Sunday, June 4, 2017

Liecht Family of Obergoldbach in Biglen

A study of the Liechti family of Biglen has turned out to be more complex than thought. Biglen, Arni, and Landiswil are the three gemeinden within the Kirchgemiende of Biglen. In genealogies and FamilySearch family tree everyone is noted as being from Biglen. Biglen gemeinde cover about 1 ½ square miles while Arni and Landiswil cover about 4 square miles each. The distance between Landiswil dorf to Biglen dorf is about 4 miles.

My last count of families in Biglen from 1700 to 1750 is at 30 with an average family size of about 5 children, of course, some children did not survive childhood. Obergoldbach is not only a dorf but also one of three districts within Landiswil. I’ve found four families in Obergoldbach district from the following places, Längacker, Schlöttermoos, Aspi, and Obergoldbach. The records in this time period only noted the hamlet, so it is necessary to have a map to determine where the places are located.

My fifth great grandmother, Anna Liechti, was born 6 October 1754 in Obergoldbach. The records indicate that her father Niclaus Liechti (1728-1797) was a gerber. A gerber is a tanner. A tanner is someone who makes leather from rawhides. Occupations are occasionally recorded in the records, but it implies that others in the family followed this occupation. In a 1798 census, a cousin of Anna Liechti’s was recorded as being a gerber. Most people worked on the land, so this is an identifying characteristic for this family.

Joseph Liechti and Barbara Haggi are one a few Liechti families from the Obergoldbach area. They had 9 children from 1710 to 1731. Four of their children are noted in this blog; Peter (1717-1776), Catharina (1722-1797), Niclaus (1728-1797), and Barbara (1731-1800). Christian and Ulrich are known to have survived to adulthood.

Each baptism record provides possible clues to relatives as there are 3 witnesses recorded for each baptism. Some records note a direct relationship while others are inferred in the context of what is known. While some witnesses show an obvious connection others show no connection. Broadly looking at all the contemporary families allows one to see the importance of any particular witness.

My direct line ancestors, Niklaus Liechti (1728-1797) and Catharina Aeschlimann, married on 30 January 1750 and had 5 girls. The following witnesses of consequence are found in the records: Hans Liechti von Obergoldbach; Barbara Liechti, Christian Minder’s wife; Christian Haggi von Goldbach; Barbara Haggi, widow of Joseph Liechti. In summary the records note Niklaus’s mother, Barbara Haggi; and a sister, Barbara Liechti. Hans Liechti a relative is also noted. The records also note that Niklaus is von Obergoldbach and that he is a gerber.

Anna, the only child of Christian Minder and Barbara Liechit (1731-1800) was born in 1756. An important relationship is noted. Catharina Liechti wife of Hans Liechti’s from Ramisberg is directly noted as being a sister of Barbara’s. This entry has the perfect elements of a witness. It notes the relationship, her husband, and where they were living, Ramisberg.

Upon looking at the children of Hans Liecht von Ramisberg and Catharina Liechti (1722-1797) from Obergoldbach other connections are found. Barbara Liechti, Christian Minder’s wife is noted. Elisabeth and Christian Liechti from Obergoldbach, and Anna Rüfenacht from Worb are noted. I am still debating whether Ulrich Liechti noted as a witness in 1750 belongs to Hans or Catharina.

Now we turn our attention to another sibling, Peter (1717-1776). He married Anna Rüfenacht in 1750. Ten children were born to them. They lived in Müsingen from about 1750 to 1765 and can also be found in Worb and Biglen records in that time period. When a child was born 1755 in Biglen, one witness, Christian Liechti is noted as being a sibling of Peters. Cathri Liechti, wife of Hans Liechti from Ramisberg is also noted. When a daughter, Anna, was born in 1762 the witnesses, Niklaus and Catharina are directly noted as being siblings to Peter. In about 1765 they moved from Münsingen to Worb where 4 family members are noted in the burial records in the 1770’s.

