I was recently asked by another researcher what Swiss surnames in my tree I was researching in Canton Bern, Switzerland that belonged to the early Anabaptist followers there. Below is an updated list of surnames and place names:
Gungerich/Gungery*, Schindler, Vogel, Muller, Rubeli*. See GAMEO. Christian Gungerich was an Anabaptist preacher that was imprisoned in Schwarzenegg prison when he escaped in 1669. He was re-captured and imprisoned in Waisenhaus Prison in the Canton’s capital Bern. He died there in 1671. He is my 10th great grand uncle. See Der Tauferlehrer Christian Gungerich (1591-1671) und der Streit um Seinen Nachlass for more on his relations. Also see Oberdiessbach Kirchenbuchen via Canton Bern archives, Mennosearch.com and the book Bernese Anabaptists and their American Descendants.
Vogt, Strubel known as Rubeli* in Oberdiessbach. See Langnau Kirchenbuchen via Canton Bern archives. Part of the Rubeli family emigrated to the German Palatinate in 1672 as religious refugees. See Mennosearch.com.
My great great grandfather Johann Leies was born in Nuenschweiler in the German Palatinate in 1843 to farmers Johann Adam Leies and Elisabetha Margaretha Pfeiffer. He came to America in 1867 and became a naturalized citizen of the United States that same year in Wayne County, Ohio. Before moving to Chicago and running a saloon, he worked as a farmer, a carpenter, in beer and wine dealing, and married a childhood friend from Nuenschweiler in Wooster, Ohio – Immigrant #24 ~~ Great Great Grandmother Emilia Anna Bold Leies~~and had their children, Alexander, my great grandfather, and John Ferdinand.
Uncle John wrote a lot about this immigrant grandfather of his and even visited the Catholic church in Nuenschweiler to obtain a transcribed copy of his grandfather’s baptism. The village is about 6 miles from the current day border of Moselle, Lorraine, France. Johann was born at Huber Hof near Nuenschweiler. Huber Hof was the name of his great grandfather Michael Conrad’s farm. Hof originally meant temple or hall in Old Norse. It later was used for courtyard and eventually for a collection of buildings on a farm. Source: Wikipedia.
When Johann was born, the farm had already been inherited by his grandmother Gertruda Conrad. Information on his estate came from a great source: Intelligenzblatt des Rheinkreises, Volume 7, or Google Books! Johann was the oldest of at least four children. The baptismal records of Nuenschweiler are missing a few decades which means there may have been more siblings.
Like me, Uncle John did not know the date or location of Johann’s arrival here, although he left a great trail for the researchers that would come after him. He thinks he may have entered the country in New Orleans.
I wondered why did Johann go to Wooster, Ohio when I read Uncle John’s research. This past summer when I found a relation of ours (Union Soldier Peter Leies, 1841-1862, born in Nunschweiler, Germany and killed at Antietam), I began looking for more Leies family members in the Civil War. That led me to two other first cousins of great great grandfather Johann that were drafted during the Civil War in Ohio – Henry and Anthony Leies. They were brothers. From what I can tell, they were only drafted and didn’t serve. Their parents were Heinrich Leies and Barbara Buchheit from Nuenschweiler and all of them had been living in Wooster, Ohio. Heinrich was the oldest brother of Johann’s father making them aunt and uncle to Johann.
Not only is it apparent at this point in my research that the Heinrich Leies family paved the way for the other Leieses to come to America, but they got here even earlier than our first direct American ancestor Johann Schuttler in 1849. Heinrich Leies, wife Barbara, and their sons arrived in New York City in 1848.
I do siblings when I count the immigrants in my tree. Do Heinrich and family count since he was the sibling of Johann’s father? Definitely.
Back to Johann. Do you think he lived with Uncle Heinrich or a cousin when he got to Wooster? It is very likely. Johann would only have been about 5 years old when his Uncle Heinrich and Aunt Barbara left Nuenschweiler. Both his Uncle Heinrich and Aunt Barbara were two of his baptismal sponsors, as you can see on the parish record below.
Uncle John had a copy of a letter his grandfather wrote to his cousin Johann Leies (a different Johann!) in Massweiler, Germany in 1910 that he translated from German and distributed to his family before his death. One detail from his life in Germany is written in the letter. He stated that “When I was 18 years old I worked in Pirmasens near the church not far from Loewenbrunnen for a Jew called Wolf. He had a bone mill at Nuenschweiler; his son’s name was Alphonse. He went to America.”
