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Settlers XXXVII: The Heritage of John Bahr

The ancestry of John Bahr was provided and assembled by many of his descendants. The early history was compiled by James Dibble, great great great great grandson of John and Magdalena Reeser Bahr. All other contributors will be noted on their respective family links, as those pages are added. When these additions and updates occur, you will be able to simply click on the highlighted name in the text below to be taken to that particular family link.

Bahr (Bar, Beare, Behr and so forth) is a prominent name in Sullivan County history. For example, "Bahr Hill" was the informal name for the early burial location known formally today as Fairview Cemetery in Dushore. The Bahrs intermarried with the Kester, Wentzel, Reeser and other large German families and their descendants are common in this part of Pennsylvania until this day. We are pleased to introduce the Bahr heritage and give them their due place in the roster of early settler families. We are also indebted to our local transcription team for transcribing this historical presentation.

I. JAGLI  BÄR of Ottenbach, in the district of Knonau, in Canton Zurich, Switzerland, m. 15 Sept, 1560, ELSBETH RAPPOLDT.  He d. 15 Oct. 1629, Ottenbach.

II. JOACHIM BÄR, 20 Dec. 1556, of Ottenbach, an Anabaptist, m. 3 Nov. 1583, Ottenbach, JUSTINA SCHOCH, b. 18 April 1563, Ottenbach, dau. of Hans and Verena (Hartman) Schoch. 

III. HANS ULRICH BÄR, b. ca. 1584, d. 20 April 1628 Ottenbach, m. 13 Nov. 1606, Rifferswil, Canton Zurich, BARBEL WYSS, b. 23 Sept. 1582, dau. of Heinrich Wyss.  She d. 2 April 1617, Ottenbach.  He m. 25 May 1617 BARBEL WYDLER.  His son by his first wife was:

IV. HANS BÄR, b. 17 Sept. 1609, Rifferswil, d. 17 July 1686, Ottenbach, m. 3 Aug. 1630, KLIANNA HUFSCHMIDT, bapt. 25 Nov. 1610, dau. of Heinrich and Barbara (Gut) Hufschmidt.  She d. 2 Aug. 1681, Ottenbach.

V.  MELCHIOR BÄR, bapt. 23 May 1643, Ottenbach, d. there 5 April 1706, m. 28 Nov. 1671, Ottenbach, to ANNA GROSS, bapt. 12 March 1648.  They moved to Rieschweiler, near Zweibrücken in Rhineland-Palatine, Germany. 

VI. JOHANNES BÄR, bapt. 2 Sept. 1694, Ottenbach, m. 30 Jan. 1719, at Nünschweiler-Huberhof, Rhineland-Palatinate,  ELISABETHA HÄBERLIG, dau. of Jacob Häberlig of Nünschweiler-Huberhof.  Came to America on the ship "Phoenix" 30 Sept. 1743, and settled in Weisenberg Twp., Lehigh Co., Pa.  He m. 2nd wife REGINA.  He d. by 1754 and she m. Peter Groh.   A son by his first wife was:

VII. JOHANNES BÄR, b. 18 Aug. 1741, Nünschweiler-Huberhoff, m. first, 1768, Wiesenberg Twp., Lehigh Co., Pa. ELIZABETH ----, m. 2nd MARIA MAGDALENA SCHUMACHER, probably dau. of Johann Jacob Schumacher and wife Anna Maria, who arrived in Philadelphia on 8 Oct. 1737 on the ship "Charming Nancy", and settled in Upper Macungie Twp., Northampton (now Lehigh) Co., Pa.  Johannes Baer might have married a third wife CATHERINE RIESER.  Between 1788 and 1790 he moved to Windsor Twp., Berks Co., Pa.  His will, dated 7 March 1813, was probated 15 April 1824.  A son by his second wife was:

VIII. JOHANNES BÄR (a.k.a. John Baer, Bahr) , b. 6 June 1783, Weisenberg Twp., Lehigh Co., m. MARIA MAGDALENA RIESER, dau. of Daniel and Elizabeth (---) Rieser of Windsor Twp., and granddaughter of Philip and Elizabeth (Le Van) Rieser of Bern Twp., Berks Co.  Her great grandfather Jacob Rieser came from Canton Bern, Switzerland.  Her maternal grandfather Daniel Le Van, a French Hugenot, son of Daniel and Marie (Beau) Le Van, arrived in Philadelphia in 1727 on the ship "William and Sarah"  and settled in Maxatawny Twp., Berks Co. 

The 1820 census, Windsor Twp., Berks Co., Pa. lists John Bare (21001-4001).  In 1830, same place,   John Barr (3110101-0223101).  John Bear appeared in the 1840 census in Cherry Twp., Lycoming (now Sullivan) Co., Pa. (00310001-00010001).   In the 1850 census, Cherry Twp., Sullivan Co.:  John Beare, 67, Mary, 63, Solomon, 22, Jacob, 20, all b. in Pa. 

John d. 27 Oct. 1855, age 72 years, 4 months and 21 days.  Magdalena d. 3 June 1868, aged 81 years, 5 months and 18 days.  Both were buried in Fairview Cemetery on Bahr Hill in Cherry Twp.

Magdalena's brother John Rieser / Reeser also settled in Cherry Twp.  The Heverly family who settled in Overton Twp., Bradford Co. were also related, being descended from Johannes and Anna (Bär) Häberlig.  Anna Bär was daughter of Joss and Margaret (Gut) Bär, and granddaughter of Hans and Klianna (Hufschmidt) Bär above. 

Sources for these early families include:

"Bar Families of Ottenbach, Switzerland, and Lehigh County, Pennsylvania" by Jane E. Best, in Mennonite Family History Magazine, Vol. IX, No. 2, April 1990, pages 48-56.

Eighteenth Century Emigrants form German-Speaking Land to North America, Vol. II:  The Western Palatinate,  Annette Kunselman Burgert, 1985, pages 42-44.

Twleve Families - -An American Experience, William F. O'Dell, 1981, Chapter 8.

The Genealogy of Henry Baer of Leacock, Pennsylvania, Willis N. Baer, 1955.

Baer Family of Northern Lehigh County,  Raymond E. Hollenback.

History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania and a Genealogocal and Biographical Record of Its Families, Charles Rhodes Roberts et al, 1914; Baer Family, pages 33-44.


These were the ancestors of John Bahr. We now turn to the family of John and Magdalena Reeser.

JOHN BAHR born June 6, 1783;  son of Johannes and Magdalena (Schumacher) Baer. Died October 27, 1855

Married Magdalena Reeser born Dec. 16, 1786; daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Reeser. Died June 3, 1868

Children of John & Magdalena Reeser:

  1. John Bahr 1807-1884
  2. Susannah Bahr 1809-1878
  3. Magdalena Bahr 1810-1883
  4. Elizabeth Bahr 1811-
  5. Rebecca Bahr 1812-1877
  6. Benjamin Bahr 1814-
  7. Mary Bahr 1816-1901
  8. Samuel Bahr 1818-1852
  9. Catherine Bahr 1821-
  10. Sarah Bahr 1822-1902
  11. William Bahr 1824-1890
  12. Daniel Bahr 1826-1910
  13. Solomon Bahr 1828-1910
  14. Jacob Bahr 1830-1910

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