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Nafzger Heritage News Vol X No 1
Raw OCR - 7/6/04

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L!Jje J JUritage
It is with a long delay that I answer your letter. I am sorry to say that my husband, Karl Nafzger died in 1976. It took us some time to collect some infor mation on the Nafzgers in Switzerland. I am sorry that I can not give you more detailed information. This is because in Switzerland, we are not so keen in keeping the family records so many gen erations back and the few brothers and sisters still alive could not supply the data. But perhaps it will be of help to you just the same to know the descend ands of Karl, born 1866 of Uetendorf, near Thun, Switzerland, Karl Walter was born 1932 is my son and his children, Doris and Robert are the youngest members of this family line. They live at Stell imatteweg.
We thank you very much for sending us the Nafzger Heritage News and are sur prised that you are making such a great effort to trace the family three.
Unfortunately, I do not understand English and this is why I had to ask my
sister’s son to write this letter for me.
Frobenstrasse 72
CH-4053 Basel
Swi tzerl and
I spoke to you a few times on the tele phone last fall while I was in Washington D.C. I am a descendant of the Jacob and Elizabeth Noftsger who moved from Ohio to Iowa in the 1850’s. In Vol VI, No 2, you riased some interesting thoughts about the Noftsger line located in southwestern OhIo, namely Brown, Clermont, Hamilton, Warren and Clinton Counties. Members of this family was listed as Nelson, Christ ian, John, Jacob, Henry and Rebecca. Fur ermore, there was the question as to when they entered the U.S., etc. In an earlier letter, Vol V, No. 4, it was suggested by my great-aunt that Jacob came from Ger many, having been born there in 1815. I hope that the following ties together this line, and pushes their origins in the US to an earlier date. I have used many sources for this and will mention only the major ones.
According to A History of Clinton Count (1882), one John Noftsger was born in Fe - ruary 1791, sear Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (this is corraborated in both census and cemetary records.) He married Nancy in Brown County, Ohio and they had ten children, 5 of whom were living in 1882. The names were Leah Jane(who died in 1899 at about 77 years and who married Carver), Sussanah (who died in 1913 and was married to Charles E. Speelman), Naa men P. (born 1824, died 1896 and married twice, first to Mary Jane , then a year before his death, to Martha E. Good man,William (born in 1831,died 1899, who changed his name to Noscar, was married twice, first to Mary Elizabeth Ashcraft, who died in 1858, then to Sibyl Luce) and Mahala (born 1833, and married to William Ward). One additional member in the fam ily listed in the census but not this his tory was Benjamin, born 1836. The other childrens’ names are conjecture at this point. Yet in the 1850 census, Columbia twp Hamilton County, John is listed as
Continued on Page Three
See Editor’s Note on Paae Two
Continued From Page One
What a nice card we received from a group of Nafzigers attending the October fest in Munich, Germany? The card was
signed by all of them and the message was a friendly jab at the Grafton Naft— zgers for not flying to Munich to attend the Octoberfest as they had planned. It would appear that we could had a delighful family reunion at the Octoberfest in Munich.
Enclosed is my check for my sub scription. I hope, one day someone
will come up with information on Burr
0. Noffsinger or Charles D. Noffsinger. My brother Robert C. Noffsinger of
Duluth, Minnesota was killed in con nection with a burglery of his home on or about January 4,1979. He was a well known coin dealer and collector in Minnesota and neighboring states.
Mrs. Burr G. Noffsinger
Port Orchard, Washington
Our thanks to Ron and Jackie Nof singer of Lombard, Illinois for their telephone call arid letter. Also, our apology for a mixup in communications at the Naftzger household in Grafton which caused a delay in some material being sent, to Ron. We hope he has the material and the problem has been re solved.
Later in 1878, Jacob and his wife, Amelia and family homesteaded a claim to Harland County, Nebraska. In the later years of their lives, they moved to California.
And back to Lynn Nofziger——the latest news report would seem to indi cate that Lynn will not be taking a job with President elect Ronald Regan but will remain in California. We hear from some members of his line. We are attempting to make certain that he re ceives a copy of this issue of the News to let him know that we are proud.
We are in receipt of a nice letter from Mary Chase. After her long trip to Germany, she is back to teaching in schools at Deland and Monticello, illi nois. She reports that she is work ing on the Stalter genealogy who was her grandmother that married into the Valentine Nafziger family line.
Subscribers to our newsletter do not need to worry about being dropped from the subscription list without proper notice. There is a grace period of several issues and a notice is sent during this period. Also, when con siderable heritage material of a parti cular family line is sent to us, usu ally we credit the individual with some free issues.