Important facts about Johann’s years in America were listed in the letter to back home in 1910 in this order:
“I have been in America for 43 years. I worked as a farmer and carpenter for two years;
Then I worked 7 years in the wine and beer industry in Wooster, Ohio;
Then we moved to Chicago. Here in Chicago I have dealt in beer and wine for 8 years;
Then for four years in other types of work;
Then for 22 years in the piano business with my son.”
At the time of the 1880 Census in Wooster, Ohio, Johann’s cousin Henry Leies was running a saloon. I can’t help but think that Johann may have been working there at some point before he moved to Chicago in the “wine and beer industry.”
The paper trail on Johann picks up in Chicago in 1880 where he is running a saloon according to the census. I would love to know the name of his saloon – his beer and wine business. I couldn’t find anything on newspapers.com regarding his saloon. By the mid 1890s, the hard-working and diligent Johann owned his own piano dealing shop – John Leies Pianos. Later he brought his son Alexander into the piano dealing business and they became known as John Leies & Son Pianos.
Johann remarried in 1896, two years after the death of Emilia Bold. His second wife, Carolina Sickel, was born in New Orleans. The 1910 Federal Census stated that her father was born in France, and that her mother was born in Germany. She had been put into a home before Johann died in Chicago in 1922. You can see his Find-a-Grave Memorial here.
Written in Latin above, in the margin next to Johann’s baptism, is his date of death in America. Uncle John knew his grandfather often sent money home to the parish in Nuenschweiler. The priest back home either received word of his death from a relative in Nuenschweiler, a relative in Chicago who wrote home, or from Uncle John himself when he visited. In turn, the church books of Nuenschweiler were photographed by the Latter Day Saints. I would like to think it was from Uncle John.
Uncle John wrote a fantastic report on this grandfather of his. Email me if you wish to have a copy.
One of Johann’s ancestors was named Hans Adam Schwartz, born around 1650. According to the Contwig Reformed Church Records I found, he was a Gerichtsschoffe or Court Alderman in the Zwiebrucken area of the Palatinate. He was our 7th great grandfather. His daughter Anna Ottilia married our 6th great grandfather Jakob Johann Wenceslaus Layies-Trauden. Leies was spelled as Layies at that point in the church records.
Johann also had ancestors born in France like his wife Emilia. The earliest known of them was Jean Michel Conrad, born December 3, 1697 in Shweyen, Moselle. I would like to point out that in 1697, parts of the Palatinate were under French rule. His baptism from the Archives of Moselle is below. Thank you cousin G. Pfeiffer in France for sharing and emailing many Conrad records to me.
Like some of the ancestry of Emilia Bold, going back to the 1400s in this part of Europe, there are two parts of Johann’s ancestry that “claim” to be able to trace back to the 1400s, and even to the 1300s in a town in the present-day Saarland. In the 1300s the region of present-day Saarland was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Emilia’s Helfrich line isn’t a myth right now like Johann’s pre-1600s ancestors are for American researchers. Maybe those trees on Geneanet are correct, but I can’t prove it!
Johann’s 1910 letter stated he had a photo album of his family back in Germany. If that album still exists, it must be a treasure.
Wayne County, Ohio Historical Society
Nuenschweiler, Germany Catholic Church Records
Hornbach Catholic and Protestant Church Records
Intelligenzblatt des Rheinkreises, Volume 7
Cousin G. Pfeiffer, France
Baptemes Loutzviller 1691-1723, Archives 57
Contwig, Germany Church Records
Weisbach and Massweiler, Germany Catholic and Reformed Church Records
Zur Familie Trauden/Layes von Oberhausen, by Johannes Becherer via L. Broschart in Koblenz, Germany
United States Federal Censuses
Ohio Birth and Marriage Indexes
Chicago Marriage and Death Indexes
New York Passenger Lists/Manifests/National Archives
Chicago City Directories
Numerous French and German personal genealogy databases
I share DNA with the descendants of the Hauck family and Helfrich family that emigrated to Pennsylvania before the Revolution.
