Descendants of Konrad Roth

The following data is taken from the book "Looking Back and Forging Ahead". This book was from the family of Helen Schumacher and Joseph Bigler. The notes are excerpts from the 1992 book "Pictures from the life of a family from the Luzern Hinterland" by Alexander Roth. This book is written in German and can be found in the Allen County Library, Ft. Wayne, IN unless otherwise stated. 

                        Generation No. 1

KONRAD1 ROTH was born Bet. 1400 - 1405, and died 1473.

Notes for KONRAD ROTH:
Lived in Halten, Roggwil BE, Pfaffnau

Konrad Roth was born between 1400 and 1405. He grew up in Halten, in one of six Villages of Halten, etc. He married in 1430 and between 1430-1435 his oldest so which in known to us and is named Hans was born. Of Kuoni's many children we know three others by name: Rudolf, Konrad, and Elisabeth.

Kuoni is mentioned first in 1434 ( see pervious translation for description of his moving to Pfaffnau or perhaps in nearby Roggwil). His second son, Rudolf, settles there later possibly on the farm of his father. In Roggwil or Pfaffnau, Konrad (Kuoni) Roth and his family survive the year of famine of 1438, and the great year of the plague of 1439 which claimed many victims in Switzerland.

In the year of 1448, we know that Kuoni lived in Pfaffnau for he is a witness to a treaty between a farmer and the Abbott of St. Urban. Being a witness means he has been living in Pfaffnau for quite some time. Being a witness also means that Kuoni was fairly well-to-do, owning land in many localities.

1466 is an important year for Kuoni, he becomes a free person after paying a lot of money, 80 Guldens which represents the worth of a house. His wife must have been dead by then for she is not mentioned as being one who is freed from being a serf. The three sons are mentioned.

Kuoni was a person of great energy who was not afraid of taking risks. On behalf of the monastery he sells cattle on the market in Basel. He raises cattle and has horses. The people on the farm live on their fields and meadows which required a lot of helping hands.

The last time one hears about Kuoni is in 1473 when he is a participant in a contract between the monastery and his family. He was close to 70 years then, a very old age for that time. He probably died shortly after the above incident.

Children of KONRAD ROTH are:

i. HANS (JOHANN)2 ROTH, b. Bet. 1430 - 1437; d. Bef. 1500.
ii. RUDOLF ROTH
iii. KONARD ROTH
iv. ELISABETH ROTH 

                         Generation No. 2

HANS (JOHANN) ROTH (KONRAD1) was born Bet. 1430 - 1437, and died Bef. 1500.

Notes for HANS (JOHANN) ROTH:

Lived in Halten, Roggwil BE, Pfaffnau

He was probably born in Halten. As a small child he moves with his parents to Pfaffnau. We know that Hans (Johann) and Ruedi Roth lived in Roggwil while their father, Kuoni, was in Pfaffnau.

In 1465, Hans follows in the footsteps of his father when he becomes a witness in a dispute before a court. When father Kuoni dies after 1473, Hans moves to his father's farm Eiholz, his younger brother Konrad probably lives there already. The older brother, Ruedi stays in Roggwil.

We don't know anything more about the life of Hans. Between 1475 and 1510, the books of the monastery are missing. All we know is that he had several sons. Fridolin is on the farm in 1500 and by then Hans was already dead.

Child of HANS (JOHANN) ROTH is:

i. FRIDOLN ROTH, b. Bet. 1460 - 1470, Canton of Lucerne; d. Abt. 1509.

                        Generation No. 3

FRIDOLN ROTH (HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born Bet. 1460 - 1470 in Canton of Lucerne, and died Abt. 1509. He married ELISABETH MUMENTALER.

Notes for FRIDOLN ROTH:

Lived in Pfaffnau

There is not much about him in writing. He is the first one who was born in the Canton of Lucerne. During his time, the Abbott of St. Urban 1487-1501 lived a loose life, he drove the monastery into debt and many of the documents were lost.

We only know that Fridolin died between 40 and 50 and that his widow was named Elisabeth Mumentaler and that she came from nearby Langenthal. There would have been more people getting married to the Roths from the Bernese region if the latter had not become Protestant in the meantime.

