Johann Conrad Gilbert

Johann Conrad Gilbert[1, 2]

Male 1734 - 1812  (77 years)

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  • Name Johann Conrad Gilbert 
    Born 29 Apr 1734  Hoffenheim, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Berks County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Lutheran schoolteacher and fraktur artist 
    First Known Image of the Easter Bunny
    First Known Image of the Easter Bunny
    Drawn Near Orwigsburg (West Brunswick Township)
    Hand drawn and colored on laid paper (8 x 9.6 cm.), Johann Conrad Gilbert created this fractur near Orwigsburg, PA. The reverse of the Easter rabbit drawing states "Gerhort Johannes Bolich in Braunschweig Taunchib Berks Caunte" - Belongs to Johannes Bolich, Brunswick Township, Berks County. Johannes was, most likely, one of his students.
    "Pennsylvania Dutch folk belief, derived from German culture, was that the Easter rabbit laid the eggs. Gilbert's bunny carries a basket of variously colored eggs harnessed on his back. The eggs were dyed with natural sources, perhaps onion shells (brown or black), madder (red), or alder catkins (greenish yellow).
    Johannn Conrad Gilbert (1734 – 1812) was a highly acclaimed Fractur artist who lived in Orwigsburg and is buried in the historic Zion’s Red Church Cemetery. He was also a Lutheran schoolmaster who served in both Schuylkill and Berks counties. It was during his tenure as a schoolmaster near Orwigsburg that Gilbert created the earliest Easter Bunny Fraktur drawings. One such drawing is now in the collection at Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Gilbert is considered to be an innovator, if only for the little drawing of the Easter rabbit, which must be the oldest representation of that mystical character in American art. It was made for a child in Brunswick Township, so that it may come from the years 1778 - 1779 when Gilbert was teaching there. Carrying his basket of colored eggs, varied colors of them, the rabbit is prancing off to enchant a child's Easter.
    A very prolific fracture artist, Gilbert created many birth and marriage certificates, as well as general fracture drawings. Fraktur is an artistic and elaborate illuminated folk art created by the Pennsylvania Germans/Dutch, named after the Fraktur script associated with it.
    Most Fraktur art was created between 1740 and 1860. Fraktur drawings were executed in ink and/or watercolors and are found in a wide variety of forms such as birth and baptismal certificates, marriage and house blessings, book plates, and floral and figurative scenes. Common artistic motifs in Fraktur include birds (distelfinks), hearts, and tulips, as well as blackletter (Fraktur) and italic calligraphy.
    It is thought that Gilbert derived some of his design elements, including the barefoot angels, from fellow fraktur artist Daniel Schumacher. Heinrich Otto can also be seen as an influence on Gilbert, especially his use of long-necked birds and parrots.
    Died 26 Jan 1812  Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Zion's Red Church Cemetery, Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I100581  Strausstown Roots
    Last Modified 23 Aug 2009 

    Father Hans Georg Gilbert,   b. 27 Dec 1698, Hoffenheim, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Dec 1753, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Mother Anna Elizabeth Gruber,   b. 07 Jun 1702, Hoffenheim, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Sep 1766, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Married 14 Nov 1724  Hoffenheim, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F06601  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anna Elizabeth Stöltz,   b. 22 Jun 1738, Vielbach, Nordhafen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Aug 1817, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 19 Apr 1757  New Hanover Lutheran Church, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Children 
    +1. Maria Magdalena Gilbert,   b. 10 Aug 1758, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jan 1841  (Age 82 years)
    +2. Anna Catharina Gilbert,   b. 02 Sep 1760, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Dec 1840  (Age 80 years)
     3. Anna Elizabeth Gilbert,   b. 25 Aug 1762, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location
    +4. Andreas Gilbert,   b. 26 Sep 1764, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. about 1860  (Age 95 years)
     5. Johan Peter Gilbert,   b. 25 Jul 1766, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Sep 1845, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    +6. Maria Barbara Gilbert,   b. 04 Jan 1769, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Sep 1848, Stouchsburg, Marion Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    +7. Anna Maria Gilbert,   b. 23 Dec 1770, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 Feb 1856  (Age 85 years)
    +8. Maria Salome Gilbert,   b. 07 Dec 1772, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 06 Jun 1854  (Age 81 years)
     9. Christina Gilbert,   b. 29 Sep 1775, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. Anna Susanna Gilbert,   b. 21 Jul 1778
     11. Margreth Gilbert,   b. 22 Jun 1783
     12. Rosina Gilbert,   b. 22 Jun 1783, Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 23 Aug 2009 
    Family ID F30692  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart


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