By Don Taylor
Forebears indicates that Tschudi means “one who sat in judgment, a judge.” And that it is Swiss in origin.
Forebears indicates there are approximately 1,448 people in the world who share the Tschudi surname. The vast majority of them live in Switzerland. In the United States, the most significant number (51) live in Minnesota, where 1 in 122,569 people share the surname.
There are several variations of the name, the most common of the variations being Tschudy.
Ancestry indicates that the surname Oertli is a Swiss-German variant of Örtel, and that is a variant form of Ertel. Ertel is a South German name from Old Hi German ort, meaning ‘point (of a sword or lance).’ Forebears confirms the name comes from “point of the sword.”
Forebears indicates there are only about 1,171 people in the world with the Oertli surname. Over half of them, 666, live in Switzerland, and most of the rest live in the United States. In the US, more Oertli’s live in Texas than any other state.
Direct Oertli Ancestors
None of my wife’s direct Oertli ancestors immigrated to the United States. However, her 3rd great-grandmother, Anna Maria Oertli, married Bernhart Trümpi and came to the US as a Trümpi sometime before 1880. There are two lines of Oertli’s in my wife’s ancestors. The second line begins with Barbara Oertli who married Joachim Heinrich Kok (Koch) in 1865 in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland. Their daughter, Bertha, married Bernhart’s son, Bernhard Trümpi.
3rd Great-Grandmother: Anna Maria Oertli (1823-1896)
5th Great-Grandfather: Johannes Oertli (1773-1837)
With two Oertli families both living in Canton Glarus, Switzerland, it is likely the two families are related, but I have not found a relationship between the two families yet.
Direct Oertli Descendants
Othmar Oertli (1745-1819) married Anna Maria Frueler in 1767 in Glarus, Switzerland. Benjamin Darling in 1708. My records have identified 122 direct-line descendants of Othmar and Anna Marie.
Johannes Oertli married Elizabeth on 21 February 1802 in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland. My records have identified 88 direct-line descendants of Johannes and Elizabeth.[i]
I have not independently researched any of the Oertli ancestors’ lives.[ii] As such, I consider all Oertli ancestors as “tentative.”
Brigitte Oertli is a Swiss alpine skier born in Egg, Switzerland, in 1962. She won silver medals in Downhill and Alpine Combined during the 1988 Winter Olympics and is a four-time Women’s Alpine combination World Cup winner[iii].
Heinz Oertli founded Oertli Switzerland, a manufacturer of surgical instruments used in eye surgery[iv].
Minor planet 16167 Oertli was named for the 2002 Intel Science Talent Search finalist, Nichole Anne Oertli.[v]
Ancestry indicates that Becker is a Dutch, German, Danish, and Ashkenazic Jewish occupation name for a baker of bread or baker of bricks and tiles, which comes from the German word backen “to bake.” Ancestry mentions a couple of English meanings; however, this is one of those cases where knowing where your ancestors come from helps to understand the surname. In this case, there were nine generations of Beckers who all lived in Glarus, Switzerland, from 1624 to 1801. As such, I am completely ignoring the English origins and staying with the German heritage.
Today, in the Canton of Glarus, there are 71 instances of people with the Becker surname. That is 1 in 548 people.[i]
In Switzerland, there are 1,520 incidents of Becker, making it one in just over 5,000 people in Switzerland who have the surname.
It is most prevalent in Germany and most frequent in Luxembourg, where one in 228 people have the surname.
5th great – 241. Anne Magdalena Becker (1745-1801)*
6th great – 482. Johannes Becker (1698-1750)*
7th great – 964. Johannes Becker (1665-1743)*
8th great – 1928. Hans Becker (1624-1694)*
9th great – 3856. Fridli Becker (1591-1673)*
10th great – 7712. Hans Becker (1550-1610)*
11th great – 15424. Fridolin Becker (1525-___)*
Note: Ancestors identified with “*” have NOT been confirmed and verified by my independent research. Their names and dates rely upon the work compiled by Patrick A. Wild.[ii]
All of the Becker ancestors in this line were born, lived, and died in Glarus, Switzerland.
The Alemanni (German) settled this area in the 8th century.
In 1531, following the Second War of Kappel, both Catholic and Protestant residents gained the right to worship. Both religious groups used the same town church, which created many problems over the centuries.[iii]
It is an area where the predominant language is the “Highest” dialect of Alemannic German (Swiss German).
Glarus (town) is the picturesque capital of the Canton of Glarus. It is a small town of about 12,500 people nestled in a valley of the Linth River amongst the Glarus Alps, which rise 10,000 feet above the valley.[iv]
Direct Becker Descendants
Anna Magdalena Becker (1745-1801) married Fridolin Trümpy on 30 October 1767. I have not researched Anna and Fridolin in-depth to determine their children, other than Bernhard (see above).
[ii] Patrick A. Wild, Descent of Mary-Alice Darling Howell from Charlemangne (Zurich, Switzerland, , 2021) and Patrick A. Wild, Pedigree Chart for Shirley Elizabeth Darling: Following the Trümpy line in Glarus (2021). Contact Glarnus Families Worldwide (https://www.glarusfamilytree.com/).