Anyone in America that has the surname Leies in their tree and has ancestors that immigrated to NYC and Wooster, Ohio is my DNA cousin. They can all be traced back to Wenceslaus Layes-Trauden who lived the Zweibrucken area in the 1690s. His origin is unknown.
*My Kempf ancestors from Grosssteinhausen, RP are possibly descended from the Saarbrucken Kempfs in the Saarland. I am working to prove descendancy from the Bailiff Hufflinger who lived in Saarbrucken in the 1400s which French researchers on Geneanet seem to think is a possibility.
Moselle, Lorraine, France
Loutzviller: Bittel, Scheid(t), Conrad
Schweyen: Conrad, Stauder
Volmunster: Bittel, Ziegler, Stauder, Stauder dit Le Suisse
I have DNA matches with the Conrad family that emigrated to Germantown, Pennsylvania. I share DNA matches with the Stauders the emigrated to Ohio from the Palatinate.
Bernese Anabaptist Refugees to the Palatinate
Aeschlen bei Oberdiessbach, Bern: Rubeli/Strubel (from Langnau), Muller – Rubeli and Muller migrated to Fischbach, RP and lived in Messerschwanderhof and Contwig. The Rubeli were related to the Gungerich Anabaptists of Diessbach. See: Mennosearch.com and Der Tauferlehrer Christian Gungerich von Oberdiessbach (1595-1671) und der Streit um Seinen Nachlas by Hanspeter Jecker.
4/20/18 – A genealogy angel (Hanspeter Jecker) from Switzerland sent me more complete, accurate, and voluminous data on the Strubel/Rubeli family that lived in Oberdiessbach, Bern in the 1600s. Their origins were in Langnau where they were known as Strubel. The data detailed an Anabaptist preacher (Tauferlehrer) 10th great grand uncle of the writer that was imprisoned twice by Bernese authorities named Christian Gungerich and the disbursement of his property upon his imprisonment and death. For those related to me, our branch of the Leies family are now confirmed Gungerich descendants.
The Rubeli family were religious refugees that fled to Germany from Switzerland in early 1672. They were forced to leave Canton Bern because of their belief in the Anabaptist faith. They emigrated to the part of Germany that was called Pfalzfgrafschaft bei Rhein (the present-day Palatinate or Pfalz Region). Christian Rubeli and his wife Anna Muller were my 8th great grandparents and they brought their 6 youngest children with them, including, my 7th great grandfather, Hans Theobald Rubeli, who was only 10 years old, to the village of Fischbach to receive aid from earlier Anabaptist migrants.
Data and Sources Concerning the Origins of the Family
A book is written about the farm the Rubeli lived on outside Otterberg in Germany called Messerschwanderhof claims Christian Rubeli was born in Langnau, Bern, Switzerland. His father may have been Peter Rubeli and his mother may have been a Gungerich. This is a link to the website where Christian Rubeli’s family lived on their farm after he settled down in Germany: Messerschwanderhof. The buildings you can see on that webpage were most likely built after his death. Because new research continually comes out to aid those researching Mennonite ancestry, I wrote this post using the following sources:
Der Tauferlehrer Christian Gungerich von Oberdiessbach (1595-1671) und der Streit um Seinen Nachlass by Hanspeter Jecker.
Der Messerschwanderhof by Herman Karch, Section on the Rubeli (translated to English);
Langnau and Aeschlen bei Oberdiessbach Reformed Church Records;
BerneseAnabaptists and Their American Descendants by Delbert L. Gratz;
Palatine MennoniteCensus Lists 1664-1793;
History of the Bernese Anabaptists by Ernst Muller, Minister in Langnau;
Emigrants, Refugees and Prisoners Vol 1-4, by Richard Warren Davis;
Contwig Reformed and Catholic Church Records;
Nunschweiler and Weisbach Catholic Church Records;
French and Swiss History; and
The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (Gameo.org).
The Family in Switzerland
4/20/18 – The information under this subheading has been updated to reflect new information in the article published in Mennonita Helvetica by Hanspeter Jecker: Der Tauferlehrer Christian Gungerich von Oberdiessbach (1595 – 1671). New data is reflected in this post with bold text in PURPLE.
