Friday, April 13, 2018

Bachman Home in Wiliberg, Switzerland

One interesting fact gleaned from the following is that Jacob sold his part of the house just after he was married, 8 years before he left for America

The house:
The following information about the house are based on the building register for insurance companies. This registers were introduced in 1850. 
- 1850: We don’t know, there is just this inscription reading „Baumann“ on the door lintel
1850: The house belonged to Hans Jacob Bachmann-Suter (1830 - 1907) and his brother Johannes Rudolf Bachmann-Müller (1828 - 1904)
1853: Hans Jacob Bachmann-Suter sells his part of the house to his brother Johannes
1867: Johannes Hadorn from Forst canton Berne (today Forst is a district of the town Berne) bought the house
1872: Johannes Rudolf Bachmann-Müller bought the house back
1904: The youngest son Jakob Bachmann-Blatter (1871 - 1929) inherits the house
1911: The neighbor Gottfried Suter-Jäggi bought the house
1914: Jakob Bachmann-Blatter bought it back
1923: Gottfried Stettler-Brechbühler (the father from Gottfried Stettler, now living in the house) bought it

The deed we saw was the sale from Jakob Bachmann to Gottfried Stettler dated 1923.

Family crest (coat-of-arms?) of Bachmann from Bottenwil was deposited with a notarial seal in the public record office of canton Aargau in 1855, what René believes:
The white divider running from top left to bottom right symbolizes the creek Uerke
The 3 green hills on the bottom symbolize the location of Bottenwil (between hills)
The stars symbolize nobility (the rulers like dikes or reeves) ruling over Bottenwil
The circle (René speaks of a globe) with the cross on top could symbolize a monastery (in the case of Bottenwil, the monastery Einsiedeln, the former owner / ruler of Bottenwil)

The document „1824-11-09 Taufzettel Bachmann Elisabeth" about the baptism:
Child to be baptized: Elisabeth Bachmann (born 11.09.1824 in Wiliberg, deceased 16.02.1874) sister of Hans Jacob Bachmann-Suter and Johannes Rudolf Bachmann-Müller

The document „1869-23-05 Taufzettel Bachmann Lina“ about the baptism:
Child to be baptized: Lina Bachmann (1869 - 1953) niece of the emigrant Hans Jacob Bachmann-Suter
Parents: Johannes Rudolf Bachmann-Müller
Godfather: Samuel Bachmann from Reitnau
Godmother: Susette Suter from Wiliberg

I asked René by mail who his sources are.


Am 14.09.2015 um 18:35 schrieb S & J <>:

If you catch up with Rene', would you mind asking just one of those other questions, "Where does he go to get historical and genealogical information re Wiliberg?   Church, government in Aarau?  Thanks
Regarding the house, maybe it boils down to 2 possibilities:  
1)  The name in the house is difficult to read and really says Bachman.  "ch" in old script looks like "uf".
2)  The house was built in the 1700's or earlier by a Baumann.  The Bachmanns, citizens of Bottenwil, purchased the land and house back then.

Again, great German email Jim.  I hope the Wiliberg denizens respond.  If not, you made a great effort.  And we’ve had a great review of our Swiss connections.  I’ve given you more suggestions than you really needed I’m sure, and here are some more:  (Frankly, I don’t think there will be time for you to introduce many subjects with all the translating, listening, and eating you’ll be doing.  Maybe they’ll want to hang around for more conversation at the gasthau, the village center, or while hiking the Alps.)  I don’t know if any of us has seen the actual Wiliberg center.


First, we’d like to thank them for all the help they’ve given us.  And Rene and Patric really have worked hard on our behalf.  Thanks to them, we’ve learned so much about Switzerland and our Swiss heritage.


They’ve welcomed 4 cousins from America (Steve, Kent, Kent‘s sister, and Jim), descendants from 3 of Jakob Bachmann’s daughters.  Jakob had 9 children with Elisabeth Suter, 4 children with another Swiss woman, Anna Hegetschweiler, and a step-son who Anna brought to Eden with her--  14 children total.  These relatives of ours were pioneers of the American West before there were no trains or cars.  


Apologies from Steve for not having the time to learn about them and their country when he was in Wiliberg.  It would be enjoyable to compare our 2 countries and peoples.