In summary: Many of the same people appear as witnesses from family to family. We have a possible 60 witnesses since 20 children were born within a 21 year period from 1750 to 1771. Of course, Peter was not living in Landiswil, so it would be expected that most of those witnesses would not be connected.

In Post 1700 the places the Liechti families lived is paramount in determining how they connect. Families often stayed in the same place or hamlet for generations within a parish. The minister of the parish noted where each family lived so he could differentiate between families. A couple with the same surname of Liechti married, so we know that some of them are not closely related. With the FamilySearch family tree being so fragmented it becomes a struggle to determine how families connect from generation to generation. There are certainly other connections to be made in this generation and in following generations. I have included some sources on my website that support my conclusions.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Luthi Tanner/Danner connection - Bolligen

We have two families, the Lüthi and Tanner families with connections to Bolligen who hadn’t lived in there heimats for many years. In the case of the Lüthi there is no evidence that they lived in Lauperswil since about 1710, until Niclaus and his brother Bendicht returned in about 1780 at the death of their father Anthoni who died in 1779. Lauperswil is about 15 miles east of Bolligen. What we do know is that there was a Lüthi family in Bolligen starting about 1750, and it’s not the Niklaus Lüthi born in 1744. When Niclaus Lüthi married Anna Habbeger in 1775, its says he was living in Bolligen, and there first two children were born there. The marriage record states, “Niclaus Lüti von heir wohnhaft in Bolligen mit Anna Hapeger von Signau“
Maria Lüthi was born on 13 June 1790 in Bolligen daughter of Niclaus Lüthi (1753) from Lauperswil and Verena Danner (about 1770) (Tanner) from Rüderswil or as the birth record of Maria says, Maria Tanner from Signau. This is quite unusual to see such a contradiction in the records.
Billeters research pre 1950 has Niklaus Lüthi (1744) as Maria’s father. There is little doubt that this connection is wrong since there is a Niclaus Lüthi (KHDF-GK6) born in 1753 in Bolligen and was from Lauperswil. Anthoni Lüthi was the father of Niclaus Lüthi who was born in 1753. Anthoni Lüthi died 1779; there after we see that both Niklaus and Bendicht his brother are back in Lauperswil. Bendicht’s death record is found in Bolligen in 1814, but there is no sign of Niklaus.
After Maria’s birth in 1790 both parents seem to have disappeared, so I unable to reach a conclusion from there death records. To add more confusion to the matter, Niklaus Lüthi married Verena Tanner in 1789 in Lauperswil and 7 months later Maria was born. The only clue we have is when Niklaus Lüthi married in 1789 he was a widower, perhaps Verena Danner (Tanner) was a widow as well; since, when Maria is born in 1790, the record says her mother is Maria Tanner from Signau.
There is no marriage record for a Niklaus Tanner and Maria Tanner, so it is assumed that a mistake was made in recording the birth/baptism record in Bolligen in 1790. As there is doubt in the Danner/Tanner connection there is little doubt in the Niklaus Luthi connection. No one has pursued the Maria Tanner from Signau connection, so further research may provide a different conclusion. Where is the birth record for Verena Tanner from Rüderswil? It is assumed that she would have been born 1750 to 1770. A Map of Bolligen, Signau, Rüderswil, Lauperswil in relation to each other.
More research is required to sort out the Danner/Tanner connection from Rüderswil. The last time the Danners lived in Rüderswil was in the 1720’s. There is a rather large family of Tanners who were stone masons that lived in Bremgarten, Bolligen , and ultimately in Bern, so I would reach the conclusion that that this family is the most likely connection for Verena Tanner who married in 1789 to Niklaus Lüthi. I have just completed research of this Tanner/Danner family from Rüderswil it is only found on the familytree, if you have any Tanner/Danner connections you may want to check it out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rootstech Conferences