Fridolin had three boys: Fridolin, Matthias, and Ulrich. They were underage when their father died (under 16 years of age).

Children of FRIDOLN ROTH and ELISABETH MUMENTALER are:

i. FRIDOLIN ROTH
ii. MATTHIAS ROTH
iii. ULRICH ROTH, b. Bet. 1495 - 1500; d. 1564.

                        Generation No. 4

ULRICH4 ROTH (FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born Bet. 1495 - 1500, and died 1564.

Notes for ULRICH ROTH:

Lived in Pfaffnau

He was between ten and twelve when he lost his father. Together with his two brothers he had to manage the farm and support his mother. All three brothers as a result became very independent and were known as ambitious individuals.

Ulrich in his early youth became a witness to a fire which burns down the monastery St. Urban. He also becomes witness to a peasant revolution against the city authorities. Also, the people of the town take up arms to prevent a monk from the monastery to become their priest. The Roth's probably were not involved in the battle since they were dependant farmers of the monastery.

The Eiholz farmer had to pay rent and interest to the monastery. The sum consisted of 2 pounds and 6 shillings, one old chicken, two young chickens. and twenty eggs. Two of the brothers get married, the place becomes too crowded, and Fridolin leaves home.

No sooner has Fridolin left the farms, that great turmoil overtakes the region, the war between the Protestants and the Catholics with Bern becoming Protestant.

After Fridolin left in 1522, Matthias and Ulrich manage the farm. The latter marries in 1525. We don't know the name of the wife, but the sons are Hans, Fridolin, and Sebastian. Matthias leaves the farm as well which leaves Ulrich by himself. He turns over the farm to sons Fridolin and Hans in 1562 when the former is in his sixties.

Twice Ulrich's name is mentioned in some court papers. Like his father, Kuoni Roth, Ulrich enjoyed a good reputation. Ulrich probably died in 1564 just as the plague went through the region. But before he dies he enjoys his two grandchildren, Blasi and Vinzenz who later are the founders of the Gettnau and Zell branch of the Roth family.

Children of ULRICH ROTH are:
i. HANS ROTH
ii. FRIDOLIN ROTH, b. Bet. 1527 - 1529; d. 1604
iii. SEBASTIAN ROTH

                       Generation No. 5

FRIDOLIN ROTH (ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born Bet. 1527 - 1529, and died 1604. He married VERENA SCHMID.

Notes for FRIDOLIN ROTH:

Lived in Pfaffnau

Fridolin has the same name as his grandfather and uncle. Fridolin grows up on the Eihold with the older Hans and the younger Baschi ( Sebastian) and other siblings.

When he is 23 years old he marries Verena Schmid, who probably is from Pfaffnau. Verena Schmid becomes the mother to six sons and one daughter, and she probably even had more children. We don't know since at that time there was no baptism registry.

Again, there are too many people an the Eiholz.  In 1573 Cousin Jorg Roth dies an Chrummen with out descendants. As a result, father Fridolin, Verena, Balsius, Hans, Jakob, Vinzenz, Anna, Walter, and Stefen move to the Chrummenhof. Later sons Blasi, Hans and Welti return to the Eiholz.

As his father Ulrich, Fridolin is mentioned many times in the books of the monastery. Fridolin is the first Roth family tree to be registered as one who is subject to the draft in the land of Lucerne.

Around 1600 Fridolin, being over 70 years old seemed to have retired from active farming. He dies as he is 75 years old, a very high age for that time. His wife Verena survives him by nine years.

Fridolin Roth is the last one of the family tree who spent his whole life in Pfaffnau. He is the last "total" ancestor of the Roth clan. After his death the family divides between the Gettnau and Zell clan.

Children of FRIDOLIN ROTH and VERENA SCHMID are:
i. BALSIUS6 ROTH
ii. HANS ROTH
iii. JAKOB ROTH
iv. VINZENZ ROTH, b. Bet. 1555 - 1565; d. 1618.
v. ANNA ROTH
vi. WALTER ROTH
vii. STEFEN ROTH.

