1590 Studer name in Alsace

OLD FAMILIES. Studer (Stuter, Studter).
The surname Studer is fairly common in Alsace. One can find two origins for it. The first is from resemblance with the old German word "stout", meaning "studhorse". The "stuter", therefore, was the groom. The second etymology comes from the word "stude", a vertical stake used to fasten grapevines, but which can also designate the action of forming ears [as in wheat ears or ears of corn].

Whatever the interpretation of the name, today one can attest that it is fairly common in the valley of Masevaux, both in the city of Masevaux itself and in Dolleren; present as well in Hagenthal and Wittenheim, just as in Buhl and Guebwiller.

The Studers are very numerous among our Swiss friends. The Dictionnaire historique & biographique de la Suisse [Historical and Biographical Dictionary of Switzerland] devotes a large article to them and distinguishes between the different branches. That in the city of Berne begins with Peter Studer, cited in 1593, whose arms were "on a red shield, in the center a natural-colored heart pierced with a silver arrow; above that a silver cross, accompanied by two six-pointed gold stars, one in the upper right, the other in the lower left [in heraldry, "left" and "right" are used as though standing behind the shield, and are therefore reversed when looking at the shield on paper]; three green mountain peaks at bottom"

In the canton of Lucerne, the Studer families were very widespread and the work cited mentions, among others, Hans Studer, Secretary of Entlebuch in 1543, and Kaspar Studer, Bailiff of Malters in 1639. In the canton of Saint Gall, the spellings Studer and Stauder are known. The family in the city of Saint Gall bore the arms "on a blue shield, a golden bush on three green mountain peaks", Christian Studer (1458-1531) and Franziskus Studer came from Saint Gall. The first was a captain in France, and his grandchildren took the name Studer von Rebstein. The second, born around 1486, was also a captain in France and is the origin of the Studer von Winkelbach branch. In Soleure, a city-based branch bor the arms "on a silver shield, three red flowers with green stems, three green mountain peaks at bottom". The branch in Fribourg is known from the 14th century with Jacques Studer. One of his sons, named Jean, established himself in Avignon in 1397. Lastly, the canton of Zurich was home to a Studer family whose arms featured as a charge a leafy branch or a stem with three flowers.

From Switzerland to Alsace.
The large migratory movements of the second half of the 17th century, resulting from the depopulation of the Thirty Years War, drew an impressive number of Swiss families toward Alsace. Studied by many historians and sociologists, these deplacements will be better known when the essential archival sources with references to these families have been abstracted. The systematic study of the old parish registers of Haut Rhin, thanks to the Alexsys program and to the SAIREPA [operating system?], is already yielding interesting results. Thus, it proceeds from this work that Christian, son of Christian Stider, from the canton of Lucerne, was baptized in Blodelsheim in 1670. In Westhalten, Jacques Studer, a native of Escholzmat, by his marriage to Eve Meistermann in 1737, was the progenitor of a local branch.

In the Sundgau [southern Alsace], we note, still from the Alexsys project, the presence of Studers in Brunstatt, Bruebach, Dornach, as well as in Lucelle, where the family was employed at the glass-works around 1670. It's the same with the parish registers of Friesen, Englingen, Luppach, etc. Other works give us clues to the origins of the branches in Folgensbourg (S. Alleman) or Leymen (A. Ganter). The frequency of the name doesn't make the research easy. We'll mention the case of Spechbach, where in 1664 Pierre Studer, of the canton of Soleure, was married; then in 1669 Vérène Studer, from Pfaffnau (canton of Lucerne), was married; and finally in 1681 Gédèon Studer, from the region of Délémont, was married. The Protestant cantons, such as Zurich and Berne, furnished their contingent of emigrants to the Protestant parishes of Upper Alsace.  Illzach is a typical case, and in 1675 this locality received Benoit Studer, originally from Herzogenbuchsee, canton of Berne. There he married that year Vérène Bucher, a native of the canton of Zurich.

