Johannes Aebi or Abbey

Male 1816 - 1873  (57 years)

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  • Name Johannes Aebi or Abbey 
    Born 1816  Heimsiwil, Emmental, Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1873 
    Person ID I272008481860  Eby/Aebi and Bernethy Family
    Last Modified 4 Jun 2013 

    Family Magdalena Gasser,   b. 1825,   d. 1880  (Age 55 years) 
    +1. John Henry Abbey, Sr,   b. 27 Apr 1850, Canton of Bern, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1921, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
    +2. Frederick Aebi,   b. May 1853, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1941, Washington County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 87 years)
     3. Siegfried Abbey,   b. Unknown
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2013 
    Family ID F246729425517  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1816 - Heimsiwil, Emmental, Bern, Switzerland Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • On 6 September, 1869 the ship Westphalia arrived in New Jersey. On board was a Johannes Aebi, born in Heimiswil, Bern, Switzerland about May3, 1850. In the ship's log he was listed as "Johann Aebby" and the dock records lists him as "Jean Aebbi". He anglicized his name to John Abbey, settled near Ohiopyle, Fayette County, Pennsylvania and then sent for the rest of the family.

      Johann and Magda Aebi arrived with their other 10 children to New York on 7 October, 1871 with the German ship Helsatia. Everyone in the family had their names anglicized to Abbey except Friedrich who kept the Aebi name.

      The father Johann died of smallpox in 1873, two years after arriving in America. This left the family to fend for themselves, and they had a hard time of it. The youngest son Siegfried also died. It must have been somewhat of a "come-down" for this family; in Switzerland Johann Aebi had been a town official in their hometown Heimiswil and the family was quite wealthy. It is unclear what made them move to America, maybe Johannes spoke well about the endless possibilities in the New World.

      A book of Aebi genealogy exists and it traces the Aebi family back to Peter Aebi born in 1562. Many of the brothers and sisters who arrived in America married and some remained single. I don't know if any other branches of the family than that of the oldest son John have ever been traced.
    • In his book Abbey's Road ,Edward Abbey wrote:

      "I am [...] descended from an endless line of dark-complected, lug-eared, beetle-browed, insolent barbarian peasants, a line reaching back to the dark forests of central Europe and the alpine caves of my Neanderthal primogenitors."

      Thanks to genealogical research done by Kathleen Osmond (granddaughter to one of Ed's cousins) and documented by Ida Abbey (one of Ed's aunts) we can now trace Ed's line back to some of those "barbarian peasants" in central Europe. The research did not quite find his "Neanderthal primogenitors" but at least ancestors back in 16:th century Switzerland.

      Many thanks goes to David B. Abbey (grandson to one of Ed's cousins) for supplying this interesting material, and to Kathleen Osmond and Ida Abbey for their great work. This material has now been entered into a Family Tree Maker database by Christer Lindh and is available to anyone seriously interested in doing more research on these families.

      Please send an email to if you are interested in researching more or have additional information about Ed's ascendants and descendants.

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