Samuel Messerly
Sex: Male
Birth: 18 MAR 1792 ? Thrunen, Bern Switzerland [1] [2]
Death: 1857 [3]
Father: Benedikt Messerli? [4] Hans Merrerli[5]
Mother: Anna Hofer?[6] Annie Gallie? [7]
Spouse/Partner: Elizabeth Messerly (c1805)[8] Susanna Gygax? [9]
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Samuel Messerly

Came to the US from Switzerland, and was living in Clay Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio in 1850.[10] If the 1850 census is correct, Christian was born in Switzerland and Charles in Ohio, placing the immigration between 1832 and 1835.

  • Possibly the same person (though highly unlikely) as Samuel Messerli (bef1797). See the parentage analysis below and notes in that article.



Name Birthdate Birthplace Death date Death place
Children of Samuel (1794) and Elizabeth Messerly
Christian Messerly (c1832) 1832 Switzerland
Charles Messerly (c1835) 1835 Ohio
Frederick Messerly (c1837) 1837 Ohio
Rosann Messerly (c1841) 1841 Ohio
Gottlieb Messerly (c1844) (sp?) 1844 Ohio
Samuel Messerly (c1847) 1847 Ohio

Source (all entries) is the 1850 United States Federal Census > Ohio > Tuscarawas > Clay: (image) [11]

  • Notes on 1850 Census entries:
    • The letters of "Frederick" are somewhat illegible due to handwriting irregularities in the image, but looks like the correct interpretation when compared to other Fredericks on the same page.
    • Gottlieb is spelled with a single T in the 1880 census. At the time of this writing, there are only google hits on "Gottlieb Messerly".

US census 1850 Ohio Tuscarawas Clay page 18.jpg US Census 1850 Ohio-Tuscarawas co-clay township page 146.jpg
1850 census shows Samuel married to Elizabeth, with son Christian age 18 born switzerland and son Charles 15 born Ohio. This places their immigration at between 1832 and 1835. 1850 census following page shows rest of children, along with "Switzer" neighbors also from switzerland- perhaps relations or friends?

documentation notes[]

  • 1850 Census, Samuel Messerly head of household, age 56 Clay Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
  • 1860 Census, Christian age 29 is listed as head of household in Ohio > Tuscarawas > Clay. for "Christian Missertey"
    • Elizabeth 54, Samuel 13, Gottlieb 17, Rose Ann 20.
    • Neighbor is Chas Messerly ( "Chas Missertey") 25, Elizabeth 21 (swiss birth), Emma 1
  • Family search: Benedikt Messerli was born 08 JUN 1766 Thurnen, Bern, Switzerland. Married SEP 1791 to Anna Hofer. His father was Benedikt Messerli married to Anna Wyder.

Parentage analysis[]

Candidates (as of 9/2007 on familysearch), all Niklaus Messerli's born within 5 years of 1792

  • 18 Mar 1792 Thrunen, , Bern, Switzerland parents Benedikt Messerli, Anna Hofer
  • 16 DEC 1793 inelligible- Walternvil, , Bern died 28 NOV 1874
  • 07 MAY 1797 inellibible- Rueggisberg, Bern 07 MAR 1830. parents- SAMUEL MESSERLI


By process of elimination, the only eligible Samuel Messerly is 1792 Samuel. Familysearch records are by no means exhaustive or error free (eg- a death record may be incorrect) so this linkage should be regarded as merely the current hypothesis.

Is Samuel Messerli (bef1763) the father?[]

Arguments for[]

  • Samuel (1763) had sons names Samuel and Nicolas according to Swiss records. They could have both moved the the US, settling very nearby each other in OH.
    • Samuel Messerli (bef1797)was baptized (in 1797) in Switzerland, so a given birthday of 1794 is plausible for this individual. (07 May 1797 Rueggisberg, Bern, Switzerland]) [12]

Arguments against[]

  • Samuel was not an uncommon first name for swiss at this time.
  • The record for Samuel Messerli giving a christening date of 07 MAY 1797 gives his death at a specific date: 07 MAR 1830.
    • the record is a christening record, giving place, not a death record. No place is given. Perhaps this was an error.
    • the report to the swiss authorities of death might have come from the US, and the report gave the wrong date.
  • 1850 census establishes Samuel's birth date as ca1794, so his christening was tardy by 3 years. Yet the parents of Niklaus 1792 christened within 12 months of his birth. Samuel son of Samuel (bef1763) should have been born no earlier than 1796.
  • Ohio was an attractive location for Swiss immigrants at this time period, so the occurance of a Messerly with a common first name same as a brother is not much of a coincidence.
  • If the Nicolas (1792) and Samuel (1794) were related, then why did they settle so far away from each other. There would be greater security in a new land for Samuel and his family if he settled nearby Nicolas.
  • Nicolas and Samuel would be in the 30-39 YO range for the 1830 Census, yet there is only one listed.
    • Rebuttal: Samuel 1794 has a son Christian who was born in 1832 in Switzerland (source?). Even if the 1830 Census is correct, Samuel couldn't have been in the Nicolas household in 1830. Nicolas went before Samuel 1794.

Alternate Samuel Messerli's who could be the Tuscarawas Ohio Samuel[]

  • Samuel Messerli (1793): Unlikely due to death notice. However, he is the only one who could have accurately indicated his age as 56 for the 1850 census. No other Samuel Messerli's were born in 1793-1794.

Search TBD[]

  • Look for more candidate emigrant Samuel Messerly's.
  • Enumerate all Samuel Messerly death certificates and eliminate all Samuel Messerli's born in the correct range.
  • verify estimated birth year from other censuses.
    • 1880 no mention

Negative searches[]

  • No christian messerly's born at the correct time +/- 2 years in Swiss database, that match. Most had events like death or marriage in Switzerland post 1850. There is a Christian messerly born 1834, mother Elizabeth messerly, but in a different record, it gives the father as a non-samuel.


  1. ^ according to Familysearch- see parentage analysis
  2. ^ ca 1794, according to the 1850 United States Federal Census > Ohio > Tuscarawas > Clay Township, page 145, enumerated 11/23/1850. (image)
  3. ^ OneWorldTree-> Samuel Messerli
  4. ^ ibid familysearch
  5. ^ Ibid OneWorldTree
  6. ^ ibid familysearch
  7. ^ Ibid OneWorldTree
  8. ^ ibid 1850 Census
  9. ^ Ibid OneWorldTree
  10. ^ ibid 1850 Census
  11. ^ 1850 United States Federal Census > Ohio > Tuscarawas > Clay Township, page 145-146, enumerated 11/23/1850
  12. ^ LDS Samuel Messerli-1797 Baptism record