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The Foesigs

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

The first ancestor we know of was Philip Jacob Foesig. He was born 28 November 1730 in the Rhineland-Palantinate area of Germany. He arrived in Philadelphia, PA on 30 September 1754 aboard the ship Neptune which set sail under Captain Ware from Rotterdam in the Netherlands, stopping at Cowes, England for provisions.

After arriving, he married Susanna (her last name was possibly Twist) in 1755. They would have eleven children (8 sons and 3 daughters).

Philip was naturalized on 11 September 1763 at the court in Philadelphia.

Of the number of private teachers who operated their own schools in Reading, Pennsylvania, probably the most famous was Philip. The earliest records indicate that he was the first teacher in the city. He opened a school in 1761 in a little house on the west side of 7th Street, above Court, where he continued teaching for 20 years.

At that time the educational offerings were limited to reading, spelling, writing and simple arithmetic. It was usually accompanied by moral and religious instruction. Pupils were expected to pay for their tuition and materials. The cost was usually several dollars per quarter and, in some instances, a penny a day, payable at the close of the daily session. The school term was short and ran through the late fall, winter and early spring. This left potential students free to assist their families during the more busy farming seasons.

The last name was also spelled as Fasig, Fosig, or Fösig.

The Tuesday 27 August 1805 edition of the Reading Adler newspaper listed his obituary, stating that Philip Jacob Foesig, "a school teacher for 54 years, died here last Sunday, the 24th, aged 74y9m3wks5d."


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