Remeber, our goal is to keep all Nafzger descendants who are interested in our heritage on the subscription list and to develop new subscribers who may become interested in our heritage. If we are in doubt, we send them a newsi etter.
Our thanks to Dale Nofzingers of Adrian, Flichigan for an expression of appreciation for the Nafzger Heritage News. Such letters keep us inspired and moving ahead collecting heritage information
Our thanks to Mrs. Riley Brown for the update of her family line and the corrections to the publication that we prepared on Rudolph Noffsinger who landed in America in 1749.
- GR OHIO 44044
Published quarterly
Page Two
Page Four
I believe that I have finally located Jacob Nafziger. We have always wondered what happend to the half bro ther of Henry Nafziger. If you re call, he is the one who moved westward during gold rush days and was never heard from again.
Enclosed please find a sketch on him that I found in an old tazewell County, Illinois plat book. Also, I check the 1850 Census on Tazewell Cou nty, Little Mackinaw Township and I found him listed as follows:
Jacob Nafziger, 40 years old, born in Wurtenburg, Germany.
Mary Nafziger, 34 years old, born in Bavaria, Germany.
Daniel Nafziger, 7 years old Henry Nafziger, 1 year old
I am sending a copy of Catherine Nafziger’s obituary. She was a sister of Henry and a half ister of Jacob. It shows Jacob is living in Gottenbury, Nebraska in 1898. Henry is not listed as he died in 1897.
I would like to know if you can tie Jacob in with any of your Nebraska Nafzigers? We know the names and ages of two of his children.
On the evening of September 30, we went to Minier to Carroll Nafziger’s home to meet with Dr. Helmut Nafziger, his wife and sister. We had at least twelve “Nafziger” there and had a won derful time talking about Nafziger heritage all evening.
_ Illinois
Our thanks to Leona Connor of Seal Beach, California. Leona sent us sonte articles from California newspapers on Lynn Nofziger, one of which we have reprinted in this issue of the News. Leona is a descendant of the same fam— fly line as Lynn.
Many thanks for sending me the
booklets tracing our ancestry. So far
I haven’t been able to spend sufficient
time to find myself on the family tree.
I look forward to doing so as soon as
time permits.
It was really good to talk with you by phone. Perhaps the next time you are in these parts we can get together. If I should pass through Grafton, I’ll try to contact you. Best Wishes.
John Louis Nosker
Richmond, Virginia
I was glad to read Earl Naffziger’s (Saskatchewan, Canada) article on the Joseph Naffziger family. This is the same line that my son,David John Naff ziger wrote you and sent a history of his line. His grandfather was Johannes Nafziger who was born at sea.He married Mary Roth and they moved to Melvern, Kansas where two sons were born. Edward Joseph was my husband,father of my three children. The other son John died at 14 years. I hope you can tie this up with the information you have from my son.
Anaheim, California
Editor’s Note: It would appear that we are approaching some type of break through on the Naffziger family line. There are many descendants who spell the name with two “ff” with most of them located in our western states. We believe that when we take all the material that we have on file for approximately eight small lines who spell their name with two “ff”, they will come together into a single line originating from Canada. We hope to do this in the near future.
JACOB NAFZ1GER, the eiibject of this eketch. was born iii many oii the 23s1 lay of September, 1v He was raised ip a farm, bin fattier Iieine a farner in him native country He reeI ed
lii education in the Istherland and in the fall of 1tn47 he emigrated
to America landiiig at Nra York, and from there he went to (hi.
cago, II where ho spent a abort time, and then went to Peoria,
where he spent a short time, when, in company with his father, Ja
cob Naiziger, he went to McLean county. Ill., and nettled in laneera
townobip. Ills father purcased about two hundred an rca of land,
and they begun opening up a farm, where he remained fir four
yeses, working out by tue itionih, and in l&i3 he purchased one
hundred mud si acres ( land, which be paid three hundred dol
lar, for, outunied in section 12. Little Mackinaw township. Tazewell
county, ill, upon which he ia-tiled awl opened up a farm. It waa
then one vast prairie, and there were but lea farms undtr cultiva
— tion. His next purchase was eighty acres, for shith he paid ai
hundred and fort) dollars. lie continued to work upon (lie farm
until lS.’ wlieiu he niovu-d to Peoria, a here he reniainsd for three
years, and upon the breaking tint cuf the rebellion be volunteered as
a private noldier in company E, Bib regiment 1hhinci inhanlry, ra
the three months’ service. After the ezJuraiion of his lime he vol.
unteered in the aame regiment for three years in t 1. I-Ic
was engaged in the battles of Fort Lionelaon, Shilob, Pori lludi’ori,
Raymond, Muneinnippi, and Vicksburg, and the various campaigns
in the south, arid was with General tiberman in he gkrioua march
from Atlanta to the sea. \% bern hi. term of enlistment eapired Ii.
