Stauffer Generations
Written & Compiled by K. R. Overholt Critchfield, 1-4-2007
~ Updated 2-14-07 ~

First, this web page reiterates the story of the Rev. Abraham Stauffer -- himself descended from a vast extended family -- who was the progenitor of many more branches of Stauffer descendants, many of whom intermarried with members of the Extended Overholt Family of West Overton. Second, you will see a lengthly generational chart that takes us back to Ulrich Stauffer -- born Abt. 1415 in Rothenbach, Emme, Bern, Switzerland -- a chart that links Ulrich to Christian Stauffer, the father of our Rev. Abraham Stauffer. Third, you will find several URLs to web sites that offer a tremendous amount of additional information about the Stauffer Family Tree -- just a few of the many genealogical resources that can be explored on the World Wide Web.

Children of Christian Stauffer and Barbara Fellman:
John, Jacob, Barbara, ABRAHAM.

Abraham Stauffer (c.1752/3-1826)
m. (1772) Anna Nissley (1752-1817)
9 Children
Barbara, Nancy Anne, Christian, Martin,
Frances, Abraham O., John W., MARIA, Elizabeth.

[Karen's Note: Maria Stauffer gave birth to my direct ancestral line.]

The Story of Abraham Stauffer (c.1752/3-1826)

As reported in Winifred Paul's Along the Banks of Jacobs Creek, it was in 1759 that the life of young Abraham Stauffer underwent one big change after another, beginning with the death of his father, Christian Stauffer of Donegal Township, Lancaster County, who may have been in his 44th year, when he died. Abraham's mother (identified as Barbara Fellman by Stauffer descendants) subsequently married Martin Nissley, who had children from his first marriage.

In the year 1768, at age 14, Abraham chose John Hartzler of Hempfield Township and Jacob Ebersole of Donegal Township as his guardians. This decision may have taken him out of his mother's household, but helpfully put some distance between himself and the young lady he wished to marry -- Anna Nissley, the daughter of his stepfather. We do not have a date for the marriage, but by the summer of 1772 (both aged 17?), Anna is noted in the records of a transaction with Jacob Berg.

"On July 4, 1772, with his wife Ann, he conveyed to Jacob Berg land which he had patented shortly before. In 1774, he conveyed land to Jacob Ebersole, of Donegal. In 1784, as of Manor Township, he conveyed property to Jacob Millinger on the Susquehanna River in Hempfield Township. He is probably the Abraham who in 1787, as of Maryland, purchased for 1000 pounds land in Rapho Township." (Taken from The Stauffer-Stouffer Family," Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Spring 1947, Vol XV, Nos. 2-3.)

Abraham thus began a lifetime of buying and selling land, eventually coming to own quite a bit, and much of it later passed on to the next generation of Stauffers he and Anna were bringing into the world. Over the years, we can see that Anna's work must have increased exponentially with each new birth. The 1790 census of Tyrone Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, shows the Abraham Stauffer family with four males under age 16, and four females. Daughter Maria Stauffer (who would later marry Abraham Overholt) would come into the world on July 13, 1791, and daughter Elizabeth Stauffer (who would marry Abraham's youngest brother Christian Overholt) would be born January 19, 1794. I will not attempt to list the other Stauffer-Overholt marriages, because there are many.

A List of Early Land Acquisitions

Data from Winifred Paul's Along the Banks of Jacobs Creek, p. 103.

From Deed Book B, page 366
Location: the south side of Jacobs Creek, bordered by lands of Isaac Meason, Ann Stevenson & Jacobs Creek, comprising most of the area now known as the borough of Everson. Sold to Abraham for 320 pounds on March 3, 1790, witnessed by Jacob Shallenberger & Jacob Stewart.

278 acres
1769 - to S. Wells (by survey)
1779 - to Adam Cafes
1782 - to Henry Roades
1783 - to Benjamin Wells
1790 - to Abraham Stauffer

From Patent Book P, Vol. 16, page 393
Dept. of Internal Affairs of PA, DB 174, p. 498

Location: the south side of Jacobs Creek, called "Springfield"

171 acres
1790 - patent to Abraham Stauffer from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on September 11, 1790

From Deed Book K, P. 90
Location: property known as "Stockfarm," comprising all the property now known as Kingview.

