The Bader surname has German origins, from the German bad meaning “bath,” and was an occupational for an attendant at a public bath house. These attendants in fact undertook a variety of functions including tooth-pulling and hair-cutting, the practice of barber surgeons as they came to be called.Bader could be pronounced “Bahder” or “Bawder,” depending on which German-speaking region the name came from.
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- Alfred and Isabel Bader A Bader Jewish refugee in England and Canada.
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Bader is a name of southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria today. The largest numbers are in Munich and Zurich. The approximate numbers today are:
- Germany 18,000
- Switzerland 5,000
- and Austria 3,000.
A number of Bader emigrants came from Baden and probably took their name from that town. Others were Jewish. Bader is also a surname of the Middle East.
England. Some give the Bader surname in England Welsh origins, from the Welsh ap Adda meaning “son of Adam.” George Badder was recorded in Shropshire in 1661. But the Bader name there is non-existent today. Most English Baders would seem to have had foreign origins.
The ancestry of Douglas Bader, the RAF hero of World War Two, is uncertain. His father Frederick Bader may have been born in France. Frederick worked for the Royal Engineers in India and later fought in World War One. Hit by shrapnel in 1917, he died of his wounds in France five years later.
Other notable Baders have been:
- Ernest Bader from Switzerland, a conscientious objector in his own country and a Quaker when he came to England. He founded the chemical company of Scott Bader in 1921 which he gave away to his employees thirty years later.
- and Alfred Bader who as a boy fled Nazi Germany for England in 1938. However, the Government interned him in Canada two years later and his business success happened there rather than in England.
America. Hans Melchior Bader, born at Kirchheim in Baden-Wurttemburg in 1700, was probably the first Bader recorded in America. He came with his family to Philadelphia on the Billinder in 1739 and they settled in the Mohawk valley of New York. Bader became Bauder and even Pauter over the generations. Peg Bauder Nielsen named her 1976 book The Bader-Bauder Family of the Mohawk Valley.
Another Bader family from Wurttemburg, that of Johann Georg Bader, came to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania in the 1750’s. They changed their name to either Badders or Borders within a generation.
More Baders came in the 19th century. Their numbers included:
- Jeremiah Bader who arrived from Germany in the 1820’s and married and settled down in Ohio. His son William Bader made his home in Illinois in a railroad town that came to be known as Bader.
- Joseph Bader who arrived in Galveston from Alsace on the Heinrich in April 1844. He was one of the founders of Castroville, Texas five months later.
- another Joseph Bader who arrived ifrom Germany in 1852, settling first in Illinois and then running a hotel in Yancton, Minnesota.
- Thomas Bader who came from Switzerland in 1856, settling first in Wisconsin and then in Iowa.
- Daniel Bader who came to Philadeplhia from Baden around 1870 and ran an 80 acre farm in the outskirts of the city. His son Edward Bader, a New Jersey construction magnate, was mayor of Atlantic City in the 1920’s.
- and Johann and Anne Maria Bader from Wurttemburg who came to America in 1884. They farmed first in Kansas and later in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Jewish. There were also Jewish Baders who came to America. The best known is Joan Ruth Bader, born in Brooklyn to Russian Jewish immigrants in 1933. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg she was in 1993 the second female justice to be appointed to the US Supreme Court.
Canada. Adrian and Joanna Bader were the parents of a large Bader family in the town of Warmond in the southern part of Holland. They emigrated in stages between 1924 and 1926 to North America, eventually settling in Vancouver. They set up a small bakery in the Cedar Cottage neighborhood. By 1932 the bakery was called Bader Dutch Bakeries and there were multiple locations in Vancouver and elsewhere.
Alfred Bader was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who was interned by the British Government in Canada in 1940. After the war he prospered with his chemical company in Toronto. In later life he was a noted philanthropist and art collector.
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If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
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Edward Bader was the flamboyant mayor of Atlantic City in the 1920’s when the city was at the peak of its popularity as a vacationing place.
Douglas Bader was a RAF flying ace during World War Two. He achieved these feats after having lost both of his legs in a flying accident in 1931.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born Joan Ruth Bader to Jewish immigrant parents, was in 1993 the second female justice to be appointed to the US Supreme Court.
Select Baders Today
- 4,000 in America (most numerous in California)
- 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in UK)
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