Remarks on Valentine Switzer

The foregoing will was admitted to probate in Hampshire County, Vir­ginia (now West Virginia) on 14 May 19, 1817.

The testator, Valentine Switzer, is the same Valentine Switzer mentioned in the Stephen Hotzenbella will as son-in-law. The wife of the said Valentine Switzer, being Mary Hotzenbella (Hot­zenpillar), a daughter of said Stephen Hotzenbella. There can be no question but the above Valentine Switzer is the father of John Switzer, who owned lands in Little Levels, Bath County, Virginia (now Pocahontas County, West Virginia) from 1800 to 1807, at which time he sold same and moved to Gallia County, Ohio, where he purchased lands in 1807 from Phillip Switzer, his brother, who preceded him to Ohio.

The oldest child of John Switzer, Mary Switzer, married George W. Livesay of near Frankford, Greenbrier County, Virginia, (now West Virginia) where she died leaving sons Allen, Joseph, John (Jack), William and daughters Malinda Rodgers and Mrs. Col. John Snyder.

Copies of the foregoing wills were obtained by William Franklin Switzer of Gary, Indiana, in 1938. The Valentine Switzer will was found by him in a box containing wills at Romney, the county seat of Hampshire County, West Virginia, the record of such will having been destroyed by soldiers during the Civil War.

He devoted much of his time during many years of his life in tracing his ancestry, but he was never able to be certain that he was a descendant of Valentine Switzer, immigrant, until he obtained copies of the foregoing wills. His paternal great-grandfather, Peter Switzer, and his paternal grandfather, Abraham Switzer, served in the War of 1812. Peter Switzer was a brother of John Switzer, Phillip Switzer and Nicholas Switzer, who are buried in Bethel Church Cemetery, Addison Township, Gallia County, Ohio. William Franklin Switzer states that the archives of Pennsylvania furnish the names of more than 40 Switzers who arrived in the new world and took the oath of allegiance before the Revolutionary War; and that records show 14 of these served in the Revolutionary army.

William Franklin Switzer was born on a farm near Otterbein, Indiana, January 21, 1857, the son of Peter and Catherine Shambaugh Switzer. The seventh of a family of nine children who grew to maturity.

He attended the De Pauw University at Greencastle, Indiana, receiving an A. B. degree from the University in 1884. In 1915, the University conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He entered Drew Theological seminary and completed his course there in 1887; and spent more than 55 years in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Newberry Genealogical Li­brary at Chicago, through its Executive Secretary, proposes to accept a loose-leaf volume of Switzer records and bind same and preserve it for public use which he is writing. (R. M. S.)




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