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The Nafzger Heritage News

The Nafzger Heritage News

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Nafzger Heritage News Vol XVI No 2
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VOL. XVt, NoQ 2	S ISSUE	1987
Some recent letters to theNews have asked general questions concerning our heritage. Where did our ances tors ltve in Europe? What do we know for certain about all the various N immigrants who came to the US in the 18th and 19th centuries? And were they related
Although new information is continuously surfacing concerning our ancestors, we still have more questions than answers. Nonetheless we will try to give a thumb- nail sketch of the N’s, an abbreviated from where and when they came
The earliest mention to date of the family name MJ\FFZGER Is from parchinents written in the middle of the 15th century (see News Fall Issue, l983) German archival materials from the State of Wurttemburg written in the 15th and 16th centuries frequently refer to the Ms of Geislingen. In addition to the parchments, there are bap tismal and marriage records beginning in 1558. Geislingen is a small llage located at the foothill of the Schwabish Alps about 20 miles northwest from Ulm, near the Dan- ube River (Please refer to the map we have drawn for a general impression of where Geislingen and other place names mentioned are located
Sometime during the first decade of the 17th century Naffzgers of Wurttemburg moved to Switzerland settled in the Kanton of Bern In 1621 Zacharias Naffzger was made a free citizen (a Burger) of the city of Thun In 1624 Ulrich N. is mentioned in the records of Steffisburg, in 1628 Meichoir N resided at Uetendorf, and in 1635 Ludwig N was at Thun Ho these men were related is uncertain, however the family line of Ueten dorf still survives (see the News Winter Issue, 1983 and Spring Issue, l984) Th S is a city about 25 miles south ofBern, while Steffisburg and Uetendorf are villages near Thun (see map)
The next migration of the Naffzgers occurred durinq the first decases of the 18th century. Ironically one N family from Geislingen and some of the Swiss N’s both moved into the northern Alsace/southern Palatinate region on the French/German border The Geislingen branch moved first to Wissembourg, a city in northeastern most Alsace, France Later, they moved south to the city ofNeuf
The Swiss Naffzigers settled prior to 1715 just north of Wissenibourg near the Barbelstein Castle in southeastern Palatinate (Pfalz in German) Later they moved to Essingen, a village just north from there This branch of the family was Amish and provided the Arnish with at least one of the more noteworthy elders of the period Hans Naffziger. For sundry reasons, Amish persecution notwithstanding, Naffziger began to leave the region Some moved south into the Alsace of FRance. Others moved north into the Kingdoms of Hesse- and Hesse- Still others went east to the King- doni of Bavaria (please refer to the map). All these areas were homelands of eventual America Ns, But because they arrived in the US at varying periods in Mierica history, they settled in different areas. Usually these immigrant settlers homesteaded where land was the cheapest. And in this case, it meant on the edge of the frontier about 1800 this was in Pennsylvania, between 1800 to 1830 it was in Ohio, followed by Indiana, in the 1840’s and 50’s it was Illinois, and so on,
The earliest America N was Ulrich Naf-fzger who came in 1741 (see News Summer Issue, 1985). Ulrich was probably from Steinseltz, a village in northern Alsace and a descendant of the Essingen Naffzigers. He settled in Lancaster county, PA. Some of the N’s who remained in the French Alsace came to the US about a century later, in the
continued on page four
120 Edgewood Drive
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We re happy to report that the latest member of the N f to ni a substant contribution to our genealogy is Eldon 1’4affziger of 1 North Carolina He is doing a very thorough job of updating the line, making additions and corrections to the NafzIgerft lines of Ueberau, Germany 1 addition to this good news, Eldon reports that he has a computer and he is puttthg hi’s information into the computer,. He encloses a nice example of the mat-’ eri’al that he is retrieving from the computer His computerized list of descendants is impressive We will have to contact him to find out the details to this fine piece:of work
The following arttcle was sent to us by Dale Nofzinaer of
was titled ‘ of D Raber and Mary Nofziger” but the
ide was not listed We are reprinting the article as we
Dan B Raber served the Plainview Mennonite Church as a minis for nearly twenty ye begthni,ng in l9ll he was born the SQfl of Daniel and Susanna Raber in Lee County, Iowa May 23, 1858 Fte grew to rnarthood in f in Hickory County, Missouri He grew to be a, tall, intelligent young man, always seeking as much schooling as possible He joined the t1ennon Church at the age of twent faithful throughout the rernai of his life He was married in 1883 to MARY NAFSTNGER of near Archbolçl. Ohio. Following thetr’ñ theymade thetr home n Missouri. To this union were born six children, Emery, Ernest, Charles, Eltzabeth, Franklin, and Roy Franklin fol lowed in his father footsteps and is a minister at the Mennonite Mission in Kansas.
