Saturday, November 30, 2019

Johannes Sidler 1777 - 1834 & 300 Years of Sidler's

Symbol of Ottenbach
Johannes grew up in a large family 12 miles southwest of Zurich in Ottenbach, Switzerland. When Johannes Sidler was born on July 25, 1777, his father, Rudolf, was 35 and his mother, Elisabetha, was 29. He had ten brothers and four sisters. Johannes was such a common name that Julius Billeter, the famous Swiss genealogists, abbreviated it as "Joh" thousands of times.  Johannes was the 8th of fifteen children. The family name is distinctly associated with Ottenbach because Sidler was a founding family. Even today if you ask a resident of Ottenbach they will tell you the names of the founders like Hegetschweiler, Sidler, and Beerli. The Sidler's went back hundreds of years. The word Sidler means settler. Today as you walk through the churchyard in Ottenbach you'll see modern day graves of Sidler's and Hegetschweiler's. Graves in Switzerland are rented. They are prepaid for a period of 25 years. When time is up, the marker is returned to the family and the plot reverts to the church for another occupant.  Old tombstones are rare except near cathedrals in large cities. (Kent Gardiner)

Johannes' father, Hans Rudolf Sidler 1742 - 1801, and his mother, Elisabetha Sidler 1747 - 1807, lived in Ottenbach. Sidler is also Elisabetha's maiden name. Hans Rudolf Sidler's church record lists him as a watch master or a policemen at night and Julius Billeter calls him a furrier and field recorder during the day. Wachmeister means master of the village guard or local policeman. Often they were referred to as Landjäger in the country villages. The Wachtmeister was in charge of the local prison, every Bezirk (district) had such a jail. Small villages put the prisoners in the house of the fire brigade (Feuerwehrhäuschen).

The night watchman played a vital role. Back when fire constituted a permanent threat to villages built of wood, he was an essential part of a network of watchmen, who patrolled the streets. From his perch, the watchman was tasked with sounding the alarm at the first whiff of smoke. (The

There were also the Nachtwächter or night guard, who had to observe the closing hours of restaurants and where important to alarm fires. They normally would also call the hour, every hour with a little song: "Liebe Leute lasst Euch sagen, es hat zwei geschlagen." (Dear people let it be known that the church watch shows 2 o'clock).

The Canton Landjäge (police) usually wore a saber on the left hand side, some type of pistol and a big moustache to generate more respect. One of their duties was to prevent foreign beggars and other vagabonds from entering the town or village.  They chased them out of the city limits. Often the best trick was to give them a voucher for a meal with the condition that they had to leave by evening at which time they went to the next town. The word Landjäge also means pork sausage. So the joke goes: What happens if you throw a stone in the window of the police office? A Landjäger comes out. Rudolf may well have been involved in keeping strangers out of Ottenbach. He certainly had a more simple uniform and carried a pistol.

Field observer means Feldmesser or Feldschreiber.  He measures the fields and records the measures and the owners into the real estate books, or registers (Grundprotokoll or Grundbuch). He is a kind of notary public in the country side. The Ottenbach area has large fields and rolling green hills which to record. The Reuss River flows from Lake Lucerne past Ottenbach providing plenty of water, brush and large stands of trees. It is the perfect bio-system for fur bearing animals for a furrier to work with. According to a descendant of Hans, Andreas Sidler,  the coat of arms for the Sidler family is a black deer head exaggerated by black rust. The area is ideal for wildlife. During the summer there are small boats on the river and it is safe to swim and play in the water.  Hans Rudolf married Elizabeth Sidler and they had 15 children. Hans died in 1801 at 58 in Ottenbach leaving Elizabeth alone for 6 years, dying in 1807. That was way before Johannes married and had children. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 49; photos of old Ottenbach)

During their lives:
1753 Village fire reduces the whole Ottenbach village center, with the exception of the restaurant Engel, to rubble and ashes. The Engel aka Angel was the only building in the centre of Ottenbach to live through the village fire of 1753. From 1981 until the closure of the Restaurant in 1994, the Angel, led by a Collective, had a symbolic character as a so-called alternative pickling bath for the social  Ottenbach population. (Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid; This building, with half timbers, is located in the center of town and can be seen on a postcard at the end of text. The Ottenbach Reformed Church was unaffected by the fire.)

1799 Construction of the political community of Ottenbach, which also includes the five Obfelder hamlets. The quartering of French troops leads to a debt of the community. Ottenbach counts at that time many unemployed textile homeworkers. (Ottenbach Municipality website, Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid)

1798 French army under the command of Napoleon invaded Switzerland. Switzerland was completely overrun by the French and was renamed the Helvetic Republic. The Helvetic Republic encountered severe economic and political problems. In 1798 the country became a battlefield of the Revolutionary Wars, culminating in the Battles of Zürich in 1799. The Second Battle of Zurich (25–26 September 1799) was a key victory by the Republican French army in Switzerland led by André Masséna over an Austrian and Russian force commanded by Alexander Korsakov near Zürich. (Wikipedia)

1801 The Helvetic Government grants Ottenbach the license to carry out any transport with the Reuss ferry. Previously, the ferry was only approved for its own use.
1802 Swiss revolt forced French army to leave Switzerland. (Ottenbach Municipality Website)

1798 "Napoleon invades Switzerland" Towards evening, a troop of stormy French approached the mill, 1 mile south of Ottenbach, surrounded them noisily, and demanded entry with bayonets. Out of the big sacks the soldiers carry on their backs, stolen goods from Central Switzerland stood out. Cluttering, they invaded the house. But when the delightful scent of freshly cooked hams and soup poured out of their kitchen into their noses, they threw aside their weapons and sacks and rushed wildly at the food. Frau Miillerin kept calm and always scooped up the plates of soup and meat. She served the horde as generously as she could and did not spare the wine from the big barrel in the cellar. The soldiers filled their bellies and when they were full, they crawled into all corners and fell asleep. In the morning, she awoke them with scent of fresh coffee and freshly baked bread. With a full stomach and peacefully tuned, the soldiers then left the mill Rickenbach, without letting anything run and moved on. Thus, the mill and probably the whole village escaped the feared fate, thanks to the brave Mrs. Regula Funk. (This story was published in December 1985, in the village booklet "De Ottebächler" Nr.25. Publisher: Gewerbeverein Ottenbach)

Johannes' grandfather was named Hans Kaspar Sidler 1705 - 1768. Hans's occupation is listed as a treasurer in the village of Ottenbach. A treasurer is a Seckelmeister, or cashier.  In Switzerland since the late Middle Ages it was a designation for "manager or managers of takings of public funds or goods", be it in the state administration or in an association or a political party. Julius Billeter says Hans is a former Sekelmeister, meaning he did well and retired.

