52 Ancestors #31: Frederick Stucky’s Life Was Simple if Not Easy

Four Generations

Ken Badertscher with great-grandmother Ida Stucky; mother,Agnes Badertscher and grandmother Helen Bair Kohler

For the time being, I have set aside my own family research (except for occasional timely notes).Instead  I am searching for ancestors of my husband, Kenneth Ross Badertscher. Today–his maternal grandmother’s father. Interestingly, Ken’s great-grandparents Stucky have the same first names as his grandparents Badertscher–Ida and Fred.

Frederick Stucky (1864-1946)

The theme for #52 Ancestors this week is “easy.”  What started out as an impossible tangle, shows signs of become at least easier, with the arrival in the mail of the Stucky family history.  So it isn’t easy YET.  Although Frederic Stucky himself, has a pretty straight-forward life, easy to trace, his siblings and children add lots of intrigue. My task is further complicated because I do not have the world membership at Ancestry.com, and so tracing Frederick and Ida’s roots back to Switzerland is not going to be so easy.

Frederick Stucky

Fred Stucky

When Frederick Stucky was born, he had eight older siblings, the children of John and Elizabeth Stucky, who emigrated from Switzerland some time before their oldest child, John Jr. was born in 1850. They settled in York Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where Frederick would also spend his life.

Since he was one of the youngest members of the family, Frederick was probably not as close to his much older siblings, except John Jr., who lived at home until he was in his 30s. His brother Simon was born two years after Frederick, for a total of ten offspring.

Of course not all ten of these children were at home at any one time. All but one of his sisters married quite young, and one or more died in childbirth. When he was just 11 one of his sisters died in childbirth, and his family took in her daughter.  When he was 15, another sister had a child out of wedlock, and that child also joined the household. I’ll talk more about these sisters later.

Fred was 24 when he married Ida Schneiter in 1888, who came to the U.S. from Switzerland as a toddler.Their first son, William was born in 1889, but died six years later.  Their second child, Helen, was Ken’s grandmother, Helen. I told Helen Stucky’s story here. Their last child, Gladys, born in 1915, was probably one of those mid-life surprises. Frederick was fifty at the time, and already a grandfather several times over.

Frederick Stucky may have had his hands full running his farm and worrying about his own eleven children, but from today’s perspective his life seems pretty routine.  Born and raised on a farm in York Township, he lived all his life on his own farm in the same township. He was not a soldier. He was born just after the Civil War, and was too old for World War I. He did not have economic difficulties. He worked hard an his farm thrived. He lived a peaceful life. He did not get into trouble with the law. Anything difficult in his life came from farming (those long hours!) and family.

Family was very important to the Stuckys, and Ken remembers attending Stucky reunions as a child.  In 1913, Fred and Ida celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, but this picture came later, as Gladys is in the picture, and looks about two years old which makes the photograph 1917 or 1918.

Frederick Stucky family

Stucky family Circa 1917

In 1943, Fred and Ida celebrated a 50th anniversary, and the family reunion below could have been on that occasion.  I’m guessing because of the ages of some of the children. That is Ken Badertscher in the front row wearing a cap, and he was born in 1939. The little girl beside him was born in 1940.

Stucky family and cousins

Stucky family and cousins

Note: If you are related to this family, and would like to know the names we have identified so far, or can help identify more, PLEASE get in touch!

Fred outlived most of his brothers and sisters and at four of his eleven children, dying in 1948 at the age of 83 1/2. Like so many of the Stucky family, he is buried in the Jerusalem Cemetery in New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge