Genealogy in Switzerland – A Longenecker Family Search

I not too long ago visited Langnau, Bern, Switzerland and spent two days immersed in all issues Langenegger. My spouse and I arrived on the Langnau rail station on June 25, 2004, exhausted from a protracted flight from San Francisco. As we left the prepare station we have been instantly struck by the distinctive character of this space.

Outside the prepare station are the remnants of a cobblestone avenue, now patched by asphalt. Everywhere we regarded have been stunning Swiss homes and buildings – lots of them tons of of years outdated – and all colorfully embellished with pink and crimson begonias positioned in flower containers under every window. As we discovered later, the Emmental can also be a wonderland of coated bridges, pleasant individuals, church spires with Swiss clocks and chimes, tinkling cow bells – every little thing you count on Switzerland to be.

As we walked towards our resort in Bareau we observed how pleasant and courteous the locals are – stopping to permit us to cross the road and smiling as we handed with a pleasant “Hallo” or “Guten Morgen.” The city is dotted with lengthy stone tanks with effectively water splashing in at one finish and draining out the opposite. They look one thing like a stone horse tank. These can be found to anybody who desires a cool drink of effectively water.

After we settled into our room on the Landgasthof Hotel Adler, the proprietor kindly invited us to a brief trip into the countryside the place we noticed extra stunning homes and pastures. After we returned we requested a couple of locals in the resort restaurant in regards to the Langenegger farm they usually had an excellent snort. Turns out that there are plenty of Langeneggers there and we did not know the title of the individuals who lived in the unique home that we got here to see.

The hills are about 1200 ft above the valley ground and extremely inexperienced with grass and forested areas seen from anyplace in city. Langnau is small – maybe three or 4 lengthy blocks throughout and the hills appear very shut. Black and white cows break up the greenery and produce and fantastic tinkling sound as they graze round ringing the bells round their necks. Higher pitched bells worn by sheep and goats mix with the clunk-clunk bong-bong of the cow bells making a scrumptious backdrop to the surroundings. This is the final sound we heard as we drifted off to sleep coated with a feather quilt on our first night time in Langnau.

The birds woke us as much as splendidly inexperienced world that’s Langnau in the summer time. We loved a beautiful breakfast of selfmade bread and jelly supplied by our host, Stephen. We hoped to attend church, however discovered that our info was incorrect and arrived too early. Instead we began our strolling tour of Langnau early. Langnau is a small city and we walked the entire essential streets by about midday after we took a break for lunch to share a small cheese tart and an apple pastry from a small store close to the middle of city. By that point, the native museum had opened. It is housed in one of many oldest homes in Langnau and is a superb alternative to go searching inside one in every of these magnificent buildings and see the entire fancy joinery finished by the builders. It can also be a fantastic museum with numerous everlasting and rotating displays that depict the historical past of Langnau and its residents.

The museum’s docent has lived in Langnau for 70 years and is aware of the Langenegger title very effectively. She shortly discovered a guide that accommodates the Langenegger household crests – one for these in the valley (Langenegg Ey) and one for these up larger in the hills (Langenegg Unter). She additionally loosely parsed the title into Lange (Long in English – pronounced ‘Long’ in German too) and negg (hill in English – pronounced ‘neck’ in German). I have not been capable of verify the phrase ‘negg’ anyplace – however that’s what she stated. The guide additionally included an announcement, “Ulrich, von Langnau, wanderte 1748 nach Pennsylvanien [USA] Aus (Faust 61)” which roughly interprets that Ulrich Langenegger immigrated to Pennsylvania in the United States in 1748. This is our ancestor Ulrich Langenegger Sr. The guide would not give an extra supply for this info. On the map, the Langenegg Unter is nearly a 30 minute hike up the hill from the museum and Langenegg Ey is a couple of mile down river from Langnau. Since the Unter had been owned by somebody apart from a Langenegger for a few years, we determined to take a better have a look at the Ey property in the valley to see if we might at the very least get an image of the home and maybe, if we have been actually fortunate, meet a distant relative.

Margaret and I walked alongside the river the place lots of the native individuals have been taking a break from common life to chill off. We have been pleasantly stunned on the variety of coated bridges in and round Langnau – all nonetheless getting used. We even drove over one simply exterior of Langnau.

Just as we approached the lengthy driveway to the Langenegger home, two girls got here up from the river and one in every of them spoke English. She instructed us that we have been in the fitting place and that the Langenegger household did dwell right here. She supplied to escort us to the fitting home amongst a gaggle of a number of homes and buildings positioned on the property. With a cheery German “Woo hoo” she referred to as out to the individuals inside and launched us to my ninth cousin who lives in the home the place Ulrich Langenegger Senior was born in 1664 (the identical one talked about in the guide that immigrated to Pennsylvania).