On the 16 November 1728, when Hans was 23, he married  Veronica Schneebeli, born in 1709 in Ottenbach. Veronica Schneebeli was four years younger and they had 5 children. She died in 1746 when she was just 37 years old and a year later, on 22 August 1747, Hans married Elisabeth Schneebeli of Affoltern, a relative but not a sister to his first wife. They had one child in 1751. Hans died 17 years later in 1768. Elizabeth died 5 August 1765 at age 53 years old. Hans was alone for 3 years. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 37)

During their lives:
1742 In Ottenbach there are 543 people, 122 are adults and are 4.5 people per home meaning there were 120 homes in the community.  (Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid)
1710 - 1772  On the occasion of the famine, Zurich enforces potato cultivation in all rural communities   
1600 - 1800 Switzerland is a loose confederacy of 13 cities and small valley communities dominating the rest of the country. A few families control state affairs. The country is proud of its tradition of democracy. (Ottenbach Municipality website)

Great Grandfather
Jakob Sidler was born 1665. When he was 25 he married Verena Haberling from Bickwil who was 5 years younger. Bickwil is about a mile south of Ottenbach. The little hamlet is now part of Obfelden which is in the Ottenbach Parish. They had seven children. Jakob was also a Sekelmeister in Ottenbach. Verena lived to be 58, dying in 1728. Jakob died in 1741 at almost 76 years old. Jakob lived alone for 13 years. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 25)

During their lives:
1727 Ottenbach plans for the construction of a Reuss bridge which fails because of the resistance of Lucerne.  Ottenbach can continue to ferry their goods and citizens beyond the Reuss.  (Ottenbach Municipality website)

Great Great Grandfather
Hans Rudolf Sidler was born in 1635, during the Thirty Years War, and married Margaretha Grob, (who was born in 1637) in 1662 when Hans was 27 years old and Margaretha was 25. They had eleven children. Margaretha died in 1683 at 46 years old. Hans remarried 4 years later to Margaretha Jilli in 1687 and they had a child in 1690.  She died in 1692 leaving Hans to raise the child. Hans died 18 years later in 1710 at 75 years old. Hans was alone for 18 years. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 18)

During their lives:
1618 - 1649 The balance of power between the Reformed and Catholic estates leads the Confederation to stay out of the Thirty Years' War. (Ottenbach Municipality Website)

The Thirty Years' War was a war fought in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but also from violence, famine, and plague but the Swiss confederacy is a "peaceful island." (Wikipedia and Ottenbach Municipality)

Pork, beef, poultry and other meats were processed and preserved at home. Even the menus were seasonal; during the spring and summer, more fruits and vegetables were eaten because they were fresh and ripe, while in the winter families relied on preserved foods. (Wikipedia)

Great Great Great Grandfather
Jakob Sidler was born in 1608. He married Vronegg Urmi born about 1608 from Rifferswil which is six miles southeast of Ottenbach. They had 7 children. He was a "Wagner" or a carter or cartwright. A cartwright, or wainwright, is a tradesperson skilled in the making and repairing of carts or wagons. They lived in a time of great religious persecution of the Mennonite Church. Some members of the church were imprisoned or died in the Ottenbach Prison. Vronegg died at 49 years old and Jakob lived to be 85.5 years old in 1693, which is a record in the Sidler family.  He was alone for 36 years. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 11)

During their lives:
1639 Hans Muller was a powerful factor in the Mennonite Church and so zealous were the officers to find him, that like ravening wolves they ran through his neighbors' houses to find him. He had escaped from his house and when they came to it and broke it open and found he was gone, they broke open chests and drawers and took all the property they could get. They threatened his little children with bare swords that "they would kill them if they did not reveal his whereabouts." They took his wife and put her bound in the loathsome Ottenbach prison. Then a proclamation was announced in the Reformed churches of Zurich, that no one would be allowed to lodge or give food or drink to Hans Muller, from the Groeningen Bailiwick under severe penalty.  Then they deceived him and sent abroad a proclamation that he would  be allowed a three weeks' safe conduct to argue with him, if he came forth. He trusted this and went to the convent specified to discuss the matter but as he was about to leave he was arrested in breach of faith and taken to Ottenbach; imprisoned 60 weeks, of which he spent 16 weeks in chains. (Mirror, p. 1053)

1640 In Ottenbach there are 52 adults, 42 single, 319 inhabitants, 6.1 per household or 52 homes in the community. (Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid) 
1689 - 1694 Hunger crisis leads to large population losses
1661  Construction of the first Ottenbach schoolhouse
1645 - 1647 Construction of a mill wheel on the Reuss river
1638   Construction of the Ottenbach rectory. (Ottenbach Municipality Website)

Jacob Baumgartner an old man of  70 years had been imprisoned for his faith 5 times and each time escaped,  but was now again apprehended and  thrown into Ottenbach prison. He  was fastened to chains, deprived of  his clothes and clad in a gray coat,  fed on bread and water, put in irons  and hand-cuffed and his property sold  for 500 gilders and the money taken  by the government. (Mirror 1064)

1620 Kleinhanserchtold von Wasterkingen showed scant respect for the authorities, wanting them to be struck by lightning.  Jorg Haupt from Steinmauer was even more explicit in 1650. He swore that lighting should strike the authorities, and "by a thousand sacraments and the sacrament of blood, he wanted thunder and hail to strike the Ottenbach (the local prison).  Unsurprisingly, this insubordinate subject found himself in court. (Dealings with God: From Blasphemers in Early Modern Zurich to a Cultural History of Religiousness By Prof Dr Francisca Loetz)

1639 The same year Jacob Egle, a Mennonite, of Gruningen district near Zurich, was arrested and after a short trial at Zurich was imprisoned in the Ottenbach dungeon,  during a year and a half. He was so miserably treated that he died in prison, rather than give up his faith. (Mirror 1054)

1637 - Hans Meyli (Meili) was imprisoned as an old man in 1637 with sons, Hans (Jr.) and Martin, for about 3 years for their religious beliefs. Two women named Barbara and Elizabeth, probably the wives of Hans and Martin, were imprisoned in 1639 and escaped the prison (Ottenbach prison). Hans Martin's property was confiscated, and they were all held in chains and handcuffs; his sons' children were put out among strangers. Hans was a Swiss.  (Mirror p.1052)

Great Great Great Great Grandfather
Johannes Sidler born in 1583 married Katharina Kleiner born 1584.  They had 11 children from 1606 to 1625. Katharina died when she was 44 in 1627, 2 years following the birth of her eleventh child. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 7)

During their lives:
Everyday food for the poor in the Middle Ages consisted of cabbage, beans, eggs, oats, and brown bread. Sometimes, as a specialty, they would have cheese, bacon or poultry. All classes commonly drank ale or beer. Milk was also available, but usually reserved for younger people. (Wikipedia)

Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather
Johannes Sidler born 1583 married Magdalena Stalin and they had 10 children.
Johannes died in 1611. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 4)

Before their lives:
831 The name Ottenbach, which can be derived from Otto, is first mentioned in documents in 831 as "marcha Hottumbacharia" (Ottenbacher March). In 1169 it was called Ottonbac, 1255 Hottenbach and 1278 Ottenbach. It is believed that this is called Bach of the Hotta or Otta or Bach of Otto (Ottenbach Municipality Website.)
1485 The church tower with the typical Kasbissen roof was built around 1485, the nave of the church Ottenbach is even older.  A Kabillssen roof is a wedge shape, like a slice of cheese. (Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid.)

