Tag Archives: Kenneth Ross Badertscher

52 Ancestors: October – The Bair Family

Adam Daniel Bair

Adam Daniel Bair, Born October 30 1890

Do I have an ancestor with a birthday or anniversary in October to write about for the 52 Ancestors challenge theme this week? Three close family members–husband, brother and first grand daughter–have birthdays in October. More to the point, the man whose family I wanted to write about today was born in October. How convenient.  If you did not read the sad story of the too-short life and love of Adam Daniel Bair , please go to Helen Stucky Bair Kohler Faces a Challenge.

I am starting a series on the Bair branch of my husband’s family with a look at the family of Adam Daniel Bair, who, it so happens was born on October 30. I’ll start with his father, but the women of the family are the ones who really interest me, so you will hear about them soon.

Daniel Manbeck Bair 1850-1920

Daniel is Kenneth Ross Badertscher’s great-grandfather, the grandfather of his mother. Daniel was named for his father, and his middle name is his mother’s surname.  She was Elizabeth Manbeck, and I’ll be pursuing the Manbeck line in future weeks. Daniel Manbeck Bair was born July 3, 1850 in Tuscarawas County Ohio and that is where he spent his life.

His father died in 1869, and the young Daniel worked the family farm with his widowed mother until he married Caroline Limbach in 1874. Caroline’s parents came from Bavaria, and I will be tracing her family in the coming weeks.

When they first got married, Daniel worked as a carpenter, but he turned to farming and that was his life.

Daniel and Caroline had seven children, over the next twenty years. Adam Daniel Bair, Ken’s grandfather, was the next to youngest of the three girls and four boys. He got his middle name from his father and his first name from his father’s older brother, Adam Bair (b. 1839).

  • Cora Estella Bair (Mutti) (1875-1945)
  • Austin E. (1877-1943)
  • Bertha (1881-1961?)
  • Martin Luther Bair (1883-1963)
  • William Elmer Bair(1887-1969)
  • Adam Daniel (October 30, 1889-1919)*
  • Clara C. (1895-1967)

Adam would hardly have known is older sister Cora, since she was sixteen years older than he was and she married when he was only five years old. By the time Adam was eleven, his brothers William and Martin had married as well.

A mysterious newspaper article appears on February 28, 1895 in The Ohio Democrat (a New Philadelphia, Ohio newspaper).

Daniel Bair, a young man of this city was taken to Cleveland last week to appear before the United States court on a charge of handling peculiar money.  He was fined $75 and costs which was paid and he returned home.

Strictly speaking, Daniel Manfield Bair did not live in “this city”, since he lived on a farm in a different township.  So, could it be a different Daniel Bair? Or, with another child being born (the last child, Clara was born the year of this incident), did he get involved in a get-rich-quick-scheme? We’ll probably never know.

When the oldest son, Austin, was twenty-three (1900), he was working as a servant for another family, and by 1910 he had been married five years and had a two-year-old child of his own, so he was not around much when Adam was a child.

Bertha had her first child, Florence, in May 1898, but married Peter Beaber in 1899.  Although the 1900 census clearly states that Florence’s birth date was March 1898 and she is two years old, her birth date is changed to 1899 on the 1910 census and all records after that, including Social Security.

Bertha was a bit of a mystery to figure out. Since there is no extant 1890 census for the area, it is difficult to figure out what happened to a girl born in 1881, who could have been married before the 1900 census, the case with Bertha. However, thanks to Ancestry hints and confirmation by tracing her children’s birth records, I confirmed that Bertha did marry a Peter Bieber.

As was common with farm families in those days, the children went to school only through eighth grade at the most. Bertha only got as far as 5th grade and her husband only to 3rd. Instead, the boys worked on the farm or for neighbor families and the girls helped out at home.

The Bair boys seemed to have an entrepreneurial spirit. Austin owned a butcher shop and William was a lumber dealer, after being a coal miner and before working as a farm laborer.  Martin changed jobs from mining to trucking and was a school janitor in his later years. All of the Bair children stayed in Ohio, in Tuscarawas County, except William, who retired to Texas.

The last two children to leave the nest, Adam and Clara, married in 1912 and 1914 (Clara married on October 30, 1914, as it happens).  Daniel and Caroline’s son Adam had been the only one of their sons who set out to follow in his father’s footsteps as a farmer, but he died a year before his father, when he was only 29 years old. Their father, Daniel Manbeck Bair, died at the age of 70 in the summer of 1920.

Daniel Bair

Daniel M. Bair Tombstone 1850-1920
Caroline 1854-1836

How Ken is Related

  • Kenneth Ross Badertscher is the son of
  • Agnes Bair Badertscher, who is the daughter of
  • Adam Daniel Bair, who is the son of
  • Daniel Manfield Bair.

