Hans Jacob Weiss

Hans Jacob Weiss, (Schlumberger, 1906).
Shoemaker and church musician

Born: 20 January 1703, Mulhouse
Died: 10 January 1784, Mulhouse

Father: Jean Gaspard Weiss, 1674-1745
Mother: Ursule Iring, dates unknown

Spouse: Martha Schlumberger, 1705-1767
Married on 27 May 1726, Mulhouse.


Temple St Etienne, Mulhouse. The church has changed since
Hans Jacob Weiss was alive - it was rebuilt in the mid 1800s
and now faces a different direction. It was rebuilt because
the Catholics built a nicer church so they had to outdo it! 
Biographical information
Also known by the French variation of his name Jean Jaques Weiss. Although he worked as a shoemaker, Hans Jacob Weiss was also a church musician, playing the tenor trombone at his church, the Temple St Etienne. This was a Protestant Reformed church in the Calvinist enclave of Mulhouse, the surrounding region being primarily Roman Catholic. He possibly was also a bell ringer in the church.

The portrait of Hans Jacob Weiss is from a book with a collection of portraits of important Mulhousiens. The original has been missing for many years, however it has apparently recently resurfaced, after being passed down through the family of his grandson Jean Jacques Weiss. I was surprised that a "lowly" shoemaker might have a portrait done, and discussed this with staff of the Musée Historique in Mulhouse. Their suggestion was that perhaps the portrait was commissioned by his son Gaspard, upon his return from England in 1783 - perhaps he wanted a portrait of his father to go with his own portraits. If this is the case, this portrait was done just before Hans Jacob's death.

Schlumberger, C. (1906). Portraits Mulhousiens de la fin du XVIe au commencement du XIXe siècle. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale.