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Swiss Roots
Swiss Roots

Swiss Roots

Whether they settled Gruetli in Tennesee, USA or Nipissing in Ontario, Canada, Swiss immigirants came seeking economic prosperity, adventure, or religious freedom.  Census records help us know how many of us living in the United States and Canada have Swiss roots or are Swiss living abroad?
There are 140,000 Canadians of Swiss roots with some 40,000 Swiss expats making it the fifth-largest Swiss community abroad after France, the U.S., Germany and Italy.

The US Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey, shows 1,003,505 Americans with Swiss roots. Nearly 76,000 Swiss nationals live in the United States.

We all have a unique story tied to our Swiss roots.  Sign the guestbook and tell us your story or the story of your ancestors. Thank you.
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Christina Marshall 01.14.2018 My great grandmother did not die until I was 23, but before she did, she wrote down her childhood memories. I always knew her mother was Swiss, who immigrated to America at the age of 18 with 2 male cousins. The 2 Cousins and her lost touch with each other, but the last that was know were that they were in Colorado. This would have been late 1800's. My great-great grandmothers name was Katrina Emizegger, born in Schwelbrun, Switzerland in 1878. My understanding is that this is of the Canton Bern? I also Understand that the Swiss spelling may be Aemizegger, and the American common spelling seems to be Emisegger. The 2 cousins I do not know what their given or surnames were, but would love to hear from thier family if that is possible from someone reading this. Katrinas father was Hans & mother was Katrina Schies, but thats as far as I can go at this point. Christina
karen miles 01.11.2018 My Dad's people all came to Iowa, from Switzerland, in the 1800's. Northern Iowa. My maiden name is "Fields"
Ben Pargin 01.02.2018 As near as my surviving family can tell our ancestor came with Marquis de Lafayette during the revolution, his name was Jacob Perdrigeon du Vernier, and the name has since been shortened to Pargin, however we have relatives in Ohio that spell the name Pargeon, Jacob did not return to France after the war and stayed in Wilmington Delaware, but we can not find any birth records of his children, any info would be appreciated
Barbara Leinberger-Bolin 12.28.2017 Here is a story that I recently put together for my aunts and uncles and my children and grandchildren. HISTORY OF GOTTLEIB AND BARBARA GAMMETER I am glad to hear Freida is getting history of her background that will be great information for many family members. I recently wrote about my conversations with my grandmother Gammeter to pass on to my sons. So I am sharing it with you now. I was named after my grandmother. I was born in her home. The doctor was busy with my mom who was having problems and he set me aside, not breathing. My grandmother took me and worked with me until I was breathing and crying, so I was told by her and my mom. Perhaps that is why I was so close to her. Most of our talks came when I stayed with her on breaks during my nursing school years. She told me about coming to Wisconsin from Switzerland when she was a very young woman. She did live on the French side of Switzerland so she thought she had an accent. She met my grandpa a few years later and he had come from the German side of Switzerland. She thought he had an accent. They met when grandpa was playing music on the accordion at an evening group place. She was careful to say she went with her girlfriends. They married and settled in a Norwegian community. Grandpa always wanted to farm and initially he did for a time. However the Norwegian community of dairy farmers wanted him to be a cheese maker for their milk products. In those days farmers helped each other during planting and harvesting of crops. The Norwegian farmers always put him last and that eventually convinced him to become a cheese maker. The arrangement apparently worked well as he had an excellent reputation as a cheese maker. He always made several kinds of cheese. Grandma told me he made Limburger cheese for a very short time. She did not like the smell so he quit. I have not been able to verify this bit of information with other family members. Grandma did say grandpa always wanted to have a farm. She seemed to think the Norwegians insisted on the cheese making and thought they were unfair to grandpa. However, she didn’t seem to hold a grudge against them. As the years passed, grandpa died and grandma left the cheese factory and went to live with Uncle John on the farm they owned together. I finished school, married and always spent a few weeks every summer with my sons in her and Uncle John’s home. I wanted my sons to know the Wisconsin heritage. More memories follow but now I want to concentrate on one clear lesson. Today there is such a division among we Americans about immigrants and different life styles that it is almost hateful in our lack of respect for each other. We are all immigrants. Each of our stories is almost incredibly Sacred in our history. My grandmother seemed to accept everyone. She was a tiny woman but it seemed she could hold more babies on her lap than anyone, most of them being her own grandchildren. As her children grew up and matured we became a very diverse family. Early in this change a family member was criticizing a new Latino who was dating a sibling and the family member seemed to think it was inappropriate as they were not Swiss or at