J:n 1890 a rntntster was needed for the church which the Rabers attended near Kansas City, Missouri. The lot fell upon Dan Raber and he was ordained by Bishop John Hartzler of Cass County, Missouri’. 1-te at once began traveling widely in order to preach to the unsaved who were a great concern of
In 1911, he with his family, less the eldest son, moved eastward and settled in the young but growing Mennonite Community near Aurora, Ohio Here he moved on a farm, and the boys kept up the farm work, while he preached the GospeL He was a minister in the Aurora Mennonite Church for nearly twenty years. ‘
Then his desire to preach to the lost called him away from Aurora The hungry souls of the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee were beckoning Many of the places he visited had never been touched by a preacher of God’s Word and hi’s work is unique in the annals of the Mennonite Church. Re worked with drunken, devil—charged men trying to lead them to salvation in Christ He held many meetings in old school houses and many times he visited the homes person- ally. With him he carried gospel tracts and usually the Gospel of John which he dis tributed among the old and young alike in the mountains.
Then he moved westward and spent several years in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas where he planted God’s Word among the hilbillies of the Ozarks He often faced many dangers and was threatened several times but never gave up the work because of these dangers
Continued on Page Four
Adrian, Michigan
The article
name of the author of the art- received it in the maiL
Page Two
A note to Mrs Clara Naftzger of Karniah, Idaho regarding the Christmas sub- scription for her son. She failed to include the address of her son If you will forward the address to us, we will be happy to include him on our subscription list Also, Many thanks an for the update on the Idaho Naftzger descendants This particular Naftzger line traces from Jacob who emigrated to America in 1749 and lived tn Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Grandchildren of this Jacob moved west- ward to Wayne County, Ohio and later, to the f western states of Oregon and Idaho
We received an interesting Christmas greeting letter from Betty Jane and Arthur Goold of Northfield, Minnesoata. Our thanks to her for writing,,
Our thanks to Elizabeth Immel of Granvflle, Illinois for the nice letter and enclosed materiaL Also,we have included her on our subscription list
Excerpts from letter of Ethel M. Zehr of Sarasota, Florida
“You may be able to help me find information which I have been unable to locate on my great grandmother Barbara Noffziger Gautsche. I have checked the 1840 and 1850 Ohio census records last week and could not find her listed. This is the informa tion I have from a family Bible record.
Barbara Noffziger was born March 1, 1835, Madison Twp., Butler County, Ohio. She was married to HeinrIch Gautsche in Butler County, Ohio August 23, l853
I would be Interested in knowing who her parents were and if she had brothers and sisters and any other information.
Barbara Noffziger Gautsche’s daughter Magdalena was married to my grandfather, Christian Garber who were the parents of my mother Bertha Garber BAchman from Meta rnora, Illinois.
I am also looking for information gregarding my great—great gandmother Elizabeth Nafziger on my father’s side of the family.
Elizabeth NafzIger was born in France in 1790 and died December 4, 1854 at Meta mora, Illinois. She was married in France to Bishop Andrew Baughman and they came to the USA approximately 1839. Might she have been a daughter of Peter Nafziger?
She and Andrew Baughman had one son Joseph 1826-1897 and two daughters who I do not have the names of. Joseph Baughman married Barbars Steider l831—lO/28/1904 Between 1860 and 1880 they changed the spelling of their names to Bachman
Joseph and Barbara were parents to Catherine, 1850; Elizabeth, 1852; Andrew, 1854; Phoebe, ; Joseph J 1865; Lena, 1868; Sarah, 1870; and Peter, l871
Son Joseph J. married Elizabeth Schlabach In 1889 and they were the parents of my father Harry Bachman.
Any information which you might have on either of these relatives would be most
Relatives of these two family lines can write Ethel Zehr, 4827 Dunn Drive, Sara- sota, Florida. The Gautsche line will trace to Fulton Coi.inty, Ohio and will connect to Peter who emigrated to America in l83l The Elizabeth Nafziger, born 1790 will probably connect to thePeter NaffzIger line of Gauerheim, Germany.