                        Generation No. 6

VINZENZ ROTH (FRIDOLIN5, ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born Bet. 1555 - 1565, and died 1618. He married VERENA DURLER 1590.

Notes for VINZENZ ROTH:

Lived in Pfaffnau/Zell

He was born between the years 1555 and 1565 under the roof of Eiholz. With his family the moves to Chrummen in 1573. In 1583 his name is mentioned in a military list. Vinzenz is equipped with a musket, which is obligatory for a head of household.

In 1590 he marries Verena Durler and they have many children, at least ten, and they grew up in Chrummen. The three oldest sons were baptized, Kasper, Melchior, Balthasar after the three wise men and one daughter has the rare name of Salome.

Father Vinzenz seemed to have been very successful. He buys out his brother Blasi who moves to Gettnau in 1603. But Vinzenz does not stay. He moves to a new home on the Bodenberg in 1616. He does not live there long as he dies in 1618, he was probably between 40 and 50 years old. His widow is fortunate to have two sons in their twenties. They continue the work on the large farm. Vinzenz lived only 1 1/2 years on the Zanzenhof, but he and his sons became the ancestors of the Zeller Roth.

Child of VINZENZ ROTH and VERENA DURLER is: i. MELCHIOR7 ROTH, b. 1595; d. 1675.

                         Generation No. 7

MELCHIOR ROTH (VINZENZ6, FRIDOLIN5, ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born 1595, and died 1675. He married (1) MARIA SUESS. He married (2) ANNA MEIER 1624 in Ettiawil, Switzerland. She died 1704.

Notes for MELCHIOR ROTH:

Lived in Pfaffnau, Zell

Melchior Roth is the most interesting person of the Roth clan after patriarch Konrad (Kuoni). He spends the first 20 years of his life on Chrummen in Pfaffnau. Melchior moves to Zell in 1616.

After the early death of his father Vinzenz and the 18 year old Balthasar who are responsible for the family. In 1624 he married Anna who is from Ettiswil.

Melchior Roth was one who loved contact with people. He asked all kinds of men to be godfather to his children. The former all were owners of farms on the Bodenberg. What is interesting is that Melchior is fined by the Bailiff for kicking a neighbor!

Still, he has a good reputation and his brothers and sisters marry into wealthy families. In 1624 Melchior loses his wife who is only 40 years old and leaves him with many children. As it was customary then, he quickly remarries a Maria Suess with whom he has 6 more children. Melchior is already over sixty when his youngest son is born.

Being popular with others means that Melchior takes important positions in the community. For one, he is the treasurer of the church in Zell. He even receives the highest position as Sechser Weibel Melchior also is a part of the peasant rebellion to the authorities for having been treated badly by them.

Melchior does quite well with his farm and becomes a lender of money to other persons. As we have seen already, Melchior had a hot temper and his name comes up again in a bodily conflict with a neighbor.

Even in his home he had some problems. His brother Hans works for him as a servant. Melchior is cited by Hans to appear in court in regards to an inheritance. Yet, Melchior is also mentioned in documents as a benevolent person. He gives money for a church bell and a silver cross.

Melchior has a strong nature and survives several plagues. He lived to good old age and died in 1675. He farmed for 60 years on the Bodenberg, survived two wives, left a lot of children, and was well known throughout the region.

Child of MELCHIOR ROTH and ANNA MEIER is:

i. JOSEPH8 ROTH, b. 1658; d. 1723.

                        Generation No. 8

JOSEPH ROTH (MELCHIOR7, VINZENZ6, FRIDOLIN5, ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born 1658, and died 1723. He married VERENA MEIER.

Notes for JOSEPH ROTH:

Lived in Zell

Joseph was the last one of about 15 children of Melchior and his two wives. His name is in the baptism registry of the church in Zell. He is the first Roth to live in Zell all his life. In contrast to his father his name is not often found in documents.

He was confirmed at the age of four, an extraordinarily early age. At times, even babies before they can walk were confirmed. This probably related to the early death of many children. To be confirmed meant one knew the ten commandments, the Lord's prayer, the creed "And the English greeting", and Easter communion. Obviously these children did not know all the above.

