Tag Archives: Ken Badertscher

52 Ancestors #34 Samuel Frederich Schneiter, A Miner in Farm Country

Samuel Frederich Schneiter (1835-1902)

Samuel Schneiter, my husband Kenneth Ross Badertscher’s 2nd great grandfather, made the same journey that so many of Ken’s ancestors made–from Switzerland to the dairy farm country of Ohio. But unlike most of his contemporaries, Samuel worked in coal mines in Tuscarawas County, Ohio instead of making cheese and butter on a dairy farm.

Here’s a map showing the Ohio Counties where most of the Swiss immigrants in Ken’s family tree settled–Tuscarawas, Wayne and Holmes; and coincidentally, also Holmes and Coschocton counties where my own ancestors mostly settled.

Ohio Counties

Ohio Counties Labeled, from Wikimedia Commons

Had he made Swiss cheese, Samuel would have fit neatly into the suggested theme for this week’s 52 Ancestor challenge–non-population census.  I have used those non-population census reports that give information on farms and industry among other things in the past. I dipped into them liberally while I was exploring my mother’s roots, [revised] but the one record I found for a Frederick Stucky, was not the right age or the right county.

[revised]So I have not much on Ken’s great-grandmother Ida Schneiter Stucky‘s father, Samuel Schneiter. (Ida and Fred were the parents of Ken’s grandmother, Helen Stucky, who I have also written about.)

Even a small amount of information about a female line of any family is exciting, however.

Here’s what I know thus far about Ida Schneiter Stucky’s father.  He was born in a small town called Steffisburg in the District of Thun, Region of Bern, in Switzerland in 1835. He was baptized in Thun.

When he was twenty-three, he married Anna Barbara Müller in Switzerland, and they had seven children, three of whom died before they made the voyage to American in 1869.  Four children, ages 2, 3, 7,  and 10 came with them on the journey, including Ken’s great-grandmother, Ida, Schneiter (Stucky) who was the youngest.

Among the things they had to get used to in the new country was the fact that Englishers (as the Swiss called anyone who spoke native English) sometimes insisted on spelling their name Schneider or Snyder instead of Schneiter.

As far as I can tell, they were missed by the 1870 census, perhaps enroute to their new home in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.  But I have no proof as to where they were between 1869 and 1880. I do know that they kept producing offspring, two sons and a daughter between 1870 and 1877. However, the two younger children died in childhood, so by the 1900 census, they had five living children. Samuel became a United States citizen in 1883.

One family tree on the Internet says that Samuel was a miller and baker in Switzerland, but I have no proof of that. At any rate, he took a job in the coal mines of Warwick Township,  Tuscarawas County. Since there was no coal mining in the area he came from in Switzerland, this tells me that he was willing to work at any job, even the back-breaking work of mining, in order to provide for his growing family.

I have to assume, also, that Samuel’s desire was to live a life more like the one he lived in Switzerland in dairy farming country, because by 1900, when he and his wife were in their sixties, they owned a farm in Goshen Township, next to Warwick Township where they had lived previously in Tuscarawas County.

Tuscarawas County, Ohio

Townships in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, showing Warwick County where the Schneiters first lived, Goshen County where they lived in 1900 and New Philadelphia, where they are buried. York County, on the left, is where Ida Schneiter later lived with her husband Frederick Stucky.

I hope that Samuel was able to buy and enjoy that farm much earlier than 1900, but I have not checked the property records.  At any rate, two years after that census, Samuel and Anna had moved to the county seat of New Philadelphia where he died at 67 years old. Samuel was buried in the East Fair Street Cemetery in New Philadelphia. He was buried beside a son and daughter who died before him, and when Anna passed away ten years later, she joined him under this lovely tombstone.

Schneiter Tomstone

Schneiter Family tombstone in New Philadelphia, Ohio

How Ken is Related

  • Kenneth Ross Badertscher is the son of
  • Agnes Bair Badertscher, who is the daughter of
  • Helen Stucky Bair, who is the daughter of
  • Ida Schneiter Stucky, who is the daughter of
  • Samuel Frederich Schneiter

Notes on Research

United States Federal Census 1880, Warwick Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio; 1900, Goshen Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

Swiss Birth and Marriage Records

Find a Grave.com


Swiss Croque Monsieur

Last week in the “kitchen” section of Ancestors in Aprons, I listed some of my favorite Swiss foods and gave you a recipe for an unusual way to use Swiss cheese.  Here’s another Swiss cheese recipe–super simple and delicious.

When my husband Ken and I traveled in Switzerland with two of our sons in the early 1980s, we visited several places that Ken’s ancestors came from. One of our journeys was to the little town of Gruyere, which as far as I know what not the home of any of his family.

Gruyere, Switzerland

Gruyere, Switzerland

As we waited for the bus to return to the valley from this mountain town known for cheese, we stopped in a tiny cafe to feed our always-hungry teens.  There we saw a board with the day’s special listed–Croque Monsieur.  That was totally new to us, so we took a look at what was coming out of the kitchen and ordered Croque Monsieurs all around.

Really, it is just a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, but the combo of just the right bread, the right cheese, lots of butter and a dab of mustard made it an instant favorite in our family.

While we were traveling through small towns in the Canton of Bern, where many of Ken’s ancestors who later came to America were born and married, I fell in love with a lovely hand-painted black pottery and brought just two pieces back with me.

So here is our favorite sandwich sitting on my favorite souvenir from Switzerland.

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur on Swiss pottery plate

Even though Ken is descended from his grandmother Helen Stucky’s first husband–a Bair–it was a real kick to read the signature of the pottery artist–a Kohler (the family name of Helen’s second husband.)

Swiss black pottery

Kohler signature on Swiss black pottery.

From a site called 20th century forum:

There were two different potteries in Biel named Kohler.

1. Kohler Biel, these are the two brothers Stefan and Markus Kohler. The pottery worked to 1995 inclusive.

2. Hugo Kohler, he was the son of the ceramic artist Fritz Kohler. Hugo Kohler was already working in the ’50s. 

There’s a second piece featured in the recipe box below.

Swiss Croque Monsieur


  • 8 Slices of bread (A country-style white is preferred)
  • Butter
  • Mustard (Dijon or German-style)
  • 8 medium slices Ham
  • 16 thin slices Cheese (Emmenthaler Swiss or Gouda)


1. Heat griddle or heavy skillet brushed with oil or oil/butter combination.
2. Spread softened butter on one side of slice of bread.
3. Put the butter-side down on a plate to assemble the sandwich.
4. Spread a thin layer of mustard on another slice of bread.
5. Layer cheese, then ham, then more cheese on the first slice of bread and top with the mustard side down on top. Press firmly together. Butter outside of second slice. Repeat with other bread, ham and cheese.
6. Brown over a low-medium heat, so that the cheese will melt and the bread become a golden brown--but not burnt.
7. Slice each Croque Monsieur sandwich diagonally, and serve.

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.