The location of Theobald's birth/origination (in the `Upper Rhineland/Swabia') was an assumption that my grandfather made in his written genealogy, THE STERNERS. It is no more than a guess as far as I know. We have no actual facts to support it either way. Further, where'd he get the name of `Theobald' for our top-of-the-line individual? I don't know. However, the way I think my grandfather PROBABLY came upon the name was from family legend. Probably from his Uncle Henry Sterner. Else, he simply looked for the first occurance of the family name STERNER among the earliest passenger lists he could find. At any rate, he must have found it in the passenger list of the ship NANCY, out of Rotterdam, and berthed in the port of Philadelphia on Sept. 20, 1738 -- and where a `Theobald Sterner' had signed a couple Oaths in applying for admission to the country. Grandpa also states that he could find no details on Theobald's background, nor could he trace his life's steps AFTER arriving in Philadelphia. He did find the name `Theobald,' married and with three sons - John, Casper, and Nicholas - later in Northampton County near Allentown in 1743, five years later. But the wife's name was not known, nor whether there were other children, or when he died. But does this find support a `natural' assumption that this `Theobald' suddenly appearing in Northampton Co. must be the same one off of the NANCY? Perhaps for some; but not for this genealogist. Not good genealogy to do that. I think where Grandpa probably got the latter information about Theobald and his three sons was from the written genealogy, HISTORY OF LEHIGH COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, Charles Rhoads Roberts et al, 1914, pp. 1284-86. (No offense to Grandpa. Still appreciate and am grateful for his immense efforts.)
Does this make the whole genealogy from Theobald down a wasted work? Not necessarily. Just means that, for now, we are not sure of who is definitely above, say, Paul -- at least that I would trust with any amount of certainty. At least we have pictures of Paul that were handed down within the family.
But this is what the family should realize about the family history, to be on the safe side.
Grandpa did us a pretty great favor, I think, in painting what he could. He saved us a lot of time by recording what family legends he knew of, and recording what he DID know for certain about the family. However, the confusion stems from the point where he broke the Rule of Evidence and included the speculation and rumor, as well. And that isn't Primary OR Secondary evidence of anything.