At the suggestion of a distant cousin, I found the Rubeli family in Bernese Anabaptists and Their American Descendants, because they were listed among the names of Anabaptist families living in Aeschlen bei Oberdiessbach in the Thun area of the canton in the second half of the 17th Century. Christian Rubeli was born in 1620. (sources: Mennosearch.com and Emigrants Refugees and Prisoners). 4/20/18 – Christian was born Christen Strubel in Langnau, Bern. His father was Peter Strubel and mother was Barbara Gungerich.
Der Messerschwanderhof, if I am understanding the translation to English, and perhaps something happened in the translation, Peter Rubeli, supposed father of Christian, perished in the Thirty Years War. First of all, it could be very likely that the rich men of the canton sent a Rubeli or Rubelis as mercenaries to fight for a foreign power in the Thirty Years War. That is what the Swiss did, and that’s how the rich men in Switzerland kept their money… So I checked the dates of the 30 Years War because I planned to write the Bernese archives about Swiss mercenary rolls to see if it was possible to get any military data regarding Peter Rubeli. So I looked up the Thirty Years War. I then realized that given the dates of the Thirty Years War, there was a problem with what was in Der Messerschwanderhof. There are two things that I think aren’t accurate with that if that man was our Peter Rubeli. 1. The Anabaptists refused the oath and were against violence, and that was a main reason for their persecution; and 2. If Peter Rubeli, Christian’s father, did perish in the Thirty Years War, he wouldn’t be there to have the children the book claims descend from him and also probably couldn’t buy that house.
SO! there are three things we can surmise from what is in Der Messerschwanderhof:
-Christian’s father was not Peter or one of these Peters. Gungerich is not the last name of his mother either.
-Christian’s father bought the house in 1630 and was not in the war.
-Christian’s father did perish in the war and it angered his children who then trended to follow the anti-State religion – Anabaptism. This makes for a better story.
You cannot take the translation of the book literally.
4/20/18 – Peter Strubel/Rubeli was Christian’s father and he bought the farm in Oberdiessbach from his father-in-law Hans Gungerich when his brother-in-law died. Peter Strubel/Rubeli WAS STILL alive in 1630.
At this time, the only information I have on Christian Rubeli’s wife is that she was named Anna Muller, the church record of St. Alban’s in Oberdiessbach states she married Christian Rubeli on December 2, 1642, and she was obviously in the baptisms of her children, including the baptism of my 7th great grandfather Hans (Theobald) Rubeli pictured below.
The Rubeli – Muller Migration
In 1671-1672, persecution of the Anabaptists in Switzerland was at it worst. In November 1671, 200 persons had come to the Palatinate from Switzerland, including cripples, and elderly people ages 70-90. They arrived destitute, having walked, with bundles on their backs, and their children in their arms. In January 1672, 215 Swiss came to the west of the Rhine, and 428 came to the east of the Rhine. (sources: Gameo. link, History of the Bernese Anabaptists.
With that data, I suspect that Christian, Anna Muller and 6 of their younger children, including our 10 year old Hans Rubeli, were part of the 215 Swiss Anabaptists that arrived west of the Rhine in January 1672 – because the data in Emigrants, Refugees and Prisoners and Mennosearch.com, says Christian “was called Christen Roling when he was listed as a Swiss Anabaptist refugee in April 1672 at Fischbach, Germany. He was age 52 and his wife Anna Muller was 50 years. They had 8 children, 6 with them, with the oldest 20 years.” Fischbach was west of the Rhine River. The following are the children of Christian and Anna that came to Germany:
Barbli- 20, Anna-16, Christian-14, Hans (Theobald)-10, Nikolas-8, and Madlena-3.
Source: Emigrants, Refugees and Prisoners, Mennosearch.com.
Eventually, our Hans married a lady named Anna Liesbeth, who may also have been a refugee, they had at least 6 children somewhere near Biedershausen, Germany. If you are a Rubeli researcher reading this, there is misinformation on this website you may be familiar with: Rubli. As you can see, Hans Theobald was only 10 when he got to Germany, he didn’t marry his future wife Anna Liesbeth in Switzerland, bring her to Germany and have my 6th great grandfather, Balthasar Jakob, the Gerichtsschoffe. Hans and Anna Liesbeth were already there in Germany.