How do they cope with having 3 languages in Switzerland?  What are their occupations?  What is family life like in Wiliberg.  Why did they choose Wiliberg.


What tourist attractions (maybe motels and restaurants, too)would they recommend within 50 miles?


You’ll want to make the short trips to Reitnau (the church) and Bottenwil (maybe our real homeland).  I’d love to see a few photos of Bottenwil.


Elisabeth Suter Bachmann was from Bozberg which has ceased to exist.  I think there is still a Lower Bozberg and a Bozberg Hill.


A little about Jakob Bachmann in America.  Our Swiss pioneers were settled in what is called a “high desert”.  Jakob found one of the few places in the high desert that looks like Switzerland--  Eden, Utah.  I think he was homesick for his homeland most of his life.  I don’t think he ever learned to speak English and married 2 Swiss women (not at the same time)--  Elisabeth who he met in Switzerland and Anna who he met in Utah, USA.  


Most of our Swiss genealogy has been done by Kent and his grandmother, Emma Scholl.  Kent and Emma spent as much time on our Jakob/Elisabeth side of the family as their Jakob/Anna side of the family.   What a wonderful gift for us all.


Which town is actually our ancient hometown, Wiliberg or Bottenwil (3 times bigger town).




Is there a possibility that they might visit us in Utah and/or Idaho?  Both popular tourist destinations.

Hi Jim, here are some of the photos that we took during our visit in 2015 that might assist.  Wow, it doesn’t seem that long ago that Jack and I were there.  Forgive the mistakes I’ve made below.  We’ll call them typos.  I’ve forgotten how to do a hyperlink, so I hope  you can find the photos:

The Stettler grandparents and grandson (and me).  I believe Mr. Stettler has lived his whole life in the Bachmann house behind him.  The video of the house that Kent sent didn’t appear to show the Stettlers living there?  The woman in Kent’s (Rene’s) video was probably the Stettlers daughter who supposedly works in a bakery.  I’d be curious to find out what has happened to the old Stettler couple.  Mr. Stettler had documents that showed that the Stettler family bought the home from Jakob Bachmann (our Jakob’snephew, his brother Hans Rudolf’s son), as I recall.

Good photo of our 3 Wiliberg hosts, Rene (Wiliberg Histoerian), left; Angelika Vosermeier (Councilwoman), Patric Jakob (Head Councilman).  At Moosersagi Gasthaus.

Stettlers’ garden at the old Bachmann house.  Mysterious neighbor’s house with 1930 designation.  I believe we were told that that house belongs to a (Suter/Sutter family).  Why is it so close to the Stettler home?  Are these Suters any relationship to our great-great grandmother Elisabeth Suter, who left the area in 1861?  We would like to know more about Elisabeth Suter Bachmann, a quest for another time.
Photo taken from an adjacent hill across the valley of the 2 homes.  The Bachmann home on the left has been enlarged.  I believe the road in the photo is the road to Reitnau, short distance, and the Reitnau church that our ancestor’s attended.  The stream adjacent to the road is, I believe, the Orke River, which is the cantons Aargau and Lucerne’s boundary.  Wiliberg is in the district of Zofangen, canton of Aargau.
Patric standing by Sacher sign.  Patric helped us solve the mystery of the word, sacher.  Sacher is the Wiliber neighborhood where the Backmanns lived.  Our relatives were referred to as the Sacher Bachmanns.

Finally figured out what this display was near the old Bachman home.  It was advertising a sharp-shooting contest.  Switzerland has a gun culture probably more extensive than ours.  Their gun culture seems to work, ours doesn’t.
We only saw one eatery, a couple of blocks from the Bachmann house, Moosersagi Gasthaus.  At this link, Trip Advisor lists a lot of others.




