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October 20, 2021

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Abraham and Marianna Ramseier Zurflug

Our Swiss connection - part 11

This is the 11th installment in this series. Click here for the previous installment.

Background on this series: During his retirement years, Bluffton Swiss genealogist, the late Herb Probst, created a genealogical overview of the early Swiss settlers in the Bluffton and Pandora communities, which he shared during his lifetime with several area families, who he researched.

One of those families included the Icon editor, Fred Steiner. Probst provided copies of each of these genealogies to Steiner. With the renewed local interest in local history, the Icon post sthese on a weekly basis.

Probst’s grandfather, Josef Probst, came from Germany in 1880 and married Elizabeth Suter of this community. On his mother’s side, her father was Solomon Welty and her mother was Barbara Amstutz.

Have you wondered why the road sign southwest of Bluffton is called Zurflugh Road?

Today there are no living members in the area by the name Zurflugh, or under the original spelling of Zurfluh.

Abraham and Marianne Ramseier Zurfluh first settled on the northeast corner of Lugabill and Zurflugh Road. The 1871 plat book lists them as owners of 40 acres in this corner.

Abraham was born Sept. 3, 1833, to Jakob and Elisabeth Wahli Zurfluh in Amt. Munster Souboz, Canton Bern, Switzerland.

Marianna was born in Chablai Ludrich, Canton Bern, Switzerland, on June 18, 1832. She was the daughter of  Isaak and Anna Bartschi Ramseier.

No proof is known if the parents came to America.

Abraham at age 18 and Marianna at age 19 were married in Switzerland on Feb. 7, 1852. One month later on March 8, 1852, they left for America along with a large number of other Swiss immigrants.

They arrived in New York on April 28 and continued to Wayne County, Ohio, arriving on May 7, 1852.

Meanwhile another immigrant, John Klay, and Abraham decided to come to the Bluffton area looking for land. The two came by train to Findlay and then walked the rest of the way, arriving at the Durs Amstutz home.

Abraham purchased 40 acres of virgin land and then he and John returned to Wayne County and returned with their wives.

With the help of neighbors, Abraham built a log cabin on their land and on Oct. 28, 1852, the couple had their first home.

Abraham and Anna had nine children, all born in Richland Township. Mary Ann, the oldest married Benjamin Basinger and they had 12 children. They lived on the southeast corner of the St. John Mennonite Church.

Jacob was single and lived on the home farm. Anna married Herman Kindle. David J. married Lidia Amstutz and they lived in Lima and had two sons, Elmer and Alvin.

Elizabeth was singled and died at age 29. Christian was also singled and died at age 25. Katharina married Ferdinand H. Lory and they had two children. Verna married Alfred Hochstettler.

Alfred died from a hunting accident at age 30, and his wife, Verna, died two months later at age 26. The youngest child, Sarah Ann, married Amos A. Luginbuhl.

Marianna died on Aug. 15,  1887, at age 55, when their youngest child, Sarah Ann, was 13. Abraham remained on the farm and his son, Jacob, took over the farming in the spring of 1907. Later that summer, Abraham and John W. Augsburger and George Biederman, revisited Europe.

Abraham wrote a letter to the Bluffton News on Aug. 15, 1907, telling of their experiences and closed by saying, “Quite a touching feeling came over me as I again stood and viewed the scenes where I spent in innocent glee and joy many days of my earlier youth.”

Abraham learned four languages, English, German, French and Swiss dialect and became a legal interpreter. He was also a school teacher and active in the Ebenezer Mennonite Church as a teacher, church secretary and sexton. One of his most notable works was the recording of the Mennonite families living in this area published as a hard cover book.

The book lists there generations of families and is written in German.

However, several persons were able to translate it to English and has become a tremendous help in genealogy research.

The original book is in the Bluffton University Historical Library Archives. A microfilm copy is also available at the Bowling Green State University Genealogy Library.

Abraham died on Jan. 28, 1823, at the home of his daughter, Sarah Ann Luginbuhl. He was considered one of the oldest residents in the community at the time.

Abraham Zurfluh
Born: Sept. 3, 1833, Amt Munster Subo Combio Bern, Switzerland
Died: Jan. 28, 1923, Richland Township
Burial: Ebenezer Mennonite Cemetery

Abraham's father: Jakob Zurfluh (1798-1865)
Abraham's mother: Elizabeth Wahli (1805-1891)
Married: Feb. 7, 1852

Marianna Ramseier
Born: Jan. 18, 1832, Ludrich Chablai Bern Switzerland
Died: Aug. 15, 1887, Richland Township
Buried: Ebenezer Mennonite Cemetery


Mary Ann Zurfluh
Born: June 28, 1853, Richland Township
Died: Aug. 26, 1915, Riley Township, Putnam County
Spouse: Benjamin Basinger

Jacob F. Zurfluh
Born: Nov. 20, 1855, Richland Township
Died March 31, 1931, Richland Township

Anna B. Zurfluh
Born: Oct. 9, 1857, Richland Township
Died Feb. 1, 1914, Richland Township
Spouse: Herman Kindle

David J. Zurfluh
Born: Dec. 2, 1860, Richland Township
Died: May 4, 1936, Lima, Ohio
Spouse: Lidia Amstutz

Elisabeth Zurfluh
Born: Feb. 25, 1862, Richland Township
Died: Dec. 3, 1892, Richland Township

Christian Zurfluh
Born: Dec. 3, 1865, Richland Township
Died: May 21, 1891, Richland Township

Katharina Zurfluh
Born: March 24, 1868, Richland Township
Died: April 22, 1946, Richland Township

Verena Zurfluh
Born: April 12, 1871, Richland Township
Died: Feb. 1, 1898, Richland Township
Spouse: Alfred Hochstetler

Sarah Ann Zurfluh
Born: June 15, 1874, Richland Township
Died: Nov. 6, 1972, Richland Township
Spouse: Amos A. Luginbuhl