When Johannes Peter Stuttenbecker was born on 10 April 1662 in Solingen in the Bergisches Land in what we now call Germany, his hometown had just become a fortified city after having been a tiny village for about 500 years. It had also weathered a severe outbreak of the plague with almost 2,000 deaths in town, as well as the Thirty Years’ War within the last 50 years. Chances are Johannes was actually born in Dorp, a nearby town which was incorporated into Solingen in 1889 and in which his parents Peter and Anna both were born, but we can’t be sure.
Johannes had two older sisters, two older brothers and two younger brothers, which makes them seven children altogether.
Johannes married Catharina Rau in his home town on 9 May 1692, and the two of them had five children together, four boys and one girl. At least two of their children, one of them being our direct ancestor Peter Studebaker, immigrated into the New World in the first half of the 18th century where the spelling of the last name was changed into something more palatable for English-speaking people. But Johannes and Catharina, as well as at least two of their children, lived and died in Solingen.
After living all their lives in and around Solingen, Johannes passed away on 7 April 1728. Catharina had already died 16 years earlier. Their son Peter and his family arrived in Maryland only nine years after his father’s death.
Rest in Peace, Great-Grandpa Stuttenbecker. According to information on Find-A-Grave, you and your wife lie buried in the Waldfriedhof of the city of Charlemagne, Aachen.