We are receipt of a nice letter from Delbert Gratz, Librarian of the Mennonite Historical Library, Bluffton College, Bluffton, Ohio. He expresses his appreciation for our newsletter and the work that we are doing on our genealogy.
Lois Bakehouse of Hedrick, Iowa writes to express’ her appreciation for some genealogical material sent to her
We received a nice Christmas card letter from Norma and Tom Finneran of Princeton Junction, New Jersey. They brought us up-to-date with all of the happenings of their four very active children — Suzanne, Bob, Michelle and Katie. In addition, we learn of the activities of the many Naffzigers living in California This anu y line connect to peter of Uebre c.ierrnany.
rage Three
Continued from Page One
1830’s and 4O Valentine N settled in Wayne county, Ohio, while Christian (and wife
Catharine Schantz) and the children of Johannes N (and Mary Weisz) settled in Fulton
County, Ohio
Another immigration trail from the palatinate led north from Essigen along the Rhine River to Hochheini, Rheinfelderhof, Darrnstadt, lllbach and Uberau (in Hesse Darmstadt). By the 1820’s some of these N’s were preparing to immigrate to the US. In 1827 Peter the Apostle took his family to Ontario Canada. A couple years later he moved them to Butler County, Ohio before finally settled in Woodford County, Illinois. In 1827 Peter of I’llbach, who was on his way to Canada, died at sea and left a wife Jacobina and small children, who were later befriended by the Pennsylvania Amish. Other Naffzigers from Hesse-Darrnstadt came to the US in the 1840’s and 50’s. For the most part they passed through Ohio andsettled primarily in the counties of Tazewell, McLean and Woodford Counties, tllinoIs. n addition to having sizeable Aniish/Mennonite communities, these counties were located on the American frontier.
Still other Naffzigersfrom the Palatinate moved further north than Hesse-Darm— stadt and settled in Hesse- One Naffziger from there, Frederick and his family, went to the US in 1840. They settled temporarily in Butler county, Ohio before moving to danvers, McLean county, Illinois.
By now the patterns we have outlines should be apparent. We hope that we have demonstrated how the N’s are connected and some of the directions they took to arrive in their present homes. 1e also hope that some of the readers will fill in the obvious gaps that we omitted above.
Continued from Page Two
D. B. Raber’s wife passed away in the summer of 1922 after an illness of several weeks. Her funeral was conducted at the Aurora Church in charge of Brother E. B. Stoltz fus. She was laid to rest in the cemetery adjoining the church yard.
After this event Brother Raber again set out on a preaching tour. This time he went farther west into Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. He preached to people in the arid and rnountainou sections where ministers seldom came Sometimes he preached to a few, at other times to large crowds.
Later he took another trip through Southern Ohio and into Kentucky where he had been earlier. Like the aspostle Paul he revisited many of the converts of his earlier trip and encouraged them in the faith. In Tennessee he found several mission stations thriving where he had preached earlier. In Georgia and Florida he did much of his work among the Negroes and later on in Ohio near Dillonvale he again proved to be a very effective worker arnongthese mistreated people. Thoughsome white peoples him for his intimate contact with then, they were forced to marvel at his remarkable success among them. Here In a great coal mining section he labored week after week trying to get souls started on the straight and narrow way
His constant prayer in his later years was that some young person would take up this work where he would have to leave off. He felt that some real men and women for God could be made.if the Word would be faithfully preached
In his late years Brother Raber made his home with his daughter—in—law at Sugarcreel< Ohio and later served as a minister at the Crown Hill Mennonite Church for a time. Al- though he spent a good deal of his life as a traveling preacher his contribution at the Aurora Church was great. His sermons were intensely practical and very much down to earth and his personality was such that it was appreciated by all. His work as a travel ing missionary is finished and marks one of the most unique ministeries of any Menno nite preacher. Probably none of our ordained men have worked so intensely at the job of preaching the Gospel to those in out of the way places. He passed away June 17,1939. He had spent the last five or si months of his life at Aurora, living at the home of his son Charles Raber. Re w buried in the church cemetery.
