Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Rev. John G. Bear[1, 2, 3]

Male 1804 - 1894  (90 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name John G. Bear 
    Prefix Rev. 
    Born 15 May 1804  Near Preston (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Gender Male 
    Name John Baer 
    Occupation 1861  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Farmer 
    Religion 1861  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Mennonite 
    Occupation 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Farmer 
    Religion 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Mennonite 
    Religion 1881  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Mennonite 
    Eby ID Number 00003-597 
    Died 24 Dec 1894  Near Doon, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 11
    Cause: Heart Failure 
    Buried Wanner Mennonite Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 9
    Person ID I369  Generations
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2020 

    Father Rev. Martin Bear,   b. 1774, , York Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Catharine Gingrich,   b. CA 1782, , Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Mar 1849, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years) 
    Family ID F1776  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anna "Nancy" Pannabecker,   b. 23 Apr 1812, Near Hespeler, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Feb 1875, Near Preston (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married 11 Feb 1827  [10, 12
    Children 
     1. Magdalena Bear,   b. 7 Dec 1827, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 May 1846  (Age 18 years)
     2. David P. Baer,   b. 5 Dec 1828, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 May 1907, Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     3. Moses Bear,   b. 8 Feb 1831, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Mar 1831  (Age 0 years)
     4. John Bear,   b. 30 May 1832, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Feb 1908, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     5. Aaron Bear,   b. 30 Mar 1834, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Dec 1870, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
     6. Rebecca Bear,   b. 22 Feb 1836, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Feb 1898, Colborne Twp., Huron Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     7. Samuel Baer,   b. 9 Dec 1837, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1911  (Age < 73 years)
     8. Leah Bear,   b. 2 Sep 1839, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Aug 1908  (Age 68 years)
     9. Martin Bear,   b. 25 Sep 1841, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 May 1843  (Age 1 years)
     10. Cornelius Baer,   b. 11 Nov 1843, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Feb 1882, Hullet Twp., Huron Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years)
     11. Lovina Bear,   b. 1844, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     12. Abraham Bear,   b. 23 Aug 1845, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jan 1846  (Age 0 years)
     13. Benjamin Bear,   b. 2 Mar 1847, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Mar 1932  (Age 85 years)
     14. Joseph Bear,   b. 23 Apr 1853, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2020 
    Family ID F261996  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • John Bear, "was born near Preston, Ontario, May 15th, 1804. His boyhood days were spent on his father's farm. When eighteen years of age he commenced life as a builder and contractor. Many a house and barn still standing in this and adjoining counties. were erected by him between the years 1823 and 1835. He was also the possessor of a beautiful farm lying between Preston and Hespeler, now owned by Anson Groh. Here he resided until the death of his wife in 1875. Then he had his home with his youngest son, Joseph, for five years. In 1880 he went to live with his son John, who resides a little west of Doon, where he died happy in the Lord, December 24th, 1894. He was converted unto the Lord when a young man, and in 1833 he joined the Mennonite Church. On December 2nd, 1838, he was ordained as Minister of the Gospel by the late Bishop Benjamin Eby. His field of labor was to be at 'Wanners', for which locality he was ordained. In 1870-71 when the first glimmerings of dissatisfaction were observable among the Mennonites, Mr. Bear was an active worker to keep up the union (The writer heard him advocate strongly in favor of union in 1870-71-72) but the spirit of disunion was carried so far (1873-4), which ultimately caused a division into the old and new communions. Mr. Bear joined himself with the new party and was one of their first ministers. We might add in conclusion that his educational attainments were very limited. Besides the acquisition of the simple elementary branches of reading, writing, and arithmetic, he in his youth was not favored, as the country was new and the schools in their primeval state. Being possessed of a very retentive memory, he exhibited a great taste for reading and was remarkably fond of investigation. He seldom accepted anything without first giving it due consideration and careful study. What little spare time he was able to snatch from the labors of the farm, he studiously devoted to the reading of such works as came within his reach. His library was composed of books pertaining to religious and devotional works. He was well versed in the Bible and works of a religious character. On February 11th, 1827, he was married to Anna, daughter of Cornelius and Anna (Detweiler) Pannabecker. She was born near Hespeler, Waterloo County, Ontario, April 23rd, 1812, and died February 16th, 1875. They had a family of thirteen children"


      Eby, Ezra E. (1895). A biographical history of Waterloo township and other townships of the county: being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin: as also much other unpublished historical information chiefly of a local character. Berlin [Kitchener, Ont.]: [s.n.].

      _________________________________


      "Bear, John (1804-1894)

      John Bear: minister and building contractor; born 15 May 1804 near Preston, Upper Canada to Martin and Catharine (Gingrich) Bear. He was the oldest child in a family of six sons and seven daughters. On 11 February 1827 he married Anna Pannabecker (23 April 1812-16 February 1875); they had ten sons and three daughters. John died 24 December 1894.