In my search, Has and Anna Liesbeth had Balthasar near Biesdershausen in 1690. I found Hans Theobald RUBELI listed as a resident of the Contwig area of the Palatinate with his wife Anna Elisabetha on June 27, 1695 in the Catholic Parish. They are not Catholic residents. The nearest big town to Contwig is Zweibrucken. In 1720 in the Reformed Church records of Contwig, Hans Theobald is listed as a “common man” and the name is spelled Rubli. Contwig is also a couple of miles from Nunschweiler, birthplace of Johann Leies and Emilie Bold. Hans Theobald’s children appear in the local Reformed Church records, while Balthasar appears in both the local Reformed and Catholic records. The name changes to Rubly, Rubli, Ruble, and Rubel in the early 1700s in Germany. Balthasar married Anna Elisabetha Stuppi, and their daughter Anna Margaretha Rubly (as it was spelled in the Nunschweiler Catholic Church records) married Johannes Leyes, making them the 3rd great grandparents to Anne Leies Ferraro. Sources: Contwig, Weisbach, and Nunschweiler church records.
The Children Left in Switzerland
Christian and Anna’s oldest son Peter Rubeli didn’t accompany them to Germany according to the Fischbach refugee list. According to Emigrants, Refugees and Prisoners, “he was a Mennonite of Aeschlen bei Oberdiessbach when he was to be sent to Pennsylvania on April 17, 1709. He was in jail at the orphanage at Bern with his wife Margaret Engle. Ulrich Rubeli, their second oldest son, stayed and married Anna Russer.” However, Der Messerschwanderhof tells that Peter’s wife Margaret spent some time in the Palatinate with him and went back to their valley in Switzerland because she missed its beauty. He went after her and they were caught, and were sentenced to be sent to America. Der Messerschwanderhof said they made their escape back to the Palatinate but also states they escaped from being sold as galley slaves which causes some confusion for a reader. An Anna Rubeli had been imprisoned as well and she was sent away in 1711 to Holland on a ship called the Thuner. Source: History of the Bernese Anabaptists. I do not know her relation to our Christian and Anna, or if she was the daughter named Anna that may have returned to her homeland as well. There are numerous other Rubeli shipped away too, of which I can’t establish a connection to our Rubeli at this time.
What Became of Christian and wife Anna
Back in Germany, Christian and his son Nikolas moved to near Otterberg and lived on a farm where a farm had had been continually in existence since the year 1195. (Source: Messerschwanderhof). Der Messerschwanderhof implies that Christian, Anna, and Christian’s father Peter moved to Otterberg, Germany where they lived there as early as 1688 and another date of 1682. Other farm sources: Otterberg and Messerschwanderhof website. The surname is spelled on those websites as Rubel and Reubal. I believe a father of our Christian Rubeli would have been too old and doubt that. DerMesserschwanderhof says that Louis XIV burned the Palatinate in 1684. That year may not accurate. He burned parts of it more than once, in 1674, 1688, and 1689. Messerschwanderhof was burned down, and the French killed or stole the Rubeli cattle, and it is believed the people that survived the devastation fled to a small island in the Rhine River where they lived in huts and survived on frogs and snails (Source: Der Messerschwanderhof). Because of the French actions, October 6, 1683 saw the first wave of Mennonite settlers from the Palatinate arriving in the Philadelphia at the invitation of William Penn. They founded a new settlement called Germantown. Source: GAMEO.org.
Contrary to what is written in Der Messerschwanderhof, after the burning, our Christian Rubeli didn’t run off or sail to America because the farm was lost. If you want to accurately take what is in Der Messerschwanderhof though, in 1698, with the payment of protection fees to the sovereign, their youngest son Nikolas Rubel (as they spelled it) went back to the farm and began the rebuilding of the lower part of the Messerschwanderhof. I tend to believe this part of the book since his descendants continued to live on the farm for hundreds of years.
According to Emigrants, Refugees and Prisoners/Mennosearch.com, our Christian Rubeli was living at Messerschwanderhof in 1691. If that is accurate, what year was the farm really burned, and what year was it really re-built?
Given the age of our Hans Theobald, and the possible dates of the burning of Messerschwanderhof, I surmise there is a possibility that he was living there when the French rolled through. This could explain why Hans ended up near Biedershausen in 1690 and then near Contwig in 1695, where the children he and Anna Liesbeth had after Balthasar were born.