I have attended the conference over the past few years. Some of the conference talks are online. This year I had a dual purpose for being at the conference. Recently I have been studying electro pollution or commonly referred to as EMF. The classes that most interested me this year were about facebook. Using facebook has many positive possibilities. A person can create groups on Facebook so only a select audience can participate, so one can turn off all the noise of unrelated topics. The problem I found with face book is that everyone can see your messages and respond so there is a lot of unrelated noise.
Rootstech reminds one of all the resources that are available, but they all come with a price, so be prepared to spend money as entrepreneurs and societies make money selling their wares. It seems that the emphasis is turning away from our standard genealogy programs like Legacy and RootsMagic to cloud computing. Many people will not have a program on their computer, so many will not even know what a Gedcom file is. I remember some conferences ago there was talk of the gedcom being replaced as it was created as a result of the digital age and computers in the 1990’s. It appears it will be used by fewer and fewer people as we turn to the cloud for all our genealogical needs. I am researching in Bern Canton, Switzerland registers right now. Since Familysearch has the registers I can go the family tree and the registers and do all my research right there and connect the records to my ancestors. Bern Canton genealogies on familytree are in need of serious repair since they are a creation for the most part from the pre 1950 era. Switzerland is one country that is not covered at conferences as it is small and its records are closed as of 1875.
I also have my genealogy on the internet. I use TNG (The Next Generation) It is the most dynamic genealogy program on the web. The set back for most people using this type of program is setting it up; and learning how the program works. Your facing the technology as well as the genealogy with this type of program. It is Gedcom based. I have my Scogings Mckenzie and Jaggi Stettler genealogy online using TNG.

I have noticed that when I go to these conferences at the Salt Palace that I get tired and cannot sleep at night making the 2nd and 3rd day of the conference rather hard to stay awake. This past summer I bought an electrosmog meter. It measures the microwaves in the air. Long before cell phones there was a debate about at what level microwaves can be tolerated. The debate in the 1940’s and 1950’s was about the thermal and nonthermal (athermal) effect. They decided that the heating effect of the microwaves was the crossing point for it to be considered dangerous. This is the same standard that is in use today. So basically the United States has no standard on microwaves unless you build a microwave weapon. The old Soviet Union was shooting microwaves at our embassy in Moscow from the 1950’s to 1980’s. Some embassy personnel were getting sick. The only problem was that the density was well below our standard, but it was 100 times more than their standard. A country like Switzerland does not allow Wifi in their schools. One can see that some countries take the microwave question quite seriously. There is a book entitiled, The Microwave Debate by Nicholas H. Steneck published in 1984. Since 1984 our microwave exposure has increased exponentially, so this book is still relevant. It is interesting as it reviews the history of microwave research and use going back to the 1930's.
The first class at the conference I went to I measured the microwaves at 25 times more than I have in my living space. Of course, I don’t use wireless technology. Typically microwaves go up and down in density, but in this case it stayed constant. I measured microwaves at 25 to 50 times more than my living space throughout the conference. Only a few of the classrooms I was in had low readings. It took me a couple of days to get back to a normal sleep pattern. I never have a sleeping problem.
As genealogist we are exposed to electro pollution in the form of microwaves, magnetic fields, electric fields, and dirty electricity which come from wireless technology, computers, and anything that is plugged in. You won’t hear about any of this since the microwave question was settled over 50 years ago. Industry has invested to much in this technology and in an era of litigation they won't acknowledge anything but the status quo, so there is no innovation. It is something that you can’t see, smell or taste. Industry and government makes decisions based on economics and defense rather than health. One has to go out of the way to find literature on the subject. So Perhaps the moral of the story is if you can’t sleep go unplugged for a couple of weeks; of course, the ramifications of this goes far beyond sleeping patterns.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Glauser's in Rüti bei Lyssach