300 acres
1786 - patented by Isaac Meason on February 21, 1786
1795 - to Abraham Stauffer on April 25, 1795, for the sum of 450 pounds

No Reference Given
Location: a tract on the Youghiogheny River called "Boat Harbour"

132+ acres
1787 - patented by Alexander McClintock on December 19, 1787
1797 - to Abraham Stauffer on August 24, 1797, for 266 pounds


Stauffer Origins

For me, the big question regarding the Stauffer family in Europe was: Were they German or were they Swiss? Well, I have found evidence that they were both, and if your research goes back far enough, it appears the famous progenitor, Frederic of Buesen, one of the bravest knights of his age (c.1050s), was of Franco-Alsatian ancestry. The lineage of this Frederic of Buesen has been traced back to the Emperors of France, back to the time of Charlemagne (c. 770).

Frederic of Buesen founded the Hohenstauffen line and the German royal dynasty of the same name. Elsewhere, at Hohenstauffen, Germany, a generation of Stauffacher Knights are presumed to be the ancestors of all the Stauffer pioneers that immigrated to America at different times. Genealogists presume that all Stauffers have the same common origin and are more or less remotely connected.

The ancient castle of Hohenstauffen stood on a projecting peak of the Rough Alps, between the Kingdom of Wurtemberg and Switzerland, overlooking a large part of the German Empire. The Hohenstauffen dynasty ruled in Germany from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. The dynasty encountered hard times on November 29, 1268, when Conrad V. was overthrown and murdered, which prompted the family to cross over (escape?) into Switzerland. They settled near the Rhine.

Skip ahead to the 1500s and the persecution of the Anabaptists [aka "Taufgesinnte" (baptismal minded), "Taufer" (baptists), "Wiedertaufer" and Mennonites]. This is when families of Swiss Anabaptists crossed over (escaped!) into Germany to avoid the persecutions of the Zwinglians. Like the Oberholtzers, the Stauffers were among those refugees, and probably became tennant farmers, too. And later on, Stauffer families came to America in the same manner as the Oberholtzers. In fact, it appears that our ancestor, Martin Oberholtzer, who was born in 1709, thirty miles from Frankfort-on-the-Main, in Germany, came to Philadelphia on the same ship, on the same voyage [see notes below] as the brother of the direct ancestor of our Maria Stauffer Overholt! I wonder if I am the only person who has noticed this familial singularity? Whether I am right or wrong, I invite anyone who knows more to write to me asap!

Ancestors of Christian Stauffer (c.1715-1759)
Source & Notations: Richard Warren Davis
(My thanks to Thomas Ridenour.)
______ : : ________ : : ________ : : ______

512. Ulrich Stauffer, born Abt. 1415 in Rothenbach, Emme, Bern, Switzerland.

Child of Ulrich Stauffer is
256. Peter Stauffer, born Abt. 1455 in Rothenbach, Emme, Bern, Switzerland;
died in Fruetisen, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland.

Child of Peter Stauffer is:
128. Niclaus Stauffer, born Abt. 1495 in Luchsma, Eggi, Bern, Switzerland.

Child of Niclaus Stauffer is:
64. Ulrich Stauffer, born Abt. 1528 in Luchsma, Eggi, Bern, Switzerland.

Child of Ulrich Stauffer is:
32. Niclaus Stauffer, born Abt. 1555 in Luchsma, Eggi, Bern, Switzerland;
died 1615 in Luchsmatt, Eggi, Bern, Switzerland;
married 33. Trini Leeman, born Abt. 1555 in Luchsma, Eggi, Bern, Switzerland.

**[See note below.]

Child of Niclaus Stauffer and Trini Leeman is:
16. Christian Stauffer, born Abt. 1580 in Luchsmatt Farm, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland;
died Aft. April 6, 1672 in Dirmstein, Bayern, Germany;
(1) married 17 i. Adelheid Oppliger;
(2) married Asenath Friedrich.

(1) He married (June 18, 1610) 17. Adelheid Oppliger in Rothenbach, Bern, Switzerland.
She was born 1588, died May 1656, the daughter of 34. Peter Oppliger and
35. Adelheid Blonier (both born Abt. 1563 in Rothenbach, Emme, Bern, Switzerland)
and married March 12, 1582/83 in Rothenbach, Bern, Switzerland.

(2) He married (July 1656) Asenath Friedrich.

***[See note below.]

Child of Christian Stauffer and Adelheid Oppliger is:
8. Christian, born March 19, 1614/15 in Luchsmatt Farm, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland;
died Aft. 1672 in Dirmstein, Bayern, Germany;
married (May 8, 1652) 9. Margaret Anthoni (born 1622) in Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland.

Child of Christian and Margaret Anthoni is:
4. Daniel Stauffer, born March 1, 1656/57 in Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland;
married (Bef. 1682) 5. Anna.