1566, According to a letter of referral, the community was led by four jurors. (Historical Gazetteer of Switzerland)

Life in Ottenbach
In the 19th century about 1,000 people  lived in Ottenbach. Since the end of the 18th century, the textile industry expanded as a home industry in which merchant-employers “put out” materials to rural producers who usually worked in their homes but sometimes labored in workshops These home based businesses were run from Zurich. In 1784, the cotton spinning mill employed 49% of the local population (430 people, 287 of whom worked all year round). At the beginning of the 19th century there were around 350 weaving looms and the Zurich Mechanical Silk Weaving Mill employed more than 200 people in Ottenbach from the village and the surrounding area. There is evidence that both Susanna and Anna Sidler were married to Labrecht Bar.  In any case, Labrecht wrote an autobiography in which he states that his wife was the "number one dress maker.” (Ottenbach Wikipedia. Lebrecht Bar Autobiography)

Zurich parishes did census in 1795 called haushaltungsrodel (household registers). The 1795 census for the Rudolf Sidler family, under Johannes born 1777, roughly translated says "Schneider ist zu Affoltern is wieder zu hause". which seems to say he was a tailor in Affoltern but is again (wieder...again) in the house (of Rudolf). Apparently he moved home and is working as a tailor in Affoltern which is 3 miles East of Ottenbach.  (Ottenbach Haushaltungsrodel, Ottenbach microfilm 8126955 page 197)

The introduction of the sewing machine sped up garment production. The silhouette of men's fashion changed in similar ways: by the mid-1820s coats featured broad shoulders with puffed sleeves, a narrow waist, and full skirts. Trousers were worn for smart day wear, while breeches continued in use in the country. (Wikipedia)

Swiss men never ever had Lederhosen or shorts. They left that to the Germans and Austrians. Many cantons and regions of Switzerland had Trachten for festivities or church uniform and farmer clothes for men, and unmarried and married women. For festivals men wore black hats, coats, pants, shoes and black string ties, as well as white shirts and a low cut black vest with white stripes. Woman wore dirndl dresses with black shoes, caps, black bodice and white shirts, stockings and colorful straps to hold the dress in place. While appearing to be simple and plain, a properly made modern dirndl may be quite expensive as it is tailored, and sometimes cut from costly hand-printed or silk fabrics. Having been to Octoberfest I can say the 19th century dirndl dresses were more modest in the 19th century. (Peter Bertschinger, see photos at the bottom of this post) (Note: Tracht refers to traditional garments in German-speaking countries and regions.)

Ottenbach Grain
From 1645 onwards, the millers of Ottenbach and Rickenbach used, in addition to the ditches in the village, the water of the river Reuss to grind the grain, because those did not supply enough water during the summer months. In 1833, the Canton of Zürich granted the license to use the water to operate a grain mill. In 1836 the miller, Jakob Beerli, built a canal with a dam in order to bring the water of the Reuss to the mill wheel in a more regulated manner. Today the old Mill is  Haas Shopping with small shops and is a block or two from the river Reuss. (Wikipedia: Ottenbach Small Hydro)

Population of Ottenbach
During Johannes's lifetime  about 1,000 people lived in the village of Ottenbach. If historical population data holds true that amounts to 200 married couples and 120 single adults which  comes to 5 people per household. Interestingly enough there are numbers for livestock in the community. In 1830, when Johannes was alive, there were 7 horses, 11 oxen, 134 cows, 13 cattle, 24 calf, 65 pigs, 8 sheep, and 3 goats which totals 182 cattle and 18 draught animals. A draught animal is an animal, usually domesticated, that is kept by humans and trained to perform tasks. They may be animals trained to provide tractive force, such as draft horses. In the case of Ottenbach they had a total of 18 horses and oxen. It seems unusual that the community had only 7 horses for 320 adults. Walking must have been the primary mode of transportation for the Sidler family. (Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid, Wikipedia, Ottenbach Municipality Website, see end of this post for charts)

Horses were indeed rare and expensive. Farmers therefore castrated the wild bulls (male cows) and made them into oxen to draw the plows, sometimes wagons. Often the oxen had also iron horse shoes. My ancestors were horse and black smiths and calvary men in the Swiss army. Only rich people, farmers had horses to ride or to draw the plow or wagons etc. The horses often belonged to the cantonal government and were lent to the farmers that served in the calvary. In other troops only the officers had horses. (Peter Bertschinger)

Most people had to walk by foot; you could not ride on an oxen or a cow. Official horse coach lines were rare and expensive. They normally did not walk far, maybe to the next village, and they rarely went to the big town (Zurich City), e.g. to get married in the famous Grossmünster. These rural communities were rather self sufficient and autonomous. May be the doctor or the pastor had a horse driven coach. (Peter Bertschinger)

At the beginning of the 19th century movement was largely along dirt roads and depended on horses or walking. Canals, some associated with the Industrial Revolution, existed in a few places, but movement along the canals was also dependent on animal power. It could take weeks to cross Europe. (University of Chicago Library)

Why did so many Sidler's stay in Ottenbach?
The Johannes Sidler line has about 117 direct line ancestors including children who lived in Ottenbach. To give this perspective Johannes had 29 direct line ancestors in Ottenbach, 7 in Zurich, 1 in Knonau, 2 in Bickwel, 2 in Erienbach, 2 in Ettenhausen, and 1 in Birr.  Why?

In the 19th century it was rare for people to move from their home village. German expert genealogist, Larry Jensen, did a year long study in Germany and found only 7 percent changed locations from 1500 to 1900. Why? Transportation was difficult because horses were expensive as stated. Most people traveled on foot and many stayed in their village most of their lives. Also once a person was born in a community the church was held responsible for the individual. If they moved away and got into debt their village took them back and worked out the problem. Even today in Switzerland a person's birth location is very important and citizens feel an allegiance to their village of origin. (Larry Jensen, 2019, genealogist)

What church did Johannes attend?

The Reformed branch of Protestantism in Switzerland started in Zürich in 1519 by Huldrych Zwingli.  He changes the country from Catholic to Protestant. Zwingli was killed in battle against Catholic forces from central Switzerland in 1531. Until the late 1870s, most cantonal reformed churches stopped prescribing any particular creed. Today 2 million Swiss citizens call this Evangelical Reformed Kirche theirs. When we visited Ottenbach in 2019 we observed a mid-week meeting in the rectory next to the Evangelical Reformed Church of Ottenbach. The rectory bulletin board displayed a wide variety of activities. (Wikipedia)

What was the weather like?
November and December can be foggy and rainy. The first snow can be expected around the beginning of December. More snow, which never stays for more than a couple of days, comes back in January which is normally the coldest month in Ottenbach.

Johannes Marriage/Children
Johannes had an older brother named Caspar born in 1772.  Caspar married Elisabetha Hegetschweiler in 1799. She gave birth to a still born child on 24 September 1800. Two days later Elisabetha died at age 23. Caspar and his second wife, Margaretha Berli, had three children. Caspar died in 1811 at 39.

