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Johann George Tinius Minister



This is a partial translation of an Autobiography that Johann Georg wrote in 1809. After he served his prison term he could not go back to his original village as the people would not let him. He went to live with distant relatives in the villiage of Greabendorf  near Konigs Wusterhausen where our ancestors lived.                                              

I Johann G. Tinius am the 2 son of 9 children of a marriage, of which still 6 are alive. I was born 22 Oct. 1764 in a country house with a Mill by the Niederlausishen Section that is on the Seite of Sachsen. My father Johann Christian was the overseer for the King of Preussen Sheep herds of Buchholz and Krausnigk where he stayed in the summer. He was originally from the Village Kimmeritz nehr Luckau, in der Niederlausiss, where his father was a Shepard and has brung our name first to Germany.

In the Spanish Successions war he a seven year old boy was found on a morning crying and wandering around on the big Heerstreet by Ba- where there were regal- passing Marches on a morning on the side in a wheat field in a military habit. He said that in the night there was a big scandal caused by a enemy attack, that he was hiding in the wheat field but when morning came everybody was disappeared. He did know his name and knew that his father was riding a white horse with a sward and was the Regiment Commandant. More direct news was missing. The name is Roman origin with examples like B. Atinius, Titinius, or Batinius:. The actual name is found in Russas Tinius who under Roman Emperors a was against the parther lead. Now since my Grandfathers time there are many alike names in the places by Berlin and in Kurkreise. They all came from this first Stammfather (Family tree). My mother is born with the name Gnadig. Out of the Prussian Sheep farms Teuro by Buchholz, on the border to Neiderlautsisch, one hour from my birthplace where her father was employed as sheep herder foreman and lived to a high age of 98 years as a honorable senior that I know and died in the year 1786.

Like Simeon he had given me a blessing before his death and a prophesy. His words have stayed unforgettable for me and gave my spirit an direction. I will here say them in his memorial. “Don’t worry dear children” he said true you are poor, but you will have much good. You will fear God, avoid sin and do good, and you my son this is where he took my hand- you have a heavy task chosen and want to be a shepard of the Heard of Jesus. Tell the worth of the truth right; you will have to suffer much but don’t run when the wolf comes but fight for the truth to the death then God will fight for you. Live well, and think about me.

In my youth, since his children already was grown up, my parents had brung me to him. He wanted to raise me very religious so I would learn reading and praying real soon. The folks in the house and his grown sons spoiled the fun for the good old man. The started blowing their horns, when I was in the room praying. They told me the black man would take me, if I would continue to learn how to pray, he already called for me, they said. I became very frightened and I was shivering while I was praying, and then I just stopped.

The grandfather a very soft spoken man finely told my parents to pick me up, because I was not of good spirit and would not pray with him or learn the letters. I was 8 years then when my father picked me up in his wagon. He was at that time in wasserburg by Krausigk. I was raised there til age 13. At my arrival my mother took me aside and said a prayer for me to repeat. When I did not do it, she whipped me with a stick until I prayed and learned the letters. within 4 weeks I learned all the children prayers and the reading, so that in the following winter I was reading the whole Bible and did not want to stop.

Our whole reading material consisted of a Bible, a mail—magazine “Hinds True Christianity” Luthers Kathecismus and two song books. In the village was no school. The other children went an hour far to Krausnigk, where there was a professional school and a church belonging to the town of Buchholz. My father raised us like he was raised. His father had died before he knes him and as a child with surrounded with strangers he educated himself. So now his children had to learn at home instead of going to a bad school and waist time running around.

It went fast for us. I the oldest under the inspection of my mother had to teach the others all that I had learned that means finish reading and the main things beside many prayers and songs and sayings. After getting up was a training; washing, combing

hair, and a half hour of praying before table besides morning songs, only then it got to breakfasting. The same happened on evenings before the going to sleep. The table prayers were kind of long and ceremonial together with the helpers and maids. With them we had the same meal, bread, vegetables and water was our nourishment, and a hard bed of straw was supposed to raise us hard, wine, liquor, beer, coffee, sugar, and spices did not come in the house. Socializing was not allowed. My father liked strangers. He took in travelers without pay. Von that they had like living newspapers to tell about the world.

