Lauenen, Switzerland

Casper and Anna Sumi had 8 children, 5 boys. Casper in mentioned in the records in the Diedendorf Reformed Church in Alsace as part of Hans Peter's marriage record in 1705. (Source: "Eighteenth Century Immigrants from North Alsace" by Annette Burgert.)

All eight of Casper's children were born in Lauenen, Canton Bern, Switzerland.

Hans Peter Sumi was the 8th son of Casper Sumi from Saanen Switzerland. Tradition has it that Hans Peter Sumi and family exiled from Canton Aargau Switzerland and migrated to Offenburg in Middle Baden, then to Alsace where Peter was a herdsman near Rexinggen. Married in Lutheran Church. No record of when he converted to Anabaptist, or Menonite, possibly while in Holland. In their travels and migrations they could aquire little or no property and apparently had to work at whatever the nobility would provide.


All 8 of Hans Peter Sumi's children were born in Alsace. When Alsace was ceded to France, they supposedly migrated to Holland, and then to America in 1732 with wife Maria and their 6 children. (Hans Peter's youngest 2 children died in Alsace prior to their migration to America. It is unknown why.) He was the earliest known minister in the Groffdale Mennonite Church in Earl Township, Lancaster County, PA., around 1735.

Otto Frederick Sumi was born about 1718 at Alsace, (now France). Frederick apparently died before 1790 in North Carolina. He married Anna Mar. Known only as Frederick or "Fritz" in America, he is recorded in history as moving to the Catawba River Valley in North Carolina "with another brother or a nephew". He was in Pennsylvania as late as 1753 when he had three children baptised at the Trinity Tulpehocken Church near Myerstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.

There is no information on him after that date but apparently he had a very large family. Many of the pioneers did not register their land, but merely "squatted" on unoccupied areas. It is believed that Frederick was one of these, both in Pennsylvania and in North Carolina. The problems arose later when someone took claim to it and registered their claim with the authorities.

It is not known if "Mar" was a shortening of his wife's middle name or if it was her last name. There were some Mahre/Maurer families nearby.

Sidenote: Information from Steven Summy on Seattle WA in 1978 (decendent of Hans Peter's second child, Hans Jacob Sumi) states that a captain's list from the brigatine "Richard And Elizabeth" dated Sept 21, 1732 lists the passengers "Hance Peter Sowmy" (age 59), his wife Maria Magdalena (58), and their children, Maria Magdalena (24), Hance Jacob (22), Hans Peter Jr (20), Otto Fredrick (15), Hance Michel (10), Johannes (9). The same list on another page, apparently by another hand, lists the same names with the spelling Somey. The family is reported to have originated from "Sumiswald" (Summy's Woods) Switzerland, near Canton Bern.

Summey Family Tree