least Norwegian. I happened to be there. Grandma royally explained to her adult child how similar the two of them were, ending with the thought that the newcomer might be somewhat better. I remember the dead silence that followed. My family is now very diverse. We have almost every Christian faith (mostly catholic, some protestant), Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, African, Latino, as well as several from the various other countries of the world and embracing different life styles. Not accepted are bullies, criminals and anyone who does not accept American values. My family is like most American families and I am proud of all of them. P. S. Several of you have asked if I had more information and I do have a little more. Gram came to America with her parents who came here because they had family already living In the northern part of Wisconsin. Grandpa came because he was the second son in his Swiss family who farmed. During this time frame the custom in Switzerland was that the eldest son inherited the family farm for life. So grandpa came to America rather than work for his brother! This would be my grandpa! Grandpa later visited his brother several times but grandma never went back to Switzerland. Grandma did tell me grandpa always took a “lot” of money on these trips. She told me she thought he did it to show his brother he made lots of money. Good for you grandpa (my thought). Just a reminder that uncle Norris and another uncle visited Ellis Island and got great information on the boat names, ports of entry, dates and time for the travel across the ocean. They made copies of those papers and gave a set to me. I do remember grandpa had 500 dollars or more when he arrived. That was a good sum of money back then. Grandma and I always took a walk when I visited. This was when she had moved to the farm they owned. We walked to pick berries. When my sons were young they went with us carrying small pails to fill when not popping berries in their mouths. We gathered apples and a favorite one was called a rusty apple that was sweet/sour, came early and lasted a long time. On one of our walks, we went to a slight hill of sandstone. There was a loose sandstone rock there. I admired it and she thought I should take it home. I did. It has been with me on my farm in Illinois and has traveled to Idaho with me where it sits in a place of honor in my front yard. I hope a son will take it someday to their home. One summer day I decided to take grandma, my sons and their two cousins all about the same age to The Wisconsin Dells for the day. The boys went off on their own to explore the rides. Gama and I sat in a shaded area and drank tea and had some quiet time. Then we went on the famous Duck Boat that goes on land and water. It was a real memory maker. It was a time we shared with no work to do on our minds! We often went shopping at the local Dime store, as it was called then. She always seemed to find what she wanted. We would walk slowly up and down the aisles as she picked her item and put it in the basket. She had a knack for remembering something a family member would mention was needed and she would find it, buy it, and it would be given as the next birthday or Christmas gift. None were expensive, but all were appreciated. It seemed everyone in the family went to grandma’s home for Christmas. They always had, from my perspective, a very huge tree that had lots of ornaments. But the best thing it was covered all over with shiny sparkles that I thought were like magic. I would stand at the end of the kitchen door and look at it at the end of the living room. Of course she was using glass fiber angel hair which is now banned as a toxic product. However we all survived. Of course she had presents for everyone. I often got beautiful little kerchiefs for use in the days before Kleenex! A big secret is I do not have one of those that survived. My grandparents lost their two oldest sons in the military when they were only in their early twenties. It was difficult for them and I think she grieved for them at times during her life. As time passed and friends and neighbors became burdened with the extremes of aging issues, she felt sorry for them. A few times she said to me, there are worse things than dying. She also said no one should be afraid to die. I know because she told me she was not afraid. Very close to her final years she said to me and some of her other family, “I have been with family here a long time, I want to see Eddie and Willie.” the two sons who died many decades before. My grandfather was always busy with work. He would sit on his rocking chair smoking a cigar (I think) and called me Babala, Swiss for Barbara, so he told me! I did sit on his lap but scrammed away as soon as I could, with a scrunched up nose as I did not like the smell of the cigar! I loved both my grandparents and I am who I am because of them. I cherish their heritage. I encourage all families to find a family member to share or gather together to collect the stories of the previous generations to enrich future generations. Granddaughter Barbara Leinberger-Bolin
Suzanne (Brehm) Bond 12.26.2017 Trying to research my paternal great-grandmother, Mathilde Balzer. Information I have is that she was born around 1855 in Chur. Parents are possibly Alphonse Balzer and Marianne Platz Von Bernhoff. Married Friedrich Theodor Brehm in Chur (possibly in a Catholic church) in 1881 and emigrated to the US in 1884 from Hamburg. I have hit a dead-end in my research and don't know where to seek more information. Any suggestions?
