Tag Archives: Tuscarawas County

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 #37 Anna Barbara Müller Lost Half Her Children

Anna Barbara Müller (Schneiter) 1839-1912

Steam-sail ship

City of Dublin, the steam-sail ship Schneiters sailed on from Antwerp to New York.

Even though I know that infant and childhood were dangerous times in earlier centuries, my heart goes out to a family that loses five children. Anna Barbara and Samuel Schneiter would have had ten children if all their children had lived to adulthood. Instead, five died as infants or young children. Anna is the great- great-grandmother of my husband Ken Badertscher.

Born in Buchholterberg (see map below) in the canton of Bern, Switzerland on June 7, 1839, Anna Barbara Müller was baptized three weeks later. In October of 1858 , just 18 1/2 years old, she marries Samuel Frederick Schneiter, 23, in the canton of Bern. Samuel had been born in Steffisburg, in the region of Thun in the same canton. To emphasize how close their towns were, here is a four-hour hike that goes through Buchholterberg and Steffisburg.

Bern is the second largest canton of Switzerland in both area and population. Most of Ken’s ancestors  came from the canton of Bern, which means that in their native country, they lived as close to each other as residents of the state of Delaware. I fact, closer than that, because they came from an area north of the lakes and not far from Thun and Bern.

The capitol is the city of Bern (Berne in French) which is also the capitol city of the country.The sprawling area includes both spectacular alpine areas and lower meadow lands where dairy farms prevail.  The Thun region centers around Lake Thun, which connects with Lake Brienz at the city of Interlaken. The names of Sigrisvil, Thun, Goldiwyl, Grosshoctetten and Steffisburg have all popped up in researching Ken’s ancestors.  All are on this map.

Swiss map

Swiss towns of Ken’s ancestors. Created with Google Maps and Awesome Screenshot.


Now that I have indulged my fascination with the geography of genealogy–back to Anna Barbara’s story.

In August of 1859, just two months after turning 19, Anna gave birth to a daughter, Alice. She and Samuel had settled in Steffisburg, but by the time their son Gregory was born in 1861, they  had moved  about 13 miles north to Grosshöchstetten. (webcam here.)

Three years later they had moved again–this time to Goldiwil/Goldywil–by the time Anna gave birth to an infant who died. They named her Rosa Emma. Within two years, Anna gave birth to another girl–this one also named Rosa. It was a custom to name another child after one who died.

The following year, Ken’s Grandmother Helen Stucky (Bair, Kohler)’s mother Ida was born.

Apparently, Samuel was having a hard time finding a good source of income, because the family moved several times, and when Ida was eighteen months old, they traveled to Antwerp, Belgium and emigrated to America–arriving in 1869. Perhaps they would have come earlier, had it not been for blockades of the Civil War.

For those who hesitate to travel with children, consider what Anna did. In the summer of 1869 she packed up all her family belongings, said goodbye to her own birth family and traveled with four children–ages 18 months, 3 years, 8 years and 10 years. [According to the ship manifest, Ida was 9 months instead of 18, which would make other records of her birth year incorrect.] The family made their way from Switzerland to Antwerp–about 450 miles through either France or Germany and then through Belgium– and then sailed with other Swiss immigrants in steerage to New York City.

Schneiter Family arrives New York.

Schneiter Family listed on passenger list, arrival June 1869

Sailing steerage would have meant a steamship, fortunately better than the older sailing ships. The sea voyage would have taken about two weeks. The City of Dublin (picture at top of article) was a steam ship equipped with sails that had been launched five years earlier. The Inman line that operated the ship reportedly treated passengers better. For instance–providing food, whereas formerly steerage passengers were expected to provide their own.

Subscribers to my free newsletter got extra information about emigrating on a steamship in steerage. If you have not yet subscribed, click on this link: http://eepurl.com/w0msD.  See the latest newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bzJ4D9

Although conditions were improved on steamships–according to one article, only one in 1000 passengers died as opposed to one in two hundred on sailing ships–the passenger manifest as a column for deaths enroute.

Passenger List

Heading of Passenger list with Schneiter family arriving in New York, 1869

Corralling kids that age on a trip like that sounds like a tough job to me! But none of the Schneiter famiy died en route.

I have not been able to find out whether they immediately moved to Ohio where Samuel worked in the mines in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. But I do know that shortly after they arrived, Anna was pregnant again, this time with a boy, William, born in 1871.  Four years later (1875) she gave birth to Franklin. Two years after that, when Anna was 35, she gave birth to her last child–Flora–born in 1877.

That would mean that by 1880, the household consisted of mother, father and three boys between 5 and 19 years old and three girls between 3 and 14.  The oldest, Alice, had married Fred Wenger by then. The record shows a total of seven children in 1880, since we know that one child died in infancy in Switzerland.

