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The Switzers in Virginia

“The Switzer family is of German and Swiss origin and was founded in America by three brothers, John, Valentine and Nicholas, sons of John Swit­zer, who never came to America. About 1770 the three brothers settled in Hardy, then Hampshire ‘County.” FROM “THE HISTORY OF BARBOUR COUNTY” Cornelia Switzer-Burkholder, a daughter of Daniel Morgan Switzer, a son of Valentine’ Switzer, a son of Nicholas Switzer, immigrant, who obtained in her life time much information concerning the genealogy of the Switzer family, and at her death left with Frank C. Switzer, of Harrisonburg, Va., certain rec­ords and correspondence, made the following statement: “That Rev. William Franklin Switzer, D. D., of Gary, Indiana, in 1929, wrote me as follows: “The Switzer family is of German and Swiss origin, and was founded in America by three brothers, John, Valentine and Nicholas, sons of John Swit­zer, who never came to America. About 1770, three brothers settled in Hardy County, West Virginia, which was then a part of Hampshire County, Virginia.’ “This information was given him by Mrs. Olga Switzer Riley of Gary, Indiana, a daughter of Charles Kenna Switzer, a son of David U. Switzer and a great-grandson of immigrant John. In 1929, she visited at her childhood home in Phillip, West Virginia, and found this information in an old history that had belonged to her father. “Dr. Switzer also wrote ‘There is a Switzer Coat-of-Arms.’ The record of the same in the Newberry Genealogical Library in Chicago, gives the’ origin of a certain Nobleman in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, who, by bravery and noble service was advanced to high honor “I...

Switzers of Indiana

Abraham Switzer, son of immigrant Valentine Switzer, and his wife, Mary Hotzenpillar Switzer, was born in Hampshire County, Va., on April 4, 1767, and died near Crawfordsville, Ind., Jan. 12, 1838. He was married to Elizabeth Grant. Elizabeth Grant Switzer, was married to Abraham Switzer. She was born September 30, 1777. Died Aug. 10, 1845. Children: Polly Switzer, born Sept. 12, 1798 Peter Switzer, born May 27, 1801. Sally Switzer, born April 11, 1803. James Switzer, born March 18, 1805. John Switzer, born Oct. 6, 1807. Elizabeth Switzer, born June 3, 1810. Louisa Switzer, born Feb. 16, 1813. Gaily Switzer, born Nov. 28, 1815. Maranda Switzer, born July 20, 1819. Items: A tradition held by this family, is, that Abraham Switzer was himself an Immigrant, coming from Switzerland. Concerning his settlement in Ken­tucky and the family relation of his wife, the record is indefinite. From near Winchester, Ky., he moved his family in 1829 to Montgomery County, Ind., of which Crawfordsville is the county seat. Near this city are still to be found representatives of this family. In the records of Franklin County, Ky., for Jan. 12, 1797, there is given the marriage of Abraham Switzer and Elizabeth Grant. The tradition that this marriage took place in Pennsylvania is probably incorrect. James Switzer, son of Abraham and Elizabeth Grant Switzer, married Mary Donaldson, whose family continued to live near Winchester, Ky. This family also lived near Crawfordsville, Md. The children of James and Mary Donaldson Switzer were Abraham C., William F., John A., Milton James, Eliza, Isabelle and Walker. Milton James Switzer married Mary Elizabeth Riley Rector, Oct. 8,...

Berry in Cottonwood Township

Philip Switzer, Nancy Bridger, Son of immigrant, Valentine Switzer an his wife, Mary (Hutsinpillar) Hotzenbella, was born in Hampshire County, Va., March 15, 1757, and died in Addison Township, Gallia County Ohio, July 3, 1835. Wife of Phillip Switzer was born Dec. 20 1767, and died August 11, 1829, in AddisonTownship, Gallia County, Ohio. She was the daughter of John Bridger. Children: William Switzer, Valentine Switzer, married Lydia Lasley John Switzer, Mary Switzer, married David Lasley Nancy Switzer, married Samuel Blake Rebecca Switzer, married Theophilus Blake Sarah Switzer, married William Guthrie Elizabeth Switzer, married John Hinkle Items: Phillip Switzer was a Revolutionary War soldier. Children of Metellus Switzer and Mary Margaret Hamlin: James Crooks Switzer, Francisco (Frank) Switzer, born Aug. 16, 1850, married Abigail Watson Americus Valentine Switzer, born July 1853, died 1922; married Lucy Chapelle Ida May Switzer, born March 30, 1857, died Jan. 29, 1937; mar­ried Samuel R. Davis, Feb. 28, 1881 Jefferson Davis Switzer, born April 1862, died Jan. 1863 William Langley Switzer, born Jan. 1864, married Lola McCarty, decd. He is still living Items: Metellus Switzer, a son of Valentine, a son of Phillip Switzer, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, on March 30, 1825, and died in Gallipolis, Ohio, January 12, 1865. His wife, Mary Margaret Hamlin was born Nov. 14, 1826 and died Dec. 4, 1904. James Crooks Switzer, born July, 1847, died Oct. 1872; enlisted as a private in 1863 in 173rd Ohio Infantry Volunteers, for one year; re-enlisted in 3rd Ohio Cavalry, sent to Sacramento, Cal.; later a rider in Pony Express Mail Service. Children of Francisco (Frank) Switzer and Abigail...