Soon little Joseph loses his mother and several brothers. Together with his brothers Moritz and Balz, he takes over the farm. The year 1675 marks the beginning of the Eisperiod which last until 1701. (Eistime is a period of extremely cold weather.)

At the age of 21, Joseph marries 18 1/2 year old Verena Meier from Ettiswil. In contrast to the other Roth women, Verena has only three children.

In 1673, the Zanzenhof had been divided between father Melchior and son Moritz. In one half lives Moritz, and in the other half Joseph. Moritz soon dies and Balz replaces him on the farm. So it is Joseph and Balz who farm together.

Even though we don't know much about Joseph, we know that he smoked. Smoking was forbidden and Joseph was fined for "drinking tobacco" as smoking was defined then. Also, we know that Joseph signed a document Sepp (abbreviation for Joseph). Only a few people, about 5 to 10 percent of the people knew how to read and write. Thus Joseph is unique, his father probably insisted that his sons have some writing knowledge since he was an official.

In 1707, brother Balz dies and Joseph buys out Balz's children, a legal action in those days. Today, this is regarded as a hard step, but then perfectly legal since it assured Joseph full ownership of the farm. He dies in 1723 survived by two sons, Martin and Joseph.

Children of JOSEPH ROTH and VERENA MEIER are:

i. JOSEPH9 ROTH b. 1689; d. 1766.
ii. MARTIN ROTH

                        Generation No. 9

JOSEPH ROTH (JOSEPH8, MELCHIOR7, VINZENZ6, FRIDOLIN5, ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born 1689, and died 1766. He married MARIA BOSSART.

Notes for JOSEPH ROTH:

Lived in Zell

Joseph and brother Martin grew up during the "Eistime", a difficult period for farmers. It is in 1712 that the Roth's from the Bodenberg witness a political catastrophe, the last Swiss religious war. The Catholics are defeated and generations will not forget that event. Possibly some of the Roths were called to serve on the Catholic side.

In 1715 there is a double marriage in the Zell church. The wife of Joseph, the 22 year old Maria, comes from Lingi, from a well-to-do family.

A document from the year 1718 indicates that Joseph Roth is named Sepp which is customary in Lucerne territory. He and his wife have 7 children in 14 years and none of the children dies which was unusual for that time. The sons (6) reach the average age of 69 and the daughter (1) is 61 when she dies. All witness to a healthy family.

Sons Martin and Josef manages the Zanzenhof after the death of their father in 1723. The children of Martin are not as fortunate as Joseph's, all four children die and Martin dies at the age of 46. Thus Joseph becomes the sole owner of Zanzenhof in 1730.  With the exception of the oldest, Jakob, the sons marry relatively late; Martin at 50, Hans at 34, Josef at 38, Jost at 32, and Melchior at 35.

Father Roth sees there will not be enough room for his descendants on the farm. He has over 60 grandchildren. Therefore, he buys the farm next door, the Holishof. Two sons move to the new farm, two stay with the father, and two leave altogether. The descendants of Martin Roth still live on the Bodenberg today. Joseph dies in 1766, almost 77 years old

Child of JOSEPH ROTH and MARIA BOSSART is:

i. JACOB10 ROTH, b. 1716; d. 1783.

                         Generation No. 10

JACOB ROTH (JOSEPH9, JOSEPH8, MELCHIOR7, VINZENZ6, FRIDOLIN5, ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born 1716, and died 1783. He married ELISABETH SCHAFER.

Notes for JACOB ROTH:

Lived in Zell

Winter 1715-1716 is cold and there is snow into spring. Jakob Roth is born as the oldest of seven children. He is also the first one to marry, exactly 30 years after his father. His 22 year old bride, Elisabeth Schafer, grew up in Wolhusen.

At first there are no children born, but in 1748 two children arrive, February and December. Both children die. A boy named Joseph is born in 1750. Six weeks previously, the parents have moved to their new home on Usserzanzen, also name Holifhof. Six more children are born there, but of nine children, five die at an early age.

The Jakob Roth family takes over the lower of the two houses on Usserzanzen, while brother Jost has the upper house, in which today the family of Josef Roth-Blum lives.