Kenny - Nice to “meet” you, even if it is only virtually so far.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to meet “in the real world” before long.  I have had the pleasure of meeting both Kent & Steve over the past 20? years as they visited me and my uncle, Rowland Larkin, in Ogden, Utah where both Rowland and I live.  I hope it won’t take 20 years before I get to meet you as I turned 70 years old in June, and I don’t think I’ll last that long, but who knows?  Maybe I’ll get lucky.  To summarize for you and correct a few items, here is my basic personal information:

Jim Larkin
3038 Polk Ave.
Ogden, UT  84403
Mobile:  (801) 391-2894

My family have been Funeral Directors since my great-grandfather, George W. Larkin, started the business, Larkin Mortuary, in 1885, 137 years ago, in Ogden.  Both my father, E. (Elijah) Ferrin Larkin, and grandfather, Elijah Allen Larkin, were funeral directors and my grandmother, Rosella Ferrin Larkin, was Rosilla Bachmann Ferrin’s only child and that’s how I start tying in with the Bachmann’s as Steve outlined.  Rowland was my father’s younger brother and the youngest of EA & Rosella Larkin’s four children.  Rowland lived a full and unique life, was also a Funeral Director, and died in 2011 at the age of 83.  The Larkin Mortuary in Ogden was sold in 2008, but is still a very active business in Salt Lake City,, owned and operated by my second cousins and their children, the 4th & 5th generations of Larkins to do so.  My generation diversified and none of us six children were funeral directors.  My 45 year career was in Engineering during which I spent approx. 1/3 doing electronics (computers, disk drives, networks, automatic test equipment, etc.,
),  about 1/3 doing USAF weapons systems of all kinds, and about 1/3 doing Airbags for automobiles working with almost every major vehicle manufacturer in the world which is what took me to Europe, Japan, etc.  I served my mission in the Germany South Mission (headquartered in Munich) from 1971-73 which is where I learned to speak German, but as a result of my work I also speak some Japanese, French, and Spanish; enough to get by.  I “gave up my day job” five years ago and my wife and I are currently on an 8-Day Rhine River Cruise (Viking) from Amsterdam, Holland to Basel, Switzerland with a few days in Switzerland after the cruise before flying back home which is why I have reengaged with Steve & Kent.  When I was released from my mission in 1973 my parents picked me up in Munich after which we spent a week in Germany/Austria/Switzerland and a week in England before returning home.  I knew our ancestors, the Bachmanns, had come from the Aarau area so during our few days in Switzerland I suggested to my parents we should drive through Aarau and see if we could make any connections or find out anything about them.  I just pulled up on the street and asked a couple people if they knew where any of the Bachmanns lived, they pointed me to Paul Bachmann’s house, I went up and introduced us, Paul was excited and invited his brother, Emil, and his wife to come over and we spent an extremely pleasant afternoon visiting and getting to know each other.  Various members of the family from the US had stopped by occasionally over the years, but I was the first one who spoke fluent German so it was a veryenjoyable visit.  Unfortunately, due to “life” and being incredibly busy I have had no contact with them since, they have probably all passed away, as have both my parents, so I very much hope to reengage with some Bachmanns at the end of this trip.  That pretty much brings you up to date.

Steve - Thank you VERY much for all your detailed information!  Even though it’s the middle of the night here in Germany now, I wanted to get back to you and let you know I received your e-mails and VERY much appreciate your updates!  I will try very hard to e-mail both Patrick and Rene in the morning, cc you three, introduce myself, invite them and their spouses (and/or whomever else they might like to bring) to lunch as my treat and see where it goes from there.  Have a great day!



Dear Mr. Jakob and Rindlisbacher!

I hope this e-mail finds you and finds your families well and whole.  My name is Jim Larkin and have been in communication with Misters Steve Bingham and Kent Gardiner over the last 20 years.  I understand from them they have visited you in Wiliberg and I have gotten your e-mail addresses from them.  My wife and I are currently on a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine which ends in Basel on Wednesday.  We have a few days in Switzerland after our cruise and hope we will be able to visit you in Wiliberg for a short visit.  It would be a distinct pleasure if you could meet with us.  I would like to invite you and your wives to either lunch or dinner and it would be my pleasure to have you as my guests.  We can arrive in Wiliberg Wednesday through Saturday afternoon.  Please let me know if you will be able to meet us, where, and when.  I was in Aarau in 1973 with my father and mother and visited with Paul Bachmann and his brother, Emil, I will attach a photograph, perhaps you know these men?  They have most likely died as have my parents.  I hope we will be able to meet and get to know each other.  It would be a great pleasure for us.  If you prefer to write to me in German or English it doesn’t matter to me.

With friendly greetings!