Switzer Genealogy

Valentine Switzer. (Immigrant) arrived from Germany, Oct. 13, 1749. He was a brother of John and Nicholas Switzer, who arrived in 1753 and 1761, from Germany, and all settled in Hampshire County, Virginia. Mary Hotzenbella, Wife of Valentine Switzer, was a daughter of Ste­phen and Barbara Hotzenbella of Frederick County, Virginia. CHILDREN: Phillip Switzer, John Switzer, Abraham Switzer, Peter Switzer, Henry Switzer, Valentine Switzer, Nicholas Switzer, Catherine Switzer, Born’ March 15, 1757, died July 3, 1835. Born 1759, died in Ohio, 1844. Born April 4, 1767, died in Indiana, January 12, 1838. Born May 9, 1769, died in Indiana, Nov. 14, 1844. Born 1772 and died August 10, 1839. Items: An immigrant in America represents the First Generation in the Gene­alogy of his family. Valentine Switzer arrived in America on the ship Lydia Oct. 13, 1749. The ship’s master was Captain John Randolph. The ship sailed from Rotterdam with passengers from Wurtemburg, Derlach and Zwerbracken. They were Palentines from the highlands of Germany, Manhiem was their oft-mentioned city. The name originally spelled Schweitzer was soon changed to Switzer. The family relations of Valentine Switzer are established through the probated wills of Stephen Hotzenbella of Frederick County, Virginia, and his own recorded in Hampshire County, Virginia, now West Virginia. The first named Valentine as son-in-law and the second declares him as ancestor. The will of Valentine Switzer was made November 7, 1809, and was probated May 19, 1817. The Executors were Philip Hoover, Frederick Secrist and “My brother John Switzer.” Phillip was probably the oldest of the Valentine Switzer family. It is mentioned that he was born in Hampshire County,...

Remarks on Valentine Switzer

The foregoing will was admitted to probate in Hampshire County, Vir­ginia (now West Virginia) on 14 May 19, 1817. The testator, Valentine Switzer, is the same Valentine Switzer mentioned in the Stephen Hotzenbella will as son-in-law. The wife of the said Valentine Switzer, being Mary Hotzenbella (Hot­zenpillar), a daughter of said Stephen Hotzenbella. There can be no question but the above Valentine Switzer is the father of John Switzer, who owned lands in Little Levels, Bath County, Virginia (now Pocahontas County, West Virginia) from 1800 to 1807, at which time he sold same and moved to Gallia County, Ohio, where he purchased lands in 1807 from Phillip Switzer, his brother, who preceded him to Ohio. The oldest child of John Switzer, Mary Switzer, married George W. Livesay of near Frankford, Greenbrier County, Virginia, (now West Virginia) where she died leaving sons Allen, Joseph, John (Jack), William and daughters Malinda Rodgers and Mrs. Col. John Snyder. Copies of the foregoing wills were obtained by William Franklin Switzer of Gary, Indiana, in 1938. The Valentine Switzer will was found by him in a box containing wills at Romney, the county seat of Hampshire County, West Virginia, the record of such will having been destroyed by soldiers during the Civil War. He devoted much of his time during many years of his life in tracing his ancestry, but he was never able to be certain that he was a descendant of Valentine Switzer, immigrant, until he obtained copies of the foregoing wills. His paternal great-grandfather, Peter Switzer, and his paternal grandfather, Abraham Switzer, served in the War of 1812. Peter Switzer was...

Probated Will of Valentine Switzer

In the name of God, Amen. I, Valentine Switzer, of the County of Hamp­shire, and State of Virginia, being weak in body, but of sound and perfect mind and memory, blessed be God for the same, I make and publish this my last will and testament, in manner and form, following. That is to say first: I will and desire that after my decease, that all my just debts be paid, and secondly: I will and desire that my whole estate, both real and personal shall be sold and equally divided amongst all my children, both sons and daughters, except my son Peter, and I will him one dollar out of my estate and no more. And I likewise will that my sons Phillip, John and Abraham, and my son Henry’s heirs and Valentine shall not pay any interest on the bonds that I have against them but shall be fully acquitted of the same after my decease. I likewise will that my son Henry’s widow and his children, that she had by him shall have one child part to be equally divided between them. I likewise except one bond on my son John of three hundred dollars, that he gave the twenty-third of October, one thousand eight hundred and nine. I will that he pay interest for that from the date, but no other bond that I have against him. I likewise will that my son Nicholas’ part of my estate shall be kept in the hands of Frederick Secrist and given to him as he stands in need of it. I likewise will that the court do...