Page Four
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We are in receipt of a nice letter from Gerhard and Traudl Nafziger of Stockdorf West Germany Perhaps, some of our readers can assist the Nafzigers by providing answers to several questions posed by them in their letter Their 18 years old son, Stefan will finishing school after passing his A—levels examinations in Germany They want to consider sending him to the U for a half a year for work and study They hope to connect him with an American family, where, if possible, he can work and go to school We sought the advise of Matthias Otte . warded some of him recommendations to them If any of our readers should want to contact the Nafzigers, they may write to Gerhard & Traudl Nafziger, AlpspitzstraBe 2 1/2, 8035 Stockdorf, West Germany
A message to Dean Noffsinger of Green Valley, Arizona The problem with your sub scription has been taken care of and a subscription will be sent to Clayton Noffsinger.
We enjoyed the nice letter we received from Rudolf Nafziger of Ludenscheid, West Germany As many of our readers will remember, it was his son, Rolf that came to the U.S last summer and visited the states for several months We are proud to pull a paragraph from Rudolf’s letter about his son, Rolf The excerpt is as follows:
“Rolf had finished his military service by the end of September, as he was dispensed about a month for starting his studies He really intended to study economics, but then he applied for a job with Associated Press, referring to the connections he had in Cleveland and in New York. Associated Press gave him a job on trial as a photo- reported in Bonn He was offcicially admitted to Parliament and we often watched him on TV taking his pictures of the politicians He made snapshots of the chancellor and the ministers (secretary of states) We only regret that AP can offer him only a permanent job in Hamburg, which is about 300 miles from here (Bonn is only 60 miles from Ludenscheid) . U
The reason that we are so proud is that we recall the day that he got up early in the morning ap that he was going to Cleveland to visit with AP. I must ad- mit that I dici not give him much of a chance to get by the receptionist at AP I was surprise to learn that he not only got by the receptionist but secure temporary job with AP traveling with them to some of the major events in the Cleveland area Our congratulations to Rudolph and Roif and it is difficult to write how good we feel about the development and to think it started that one morning at our house.
Our thanks to Rolf Nafziger of West Germany He reports that his mother had a rather difficult operation this past September and it has taken some time for her to regain her health and strength We were sorry to learn of the operation but we are glad that you progress has been so good
We enjoyed our visit with Matthias Ottethe early part of January. Matthias is the West Germany youth attending college in the U.S. Over the Christmas break and between semesters, Matthias and his friend traveled across the U to California and stopped in Grafton on his return. As always, we were impressed with his pro- gress to date and we believe that our readers can expect to hear of some impressive successes from Matthiasonce he returnsto West Germany
Our thanks to Charlotte Johnson of Olympia, Washington for writing. Charlotte enclosed an update of her immediate family members including the very latest on marriages, births, etc. Our thanks to her for the material
We appreciate the comments regarding the computerizationof our genealogy from Mrs. Paul M Johnston of Aberdeen, Maryland
Page Six
To answer a Letter from Shirley Shore of PhillIpsburg, Pennsylvania regarding some material she received on Mathias Naftzinger of Berks County, Pennsylvannia, we would be happy to have a copy to check our records Shirley writes of search— ing for material on her line which is Rudolph that came to America in 1749 and came upon the genealogy prepared by a Joseph Naftzger. This material was pre pared by the father of Foster Naftzinger, a long time subscriber to the News and while we have looked at the material, it would be nice to have a complete copy for our files.
Dale Nofsinger of Marietta, Georgia asks a good question in his letter. He is interested in knowing the port of entry for Valentine Nafziger who came to America in 1831. As I recall from checking this point many years ago, the three Nafziger families who ended up in Fulton County all came through the New York Port I be— Heve t is correct to say that most all German families who came to America came through Philadelphia until the early 1800’s. Our readers may not know but Dale Nofsinger Is the son of the late Frank NofzInger of Sturgis, Michigan and a long time and hard working genealogist on the Valentine N. line We miss; • his work and many letters. Dale will be happy to know another Dale NofzInger of Adrian, Michigan has picked up where Frank Nofzinger left off Some outstanding work is being done to complete thIs line and to update the present information by Dale N. of Adrian, Michigan,. _____________________________________
We are a little late with this letter from Beverly Schiatter Dickinson of Lanjng, Michigan. In September of 1986, a reunion was held for the Samuel A. and Eliza Nofziger Schlatter family mn Archbold, Ohio. There were more than 50 people attend— ing. One of Eliza’s surv children, five sons—in-law and daughter—in-law, and nine of her grandchildren as well as many great—grandchildren and great-great grandchildren were there. Old photographs of family members were displayed and many memories shared. Eliza was a great—granddaughter of Valentine Nafziger who emigrated to the United States in 1831.
