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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN SCHIRMER, who follows farming in Whitpain township, Montgomery county, was born in Allfields, in the duchy of Baden, Germany, on the 12th of May, 1837. His parents were Killian and Joseppa (Yeoman) Schirmer. The father was a farmer by occupation and at an early age John Schirmer became his assistant in the cultivation and improvement of the land which he operated. In the winter he was accorded the privilege of attending the parochial school in the home parish until his fourteenth year. After that his entire attention was devoted to farm work until he attained his majority. In the meantime he had mentally discussed the possibilities of the new world and reviewed the situation as he understood it, and had resolved to seek a home and fortune beyond the Atlantic. Accordingly he sailed for the United States and settled in New Jersey, where he remained for eight months. On the expiration of that period he removed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he learned the trade of shoemaking, which he followed for more than six years. Leaving that city he took up his abode in Horsham township, Montgomery county, where he purchased a small farm of ten acres, continuing its cultivation for six years. He then sold the property and bought an adjoining tract of land of twenty-three acres, which he also cultivated and improved for a period of six years. He then disposed of his second farm and purchased his present property, comprising forty acres of rich rolling land which is highly cultivable and is now splendidly improved. He has lived upon this place for twenty-six years and his labors have been effective in making it a very productive tract so that it returns to him a good income for his labors.

After coming to America Mr. Schirmer took out naturalization papers and became a citizen of the republic. He has always voted the Democratic ticket and while he has never taken an active part in politics as an officer seeker he has always felt a deep interest in movements pertaining to the general welfare and his labors have been a co-operant factor in many measures for the public good. His religious faith is that of the Catholic church.

On the 27th of January, 1861, Mr. Schirmer was united in marriage to Miss Wilhelmina Keller, a daughter of Anton and Katherine Keller, who were at that time residents of Philadelphia, but were natives of Canton Arkan, Switzerland.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schirmer have been born ten children. Mary Caroline, the eldest, born June 13, 1862, became the wife of John Ansel on the 18th of December, 1882, and they reside at North Wales, Montgomery county. John William Schirmer born December 27, 1864, married Elizabeth Haines and resides at North Wales. They had six children: Leon Haines, born October 8, 1887; Roy William, deceased; Hazel Ivy, born September 8, 1891; Verda, who died in infancy; Faguna; and Iris Edith, born July 25, 1901. Agnes Amelia Schirmer, born October 26, 1866, became the wife of Harry Irwin on the 18th of June, 1888; and resides at Burlington, New Jersey. They have two children: Agnes Wilhelmina, born March 9, 1889; and Anna Theresa, born November 21, 1891. Richard Schirmer, born December 17, 1868, married Miss Mary Myers, of West Point, Montgomery county, in July, 1894, and they now reside at North Wales. Their first child died in infancy and they now have a daughter, Margaret, who was born March 9, 1898. Clara Cecelia Schirmer, born February 13, 1870, is the wife of Isaac Elmer Manks, of Philadelphia, and their marriage, which was celebrated December 24, 1887, has been blessed with one child, John Schirmer, born April 29, 1889. Ella Josephine Schirmer, born March 24, 1873, became the wife of William Condon of Philadelphia, and they now reside in that city. Hannah Theresa Schirmer, born May 16, 1875; Wilhelmina Blandina, born September 19, 1877; George Aloysius, born April 24, 1880; and Joseph, born November 2, 1882, are all at home with their parents.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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