My ancestor, Elisabeth Glauser, from Rüti bei Lyssach was born in 1714 and married Bendicht Rösch, a schoolteacher, in 1732 at the the age of 18. The family lived in Lyssach as this is where Bendicht taught school. The parents of Elisabeth Glauser were Hans Glauser (1685) and Elisabeth Kauert (1685). It must be remembered that Rüti had a very small population with less than a dozen families living there. Hans Glauser (1685) was the only son of Hans Glauser (1641). Hans Glauser (1641) was the son of Jakob Glauser and Anna Iseli. The family lived in Mötschwil, and in the mid 1640’s they moved to Rüti. All Glausers in the parish connect to this family. Niklaus (1652) their son, had by far the most descendants, as he had 2 sons with large families, Hans Ulrich and Samuel. Hans Ulrich was the Kirchmeir in the parish. Samuel was the chorrichter. Hans Ulrich and Samuel lived to an old age. The parish clerk when recording the baptisms noted whether the father was the sohn of the Kirchmeir or Chorrichter. With all the Glauser’s in the parish by 1730 this becomes an invaluable guide as to who the children belonged to. The records often note the estate where the family lived, Ramsie or Ramsiehof. My ancestor, Elisabeth Glauser (1714) is noted as being from Ramsie in her marriage record in 1732. In fact, many of the records just mention Ramsie instead of Rüti by name. Ramsie is in the upper part of the parish near Lyssach or as I suspect it may have been a detached part. Elisabeth (1714) had a brother, Michel (1719) who continued the Glauser name through my line. He was the only Michel in the parish in this time period. He became a chorrichter and lived to an old age.
Glauser was the predominate name in the parish. There was only a few baptisms and marriages a year.The marriages ended in 1750, 1771 and thereafter all the marriages are found in Kirchberg parish registers. There are no burials, so it is uncertain of who survived. It has been calculated that about 40% never survived childhood. This Glauser family is in the FamilyTree. The research was conducted in 1990. This is the worst tree that I have come across as many of the family connections were incorrectly connected. The person who performed the research followed no genealogical standards. The relationships were made up. A few of the baptisms were created out of witnesses to an unrelated baptism. I found numerous marriage dates that were made up. I have straightened up most of the tree, so it corresponds to what the records say. Starting in the 1820’s the getauft of the couple was included in the marriage records, so it is simple to connect that generation; however they still did not connect them correctly. So it becomes obvious that whoever did this research did not make an honest effort.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Maurers in Zollikofen, Part 1

Back in 2013 when I first stared researching Swiss records I started to look at the Maurer family but the genealogy was in such disarray that I moved on to other families.  Now I have come back to the Maurer family after two years of viewing the online records.  I went down to the library and got a copy of Billeter's notes for the Maurer family.  His research which was conducted in the 1930's is completely inadequate.  On the FamilyTree I found that a Bolligen and Zollikofen family of the earliest generation had been combined into one adding to the cunfusion. Many more Maurers were from Bolligen than Zollikofen. In 1764 about 250 people lived in Zollikofen, over 5 times that many lived in Bolligen.  To add to the confusion Billeter only included 2 of 9 children for the family of Marti Maurer and Anna Wanzenried.   My ancestor Johannes Maurer (1724-1804) had 17 children in two marriages.  Billeter once again only notes 2 of the 6 children of his first marriage to Barbara Rohrer.  It must be remembered that up to the 1990's there was no access to Bern Canton Swiss records unless you were in Bern to view them at the archives.  In 1992-1993 filmed copies of the records made there way into the Family History Library in Utah.  Then came the challenge of being able to read and interpret the records. This meant that up to this point in time everyone relied on Billeter and other researchers for genealogical information.  Billeter by far being the largest contributor since he is credited with naming about 2 million names in his records many of which were in Bern Canton. 
A look at Billeter's notes (1930's) show that Johannes father is noted as being Daniel. Daniel and Martin were noted as being the same person as Johannes baptism record notes Martin as his father, yet Daniel born 1702 is noted as his father.  Ironically, Daniel born 1702 was Martin's last child with Anna Wanzenried.  It is rather illogical to say the two people named in the records, one as Daniel and one as Martin are the same person.  In my years of research I have never come across such a naming pattern such as this.  Upon further research I saw that Anna Wanzenried had died in January of 1723 and that a Martin had married in June of 1723 to Barbara Müller and there after Johannes was born.   Since Martin (Marti) is not a common name and no other possibilities exist, it is obvious that Martin remarried and had more children.  In past centuries it was common  for a man to remarry a much younger women after his 1st wife died.  Martin lived to 1736.  Billeter often did not use death dates, if he had he would have realized that Anna Wanzenried had died and soon after Martin remarried. His work for the Maurer family in Zollikofen seems to have been hastily created in the pre 1750 time period.
And yet another twist in this family which is not so common.  Barbara Müller remarried in 1738 to a widower, Jakob Zwygart and had 2 more children, Daniel and Christina Zwygart.  Thus we see Zwygart witnesses to Maurer baptisms post 1738. 
Another item worth mentioning is that the Bremgarten parish registers appear to have been tampered with. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Really, 140 year closure period for Switzerland

