Ramseier (Ramseyer, Ramsayer), a Mennonite family name originating from Eggiwil, Signau, and Trub in the Emmental, canton of Bern, Switzerland. The name was given to persons who came from a village named Ramsey (Ram, raven; ei, flat meadow near a stream).
The first mention of an Anabaptist member of the family occurred in a list of 1710, where Hans Ramseier was one of 57 persons listed for deportation to America. However, he escaped en route. During the early 18th century the Ramseyers with other Anabaptist families from the Emmental fled to the Jura. Some who had a brief time before becoming followers of Jakob Ammann settled in the Prussian owned province of Neuchâtel. Peter Ramseier (b. 1706) lived on the Münsterberg in the Jura. He was chosen as minister in 1730 and elder in 1732. He took a prominent part in bringing accord among the Palatinate brethren in 1760-84, making at least four trips to them for this purpose.
From the Jura, members of the family moved to western France. From Neuchâtel and France most of the Ramseier families migrated to America during the 19th century, settling especially in Stark and Wayne counties, Ohio, central Illinois, Ontario, and the "thumb" of Michigan. The ancestor of most of the families living in Ohio was John Ramseier (1776-1853). His son Peter settled in Stark County, Ohio.
Prominent members of the family include Joseph E. Ramseyer (1869-1944), a founder of the Missionary Church Association, Lloyd L. Ramseyer (1899-1977), president of Bluffton College, and Edna Ramseyer, a professor at Bluffton College.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 250. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Gratz, Delbert L. "Ramseier family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/ramseier_family.
APA style: Gratz, Delbert L. (1959). Ramseier family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/ramseier_family.