Genealogy in Switzerland - A Longenecker Family Search
I recently visited Langnau, Bern, Switzerland and spent two days immersed in all things Langenegger. My wife and I arrived at
the Langnau rail station on June 25, 2004, exhausted from a long flight from San Francisco. As we left the train station we were immediately struck by the unique character of this area.
Outside the train station are the remnants of a cobblestone street, now patched by asphalt. Everywhere we looked were
beautiful Swiss houses and buildings - many of them hundreds of years old - and all colorfully decorated with pink and red
begonias placed in flower boxes below each window. As we found later, the Emmental is also a wonderland of covered bridges,
friendly people, church spires with Swiss clocks and chimes, tinkling cow bells - everything you expect Switzerland to be.
As we walked toward our hotel in Bareau we noticed how friendly and courteous the locals are - stopping to allow us to
cross the street and smiling as we passed with a friendly "Hallo" or "Guten Morgen." The town is dotted with long stone tanks with
well water splashing in at one end and draining out the other. They look something like a stone horse tank. These are available to anyone who wants a cool drink of well water.
After we settled into our room at the Landgasthof Hotel Adler, the owner kindly invited us to a short ride into the countryside
where we saw more beautiful houses and pastures. After we returned we asked a few locals in the hotel restaurant about the
Langenegger farm and they had a good laugh. Turns out that there are a lot of Langeneggers there and we didn't know the name of
the people who lived in the original house that we came to see.
The hills are about 1200 feet above the valley floor and incredibly green with grass and forested areas visible from
anywhere in town. Langnau is small - perhaps three or four long blocks across and the hills seem very close. Black and white cows
break up the greenery and produce and wonderful tinkling sound as they graze around ringing the bells around their necks. Higher
pitched bells worn by sheep and goats blend with the clunk-clunk bong-bong of the cow bells making a delicious backdrop to the
scenery. This is the last sound we heard as we drifted off to sleep covered with a feather quilt on our first night in Langnau.
The birds woke us up to wonderfully green world that is Langnau in the summer. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of
homemade bread and jelly provided by our host, Stephen. We hoped to attend church, but found that our information was incorrect
and arrived too early. Instead we started our walking tour of Langnau early. Langnau is a small town and we walked all of the
main streets by about noon when we took a break for lunch to share a small cheese tart and an apple pastry from a small shop
near the center of town. By that time, the local museum had opened. It is housed in one of the oldest houses in Langnau and
is a great opportunity to look around inside one of these magnificent buildings and see all of the fancy joinery done by
the builders. It is also a great museum with a number of permanent and rotating exhibits that depict the history of Langnau and its residents.
The museum's docent has lived in Langnau for 70 years and knows the Langenegger name very well. She quickly found a book
that contains the Langenegger family crests - one for those in the valley (Langenegg Ey) and one for those up higher in the
hills (Langenegg Unter). She also loosely parsed the name into Lange (Long in English - pronounced 'Long' in German too) and
negg (hill in English - pronounced 'neck' in German). I haven't been able to confirm the word 'negg' anywhere - but that is what
she said. The book also included 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 book doesn't give a further source for this information. On the map, the Langenegg Unter is just about a
30 minute 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 someone other than a Langenegger for many years, we decided to take a closer look at the Ey property in the valley to
see if we could at least get a picture of the house and perhaps, if we were really lucky, meet a distant relative.
Margaret and I walked along the river where many of the local people were taking a break from regular life to cool off. We were
pleasantly surprised at the number of covered bridges in and around Langnau - all still being used. We even drove over one just outside of Langnau.
Just as we approached the long driveway to the Langenegger house, two women came up from the river and one of them spoke
English. She told us that we were in the right place and that the Langenegger family did live here. She offered to escort us to the
right house among a group of several houses and buildings located on the property. With a cheery German "Woo hoo" she called out to
the people inside and introduced us to my 9th cousin who lives in the house where Ulrich Langenegger Senior was born in 1664 (the
same one mentioned in the book that immigrated to Pennsylvania).
Our new-found cousins were gracious and greeted us warmly even though we just showed up on their doorstep after over 250 years
without a Christmas card! We had a short conversation about the family and viewed some of the information that they had there.
