The Yoho Link To Switzerland Discovered?

The illusive link of Johannes Joho's American Yoho family to Switzerland may have been found. In 2005, Hugh Yoho and I hired German genealogy researcher, Uwe Porten to search the origin of Johannes and his father Johann Michael Joho in Alsace France.

We were pleased that Mr. Porten's research confirmed some of the traditional information others had gathered. Unfortunately, Porten's research did not find the birth place of Johannes's father Johann Michael Joho, only that he was living in Alsace in the early 1700's. His birth date was also not established. Porten's research also did not find the marriage record of Johann Michael to Susanna Gelker nor the birth records of their children in Alsace. Mr Porten did find confirmation and marriage records of these children in Alsace. We suspect as does Porten, that these records were not found because Johann Michael , his wife and children were born in Switzerland and emigrated to Alsace sometime between 1720 and 1729. Denver Yoho however reported that all of Johann's children were born in Alsace. The source of his information is unknown.

After Porten's research, we continued our search on the internet and found no records of Johann Michael Joho or his father. We did determine that research of old Swiss records requires a personal visit to the Canton and church records in Switzerland. As a result we hired a Swiss researcher Esther Bauer to continue the research in Switzerland. Unfortunately she and her associate did not find any specific link to Johann Michael Joho.

Prior to hiring Mr Porten to conduct research in Alsace, Hugh Yoho received a copy of a book from Hermann Eiermann of Eberbach Germany who had researched and authored the family history of Conrad Joho. This book is entitled Alte Eberbacher Familien. Die Nachkommen des Schweizer Einwanderers Conrad Joho aus Schinznach im Aargau ( Old Eberbach (Germany) Families. The descendents of Conrad Joho of Schinznach Switzerland in the Canton Aargau.).

Eiermann's book establishes that the German branch of the Joho family takes its origins from Conrad Joho born August 20, 1673 in Bern Switzerland. He moved to Schinznach and then to Mannheim Germany and finally Eberbach Germany where his descendents live today. His line has been directly traced back to the first known Joho, Routschmann Joho born about 1395 probably in Switzerland.

Eiermann's book also includes a tree of ancestors from Conrad Joho back to Routschmann Joho. Both Hugh and I searched those links for any possible mention of Johann Michael or his son Johannes, but could not find their names.......That is until Hugh made a very likely connection with Uli Joho in an email to me on 4/11/2011.

Uli Joho listed below in blue in the 8th Generation was one of the ancestors of Conrad Joho and is possibly the father of Johann Michael Joho.

Lineage back to Routschmann Joho

1. Generation: Routschmann Joho (Abt. 1395 - ?)

Routschmann was probably born in Switzerland but exact location is unknown. He became a citizen of Baden Switzerland in the Canton of Aargau in 1427. He married twice.

2. Generation: Gery Joho (Abt. 1435 - ?)

Gery married Unknown Unknown about 1460 in Baden Switzerland. At least one son was produced. It is not known if there were other children

3. Generation: Unknown Joho (Abt. 1460 - ?)

Unknown son married Unknown Unknown about 1490 in Baden Switzerland. At least one son was reported. it is not known if there were other children

4. Generation: Unknown Joho (Abt. 1490 - ?)

Unknown son married Unknown Unknown in 1520 and produced Unknown Joho about 1520. Family moved to Schinznach Switzerland in 1528. It is not known if there were other children

5. Generation: Unknown Joho (Abt. 1520 - ?)

Unknown Joho married Unknown Unknown about about 1550 in Schinznach Switzerland. At least one son was born. It is not known if there were other children.

6. Generation: Unknown Joho (Abt 1550 - ?)

Unknown Joho married Unknown Unknown about 1580 in Schniznach Switzerland. At least one son was born. It is not known if there were other children.

7. Generation: Unknown Joho (Abt. 1580 - ?)

Unknown Joho married Unknown Unknown about 1610 in Schinznach Switzerland. At least one son was produced. It is not known if there were other children.

8. Generation: Unknown Joho (Abt. 1610 - ?)

Unknown Joho married Unknown Unknown about 1610 in Schinznach Switzerland. Six sons are reported:

Uli Joho (abt 1635 - ?) Born Schinznach. Married Susanna Leuffer 8/15/1664

Daniel Joho (1638 - ?) Born Schinznach (Generation 9 Below)

Ludi Joho (? - ?) Born Schinznach. Married Elsbeth Jezer

Hans Joho (? - ?) Born Schinznach. Married Madleni Hug 3/7/1670

Jogli Joho (? - ?) Born Schinznach. Married Anna Schaub

Hans Ulrich Joho (? - ?) Born Schinznach. Married Three Times

Married Sara Keller 6/17/1671

Married Anna Düll 1/14/1677

Married Verena Holliger


9. Generation: Daniel Joho (1638 - ?)

10. Generation: Conrad Joho (1673 - 1728)

In his email to me on 4/11/11 Hugh stated:

On your web site (Yoho Page) you discuss spiritual and secular names, that Johann is a spiritual name and that our ancestor was probably actually known as Michael.  As you said, Uwe Porten, in one place in his research, refers to this man as Michael. However in that same research under the biography for Johannes Yoho, we find the following words in his 1729 confirmation record: Johannes, HANS Michael Joho's legitimate son, Sulzthal. (

I don't know why the fact did not dawn on me, but HANS is short for Johann! In other words, Hugh is suggesting and I agree, that HANS Joho son of Uli may be our Johann Michael Joho! No one has found a birth record of Johann Michael but has been cited many times as Abt 1678. Although the HANS of Uli Joho is not listed with secular name Michael, his birth date of 1680 is too coincidental for us not to consider him to be Johann Michael. I have seen many records with incomplete and shortened names so the lack of secular name does not rule this possibility out of hand.

Hugh also points out another coincidence in Porten's research. Hugh stated: We have a reference to Caspar Joho at Sour in Porten's report. Could this be Hans Caspar, brother of Hans listed in the 8th Generation?

In his "Research Notes, Porten writes:

On March 30, 1724, got baptized in Reformed Zweibrucken: Johann Peter, son of Jakob Berner, Swiss Weaver in Mittelbach; as godmother acted: Anna Maria, daughter of "Casper Joho at Sour" (Source Pfalz Fam. u. Wappenkunde, vol. IV, p50)

The two coincidental facts that HANS, son of Uli may be Johann Michael Joho and the citation of Casper Joho possibly his brother being in Alsace at the same time are enticing and difficult to ignore.

Until we or someone in the family hires a researcher in Switzerland to explore this possibility the link to Uli Joho will remain only as a good possibilitity. However, I am willing to go out on one of the proverbial limbs of our family tree and consider this a working hypothesis. If true, this means our American Yoho Family now has 9 additional generations for a total of 19 generations in mine and Hugh Yoho's case. This takes our line back to the year 1395 with Routschmann Joho.

If we consider hiring a researcher sometime in the near future, we might post a plea for financial assistance and would appreciate interested family members helping out.