June 22, 2024

Whole Family

Trailblazing Family Excellence

Genealogy in Switzerland – A Longenecker Household Search

9 min read

I a short while ago frequented Langnau, Bern, Switzerland and used two days immersed in all points Langenegger. My wife and I arrived at the Langnau rail station on June 25, 2004, fatigued from a prolonged flight from San Francisco. As we left the prepare station we had been immediately struck by the exceptional character of this area.

Outside the train station are the remnants of a cobblestone road, now patched by asphalt. All over the place we looked were beautiful Swiss residences and properties – several of them hundreds of many years outdated – and all colorfully decorated with pink and red begonias put in flower boxes under every window. As we found later on, the Emmental is also a wonderland of lined bridges, pleasant folks, church spires with Swiss clocks and chimes, tinkling cow bells – every thing you expect Switzerland to be.

As we walked toward our resort in Bareau we found how helpful and courteous the locals are – halting to allow for us to cross the avenue and smiling as we passed with a helpful “Hallo” or “Guten Morgen.” The city is dotted with extended stone tanks with well h2o splashing in at 1 conclusion and draining out the other. They seem anything like a stone horse tank. These are available to everyone who needs a amazing consume of perfectly water.

Just after we settled into our place at the Landgasthof Resort Adler, the proprietor kindly invited us to a brief journey into the countryside wherever we observed far more wonderful homes and pastures. Right after we returned we questioned a couple locals in the hotel cafe about the Langenegger farm and they had a fantastic giggle. Turns out that there are a large amount of Langeneggers there and we failed to know the name of the men and women who lived in the original household that we came to see.

The hills are about 1200 ft previously mentioned the valley ground and exceptionally inexperienced with grass and forested parts seen from wherever in town. Langnau is small – maybe three or 4 prolonged blocks across and the hills appear quite near. Black and white cows break up the greenery and generate and wonderful tinkling seem as they graze close to ringing the bells about their necks. Bigger pitched bells worn by sheep and goats blend with the clunk-clunk bong-bong of the cow bells generating a tasty backdrop to the landscapes. This is the final audio we read as we drifted off to snooze included with a feather quilt on our to start with night time in Langnau.

The birds woke us up to beautifully eco-friendly entire world that is Langnau in the summertime. We enjoyed a great breakfast of home made bread and jelly provided by our host, Stephen. We hoped to show up at church, but observed that our details was incorrect and arrived also early. Alternatively we started our going for walks tour of Langnau early. Langnau is a modest town and we walked all of the key streets by about midday when we took a crack for lunch to share a smaller cheese tart and an apple pastry from a small store in the vicinity of the centre of town. By that time, the area museum experienced opened. It is housed in a single of the oldest properties in Langnau and is a terrific possibility to look all over within a person of these impressive buildings and see all of the fancy joinery accomplished by the builders. It is also a good museum with a variety of permanent and rotating reveals that depict the background of Langnau and its people.

The museum’s docent has lived in Langnau for 70 years and appreciates the Langenegger title extremely effectively. She speedily located a e book that is made up of the Langenegger family members crests – a single for people in the valley (Langenegg Ey) and 1 for people up greater in the hills (Langenegg Unter). She also loosely parsed the title into Lange (Lengthy in English – pronounced ‘Long’ in German also) and negg (hill in English – pronounced ‘neck’ in German). I have not been equipped to verify the term ‘negg’ anyplace – but that is what she mentioned. The e-book also involved a statement, “Ulrich, von Langnau, wanderte 1748 nach Pennsylvanien [USA] Aus (Faust 61)” which roughly translates that Ulrich Langenegger immigrated to Pennsylvania in the United States in 1748. This is our ancestor Ulrich Langenegger Sr. The e book does not give a additional source for this info. On the map, the Langenegg Unter is just about a 30 moment hike up the hill from the museum and Langenegg Ey is about a mile down river from Langnau. Since the Unter had been owned by a person other than a Langenegger for lots of yrs, we made a decision to consider a nearer glance at the Ey property in the valley to see if we could at the very least get a photo of the property and perhaps, if we had been really lucky, satisfy a distant relative.

Margaret and I walked along the river in which numerous of the nearby persons were being having a break from regular lifetime to awesome off. We ended up pleasantly stunned at the range of coated bridges in and all over Langnau – all however currently being utilised. We even drove about 1 just outdoors of Langnau.

Just as we approached the lengthy driveway to the Langenegger residence, two females arrived up from the river and one of them spoke English. She explained to us that we were in the suitable location and that the Langenegger family members did are living here. She available to escort us to the correct house amid a group of many residences and structures found on the residence. With a cheery German “Woo hoo” she called out to the men and women inside and introduced us to my 9th cousin who lives in the property exactly where Ulrich Langenegger Senior was born in 1664 (the similar a person stated in the book that immigrated to Pennsylvania).

