Magdalena Krenger of Smithville (1853-1924)

24 June 1853, Thurnen, Bern, Switzerland
26 May 1876, Bern, Switzerland
11 August 1924, Smithville, Wayne, Ohio, USA

Magdalena "Mattie" Krenger was born on 24 Jun 1853 in Thurnen, Bern, SwitzerlandA to parents Christian Krenger and Barbara Künzi.3, B

While not much is known about Mattie or her childhood in the canton of Bern, we do know that she had at least one brother, Rudolph (1858), and one sister, Anna Maria. It appears the family relocated from Thurnen (Mühlethurnen) to Rueschegg about 14 km west. This situated the family only 10 km southeast of the village of Schwarzenburg in Wahlern.

Mattie Krenger married Johannes "John" Beyeler on 26 May 1876 in Bern, Switzerland.C

John departed France and arrived in New York, New York on 3 Feb 1882 aboard the ship St. Laurent.4 He ended up in Ohio where he proceeded to make a life for him and his family in anticipation of their arrival. Mattie arrived two years later in 1883 with five year old daughter Emma.?

Originally listed the family last name as "Beyeler", after immigration he changes it to "Beieler", common misspellings have listed "Beiler" & "Beichler", and finally some children adopted "Beeler".

John was naturalized in Wayne County, Ohio on 09 Jun 1888. By the time of naturalization Johannes had officially changed his name to John Beieler to “Americanize” himself.5

On 06 Jun 1900, he lived in Wooster Township, Wayne, Ohio with wife, Mattie and 2 children, John & Christ working as a farmer, Rents farm.6

On 20 Apr 1910 John lived in Wayne Township, Wayne, Ohio with wife Mattie and boarder John Kiser. Son John R and his wife live next door, married 3 months prior.7

On 12 Jan 1920, John lived in Smithville, Green, Wayne, Ohio on Milton Street with wife Mattie. Retired.8

Mattie died on 11 Aug 1924 in Smithville, Wayne, Ohio. She was buried on 13 Aug 1924 in the Smithville Cemetery.3

John died on 10 Feb 1925 in Smithville, Wayne, Ohio of Cerebral hemorrhage. He was buried on 12 Feb 1925 in Smithville Village, Green Township, Wayne, Ohio at Smithville Cemetery alongside his wife.1


Christian Krenger, 05 Apr 1801 - 20 Oct 1872


Barbara Künzi, 30 Aug 1816 - 08 Oct 1891


Johannes Beyeler, 03 Sep 1854 - 10 Feb 1925


  1. Alfred Beyeler, 26 Mar 1877 – 26 Mar 1877
  2. Emma Jane Beieler, 24 Jan 1878 – 19 Sep 1955
  3. Ida Rosa Beieler, 03 May 1886 – 11 Oct 1893
  4. John Rudolph Beieler, 03 Feb 1888 – 14 Feb 1965
  5. Christ Albert Beeler , 01 Oct 1889 – 19 Jan 1969


A An old family tree had stated that Mattie was born in Thurnen. I originally translated this to a nearby town of Thun assuming the name changed or was mistranslated. I was right and wrong. The town name was changed, but it was not Thun. Thurnen was also the local parish that Thun was a part of. A city occasionally referenced as Thurnen sits 15 km northwest under the name Mühlethurnen.

B The Orrville Courier Crescent Newspaper documented frequent visits with a Rudolph Krenger and his family, stating they were not only relatives, but going even further by identifying Rudolph as Mattie's brother. Rudolph's death record said he was from Bern and properly identified Christian Krenger as their father.

B Mattie's death record says her parents were Albert Krenger and Barbara Kunzi, while Rudolph's death record says Christian Krenger and Magdalene. This information was provided by the spouses and returned no fruitful searches. However, when I combined the two (assuming Magdalene was wrong to begin with) I got a hit on Christian Krenger and Barbara Kunzi in Bern and their daughter Anna Maria who married in 1871. Likely making her Mattie's older sister by roughly 5 years.

C Switzerland civil records are locked for 1875 and beyond, so access to Magdalena's marriage and children's records is out of the question at this time.


1 Ohio Death Record for John Beiler; "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Jan 2014), John Beiler, 10 Feb 1925; citing Smithville, Wayne, Ohio, reference fn 11958; FHL microfilm 1992616.

2 Obituary for Rosina Beyeler; Orrville Courier Crescent Newspaper; Orrville, Wayne County, Ohio; Friday, 28 December 1928; "Mrs. Mishler Dies Suddenly At Smithville"; Wooster Branch of Wayne County Public Library; Microfilm.

3 Ohio Death Record for Magdalene Beiler; "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Jan 2014), Magdalene Beiler, 11 Aug 1924; citing Smithville, Wayne, Ohio, reference fn 47337; FHL microfilm 1992603.

4 New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 about J Beyler; Year: 1882; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 447; Line: 20; List Number: 130.

5 Naturalization Record for John Beyeler; Probate Court of Wayne County; Wooster Branch of Wayne County Public Library; Family History Collection; Wayne County, Ohio; John Beyeler; Microfilm.

6 1900 United States Federal Census about John Beeler; Year: 1900; Census Place: Wooster, Wayne, Ohio; Roll: 1332; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0162; FHL microfilm: 1241332.

7 1910 United States Federal Census about John Beieler; Year: 1910; Census Place: Wayne, Wayne, Ohio; Roll: T624_1240; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0182; FHL microfilm: 1375253.

8 1920 United States Federal Census about John Beeler; Year: 1920; Census Place: Green, Wayne, Ohio; Roll: T625_1448; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 202; Image: 372.

Unanswered Questions

 Was her father Christian or Albert? Her spouse said Albert, her brother's spouse said Christian. (Records seem to indicate Christian is accurate)

Did Mattie have any other siblings besides Rudolph? (7 known siblings)

Did any of them immigrate to America? (only Rudolf is known)

Where is Thurnen? (Thurnen is a parish, seems to surround the area of Thun; Appears a city once known by Thurnen is now called Mühlethurnen, abt 15 km northwest of the city of Thun)


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