Monday, April 7, 2014

Schenk family of Signau that lived in Vechigen

The methodology of Billeter’s research to place everyone in their heimat regardless of where they lived has led to countless errors.  While both Schenk families were from Signau, only one actually lived in Signau. Take the example below:
I began to look at the parents of Anna Schenk of Signau and was surprised to find that the line is incorrect.  It is the result of Billeter’s research in the 1930’s. Christian Stettler married Anna Schenk (KHCL-WLP) in Bolligen in 1809.  The marriage record says her father’s name is Hans Ulrich.  There are two Anna Schenk’s born in 1788 when she was born.  Ulrich Schenk and Anna Kupfer had a daughter, Anna (LDMF-Z5N), in May of 1788 in Schwimmbach; and Hans Ulrich Schenk and Elisabeth Krayenbuhl had a daughter, Anna (KHCL-WLP), in February of 1788 in Vechigen.  The records indicate that the Anna from Schwimmbach, died 3 November 1792, age 4.  Schwimmbach is a hamlet in Signau parish. Vechigen is about 12 miles east of Signau.  When Anna Schenk died in 1859 her birth is recorded as February 1788.  Three months after their marriage in Bolligen their first son, Christian, was born in Vechigen as well their second child, Anna.  The witnesses to the ten children of Christian Stettler and Anna Schenk are inconclusive in identifying possible relatives of Anna.  It is obvious that the Anna Schenk that married Christian Stettler is from Vechigen and counter to the conclusion found in Billeter’s research.

Upon looking at the Hans Ulrich Schenk who lived in Vechigen I find additional errors.  Billeters research provides no clues as to where the children were born other than Signau which is the heimat of this Schenk family.  Hans Ulrich Schenk had 12 children with 2 wives.  The first 3 children were born in Worb where he married Elisabeth Rüfenacht, he had three additional children in Vechigen and then Elisabeth Rufenacht died in 1778.  He then married Elizabeth Krayenbuhl in 1779 and had 6 additional children, one of which was Anna in 1788.  Hans Ulrich then died in Vechigen in 1811 at the age of 75 years and 7 months which puts his birth in February 1736.
Billeters research divides the two families of Hans Ulrich Schenk into two separate families with one connected to a Hans Ulrich born in 1837 (KH5M-2S9) and the other Hans Ulrich born in 1842 (KZ5B-GT3). The Hans Ulrich born in 1837 may be the correct person since the age is within a year, yet with all the other inconsistencies I find in Billeter’s research concerning this family I doubt any conclusions found. The research appears to be based on convenient guessing rather than real research.  In fact, some of errors are so obvious it appears to be an act of disinformation. 

I might mention Ulrich Schenk and Anna Kupfer had a son, Christian who was a well known mechanical engineer or inventor, and grandparents of Johan Karl Schenk a famous pastor, politician, and member of the Swiss Federation Council. 

If you have any Schenk ancestors from Signau it may be a good idea to revisit the research and verify the accuracy of the current research in the FamilyTree.

Baumgarten and Röthenbach Bösiger’s

After sorting out the Schenk family of Signau that lived in Vechigen I move onto the Bösiger family.  The Bösiger family lived in Herzogenbuchsee kirchgemeinde.  It is commonly written Boesiger, since umlauts were not used in American research (ö = oe).   This kirchgemeinde has 14 gemeindes in itOur ancestors are found in the gemeindes of Röthenbach and Graben.  The research for this family was conducted about 1964, submitted 1966.  
What is unique about Graben is that the registers generally do not mention Graben by name but the hamlets within the gemeinde.  Baumgarten is a small area within the Gemeinde; north of there is Burrach and south of there is Kleinholz.  In familytree and many old family group records the place is simply written Baumgarten without a mention of Graben or Herzogenbuchsee.  With the breakdown of the families in these specific hamlets it becomes easier to sort the numerous Bösiger’s in the area.  
I focused on the 1st and 2nd families of Hans Bösiger.  He married Ursula Gränicher in 1743, after she died in 1762, he then married Maria Gygax in 1763.  There are 13 children between the two marriages, of which 7 or 8 survived into adulthood. View the family in the familytree, it is a work in progress
In the first family the 4 marriages of the children were incorrect or missing, and a key name in that family was altered from Urs to Ursula.  Urs Bösiger is found as a witness to many of the baptisms of his siblings. In the second family only one marriage was incorrect.  To view the genealogy as it was submitted in 1966 see film 564385, item 5.  These 5 marriages result in 5 new families which adds 30 new people to the tree, and many others in the following generations. Since the incorrect data has been around for 50 years or more I would expect some people to be baffled by the changes.

I also have come to realize that Hans Bösiger married a Maria Gygax born in 1842 rather than 1835. The Gygax family is from Thörigen gemeinde.   The witnesses to the baptisms of the children of Hans Bösiger and Maria Gygax align perfectly with the Maria Gygax born in 1742.  There is also a match for the Maria born in 1835 who married Joseph Staub in 1766.  The death records for the 2 Maria’s are yet to be found, and that would provide absolute proof.  It appears the Maria born in 1835 was chosen simply because of her age.
This is the same scenario of Hans Ulrich Schenk.  He married and had a family with his wife, when she died after about 20 years of marriage, he married a 20 year old, which means that the oldest children from his first marriage are about the same age as his new wife.  He then went on to have numerous children with his new wife.   

Within the family of Hans Bösiger and Maria Gygax I have found three descendants who have who joined the Mormon Church.  

If the Bösiger’s, Gygax’s, or any other family in Herzogenbuchsee are to be properly researched and or organized, they need to be noted in the familytree or any genealogy with the gemeinde they come from not the parish, Herzogenbuchsee, since there are 14 gemeindes.  The same surname will be found in numerous gemeindes within the parish, and there is no point in trying to connect them since they will not be related. In the case of Graben, it is hamlets, since the records separates the families by hamlets.