There is not much about father Joseph written on documents. This means he lived a quiet life. On the other hand there are many documents saved through that time without references to Roths. Jakob Roth, however, is named in two court appearances.

Child of JACOB ROTH and ELISABETH SCHAFER is: i. JOSEF11 ROTH, b. 1750; d. 1814. 

                          Generation No. 11

JOSEF ROTH (JACOB10, JOSEPH9, JOSEPH8, MELCHIOR7, VINZENZ6, FRIDOLIN5, ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born 1750, and died 1814. He married (1) ANNA MARIA BROCH 1770, daughter of HEINRICH BROCH. He married (2) MARIE GERTURD AMREIN 1782.

Notes for JOSEF ROTH:

Lived in Zell

Josef Roth spent his entire life at Haellerhof. Six weeks after his father moved there Joseph was born. He died in 1814, three years before the sale of the estate.  Josef lived during a politically turbulent epoch.

Josef married young, not quite 21 years old, and his bride, Anna Maria Broch, barely 17.  Her father Heinrich Broch was a descendant of the Heinrich Broch, who for his active participation in the FARMER'S WAR, was sentenced to six years as a gallery slave (1653). The year of this marriage, 1770, was a time of absolute war. I n several cantons crop failures led to famine and death en masse.  In nearby Entlebuch, 500 people were buried, from six parishes. The Roth/Broch couple quickly had 6 children, only one of which survived. Those sad days of burying one child after another at the Zeller cemetery was followed by even sadder times, when in 1782, 4 days after the baptism of the last child, Maria Broch also died, 28 years old.

The year of his wife's death, Josef married a second time. Maria Gertrud Amrein came from the Oberon Schwand, which was then the twin-parish of Ostergau (today Willisau-Land). Like Maria Broch, so also came the second wife from a well-to-do family. Every two years a new baby is born. From the 9 children, only one dies as a baby. The last born, Martin, is baptized in 1798. The baptism of this child coincides with a very turbulent historical time. Four days previous to the baptism, French troops have marched into Lausanne, which seals the end of the Swiss Confederation. Josef Roth, even though he lives in distant Bodenberg faces unstable times up to the end of his life. The Napoleon Era has begun, and Switzerland has become a War Theatre. The canton is occupied by French troops. Great misery, however, finally brings about a modern Switzerland.

In the year 1800, Josef was able to buy a second farm and built a new house which survives in a photo taken in 1912. A few years before his death in 1818, Josef wrote a will which became part of the sale document when the property was sold in 1814. " According to a will and "Schliss" ( a sort of life insurance) .... in favor of the beloved and still living mother, Anna Gertrud Amrein... will have for as long as she lives, free living, a quiet room, use of the owners living room as well as kitchen and every place for her living needs. She should also have the needed firewood prepared by the owner, sufficient potatoes, vegetables, and fruit, as much as she might need, fresh or dried from the month of May till harvest. During the winter months, always enough milk..."

Among Maria's nine children was Anna Maria Roth (born 1792) our direct ancestor.

Child of JOSEF ROTH and MARIE AMREIN is:

i. ANNA MARIA12 ROTH, b. January 25, 1792,Ostergau, Canton Lucerne, Switzerland; d. October 03, 1874, Avilla, Noble County, IN. Ostergau is known today as Willisau Land, Canton Lucerne, Switzerland

ii. Josef Martin Roth b. Feb. 1798

                         Generation No. 12

ANNA MARIA ROTH (JOSEF11, JACOB10, JOSEPH9, JOSEPH8, MELCHIOR7, VINZENZ6, FRIDOLIN5, ULRICH4, FRIDOLN3, HANS (JOHANN)2, KONRAD1) was born January 25, 1792 in Canton, Switzerland, and died October 03, 1874 in Avilla, Noble County, IN. She married JOSEF ANTON NIKOLAS ZANGGER 1817 in Werthenstein, Kloster, Switzerland, son of JOSEF ZANGGER and ANNA BUHLER. He was born December 07, 1793.