W honorably discharged, and returned home to hiS farm in ‘lane-
well county.
On the )th day of April, lI-ned, Mr. )afznger was married to Mica
Mary Gingrich, a native 01 Germany. They hav, a family of three
children, all ol whom are iiow living. His farm consist, of two
hundred arid forty a-rn, of as good land as is in the county. lii,
improvements are good, and his farm is well .tocked with some of
the beat breeds of hog., horvec, and cattle. Mr ?naf tiger is one of
the mcii who baa made Tazewehl county what she i$ to itS), being
one of tbe best grain and block portions of the etate Ne man siand,
higher in the to. chip as a farmer soil practical, upright business
man than does Mr. N.
Page Five
In this letter, I’ll give you the information of our visit with German Nafzigers. You are aware that Else Nafziger Just, her brother Helmut, and his wife came to Barrington Hills, Illinois, arriving in Chicago on Sept
10, 1980.
What a fantastic experience to visit with these people: On Thursday, Sept 25, we ate lunch and visited with them at the home of Else’s daughter, Helga Revena ugh.
Else, Helmut, and his wife Carola came to Minier on the following Tues day, ate lunch with us, and then began a busy schedule. Arthur and Verna Nafziger of Hopedale showed the Hope- dale Mennonite Church facilities, and the Hopedale Mennonite Cemetery, and the original home places of brothers Christian and John Nafziger who came to the Hopedale area in 1854. John is my great grandfather and Christian was Arthur’s grandfather. This Christian was the first Bishop of the before mentioned church. Christian and John’s father was also named Christian, and thus a common ancester of Arthur’s and mine.
That evening, Arthur and Verena, Vilas and Erma Nafziger, also of Hope- dale, Gene and Caroline Nafziger of rural Minier, and Marion Nafziger of Stanford came to our home to spend an evening discussing Nafziger History. All but Marion are descendants of the Hopedale Nafziger brothers. Marion is a descendant of another Nafziger line who settled in Stanford. You have fea— tured his family line in an earlier issue of the Nafzger Heritage News.
On Wednesday, Oct 1, we went to the Blue 4ound Cemetery which is located between Cooksville and Ellsworth, liii mois. Let me explain why we went there. Else, in one of her letters to me had sent a brief rough family sketch,which had been prepared by Helmut,of some of their relatives. A Frederick Nafziger
born 1818, married a Barbara Nafziger,
born 1816, both born in Germany were
•	supposed to have been buried in Blue
Mound, Illinois. They had come to Amer
ica and lived at Arrowsmith, Illinois.
Carrolt Nafzig
Mini Illinois
Frederick died in Minnesota and was brought back and buried at Blue Mound. Heirnut’s grandfather, Jacob, was a brother of Fredrick. One of Fredrick’s eight children was listed as Julius Nafziger. This Julius was to have married a Maud and from this union was daughter who was to have married a Tracy Deal at Danvers, Illinois. I just happened to remember of a Tracy Deal at Danvers back in the 1940’s when I was teaching in Stanford which is a neighboring town. LaVeta and I con tacted Mrs. Deal just to see if she might be the right person. Mrs. Deal was amazed and surprised at the thought that these people coming to visit us might be her relatives. In fact, she was not sure that it could be. We went over the names on Helmut’s list and they seemed to check with her memory, yet she didn’t think it was qualte poss ible. She did say, however, Blue Mound Cemetery was not at Blue Mound and she gave us the proper directions to get to it. Really, it was in the eastern part of McLean County. Had we not have gotten her directions, we might still be looking for it near Blue Mound, Ill. We asked her to go with all of us to the cemetery and she accepted. When we took Helmut and Else to pick her up, you might guess that this was quite a reunion of cousins. SuEh excitement when they together located bloom rela tives.
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Gene Nafziger farm. Our German friends wanted to see a true Nafziger farmer who was a Mennonite. Else, Hel mut, and Carola were highly interested in the feed mixing program and the hog production operation. Later, in the afternoon, after a lunch, our friends headed back to Barrington. Our efforts to keep them for another night failed. They seemed to have done so many things and had a tight schedule yet to con— plete before leaving the U.S.