Our new-located cousins had been gracious and greeted us warmly even even though we just confirmed up on their doorstep right after more than 250 yrs with no a Xmas card! We experienced a brief discussion about the household and considered some of the information that they experienced there. Coincidentally, the couple’s sister-in-legislation upcoming doorway was in Pennsylvania to attend a Longenecker reunion while we were in Langnau. We exchanged speak to details so that we can observe up with them with information and facts we locate that could be valuable to them. They kindly available us a interesting drink from their very well right before we took a limited stroll all over the farm to get some pics. The cows ended up in the barn as it was unseasonably incredibly hot that day. Milk from their cows is offered into a coop of community farmers that can make it into cheese. If you are on the lookout for some genuine Langenegger cheese, search for the Emmentaler type as that is what they make there. It is bought in the US as only Swiss cheese – the type with holes in it. I ought to confess that it tasted substantially greater in Langnau than in California.

The residence is found an simple hike together the river from Langnau and is made up of the primary dwelling as well as some supplemental houses and outbuildings. I observed the home a challenge to photograph by itself. It is a normal Swiss farm house arranged with dwelling quarters and barn below one particular roof. On a person aspect is an earthen ramp going specifically into the attic more than the barn that is applied to shift hay into that spot for storage and use in the course of the winter.

The roof is steep by US expectations but not as steep as I anticipated in an place that receives lots of snow. Most roofs in the location are tile and contain a collection of brackets about six inches high that hold the snow in the winter so that it does not all tumble down at a single time. Some buildings had a easier procedure with only one particular established of brackets in the vicinity of the bottom of the roof that held a four inch pipe functioning the full length of the property – seemingly for the identical objective as the brackets on other properties. In addition, this procedure most likely works by using the snow to insulate the roof from the cold. Another appealing thing about some roofs and properties – the builders at times put their initials and the day of design on the roof by utilizing distinct coloured tiles. Other individuals painted this facts less than the eaves or on the face of the making under the eaves.

The Langenegger residence is not as extravagant as some in town but is large and contains some fancy joinery do the job that we saw repeated within the museum, on the covered bridges, and in other places in the region. The key composition appears to be large beams diligently joined alongside one another at the appropriate angles so that they get stronger as additional pounds is place on them – and held collectively with wooden pegs. On one particular bridge close to town we noticed metallic strapping that appears to have been included later on.

The organization of the farm centers about the milk cows. There was a big area of corn planted in the vicinity of the dwelling along with a very well-retained backyard that appears to be to grace each property we noticed in Switzerland. Alongside the driveway tactic to the farm there are some cherry trees with typically inexperienced fruit just starting to turn pink in destinations. The relaxation of the farm appeared to be in grass. My pal John Garland in Oklahoma would simply call the fencing “psychological fencing” – not substantially of a barrier to an animal that wants out. We found that a great deal of fences appeared to be short term and electrified so that the cows can be effortlessly moved to contemporary grass as required. We even observed a single electrical fence hooked up to a solar panel up large in the mountains a very long coach-experience away from Langnau. Out of respect for the latest occupants’ time and area, we only stayed briefly.

We returned to our lodge by using a path the goes together the river and stopped for a relaxation in the shade of an outdated coated bridge. We have been fatigued yet again and happy at acquiring to meet up with our distant family members and to view the previous household.

Exploration: If you are exploring this spot, no genealogy information is easily readily available in Langnau. The documents office environment has data from 1886, but isn’t going to release it devoid of authorization of the persons stated in the documents and the costs to do so are extremely superior. You will have much much better luck in Bern wherever most of the Swiss documents are held. There is practically generally a person about that speaks English and the documents offices are no exception. The information are neither computerized nor indexed – but they are extremely neatly classified by spot and time frames. You will have to have to tell them precisely who, exactly where, and when you want to seem in purchase to get the ideal microfilm. Then it is an old-fashioned look for searching by means of data composed alongside time back utilizing unfamiliar variations and letters. Lockers are positioned outdoors the business office in the hallway and you will have to depart your backpack, purse, and many others. there. It can be free of charge and protected.

The Archives de I’Etat de Berne is found at Falkenplatz 4, CH-3012 Berne near the principal railroad station. It was easy to uncover the third time I tried. The rail station is large and busy and on several ranges. Identify the elevators on a person end of the station and take them all the way to the best. If you have difficulties, comply with the pupils and the signs to the university in purchase to find the elevators. After you are at the top rated, go toward the campus – the only way you can go genuinely – and move amongst two huge college-seeking buildings. Falkenplatz 4 is the initially building on the ideal immediately after you go via the campus place. There is a tiny avenue stand just throughout the little park the place the pupils congregate for a low cost and very good sandwich – get there early as they run out of sandwiches promptly soon after noon. The place of work is open from 8:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 5:00 each weekday except Friday when it closes at 4:30. If you want to confirm right before going, their phone figures are 031/633 51 01, fax 031/633 51 02. Copies are one Swiss Frank for every webpage – so get alongside a great deal of funds so that you can get all the things you want. You can easily devote 50 franks in just one afternoon relying on the documents you want. I didn’t have time, but you may possibly also want to check out these sources supplied by the museum in Langnau . . .

Zivilstands-und Burgerrechtsdienst

Des Kantons Bern

Eigerstrasse 73

3011 Bern

031/633 47 85

Fax: 031/633 47 39

Nieisen Paul-Anthon

Biochstrasse 7

3753 Oberhofen am Thunersee

033/243 24 52

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