Research notes:

  • United States Census reports 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 (York Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio). 1930, 1940 (Dover, Ohio); 1930 (Monroe, Guernsey, Ohio), 1940 (Rural, Cameron, Texas)
  • Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health, Daniel Manbeck Bair, Cora Estella Bair, Austin Ellsworth Bair, Bertha Bair Beaber, Martin Luther Bair, Adam Daniel Bair, Clara C. Bair Weigand
  • Web: Ohio, Find A Grave Index, 1787-2012, Ancestry.com, Daniel Manbeck Bair, Cora Estella Bair Mutti, Austi Ellsworth Bair, Bertha Bair Beaber, Martin Luther Bair, Adam Daniel Bair, Clara C. Bair Weigand
  • Web: Texas, Find A Grave Index, 1761-2012, Ancestry.com William Elmer Bair
  • Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1962, Cora Estella Bair, Ancestry.com, William Elmer Bair, Clara C. Bair Weigand
  • U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: Ohio, Austin Ellsworth Bair, Martin Luther Bair, William Elmer Bair
  • U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Tuscarawas; Roll: 1851246; Draft Board: 2  Martin Luther Bair, William Elmer Bair, Adam Daniel Bair

52 Ancestors #33 – Ida Schneiter and A Houseful of Babies

Ida Schneiter (1867-1946)

Fred and Ida Stucky

Fred and Ida Stucky

Kenneth Ross Badertscher’s great-grandmother, Ida Schneiter was born in Switzerland, but came to the United States with her family before she was two years old–about 1869– so her memories of the rolling hills of the canton of Bern giving way to towering snow-covered peaks would have come only from family stories and picture postcards from family left behind.  When Ida was born, her parents Samuel and Barbara Müller Schneiter already had two children–a son and two daughters.[Note: some family trees show an Alice Schneiter, born in 1859 or 1861, but I have not seen documentation for this Alice].

The German spelling of Schneiter sometimes was changed to Schneider in America. But the change was not consistent in this family.

Swiss Roots

Even though tracing Ida’s family back to Switzerland, I have a pretty good picture of her life–both literally through family photographs and figuratively.

Samuel and Barbara both came from the region of Thun in the canton of Bern, so although I have no proof, I assume that is where they lived when they were young marrieds beginning a family. The beautiful area lies at the head of long narrow Lake Thun, and is a gateway to the mountains of the Bernese Oberland.  Occupations are varied in the area, but still at least half would have been involved in dairy farming or dairy products.

Thun, Switzerland

Thun, Switzerland photo by Delta Whiskey on Flickr

It is hard to know what drove the Schneiter family to emigrate. Their personal finances might not have kept up despite the booming economy, or they might have been spooked by the peasant revolts in the 1840s and early 1850s.

New Life in Ohio

The Schneiter family settled in Warwick Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where Samuel found work in a coal mine in the coal rich-county.  When Ida was three, a brother was born, then another brother and the last child, a sister, was born in 1878 when Ida was eleven, for a total family of six. [Note: the 1900 census reports that Ida’s mother Barbara gave birth to ten children and in that year, only five were still living, so there were infant deaths–probably in Switzerland– as well as the one death I know about in Switzerland and one of  Flora in Ohio.]

The Schneiter children that I know about:

  • ?  Alice, b. 1859 (Switzerland)
  • Godfrey b. 1861 (Switzerland)
  • Rosa Emma, B. 1864- died in infancy  (Switzerland)
  • Rosa B. 1866 (Switzerland)
  • Ida, B. 1867     (Switzerland)
  • William, B. 1871(Ohio)
  • Franklin, B. 1876 (Ohio)
  • Flora, B. 1877, Died when she was six years old (Ohio)

Some time between 1880 and 1900, Samuel had apparently saved up his money from coal mining and bought a farm some time in the last twenty years.The children were enrolled in school–more difficult for Godfrey who was 8 years old when they emigrated and already spoke German, but easy for Ida, who had probably learned to speak English along with her parents.  Ida attended through the eighth grade, the norm for children in that area. Ida would have been considered old enough to help with the younger children from the time she herself was six or seven, and it surely was difficult when her sister died and Ida was only ten.

Ida Grows Up and Gets Married

In 1888 Ida wed Frederick Stucky, whose parents had also come from Switzerland, and they settled on a dairy farm in York Township of Tuscarawas county. The following year she gave birth to the first child in what would be a total of eleven children. The second child, Helen Esther Stucky was born in 1896, and would become my husband Ken Badertscher’s grandmother.

A House Full of Girls and Boys

The family included quite a bouquet of girls–seven in all–outnumbering the four boys.  Ten were born in the eighteen year period between 1889 and 1907, but the last girl, Gladys, must have been one of those mid-life surprises, coming along in 1915 when Ida was 48 years old.

