Was Susanna Korn's maiden name Baker or Bauscher?

Korns family genealogy

This web page is about the possible ancestry of Michael Korn Senior's wife Susanna. The present purpose of this page is simply to draw input from other genealogy researchers, rather than to reach or present any firm conclusion. If you have input, please e-mail it to me at the e-mail address on the home page.

The Korns genealogy book says that Michael Korns, Sr. married Susanna Baker
The 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania" lists Michael Korn Senior's wife Susanna's maiden name as "Baker". This book was written by Dr. Charles Byron Korns, of Sipesville PA. Dr. Korns did not document his reasons for believing that Susanna's maiden name was "Baker".

Page 28 of that book states "Michael Korns, Sr., the progenitor of the Korns family in Somerset County, was born in Berks County in 1760, the son of Carl (Charles) Korns and Otilla Korns of Maxatawney Township, Berks County, Pa. He married Susanna Baker in 1781.".

According to his book, Dr. Charles Byron Korns was the fourth son of Edmund L. Korns, and Edmund was the youngest son of Michael Korns, Jr., who was the eleventh child of Michael Korns, Senior.

My Grandmother told me that Michael Korns married Susana Basher
Back when I was still a boy, circa 1968, I was visiting my Grandmother Gladys (Bittner) Korns (Mrs. Allen Lester Korns) on their Southampton Township farm. I asked her about family history while she was busy in the kitchen, and she grabbed a piece of paper and wrote out a long and remarkably accurate list of my ancestors from memory while standing at an ironing board. On that list, she gave the name of Michael Korns' wife as "Susana Basher". To see a copy of the list, click here. After giving me the list, she briefly pulled out a copy of Dr. Byron Korns' genealogy book just to show me that a book had been written about the Korns family.

Because of this discussion, and an equally brief discussion I had had with my Grandfather Dietle as a boy, I eventually became interested in genealogy as an adult, in the 1990's. In the early 1990's, a correspondent Dick Korns from Ohio sent me a photocopy of the first few chapters of Dr. Korns' book, and that was the first I had ever read it. By then, my Grandmother had passed away, and it was too late to ask her what her basis was for the name "Basher" on the list she made for me. But what I do know is that she had a copy of the Korns book, and had a remarkable memory, and chose to give me a maiden name for Michael Korns' wife that was different than what was given in the Korns book.

My Grandmother Korns lived on what had once been the Daniel Korns, Jr. farm, within eyesight of the Michael Korns, Sr. farm. She had a closet full of old books, and showed me that many of them had inscriptions that showed that they belonged to early Korns family members. There may have been other old documents in the house too, but we'll probably never know what her basis was for believing that Michael's wife's maiden name was "Basher". I have always given her the benefit of the doubt on the subject, because of where she lived, and the access that may have given her to relevant documents or to local family traditions.

My Grandmother Gladys (Bittner) Korns was married to Allen Lester Korns, who was the son of John Wilson Korns, grandson of Daniel Korns, Jr., great-grandson of Daniel Korns, Sr., and great-great-grandson of Michael and Susanna Korns.

Louis Clowes Witherspoon theorizes that Susanna was Daniel Bauscher's daughter
I eventually learned that there were others besides my Grandmother who thought that the maiden name of Michael Korn's wife may have been something other than "Baker". The 1989 book "A Clowes-Swanson Genealogy With Genealogy of the Korn, Uhl and Thompson Families" by Louis Clowes Witherspoon, M.A. covers this topic on pages 286-292. The author's interest in the subject seems to have been piqued by Mrs. Olive Korns Porter's entry in the "Ancestor Index, Daughters of the American Colonists", which states that Michael married Susanna (Boucher) Baker. Click here to see Olive Korns Porter's entry.

On page 289 of her book, Louis Clowes Witherspoon wrote "A plausible ... theory is that her maiden name was BAUSCHER and that she was the daughter of Daniel BAUSCHER of Albany Township, Berks Co., PA." On the same page, she mentions the book "The Boucher Family", which is about the descendants of Daniel Bauscher, and indicates that the book mentions that he had a daughter Susanna, but does not provide any detail on her life. Click here to see the page from the book "The Boucher Family" that indicates that Daniel Boucher had a daughter named Susanna.

On page 290 of her book, Mrs. Witherspoon quotes from the baptism record of Susanna Bauscher from the New Bethel Church in Albany Township, Berks County, PA as follows "Susanna, dau. Of Daniel Bauscher and wife, Eva, bap. 28 Sep. 1762 at Albany Twp. Sponsors: Ferdinand RITTER and wife Susanna of Albany Twp.". Click here to see a PDF of a 1952 English language translation of the baptism that I found. Mrs. Witherspoon noted that "This fits with year of birth (1762) on Susanna KORN's tombstone in Cook Cemetery, Southampton Twp., Somerset Co., PA."

