If you meet a stranger who is also named Bauder, do not assume that you are related, because there were people with similar sounding names that adopted the Bauder name and have no bloodline established back to the Bauder of Wurttemberg, Germany. This is especially true of most of the Bauder people living in or are from New York and Pennsylvania.

In 1976 Peg Bauder Nielsen authored the book "The Bader-Bauder Family of the Mohawk Valley". She gives a good explanation of this confusion about the Bauder name and the following is excerpted her book.

"Like most of us in the family, I had believed the name had always been spelled Bauder. When I first became interested in tracing the family, I noticed that in the earliest records here, the name was spelled Bader, Baader, Bater or Baater. Later, as with most of the surnames, it took on various spellings. In addition to those above, it was found as Pater, Patter, Potter, Pather, Bather, Border, Porter, Barder, etc., before it began to show up as Bauder. There was only one record found where it was spelled Bauder prior to 1800. (Note: the majority of Potter & Porter spellings are separate families.)

After obtaining a copy of Luella Bauder's book "Are You Really a Bauder?" and finding no reference to any Bauders here prior to the Revolution, I thought it a little odd. I contacted her about it and we corresponded a number of times. She said that the Bauder family had been thoroughly traced in Germany by a Dr. Stumpp and Dr. Wilhelm Bauder; that there were never any Bauders in Kirchheim (where Melchior came from); that the name had never been spelled Bader, and that no Bauders came over that early. She suggested I would find we were a separate family.

Due to some "common" names in both families, and the fact that there were so many spelling variations here in the early records, I was not convinced. It was this that prompted me to write to Germany in an attempt to both trace Melchior and to find out whether we were Bauders or not. Dr. Weintrand, a member of the Baden & Wurttemburg Genealogical Society, who first contacted me, advised that if the name should show up in Kirchheim records as Bader, there was definitely no connection, as they were separate families. The German word "bader" means a medical assistant and "bauder" a ruler, or one who hits or punches". After finding that there were existing records in Kirchheim for Melchior Bader and his father Ulrich, and having the records traced back two more generations, I decided we really must be Baders and not Bauders.

My next question was, why then did we take on the spelling of a separate family name? Two years ago, I thoroughly questioned my cousin's husband from Munich, and another person I knew from Germany. From them I learned that in German, Bauder is pronounced Boughder, but that Bader is pronounced close to Bawder or Bahder (depending on the area of Germany one comes from). Those of us whose families more recently came from Montgomery Co., NY and those who still live in the area, pronounce Bauder as Bawder. Had the Bader spelling been retained, most people would tend to pronounce the name as Badder or Bayder, unless they had knowledge of the German language. In the 1700's, here in America in the German-speaking settlements, there was little or no difficulty with either the pronunciation or spelling, as most of those who kept the records were German, and there was little contact with non-Germans. But as English gradually took over as the main language, I can only assume that there arose the same difficulty in pronouncing some of the German names then, as there would be today, had they retained the original German spellings. In the Montgomery Co. area, about the same time that Bader gradually became Bander, Fuchs became Fox, Hoefferlich became Haverly, Schnell became Snell, Jung became Young, etc. The same thing happened to the Dutch and French names.

Why though, in anglicizing our name, did they add a u and not a w? This would have simplified the pronunciation problems we have today with the name, and we wouldn't have taken on the spelling of another family name. My explanation is purely theoretical - first, while this would have been easy for the English-speaking people, it would probably have been confusing to the Germans themselves, since their w is pronounced v. Secondly, by the time the name was changed, along about the 3rd generation here in America, no one living then knew of the existence of an actual Bauder family, since the "true" Bauders had not come over here as yet, and it would have been unlikely that any who might have known of a Bauder family back in Germany would still be living. By spelling it Bauder, it likely didn't confuse the Germans, and enabled the English to pronounce it "properly" - as in the English words laud, Maud, caught, taught, etc. Since the above explanation is only theory on my part, possibly someone in the family has actual knowledge or a better suggestion as to why the u was added.

There is actually a third Bauder family, the first settler coming to America about the same time as the "true" Bauders, around 1850, and settling in Ohio. This family name was originally spelled Bauderer in Germany, and the last "er" was dropped shortly after coming here, according to E. J. Bauder of Columbus, Ohio, a descendant of this family.

This does create a problem for anyone tracing any of these 3 families. The name Bauder is not too common a name to begin with, and yet they are 3 separate unrelated families. Earlier, the pronunciation of our Bauder name could have been proof as to which family one belonged, but many of our family have given up on trying to get people to say it "right" (strangers most always say Boughder). Others, knowing Germans or the German language, knew that Bauder in German was properly pronounced Boughder, and began to say it that way - not realizing why we actually mispronounce the name. Today, if you meet someone named Bauder, you cannot be sure if you are related, but if you meet an individual who spells his name Bader, you likely are. Most immigrants of the Bader family who came over after the mid-1800s retained the original spelling of the name.

In obtaining records from various areas, those that migrated prior to 1850 from Montgomery or Herkimer Cos. to Jefferson Co., NY, spelled the name as Banter or Bautar as late as 1918. In corresponding with various individuals, it is possible the name is now spelled Border in some states, and as Bauders in Pa. Some of the given names in these families seem to fit in with our Bauder names from Montgomery Co., but no proof of any actual connection has been located as yet. It is also possible that some who left the county early may have retained the Bader spelling, as the birthplace for some Baders found on the 1880 censuses was given as NY. However, the majority of Baders appearing on this census were born in Germany".