The Nuffer name

Coat of Arms for Martin Neuffer, 1594-1638

I had another person e-mail me this week attacking that I had the wrong spelling of my family line: Nuffer.  I am pretty sure I have my line correct because it shows on all legal documents, tombstones, and everything else I have seen.  I know some of the other family have changed their names to other variations thinking it is more correct.  I don’t really care to argue or dispute it, my direct line in the United States is not in question, nor is it in Germany for the first few generations before or after our family left.  Where the variations go before that are upon the spelling of an author and the spelling of names were not standardized.

Another entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah.  I will quote from the book itself.

“The name Neuffer, Nuffer and its many forms is of Celtic Origin and later became an Alemann surname.

“The Celt’s were barbarian tribes which occupied Southwestern Germany from at least the late 6th century B.C..  They were remarkable for their height, muscularity and fair coloring.  Their basic economy was mixed farming.  They were noted for their high spirits and love of war and excitement generally.  They were hospitable, fond of feasting, drinking and quarreling, and incapable of prolonged concerted action.  They loved art and greatly prized music and many forms of oral literary composition.  (Encyclopedia Britannica).

“Many Celtic villages have been uncovered in the area of Southwest Germany where our ancestors came from.)

“The Alemanni or Alamanni were a loosely knit confederation of Germany tribes who were first mentioned in connection with a Roman attack on them in 213 A.D..  They were originally composed of fragments of several Germanic peoples.  They had no central government and only joined forces when it was necessary for their defense.  Their language became the High German Dialects used in the Southwesternmost part of the German speech area.  Modern alemannic dialects include Swiss German, Alsatian and the German dialects spoken in Liechtenstein and the extreme western part of Austria.  (Encyclopedia Britannica).

“This is probably a major contributor of the Swabian dialect that our ancestors and the current population of Wurttemberg speak.  It is significantly different from the modern High German.

“Stawitz has stated that the meaning of the name refers to adjectives such as Awake, Springhtly, Merry, Gay, Chipper, Hale & Hearty, Vivacious, Full of Life, Ardent, Fervent, Lively.  (“Richard Stawitz “Die Neuffer aus Munsingen”)

“The name is part of a great group of original surnames in Southern Germany ending in er and one of the seven most prominent names in the region of the State of Wurttemberg.  (Die Nueffer aus Munsingen 1400-1900 by Richard Stawitz)

“The German pronunciation of the name is as follows:  Nuffer = Noofa oo as in book, short a.  The above is only an approximation of the u sound since there is no sound in the English language that exactly duplicates the German u in this case.  Neuffer = Noifa, oi as oy in boy, short a.  Nufer = Newfa.  When a name ends in er the r is dropped.

“The family name may have been taken from the town of Neuffen.  However, this is not certain as it appeared in several areas at about the same time.  This is about the time of the first written records in that part of Germany.  Since it is apparent that the name preceded the first records it becomes impossible to trace its exact origin.

“Today in Germany the Family Neuffer is the largest and most prominent of the different Neuffer, Nuffer, etc. families and Nuffer is the second.  There have been many other spellings of the name such as Nifer, Neifer, Neiffer, Nyfer, Neyfer, Neufer, Nufer, Nufer, Nuofer, Nuover, Nuber, Nuffer, and others.

“Our family came from Neuffen and spelled their name Nuffer for the last 2 generations prior to emigrating and Nufer for 3 generations before that.  Prior to the early 1700’s we have no positively accurate genealogical connections but it appears that we are connected to the Neuffer family.

“Since coming to America most of the family have kept the name as Nuffer but some members have changed it to Neuffer or Nufer.  Given the fact that the name has changed several times over the history in Germany it cannot be said that there is such a thing as “the” correct spelling.

“It is interesting to note that in Germany today if you find a community with Neuffers in it you will seldom find any Nuffers there and vs.  In the town of Neuffen which is supposedly the source of the Neuffer name there are no Neuffers living there, only Nuffers.  There is no record of any Neuffers having been born there.  There are records however of Neuffers having lived there for short periods as Government or Church officials.