Fourteen months later, when Johannes was 35 years old he had a child out of wedlock with his older brother's widow, Margaretha Berli. He fathered Hans Jakob Sidler on 14 September 1812. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 74 and Zurich Archives Family Record E III 88.19, S. 434 and E III 88.19 S. 550.)

Twelve years later at 47 Johannes married Susanna Jenta from Ettenhausen, Wetzikon Parish, Switzerland in 1824. Ettenhausen is 37 miles to the east of Ottenbach. You have to go all the way around Lake Zurich to get there. It is a long way. How Johannes and Susanna got together is anyone's guess. Maybe they met in Zurich when they were both there on business. (Archives Family Record E III 88.19, S. 434)

The Jenta's

Susanna's father Rudolf Jenta was a municipal councillor on the local council of Ettenhausen. Ettenhausen was politically a small separate community near Kempten that only in 1928 merged with Wetzikon. Therefore they needed a little Government Municipal council (some 4 or five representatives of the local families). Jenta family is not from here, they came from Germany. Susanna's great grandfather Conrad Jenta born 2 May 1698 came from Schmidmüllen, Oberpfalz, Bavaria. It was a commercial center due to its location on the Vils and Lauterach rivers, as well as the site of one of the largest hammer works in that era. t\ The crest for the city has a hammer and wheel.  Conrad was a Gerber or tanner of cowhides. He married Elisabeth Landis 11 December 1732 who was from Wengi, near Aegust am Albis near Affoltern am Albis, Canton of Zurich in the Church of Aeugst in 1732. The church was built in 1667, after the Reformation and during the Renaissance and  is five miles from Ottenbach. Susanna would later come back to the same area and marry Johannes. Most people in the 18th and 19 centuries married people from their community. Not Conrad and Elisabeth. From Schmidmüllen to Aeugst am Albis is 321 miles which is a long way back then when people traveled by walking or riding horses. How they met is a mystery.

The Jenta family first lived in Untermedikon on the west of the river. Untermedikon and Robank are part of Wetzikon in the West of a little river called Aa-Bach. This area early attracted industrial activities along this river.  So it is easy to imagine the first Jenta's coming there to tan cowhides into leather. The couple had two children Kaspar, Susanna's grandfather, in 1741 and Anna 1748. In Germany the name is also spelled as Jentha. Thus we can see Susanna was of German heritage. (Peter Bertschinger)

When Susanna's grandfather Kaspar was 10 years old  in 1751 the family became Swiss citizens in Ettenhausen. To do so they had to pay for it (buy-in). It normally takes some years after moving to a community that you can become citizen and you had to buy a house. The Jentas lived in one of the few houses west of the main cantonal street, probably a street today called Winkelstrasse. Susanna's grandfather Kaspar Jenta, became a Schulmeister or schoolmaster to teach the "dumb" farmer children in Ettenhausen. Kaspar and his wife Anna Wolfensberger had 7 children.

Ettenhausen School
Kaspar taught from 1767 to 1790 or 23 years. When Kaspar died in 1790 he son Johannes took over and taught from 1790 to 1828 or 38 years. That means that Susanna's uncle taught Susanna from the time she entered school until she left home. The school was held in Johannes's parlor from 1790 until 1809, at which time the first school building was built. School was held in that building until 1954.  When Johannes died in 1828 Susanna's uncle Johannes' son Heinrich took over and taught from 1828 until 1949 or 21 years.  (Jenta history researched by Peter Bertschinger, Full history, & photos of Ettenhausen by Peter Bertschinger, History of the municipality of Wetzikon)

What was school like for Susanna?
In 1799 schoolmaster Johannes Jenta reported on the conditions in the school which went into great detail on what school was like for his students. The agency over the school was the pastor of Wezikon. This wasn't a school just for Ettenhausen but included six small surrounding hamlets all 10 to 12 minutes away. Ettenhausen had far and away the largest number of students totaling 76 everyday students and 26 repeater students. The other hamlets made up 10 students and 7 repeaters. There were 85 High School Students in the summer. School was 6 hours a day. Most of the year they met daily but in summer they met only 2 days a week.  School began with prayer, then songs from the Schmidlischen Choral Songs, the Psalms of David, and Songs of the Christian hymn book. Children were divided into the following five classes. 1. Nammenbuchli, 2. Teacher, 3. Test Book U. Psalter, 4. Psalm Book and 5. Testament. The schoolmaster is examined by the Convent of Zurich for the pastor's presence and standstill , after the rehearsal, reading, writing, singing, The schoolmaster has a wife and 2 children. Students paid a small tuition of 20ß  and Johannes received 10 fl a year. The schoolmaster kept the school in his own room (parlour), from which he receives interest above school fees, approximately from the church property for Sunday school 5 fl. (Salutation: Ettenhausen. in March. 1799.  Greeting and brotherly love Schulmstr Jenta., Ettenhausen School report 1799,) (Notes for above: Stillstand - church overseers, also called Ehegaumer. They had to stand still after the sermon on Sunday and discuss with the pastor all the scandals that happened at their place/ 1 fl. is one Florin = one Gulden, used to be a piece of money, coin, quite valuable/1 ß is one shilling, a part of a florin like a dime/ The wood of the big Ettenhausen forests was necessary to heat the oven in the school house during winter season. Often the pupils had to bring a log to the school to heat./Namenbüchli was full of names, often from the Bible - the kids used it to learn the letters, i.e. to spell./Scheuchzer was a famous (rich family) in the City of Zurich. They sponsored a fund, to make possible the school in Ettenhausen, i.e. to pay the teacher).

The year Susanna was born, 1804. the civil community of Ettenhausen was formed with Rudolf on the council. The Municipality of Wetzikon asked some of the various village leaders to form a committee to provide services for local people in need. For the last few years services had not been provided. Included in the group of leaders from local village councils were Ulrich Kunz from Linkenberg, Jakob Grimm from Kempten and Rudolf Jenta, from Ettenhausen.  When Susanna was born her father Rudolf was 33 and her mother Elisabetha 30.  (History of Wetzikon,  Zurich Archives Wetzikon E lll 139.21 p 1734 and Wetzikon E lll 139.13 p 533)

The Jenta's go to Church
Susanna's parents Rudolf Jenta and Lisabeth Frei married in St. Peter's Church in Zurich. It is an unusual church. The church's steeple was and is owned by the city of Zürich, while the nave is owned by the St. Peter parish of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich. For many years the steeple was used as a fire lookout. The spot it is located on goes back to Roman times. It also has the largest clock face in Europe. It was out of the ordinary to be married 31 miles from home but that is what Rudolf and Lisabeth did. (Zuirch Archives E III 139.3, EDB 833, S. 479)

Because Ettenhausen was small they went to church in Wetzikon which is a mile and a half away. To get to the church Rudolf, Lisabeth and their children walked along a path today called Ettenhausweg or Kirchweg von Ettenhausen which means church path, south of the Lendenbach (Ländenbach). The Jenta's went to the Reformed Church of Wetzikon. 

