Anna Maria Degen Leftwich (1810-1910)

Degen-Leftwick Reunion 1902 OhioI’ve been reading John Bushman’s history and just discovered a branch of the family I didn’t know about.  Johann Casper Degen was my 4th Great-grandpa.  He married Anna Maria Graff b. 15 or 16 May 1768 in Holstein, Basel, Switzerland.

Here’s the little bit we know about this branch, written by Jacob’s brother Martin in 1920:

Elizabeth Degen Bushman
Written January 10, 1920, by her son, Martin as a token of respect for his parents.

Elizabeth Degen was born September 12, 1802 in Holstein and Tacknais, (Baselland) Bazeland, Switzerland. She is the son of John Casper and Maria Graff Degen. She had been only four years old when her mother died at the birth of a sister born October 26 and was buried October 29, 1806. Therefore, she never had a mothers care, and love to guide her in her youth. One year later her father married Ann Maria Shaublin (Schaubline). Six children were born to this union, two died in Switzerland as infants.

She had a good education in her childhood, then she had to work for her own living.
In the fall of 1816, John Casper Degen took his family: Elizabeth, her step-mother, and her half brother, Frederick, and half sister, Anna Maria to America. They sailed from Ansterdam, Holland, in an old sailing vessel that was seventeen weeks crossing. They suffered much for food and water. The voyage was rough and they lost two of her sisters on board the ship and were buried at sea.

The photo (above) in this book that shows a reunion held in 1902 in Ohio with this branch of our family.  John, Martin and Elias Bushman went on a Family History mission to find their family members in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and in Ohio.  This photo was taken while on that trip.

Bushman, John, UT-AZ Pioneer

It’s time to do some searching for these family members.  If any of you know anything about this branch of the family, please contact me at


About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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