Coincidentally, the couple's sister-in-law next door was in Pennsylvania to attend a Longenecker reunion while we were in
Langnau. We exchanged contact information so that we can follow up with them with information we find that might be useful to
them. They kindly offered us a cool drink from their well before we took a short walk around the farm to get some photos. The cows
were in the barn as it was unseasonably hot that day. Milk from their cows is sold into a coop of local farmers that makes it
into cheese. If you are looking for some authentic Langenegger cheese, look for the Emmentaler type as that is what they make
there. It is sold in the US as simply Swiss cheese - the type with holes in it. I must admit that it tasted much better in Langnau than in California.
The house is located an easy hike along the river from Langnau and consists of the original house plus some additional houses
and outbuildings. I found the house a challenge to photograph by itself. It is a typical Swiss farm house arranged with living
quarters and barn under one roof. On one side is an earthen ramp going directly into the attic over the barn that is used to move hay into that area for storage and use during the winter.
The roof is steep by US standards but not as steep as I expected in an area that gets lots of snow. Most roofs in the
area are tile and include a series of brackets about six inches high that hold the snow in the winter so that it doesn't all fall
down at one time. Some buildings had a simpler system with only one set of brackets near the bottom of the roof that held a four
inch pipe running the entire length of the house - apparently for the same purpose as the brackets on other buildings. In addition,
this system probably uses the snow to insulate the roof from the cold. Another interesting thing about some roofs and houses - the
builders sometimes put their initials and the date of construction on the roof by using different colored tiles. Others
painted this information under the eaves or on the face of the building under the eaves.
The Langenegger house is not as fancy as some in town but is large and includes some fancy joinery work that we saw repeated
inside the museum, on the covered bridges, and elsewhere in the area. The main structure appears to be large beams carefully
joined together at the proper angles so that they get stronger as more weight is put on them - and held together with wooden pegs.
On one bridge near town we saw metal strapping that seems to have been added later.
The business of the farm centers around the milk cows. There was a large field of corn planted near the house along with a
well-kept garden that seems to grace every house we saw in Switzerland. Along the driveway approach to the farm there are
some cherry trees with mostly green fruit just beginning to turn pink in places. The rest of the farm appeared to be in grass. My
friend John Garland in Oklahoma would call the fencing "psychological fencing" - not much of a barrier to an animal that
wants out. We noticed that a lot of fences appeared to be temporary and electrified so that the cows can be easily moved to
fresh grass as needed. We even saw one electric fence hooked up to a solar panel up high in the mountains a long train-ride away
from Langnau. Out of respect for the current occupants' time and space, we only stayed briefly.
We returned to our hotel via a path the goes along the river and stopped for a rest in the shade of an old covered bridge. We
were exhausted again and happy at getting to meet our distant relatives and to view the old house.
Research: If you are researching this area, no genealogy information is readily available in Langnau. The records office
has records from 1886, but doesn't release it without permission of the persons mentioned in the records and the charges to do so
are very high. You will have much better luck in Bern where most of the Swiss records are held. There is almost always someone
around that speaks English and the records offices are no exception. The records are neither computerized nor indexed - but
they are very neatly categorized by location and time frames. You will need to tell them exactly who, where, and when you want to
look in order to get the right microfilm. Then it is an old-fashioned search browsing through records written along time
ago using unfamiliar styles and letters. Lockers are located outside the office in the hallway and you will have to leave your
backpack, purse, etc. there. It's free and secure.
The Archives de I'Etat de Berne is located at Falkenplatz 4, CH-3012 Berne near the main railroad station. It was easy to find
the third time I tried. The rail station is large and busy and on several levels. Locate the elevators on one end of the station
and take them all the way to the top. If you have trouble, follow the students and the signs to the university in order to find the
elevators. Once you are at the top, go toward the campus - the only way you can go really - and pass between two large
university-looking buildings. Falkenplatz 4 is the first building on the right after you pass through the campus area. There is a
small street stand just across the small park where the students congregate for a cheap and good sandwich - get there early as
they run out of sandwiches quickly after noon. The office is open from 8:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 5:00 every weekday except Friday
when it closes at 4:30. If you want to confirm before going, their phone numbers are 031/633 51 01, fax 031/633 51 02. Copies
are one Swiss Frank per page - so take along plenty of cash so that you can get everything you want. You can easily spend 50
franks in one afternoon depending on the records you want. I didn't have time, but you may also want to check out these sources provided by the museum in Langnau . . .
