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Christian, Sr., and Anna Burkhalter Amstutz

A word about this series: Several viewers inquire about the sources of material in these columns. Here is the answer.

Before and other similar sites, Bluffton Swiss genealogist, the late Herb Probst, created a genealogical overview of the first 25 Swiss family 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 posts these 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.

Much of Probst's material came from Dr. Delbert Gratz, Bluffton College Mennonite Historical Library librarian, who led Swiss heritage tours to Swizerland for many years.

Viewers wanting additional information might contact the current historic library curator, Carrie Phillip at:

This week's feature There are many men named Christian in this story. We've added "Sr." to the featured couple, Christian, Sr., and Anna Burkhalter Amstutz.

The Jura region, in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, has many villages where many of the Bluffton and Pandora pioneer families originally lived.

This area is located about 40 miles southwest of the city of Basel. Many family names we still know today are: Amstutz, Augsburger, Bauman, Bichsel (Bixel), Burkhalter, Gerber, Graber, Haas, Habegger, Klay, Luginbuhl, Moser, Neuenschwander, Nussbaum, Schneck, Schrag, Sommer, Sprunger, Suter, Thut, Tschantz, Welty, Weber and Zingg.

Christian, Sr., and his wife, Anna Burkhalter Amstutz, were one of the many couples born in the Jura region.

Christian, Sr., was born Feb. 3, 1802, the son of Christian and Katherine Nussbaumer Amstutz, in Chatelat, Switzerland. Anna was born Aug. 26, 1801, to Christian and Anna Schragg Burkhalter, near the village of Souboz, Switzerland. Christian came to Wayne County, Ohio, in 1824, and married Anna on Dec. 4, 1824.

In 1836, Christian, Sr., and Anna left Wayne County and came to Riley Township, Putnam County with their three children, John C., Jonas and Christian, Jr.

Christian, Sr., purchased 160 acres located in the southwest corner of Section 22 in Riley Township. Across the road, to the west of was John Diller, who also had 160 acres.

One of their sons, John C., was married three times and had 18 children from these marriages. His first marriage was to Anna Amstutz and they had two children. Anna died at age 26. He then married Marie Anna Habegger and they had four children. Marie Anna died at age 37. His third marriage was to Anna C. Kaufman and they had 12 children. She lived to be 74.

The second child born to Christian, Sr., and Anna was Abraham who died at age 3 in Wayne County.

Three more children of Christian, Sr., and Anna were born in Riley Township. Both parents of Christian, Sr., and Anna remained and died in Switzerland.

Christian Amstutz, Sr. Born: Feb. 3, 1802, Chatelat Switzerland Died: Nov. 18, 1884, Riley Township Buried: Old Mennonite Cemetery, Bluffton

Christian Sr., father: Christian A. Amstutz (1772-1840) Christian’s mother: Katherina Nussbaumer (1773-1844) Married: Dec. 4, 1824

Spouse: Anna Burkhalter Born: Aug. 26, 1801, Above Souboz Switzerland Died: Jan 7, 1865, Riley Township Buried: Old Mennonite Cemetery

Anna’s father: Christian Burkhalter (1765-1814) Anna’s mother: Anna Schrag (1770-1824)


John C. Amstutz “Korbeli Stutz” Born: Dec. 12, 1825, Wayne County, Ohio Died: Oct. 11, 1895, Richland Township

Spouse: Anna Amstutz – 2 children Spouse: Marie Anna Habegger – 4 children Spouse: Anna C. Kaufman – 12 children

Abraham Amstutz Born: 1827, Wayne County Died: 1830, Wayne County

Jonas Amstutz Born, Sept. 12, 1829, Paint Township, Holmes County Died: May 18, 1904 Spouse: Verena Amstutz The couple had 7 children

Christian Amstutz, Jr. Born: Nov. 8, 1831, Paint Township, Holmes County Died: May 18, Dec. 15, 1862

Anna Amstutz Born: Sept. 16, 1836, Riley Township Died: Feb. 1, 1866, Riley Township Spouse: Samuel L. Hart The couple had 3 children

Catherine Amstutz Born: June 2, 1839, Riley Township Died: Dec. 10, 1918, Riley Township Spouse: Daniel King The couple had 9 children

Barbara Amstutz Born: 1841, Riley Township Died: Dec. 24, 1864, Riley Township Spouse: Jacob N. Zimmerman The couple had 1 child, who died at age 23


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