Mennosearch.com relates that descendants of Nikolas Rubeli, Christian’s brother, emigrated to Pennsylvania, settling in York and Mifflin Counties before the Revolution. My DNA likely matches so many PA Dutch descendants because of these various portions of my Palatinate ancestry.
Finally, my research hasn’t discovered when Christian, Anna, and their son Hans Theobald and wife Anna Liesbeth died. According to the GAMEO.org, Otterberg Germany has its own Mennonite cemetery that they have kept through the centuries. I wonder if Contwig has the same…
4/20/18-THIS POST STILL NEEDS SOME MORE UPDATES WITH DATA FROM HANSPETER JECKER’S ARTICLE WHICH MAY COME IN THE FORM OF A NEW POST.
Immigrant Auguste Eckebrecht was the only sister of Fritz Eckebrecht, my great great grandfather, and two years his senior. Anna Liesbeth was my 7th great grandmother and a religious refugee. Her last name is not known.
Auguste was born in 1846 in Schwarzburg, Thuringia, Germany. She came to America with her family in 1866 aboard the Jenny that had sailed from Bremen in a journey across the Atlantic that took approximately 3 months. At the time of the 1870 Federal Census, Auguste lived as a domestic servant in the home of a grocer Adolph Kate and his young wife Emilia.
By 1876 she had married Charles Wolder or Wolter and they had a child that didn’t survive to adulthood. In the above snipping tool “snipped photo” you can see Auguste is showing you her wedding ring. She put her hand in that position on purpose. She was married in this photo that Eckebrecht descendants believe was taken between 1872 and 1875. I was unable to find the name or the sex of the child she had in 1876 or to trace her husband. He has proven difficult to find. Auguste Eckebrecht passed away in Chicago in 1916 and was buried in Rosehill Cemetery. She was the only sibling of Fritz Eckebrecht that did not have any children that survived to adulthood.
Anna Liesbeth N.N.
Anna Liesbeth was born in Switzerland and immigrated to the Palatinate in Germany around 1675-1685 as a religious refugee. She and her husband Hans Theobald Rubeli were part of the Anabaptist migration to the Palatinate. Previous Anabaptist congregations that had already settled in the Palatinate set up shelter for the refugees when they had to leave their Swiss homeland with nothing but the clothing on their backs. Their possessions had been seized by the cantonal governments. They were forced to leave their homeland if they refused to take the oath to the state church. If they stayed and practiced their faith, they were hunted down by Taufer hunters, imprisoned, beheaded, burned, drowned, and in the most extreme circumstances that forced the greatest number to flee their cantons, they were sold as galley slaves to the Venetian Empire. The former punishments just drew more followers.
I found a church record in the Massweiler area of the Palatinate that references a surname Vetter after a person named Anna Liesbeth. However, I am not sure they are the same woman, or why an Anabaptist refugee would be mentioned in a Catholic church record. I suppose it is possible. She was the mother of Balthasar Jakob Rubly, the Gerichtsschoff and 5 other children born in Germany. She was my 7th great grandmother. Since I do not positively know her last name, I do not even know her birth or death dates.
These two women are parts of separate lines in my German grandmother’s ancestry. One went to Germany and another left Germany.
EDITED TO ADD ON 3/12/17: NEW RESEARCH HAS BECOME AVAILABLE. ANNA LIESBETH MAY HAVE BEEN A SWISS REFUGEE HOWEVER, SHE WAS NOT MARRIED TO HER HUSBAND AT THE TIME HE DEPARTED SWITZERLAND. SOURCE: MENNOSEARCH.COM/RICHARD WARREN DAVIS.
New York Passenger Lists
United States Federal Censuses
Cook County Birth and Death Indexes
Photo from Frank Eckebrecht
Weisbach Catholic Church Registers
Massweiler Catholic Church Registers
Contwig Catholic Church Registers
Aeschlen bei Oberdeissbach Evangelical Reformed Church Register List of Taufers (Anabaptists) living in the vicinity
Palatine Mennonite Census Lists
Bernese Anabaptists and Their American Descendants
Happy New Year! Feliz Anno Nuovo! Frohes Neues Jahr!
Will it be this year? Will the USCIS fulfill my request for Angelo’s Board of Special Inquiry hearing file in 2017? Will it happen this year?