“There is no doubt that we can bear this name with pride and dignity when we understand the noble origins and the distrinction with which our forbearers have carried it.

Included with this explanation regarding the Nuffer name, there is also a letter from W. Peter Nuffer of Richfield, Utah dated 4 January 1990 to Lloyd Neuffer of Ogden, Utah.  This letter included an editors note: “Because of Peter’s wide experience, while living and working in Germany, in searching original records and talking to many people carrying the different forms of the Neuffer name, he was appointed, at the Nuffer family reunion, in 1988, to determine the proper spelling of the name.  His opinion, contained in his letter, was that the spelling used during life should be used.  An attempt to follow this idea was used in compiling this family history.

Here are the contents of the letter.

“Dear Lloyd,

“After researching and thinking more about the subject I think it would be a mistake to spell Johann Christoph’s name Neuffer on the cover of the book.  I fear it would bring considerable criticism to you and may weaken the authenticity of the book.  Expecially since any serious researcher would not be able to find convincing evidence to favor the spelling Neuffer in relation to Johann Christoph.

“You say that you have seen the Neuffer spelling on Logan Temple records.  I have not been able to locate that, in fact enclosed you will find a copy of the Logan Temple Index card which shows the spelling as Nuffer.  On his birth and marriage records in Neuffen the name is spelled Nuffer.  (See enclosed copy of the Neuffer parish records).  On the U.S. immigration records and the Wurttemberg emigration records it is also shown as Nuffer.  (see enclosed emigration index).

“You mentioned that the researcher you hired spelled it Neuffer.  This is the case only on the pedigree chart.  On the family group sheets it is spelled Nuffer.  I asked some researchers in the Salt Lake Family History Center why a researcher would have done this when the parish records that they used were clearly Nuffer.  They said that sometimes a researcher will use the same spelling all through a pedigree chart to maintain consistency even if the spelling is different for some individuals.  They said that this is especially true if it is the way the patron spells their name and if they indicate some sensitivity about the spelling.  They said a pedigree chart is only for convenience and is not considered an official document as a family group sheet is.

“As I have said before I have no hang up as to how anyone spells their name.  But I do feel strongly that when you use an individuals name such as Johann Christoph Nuffer it should be spelled the way he spelled it in life.

“Enclosed are some additional and updated sheets and a map for the book.

“Best Regard

“W. P. Nuffer

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Bernard & Mary Schneider

Mary and Bernard Schneider

Mary and Bernard Schneider

I have uploaded many of my photographs to FamilySearch.  I am about half way through all my photos that are family history related.  It is more time-consuming than I thought it would be.

This photo was provided to me by a distant cousin.  Knowing I am distantly related to their Jonas relatives, I appreciate having a copy.  Unfortunately I know little beyond the basic life facts of these people.

Mary Jonas is my third cousin three times removed.  She was born 8 June 1869 in Richfield, Washington, Wisconsin and died 14 November 1951 in Neenah, Winnebago, Wisconsin.  She was buried 17 November 1951 in Oshkosh, Winnebago, Wisconsin.  Her parents are John Jonas (1845-1928) and Margaret Mary Voss (1849-1929).

Mary married Bernard Bruno Schneider on 2 May 1893 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He was born 11 December 1872 in Berlin, Germany and died 22 June 1927 in Oshkosh.

Together Bernard and Mary had 8 children.

Margaret Schneider born 26 May 1894 in Milwaukee and died 31 July 1986.

Bernard John Schneider born 6 June 1896 in Oshkosh and died 19 December 1986 in Neenah.

Appolonia A Schneider born 12 May 1898 in Oshkosh and died 12 December 1980 in Oshkosh.

Eleanor Schneider born 6 May 1901 in Oshkosh and died 5 February 1983 in Neenah.

Maria Schneider born 20 January 1903 in Oshkosh and died 29 November 1991 in Manitowoc, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Francis Schneider born 1905 in Oshkosh and died 1908 in Oshkosh.

Catherine Schneider born 29 January 1909 in Oshkosh and died 28 December 2002.

Ralph John Schneider born 18 August 1910 in Oshkosh and died 1 June 1977 in Oshkosh.