1570 - 1736

Compiled by C. Tharp

First it is necessary to give credit where it belongs. "The Studebaker Family National Association's earliest meeting was in 1965 at Tipp City, Ohio headquarters. The membership grew and in 1976 the Association published its first edition of the Studebaker Family in America, at the time paid membership was 1500. Many Family members worked to make the publication a success." I will not list their names here but refer the reader to the 1976 publication. A revised and updated addition was published in the 1980's.

"The origin of the family was traced by, Herr Bernard Freter, a native of Germany employed by the Family Association. Herr Freter was a retired architect and genealogical researcher. In 1970 he was head of the Historical Society of Hagen, a city located in the Ruhr Valley. He knew the Studebaker background in his town and also in the area in and around Solingen. The where to look in Germany was thus narrowed to this area. His access to the archives of the region's churches, Historical Societies and museums produced a monumental amount of documentation for the Studebaker Family. His work for the family occurred in the late 1960s and in the year 1970 he attended the Studebaker Family Reunion at Dayton, Ohio and there summarized his early Studebaker findings."

"With the Studebaker Family in America the ancestral line begins in the Lower Rhine Valley in the present day province of Westphelia, western Germany. The community of Solingen was the residence of the Studebaker ancestors for several generations and is located some fourteen miles northeast of the old city of Colongne. East of Solingen about five miles is the town of Remscheid. All these communities lie within the great industrial belt of Germany".

"As early as 1570 in the town of Remscheid a family by the name of Staudtenbecker is found in the local church records, it seems two sisters, Ann and Margareta, who later are found in church records at Dorp, a suburb of Solingen, were daughters of Staudtenbecker. This Staudtenbecker born about 1570-75 also had three sons, Andreas (1605-1684-8) Engelbert (1610 and died before 1688) became blade-makers and the third was Peter (1600-1676). All seem to have followed the Reformed teaching in their religious affiliation. Two other religious teachings at the time were Catholic and Lutheran. These early records are the first found relating to the Studebaker family. In 1630 the two brothers, Andreas and Engelbert, resided in Solingen, living in a house called "Am Ollig" which was still standing in 1970".

"Being craftsmen and or tradesmen they were a part of the guild system prevailing at that time, which for many generations was a factor in their daily lives. Each guild or trade was a closed shop in that their skills were keep secret. We can assume that many of the families in the local trades were related since membership was closely regulated and restricted to members of a family and further limited to but two legitimate sons of a family. In the early records it is found in the period after the Thirty Year War (mid-seventeenth century) when the Spanish were in possession of the region, Solingen was destitute, never-the less the brotherhood are given as having about seventy families of Sword Smiths, about one hundred families of Temperers and Grinders, about twelve families of Armorers and about eighty families of Knife makers (blade makers). It is established that at least five generations of Studebakers followed the metal working trade. The entire family was more often than not directly involved in the business, as there are many aspects of the trade that semi-skilled and unskilled labor are an integral part. One was the general duty of the women had of delivering the products of the family's labor, duty considered both a difficult one and hard work. To further complicate the business was the barter system. (to trade by exchange of goods and services with out the use of money".

"Herr Freter states that the Studebaker family was not in Solingen before the Thirty Year War. (1618-1648), but were in the Luttringhausen district only a few miles away. They first appear in Solingen records in 1630, as stated above residing in a residence called "Am Ollig". Interestingly we find this several years later. In a "Lagerbuch" list of taxes of houses and plots from 1688, page 142, is the notice for Evert Mones (husband of Maria, daughter of Andreas Stauttenbecker and sister of Peter "a house on the Ohleg (the area of the gate of Ohleg) to left on the street beside the house of Mathias Wundes, formerly called the house of Engel (Engelbert) and Drees (Andreas) Stauttenbecker, with smithy behind that." It seems Maria and her husband retained the old family house and smithy. We find Peter had taken up residence in a suburb of Solingen called Dolp. Peter, the third generation in the line of descent was born about 1632 and died before 1692. His wife is only known to probably have been a family by the name of "Bick". It is with the fourth generation that records are such that marriages are recorded for the children of Peter Stutenbecker. His son Johannes Stutenbecker (1662-1728) married Catherina Raw (1670-1712) a daughter of Johan Raw. Catherina died in 1712 having given birth to five children. In July of 1712 Johannes married M. Henckels. It was found that Johannes Stutenbecker and his brother Thilman took their oath of handwork the 13th of April 1693. Johannes worked in his family's smithy shop and also lived in Dorp. As Johannes is the direct line of descent. I will list his family and pass up his three brothers, Thilman, Clemens, and Peter for now."

"The children of Johannes and Catherina Raw Stutenbecker were the fifth in the number of generations in Germany that we can account for through the research of Herr Freter. Three of these sons immigrated to America. Peter (b. 1695, d. before 1754) and Clemens (b. 1700, d. 1762), both immigrated to America in 1736. Johannes Diderich Abraham (b. 1712 immigrated to America in 1732 (no further record). A brother Wilhelm (b. 1702, d. 1774) never left Germany nor their sister, Ann Catherina (b. 1708, dd. 1774)."

"In the year 1736, Peter, Clemens and their cousin Heinrich Studebaker left Solingen where they were cutlers by trade. They traveled west to Dusseldorf, boarded a packet boat and traveled down the Rhine River to Rotterdam. There they booked passage on the Harle, owned by Ralph Harle, Master. The Harle sailed to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight in England, where they loaded on supplies and fresh water for the long journey to the colonies in America."


"The 1736 Studebaker immigrants arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1736. Here they Rejected their German citizenship and took the oath of allegiance to the British Crown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The early records reveal the Peter settled in Maryland near Hagerstown. Clement settled in Adams County near Gettysburg, a cousin Heinrich settled in Peters Township Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Why the separation is not mentioned in any account of the family record. It seems at least Peter remained with a group from the "Harle" as Jonathan Hager, a fellow passenger also were found in the community of Hagerstown. Peter and Clement had applied for the right to survey for themselves two tracts of land near Germantown on the Andelauney Creek in Berk Co., Pa. in December of 1736. It seems they did not act on this. Peter when to the Conogocheaque and Hagerstown area in the back country of Prince George County, Maryland."

All information in this compilation is based on the records of the Studebaker lineage that is relevant to the ancestral lineage of those who settled in Union Township, Delaware Co., Indiana, one century after their German immigrant arrived in the American colonies. To continue see: Studebakers in America, First and Second Generation.

Last update 10-05-97
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