It is the start of a new year and time to make our firm oaths of intent to better ourselves in the coming year. So I ate the lentils to ensure wealth this year. In the genealogy world that means I resolve to spend less money on genealogical research. I resolve spend more time sorting and organizing records (yeah right!), maybe have the cash to join a genealogy society or two, including one that concentrates on Italian-American research, and going forward this year in my family history research I prudently resolve to do the following:
In my Swiss German line ~ ~
Finish reading the books I already have on Bernese Anabaptists from Masthof Press before I try to get my hands on more. Gerichtsshoffe Balthasar Rubli’s parents were banished from the Emmenthal Valley in Canton Bern by the Swiss government sometime between 1675 and 1689. They left with no possessions and walked for two weeks with the clothes on their backs with hundreds of other refugees towards the promise of religious freedom in the German Palatinate where they raised Balthasar, my 6th great grandfather. He left the Anabaptist faith and married into a Catholic family.
The story of the persecution of the Rubeli or Rubli appear in these two books:
The Rubeli are also in the Palatinate Mennonite Census of the late 1600s and early 1700s. My ultimate goal is to find the first Swiss Anabaptist in this line.
In my German lines ~~
For Johann Schuttler, my first American ancestor, I am proud he made wagons for the Union Army. I resolve to never again ask a descendant of his son if they took an Ancestry DNA test, knowing Johann’s second wife, and the son’s mother, was 7 months pregnant when Johann married her, and knowing they had to swear out an affidavit to have him buried in the Schuttler cemetery plot when he died. Now I know why I never heard from that researcher again! I just wish I could find the names of Johann’s parents and will not pay a researcher in Germany to do that.
If possible this year, I resolve to fill out more family in the line of the Schultheiss (Mayor) Johann Valentin Helfrich. He was my 8th great grandfather. His family appears in their own section in this free history book downloadable from the town of Leimen:
Valentin’s ancestors appear in another German language publication called Die Helfriche im Grafensteiner Amt that a distant cousin was nice enough to email to me in spurts because neither his nor my email could support it in all in one email. Valentin descends from a German Junker. That is a minor nobleman – something like a squire. Junker Helfrich was born around 1430 and is my 15th great grandfather. The book says he was from Leinengen, Germany. I offered to translate some of the book for my distant cousin. I don’t know what I was thinking. It takes me at least two hours to translate one page and there are about 75 pages in the book!
In another German line I resolve to begin research on Marie Louise Koppel, my 3rd great grandmother, mother of the Fritz Eckebrecht from Thuringen. I would like to work on her ancestry, not the Eckebrechts which dear cousin Frank already researched. She owned a mill according to Frank.
She is the woman seated in the center in this photo:
In my French lines ~ ~
There is a 9th great grandfather of mine named Gall Budel. He was a miller with a first name I have never encountered before. There is an odd rumor floating around the French-speaking internet that he was also Maire or Mayor of Haspelschiedt, Moselle, France. I cannot confirm that and resolve to research that.
In my Italian lines ~ ~
I resolve to request the pension record of Angelo Ferraro and to figure out a way to push for Francesco Antonio Ferraro’s military record for his service in the Bourbon Army.
I resolve to continue to search for descendants of Angelo and Filomena in America while waiting for Caserta and Napoli records to go on Antenati.
I resolve to continue to add more ancestors in my Farindolesi and Pennesi tree because it is so simple to do with the records Antenati has online for Pescara.
Speaking of the Farindolesi tree, because my combined trees approach 3000 individuals, and I don’t believe it has been done before with the any of these Italian lines, I resolve to work towards preparing at least one of my trees put into the next new thing in genealogy sites on the world wide web, my own database. I think it will make researching easier for those that ask me which Antonio Cirone in my tree is theirs because I have at least 5 Antonio Cirone in my tree. I have used these databases when I work on trees for my relatives, but, none of my ancestors are in one of those.
Finally, when I get the genealogy attention deficit disorder problem I usually get every two weeks or so, while working on any resolutions above, I resolve to finish my cousin’s tree and finish the other tree of a relative who descends from the Soderini of Florence are the subject of this book that I was able to find used for a cheap price:
Yes, his ancestors were right there with the Medici. Happy ancestor hunting!