Thursday, November 18, 2010



Bartholomew Zouberbuhler of St. Gall in Switzerland first petitioned the trustees in October of 1745 to be sent to Purysburg, South Carolina. After his father died at Purysburg, Bartholomew requested a land grant in Georgia of 500 acres, and received it. He was appointed Missionary at Savannah in the place of Thomas Bosomworth who had quitted the colony. He became Rector of Christ Church at Savannah. His mother was Catherine Barbara Listenburger and his uncle, Joannes Zouberbuhler of Faiss and Canton in Switzerland. His nephew was Jacob Waldburger of Purysburg, South Carolina. 

Rev. Zouberbuhler was sent as a replacement of Rev. Thomas Bosomworth, who deserted his post, to Christ Church Parish in Savannah, and ultimately became its Rector. He was a gentle man, sincere and hardworking, who spoke with broken English with a strong German accent. His sincere manner endeared him to his parishioners, and when he tried to return to England because of poor health, they objected. So he remained in Georgia, where he died. In 1748 he reported to the Trustees that there were only sixty-three Anglicans.The Trustees heartily approved of his work, as evidenced by supplementing his annual allowance by fifty pounds. Also, they granted large acreages to him and his two brothers, and ordered two good servants to work on the glebe lands. In July of 1749, one hundred pounds was appropriated for the rebuilding of the Savannah vicarage, which was finally finished in 1750. 

Georgia became a Royal Colony in 1752, and the minister of Christ Church had to petition the Governor and Council of the colony on certain church matters. In 1755 Zouberbuhler petitioned that a public lot in Savannah be set aside for a public school, and this was granted. On April 28, 1755, he appeared before the Council and complained that the church was in ruinous condition and needed immediate attention. 

The House of Commons attended his divine services in February of 1757 because of the anniversary of the martydom of King Charles I. The Trustees paid for a commodious pew in the north isle of his church for the accommodation of stranges in November of 1761, at the public expense. He died in Savannah December 11, 1766. 

Zouberbuhler was interested in the religious instruction of Negro slaves, who were authorized to be in the colony since 1749, and he arranged for services three times a week - on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. With his death in 1766, he left an estate of forty-three Negro slaves and 1,237 acres of land. His instructions were that a teacher was to live on the estate and teach and instruct the Negroes in Christianity, all children born the slaves were to be baptized and taught to read. The trustees were Francis Harris, James Read, John Smyth, Joseph Clay, and N. W. Jones, who hired Cornelius Winter as the catechist and teacher. 

Zouberbuhler was known to be a sincere Christian, and at his death left the poor of Christ Church Parish 50 pound Sterling. To his nephew, Jacob Waldburger of Purysburg, South Carolina, he left his books and manuscripts, as well as 1100 acres of land on an island in St. Matthew�s Parish opposite Purysburgh, 8 negroes, to have this bequest if he pays his mother, Catherina Barbara Listensburger 20 pounds Sterling yearly. Also, his servant, Amelia Alther, afflicted with palsey, resident on his plantation, was to be cared for. The husband of Amelia, Johannes Altherr, died in Savannah in 1756 and had left her fifty pounds Sterling according to their Marrriage contract, and two cows. When she died, Amelia had a small estate to bequeath to her brother, Martin Shirmeister of Kempton. (Last Will and Testament of Johannes Altherr (translated from German), dated 5 April 1755, probated 19 January 1756, pp. 14, Will Book A, Colonial Wills. Son, Joseph Altherr was left the plantation of 117 acres, two cows, and fifty pounds Sterling. There were apparently other children, however, they were not mentioned) 

To the Trustees Zouberbuhler left a tract of 1000 acres on the main branch of Turtle River in trust for the Orphan House, founded on the principles of the Church of England. His plantation was known as Beth Abram, 1237 acres located near Savannah. Uncle: Joannes Zouberbuhler of Faiss and Canton in Switzerland. Mentioned Rev. Mr. Jacobs Wettes of Trogen, dean of Canton.