When Susanna reached 18 she was confirmed into the Reformed Church.  That was the only church in 1822 in the Canton of Zurich. The parish priest entered information on her confirmation partly with Latin abbreviations. He wrote: Susanna Jenta, nata (born) 11. November 1804, ex. Weihe 1822, obit (died) 18. März 1858. Weihe means the confirmation procedure happened in the church with all members and parents, godparents present. This allowed Susanna to join the Abendmahl for the first time (symbol of the evening meal of Jesus Christ with his followers, or Last Supper), and  become full member of the church.

When she become 16 she probably went to Kinederlehre (Sunday lecture), which was after the normal sermon when the adults left the church. This was compulsory. She may have gone to Sonntagsschule (Sunday school) on Sunday mornings. In modern times there was a Konfirmationsessen (confirmation meal) in a nearby restaurant with your family and godfather and godmother. In Wetzikon that was normally the Löwen inn. From that point on the godparents are released from their function to support the child if they are orphaned. You would also receive a substantial gift at this event. For example I received my first wrist-watch from your god parents. Additionally, they would not give any more Christmas presents to you. We also had a Konfirmationslager (confirmation camp), in my case one week in the Canton of Ticino, a kind  of vacations with sports, walking, and touring and religious events. The pastor (reverend) came along as well - quite informal. (Peter Bertschinger)

Wetzikon belonged to the Canton of Zurcher Oberland. Zürcher Oberland ("Zurich highlands") in Switzerland, is the hilly south-eastern part of the canton of Zurich. In recent times Kempten, Ettenhausen and Wetzikon merged into Wetzikon. To become a city in Switzerland you need to have more than 10,000 inhabitants and Wetzikon has 25,000 today. This is the same canton Ottenbach is in. A new church building was built in 1897 which still stands today. Like most village churches in Switzerland the previous church had an entry, central hall, altar and clock tower and bells to give the time to the Jenta's as they went about their day. Today, as in years past, on the side of the church facing the entrance, is the Restaurant Löwen (lion) where the people go after the sermon, baptisms, marriages and when they bury their dead. Some things never change. (Peter Bertschinger, photo of the older Wetzikon church and Restaurant Löwen at end of this post)

Each family had a little garden in front of the house for vegetables. The garden had a fence around it to protect it from cows and other animals. They called it a Krautgarten. They also had some trees, normally walnut, apples and pears which they often made into cider. They were planted in the Baumgarten, or Bungert. They also had fields for potatoes. In the region everybody had a vineyard called a Weingarten or Wingart; also the wine was not so great, so sugar and sulphur was added to make it stable so you didn’t get head aches. There were also wheat fields for bread and straw was used for the stables.

The farms were mostly small, a few cows for milk and cream and butter. They often included a pig stable, some chicken for egg and meat etc. The meadows needed grass cuts, the first was Heu (hay) and the second in late summer called Emd. The hay was needed to feed the cows through winter. As said there were only few horses in a village, often the owners made transportation services (e.g. coach, wagons, to pull logs from the forest). The oxen were used to draw the wagons and the plow. In Ettenausen there was a swamp with frogs. The swamp material was used for the stables. They also cut Torf, or rotten earth, dried it, and used it to warm the oven. The forest provided the heating materials and building materials.

Just before and during Susanna's lifetime
During the French Revolutionary Wars, the French army invaded Switzerland and turned it into an ally known as the "Helvetic Republic" (1798–1803). It had a central government with little role for cantons. The interference with localism and traditional liberties was deeply resented, although some modernizing reforms took place. (Wikipedia.)

Napoleon and his enemies fought numerous campaigns in Switzerland that ruined many localities. It proclaimed the equality of citizens before the law, equality of languages, freedom of thought and faith; it created a Swiss citizenship, basis of our modern nationality, and the separation of powers, of which the old regime had no conception; it suppressed internal tariffs and other economic restraints; it unified weights and measures, reformed civil and penal law, authorized mixed marriages (between Catholics and Protestants), suppressed torture and improved justice; it developed education and public works. (William Martin)

Ettenhausen Census
Two years after Susanna was born, in 1806, they took a census and found 434 inhabitants or 119 households in Ettenhausen.  At least they had a primary school where three Jenta's taught. Susanna was the sixth of 13 children. Her mother, Elisabeth Frei, died when Susanna was 12. About 9 months later her father married Margaretha Huber and together they added the 13th child. Susanna had a brother named Heinrich born 1808 who was a silk weaver. Susanna Jenta was born in 1804, 14 years after her schoolteacher grandfather Kaspar died. (Peter  Bertschinger and Zurich Archives Wetzikon E lll 139.21 p 1734 and Wetzikon E lll 139.13 p 533)

Weaving Silk

Established as early as the 14th century, the industry enjoyed a boom in the 17th century, and in the 19th century silk factories sprang up in rural areas, particularly on the left bank of the Lake of Zurich. From 1840 to 1900 the trade was the most important processing industry in the Canton of Zurich. In the 1850s and 1860s Zurich grew into the second largest silk producer in the world, famous all over the globe for black taffeta and bolting cloths for sifting flour. Heinrich has plenty of work and must have been very successful. (Zurich's Silk Industry or

Two Interesting Men
Two of the most interesting people on this family tree or any tree are Susanna’s father and father-in-law. First of all they had the same name: Rudolf. The name is of Ancient Germanic origin meaning “fame”, “glory” and olf meaning “wolf.”  Both men were civic leaders, Jenta on a village council, Sidler as a village policeman.  In 1900 Jenta lived in a village of 434 inhabitants with 119 households. Sidler lived in a village of about 900 people and 200 households. Both grew up and lived out their lives in small Swiss villages. Jenta lived to 51.5, Sidler lived to 58 and 9 mo. (Our World Data, Wikipedia Ottenbach)

Childhood Mortality 
Susanna's in-laws Rudolf Sidler and Elisabetha Sidler had 15 children. Nine lived to adulthood and married. Susanna’s parents Rudolf Jenta and Lisabeth Frei had twelve children and one more with Mary Huber making thirteen. Seven lived to adulthood and married. Rudolf Jenta died 1 year 4 months after his last child was born leaving 30 year old Mary Huber with 7 children from 20 years old to 1 year four months to raise. Strange as it may seem, even though Rudolf Jenta married at 21 and had a large family he died two years before any of them married so he never saw any of his children marry and never saw a grandchild. The reason for this is because his first child, Barbara, died at 20.5 and his next three died in infancy. Rudolf Sidler also never saw any of his three girls marry or saw any grandchildren. The reason is because didn't begin  having his family until he was 48 and only lived to 57. Even his illegitimate son Jakob didn't start to have grandchildren until five years after Johannes' death. Compared to today, life was difficult for these strong Swiss. They were aquatinted with a lot of death. 

