it actually was hers but it would be in the right time period for her. Even if it belonged to some other Barbara Burkholder, it is a rare and valuable book.

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