Beverly indicated In her letter that she is interested in corresponding with anyone who has researched the Valentine and Jacobina (Schantz) Nafziger line. The expert on this Nafziger family line is Dale Nofzinger, 2362 Gady Road, Adrian, Michigan 49221 We suggest that she write to him as he has spent many hours up— dating and complet.thg the information we have on this particular N. line
We received a nice long letter from Lowell Nosker of Yellow Springs, Ohio with some corrections and updating of material we had on the “five brothers from Penn- sylvania’ featured in the September, 1974 illue of the News. For any of our readers who may be descendants of one of the five brothers, lowell writes:
Because of the data on a scrap of paper found in my grandfather’s Bible, I included three names of girls (Elizabeth, Mary and Rebeccah) your “five brothers” article did not include.
The fifth generation I am quite sure of as they are recorded in the birth section of my grandfather’s Bible Here my records and yours (based on your 1974 article) are somewhat different The oldest, Eveline (5-1), I never heard of except seeing the name in the Bible, She may have died young, but if so, why wasn’t it recorded as for Frances Catherine?
My Uncle George Wayne (5-2) I saw several times in my youth. He was a salesman in Columbus for a while but then left Ohio to invest in the west. But the city of Los Angeles (in the l92Ots) “went the other way” from the land he had purchased so he came back to Ohio to a farm in Champaign County where he lived the rest of his life. His son, Frank Dawson (6—3) remained in California and his grandson, Bruce (7—6), I believe, still is there,. I havereason to believe Bruce receives you pub- lication. A distant cousin of mine, Sara Elizabeth (Betty Given) Stanfield(7—3) from Rushsylvania, Ohio (Logan County) visited me last fall As you can see, Betty is the daughter of Uncle George’s oldest child, Katherine Elsie (6-l) Betty had a
copy of the tlfjve brothers” chart that her cousin, Bruce, had sent her. Incidentally, Continued on Page Eight
Page Seven
Continued from Page Seven
Betty Stanfield supplied me with almost of the information on descendants of George fayne Nosker. Uncle George’s son,Robert Wayne Nosker (6- was a very prominent eye, ear, nose and throat physician in Columbus, Ohio. His sons, Bob and Bill, are siad to have been “pass and receive” stars of Upper Arlington High School football teams of the mid- Bill became a first string guard for Ohio State. I remember hearing his name many times in Radio Broadcast of Ohio State gaines Unfortunately he was killed in Italy during World War II. Nosker Hall is a dormitory at OSU named in honor of him
Ida Jane (5-4) married Renry Veigel. They lived their entire lives on their Cos hocton County, farm As far as I can recall, 1 have listed all their children
Robert Sherman (5- was one of my uncles 1 never saw and 1 know almost nothing about him. In your “five brothers’ data you don’t list him as a descendant of i Nosker.
Benjamin F Jr. (5—6) was rny”uncle Frank” He and my father were “close” brothers 1:n the 1890’s they were partners doing custom thrashing for farmers in the hills of Coshocton County.
William Flenry (5- is another uncle I do not remember ever seeing. I recall my father only occassionally mentioning Uncle “Wfll” Your data on the “five brothers” includes him with the proper birth year, etc. You list a wife and children for him but I didn’t put this on my chart.
Finally, we get to Charles A. (5- my father. I believe he told me he was the last of his family to be born in the log cabin his father had built in a ravine in the hills west of Coshocton, Ohio. Soon after, the father erected a large frame two-story house That house was still standing in l982 My father was the last child of my grandfather’s first marriage In January, 1902, he came to Yellow Springs, Ohio to attend Antioch College After graduattng he stayed at Antioch as a pro- fessor (biology) until he died in 1939. He had three sons as is shown on the chart. Paul W (6 was a physicist/engineer who spent most of his years as a civilian em- ployee at nearby Wright-Patterson AFB. C. Robert (6-10) never married because of health problem most of his life I, Lowell Z (6 am the only survivor of my family I ltve now at the Nosker “honieplac&’ which my father bought in l9l8
Lowell continues on with a very complete and accurate listing of his grandfather’s second marriage Also, he included some very nice charts. We are grateful for this good information on the “five brothers” story To me it would seem that the five brothers will trace to Ulrich who emigrated to America in 1741 although we are having some difficulty trying to document the exact connection. Our thanks to Lowell for the very lengthy letter with all the good information and data
I 20 Edgewood Drive
Grilton, Ohio 44044

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