People & Families

The Importance of the Family

Fifty-Four Distinct families supported their colony through the application of their manufacturing skills and their devotion to the common ideal of working together to accomplish tasks.

Explore each family by clicking on the links below!


The Families

Bachert Family Bair Family Ehlen Family
Forstner Family Giesy Family Keil Family
Kraus Family Miley Family Miller Family
Rapps Family Schuele Family Snyder Family
Stauffer Family Steinbach Family Will Family
Wolfer Family Zimmerman Family

Where did the Families Come From?

Almost of the families emigrated from the German kingdoms of Württemberg or Hesse.  Wilhelm Keil, on the other hand, was Prussian.  A few families came from other areas as well, such as France and Switzerland.  Because Germany was not united until 1870, the families are usually identified with region rather than country. Most, but not all of the Württemberg families were followers of George Rapp, the founder of the Harmony Society in 1805 in western Pennsylvania.

Family Legacies Preserved

The Aurora Colony Historical Society, founded in 1963, preserves colony buildings, artifacts, manuscripts and photographs.

  • Family history files maintained and updated
  • Family artifacts featured in exhibits
  • Books and research projects that explore family history
  • Relationships between colony and non-colony families researched

Contact the (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information!