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I am interested in tracing my family name back to its first known form in Switzerlamd.

It is commonly believed the BLICKENSDöRFER ancestry may extend as far back as 600 C.E. with settlements by the Alemammen in Switzerland in the Canton of Zug. It is my hope to obtain information that will document my family lineage as far back as possible.

During the middle ages, the BLICKENSDöRFERs mangaed to keep, and add to, their rights under the jurisdiction of the Lords of Kappel as recorded in the archives of the corporation of Blickensdorf, dated January 27, 1381. The town of Blickensdorf appears on 1566 maps showing four dwellings.

Is is hoped that people in this area will be interested in providing information about the BLICKENSDöRFER (now BLICKENSTAFF and other forms) family surname. To assist in establishing links to the present, I present the information I have obtained that traces the lineage back to the 16th century.

Perhaps the Swiss BLICKENSDöRFERs were disciples of Menno Simons who was associated with Mennonites. The BLICKENSDöRFERs also refused Lutheran beliefs associated with the Reformation. Following the tenets of Zwingli, and others, they joined the Anabaptist movement as it spread throughout Switzerland. Eventually many Anabaptists were expelled (or they fled to avoid persecution) to Germany and other European nations. The BLICKENSDöRFERs moved to Germany and France.

The following is an inset of five "new" generations of this family (BLICKENSDöRFER) from Mennonite records in Baldenheim, Alsace, France, by Richard Davis. Different surname spellings have made it difficult to trace this family from Switzerland to Germany and France and finally to the American colonies in the mid 1700s.


1 Jacob BLEIGENSTORFER b.c. 1542, d. July 5, 1639, in Buchenegg (wife's name unknown)

2 Heini BLINKERSDORFER b.1569, d. June 29, 1628, in Lilchberg m. Ursula MULLER, d.Nov. 22, 1635

3 Hans Jacob BLINKERSDORFER b. June 11, 1598, Stallikon d. July 5, 1639 Buthenegg m. Verena HUBER b. ? d. ? (five children)

4 Hans Jagli BLINKERSDORFER/BLEIGERSTORFER, Baldenheim, b. Sept 26, 1630, d. ? m. Catharina SCHNEBELI, b. Jan 30, 1631, Affoltern,CHE (four children)

5 Hans Jacob BLIEGENSDORFER/PFLEIGERSDöRFER/ PLEIGERSDORFER/PFLIEGSDORFER b. 1665 d. 1712, Baldenheim, Alsace, France, m. Barbara _______ b.? d. after 1743 (three children)

6 Hans Jakob BLICKENSDöRFER b. 1694, d.1738, Kohlhof m. Katharina _____ b.? d.after 1743 (one daughter and five sons who appear below)


According to land titles recorded in the archives of Spreyer, capital city of the Palatinate, the estate of Ulrich Schnaider was purchased by Hans Jacob BLICKENSDöRFER on February 12, 1716. Hans Jacob BLICKENSDöRFER and his wife Katharina,had one daughter and five sons, four of whom emigrated to the new world, while one remained in Germany. The daughter's name is not known. These five sons were: Jacob (eldest, who stayed in Germany), Christian, Johannes, Ulrich, and Jost (the youngest).

Johannes and Ulrich landed Philadelphia on September 9, 1749.

Christian and Jost landed at Philadelphia on September 29, 1753. Christian had married in Germany and brought with him his wife and two small sons. A third son was born seven days after they landed in their new world. Christian did not change the spelling of the family name and spent the rest of his life in Litiz, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Although his signature in the Colonial Records of Harrisburg appears as Jost BLICKENSDöRFER, he later changed the spelling to Yost BLICKENSTAFF as it now appears on his tomb stone in a small country graveyard about three miles north of Myersville, Maryland, USA. He moved to Maryland and purchased property on May 24, 1772, from Christian Leatherman. He and his descendants were buried on his property upon which he earned a living. He died on July 13, 1826, at the age of 91. He had eight children by his first wife, Elizabeth OCHS, and six children by his second wife, Margaret FULLER.

I am a direct descendant of Yost BLICKENSTAFF and know considerably more than is written here. I am interested in tracing my lineage back beyond Jacob BLEIGENSTORFER whose family originated in Switzerland but moved to France and Germany. I hope my information is accurate on the four sons of Hans Jacob BLICKENSDöRFER who came to America, that their descendants have researched their lineages, and are willing to share information with me.

The following data involves the five sons of Hans Jakob BLICKENSDöRFER and Katharina.

Jacob b. 1722, d. 12 May 1761 in The Kohlhof Germany m. Eva WAGNER d. after 1761 and his line remained in Germany.

Christian b. 6 Mar 1724, d. 6 Apr 1800 in Lititz, PA. He kept his family surname, but spelled it BLICKENSDERFER. Christian m. Catherina SCHUERGAR b. 14 Oct 1727, d. 24 Jan 1778 in Lititz, PA.

Johannes b. 25 Apr 1725, d. c. 1801, had two children -- wife's name not known.

Ulrich b. 1726-1730, d. after 1806 in Bedford, PA, (was married and had 3 sons and 1 daughter) Surname was changed to BLICKENSTAFF.

Jost b. 2 Feb 1735, d. 13 July 1826 near Wolfsville, MD. m. 1766 Elizabeth OCHS b. 1737, d. 5 Dec 1781. (they had 8 children) Yost then m. Margaret FULLER b. 1778, d. 18 Feb 1830. (they had six children)

I offer the following direct line between Hans Jakob BLICKENSDöRFER and myself hoping that viewers of this site will recognize individuals in thier line and will contact me for exchange of data.

Hans Jakob + Katharina -----> Yost BLICKENSTAFF

Yost + Margaret FULLER (second wife) -----> Daniel BLICKENSTAFF

Daniel + Rebecca CUSTARD -----> Daniel Webster BLICKENSTAFF

Daniel Webster + Mary P. HOOVER -----> Nemiah Rauchlin BLICKENSTAFF

Nemiah Rauchlin + Ida SHUFF -----> Harry Garfield BLICKENSTAFF Sr.

Harry Sr. + Rebecca KLINE -----> Harry Garfield BLICKENSTAFF Jr.

Harry Jr. + Gladys Adella HOOVER -----> Marvin BLICKENSTAFF (Yours truly)

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