However, in the 1900 census, Anna says that she gave birth to ten children and only five were living.  In the 1880s, the two youngest children, Frank and Flora, died. That leaves five children living, that we know of, and three who have died by 1890. How does that get to be five and five in 1900? It is a mystery. She probably lost infant children while still in Switzerland.

Her husband Samuel died in 1902 in New Philadelphia, Ohio. When Anna died in 1912, her New Philadelphia obituary named five surviving children.

Mrs Anna Barbara Muller died Thursday at her home on East Front Street. [New Philadelphia, Ohio]. Three daughters and two sons survive her–Mrs. Fred Wenger, Cleveland, Mrs. Charles Murray, Canton , Mrs. Fred Stucky, Stone Creek, Godfrey Schneiter, who lives a few miles from this city and William Schneiter of this city.

Like most of the family, Ann Barbara, born in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, is buried in the cemetery in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Her joint tombstone with her husband Samuel also lists the two young children, Flora and Franklin.  But surely she left behind loved infants in Switzerland.


According to the obituary there are five children living in 1912, just as in 1890. But the thing that has me puzzled– is Mrs. Charles Murray Rosa Schneiter?

Although I can find no records of a Rosa and Charles Murray,  only Rosa can be Mrs. Charles Murray. Alice Schneiter was Mrs. Fred Wenger and Ida Schneiter was Mrs. Fred Stucky.

Although I have not found records for Rosa Schneiter (or Murray) after the 1880 census, and I assumed that she was one of the children who died before 1900. That, however, is impossible. Since Flora died in 1883, there are no other daughters that could be Mrs Murray. Until I can find a marriage record and a death record for Rosa, I have no proof positive.

How Ken is Related

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, who is the daughter of

Anna Barbara  Schneiter.

Notes on Research

U. S. Census records: 1880, Warwick Twp, Tuscarawas County, Ohio; 1900, Goshen Township, Tuscrawas County, Ohio. Obtained at Ancestry.com

New York Arrival Passenger List, 1820-1957: Year: 1869; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 313; Line: 35; List Number: 724; Ancestry.com, 2010.

Schweiz, Heiraten, 1532-1910 ,” database,Family Search.org, FHL microfilm 2,005,964,

Schweiz, Taufen, 1491-1940,” database, Samuel Schneiter, 04 Jun 1835; citing Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland. Family Search.org;(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FVDH-8P1 : accessed 4 September 2015);FHL microfilm 2,005,789.

New Philadelphia (Ohio) Democrat, 8 Feb 1912, transcribed at FindaGrave.com.

Switzerland Beerdgungen 1613-1875 database, Family Search.org, Microfilm 2.005.966

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

52 Ancestors #32 Three Sisters: The Stucky-Pfaeffli Connection

Catharine (Katie) Stucky ,1857-1877

Mary (Maria) Stucky, 1858-1929

Matilda Stucky, 1861-1908

John Pfaeffli, 1846-

As I explored the family of Helen Stucky, my husband Kenneth Ross Badertscher’s grandmother, I bumped into an interesting combination of three sisters and one man.  Two of the sisters of Helen Stucky’s father, Frederick Stucky, were married to John Pfaeffli, and another sister may have been—well–in a relationship.

Ken is related to the sisters because they are 2nd great-aunts–sisters to his great grandfather.

Catherine and John

Catherine Stucky, the fifth child (third daughter) in the family of John and Elizabeth (Roth) Stucky, was seventeen when she married the 27-year-old John Pfaeffli in December 1874. It is clear that Catherine was already pregnant when she married, as she gave birth to their first daughter, Florence Lydia Stucky in July 1875.

John was born in Switzerland in July, 1846, and arrived in the United States in 1870. He apparently came by himself. I can imagine a young man, getting familiar with a new country, and perhaps on his own for the first time in his life.  [John’s father arrived in 1876 at the age of 63, accompanied by a 36 year old woman.  In 1880 he is living with his son son and is a widow.]

John is listed as a cheesemaker on various census reports, and would have had no problem getting a job when he arrived with one of the many Swiss cheese makers in the area of Holmes and Wayne Counties, Ohio. Additionally, there were other Pfaeffle families in the area. The Swiss community would have made him welcome.  Perhaps he took advantage of the hospitality of the John Stucky family.

So, by 1875, John Pfaeffli is married and is a father. In 1876, Catherine becomes pregnant again, and in March 1877, she gives birth to another daughter. However, Catherine dies in childbirth, leaving John with two little girls. The baby is named Katie in honor of the deceased Catherine.

Mary and John

As is common in that time, John wastes no time remarrying so that he has a mother for his two girls.  And, also, not uncommon is the fact that he keeps it in the family.  In 1858, John marries the sixth child (fourth daughter) in the Stucky family, Mary (sometimes written as Maria). Like her sister before her, Mary is only 17 when she marries. John is now 32. In November 1878, Mary gives birth to John’s first son, John Alexander.

