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Charles Overfield (active circa 1830-67)

Accession Number


Creation Date



Color printed Taufschein with religious scenes, segmented block border.

Dimensions in Inches

15 3/4 x 12 1/8

Dimensions in Centimeters

40 x 31


Watercolor and ink on paper


Drawn, Hand colored, Hand lettered

Print Shop Location

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Associated Places

Bethel Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania


Birth and baptismal certificate (Geburts-und-Taufschein)


tablets, columns, men, clouds

Associated Names

Peter Losz, Lussetta Gluck, Herrietta, Johannes Stein


Please contact the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College for permissions which fall outside of educational fair use.


Ursinus College Library Special Collections and the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art


Pennsylvania Folklife Society


Fraktur lettering, German script




Fern sey mein Leben jederzeit/Von aller Ungerechtigkeit./Wie konnt’ ich sonst dein jünger seyn,/Und deiner Gnade, Gott, mich freu’n.

Wer seines Nächsten Rechte kränkt,/Auf seinen Schaden boshaft denkt,/Verletzet des Gewissens Pflicht,/Und erht Dich, Gott der Liebe, nicht./

Wer Andern Schaden hat gethan,/Und irgend ihn erstatten kann,/Doch deß sich weigert, findet nicht/Vor Dir Erbarmen im Gericht./

Er kann nicht wahre Buße thun;/Dein Segen wird nicht auf ihm ruhn./Eh’er das Böse, das er that,/Nach Möglichkeit ersetzet hat./

Geburts und Tauf=Schein/

Diesen beiden Ehegatten,/Als: Peter Losz und seiner Ehefrau/Lussetta eine geborene Glücken/ist eine Tochter zur Welt geboren, den 28ten/Tag im August im Jahr unseres Herrn, 1852/Dieses Kind ist geboren in Bethel Townsch/in Lebanon Caunty, im Staat/Pennsylvania in Nord=Amerika, und ist getauft/worden vom Hrn. Pfarrer Johanes Stein/und erhielt den Namen Henrietta Losz/Die Taufzeugen waren: die Mutter selber

Ich bin getauft auf deinem Namen,/Gott Vater, Sohn und heil’ger Geist!/Ich bin gezählt zu deinem Saamen,/Zum Volk, das Dir geheiligt heißt./Ich bin in Christum eingesenkt,/Ich bin mit seinem Geist beschenkt.

Du hast zu deinem Kind und Erben,/Mein lieber Vater, mich erklärt;/Du hast die Frucht von deinem Sterben,/Mein treuer Heiland, mir gewährt;/Du willst, mein Leben Gott zu weih’n,/Geist Gottes! Selbst mein Beistand seyn!

Mein treur Gott, auf deiner Seite/Bleibt dieser Bund wohl fests steh’n./Wenn aber ich ihn überschreite,/So laß mich nicht verloren geh’n!/Nimm mich, dein Kind, in Gnade an,/Wenn ich hab’ einen Fall gethan.

Nicht Habsucht und auch Armuth nicht,/Verleite mich von meiner Pflicht!/Gieb, daß ich meiner Pflicht getreu/Bei jedem meiner Schritte sei.

Wohl dem, O Gott! der dieß bedenkt,/Und nicht durch Unrecht Andre Kränkt!/Du bist gerecht, dies sei auch ich;/In diesem Vorsatz stärke mich.

Gedruckt und zu haben bei Lutz & Scheffer-Harrisburg.


Distant be my life every time from all injustice. How can I otherwise be your child and by your mercy, God, be rejoiced.

Who his neighbor’s rights injures, on his [own] injuries angrily thinks, injures the duty of the conscience, and honors you, God of Love, not.

Who has done others harm, and in anyway can reimburse him, [and] still of that refuses, finds not pity before You [God] in the [Last] Judgement.

He cannot do true repentance, your blessing will not rest on him, Rather the bad, that he did, possibility has replaced that.

Birth and Baptismal Certificate.

To both of these spouses, Peter Losz and his legal wife Lussetta a born Glück is a daughter to the world born, the 28th Day of August in the year of our Lord, 1852. This child was born in Bethel Township in Lebanon County, in the state of Pennsylvania in North America, and was baptized by Mister Pastor Johanes Stein and received the name Henrietta Losz. The baptismal sponsors were the mother herself.

I was baptized in your name…

You have to your child and heir, my dear father, explained myself; You have the fruit of your death, my true Savior, kept for me. You want, to consecrate my life to God, Spirit of God! Be Yourself my aid!

My true God, on your side this union remains well solidly standing. But when I step over [out of] it, so let me not be lost! Take me, your child, into mercy, when I have made a fall.

No greed and also no poverty, tempts me from my duty! Grant, that I be true to my duty at every one of my steps.

Bless him, oh God! Who this considers, and not through injustice other injures! You are just, this would I also be, in this intention strengthen me.

Printed and for sale by Lutz and Scheffer-Harrisburg.


Scrivener Charles Overfield [Karl Überfeldt] may have made many certificates for Mennonite families, as many of the certificates he filled out lack baptism data. Lutz and Scheffer copied the engraved title page of the 1611 King James Bible for the inner frame.



Bibliographical Reference

Stopp #404.2.2


Stopp, Klaus. The Printed Birth and Baptismal Certificates of the German Americans. 6 vols. (Mainz, Germany, and East Berlin, Pa.: privately published, 1997–99). vol. 3, pp. 85, 96.

File Format





fraktur, Pennsylvania German, Pennsylvania Dutch, folk art, illuminated manuscript, taufschein


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