Des Kantons Bern
031/633 47 85
Fax: 031/633 47 39
3753 Oberhofen am Thunersee
033/243 24 52
Gene Hall has been working on the family tree for over 25 years and currently is the CEO of FamilyTrackers, Inc. - a World
Genealogy Exchange located at http://www.familytrackers.com/
The Landgasthof Hotel Adler mentioned in this article is located at http://www.landgasthof-adler.ch/
This article comes with reprint rights. You are free to reprint and distribute it as you like. All that I ask is that you reprint
it in its entirety without any changes including this text and the link above.
HOBBIES and CRAFTS NEWS updated Thu. August / 22 / 2019
Best Children's Craft and Hobby Books Chicago Parent
Tweens and teens looking for a new hobby (or trying to put to good use some of the skills they learned this summer at camp) can look no further. With a few easy ...
LENORA PIERCE HAAS Sumter Item
Lenora 'Lee' Pierce Haas, 90, widow of Paul J. Haas, died Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at her home. Born Feb. 14, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she was a ...
Fair Offers Cash Prizes for Entries Cleveland County Herald
RISON – Hoping to build on what was a significant increase in exhibits last year, the Cleveland County Fair Board is once again encouraging the public to enter ...
Column: When have I not had something to say? LaSalle News Tribune
I think for once I'm speechless. Well, maybe not speechless, just worn out. I spend my life in a state of constant semi-agitation over the state of the world, but ...
Sawdust flies at WOE Heritage Fair Cottage Grove Sentinel
The debate over what is and isn't considered a sport rages on in conversation all over the country. For viewers of one particular event last Friday evening, ...
Community calendar | News, Sports, Jobs Evening Observer
THURSDAY, AUG. 22 Lizzy's Lemonade Stand, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 739 Deer St., Dunkirk. Ice cold lemonade, lemon cupcakes, lemon bars. Help support ...
'Fairwell' to fair board Sentinel-Tribune
It's “fair” to say that the Wood County Fair runs in the blood of many families — and Collette Dickey is no exception.
Gloria Nancy Rizzi Mallozzi Patch.com
Gloria Nancy Rizzi Mallozzi, age 81, of Norwalk, passed away peacefully at home on August 20, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. She was the beloved ...
New staff at Colo-NESCO Nebraska City News Press
Aaron AljetsAge: 23What will be your role in the Colo-NESCO Schools? My role at Colo-NESCO will be teaching middle school/high school physical education ...
DISPLAYING LOCAL TALENT Weakley County Press
DISPLAYING LOCAL TALENT — With the grand opening of the Obion County Fair set for Aug. 19, local residents flooded the fairgrounds on Saturday to turn in ...
Earlene Alexander Reynolds KSST
Earlene Alexander Reynolds went home to be with the Lord on Friday, August 16, 2019 in Cooper, Texas. Earlene was born on February 2, 1941, to William and ...
Parenting corner-Hobbies and autism NewzHook
In parenting corner this week we will talk about some activities and hobby ideas that can be included in the day to day life of children with autism. Every child ...
This n' That Lewiston Sun Journal
TOPS. NORWAY — TOPS meets Tuesdays in the Association Hall at Town & Country Mobile Home Village, 99 Town & Country Drive, Norway. Weigh-in is from ...
Open class recipes | Columnist Mountain Mail Newspaper
One of the most interesting events at the Chaffee County Fair, at least for me, is the open class competition in which anyone can enter the best of hobbies, crafts,
Obituary of Karlene Neuendank OnFocus
Karlene Ann Neuendank, age 60, of Marshfield, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at A Touch of Home in ...
The Second Half: Lots of ways to fight boredom Eureka Times Standard
Dear Tracey: I'm bored. I need a new hobby or something to do with my time. The first couple of years of retirement were great, but now? Like I said, I'm just plain ...