RONALD HANKEY 12.10.2017 Elisabeth Balsiger was born in Zimmerwald, Bern in 1812. Now it’s known as Wald. She and her family made their way to Pennsylvania. Before I found out where she was from, I wasn’t sure where I was going to take my first European ski trip. After finding out about Granny, it’s definitely going to be to the Bernese Alps. Cheers!
Frank nakano 12.02.2017 My mother was from Zurich and I have frequently visited friends and family since I was a small boy. I love Switzerland and its people and I am proud of my Swiss roots.
Gregory Langhart 10.10.2017 My great grandfather Jacob Langhart born 6-20-1867. Had a sister named Anna. Jacob married Marie Spiegel, born 1-23-1871. Jacob was brought to the U.S. at the age of 2 in 1869 and grew up in Pennsylvania, maybe Pittsburgh area. They had and raised 6 children. Looking to find relatives back in Switzerland ��������.
Oscar Thomson 07.06.2017 My Grandfather was a miner in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) was born in 1871 and died in 1958 and am really keen on finding out how he ended up in Africa
Daniel Zeller Nielsen 06.27.2017 From Denmark, have family in schwiiz on my Father's side, Been in Swiss 1 since I was kid an now I try get my schwiiz registry so I someday can move back to my Roots.
Lee Lybarger 05.04.2017 I am looking for Germanic Swiss who emigrated to America in the 1700's.
Marc Jay 04.26.2017 Swiss Roots and now in the US. Want to return.
Jennifer Eastman 04.04.2017 Maternal Grandmother's family came from Gadmen, Bern, Switzerland. They were the Dahms and Luchs and settled in Pennsylvania. Any additional info would be appreciated!
Judy 03.29.2017 Antone Yaeger family came from Switzerland to New Glarus, WI. His wife was Katharina Steiner. Looking for their parents info in Switzerland.
Janine 03.25.2017 looking for Albert Fraunfelders born 1854 parents
Harold Joseph Bauman 03.17.2017 Looking for Swiss Roots from Uri, Wassen Switzerland, Baumann
Dale R Winke 02.21.2017 On my mother's mother's side, there are connections to Lengachers and Sigentalers (sp) from the Lake Thun region of Canton Bern. I hope that someday I will be able to connect all of the dots, from days of old, to those whom are alive today!
Janet M. Foisset 02.16.2017 2 of my paternal great-grandparents were German Swiss. She was born in Einsiedeln and he in Zurich(?). I have been to both cities and have done much work on my Swiss history. Very proud to be of German Swiss descent. Will return to this site.
Jill Paulus 01.09.2017 My husband's family settled in the Pittsburgh area before moving to our current location. We may be related to General Freidrick Paulus, but I haven't found the connection yet.
Judy (Widmer) Albolino 01.02.2017 My father's grandparents came from Switzerland in the late 1800's. My great grandfather was a wood carver and came to work in the silk mills in Paterson, NJ. He would carve the bobbins for the mills. They settled on Swiss Hill in Paterson where my grandfather was raised.
Annette Cadosi 12.03.2016 My grandfather came to San Francisco from Donath, Graubunden in 1909, right after the San Francisco earthquake. He was a furniture maker and worked on Hearst Castle restoring some of the old panels and furniture brought back from Europe. My father was registered as a Swiss Citizen at birth, in San Francisco, but I am unable to find any record of it. The Cadosi name is carried on as a middle name by my grandson and we are still in contact with our family in Switzerland, although all the older members are gone, and the Cadosi name has disappeared from our line. I am extremely proud of my family heritage.
Christopher Baiker 09.25.2016 My father Bruno Baiker was born in Zurich and I am traveling there next month.
Megan 09.11.2016 I think it would be nice if there was more information about Switzerland and how it's towns and cities organized in relation to the United States. It took me some time to figure this out and there's not really a basic primer anywhere.