Helen Stucky

Stucky Girls with Their mother: Helen, Gertrude, Bessie, Della, Carrie, Bertha, Gladys, Ida. (Circa 1916)

The Stucky children:

  • William, Born 1889
  • Helen Esther, 1890
  • Gertrude Anola, 1892
  • Bessie Florence, 1894
  • Carl Frederick, 1895
  • Della Grace, 1898
  • Carrie Matilda, 1901
  • Bertha Isabell, 1903
  • Frank Edward 1905
  • John Henry , 1907
  • Gladys Katherine , 1915

A few months before Carl was born, the oldest son, William died at six years old.  It must have been wrenching, but the intrepid Ida would have had to focus on the baby to come and then been kept busy with four other children under six. It was the story of her life to be surrounded with children and grandchildren, as many family pictures show.

Fred and Ida Stucky family

Stucky family Circa 1916

In 1907, when John was born, I imagine that Ida looked upon him as her last child. After all, she and Fred would celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in 1913, when John was six. The house was a bit less crowded at the time of the 1910 census. Helen was already working outside the home., and Bessie also was not living at home.There is something of a mystery about where 16-year-old Bessie was in 1910. According to family records, she was married in 1917, but I can’t explain why she was not listed with the Stuckys on the census in 1910.   She probably was working for a neighbor who did not list her with their family.

It turned out that John was not to be the last of the babies in the house.

The First Grandchild and a Surprise

Agnes Bair Badertscher

Baby Agnes Bair (Badertscher), Ida’s first grandchild. Complements of Kay Bass

In 1911, Helen married and in 1913, Ida’s first grandchild, Kenneth Ross Badertscher’s mother Agnes was born to Adam and Helen Stucky Bair.

Then, surprise–In 1915, baby Gladys arrived. Ida’s youngest child was younger than her first grandchild!

Adult Children At Home

Within a few years, the Stucky household was growing rather than shrinking. Although Bessie was married, the twin tragedies of World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic affected many families in 1917-1919.  The flu hit Helen’s young husband, Adam Bair Sr., and he died in January 1919. (I told the story of Helen here.) In an age when there were few alternatives available for the unmarried woman, the pregnant Helen was fortunate to be welcomed back with her little girl to the farmhouse of her parents.  She gave birth to a son a few months later, and he was was named for his deceased father. The family lived a fairly short time with the Stuckys, but Agnes Stucky Badertscher recalled it vividly.  By the end of 1920, Helen had remarried–to Ralph Kohler, and a few months before, her sister Gertrude had also married. In their 50s, the Stuckys might be moving toward an empty nest.

Even in their 60s, according to the 1930 census, Fred and Ida still had three children at home–the adults Bertha (26) and Frank (25), and teen Gladys (16). Frank and Bessie were not a financial burden on their parents, as Bessie owned and ran a restaurant in nearby Orrville, and Frank worked in a factory.

Hard Work to the End

Finally in 1940, when they were in their 70s, Fred and Ida achieved an empty nest, although I doubt there was a lot of relief.  Fred reports working more than 50 hours a week on his farm, and I’m sure that Ida had plenty to do as well.

Stucky family and cousins

Stucky family and cousins. Early 1940’s.

When Ida died at the age of 78 in 1946, she had outlived not only the young William who died at six, but also Bessie, who died in 1938 and Della, who died in 1944. Fred lived two more years, reaching his eighties.

I love the face of this woman. She looks to me as a grandmother should look–square face soft and accepting, with her wide-set eyes with their direct gaze.  She must have been an adorable baby, because she had a kind of baby face all her life. A life filled with babies.

How Ken is Related

Four Generations

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

  • Kenneth Ross Badertscher is the son of
  • Agnes Bair Badertscher who is the daughter of
  • Helen Stucky Bair (Kohler), who is the daughter of
  • Ida Schneiter (Stucky)

Notes on Research

Descendants of John Stucky and Elizabeth Roth From the Year 1831 to 1972, by Martha Stucky, Sugarcreek Ohio, 1972. This is a faded copy in purple ink. The information was mostly gathered by contacting family members, although it seems the author also looked at some census reports. Although obviously a great deal of work went into the listing of descendants, there is no index of sources.

Federal Census reports: 1880 (Warwick, Tuscarawas, Ohio); 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 (York, Tuscarawas, Ohio).

These reports contributed enormously to all kinds of information from how much education people had, to basics of where they lived and how they were employed, when they were married, how many children had been lost in infancy, and more.

Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health, 2010

Find a Grave.com

Geni.com, source of a newspaper obituary of Ida’s Mother and other family trees with information about Ida’s family.

New Philadelphia Democrat (Ohio), obituary for Mrs. Samuel (Barbara) Schneiter, 8 Feb 1912

Grandma Badertscher’s Raisin Pie with Nuts

I’m still thinking about picnics and camping, and it just occurred to me that raisin pie would be a good picnic dessert.