8/9-10: Newport Agricultural Fair NRVN News
The 84th Newport Agricultural Fair will be held on Friday, August 9, 2019 and Saturday, August 10, 2019 on the grounds of the Newport Recreation Center in ...
TXCO Fair Opens Wednesday, see schedule below Guymondailyherald
COMMERCIAL EXHIBITS OPEN. Activity Center - Commercial Building - Parking Lot Wednesday. ........................ 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday ............................. 10 a.m. ...
The highs and goodbyes in crafting 2018/2019 Craft Business
Hobbycraft, the UK's largest arts and crafts retailer, reveals the rising trends in crafting and a new-found interest amongst millennials spurred on by the digital era ...
4 Super Simple Tips for Quality Family Time Exhale Lifestyle
Spending time with your partner and kids is essential to strong relationships and joyful memories. We outline some of our favorite tips for quality family time.
Old Bar community news Manning River Times
There are around 6500 community and social clubs around Australia and astonishingly, about 30 per cent of those are Probus Clubs. One of the issues with ...
June K. Artley | Obituaries LancasterOnline
June K. Artley, 76, of Lebanon, PA, passed away on Monday, July 22, 2019 in Juniper Village, Lebanon, PA. She was the wife of the late Thomas M. Artley. She.
Hobby Lobby will be coming to Chico Chico Enterprise-Record
CHICO — Hobby Lobby, the national arts and crafts retailer, has confirmed that it will be opening up in Chico. After an inquiry from this newspaper, the company ...
Area young women vie for S&P Festival title StMaryNow.com
A host of area young women will be participating in the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival Coronation at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Morgan City Municipal ...
Terrace Art Takeover | Crafts and hobbies Madison.com
Join the Garden at the Memorial Union Terrace for a guided workshop on how to create a beautiful flower arrangement with flower cuttings from the Garden and ...
Local artist/author to seniors: Get a movin' Ahwatukee Foothills News
Hey, why can't you start a new career in your senior years? Whether you're 60, 70 or 80 or somewhere in-between, you have more to offer from your life ...
25 Crafts to Make and Sell for Profit Small Business Trends
Making crafts is a great creative outlet, but if you decide to monetize your creation what should you make? Here are 25 crafts to make and sell for profit.
What’s cool at school? BizTimes - Milwaukee Business News
Technology workers bring code to classrooms of Milwaukee. The future of work depends on computers. With more than half a million open computer science ...
Bonnie Laird Wyalusing Rocket Courier
Bonnie Underwood Laird, 73, of SR 3004, Montrose (Retta), passed away peacefully early Friday morning, Aug. 9, 2019 at her home surrounded by her family.
State Fair: Thursday, Aug. 22 Minneapolis Star Tribune
THRIFTY THURSDAY: Reduced admission: adults (13-64) $13; kids & seniors (5-12, 65+) $10. Special ride and game promotions at the Midway and Kidway all ...
Revel x Kendra Scott: You're a Gem Party Madison.com
You're a gem, darling! And you deserve to enjoy an evening of gorgeous accessories and jewelry-inspired DIYs Make plans to join us at the Kendra Scott store ...
Pamela Lafrenz Cavalier County Extra
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, at Emmanuel Evangelical Church in Langdon for Pamela Lafrenz, 53, of Langdon, who, passed ...
Art Adventure | Crafts and hobbies Madison.com
Immerse yourself in art making during four days of workshops in collage, assemblage, mixed media, jewelry, journals, up cycling, printmaking, and more! All skill ...
July Write-In | Crafts and hobbies Madison.com
Writing can be hard and lonely. We might not be able to make it less hard, but we can make it less lonely. Write-ins are one of ArtLitLab's core programs,
Humanities, crafts aren’t ‘hobbies’ Pune Mirror
They are food for the soul and can put food on your table, too. After decades of favouring technical academic subjects over the humanities, in fact pushing and ...
13 Hobbies That Can Make You Money WomansDay.com
If your full-time job just isn't fulfilling, or you need a little extra income to to reach a goal or pay for a vacation, turning to a hobby that makes money can be a great ...
De Anda: Pick up new hobbies this summer Iowa State Daily
During the school year, one might get carried away with the long list of to-do's that never seem to end. You finish one assignment, and just when you think you.