Children of Daniel Stauffer and Anna are:
2. Daniel Stauffer, born Abt. 1685 in Ibersheim, Hesse, Germany;
died 1751 in Alsheim, Germany.

ii. Hans Stauffer, born Abt. 1683.

Children of Daniel Stauffer are:
i. Unknown Stauffer;
ii. Unknown Stauffer;

iii. Hans Stauffer, born Abt. 1711 in Ibersheim, Hesse, Germany;
died 1748 in Lancaster Co., PA; married Maria.

iv. Jacob Stauffer, born Abt. 1713 in Ibersheim, Hesse, Germany;
died 1775 in Donegal Twp., Lancaster Co., PA;
married Magdalena Hess (born March 28, 1717).

* 1 v. Christian Stauffer, born Abt. 1715 in Ibersheim, Hesse, Germany;
died 1759 in Lancaster Co., PA;
(1) married (Abt. 1737) Maria Fellman, born 1719, and died March 12, 1740/41
in Bierholderhof, Rohrbach, Germany; the daughter of Johannes Fellman.;
(2) married (Abt. 1742) Barbara Fellman.

vi. Martin Stauffer, born Bef. 1726.

vii. Daniel Stauffer, born Abt. 1728.

* Child of Christian Stauffer and Barbara Fellman:
Abraham Stauffer (c.1752/3-1826)

Genealogical Resources

** Note: An online source identifies 16. Christian as born Abt 1579 at Luchsmatt Farm, Eggilwil, Bern, Switzerland; died Aft 1671 in Ibersheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany; marriage: unknown; child: Hans Stauffer. See Harrold.Org - Online Family Tree by Don Harrold. His list of surnames includes ten pertinent Stauffers, many with very interesting historical notes and worth saving for your own records (URL below).

Additionally, if I understand the generations correctly, it appears Don Harrold's line splits from our line at the point of 16. Christian Stauffer. The Harrold line follows this Christian's son Hans (aka Johannes), while our line follows his son Daniel. Don Harrold begins his Stauffer tree at Niclaus Stauffer (b. abt. 1500), instead of with Ulrich Stauffer (b. Abt. 1415) and his son, Peter Stauffer (b. Abt. 1455), both of whom appear in other online genealogies. Be sure to click on the Harrold "General Notes" section for each name, and you will find valuable historical details, including a reference to the ship Maria Hope (i.e., Mary Hope) -- the ship that we know transported the Martin Oberholtzer family from London, England to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This means that our Martin Oberholtzer ancestors and at least one son's branch from 16. Christian -- Hans (aka Johannes) Stauffer -- made the trip on the same ship, on the very same voyage in June 1710. Hans made the voyage with his wife Kinget (i.e., Kungold "Kinget" Hiestand), his sons Jacob (age 13), Daniel (age 12), Heinrich (age 9), his daughter Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's husband, Paulus Friedt, and daughter Maria Friedt.

*** Note: An online source identifies Asenath (1580) as Christian's first wife, and Adelheid (1588) as Christian's second wife & mother of eight children: Magdalena (1611), Hans/Johannes (1613-1695), Christian (1614), Elsbeth (1620), Peter (1622), Margaret (1624), Barbara (1626), Ulrich (1629). The R. W. Davis material gives the marriage dates, which are missing from this online source. See Descendants of Ulrich Stauffer (URL below).

Another web site you will find helpful is The Trump Family Genealogy, found at the URL below. Go to page 10 of this family tree to find Stauffer genealogy and valuable references, including another reference to the voyage made on the ship Maria Hope in 1710 (new URL below as of 2-14-07).

The Marla Jenkins family tree also includes the Hans Stauffer lineage, and I spent several hours studying the Family of Robert Burton Stauffer genealogy, compiled by Ann Siddons (URLs below).

I have not yet "plumbed the depths" of the Stauffer genealogies currently found on the Internet. This is a very prolific and widely extended family, and it appears quite a few people are proud to publish their portions of the Stauffer family tree. Let me know about any good web sites you have visited!

From Historic Pittsburgh

This is the first two paragraphs of an extensive article featuring Harry J. Stauffer, M.D., found in Old and New Westmoreland, by John N. Boucher; The American Historical Society, New York; 1918; pp. 123. The article above includes a large portrait and continues on to page 129 and 130. Another article can be found at Historic Pittsburgh that mentions the Stauffer origins, and the first portion of that long article appears below.

Reference: Genealogical and Personal History of the Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania, Vol. 2, edited by John W. Jordan; New York, Lewis Historical Pub. Co.; 1913; pp. 609-610. Find it fast by searching for the word "Hohenstauffen," which will bring up both of these articles.

Historic Pittsburgh can be found at the following URL.

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