Johann Antoni Terz (1688-†1764) – Guild writer and chronicler

Johann Antoni Terz was born in Chur in January 1688 as the son of David Terz and Elisabeth Köhl. When his grandfather, mayor Bernhard Köhl, died, Johann Antoni was 12 years old and accompanied as one of more than 30 grandchildren the funeral procession in his honor. His older brother had attended the Collegium philosophicum and became a pastor in Chur in 17xx. Johann Antoni, like his grandfather and grandfathers, was a proud member of the shoemakers' guild and was elected as guild clerk in 1720. Johann Antoni married Johanna Heim around 1723 and had 3 children with her.

In 1728 Johann Antoni Terz began to write down a chronicle. From now on he noted down various events, which were important for him, in minute detail. Weddings, christenings, funerals of his numerous relatives, acquaintances and guild brothers. And there were many of them. He also noted current events such as elections, political changes, executions, fires, floods, storms and even when a comet was visible in the sky.

Johann Antoni kept this chronicle of several hundred pages until his death in 1764.[50] It is noteworthy that his son, Bernhard Terz (1732-†1812), who had studied theology like his uncle and had also served as pastor since 1757, continued his father's chronicle until 1799. This chronicle gives a unique insight into the life of Johann Antoni, his son Bernhard Terz and events in Chur over a large part of the 17th century.

It is not known who came into possession of this chronicle after the death of pastor Bernhard Terz. In 1880, excerpts of this chronicle were published in the feature section of the Bündner Tagblatt. However, the person who published it was not mentioned. The historian and cantonal librarian Friedrich Pieth quoted these contents in 1903 in the Bündner Monatsblatt [40]. The original chronicle was considered lost. In 2017, the Chur city archivist, Dr. Ulf Wendler, acquired this chronicle in an antiquarian bookshop. Thus, this unique chronicle came into the possession of the Chur City Archives.

Children of Johann Antoni Terz

  • Elisabeth Ursina Terz *1.4.1724-† [GVY4-PX7]
  • Johann Baptista Terz (1727-†1763), verh. mit einer Tomma. Tochter Anna Terz (1742-†)
  • Bernhard Terz (1732-†1812) 1757 Pfarrer zu Chur, heiratete ~1788 Maria Katharina Christ

Wife: Johanna Heim
Children: 3
Occupation: Guild clerk
Guild: Shoemaker


40: Aus der Chronik von Pfarrer Terz in Chur, F. Pieth, 1903, Bündnerisches Monatsblatt, , S. 272, Heft 12

55: Chronik des Zunftschreiber Johann Antoni Terz, Johann Antoni Terz, 1727-1763, StAC N159.020, S5-100,

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