Egidius Mayer (1723 - living 1800), son of Johannes Mayer, was
born abroad, and died probably in Pennsylvania. He arrived at
Philadelphia at the age of 16, on September 3, 1739, with his
father, on the ship "Friendship," writing his name
Egidi. Officially he was Egidius, but informally he was called
Gideon or even Giddy; and any of the varieties may be found in
documents. He married, by 1746, Eva Barbara____,
His great-grandson, Michael Jacoby, remembered positively that Gideon had lived to the age of 104, and had married an elderly second wife when he was 100. This could have been so; but the younger generation assumed that the second marriage and his death took place in Schulkill County. And his name is not found in Schulkill County after 1800. The second marriage would have been about 1823, when the Jacoby family was moving from Schuykill Co. to Ohio. The family could well have remembered Gideon and the marriage, but we do not know where. So far any county records for Egidius' later years have not been found.
The Mayer family moved early to Tulpehochen Twp., Berks Co., Pa., and the births of Egidius' children are recorded there, in Host Church, as late as 1761. But in 1758 Gideon Mayer was taxed as the owner of property in Bern Twp., and in 1760 Geedy Meyer was in Bethel Tp. By 1769 he was a resident tax-payer in Brunswick Twp., --which is "over the Blue Mountain" and now in Schuykill Co. There the tax lists place him through 1784. On November 11, 1774, "Gideons (als Egideons)" Meyer patended 222 acres in Brunswick Tp. His house was said to be built there in 1774-5, and his land to embrace the present village of Summit Station. The stone foundations of this house were used in the later "tavern stand" built on them by the Roeders. On June 14, 1793, Egedius Moyer patended 75 acres in Manheim Tp., adjoining land he owned and land owned by Conrad Roeder. (TThe townships have been revised, and all this land lies in the present Wayne Tp.)
Egidius had a good education and a legal mind. in 1777 he served in the Revolutionary War as Court Martial Man. He was named a Justice of the Peace on July 25, 1775, and re-electd Oct 9, 1784. On May 28, 1788, he was named Judge of the Common Pleas Court.
As an important citizen Egidius drew up, in excellent handwriting, an agreement between the Lutheran and Reformed congregations of the Summer Hill Church, on March 7, 1782. He kept the account of the church's business affairs through 1788, when on Oct 11, he wrote, "We, I Egidius Meyer and Niclausz Staller as building masters held an accounnting with the deacons Hennerich Meyer, Valentine Ullerich, Adam Sweigard and Peter Brickly. We remain indebted59 pounds . . . There remain indebted to me Egidius Meyer 15 pounds. I allowed them a deduction of three pounds, after which they still owe me 12 pounds." A later apge, also in his writing, lists the costs in 1789 o a "Heating stove for the school house.
As as county official, the name of Egidius Mayer appears in a number of records. On November 13, 1783, he was one of three petitioners, at Reading, that Anthony Fund (?), "being 74 years of age and having been prompted by the Devel to steal about five yards of Linnen," be remitted the customary punishment of 10 lashes at the Public Whipping Post. On May 22, 1784, he witnessed the mortgage Bartholomew Jacoby of Pine Grove Tp made to Henry Moyer, miller. On Nov 10, 1785, he was one of 8 petitioners at Reading that Bernard Kreamer who had stolen 2 1/2 bushels of wheat should not be whipped 21 lashes at the public whipping post, because th "wife and 8 children would forever feel the infamy of such a public ignominious punishment, says he had taken the grain without felonious intention but apprehending he had some right to make use of it under a promise made him by the father of the proprietor whose tenant he was and who is since deceased."
Egidius witnessed the will of George Jacob Ulrich of Pine Grove on October 2, 1786; the will was proved Jan 30, 1787. He was administrator Dec 14, 1790, of the estate of his brother George Moyer,with George's oldest son Henry. In the 1790 census he was listed in Manheim with a household of 2 males over 16, 1 under 16, and four females.
On May 10, 1790, he officially married Adam Sonntag to Mary Elizabeth Minnich, without the consent of her father, and promptly got in troble. Conrad Minnich sued Egidius for 50 pounds in 1790; the suit came up in February, 1791, and was brought before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in the April term, 1793. "Egidius Meyer late of Berks Co. was to answer C. Minnick of a plea that he render to him 50 lbs. and whereupon Conrad by Collinson Read his attorney saith that whereas Mary Elizabeth the da. of said Conrad 10th May 1790 at Berks Co. aforesaid was a minor under 21 years nevertheless the said Egidius, the good and wholesome laws of Penna. notwithstanding, in the day and year aforesaid . . . did marry and join in marriage the said Mary Elizabeth to a certain Adam Sontag, without the due and legal publication of the names and banns of the said Mary Elizabeth and Adam Sonntag being first made, and without having a certificate of the consent of the said Conrad Minnich to the said marriage produced to him, and wholly and altogether without the agreement and consent and privisy of the said conrad, who at the time of the said marriage andf long before lived and inhatited the said county aforesaid . . . to the great damaged Conrad the father of the said Mary Elizabeth . . . be reason of which the said Egidius Meyer hath forfeited the sum of 50 lbs. to the said Conrad aforesaid." The tanscription reads: "Served defendant appears Nov. 1790 def. pleas nildebit and issue Feb 1791 returned for trial Jun Term 1793, certiora read and allowed."
On August 14, 1790, and May 13, 1791, the Orphan's Court at Reading was made up of Chas. Shoemaker, Samuel Ely, Egidius Meyer. On June 30, 1794, Henrich and Egidius Meyer witness the will of Mathias Reich of Manheim. It was proved June 22, 1795. On March 24, 2795, Egidius was a witness to the will of John Hopp of Pinegrove, the will proved March 4, 1799. Egidius was named as executor in the will of Dieter Bonig of Manheim, dated July 1, 1799. The will was proved April 8, 1800.
After this date, the name of Egidius Mayer has not been found in Schuylkill County, and his death was not reported. We may guess that he moved away, possibly apropos of legal or judicial duties, posibly to live with a married daughter whose name we do not know.
One articile about Egidius' judicial career has been printed (Biographical article about Egidius Moyer in Publications of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County, vol 6, p.3).