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The story of Christian "Black Beard" Bösiger




A separate Swiss Connection column in this series focuses on the parents of Christian, Jr., Bösiger, who came to America in 1824. Click here to read that column.


Christian’s mother, Elizabeth Steiner, died in Pennsylvania in 1824. Christian, Sr., and his children moved to Ontario, Canada. After six years Christian, Sr., and his sons John, Christian and Ulrich moved to Wayne County, Ohio.


About 18 months later, in 1833, they relocated to Putnam County, Ohio.


This column centers on Christian, Jr., also known as “Black Beard” Bösiger, who was married to Catherine Lugibuhl on Dec. 9, 1831, in Wayne County. Christian and Catherine were both born in Alsace Loraine, France. We do not have the names of Catherine’s parents.


Catherine died at age 45 while giving birth to Jacob C. Christian, Jr., then married Mary Sutter on March 27, 1841. She was born March 5, 1822, in Delle, France, to Christian and Katherine (Berner) Sutter.


From Christian’s first two marriage there were 98 grandchildren.


Christian “Black Beard” and Catherine Lugibuhl

Christian born: Oct. 9, 1795, Alsace, Loraine, France

Died: April 30, 1880, Putnam County

Buried: Old Mennonite Cemetery, Bluffton


Christian’s father: Bishop Christian Bösiger (1770-1847)

Christian’s mother: Elizabeth “Elsie” H. Steiner (1772-1824)


Catherine Lugibuhl

Born: Nov. 2, 1795, Alsace, Loraine, France

Died: Feb. 19, 1840, Putnam County

Parents: Not known


Christian “Black Beard” and Catherine Lugibuhl’s children

Spouse: Catherine Bösiger

Born: Dec. 29, 1831, Green Township, Wayne County, Ohio

Died: March 13, 1884, Riley Township


Elizabeth Bösiger

Born: Dec. 7, 1832, Green Township, Wayne County

Died April 22, 1894, Wayne County

Spouse: John Zimmerly


Christian Bösiger

Born: Oct. 28, 1833, Riley Township

Died: Feb. 26, 1853, Riley Township


John C. Bösiger

Born: Oct. 26, 1834, Riley Township

Died: April 18, 1905, Allen County, Ohio

Spouse: Elizabeth Bichsel


Ulrich Bösiger

Born: Aug. 23, 1836, Riley Township

Died: Dec. 8, 1887

Spouse: Anna Badertscher


Jacob C. Bösiger

Born: Feb. 19, 1840, Riley Township

Died: Dec. 8, 1925

Spouse: Mary Basinger

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Christian and Mary Sutter Bösiger

Married March 27, 1841


Mary Sutter born: March 5, 1822, Delle, France

Died: Jan. 1, 1862, Putnam County

Buried: Old Mennonite Cemetery


Mary’s father: Christian Sutter (1797 - )

Mary’s mother: Katherine Berner (1799-1869)


Christian and Mary Sutter Bösiger’s children

Note the change in spelling from Bösiger to Basinger in this generation

Peter C. Basinger

Born: May 18, 1842, Riley Township

Died: April 18, 1928, Riley Township

Spouse: Mary C. Suter


Moses Basinger

Born: July 17, 1843, Riley Township

Died June 23, 1926, Riley Township

Spouse: Marie Sophia Aerni


Benjamin Basinger

Born: Oct. 20, 1844, Riley Township

Died: Feb. 25, 1921, Riley Township

Spouse: Mary Ann Zurfluh


Aaron Basinger

Born: Jan. 10, 1847, Riley Township

Died: Aug. 17, 1931, Archbold, Ohio

Spouse: Katharina Burkholder


Katherine Basinger

Born: March 15, 1849, Riley Township

Died: April 22, 1910, Van Buren Township, Putnam County

Spouse: Hermann Aerni


Nathaniel Basinger

Born: April 24, 1851, Riley Township

Died: Dec. 21, 1937, Riley Township

Spouse: Emma Moser


Theophilus Basinger

Born: Feb. 22, 1854, Riley Township

Died: Nov. 5, 1938, Riley Township

Spouse: Anna C. Amstutz

Spouse: Katherina Suter


Magdalene Basinger (twin)

Born: March or May 16, 1856, Riley Township

Died: Nov. 28, 1856, Riley Township


Marie Basinger (twin)

Born: March or May 16, 1856, Riley Township

Died: Dec. 1, 1856, Riley Township


Fannie Basinger

Born: March 23, 1859, Riley Township

Died: Nov. 30, 1947, Toledo State Hospital





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