Baumgartner (Baumgardner) family

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The Mennonite family name, Baumgartner, originated in Langnau in the Emmental, canton of Bern, Switzerland. Since the name literally means "tree gardener," it is likely that the name originated in the 15th century with persons who followed that trade, or perhaps with persons living near a parcel of land called Baumgarten.

The first mention of the family as belonging to the Mennonite faith is in 1608. At this time Fridli Baumgartner died. He had lived on a farm near Langnau called Dürsrütti. His heirs were compelled to relinquish to the state their rights to his estate because their father had been an Anabaptist.

A list made in 1621 of Anabaptists living in the commune of Langnau named five persons with the name of Baumgartner, three of them living at Dürsrütti.

Uli Baumgartner of Dürsrütti was an Anabaptist (Swiss Brethren) preacher for many years. In 1629 he was arrested and taken to Trachselwald and later to Bern. After his death, which took place the following year, his property was taken by the government. Two other members of the family were arrested and imprisoned in 1659. The "Dürsrüttilied" tells the story of their arrest and imprisonment. It was long sung by the Mennonites.

In the documents of the century that followed, frequent mention is made of members of the Baumgartner family who were imprisoned and fined because of their faith. During the decade of 1720 several Baumgartner families left the Emmental and settled at Péry near Corgémont in the Jura Mountains. David Baumgartner (1737-1819) served as a deacon of the congregation there during the latter part of the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries. His son David (1765-1853) was a preacher in the Corgémont congregation. David was ordained in 1789 and immigrated to North America in 1837, settling in Wayne County, Ohio for two years. He then followed his sons to Wells County, Indiana, where he organized in 1839 the first Mennonite church in that state, sometimes called the Baumgartner congregation, and served it until his death in 1853. Most of the members of the Baumgartner family who were Mennonites in Switzerland migrated to North America during the 1830s and settled in Wells and Adams counties, Indiana. Christian Baumgartner (1809-1878) was a preacher in the Baumgartner congregation. A few representatives of the family are also found in the Bluffton-Pandora, Ohio community as well as in Wayne County, Ohio.


Baumgartner, S. H. Brief Historical Sketches of Seven Generations: Descendants of Deacon David Baumgartner. Indianapolis, 1908.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. 1: 141.

Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972: 105, 119, 120, 122, 124, 174, 179, 180, 191.

Sprunger, Eva F. The First Hundred Years, A Historv of the Mennonite Church in Adams County, Indiana 1838-1938. Berne, 1938: 181-188.

Author(s) Delbert L Gratz
Date Published 1955

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gratz, Delbert L. "Baumgartner (Baumgardner) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 26 Feb 2024.

APA style

Gratz, Delbert L. (1955). Baumgartner (Baumgardner) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 February 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 250. All rights reserved.

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