On page 290 of her book, Mrs. Witherspoon also notes the similarities between the names of Michael and Susanna Korns' children, and the names of Daniel Bauscher's Grandchildren:

  • Daniel Korns, Daniel Bauscher,
  • Mary Magdalene Korns, Magdalena Bauscher,
  • Susanna Korns, Susanna Bauscher,
  • John Korns, John Peter Bauscher,
  • Christine Korns, Christina Bauscher,
  • William Korns, William Bowsher, and
  • Catherine Elizabeth Korns, Anna Elizabeth Bauscher.

    On page 290 of her book, Mrs. Witherspoon also notes another Berks County baptism record that may show a family or acquaintance connection between the Korn and Bauscher families. Michael and Susanna Korn's daughter Catherine Elizabeth Korns was baptized on March 30, 1784, and one of the sponsors was Anna Lisa Bauscher, who Mrs. Witherspoon believes may be Daniel Bauscher's daughter Anna Elizabeth Bauscher.

    Joseph Korns Affidavit
    In a 1917 affidavit, Joseph Korns, son of William Korns and Grandson of Michael and Susanna Korn, wrote that "Affiant's said grandmother was German and in broken English her maiden name Baker, was frequently spoken or written as Boucheer or Bouchner, and affiant says that about fifteen years ago affiant obtained from his sister, Caroline Donaldson, the original baptismal certificate of affiant's father William Korns, showing that there was born a son, William Korns, of Michael Korns, sr., and his wife Susanna, born Boucheer, February 25th, 1806, and baptized by the Rev. Heins Giese in the presence of George Long and his wife Magdalena, Sumerset (sic) County, South Hampton Township, Pa.; and affient duly entered a true and correct copy of said certificate in his family Bible and the same is now on record therein; that affiant shortly thereafter took said original certificate to show it to some relative and lost it out of a pocket in the inside pocket thereof, that had a hole in the bottom..." Click here to see a PDF copy of the Affidavit, with an explanation of what its purpose was.

    Page 227 of the book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr." states that "Joseph Korns, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, in 1831. He married Martha Moore in 1856. He settled on a farm at Dixon, Ill. He lived to be 94 years old. He raised a family of four children, three sons and a daughter.". From his birth-date, we know that he didn't personally know his Grandmother Susanna Korn.

    Joseph Korns was a brother of Mrs. Olive Korns Porter's father Jacob Korns. Page 214 of the book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr." states "Jacob, youngest child of William and Elizabeth (Hoyman) Korns was born in Holmes County, April 29, 1845, and lived in Ohio until a young man when he came west and settled on a farm in Poweshiek County, Ia.". Page 217 of the 1949 Korns book states "Olive Alta, b. Sept. 10, 1872, married Frank Reed Porter, lives in Grinnell, Iowa.".

    From this understanding of the family relation between Joseph Korns and Mrs. Olive Korns Porter, we can guess that Olive Korns Porter's "Boucher" tradition also came to her somehow through the William Korns line of descendants. Page 218 of the book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr." states the following about Olive Korns Porter; "She has been much interested in Genealogical Research work that she has been called on by the state to act as Genealogical Records Chairman and is serving her second term. In the Hand Book of American Genealogy is listed as Genealogist of Poweshiek County.". If Joseph Korns was born in 1831 and lived to be 94, he died circa 1925, when Olive was about 43 years old, so it is possible, and perhaps even probable that she heard the "Boucher" tradition from her uncle Joseph Korns.

    If William Korns was born in 1806 as the Joseph Korns affidavit states, William didn't know his mother well, because Susanna died circa 1811. Nevertheless, I find the Joseph Korns affidavit compelling, since he swore that his father William's birth certificate, which he recorded in his Bible, indicated that William's mother's maiden name was "Boucheer". Taken together with the apparent "Basher" tradition in my own Somerset Korns family line, I am inclined to believe that Susanna Korn's maiden name may have indeed been Bauscher/Boucher.

    On pages 291-292 of her book, Mrs. Witherspoon notes that Susanna Bauscher's older brother Henry moved to Somerset County in 1801, and his daughter Rebecca Boucher married Michael and Susanna Korn's son John. Susanna Baucher's brother Henry is buried at the Union Cemetery at New Centerville, PA, which is about 28 miles from the Michael Korn farm that is located near Wellsersbug, PA. Susanna and Henry Bauscher's father Daniel is buried at the New Bethel Union Cemetery, in Berks County, PA. The presence of a brother in Somerset County is harmonious with the belief that Susanna Bauscher was the wife of Michael Korn, since a sibling often influenced where other siblings settled. Click here to see books that say that Henry Bauscher's daughter Rebecca married John Korn, who was the son of Michael Korn. This proves that the Michael Korn and Henry Bauscher families knew each other, even though they lived about 28 miles apart. If Henry and Susanna were brother and sister, Rebecca and John were first cousins.

    L. Dietle
    January 12, 2013

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