It was such a pleasure and a grand experience to host these people. They were so appreciative of everything, food, travels, friends and just plain visitation.
Continued on Page Six
Page Six
Continued From Page Five
Our thanks to rlarjorie Gautsche of Archbold, Ohio who helps us with in formation on the Valentine Nafziger (1782—1852)family line. Valentine Naf— ziger married Jacobena Schantz and came to America in 1831. A granddaughter of this marriage, named Mary Ann Grieser who married Henry Gautsche. This re presents the entry of the Gautsche name to the Nafziger line, just one of the many times that the Gautsche name crosses the Nafzger lines. Our thanks to Marjorie for the information.
Mr. and Mrs. Rodney D(Miriam E.Herr) of 211 Grove St., Hopedale, Illinois, a daughter at Pekin 1emoria1 Hospital, Wednesday, February 27, 1980.
Our thanks to Bob and Paula Leitzell of Mokelumne Hill,California for their letter. We believe that their ances— ors may trace to Ulrich Nafzger who entered the U.S. in 1742.In our letter to Bob,we have pointed out that Ui rich Nafzger lines represents one of the most interesting lines of the Nafzgers. It u1d appear to us that it was the first Nafzger family line in the U.S. and a steady westward migration from, at the time was Lancaster County, Penn sylvania, finds most of the descendants far from their homestead operation. Thus far, all Nofsker, Noffsker, Nosker spellings of the name usually traces to this line.Also, considerable work needs to be done with this line before we can feel satisfied. Most of the problem to placing this line in proper order re lates to the fact that so few records were kept prior to 1800.
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin of Madison, Wisconsin has re quested back issues of the News. Where we have back issues, we have complied with their request. There are no plans to reprint any of the back issues, be cause since the first printing, we have added many more names to the list of descendants and quite often, extended the family line back several more gen erations. Thus, it would not be wise to reprint some outdated material.
We found rio connection of our Nafziger lines, yet Helmut took what information I have of my German anc cestors, and expects to try to do some research for me there.
Minier, Illinois
Editor’s Note: We appreciate Carroll’s report of the visit of our cousins. I know how Carroll feels when he states that it is such a pleasure to host a German Nafziger family. We developed the same feeling when Gerhard and Edeltraut Nafziger of Stockdorf visited us in Grafton this past summer. My hope is that more U. S. families ex tends an offer to be a host. They will ‘have a memorable experience.
I would like to inform you that my father’s (Raymond Nafziger) sister, Ida Nafziger Clark, died on February 28, 1980 in Bloomington, Illinois. She was the daughter of John E. Nafziger and Bertha L. Leibhitz Nafziger, born near Danvers, Illinois. Her grand parents are Henry and Helena Nafziger. She is buried in Bloomington. There are no descendants that lived to adult hood.
Cornell, Illinois
oupte Begins Sudan Service
Harold and Phyllis Horst Nofzlger
Harold and Phyffis Horst Nofziger of Americus, Georgia, have begun a three-year term of service with Mennonite Central Committee in Atbara, Sudan, where they will work at Broader Horizons Insti tute for the mentally retard ed.
The two are children of Harold and Verna Nofziger of Wichita, Kansas. and Nevin L. and Blanche M. Hoist of Mount Joy. Both are affiliated with Pilgrims Mennonite Church of Ephrata, where Phyllis holds her membership. Harold is also a member of Hesston Mennonite Chur ch.
Page Seven
• The following letter has been photocopied from a cleanly typed letter on yellowed paper cently, the document turned up among some old family pipers belonging to Gladys Noftzger
Runner. A. H. (Azro Huffman) 1852—1923 and Leslie Roy Naftzger 1882- ) writer of the letter, were grandson and great grandson, respectively, of John Naftzger,(1780-1886) and Elizabeth Rider Naftzger (1792—1832). How the letter (copy) reached this particular line of descendant from John and Elizabeth is now a mystery.
E.H Henry), 1882—1904, and J.H.(Jeremiah) Naftzger, 1826—1901, who are men tioned in the letter were sons of John and Elizabeth. (It was John’s grandfather, Jacob Naftzger, who landed in 1750 and resided near Palmyra, Pa., Lancaster County.