      By vocation John Bear became a carpenter and builder. One of his projects was the Union Mennonite/Tunker school and meetinghouse of 1829 that predated the Wanner building of 1837. This building was used as a school until 1848. He did much of his construction work between 1823-1835. He also farmed between Preston and Hespeler (both now part of the city of Cambridge).

      John Bear was baptized as a member of the Mennonite Church in 1833; on 2 December 1838 he was ordained as a minister by Benjamin Eby particularly for service in the Wanner/Hagey area of the conference. He was widely read, but had only the basic primary education of the day. He was a second generation minister in the conference; his father had been one of the first persons ordained as a minister in the Waterloo region.

      When a doctrinal conflict arose in the Ontario Conference beginning in 1869, John Bear led an party of three ministers to investigate revival activities in Solomon Eby's congregation at Port Elgin, ON. Bear's group brought back a positive report in early 1870, but a division ultimately could not be averted. Bear then joined the new "Reformed Mennonites"; a group that ultimately became part of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ denomination (later known as the Evangelical Missionary Church). He served as a minister in that denomination until his death. He was ordained as an elder in that denomination on 4 March 1888 by Menno Bowman.

      Bear's departure from the Ontario Mennonite conference was very significant because of his longstanding leadership role in the conference. As leader of the investigation committee to Port Elgin he carried the respect of his fellow ministers, and his loss to the movement was keenly felt."

      Mennonite Historical Society of Canada https://www.mhsc.ca/

      _______________________________

      Wanner Mennonite Church
      Begun: 1829

      A small wooden meeting house was built in 1829 on a corner of the farm belonging to Samuel Bechtel which was located in the vicinity of the present-day regional headquarters of the Ministry of Natural Resources near the intersection of Highways 24 and 401. The site for this community meeting house, as well as a school and a burial ground, had been chosen on August 8, 1829. The land was donated by Samuel Bechtel and his wife Barbara (Baumann) on March 15, 1830. A new meeting house, of white brick, was built in 1837 on the east side of Henry Wanner's farm, somewhat north of the first meeting house. Meetings at first were held every eight weeks. The deed of land for the meeting house known as Wanner's was dated October 15, 1837. Early preachers were David Sherk, who had been ordained by Benjamin Eby in July 1837, Jacob Bretz, Jr., and Joseph Hagey.

      Joseph Hagey was ordained bishop in 1851. During his time divisions occurred in the church by a surge of enthusiasm for a Methodist form of revivalism. Solomon Eby of Port Elgin, who announced his own conversion in December 1869, was leader of a group which believed that members could be converted through participation in revival meetings. John Baer of Wanner's became associated with Solomon Eby, and was compelled to leave the church in the spring of 1874, as were Eby and his other followers. The new church movement resulted in organization conferences which culminated in the conference on March 23, 1875 at Bloomingdale where New Mennonites and Reforming (or Reformed) Mennonites joined together as United Mennonites. The United Mennonites favored revival meetings, Sunday Schools and prayer meetings, and were opposed to the use of alcohol and tobacco.

      The date of construction of the meeting house which replaced the one built in 1837 is somewhat in doubt. It is possible that a new building was erected in the early 1870s; it is also possible that the 1837 building only underwent extensive renovations at that time. There is no doubt, however, that a new brown brick church was built in 1938. An education wing was added in 1969.

      The earliest Mennonite Sunday School in North America was begun in 1842 and was held jointly by the Wanner and Hagey Meeting Houses. It was discontinued after a short time because of a division of opinion within the congregations. An attempt was made later, in the mid-1860s, to begin another Sunday School, but this, too, did not last long. Many years later, on June 10, 1896, a meeting was held to organize a Sunday School. Anson Groh was appointed superintendent..3a

      3aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

  • Sources 
    1. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 154.

    2. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 237.

    3. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 571.

    4. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 184.

    5. [S163] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Wanner Mennonite CC#6479 (formerly Waterloo Township).

    6. [S131] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1851.
      gives age and country of birth

    7. [S604] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo South - 1871, Div. 2, Pg. 16.

    8. [S178] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo South - 1881, Waterloo S. Twp. 1881 Div 3 Page 43.

    9. [S2588] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Wanner Cemetery Internet Link.
      [stone broken] In memory/ of/ John BEAR/ Born May 15, 1804/ Died Dec. 24,1894/

    10. [S2653] aaaaWaterloo Twp. 1861, Sect. 10 Page 68.

    11. [S2491] aaa Vit - ON - Death Registration, death certificate 017968 (1894).
      Name:John Brar Sr Gender:Male Age:90 Birth Date:abt 1804 Birth Place:Waterloo, Ontario Death Date:24 Dec 1894 Death Place:Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

    12. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 185.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 15 May 1804 - Near Preston (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1861 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1861 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1871 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1871 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1881 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Wanner Mennonite Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth