Baschi Meyer Project

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The Baschi Meyer Project: Descendants, Documentation, and DNA

Baschi Meyer (1592-abt.1640) of Switzerland and his wife Otilla (Mueller) Meyer (1598-1639) are easily recognized names on many family trees, especially among those tracing their Brethren or Mennonite Anabaptist roots. However, while Baschi and Ottila's Swiss origins are relatively well documented, their descendants' flight from religious persecution is far less so. Multigenerational migrations across Europe and the Atlantic, loss of records, intermarriages between a small number of families, and reuse of the same few names are some of the difficulties faced by genealogists researching these ancestors. Now, modern science has brought a new twist to this saga: DNA. At least 4 different and mutually exclusive Y-DNA haplogroups claim descent from the family of Baschi and Ottila!

The goal of this project is to bring both documentation and DNA to help sort this out, and help people find their right ancestors! This includes helping people with DNA matches but no documentation to identify their correct family line, and helping people whose Baschi-related documentation is incorrect to find their correct family line.

Often ancestry trees on the internet list names and dates with no sources, and when sources are listed they are usually for secondary research, or simply to someone else's unsourced tree. For this project we will collect properly cited primary or secondary sources, and clearly label guesses or assumptions, so that others can follow or improve our work later. We will document our findings at WikiTree, a free and collaborative single family tree, available for anyone to reference or contribute to.

Furthermore, we will seek participation through DNA testing to help identify discrepancies in current documentation, and further support known or discovered lineages. It is expected that y-DNA and mt-DNA will be the most useful tests for this purpose. Autosomal testing (e.g. Ancestry DNA, FTDNA FamilyFinder) may indicate that a family connection exists, but is unlikely to offer conclusive evidence about the nature of the connection, given the remoteness of the relationships and the frequent intermarriages between families.

The scope of this project is not strictly limited to Baschi's descendants; those of his siblings and cousins are welcome as well. And finally, this project is defined by its goals, not its members; it is not centrally run or organized, but is open to any who would participate as they can and are interested.

Will you join us? If you are interested, here are a few things you can do:

  • Make sure your family tree is up to date here at
    • Include sources where you have them, using the WikiTree standards so that others can follow the information.
    • Include your research notes: document specific questions you have, as well as information you have researched and determined not to apply to your specific ancestor.
  • Follow the tag Baschi_Meyer_Project
  • Consider inviting relatives who are male-line descendants of the Meyer family to participate in y-DNA testing (see the Myers Surname Project at FTDNA for further information)
  • Tell us about your connection to Baschi‚Äôs family by posting a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or by private message. Thanks!

Known Y-DNA Lines

Meyer family tree developed by Davis (1995) and Best (1998)

Baschi Meyer is suggested by various researchers to have been the ancestor of at least eight Meyer immigrants arriving in Pennsylvania in the early 18th century. As of December 2023, descendants of these immigrants test in four different haplogroups. Evidently, these immigrants can not all be descendants of the same person.

Meyer family tree developed by Richard Warren Davis (1995) and Jane Evans Best (1998), and incorporating results from FTDNA Myers Surname DNA Project

Revised family trees

We've created pages explaining the DNA claims to Baschi's family, summarising what is (and isn't) known about each family :

This allows us to suggest a set of revised family trees which are consistent with available sources and y-DNA data.

Updated Meyer family trees incorporating y-DNA evidence

Notes on the family trees, old and new

Baschi Meyer and Ottila Mueller

Baschi and Tylli appear to have been the parents of several children who are listed with them in Stallikon in census records in 1637 and 1640 :

  1. Hans b.c.1620/1630
  2. Anna b.c.1632
  3. Samuel b.c.1634
  4. Jacob b.c.1636
  5. Casper b.c.1639

Since this family is documented in the census lists, it should remain as it is. However, the fortunes of the children in this family are unconfirmed. There is no solid evidence to assume that any of them can be identified elsewhere in Europe after 1640.

The profiles for Anna, Samuel and Casper currently do not include any details of consequence. However, the profiles for Hans and Jacob are currently speculatively linked to multiple families who are known to be unrelated, and they need to be modified.

Hans Meyer of Stallikon and Hans Meyer of Rudelsheim - new profile needed

Hans Meyer who was living in Rudelsheim in 1685 was probably born c.1635. The only grounds for speculating that he was the child born in Stallikon c.1620/1630 is the fact that he was named Hans and he was a Mennonite. These grounds are inadequate to support the speculation.

There are reasonable grounds to speculate that Hans of Rudelsheim was the grandfather of the immigrant brothers Hans (b.1684) and Christian (b.1690), who are documented in Ibersheim (14 km / 10 miles from Rudelsheim). See the I1 Haplogroup Meyer Family for further details.