The couple goes on to have three more children, Walter, Erma and Blanch, in addition to raising Florence (also known as Flora) and Katie from John’s marriage to Mary’s sister, Catherine.

[I was slightly confused by the 1880 census.  In the York Township, Tuscarawas County schedule, Katie Pfaeffle (3 years old) is shown living with her grandparents John and Elizabeth Stucky.  She is also shown in Walnut Creek, Holmes County, with John and Mary Pfaeffle.  Both censuses were recorded in the same month.  I can only assume that Katie lived with her grandparents after her mother died, but was in the process of relocating to the home of her father when the census taker made his rounds.]

So far, there is nothing terribly out of the ordinary in this story–unless you are surprised by the early age of marriage and a pregnancy before marriage.  Since Mary’s son was born the same year as her marriage, it is possible that was another one, but I have not yet tracked down the wedding date.

Matilda and John?

But another entry in that 1880 census revealed a really interesting story. Not only is Katie Pfaeffle is listed with her grandparents but there was also  a one-year-old Edward Pfaeffle.  The mother is not identified. I knew, of course that this could not be Catherine’s child.  Later census reports show an Edward Stucky of the correct age to match up, so I saw that either his name had been changed or the census taker had made a mistake.

About the same time, I first saw the Stucky family history which clarifies that Matilda, the 7th child (fifth daughter) of the John Stucky family is the mother of Edward “Stucky”. Matilda would have been eighteen years old.

Apparently the 1880 census entry was not a mistake.  I found a birth certificate for an Edward Albert “Bafley”, b. February 1879, mother Matilda and father John Bafley. To back that assumption up, his name is Edward Albert Stucky on his tombstone. With the misspelling of Pfaeffli in so many documents, it is not a stretch to assume that John Bafley is the same John Pfaffelie who had married Matilda’s two older sisters?

If so, he was a very busy guy.

  • October 1874: Catherine gets pregnant
  • December 1874: Catherine and John marry
  • July 1875: Catherine gives birth to Florence
  • March 1877: Catherine gives birth to Katie and Catherine dies.
  • About February 1878: Mary gets pregnant
  • About May 1878:  Matilda gets pregnant
  • Some time in 1878: John marries Mary
  • November 1878: John Alexander is born to John and Mary
  • February 1879: Edward “Bafley” is born to Matilda Stucky and John “Bafley”.

Wrong Conclusion About John Pfaffeli?

I do not want to be unfair to John Pfaffeli, so I have tried to think of alternative explanations.  Here are two possibilities I came up with:

1. There really was a John Bafley as the birth certificate says, and it was the 1880 census that had the name wrong.

2.  There certainly could be other John Pfafflis–although I have not easily found any. But it was common to reuse a name, especially a common one like John, and so Catherine and Mary’s husband might have had a cousin named John.

If any of the Pfaeffli family are reading this and want to refute any part of it, I welcome any evidence.

This whole series on my husband’s family started because of pictures of the Stucky family. Wouldn’t it be lovely to see a photograph of John Pfaeffli?  He certainly must have been attractive. At least he attracted the Stucky sisters.


So what happened to single mother Matilda ( a term much kinder than her age would have used) and her out of wedlock son, Edward?  Both lived out their lives with John Stucky, and his successor, the youngest son of the family, Simon. Edward’s name was always Stucky as far as anyone in the community knew.  He may have been adopted by his grandfather or his uncle, but he is listed as grandson or nephew to head of household. Neither Matilda nor Edward every married. Nor did Simon.  Matilda is described in the family history as keeping house for her father and brother.

Matilda died in 1908. Simon died in 1940 and when Edward died in 1946 he was buried beside his uncle, their names inscribed on the same stone.


How My Husband is Related

  • Ken Badertscher is the son of
  • Agnes Badertscher, who is the daughter of
  • Helen Stucky, who is the daughter of
  • Frederick Stucky, who is the son of
  • John Stucky, who is the father of
  • Catherine Stucky, Mary Stucky and Matilda 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.
  • Census reports from 1870, York, Tuscarawas, Ohio; 1880, York, Tuscarawas, Ohio; 1880, Walnut Creek, Holmes, Ohio;1900, York, Tuscarawas, Ohio; 1900, Wayne, Tuscarawas, Ohio;  1920, York, Tuscarawas, Ohio; 1910, Franklin, Tuscarawas, Ohio; 1930, York, Tuscarawas, Ohio; 1940, York, Tuscarawas, Ohio.
  • Find A Grave.com
  • Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1962, Ancestry.com, for births of Matilda Stucky and Edward (Bafley) Stucky.
  • U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Tuscarawas; Roll: 1851247; Draft Board: 2 ,Edward Albert Stucky
  • Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health 2011 for Edward Albert Stucky, Simon Stucky, Mary Stucky.
  • New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1876; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 405; Line: 43; List Number: 878  for Ulrich Pfaeffle.