We often see that from the age 20 years on, when marriage was allowed by the church, the parents had least one child every year, often stillborn. The rule for naming was that the godparents gave their first name to the child,. For example if a child named Barbara died, they continued the name until one survived the first years. From this Julius Billeter concluded that a child died young and noted a "dy" by their name. On average these big farmer families had about two boys and two girls that made it to adulthood and most of them got married. (Peter Bertschinger,)

If a woman died after the birth of a child (this was a dangerous process because of infections), her younger sister stepped in as new wife, or replacement. The husband (here farmer in the country) absolutely needed a wife to look after the children and farm house (cooking etc.). So he normally got remarried a second, or third time within a few months; later a one year period was recommended. Often these wives were widows themselves. So there was constant giving births and dying on the farms, similar to what happened in the stable with the animals. Death was seen as natural. Only medicine and hygienic measures lowered the infant and childhood mortality rate. However, there were very bad pestulenza waves in the 17th century in our regions. Many villages lost 30 to 40% of the population. (Peter Bertschinger)

Susanna was 27 years younger than Johannes. They married  23 December 1824 and had their first child, Barbara, 3 months 5 days later. Barbara was not considered illegitimate because her parents were married when she was born. Susanna's father died two years previously and her mother 8 years before so they were not there to share in the happy events. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler by Julius Billeter, page 74 and Zurich Archives Family Record E III 88.19, S. 434 )

The district doctor in Ottenbach, at the time, was Jakob Hegetschweiler a relative of the Sidler family. He was born in Ottenbach 1792 and died in 1845 at 53 which was a common age to live at the time. Most likely he delivered Johannes' three girls namely: Barbara 1825, Anna 1827, and Susanna in 1832. Susanna was delivered in Maschwanden, which is 3.7 miles south of Ottenbach. Susanna’s mother's maiden name was Frei and many in the Frei family are found in Maschwanden so she most likely was visiting a relative when she gave birth. Dr. Hegetschweiler was later honored with a grave marker/plaque on the side of the Ottenbach Reformed Church for providing the community with a Retirement Home. The privilege of being remembered in this way is costly and only available for the noble and/or rich. The marker has been preserved and can be seen today. (See headstone below, Translation of headstone on Ottenbach Kirche by Kent Gardiner, 2019, Susanna birth place found on microfilm 008126955 page 307) (Note: Maschwanden definition: Schwanden means the land was gained by pealing the trees so they would dry out and can be burned. Mano is a German first name, so it was an Allemanic guy that conquered that land (forest) in about 700 to 800 after Christ.) (Note: Jakob Hegetschweiler's father was Johannes Hegetschweiler 1710 -  1774. Billeter says he was a "Surgeon, Leutenant, Captain. Famous fracture and cut wound doctor." There were no war activities from 1710 to 1774 in Switzerland.  But there were cantonal militia troops, and he seemed to be a Sanitäts-Hauptmann (medical captain) likely assigned to Zurich troops
He lived almost his whole life during the famine of 1710 - 1772 when Zurich enforced potato cultivation in all rural communities.) (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, pages 167 and 158; Ottenbach Municipality Website)

What did the Sidler's eat?
In Switzerlandbreakfast typically includes bread, butter or margarine, marmalade or honey, maybe some cheese or cereals, plus milk, cold or hot chocolate, tea or coffee. Lunch may be as simple as a sandwich or  birchermüesli or the sandwich could be a complete meal. (Food in Switzerland)

Corn and beans were common, along with pork. In the north, cows provided milk, butter, and beef, while in the south, where cattle were less common, venison and other game provided meat. Preserving food in 1815, before the era of refrigeration, required smoking, drying, or salting meat. The Swiss have been big meat-eaters ever since the 19th century when consumption started to rise. One can imagine Susanna cooking up lots of corn, beans and bread for her three girls.

Johannes the Tailor
When Johannes was 18, Ottenbach took the 1795 census. Beside his name it says "Schneider ist zu Affoltern is wieder zu hause" which translated says he was a tailor in Affoltern but is again (wieder...again) in the house (of Rudolf). (1795 Ottenbach Haushaltungsrodel, image 197 film 8126955)

In the 1700s most people made their own clothing using natural items such as wool, flax, or animal hides. They grew the flax plant to make the linen thread and raised sheep for the wool. A spinning wheel was used to make thread from the wool or flax which was then woven into fabric or knitted into socks, hats, scarves, or mittens. (Ferree Reunion Website)

Elias Howe didn't invent the sewing machine until 1846, and Isaac Singer's version didn't come about until 1850. So Johannes sewed by hand. In the early 19 century people made do with one outfit for every day, one for Sunday best, and perhaps one other, or parts of another, for seasonal change. With so many weaving looms in Ottenbach it is easy to see that fabric was plentiful. Early dye colors were made from plant parts-leaves, stems and blossoms of woods and meadow flowers; roots, barks, and nut hulls.  Making garments by hand took time.  In the countryside tailors made clothes by hand at affordable prices using cheap cloth, and even then purchasing clothes was relatively expensive compared to the average income of a poor person. From the middle ages to the 18th-century, tailors created their patterns with methods that were trade secrets. They were not shared with apprentices until a master tailor handed over his business to someone who had bought it. One can imagine Johannes sitting in a little shop with cloth, patterns and thread all around. He looks at his list of project for the day,  picks up a large scissors and begins cutting. (Gentleman's Gazette

Did Johannes interact with government?
The Swiss got rid of Nobility very early by burning their castles. In the bigger cities the Nobility became the heads of professional guilds (Zunftmeister). We have a Bertschinger branch in the City of Zurich which were prominent in the Zunft zu Schiffleuten (shippers). They made up the the grosser Rat (big council) and Bürgermeister  or city mayors from Zürich. The guild were organizing the trades, professions and worked like a cartel. Tradesmen of the countryside or Zürich Land were not allowed to perform services in the City. Farmers had to buy and sell products at the regular city markets controlled and taxed by the City government. For example the grain market was held every Friday, which resulted in published price quotes. (Peter Bertschinger)

All this is celebrated every year in Spring called Sechseläuten Day. St. Peter church rings the bell at six o'clock in the evening. Then the Bögg  or large snowman made out of wood is burned on a big bonfire and Spring is announced. Still today the guilds show their costumes and Trachten, or the noble patricians, come on horses. This is a big festival in Zurich broadcasted by Swiss TV. (Peter Bertschinger)

During their lifetime:
1830 Pastor Locher obtains the construction of the first poorhouse in Ottenbach.
(Ottenbach Municipality Website)

Johannes died at 57 in 1834. At the time his son Jakob was 22, and the girls were Barbara, 14, Anna 9 and Susanna just 2. So that left Susanna, like her own stepmother, at 30 to raise the children.  What did she do? The community had jobs in spinning, weaving or she may have followed her tailor husband and made clothing. Her daughter, Susanna, could have learned the trade of seamstress from her own mother. In any case she was the sole provider to her three girls and maybe one stepson. (Note: The Zurich Archives family register lists Jakob as part of the family. We don't know if that means he was raised solely by Johannes or if there was another arrangement.)