Swiss raisin nut pie

Single piece of Swiss raisin nut pie.

Swiss Recipe

Move over, ancestors, Ken’s ancestors are joining us in the kitchen. In reading a family history of my husband Kenneth Ross Badertscher’s family, I came across an interesting clue to the popularity of raisin pie among Swiss Mennonite immigrants.

Raisin Pie's Ida Badertscher

Ida Badertscher

Ken’s grandmother Ida Badertscher’s father, Abraham Amstutz emigrated from the Jura Mountains of Switzerland in May 1871. He married “Lizzie” Steiner in Sonnenberg in Wayne County, Ohio in 1874. Ida was born the next year.

Ida had four great uncles.  One of those uncles, Ben Amstutz,  who had also come from Switzerland with their parents, was a cheese maker of some renown. His farm became known as “Benville.”  When Ben’s youngest daughter, Elma married Reuben Hofstetter in 1913, the details of the celebration were featured in the Dalton (Ohio) Gazette.

About 100 guests were invited to the dinner at the bride’s home in Benville and about the same number, the younger ones, for supper.  Anyone who has ever been present at that place in any kind of gatherings will know that something was doing this time.

50 raisin pies besides other kinds were baked and cake–well not quite as plenty as the silver at the building of Solomon’s temple, but a plenty.  Tropical fruits as oranges, bananas, California grapes, etc., in profusion.  The happy couple were the recipients of so many presents that two beds were completely covered.

A Family Recipe

recipe for raisin pie

Ida Badertscher recipe for Raisin-Nut Pie as written by Gertrude Badertscher about 1961

I was delighted to find this reference to raisin pie, as one of Ken’s mothers, Gertrude Badertscher (married to his uncle Monroe) gave me a recipe for raisin pie when Ken and I attended a Badertscher reunion shortly after we were married in the early 1960’s.

Ida Badertscher and Gertie Badertscher

Ida Badertscher and Gertie Badertscher, 1946

Gertie is also the source of the Badertscher banana bread recipe that Kay Badertscher wrote about earlier. But what is most exciting about this recipe is that it goes back to Ken’s grandmother–and probably to Switzerland where fresh fruit would have been hard to come by in the winter time.  Since Ida was a cousin of the bride in the story above, she might have baked a couple of those pies. Gertie wrote the recipe out for me and said:

P.S. This recipe must be at least 50 years old [making it now at least 100 years old] Grandma Badertscher was using this long before Monroe and I were married.



Other Recipes for Raisin Pie

I have found a few recipes for raisin pie, but not many, which prompted me to ask on Facebook if people grew up with raisin pie, in order to see if it had a single origin or was a regional thing. Obviously (50 pies at a wedding) it was popular among Swiss Mennonite immigrants in northern Ohio.  Most replies indicated it is generally a mid-western thing, and generally in regions with Germanic roots. To some, it is known as a funeral pie, because it was one of the traditional foods shared with a grieving family.

One person mentioned that their mother made the pie with meringue, and sure enough, I found a recipe for raisin pie with meringue in  Joy of Cooking. Another person had a recipe that is made with sour cream.  Sounds delicious, and although I can find it on the Internet, the cookbooks I own didn’t have that variety. Nor did any of them have the version of Ida Badertscher–half nuts and half raisins in a pie very similar to pecan pie–without the corn syrup.

raisin nut pie

Ida Badertscher RaisinNut Pie from top. Although many recipes call for a top crust, Ida’s did not.

Of course I never make this raisin nut pie without thinking of Gertie Badertscher and her handsome square red brick house with its huge grassy lawn at the far end of Main Street in Killbuck. And I also wonder what Ida Amstutz Badertscher would think of her pie still being baked in a 21st century kitchen.

So please join the conversation and tell us–did you grow up with raisin pie? Where from?

NOTE:  I made some revisions to my Perfect Pie Crust Recipe in January 2019. One involves folding the dough.  See the many layers in this close up the crust?

Raisin Nut Pie

Raisin pie single piece showing layers in pastry.

Grandma Badertscher’s Raisin Nut Pie

Allergy Egg, Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Region American


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups nuts (chopped coarsely)
  • 3/4 cups raisins (cooked, or soaked in hot water for 15 minutes.)
  • 9" pie shell (unbaked)


  • whipped topping


1. Beat eggs well. Slowly add sugar and flour.
2. Beat in milk and vanilla and melted butter
3. Stir in nuts and raisins
4. Pour into unbaked pie shell
5. Bake raisin nut pie at 350 degrees about 45 minutes, or until custard is set. If nuts brown too quickly, put piece of foil over pie for last 15 minutes.
6. Serve raisin nut pie with whipped topping.


Gertrude Badertscher added on the recipe card: This recipe must be at least 50 years old.  Grandma Badertscher was using this long before Monroe and I were married.