All day we were according to our strength occupied. A fear of God, Strife for industrious, and moderation were our daily visitors. Father and Mother went to church on Sundays, but we never saw a teacher of priest until we were 12 years old — like the example of Jesus. we stayed nature children beside the preciousness of the belief, we were not afraid of the darkness or ghost because we never heard stories of that, and the devil they say is a bad ghost that can’t harm a religious person. All there circumstances have made a lasting impression on me. Never have I heard a mean word from my parents of a bad example. Honesty at the most, getting along to the end. Straightness and truthfulness, business and patience besides a force less fear of God, will be a everlasting gift from them. More they could not give to us; the family was strong the income hardly enough, and my father did not receive what he had coming from the community. So much for my childhood, to mention that all my siblings were strong and healthy but I was weak and suffered much with fever, probably the result of the overwhelming care and overfeeding from my Grandfather until the 8th year of my life.

In the year of 1777 at Machaelis my parents to Staako in the Sachische church in Oderin. where I was baptized. Here was I supposed to go to communion during the winter and to conformation. My mother took me to the local priest Mr M. Starke. The other children had already been in the preparation class for four weeks and he had his doubts if I could catch up. I without fear and bashfulness, because I had never meet any superior person, volunteered right away to learn the whole piece (it was out of the to me totally unknown Berliner Katechismas) in a few hours if I could be alone in another room. The Mr Magister looked at me with a smile and said: my son if you can only learn a half of the page tody, then you have to really learn. It was past noon. I took the book and went to al lonely place, came back at five ‘0’ clock repeated all the pages as far as the other children had gotten without problem.

This moment was destined to the future of my career. The priest a saintly man, who in everything saw a finger print of God was in astonishment and said to my mother, who was waiting and I am sure praying to the Lord, “your son is chosen by God, he is meant to Shepard herds of humans!” My mother was stunned and said, “We can not give our son any money for studies and we desperately need him at home. My father was even more against because he had a dislike against anything high class. Only Mr. M. Starke did not give up and insured my parents it would not cost them a penny for my education; many poor are studing. So my parents left it up to me, and I believed my new leader, stayed two years with him learned from him some writing and the foundation of the Latin Language. He brought me on the 20th September 1779 to Luckau to the school to his only son Adolph who I, as his father said, through my enthusiasms excited in learning. For that I got free room and bed. My father accompanied me and bought me a Bible for 12 Groshen, a still precious present to me.

The young strong walked in the next year to Lubben and from there to Cotbus to these schools. Now I felt lost! Because her father could no longer support me because his son needed a lot and he did not have that much money. In the meanwhile I got through him acquainted with the widow Mrs. Kammerinn Bottcher, who was touched by my life story. She took me in her house and treated me like her child. She did it mainly because of the influence of her only daughter who was God blessed in good since and good heart. I have to thank her for my experience of city life and world For seven years I enjoyed room, wash, and breakfast in spite of the fact that those two precious souls were poor themselves.

Because of my voice in chore singing my stay in Discant for seven years I could join the conservatory, where seven students daily had free food and also yearly free clothes and necessary books, besides that I received free meals from Lehrerstaff and citizens. The first was Mr,Gleitsman Lange, a true christen, and a truly good man from whom I beside other good deeds for nine and one half years received a meal weekly. The same with the with the sports money controller Mr Miehie in Berlin, at his wifes sister in Luckau— Dinner- and afterher dear husband, Mr. Stadtchinurgus Roth was keeping it up. The 3 free meals gave me Mr. Citywriter Curdes until the end. To mention all the good — deiters forbids me the time. My teachers were the two professors Mr. Schmerbauch, who died and after him Mr M. Wolf from Leipzig and professor Furstenhaupt. After that Professor at the city college at Naumburg; man that mor for there students did than they been recognized by the world. They gave me mental and physical food and deserve my everlasting praise.

At school I had, because of my changing lifestyle with food and drink my straineuos drive of accomplishment and a lot of sitting an unending fight with sickness. In the year of 1784 I became deadly sick. After that my nature changed and I started to grow, I lost my Tenor and started singing Baritone I started to direct the choir. It was then the New Year singing in the country mainly that 6 or 7 of the best singers with instrumental and vocal musik from Christmas to the end of January traveled around as far as they could. Afterwards they split up the earnings under each other. I went with them 8 times and gained much worldly experience there was much temptation of all kinds. I was guarded from home upbringing against the evil. I also had to be good so my success did not turn away from me. I had no hope inside for the support of the University.

Mr. Pastor Finkert, by Dahme, gave me hope if I would touter his only son. I did that and moved out ot the house of my good friend to his house. But on Easter 1789 that boy of 17 years got sick. I had to rent a lodge in Wittenberg for him and me. I had just moved there when I got the message that he had died. With him dead my hope and I only kept the quarter until Michaelis.