Azro Huffman Naftzger, recipient of the letter, subsequently visited Europe in 1909 and we are told, attempted to establish Naftzger connections, The only indication of success is a handed-down report that Azro Huffman had a Naftzger coat-of—arms incorporated into a stained glass window in his home. The source or description of the heraldry is unknown. Leslie’s letter indicates that 3 generations of Naftzger in America held to the Bavarian (German) language. We now know that the references to Otto and to Germantown, Pa. are probably inaccurate. The theories of Leslie’s german professor relative to the Naftzger origin from Wittelsbachs family seem to remain unconfirmed.
Greencastle, Indiana
November 14, 1901
Mr. A. H. Naftzger
Los Angeles, California.
ear Sir and Cousin:
It may seem that I have considered your letter asking concerning our family history of little consequences, but I assure you it is far otherwise, Soon after the receipt of your letter, as an officer of the Indiana National Guard, I was compelled to be in attend ance upon the annual camp of instruction, and soon after returned to the university here, since which time I have had but little leisure.
What knowledge I possess is rather doubtful, and has come greatly by chance. It is not certain and for this reason I have been chary at all times of giving information or speak ing of it at all.
For a number of years, I have been endeavoring to get information more for the sake of a study of hereditary traits than for the mere sake of the knowledge itself. It seems that very little pains have been taken to keep the records intact, and the only one who possessed much knowledge was J. H. Naftzger, of Wooster, Ohio who died this fall. His daughter Della has a few notes.
The principal points of the recent history are that the family resided in Ohio back until about 1845 or 50, and previous to that time in Pennsylvania, in the vincinity of German town. The first member of the family in this country was Otto, who came over soon after or with the second colonly of William Penn, from Holland.
This takes us back to the latter part of the 17th, or early l8th.century. There are no records of a sojourn in Holland. According to the statements of my grandfather, E. H. Naftzger, his father said that the tongue he spoke had always been preserved by each generation. All of the children were obliged to speak it as great grandfather was adverse to speaking English. If this is correct, they there is no doubt but the family is Bavarian for the inflection is that of the Bavarian Court of the 17th. Centry. This, in my mind, is sufficient to fix the nationality, as all of the persons speaking the Germanic tongue with horn the family have been associated have spoken either Dutch, or the Germany of the north. w as to the condition or position of the ancient family, I have the following: A legend ary story, stoutly maintained by my grandfather, as told him by his father, and so on back the family is of royal descent. As an explanation of why I believe this perhaps true, I have a historical legend told me by Prof. Christian Oelschlalgel, of Munich, Bavaria, which resulted from a converation about as follows:
Con.tinued on Page Eight
Continued From Page Seven
He had spoken of father’s influence over persons, and success with which he has attempted several things. He described father’s action as that of a king, who felt it his duty, rather to dispense then given favors. From this, we drifted into a talk of psychological and metaphysical subjects and finally to hereditary influence, as motives and factors conduct, which finally brought us back to family.
He asked me if we spelled our name correctly,and I told him that the name was Dutch. He asked me to translate it, which I did as follows: “Naftz or Nasz” useful)-— and “ger” -- (a weapon), which is identical with the german “Nutz—ger.” He then asked whether it was the family name, or a nickname, or the true family name. I confessed ignorance. He then told me the following story:
“If it is a nickname, then the family name is Witteisbach. The name was bestowed for valor in arms in the 15th. Century. The older line of the Witteisbach family is now extinct in Germany and has been since the religious disturbances after the reformation. The last heir of the Bavarian line was kidnapped by the Palatine family, now who rule Bavaria, and he was finally driven into exile. If the name is truly only Dutch for “Nutzger”, I believe surely you are a descendant of the exiled prince. The name is an unusual one, and by law it could be given to none but the Wittelsbachs. There is also a legendary prophecy t’at the family will be restored to power outside of German.”
Now to say the least, this is very meagre, but by comparing the historical data, it has a basis of probability; only research will establish its truth, which would necessitate a trip to Germany, which I fear is impossible at least for many years.
The coat-of-arms, according to Herr Oelschlalgel, is as follows: In comon terms the colors are shield (gold) yellow, border, green; inner shield, border, silver, escutcheon, red lettered in gold, cross black, border silver; Motto in red on dark blue. Crest, a laurel wreath, green, tied with a golden tie.
I trust these facts may be of some use. I am sorry I cannot tell you more. Hope I may hear from you again, and if you can give me any information, I shall appreciate it. I wish these fact may be of service.
Greencastle, Indiana
do Delta Kappa Epsilon Chapter House
120 Edgewood Drive	‘
Grafton, Ohio 44044	2
Robert NQft
435 Florida Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63100

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Last Modified: 2004-07-05