Peter Loy (to America from Switzerland 1849)

Peter Loy (2 February 1814 Roth-Hausen*, SWITZERLAND—28 March 1904 South Branch Precinct, Otoe Co., NE)
Mary de Zink (ca. 1830-36** SWITZERLAND—between 1873-June 1880 Ness Co., KS or Otoe Co., NE)

*Note: Peter’s birth town is per his obituary. I tried to find Roth-Hausen on an historical Swiss map after being unable to find its location on a modern map, to no avail. Although I could find a German town by name of Rothhausen. There is a town and municipality Schaff-Hausen in northern Switzerland, but it’s likely the Swiss Roth-Hausen might be a village so small it was never on a map.

**Note: Mary was listed as age 24 in 1860 census and age 40 in 1870 census.

Peter Loy arrived in America in 1849, according to his obituary in the Thursday, 31 March 1904 Syracuse Democrat (Syracuse, Nebraska).

I could not locate Peter (and, if married by then, wife Mary) in any 1850 U.S. census. The 1900 census shows widower Peter erroneously marked as married, and years married was 50 years. It’s more likely he meant 50 years prior to 1900 was his wedding day, and not 50 years prior to Mary’s death, since she would have been under age 50 at time of her death. Thus, we can assume they married about the time Peter migrated to America. Whether they married months after arrival in the U.S. or months before their departure from Switzerland, is still in question.

Peter and Mary settled in Ohio by 1854, where eldest son John was born, then relocated by 1856-1859 to Michigan. As the 1860 census gives son Frederick born in OH, while the 1870 census gives him born in MI, it’s more difficult to determine a more precise time frame of their arrival in Michigan. The family is in census for 1860 North Shade Township, Gratiot County, Michigan; their closest post office being Monticello, which enumerator misspelled as “Monteselo.” He also misspelled the family surname as Ley. Oddly, in this census, Peter was listed as born in Germany and Mary listed as born in Switzerland, making me wonder if by chance he may have actually been born in Rothhausen GERMANY, and as child his family relocated to Switzerland??

About 1866 the family moved again to Otoe County, Nebraska. According to his obituary, they lived on land that Peter would farm for nearly 40 years, until his 1904 death. They were living in 1870 Hendricks Precinct, Otoe County, Nebraska; their closest post office being Nebraska City.

For some reason, between 1873-1880 census the family moved to Ness County, Kansas, which is close to center of the state. Peter’s wife Mary had died by the time of the family’s enumeration in the census of 1880 Eden Township (Township 19, Ranges 25 and 26), Ness County, Kansas.

Peter’s son John still lived in Otoe County, Nebraska, where he was enumerated as sole householder in the census for 1880 South Branch, Otoe County, Kansas. His occupation was given as farmer, so it’s likely he was overseeing the family farm while his father and younger siblings were in Ness County, Kansas. Meanwhile Peter’s son Jacob was laborer for the Diggs household in census for 1880 Victoria, Rice County, Kansas.

By 1885, Peter and his family had returned to Otoe County, Nebraska, where he is in the 1885 South Branch, Otoe County, Nebraska census, which FamilySearch has indexed enumerator’s sloppy “Loy” spelling under surname Fay.

Peter Loy is last enumerated in the census for 1900 South Branch Precinct, Otoe County, Nebraska. Newspaper accounts from 1880s to early 1900s show their farm was in the area of Burr; son Frederick’s children’s death notices were listed under Burr news.

Peter’s family tree at FamilySearch gave his wife’s maiden name as de Zink. With this being my only source, I have not been able to verify this. This also gives his middle initial as “L.” Another submitter gave information which was later removed by another researcher, that his middle name was “Leuaka” (which doesn’t sound very Swiss to me, anyway). I have found no record documenting him with a middle initial/name.

This page is a work in the making, as I have several historical newspaper accounts on this family I believe will be helpful to researchers of this Peter Loy. These newspaper accounts concerning him and his children will be posted in the blog section in the near future. Including articles that detail the circumstances of son Jacob’s death. Those articles about Jacob’s started my whole curiosity in searching info about this family over these past two days, with results included here and in future pages and posts.

My plan is to eventually add one more generation of pages covering Peter’s children that did marry and have children. One notable fact is that Peter’s daughter Dena (as written in 1870 census but later written as “Denie” or “Deine”) moved to Page Co., IA upon marriage. Page County Iowa’s early pioneers were descendants of my ancestor Martin Loy (to America 1741), viz. William and Jacob Loy (sons of Martin’s son George), Isaac Loy (son of George’s son “Fisher” John Loy), and of David Loy (son of George’s nephew John Loy, Jr.) who married the aforementioned Jacob Loy’s daughter Elizabeth Loy. So, yes, at the time of Dena and her husband’s arrival the landscape was already overflowing with Loys. Surely both Loy branches’ paths would have crossed during this time, giving them opportunity to ask about each other’s Loy family origins. Although he likely visited more often, I’ve found one account where in May 1901 Peter Loy of Nebraska City, Nebraska visited his daughter in Amity Township, Page County, Iowa. Upon learning his surname, I’m sure Peter would have been asked by the locals if he was related to the county’s pioneer Loys.

Historical news clippings of Peter Loy.

Peter and Mary’s children:

Born Where Died Where
#1 John W. Loy ca. 1854 OH after 1885 Sheridan Co., NE state census At time of father’s 1904 death, John’s whereabouts were unknown and his inheritance was to be split among his siblings if he could not be located.
#2 Frederick Loy Find a Grave ca. 1856 OH or MI 10 January 1891
FAG = 10th, obituary = “last Saturday night” (17th)
(near Burr) Otoe Co., NE
md. Lucinda Campbell 21 December 1867 OH 18 December 1922 Homedale, Owyhee Co., ID

After Frederick’s death she md. (#2) David Hiram Baldridge

#3 Martha Loy ca. 1859 North Shade Twp., Gratiot Co., MI only in 1860 census could this be Anna??
#4 Anna Loy ca. 1860 North Shade Twp., Gratiot Co., MI only in 1870 census could this be Martha??
#5 Charles
Jacob Loy
Find a Grave ca. 1861 or 1862 North Shade Twp., Gratiot Co., MI 14 March 1885 Brown’s Creek Twp., Jewell Co., KS
#6 Dena May (“Denie”) Loy Find a Grave 17 September 1862 North Shade Twp., Gratiot Co., MI 1 February 1952 Hutchinson, Reno Co., KS
md. 3 July 1880 (Ness City, Ness Co., KS) Johan Conrad Friedrich (“John”) Sinn 23 September 1846 PA 30 June 1924 Hutchinson, Reno Co., KS

Note: Although Denie’s grave stone gives 17 September 1862 birth, which agrees with her age in 1880 census, the 1900 census gives September 1863 and the 1870 census gives her as age 5, with older brother Jacob age 7. However, Jacob was listed as age 19 in 1880 census. Denie’s husband John was given birth place in all census as PA with parents born GERMANY, but online tree gives his birth in Bitzfeld, Württemberg, GERMANY

#7 Frank Loy ca. 1869 Otoe Co., NE only in 1870 census
#8 William Loy September 1870 Otoe Co., NE after 1915
#9 Ida Lavernia Loy Find a Grave ca. 1873 Otoe Co., NE 24 February 1953 Seattle, King Co., WA
md. 6 January 1898 (Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO) Franz A. (“Frank”) Mueller 29 April 1874 Altendorf, Rheinland, GERMANY 10 February 1927 Seattle, King Co., WA