Johannes's daughter, Anna Sidler, has a child out of wedlock in 1847 naming her Anna Hegetschweiler. Emma Bachman Scholl reports Anna's father first name as Jakob. A year or so before her birth the free-corps (citizens wanting freedom) are destroyed which shakes all liberal Switzerland like a thunderbolt. Everywhere the liberals are scoffing and cursing the free-corps. The ferment of a second insurrection was already at work in the free-bailiwicks of Aargau, but when the troops of Zurich, suddenly ordered out by the Diet, unexpectedly crossed the Reuss from Ottenbach, and the roll of their drums was heard near Muri, the reawakened desires were at once extinguished. ( Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 89 and The History of Switzerland, for the Swiss People By Heinrich Zschokke, Emil Zschokke and)

In Lamstedt, Hannover, Germany the percentage of children born out of wedlock went from 13% from 1701 - 1770 to 44.7% from 1851 - 1900. When a child was born out of wedlock sometimes the pastor would enter their birth information upside down. It also became difficult for the child to find employment. (Research of Larry Jensen, 2019, genealogist)

During Anna Hegetschweilder's childhood:
1847 Separation of Obfelden and Ottenbach: The five hamlets are merged into the political community Obfelden, the mill and Rickenbach (an area nearby) remains at Ottenbach.
1847 The Sonderbund War of November 1847 was a civil war in Switzerland, then still a relatively loose confederacy of cantons. It ensued after seven Catholic cantons formed the Sonderbund in 1845 to protect their interests against a centralization of power. The war concluded with the defeat of the Sonderbund.
1850, In the early 1850s some 60% of the population still worked in the agricultural sector. By 1888, with the industrial revolution the share had fallen to 36%,
1854 - 1864, the rail network grew from 38 to 1,300 km. (Switzerland in the 19th century - EDA)(Wikipedia and Ottenbach Municipality website)

A year after Anna Hegetschweiler was born, in 1848 public opinion, was ready for a new Federal Constitution combining elements of the U.S. constitution (Federal State with central and cantonal [state] governments and parliaments) and of French revolutionary tradition. The Principles of this constitution are still valid today. (A Timeline of Switzerland's History)

Four of Johannes' Family Join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Twenty-two years after Johannes died and two years before Susanna Jenta died four members of Johannes's family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the 19th century converts of the Church in Ottenbach were baptized in the River Reuss and this is the most likely place for their baptisms. In fact the Church membership records often states the name of a river as the place of baptism. Two of Johannes' daughters and two of his grandchildren joined:

First to join in Bachman and Sidler lines
1. Anna Sidler age 29 born 4 February 1827 in Ottenbach baptized 1 January 1856 in Ottenbach by D Bonnelli, confirmed H Bar. (Note: Anna was the first in our family line to join the church in both the Sidler and Bachman families. Anna and her child died from the impact of a canon ball at age 35 in the Morrisite War, UT.) (page 21 microfilm 128145, Emma Scholl, History of Anna Hegetschweiler)

Three months later:
2. Verena Sidler age 19, born 5 March 1837, oldest daughter of Jakob Sidler born 1812 baptized 30 March 1856 by D Bonnelli, confirmed H Bar. (Note: Verena's father Jakob Sidler lived with Barbara, Anna and Susanna because he was their half brother. Verena is Johannes granddaughter.) (page 21 microfilm 128145)

Three months later:
3. Susanna Sidler age 23, born 15 December 1832, baptized 6 July 1856 in the Sihl River, by H. Hug, confromed by H. Bar,  (page 22 film 128145)

4. Anna Hegetschweiler age 8, born 29 September 1847, baptized 6 July 1856 in the Sihl River by H Hug and confirmed by H Hug. (Note: The Sihl is a  45 mile long Swiss river that rises near the Druesberg mountain in the canton of Schwyz, and eventually flows into the Limmat river in the centre of the city of Zürich. Heinrich Hug converted and was baptized with several of his family on 31 January 1853 by the pioneer missionary in that part of Switzerland, George Mayer.)

During their lives:
Persecutions in Zurich and surrounding areas continued to grow as described by Elder William S. Budge (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) who labored with elder Mayer in Weiningen a small village outside Zurich where the following incident took place about 8 o'clock in the evening while brother Henry Hug had gone to baptize two persons a crowd gathered around the house howling and swearing at us. They forced open window shutters … and entered where they were met by two or three of the Hug boys who endeavored to persuade them to leave… the mob being in search of Elder Mayer and myself … several men …dragged me to the door/ The brethren … made an effort and succeeded in rescuing me when a general fight began seven or eight persons against fifty who composed the mob. At this stage a small light … was extinguished … Sister Ragula Hug immediately whispered … to follow hero her. I did so and by some crowding we reached the doorway when a man got hold of me by the hair I quickly gave him a thrust in the stomach with my elbow … I ran from the house …decided to walk to Zurich where I arrived about 2 o’clock in the morning my body bruised, my head uncovered and my clothes very much torn.

Knowing the situation to be dangerous but not willing to forsake the Zurich saints Budge returned to Weiningen where he was arrested and marched eight miles at gunpoint to Zurich where he was imprisoned. (Hyrum L Andrus, Mormonism Mormonism and the rise of Western Civilization and the second American Revolution Era of  Preparation, Brigham Young University Extension 1966 p. 3)

For the next five years (Heinrich) Hug roamed the Protestant cantons, they were not admitted into the Catholic ones, in search of converts keeping a careful and complete record of the 201 souls he was able to bring into the fold. Because he had traveled as a missionary for four years, Heinrich knew virtually every member in Switzerland. By 1858 he was permitted to leave and led a group of Swiss Saints to Utah a year later, settling for the time being in Salt Lake City in 1860 prior to the call to southern Utah.) (page 22  microfilm 128145, Dialogue V26N04_125.pdf)

Susanna's Death
Susanna was a witness to the conversions of her two daughters and two grandchildren. Two years later Susanna Jenta Sidler, daughter, wife, and dedicated mother died in 1858 in Ottenbach at age 53 years 4 months. Most likely her three girls and 11 year old granddaughter Anna Hegetschweiler were present, as they lived in the home. Susanna was 53 and had lived without her husband Johannes for 24 years. Susanna was buried in the Ottenbach churchyard. Due to lack of space Swiss graves are now emptied after about 25 years and tombstones removed and destroyed or recycled. So her exact spot of burial is unknown. But one can still walk the churchyard and remember Susanna Jenta Sidler and how she and Johannes walked hand in hand with their children for services, baptisms, weddings and burials. One can think of the 24 years she supported her girls and the toil and strife of being a sole support. She had been their rock. It must have been a bright spring day on March 18th 1858 when her three girls, one stepson, his wife and her six grandchildren stood next to her grave to bid her a tearful farewell. Susanna Jenta, sweet daughter, wife, and mother, had gone to meet her maker.

Two years after Susanna died:
Johannes' 2 daughters and One Granddaughter Emigrate to America. Friday March 30, 1860, Anna Sidler, her daughter, Anna Hegetschweiler, her sister, Susanna Sidler and Suzanna's husband Labrecht Bar, sailed from Liverpool on the ship Underwriter. (Swiss passports from Zurich Archives and Page 208 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 )

Starting on our journey across the plains or American Desert Brother Disam, a Swiss, helped us to continue our journey from New York. He bought 4 teams. I drove one, was to pay him after we arrived in the valley. This I agreed to do. Our train consisted of 35 wagons with 2 or 3 yoke of cattle to each. 8 wagons belonged to the Swiss. We proceeded fairly well until on a very hot day the cattle with their tongues hanging out with thirst about noon we reached Platte river where we watered our cattle. (Journal of Lebrecht Bar)

Once in America they traveled in a group of 249 individuals and 36 wagons. They began their journey from the outfitting post at Florence, Nebraska (now Omaha). The company departed 14-17 June 1860. (Pioneer Overland Travel Database, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.)

