Latscha (Latschar, Lachat, Lörsch, Lörtscher, Latschaw, Leutscher, Lötscher) family
Latscha, a Mennonite family name, derives from Lötscher from Latterbach near Erlenbach in the Simmental, canton of Bern, Switzerland. The first member of this family known to have been an Anabaptist was Hans Lötscher, who was born in Latterbach in 1601. He wrote a hymn of 41 stanzas entitled "Ein schön new geistlich Lied." In 1633 he married Anna Kammerer from Latterbach. The three oldest of their five children, Hans, Melchior, and Anna, were brought before the Täuferkommission in Bern because of their Anabaptist beliefs. They remained true to their faith and were imprisoned. The brothers Hans and Melchior escaped in 1667 but were soon returned to prison. After four years in prison at Bern they were sentenced to galley service with four other Anabaptists in 1671-73. They returned to claim their inheritance from their father, who had died while they were away, but were refused it. In 1667, while imprisoned at Bern, Hans Lötscher wrote a letter which is preserved in the Martyrs' Mirror (E 1129-30), in which he lists some 40 persons who met death in Bern because of their Anabaptist faith. Abraham Lötscher, youngest brother of Hans and Melchior, immigrated to Holland in 1711, where the name soon became Leutscher. A number of his descendants have been Mennonite leaders in that country.
The family name takes the form Latscha and Latschar in the Palatinate and in North America. About 1714 Hans Heinrich Lötscher emigrated from the Simmental to Alsace, and later to the Palatinate, Germany, where he settled on Kühbörncheshof near Katzweiler. His children settled in various Palatinate Mennonite communities. One son, Johannes Franz, immigrated to Pennsylvania. The chief homes of the family in North America have been Berks County, PA and Waterloo County, ON. The Latschar Mennonite Church (now Mannheim Mennonite Church) is located near Mannheim, ON. Among the well-known members of the family were Jacob Latscha (1849-1912), a merchant in Frankfurt am Main, where he built a chain of 134 stores and was active in YMCA work; and John B. Latschaw (1804-87) who served the Franconia Conference of the Mennonite Church (MC) as minister for 44 years, including 15 as bishop. In 1940 there were still 37 members of the family in three Mennonite congregations in South Germany, i.e., in Kaiserslautern, Sembach, and Ludwigshafen.
Fluri, Adolf. "Die Lötscher von Latterbach," in Beiträge zur Geschichte der bernischen Täufer. Bern, 1912.
Latscha, J. Der Mann und sein Werk. Frankfurt, 1932.
Mennonitisches Lexikon, "Latscha," "Lötscher.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who Baptized Only Upon the Confession of Faith, and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the Time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, Pa. : Herald Press, 1951.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 297. 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.
To cite this page:
MLA style: Gratz, Delbert L. "Latscha (Latschar, Lachat, Lörsch, Lörtscher, Latschaw, Leutscher, Lötscher) family ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L387ME.html.
APA style: Gratz, Delbert L. (1957). Latscha (Latschar, Lachat, Lörsch, Lörtscher, Latschaw, Leutscher, Lötscher) family . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L387ME.html.