Genealogy of the Switzers

This manuscript is an eclectic collection of various Switzer lines that all connect back to Valentine Switzer, the original immigrant to America in 1749. The surnames that follow are those surnames which can be found within the manuscript: Allen, Backus, Becker, Beckey, Berry, Bing, Bird, Blake, Brewer; Bumgardner, Burkholder, Canaday, Chapelle, Cherrington, Coffman, Copeland, Davis, Day, Dillon, Donaldson, Eppel, Fisher, Fulton, Gilfillen, Griffy, Guthrie, Hamlin, Haner, Hawk, Henderson, Herriman, Hesse, Hicks, Hinkle, Hodge, Hollingshead, Hoober, Hotzenbella, Hutsinpillar, Huver, Ingels, Jones, Kerns, Leonard, Livesay, Lott, Maddy, Mahood, Mauck, Morton, Parrill, Poher, Preston, Reeves, Reynolds, Rhey, Rhyne, Rodgers, Rood, Rothgeb, Schweitzer, Scott, Secrist, Seigler, Shaffer, Sherritt, Snyder, Southall, Stroup, Switzer, Taylor, Wallace, Watson, Wood, Yeager. Letter The Switzers in Virginia How Various Tribes Were Blended Together to Form the Swiss Nation* Historical Statement Probated Will of Stephen Hotzenbella Probated Will of Valentine Switzer Remarks Switzer Genealogy Berry in Cottonwood Township Switzers of Indiana Historical Statement “A History of the Valley of Virginia,” (Fourth edition, page 181 by Samuel Kercheval.) Having referred to the month of October and the year 1787, the au­thority above named gives this statement: “The same year and month, the town of Watson, (commonly called Ca­pon Springs), in the County of Hampshire, was established. Twenty acres of land to be laid off in lots and streets. Elias Poston, Henry Fry, Isaac Hawk, Jacob Hoover, John Winterton, Valentine Swisher, * Rudolph Bumgardner, Paul Mclvor, * * John Sherman Woodcock and Isaac Zane, Gentlemen Trustees.” (Copied by W. F. Switzer.) *Swisher should be Switzer. (Schweitzer.) **McIvor is correct; this was afterwards written McKeever. The foregoing data was obtained in September...

Probated Will of Stephen Hotzenbella

In the name of God, Amen. I, Stephen Hotzenbella, of the County of Frederick, in the Colony of Virginia, being sick and weak of body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God for it. Therefore calling to mind the mor­tality of the body, and knowing that is is appointed for all men once to die; do make and ordain this my last will and testament, in manner and form, to-wit: Imprimis: I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife, Barbara Hot­zenbella, the young bay horse, unbranded, one cow, and one featherbed and fur­niture. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter, Susannah Seigler, one mare of the value of eight pounds, one side saddle and bridle, two cows, one rug and one blanket. Item: My will and desire is that after all my just debts and funeral ex­penses are paid and satisfied, that all the rest and residue of my estate be di­vided equally between my surviving sons and daughters. Item: I give and bequeath to my said ‘beloved wife, Barbara, the plan­tation whereon I now live during her natural life or while she remains my widow, but after her decease or marriage, Item: My will and desire is that my Executors do sell the said Planta­tion to the best advantage that can be got and out of the money arising thereby that they pay to my son Jacob Hotzenbella, forty pounds; to my son Stephen Hotzenbella, sixty pounds; to my grand-daughter, Rebecca Bumgardner, fourteen pounds; to the Lutheran Church five pounds; and to the Calvinistic Church five pounds, and the rest and the residue...

How Various Tribes Were Blended Together to Form the Swiss Nation*

“East Switzerland was never so thoroughly recognized and subdued as the western part. Hence, when the Teutonic or German tribes succeeded at last in settling in the country, the power of Rome died out, the Allemanni in the north­east entirely absorbed the Celts who lived there, and who had but little power of resistance, and planted a true German people with their own laws, language, manners ‘and customs. With the Burdundians, also a German tribe, who settled in the south­west, it was different. While they brought fresh vigor into the country, they were influenced in turn by the Romanized Celts, and were gradually blended with the early settlers, thus forming a new people, the foundation of whose speech was Latin. This was the beginning of the German speech and a Latin speech, which developed into French, being spoken side by side in the little Central country. There is no Swiss language today. The larger eastern part still speaks German, like the country it borders on, and the smaller western part, touching France, speaks French. Where the southern part now runs down into Italy, the people speak Italian.” * This is from the Book of Knowledge, Vol. X, page 2962, pub­lished by the Grolier Society, London England. The Educa­tional Book...

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