Ancient and numerous, the Studer family of the valley of Masevaux was already present well before the Thirty Year War, and therefore poses the problem of its origin. Robert Behra, an American genealogist, has just found trace of them as early as 1567 in an old court-roll preserved at the Départmental Archives in Colmar (see the bulletin BERGHA from the Centre Departemental d'Histoire des Familles, no. 71, 1995).  At that time, the Studers already lived in Rimbach, where their growth was very important. They also resided in Horben [a section of Rimbach], where they had the mill. The parish priest François Antoine Behra laid out the tree of this family at the beginning of this century. If the most numerous branch took up residence in Rimbach, another lived in Masevaux where we find, in the census of 1659, mentionof Jean Studer the carpenter. From the bottom of the valley of Masevaux some branches were established toward the mouth of the valley and further away, such as in Guevenatten, Traubach and Burnhaupt, but also in the neighboring valley of Saint Amarin, and more precisely in Moosch, where Jean Jacques Studer obtained the right of citizenship in 1670. The Rimbach branch was also at the origin of those of Kruth and Wattwiller. However, in the valley of Saint Amarin one must take care not to confuse the Studers from Rimbach with those living in the lower valley descended from Pierre Studer. This man, living in the canton of Lucerne, had a son named Jean Jacques. Born about 1678, Jean Jacques married in Willer-sur-Thur, first Judith Walter and second Agathe Munsch. The son of the first marriage, Désiré Studer, had 13 children by his wife Marie Agathe Munsch. Eleven children were born from the second marriage of Jean Jacques, with Agathe Munsch. Unfortuneately, as was generally the case, more than half died young. Without wanting to be exhaustive, it is proper to mention the Studers of Steinbach and Uffholtz. Those of Steinbach are present from the end of the 17th century with Gaspard Studer.  His son, Philippe, married christine Schwob in 1697 in Altenach, the bride's hometown. In Uffholtz, notarial acts attest the presence in 1732 of jean Studer. He intervened in the inheritance of Joseph Walch and Marie Eve Hug as a creditor for the delivery of glass objects. One could logically think, in view of the surnames, the place, and the objects, that Jean Studer was a glassmaker and probably related to the Studers of Lucelle. Other Studers lived in Ribeauvillé, Kientzheim, Kaysersberg and Zimmerbach. Those of Logelheim and Eguisheim came from Herrlisheim. Some Swiss branches, from the canton of Lucerne, had settled in Soultz, Rouffach, Kaysersberg, Pfaffenhaeim and Fessenheim.

During the course of the 18th century the parish of Lautenbach and its dependent village of Linthal saw 32 marriages where one or the other of the parties was a Studer (work by Thierry Schmitt). The branches had the right of citizenship in Lautenbach as well as in Linthal. They were distantly related to the Studer family which lived in Belchenthal, which was sorely put to the test by the wars of the 17th century. From the peace in 1648, Swiss immigration was importatn and a document from 1653 tells of Jean Studer. Originally from Mümliswil, canton of Soleure, he came in 1648 to live in Feldbach,  where he resided for five years. By marriage he was related to Ecketswillers of Friesen and the Litzlers of Waldighofen. On November 30th, 1653, Jean Studer gave a power of attorney to his son-in-law, Jean Thiébaut Bendelin, a sawyer [worker at, or operator of , a sawmill] from Guebwiller, so that the latter could go to Feldbach to straighten out some inheritance problems. The analysis of 18th-century estate inventories for the community of Murbach brings us a fair amount of information about Studers. In 1708, the goods of the late Ulrich Wehrlin, a citizen of Belchenthal, were being divided. On that occasion, he son-in-law, Jacques Studer, husband of his daughter Ursule Wehrlin, placed his mark on the bottom of the document: he signed by making three stylized flowers on a single stalk. It's at least disquieting to note the similarity of his signature to the arms of the Studers from Switzerland, notably those of Entlebuch. From his three marriages he ahd numerous children. We mention the two from his first marriage to Ursule Wehrlin: Jean, ancestor of the branch in Linthal, and Jean pierre who left for distant places in 1709. With his second wife, Catherine Beck, he had seven children, among them Madeleine, wife of Jean Schaffhauser, and Anne Marie, wife of Jean Thiébaut Clad, both of Linthal. Finally, with Vérène Haumesser, he had another daughter, Barbe. This third wife came from the manor of Lenzburg in Argovie [a canton in north Switzerland] and, a Protestant, was converted to Catholicism. In 1717 Jean Studer received permission to take himself to the native village of Vérène Haumesser in order to recover the inheritance of his wife. In 1736, the animals the family had on its farm in Belchenthal consisted of three cows, a calf, a billy goat, two hogs and eight hens. Jean Studer died about 1740, after having acquired the right of citizenship in the service of the prince-abbot of Murbach. The detailed inventory drawn up in order to proceed with the division of his goods is particularly interesting. It not only gives the exact composition of the family at the time (and that is how we know that one, Jacques, lived in Haguenau), but it also enumerates all the goods, utensils, tools, debts. Proof of a certain comfort, the deceased possessed several pieces of silver and had in his employ a servant named Suzanne.   -André Ganter-

This story is loosely translated, and slightly amended by Robert Behra, from an article which appeared in the regional newspaper L'Alsace, Sunday August 20th, 1995, page 38.  (see PDF copy, named "OldFamiliesArticle.pdf").