Ralph Leon Roberts III, Ph.D 08.27.2016 I have ancestors in Switzerland, at least back to the 1300s, from Lelocle, Neufchatel.
ricky 08.11.2016 I'm a descendent of Adam Flake 1750 - 1836 (married to Elizabeth Stuff). They came to the US before the revolutionary war and settled in Indiana. I'd like to know from what town in Switzerland.
Terri Frey Avery 07.19.2016 I believe that I have a relative named Jacob Frey in 1580 that was a citizen of Switzerland. I know it's a long shot but was hoping that someone who does family trees could help. Thanks
Leslie Zschokke 07.04.2016 I'm looking for our family story of how/when we came to America.
Kathy Wirz 06.27.2016 Trying to discover more about my families history. My 2nd Great Grandfather was David Ludwig Wirz, born in 1830 and married to Marie Haller.
Irene Amstad Davis 06.25.2016 Searching roots
Audrey Buhrdorf 06.09.2016 My great great grandfather, Jacob G. Kenzy b. 1826 came from Canton Bern Switzerland. he d. 1912 in Iowa, USA I am unable to find when he came or where he landed. Would like help.
maria pruett 05.13.2016 I was born in Rome , Italy...I was adopted when I was 8 yrs old and came to the real name was Raffaella Salton...I have hit a brick wall on getting any more info of my past...I have a letter from the adoption agency that my adopted family got me it states that my mother was born in Zurich, Switzerland, that both her parents were born in Switzerland...I have years of my grandmothers death, my mothers birth but no you think I can ever find out my roots ?...the letter I had received was 3 pages long with I feel a lot of info but I don't know how or where to start my search...can you help or steer me to someone that can ?...I am 60 yrs old, not too much money ...PLEASE HELP ME !!!! ,....Maria
Albert Greuter 05.06.2016 My great-great-great grandparents emigrated from Switzerland in 1854. I am stuck in my research finding any record of them in Switzerland. They were Frederic (possibly Frederick or Friedrich) born in 1828 and Caroline born in 1840. I have found record of him arriving on the Metropolitan in 1854. I do not know where the Metropolitan sailed from. I only see Frederic as a passenger and assume Caroline arrived later
Leslie Perotti 03.09.2016 My great grandfather Alfred Meyer came fro Switzerland to Nebraska,and then SF, California where he was a Lutheran Minister in a small church in the Noe Valley. My Grandfathers name was Frederick Martin Meyer, born in July, 1896. I am planning to take a trip to Switzerland, but would like more information about my heritage. I was told we came from Bern. Thank you very much, Leslie
Donna Delguzzo 03.07.2016 My grandfather was born in Switzerland his name was William Dreyer he be 104.
Bev Watson 09.24.2015 I descend from Bertoldus Hubere of Oberkulm , Switzerland near Bern. His descendant Andreas migrated to America.
Frances Haemmerlie Montgomery 08.08.2015 My paternal grandparents emigrated to New Glarus from Canton Glarus: John Hammerli in 1889 and Marie Hammerli in 1894. They lived their lives farming in and around Monroe. As a child my family spend many summer vacations visiting them (note: we lived in Florida and loved the cool WI summers). Visiting Monroe and New Glarus was always a magical (and delicious) experience.
Gale Veres (Kaiser) 08.02.2015 Both my paternal great grandparents emigrated from Bern. My father's surname was Kaiser (Keiser) and his mother's was Rolli. They came to New Philadelphia, Ohio. There are still a few descendants there, and the family reunion is held there every June.
Larry Ganders 07.27.2015 I am the son of Betty Fraunfelder, a Swiss-born yodeler, singer and entertainer on stage and radio from the 1930s to the 1970s. I authored a website on "The Swiss Family Fraunfelder" and chronicled their involvement from Disney's Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs to the Midwest advertising campaign for Schlitz Beer. On my father's side, my grandfather was also a Swiss immigrant to the U.S. and an 1884 settler to what is now Washington state.
We know you are proud of your Swiss Roots.  Tell us your story.
If you are feeling a bit  homesick the following might help you.  Enjoy the official and unofficial Swiss cantonal anthems.
There are many places and regions around the word which have Switzerland in their names.
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