My grandmother Annie Elizabeth Bower / Pitzer (1872-1971), wife of John Riley Pitzer (1869-1940), wrote James Harrison Pitzer (1835-1919), (who was John Riley Pitzer's father) parents came from Switzerland to America early in the 18th century.
Added by Ron Pittser, Bitzer/Pitzer ancestor 02/29/2012; This information is based on extensive research by my nephew B.W. Thompson, Sr. and other genealogical resources at hand: Brothers Matthias (Matthew) and Michel (Michael) BITZER were born in Tailfingen, Germany (records of their family lineage date to approximtely 1608 there), Wurttemberg State (German state north of Swiss border); They left Germany as teens via Rotterdam and arrived in British Colonial America in 1752 aboard the ship "Forest" (see ships manifest - List 188C, 10/10/1752 Court House, Philadelphia,PA). They were "naturalized" in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania in 1765 (they actually appear on a roll of "naturalized colonial citizens" as "PITZER" on that roll. Additionally, Matthias appears as" Mathias Petser" on the "Freemen" list of Leacock, Township, VA 1758). They appeared to have embraced this Anglicized name version for the rest of their lives. Of note they are on both the Revolutionary War rolls (See Revolutionary War Certificate #426, Berkely County, Virginia .. listed as "Michael an Matthias Pitzor") as providing supplies and aid to the war effort. They received land grants, resided mainly in Virginia and some descendants later in Ohio and for Matthias's line later Missouri and then on to the Oklahoma Territory before statehood (see (Andrew Jackson Pitzer)....first spelling as "Pittser" was Andrew Jackson's lineage. Variations such as Pitzor, Pittzer, Pettser, Petser, Petzer, etc. are commonly found though various documents that when cross referenced are normally administrative spelling errors.