Full of worries and early awakened I went for the first time to Brasen Garden. By the town, and there I found an unknown man beside a student. It was the hausemen of Mr Grebel, the master shoe maker Beutner with his son. Our conversation led to me telling my life story and my position right now. In the afternoon I received from this man a note with a invitation of a free room from Mr. D. Grebel in his house. Blessing to this man! I was led by God this morning to go to this garden where this man not even twice a year came. The court preacher D. Reinhard also at the time Bishop of Wittenberg told me to apply for a scholarship. He gave me a small scholarship so I could by some wood for my free room, The Grand court scholarship came for Christmas and now I had 12 Groshen weekly. For breakfast I often dipped a piece of dry bread in a jar of water.

The next year I received the stipendium of the second rank, 40 Fl. With reatest thankfulness as this was the only one after waisting my effort of applying at the University. In the meantime two of my sponsors in Lukkau, Mr.Gleidsmann Lange and from Lepzig, Hausorgenizer a very earnest human friend collected 20 Thaler and sent it to me, for what I will be forever greatfull!

I devoted all my time now on my studies. I tried to do to much working day and night and started to get weak and sickly. After I consulted with the doctor he suggested to go to the country and stop studying for a while because my chest pain etc. could lead to Tuberculoses. I did not like to stop everything in the middle of my plans but it was a matter of life or death. Thinking where to turn to I received a letter from young Mr. Starke, who let me in Lukkau and studied in Wittenberg and had taken a position of a town priest. He suggested a condition with by Mr. Pachter Dabo in Casel. So everything fell in place.

Sadly I left in the winter 1791 Wittenberg where I had free collage from so many honorable man and teachers with the intention to return after my health was improved.

Although everything changed in Wittenberg all the circumstances, also my parents started to get old so I decided to help them with my income. After all ther suffering in their life they deserved to live the rest of their lives in peace. God let me enjoy doing this in their high age.

I lived in Wittenberg a quiet life. There names they give such students as me, not very respected by the Gentlemen of the World. All do I noticed that the source of this belittling is not the seclusion as long as other sources are not lacking, as embarrassing good appearance, good head and behaving towards the brothers. Mere respect is gained by this than the participating of social parties and events. Poverty is the best excuse; the thought is, he is a poor guy and cannot keep step, this triggers pettiness and even earns respect. I noticed that the high professors o the University watch was very educated and busy did not participate, such as Schrockh, Tittmann, Reinhard and many others.

My most loved studies was history of all kinds, philosophy, moral; exercised in the holy and profaned writers. In my new job in Casel I found 3 sons, they were grown up wild. The father was an educated man. He gave me the unlimited power over his children, as he was convinced that I knew how to raise children. Nobody in the nouse could interfere, especially not the mother. I was supposed to use my knowledge and conscience. My pay was good 50 Thaler and everything free. Here started to be a child again and came down from my high philosophical hight. The walks twice daily made my health stronger. The pastor of the town was sick often and I did the preaching for him. I preached with the Bible and spoke from my heart and my experiences. The priest of the town offered me the substitution in a packed with his daughter. I did not think that was proper. Now the rejection did not set good with the father and he did not like me anymore.

I decided to do my exam. It was in Dresden on Oct. 4, 1793 when I got my examen. There was no opening in Dresden and I only brought promises back to Casel. Around Christmas the local priest died, but the spot already was promised to Mr. M. Winzer. The 5 districts wanted me for the job but the Mr. M. Winzer insisted on his given promise. They then wanted to do it with force. I came without proof in suspicion of starting this. I wrote a letter to a good friend in Dresten to find me a job in Dresten as I wanted to leave Casel in a hurry.

A letter came: If I don’t smoke tobacco I should come to Dresden right away and fill a good job with Mr. Oberconsisatorial secretary and Protonotarius Roch.  I don’t smoke tobacco, so fast in two days I was in Dresden in the beginning of the year 1794. Some message carriers form the districts followed me and told me to wait until the new priest dies, because he does not look healthy. I did not see any hope for that.

This PDF file is a autobiography of Minister Tinius writen in 1809 with comments by Berlag von Rchard Beibdad 1924

Tiniuis Merkwuerdges

This PDF file is the same autobiograph of Minsister Tinius but commenst are writen by Herbert Heckmann  1981



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