Jacob Meyer of Gundersheim - all children to be disconnected

Jacob is currently identified as the father of the immigrants :

  1. Ulrich (of Providence, Montgomery)
  2. Christian (of Langenzell / Franconia)
  3. Hans (of Upper Salford)
  4. Jacob (of New Hanover)

The only grounds for identifying Jacob as the father of these four immigrants are that there were four of them, they all settled in Montgomery County, and that Jacob is known to have had four sons. These grounds are inadequate to support the speculation.

Y-DNA evidence has proven that Christian of Franconia and Hans of Upper Salford were not brothers. Documentary evidence locates Christian 45 miles further upriver from Gundersheim in Langenzell in 1717. There is no evidence to connect any of Ulrich, Christian, Hans or Jacob to either Stallikon or Gundersheim. There is thus no evidence to support the construction of this family.

Source Reviews

We've started a literature review of known sources, as they pertain to the Baschi Meyer Project. If you are looking for advice on the available sources, check it out.

Jane Evans Best ID Chart (Disproved)

Best's 1998 IDs for Baschi and the first 2 generations of his descendants. They are included here because they are a familiar reference, but also included are the y-DNA haplogroups which disprove Best's published structure for this family. The y-DNA haplogroups are I1, R1a, J2, or "unknown" (no known y-DNA test for this lineage, or else mutually exclusive test results which claim the same ancestry). More detail about how how y-DNA testing has spotlighted more accurate family groupings among Swiss Anabaptist Meyer families can be seen at Baschi Meyer Project YDNA Lines.

MC - Baschi Meyer (1592-abt.1640) - Unknown
MC1 - Johannes Meyer (abt.1621-aft.1685) - Unknown
MC11 - Christian Meyer (abt.1662-abt.1730) - I1
MC12 - Unknown (b. ca. 1655) - Unknown
MC13 - Hans Meyer (1665-1722) - R1a
MC14 - Unknown (?dau. Meyer, b. ca. 1668. m. ca. 1688, Hans Brubaker (BL1152) of lbersheim) - n/a
MC15 - Unknown (b. ca. 1671) - Unknown
MC16 - Unknown (b. ca. 1675) - Unknown
MC17 - Unknown (b. ca. 1677) - Unknown
MC18 - Rudolph Meyer (1680-abt.1767) - I1
MC19 - Henrich Meyer (abt.1684-abt.1769) (For reference here, Best doesn't include him.) - Unknown
MC2 - Anna Meyer (1631-) - n/a
MC3 - Samuel Meyer (1634-1700) - Unknown
MC4 - Jacob Mueller Meyer (1636-aft.1685) - Unknown
MC41 - Ulrich Meyer (abt.1668-bef.1741) - R1a
MC42 - Christian Meyer (abt.1676-abt.1751) - R1a
MC43 - Hans Meyer (abt.1680-abt.1748) - J2
MC44 - Jacob Meyer (abt.1684-abt.1747) - Unknown
MC5 - Casper Meyer (1639-1700) - Unknown

Expanded Dorothy Adams's ID Chart

Adams's 1987 IDs for Hans Meier of Pequea, and first 2 generations:

M - Hans Meyer (1665-1722) (Also Jane Evans Best M13)
M1 - Hans Konret Mier (abt.1690-1721)
M11 - Barbara m. Valentine Schultz
M12 - Unnamed, d. by 1756
M2 - Jacob Meyer (abt.1693-abt.1755)
M3 - Hans Meyer (abt.1700-1760)
M31 - Jacob Meyer (1721-1793)
M32 - Christian Meyer (abt.1721-1793)
M33 - John Meyer (1722-1787)
M34 - Abraham Meyer (1730-1771)
M35 - Mary (Moyer) Bare (1721-1759)
M36 - Barbara (Meyer) Smith (1727-1780)
M4 - Annalee Meyer (1698-1727)
M5 - Elizabeth Meyer (1700-1755)
M6 - Mary (Meyer) Shank (1704-1744)
MX - Unidentified (Adams speculates may be Michael (Meyer) Myers (1676-1751) or Rudolph (Myer) Meyer (1680-1767), Best speculates may be Abraham Meyer (abt.1690-1738))
MX1 - Hans Myer "the Nephew" (abt.1722-abt.1789)
? - Adams speculates Michael (Meyer) Myers (1676-1751) belongs here.
? - Adams speculates Rudolph (Myer) Meyer (1680-1767) belongs here, Best (1998) places him one generation further back as a brother to M Hans Meyer (1665-1722).
? - Best (1998) speculates Abraham Meyer (abt.1690-1738) belongs here and IDs him as MC137.

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