Our new-discovered cousins have been gracious and greeted us warmly regardless that we simply confirmed up on their doorstep after over 250 years with out a Christmas card! We had a brief dialog in regards to the household and considered a few of the info that that they had there. Coincidentally, the couple’s sister-in-law subsequent door was in Pennsylvania to attend a Longenecker reunion whereas we have been in Langnau. We exchanged contact info in order that we will observe up with them with info we discover that is perhaps helpful to them. They kindly supplied us a cool drink from their effectively earlier than we took a brief stroll across the farm to get some images. The cows have been in the barn because it was unseasonably scorching that day. Milk from their cows is offered right into a coop of native farmers that makes it into cheese. If you’re searching for some genuine Langenegger cheese, search for the Emmentaler sort as that’s what they make there. It is offered in the US as merely Swiss cheese – the sort with holes in it. I have to admit that it tasted a lot better in Langnau than in California.

The home is positioned a simple hike alongside the river from Langnau and consists of the unique home plus some further homes and outbuildings. I discovered the home a problem to {photograph} by itself. It is a typical Swiss farm home organized with residing quarters and barn beneath one roof. On one aspect is an earthen ramp going straight into the attic over the barn that’s used to maneuver hay into that space for storage and use through the winter.

The roof is steep by US requirements however not as steep as I anticipated in an space that will get numerous snow. Most roofs in the realm are tile and embody a collection of brackets about six inches excessive that maintain the snow in the winter in order that it would not all fall down at one time. Some buildings had a less complicated system with just one set of brackets close to the underside of the roof that held a 4 inch pipe operating your entire size of the home – apparently for a similar goal because the brackets on different buildings. In addition, this technique in all probability makes use of the snow to insulate the roof from the chilly. Another attention-grabbing factor about some roofs and homes – the builders generally put their initials and the date of building on the roof by utilizing completely different coloured tiles. Others painted this info beneath the eaves or on the face of the constructing beneath the eaves.

The Langenegger home will not be as fancy as some in city however is giant and consists of some fancy joinery work that we noticed repeated contained in the museum, on the coated bridges, and elsewhere in the realm. The essential construction seems to be giant beams fastidiously joined collectively on the correct angles in order that they get stronger as extra weight is placed on them – and held along with wood pegs. On one bridge close to city we noticed metallic strapping that appears to have been added later.

The enterprise of the farm facilities across the milk cows. There was a big subject of corn planted close to the home together with a effectively-stored backyard that appears to grace each home we noticed in Switzerland. Along the driveway strategy to the farm there are some cherry timber with largely inexperienced fruit simply starting to show pink in locations. The remainder of the farm gave the impression to be in grass. My buddy John Garland in Oklahoma would name the fencing “psychological fencing” – not a lot of a barrier to an animal that desires out. We observed that plenty of fences gave the impression to be short-term and electrified in order that the cows could be simply moved to recent grass as wanted. We even noticed one electrical fence hooked as much as a photo voltaic panel up excessive in the mountains a protracted prepare-trip away from Langnau. Out of respect for the present occupants’ time and area, we solely stayed briefly.

We returned to our resort by way of a path the goes alongside the river and stopped for a relaxation in the shade of an outdated coated bridge. We have been exhausted once more and pleased at getting to satisfy our distant kinfolk and to view the outdated home.

Research: If you’re researching this space, no family tree info is available in Langnau. The information workplace has information from 1886, however would not launch it with out permission of the individuals talked about in the information and the costs to take action are very excessive. You can have a lot better luck in Bern the place a lot of the Swiss information are held. There is nearly all the time somebody round that speaks English and the information workplaces aren’t any exception. The information are neither computerized nor listed – however they’re very neatly categorized by location and time frames. You might want to inform them precisely who, the place, and whenever you need to look in order to get the fitting microfilm. Then it’s an outdated-usual search looking via information written alongside time in the past utilizing unfamiliar kinds and letters. Lockers are positioned exterior the workplace in the hallway and you’ll have to go away your backpack, purse, and so on. there. It’s free and safe.

The Archives de I’Etat de Berne is positioned at Falkenplatz 4, CH-3012 Berne close to the principle railroad station. It was simple to seek out the third time I attempted. The rail station is giant and busy and on a number of ranges. Locate the elevators on one finish of the station and take all of them the best way to the highest. If you have got bother, observe the scholars and the indicators to the college in order to seek out the elevators. Once you’re on the prime, go towards the campus – the one approach you may go actually – and move between two giant college-wanting buildings. Falkenplatz Four is the primary constructing on the fitting after you move via the campus space. There is a small avenue stand simply throughout the small park the place the scholars congregate for an inexpensive and good sandwich – get there early as they run out of sandwiches shortly after midday. The workplace is open from 8:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to five:00 each weekday besides Friday when it closes at 4:30. If you need to verify earlier than going, their telephone numbers are 031/633 51 01, fax 031/633 51 02. Copies are one Swiss Frank per web page – so take alongside loads of money so as to get every little thing you need. You can simply spend 50 franks in one afternoon relying on the information you need. I did not have time, however you may additionally need to take a look at 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



Source by Gene Hall

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