My most popular post on Switzerland is the post, 138 year Closure Period for Records in Switzerland.  Obviously those that research would like to have access to later records.  Genealogy seems to spark the interest of a few people in every family.  Since the closure period is across the board for birth, marriage, and death records, it basically affects is 160 to 170 years when it comes to research which is back before 1850. Most countries closure period are not the same for births, marriages and death records;  the closure period for deaths typically being in the 50 to 75 year time period.  For those living today, one has access to ancestors’ records that lived 4 to 5 generations ago who were alive in 1875.  This Swiss law has basically hindered genealogical research in its country for the past few generations.  Switzerland is known for its banking and digital privacy laws.  How that translates into people researching their ancestors I don’t know.  A great great grandfathers records are closed and considered private to prying eyes.  If you’re doing descendant research it would be great great uncles, aunts also cousins many generations removed from a direct line ancestor.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bern Canton Online digtial images at FamilySearch

Create a Source for the Parish rather than the whole collection

The online FamilySearch references do not match with the volume references as created by the Bern archives. Reference the records according to the references established by the Bern archives. Consider the reference that FamilySearch has established as a finding aid, since it does not conform with the standard reference. It can be confusing to have two completely different references that refer to the same page; The family history library catalog provides a reference for each parish in Bern Canton with film numbers. Ironically the catalog does not provide volume numbers. (Münsingen in Catalog)
The film numbers are becoming less relevant, but until there are links to individual volumes in the wiki, they can be useful in navigating each parishes landing page. 
The wiki is being developed with volume numbers, descriptions, links, and film numbers for every parish in Bern Canton, so one can quickly go to a volume and have a reference for a particular record.  See the Münsingen parish page on the wiki that is being developed.
If the volumes and descriptions are not listed on the wiki then one must go to the pages before page one in the volume you are looking at where you will find the spine of the volume, there you will find a volume number and description.

Reference as establish by Bern archive / volume, page number
(Example of Münsingen Parish, volume16, page 22)
Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche Münsingen (Bern) Schweiz, Kirchenbuch, 1528-1875, digital images, FamilySearch (, volume K16, Taufenrodel 1796-1828; page 22;
both references refer to the same page in the Münsingen Kirchenbuch, yet have different elements to the created citation. Each page in the collection has its own URL, there are over 500,000 pages in the collection
FamilySearch Online Reference
(Example of Münsingen Parish, volume 16, page 22)
Schweiz, Kirchenbücher, 1277-1992," images, FamilySearch : accessed 31 May 2015), Bern > Münsingen > Evangelisch-Reformierte > Taufen 1796-1804 > image 14 of 49; Staatsarchiven von Basel-Stadt, Bern und Schaffhausen, Schweiz (Basel-Stadt, Bern, and Schaffhausen State Archives, Switzerland)
Bern Parish Records are part of an online collection by familysearch of Schweiz, Kirchenbücher, 1277-1992, thus it is not individualized for each parish.

If you go to the landing page for Münsingen you will see the sections that it was divided up into. The dates were assigned according to how it was filmed in an arbitrary manner. The dates may be links to many volumes or just part of a volume. The same methodology is used for every parish.  In the case of Münsingen some of the volumes ended up on the landing page of another parish, Mühlethurnen.

To view the images in the collection you must go to a LDS Family History Center located around the world, or be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints with a login to access it from your home computer.