52 Ancestors #39 The Germans are Coming – Bair

One thing that we KNEW about my husband’s ancestors–they were Swiss. 100% Swiss. I even said so in the first article I wrote about the Badertschers,  Swiss Immigrants Invade Ohio.

So the challenge to write about something “Unique” today had me floored.  I had several unique things I could find among my ancestors, but Ken’s? No way. Swiss Mennonites, immigrated within the 19th century, dairy farmers, large families. They were dependable.

And then I learned it was not true. He is NOT 100% Swiss. In fact, his mother’s maiden name, Bair, is not Swiss at all–it is German.  Even Ken’s sister did not know the shocking truth. And among his ancestors, that makes the Bairs unique.

Now you may want to quibble. The Swiss Badertschers and Stuckeys and Amstuz’s and Schneiter’s and Müllers and all the rest were German-speaking Swiss, so what’s the difference? For one thing, they thought of themselves as Swiss, not Geman. (Unlike, say, my Scots-Irish ancestors who moved to Ireland but always thought of themselves as Scottish.) But more importantly those census takers who recorded the language the Swiss immigrants spoke as German were wrong. They spoke Schweitzerdeutsch,which  is much more than a dialect. It is a separate language .  In fact, as that article I linked in the last sentence points out, speakers of Schweitzerdeutsch would have to go to school to learn German as a foreign language.

So, briefly, an introduction to the Bair who revealed to us that this branch of Ken’s family was unique and Ken is not 100% Swiss, and learn that there are other things that make them unique in Ken’s line. There is a long way to go on this research, And it isn’t helped by spellings of Bair, Baer, Bear and maybe even Beer. I have held it down to Bair below, although I suspect it was flexible in Germany, tending toward Baer and translated incorrectly as Bear in English. Here is what I know at the moment.

Adam Daniel Bair

Adam Daniel Bair
Jerusalem Cemetery outside of Stonecreek in Tuscarawas County, actual birth was1889.

Ken’s Grandmother Helen Stuckey (of purely Swiss roots) married a Bair.  The father of Adam Dale Bair and Agnes Bair Badertscher (Ken’s mother) was Adam Daniel Bair, born in 1889, Ohio.

The father of Adam Daniel Bair  was Daniel  Bair [Jr.], born in 1850 in Ohio.

Daniel M. Bair’s father was another Daniel Manbeck Bair [Sr.] 1802 in  Pennsylvania according to an 1860 census and in a family tree that looks very accurate so far.

But at the moment that is all the farther I can go with the Bairs.  Too many Daniel Bair/Bear/Baer and too many Abrahams , also. There are Daniel Bair/Bears in the Civil War, and one Abraham Bair that I’ve spotted in the War of 1812, but so far, no way to prove if they’re the right ones.

At least I know that Ken’s Bair generation did come from Germany since besides the probability of the Bairs immigrating from Germany, the family of Caroline LImbach, the wife of Daniel Bair Jr., are definitely from Bavaria, Germany. And the Manbeck line (mother of Daniel Manbeck) may prove to have German roots as well.

So we know that unlike the other lines we’ve been tracing, that only go back 2 or 3, this one reaches back at least 5 and perhaps more generations in this country. And besides–they are not all Swiss. How unusual in this family.

How Ken is Related

  • Kenneth Ross Badertscher is the son of
  • Agnes Badertscher who is the daughter of
  • Adam Dale Bair, who is the son of
  • Caroline Limbach and Daniel M. Bair. Caroline is the daughter of
  • Adam Limbach, from Bavaria
  • AND
  • Daniel M. Bair, is the son of
  • Daniel Manbeck Bair, who is the son of
  • Elizabeth Manbeck Bair

Notes on Research

  • United States Census, York Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio,1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920.
  • Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Ancestry.com and the Ohio Department of Health (index list)
  • Web: Ohio, Find A Grave Index, 1787-2012

There was much more research, and more is ongoing, but you will get those references as I talk about individual people.

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2 thoughts on “52 Ancestors #39 The Germans are Coming – Bair

  1. Karen

    This is all so fascinating. I hope to have more free time by Thanksgiving, so I can help with the research. In the meantime, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      And wait until you see the pictures I just discovered from the Limbach family. I realize the Bairs and associated families are not your direct line, but still fascinating. Turns out you Kohler guys are more Swiss than Ken and Kay!


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