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From Pennsylvania to Waterloo - A Biographical History of Waterloo Township

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Jacob Eby[1]

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Sex  Male 
Eby ID  00031-2357.1 
Person ID  I7378 
Last Modified  22 Mar 2004 
 1. Theodorus Eby, b. 25 Apr 1663, Canton, Zurich, Switzerland
Group Sheet  F2311 
Notes  Eby, "The Ebys belong to the Celts, an ancient race of Asiatic origin who formerly inhabited southern, central and western Europe. During the early ages they lived in the northern part of Italy where they were brought from heathendom to the worshipping of the true and living God through the labors of the Vaudois, with whom they came in contact at a very early date. They soon became strict adherents to the Vaudois' faith. Between the years 1300 and 1320 the Ebys, with others, left Lombardy, their Italian home, crossed the Alps and, after leading a wandering life for some years, settled in Canton, Berne. Here they led a God-fearing life and were rigid in the keeping of their primitive faith and form of worship.

During the reformation they were subjected to the same persecutions as other protestants in northern Europe. After the founding of the Mennonite body in 1537 by one of the early reformers named Simon Menno, a native of Holland, the Ebys, with others, united with Simon Menno's party, now known as the Mennonites.

As early as 1683 we find in some old records that one named Jacob Eby was ordained bishop of the Mennonite body in Canton, Zurich. The State party again getting the ruling power into their hands laid the Mennonites open to persecution, and not wishing to resist the authority of the State, a number of these Mennonites left Switzerland and went to the "Palatinate" or Pfaltz, an old German division now discarded on maps. Here they resided for some time when they were again troubled by their enemies for not conforming to the laws and church of the State. The laws of the state were not so much violated by these parties, only they would not take up arms nor would they speak in favor of war but took a decided stand against all manner of war, hence their frequent abuses by the State parties.

When William Penn, by his agents, offered free homes to persons of all religious denominations, quite a number of Mennonites from Switzerland, Germany, Pfaltz, and Holland moved to America and settled in Pennsylvania.

They had his assurance that if once in Pennsylvania, they could worship God according to their views of the teaching of the Bible and the dictates of their own consciences, which they considered more than a recompense compared with their losses and privations in forsaking their native land. Among the numerous parties thus quitting their parental homes and coming to the wilds of America was Theodorus Eby."
Sources  1. [S1]   Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., Ezra E. Eby, (Berlin, Ontario, 1895), 536   [View page(s) from the 1895-96 edition]
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