Notes for ANNA MARIA ROTH:

Anna Maria was married to Josef Zangger von Gettnau in 1817.  The next year, she and Josef emigrated to America.

Anna Maria is buried in the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Avilla, Noble County, IN Section 2, Row 15. Her tombstone reads,  "Zongker, Anna Mary Roth: Wife of Joseph; Jan 25, 1792- Oct 3, 1874; 82y 8m 9d; born in Canton, Switzerland"

Children of ANNA ROTH and JOSEF ZANGGER are:

 i. JOSEPH MARTIN13 ZONGKER, b. April 19, 1818, Lucerne, Switzerland; d. January 26, 1904, Hudson, Stuben County, IN; m. REGINA MYERS, November 28, 1841, Seneca County, OH; b. October 03, 1823, PA; d. February 19, 1875, Hudson, Stuben County, IN.

Notes for JOSEPH MARTIN ZONGKER:

Marriage found LDS microfiche page # 60623.

ii. ANTHONY ZONGKER, b. September 23, 1819, Lancaster County, PA; d. December 30, 1905, DeKalb County, IN buried Fairfield Cemetery; m. ELIZABETH HOSLER, July 16, 1846; b. June 29, 1826, Stark County, OH; d. March 26, 1902, DeKalb County, IN buried Fairfield Cemetery.

iii. JOHN ZONGKER, b. March 07, 1824, PA; m. (1) MARY MARGARET OLRY, February 11, 1847, Seneca County, OH; b. March 15, 1826, Voinemont Nancy, France; d. September 10, 1860, Avilla, IN buried St Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Avilla, IN; m. (2) ROSE HILL, 1865.

Marriage Notes for JOHN ZONGKER and MARY OLRY:

Marriage found LDS microfiche page #60623. Also shows her name as being Olvy

iv. HENRY ZONGKER, b. May 27, 1826, PA; d. March 31, 1908, Neola KS (buried Neola Cemetery); m. SUSANAH SKILLING, October 05, 1852, DeKalb County, IN.

Notes for HENRY ZONGKER:

Henry is mentioned in the will of Joseph Zongker dated March 30, 1850 Seneca County, OH.  Found on LDS microfiche # 60623.

v. MARY ANNA ZONGKER, b. January 25, 1828, Stark County OH; d. December 12, 1904, Avilla, Noble County IN; m. (1) JOHN BAPTISTE OLRY, SR, January 18, 1848, Tiffin, Seneca County, OH; b. January 01, 1802, Voinemont, Nancy, France; m. (2) SEBASTIAN MONGER, September 22, 1853, Seneca County, OH.

Notes for MARY ANNA ZONGKER:

Birth record and her marriage to Sebastion Monger both found LDS microfiche #60623.

vi. CHRISTINE THRESA ZONGKER, b. April 09, 1830, Stark County, OH; d. Avilla, IN; m. ALBIN MEYERS, January 11, 1853, Seneca County, OH; b. March 01, 1825, Schirrheim, FRANCE; d. January 20, 1917, Avilla, IN.

Notes for CHRISTINE THRESA ZONGKER:

Marriage and birth both found LDS microfiche page #60623.

vii. ELIZABETH ZONGKER, b. April 13, 1838, Seneca County OH; d. December 09, 1906, Gallion, Crawford County, OH buried Mt. Calvary Cemetery; m. JOHN PETER SMITH.

Notes for ELIZABETH ZONGKER:

Elizabeth mentioned in the will of Joseph Zongker dated March 30, 1850 Seneca County, OH. Found on LDS microfiche # 60623
viii. ADAM ZONGKER.

ix. DAVID ZONGKER.

Notes for DAVID ZONGKER:

David is mentioned in the will of Joseph Zongker dated March 30, 1850 Seneca County OH. found on LDS microfiche # 60623.

x. WILLIAM ZONGKER, b. 1841; d. 1895, Mountain Grove, MO; m. LOUISA JANE KELLER; b. 1843; d. 1946, Mountain Grove, MO.

Notes for WILLIAM ZONGKER:

William named in the will of Joseph Zongker dated March 30, 1850 Seneca County, OH found LDS microfiche # 60623..

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