[v] Because I know there were at least four generations of Trümpy’s in Glarus related to my wife, and the photographer of this photo is a Trümpy, I suspect this photographer might be a cousin. It would be fun to make the connection.
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-52
By Don Taylor
Bertha Koch is the mother of Bertha Barbara Trumpi[i] who was an immigrant ancestor. Bertha Barbara came to the United States first; then her mother went to the States to visit her. Mom went back and forth from Switzerland to the United States several times. Eventually, she apparently divorced her husband, Bernhart Trumpi, married Kaspar Hefti, and then returned to the United States with her new husband.
Bertha Koch was (probably) born 21 August 1862 in Glarus, Switzerland. Her parents’ names are unknown. When Bertha was born, the Civil War was raging in the United States. The Swiss had adopted a federal constitution in 1848 following its civil war.
Nothing is known of Bertha’s childhood specifically; however, when Bertha was about 12, Switzerland underwent an extensive constitutional change wherein the Swiss federal government took over responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters and everything else became the responsibilities of the individual cantons, such as Glarus.[iii]
On 10 February 1883, the 20-year-old Bertha married the 39-year-old widower, Bernhart Trumpi in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.
Children of Bernhart & Bertha (Koch) Trümpi.
1905 – John Huber
1906 – Wilhelm Bochs
1913 – Adolph Karch
In 1903, Bertha’s oldest daughter, Bertha Barbara, left Switzerland for the United States. Oral tradition indicates she came to America in the care of an aunt and uncle who traveled from America to get Bertha Barbara and return to the States.
In 1905, Bertha went to the States to visit her daughter, Bertha Barbara, who was living near New Glarus, Wisconsin. Traveling with her were three children, daughters Babetta, Trucela, and her son August. She was very pregnant during the trip and had her youngest child Ernst Lorrain aboard the ship to America during the voyage aboard the S. S. Lorraine. Her youngest child’s middle name was fashioned on the ship he was born. The vessel departed La Have on October 21st. Ernst was born on the 22nd of October, and the ship arrived in New York on 28th of October 1912[iv].
The next bit of her life is very unclear. It appears that she returned to Switzerland before 1910 because she does not show in any records during that time. Also, by 1912, Bertha had remarried to Kaspar Hafti. The documents I have found indicate that her husband Bernhart died on 10 February 1913. We don’t know if she and Bernhart divorced, if the date I have for Bernhart’s death is incorrect, or if she and Kaspar headed to the states traveling as “man and wife.” In any event, she, husband Kaspar, and son Ernst Trumpi returned to the United States aboard the S. S. Kaiserin Augusta Victoria in 1912[v]. Their planned destination was Portland, Oregon. I have been unsuccessful in finding Kaspar and Bertha in the 1920 Census. I suspect they returned to Switzerland because they returned to the States from Switzerland in 1925 and were listed in the ship’s manifest with their last residence being in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.[vi]
Death & Burial
Bertha and Kaspar located in Escalon, San Joaquin, California, USA. Bertha died of cerebral apoplexy[vii] on 17 Apr 1927 at the San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, San Joaquin County, California[viii] about 17 miles from Escalon. Bertha was buried at a “Rural Cemetery.” I have been unable to locate any burial information for Bertha Koch Trumpi Hefti.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Query various funeral homes in French Camp to see if any of them now have the records of what once was the Stockton Mortuary Company.
Follow the lives of each of Bertha’s children and learn if any of them provide insight into Bertha’s life.
Query more records for the Trumpi and Koch families of Ennenda, Glaris, Switzerland.
[i] I use Trumpi as the surname for standardization. Handwritten records in the United States typically use Trümpi. In Switzerland, the surname was typically spelled Trümpy. The use of American typewriters resulted in most modern records being spelled “Trumpi.”
[ii] Several records indicate Bertha’s surname was Kock. However, Babette indicated her mother’s surname was “Cook” in one record. The German word“Koch” translates to Cook in English, so I believe Koch is correct.
Huber and its derivatives (Hubbard, Hibbert, Hibbins, Hibbs, Hibson, and possibly Hoover) derive from the word, hube, a measure of land that could sustain and be worked by one farmer’s family. The name Huber designated the farmer who owned a “hube.”
The name is most prevalent in Germany (over 122,000 people) and most common in Austria where it is the second most common name in the country. In Switzerland, where Mary-Alice’s ancestors came from, it is the 7th most common name with 1 in 308 people have the surname.
Mary-Alice’s immigrant ancestor, John Huber, came from Switzerland in 1901 and settled in Wisconsin. In 1910 he and his wife, Bertha, located to Alabama. In 1920, they moved to Saginaw County, Michigan and remained there the rest of their lives. The 1920 Census indicates there were 162 Huber families in Michigan. John’s only son, Clarence, had no children, so the surname ended with Clarence. John’s daughter, Florence, was Mary-Alice’s maternal grandmother.
John Huber was the son of Jacob Huber and Kath Stuckling of Windlach, Zurich, Switzerland. I believe he had four siblings, Ernie, Hermann, Frieda, and Alfred. I know nothing about those siblings and need to research them in the future.