1862 After arriving in Utah they joined the Morrisites in Weber County. Anna and her baby are killed in the Morrisite War by a canon ball. Anna's daughter Anna Hegetschweiler who is 12 watches as her mother and stepsister are buried. (Anna Hegetschweiler's daughter, Emma Scholl wrote a handwritten 100 page legal size history of her mother and herself which includes details of Anna Sidler's death. More research needs to be done on what happened to Susanna Sidler.)

What happened to Johannes' 2 children who didn't emigrate?
Johannes oldest daughter Barbara was born on 18 March 1825 and married Jakob Berli on December 3, 1854 when she was almost 30. Jakob was eleven years younger. (Temple Record Sidler and Hegetschweiler, by Julius Billeter, page 74 and page 867 film 8126955, Barbara Sidler/Jokob Berli's marriage)

Johannes oldest son Jakob born 1812 married Anna Sidler born 1811 from Ottenbach. They had five children Verena born 5 March 1837 (joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on 30 March 1856), Barbara born 17 June 1842 (had an illegitimate son named Jakob), Anna 12 December 1844, Lizabeth 8 December 1846 and Johannes born 20 March 1854.  Jakob died in 1869 and Anna died at 85 on 19th January 1900 which is a record in the Sidler family. (Zurich Archives E III 88.19, S. 550)

Ottenbach in the 19th century
As long as the Sidlers were in Ottenbach the ferry took people across the Reuss. With the opening of the new Reuss Bridge in August 1864, the centuries-long ferry service in Ottenbach was discontinued. (Wilfried Leutert, 100 years pontoon driving club Ottenbach 1888-1988, Letzi- Druck-Ottenbach - village on the Reuss Zurich)

Miracles and Acknowledgments
1.  On August 29, 2018 I emailed the Zurich Archives asking for information on Johannes Sidler and Susanna Jenta. They emailed back the next day that they had no information. But a person who happened to be sitting there did have some.  Andreas Sidler, who has the same Sidler Ancestors we do, was visiting the Archives that day and he gave the Archives two documents which they sent me. If he was not there that day I would have figured they had nothing and moved on.

Andreas Sidler lives in Wetzikon in the Zurich Oberland where the Jenta family is from.. For many years he and his Brazilian partner visited the Zurich Archives. At the time you could see the original parish registers and his partner took photos of them while he worked on the family line. He sent me a great deal of information.

2. In 2018 my wife Deborah told me she wanted to visit Austria where her Brunner line came from. I told her that she would have to do some research first to get value out of the trip. A few months later, totally out of the blue, Rainer Patek of Austria uploaded 7 generations of Brunner's onto FamilySearch. That helped us decided to take a trip to Europe.  Visiting Ottenbach made the Sidler history come alive. Walking the streets, seeing the Reuss, photographing storks roosting on the Church roof was amazing. In my minds's eye I saw Susanna and Johannes walking down those streets.

3. After I started working on this project I looked up the Jenta line on Ancestry Trees. I found a family tree with amazing detail and emailed the owner. From there I discovered Peter and Heidi Bertschinger. Peter's ancestors Mathias and Anna Bertschinger, came to Kempten, Wetzikon, in 1678 and bought the Taverne Ochsen (Ox) there. This is where Andy and his wife live today.  Peter has known Andy for many years and he met Andy's Brazilian partner there as well. He and Andy were often in the Staatsarchiv Zurich on Saturday mornings. Unfortunately they discontinued this service on Saturday mornings to save personnel costs. Peter, is a retired CPA who has lived in Denver and visited SLC and BYU, knows the Jenta history and what live was like in the early 1900. Also in November I paid Therese a Swiss researcher to look up the Jenta records in the Zurich Archives. 

4. Before Anna Hegetschweiler died in 1921 she asked her daughter, Emma Scholl, to do the temple work for her ancestors. After Anna died Emma took her inheritance and paid Julius Billeter to research her family history.  Other family members also donated to this effort. The following is one of 6 books Julius Billeter produced. 

TEMPLE RECORD SIDLER AND HEGETSCHWEILER, Title page: The Sidler, Hegetschweiler of Ottenbach & surroundings, Zurich, Switzerland hardbound typed book contains 3,333 names on  228 pages. It includes family relationships, births, marriages, deaths and some professions typed with colored lines and headings. It spans from 1545 to 1846 mainly in Ottenbach AG. Compiled by Julius Billeter 1922. Kept and annotated by Emma Bachman Scholl with temple dates. Julius Billeter, Genealogists. June 1922

5. It is amazing what you can find on the internet. When I find a document in German I use DeepL to translate. Wikipedia has been very helpful for general information on Swiss History. Old German documents are written in Kurrent which is difficult to read. I am working on reading Kurrent.

A very nice colored postcard which was sent by a family called Berchtold and Marie Boller-Berchtold to somebody (see reverse with post stamp). The Boller and Berchtold families do do stem (have not been citizens) of Otttenbach nor Knonauer Amt. Maybe they visited somebody there.

The postcard was manufactured in Zurich or Germany at around 1920 (there were no colored photographs there yet and therefore they had to design the main buildings manually in drawings that they colored) and sold by Verlag J.(ohannes ?) Leutert, probably a stationery shop in Ottenbach. They mentioned that their was Schmiede (smith shop) in Ottenbach for example in the year 1648.

This is possible i.e. not unlikely because the Leutert family has been known in Ottenbach since 1396 in nearby Merenschwand (Aargau), 1618 in Hausen am Albis, Knonauer Amt, in 1623 a Hans Leuthard (we pronounce Lüütert) married in Ottenbach Barbara Meyer von Toussen, Ottenbach. (Peter Bertschinger)

Note: A Johannes Leuthert was born in 1809 in Ottenbach and no doubt knew Johannes and Susanna. He had 8 children and died in 1869. 

In 1900 there are 1,107 homes in Ottenbach which means this 1900 map is not accurate in homes displayed.
(Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid)

Ottenbach Reformed Kirche:

The church tower with the typical Kasbissen (slice of cheese) roof was built
around 1485, the nave of the church Ottenbach is even older.

Dr. Jakob Hegetschweiler marker on the side of the Ottenbach Church. 2019

Dr Hans Jakob Hegetschweiler family from Julius Billeter:

Johannes Sidler b 1777

  Johannes Sidler 1777

The family register from Ottenbach, volume 1, 1712 - 1858 (signature E III 88.19)

1801 January 17 Death of Rudolf Sidler b 1742

Rudolf Sidler 1795 Ottenbach Haushaltungsrodel, image 197 film 8126955)
See notes next to Johannes's name

Rudolf Sidler 1742

Rudolf Sidler married 1768

Rudolf Sidler born 1742

Rudolf Sidler 1795 (Haushaltungsrodel, Ottenbach image 197 film 8126955 FHL)

Hans Kaspar Sidler 1705

Jakob Sidler 1665

birth 1665

Hans Rudolf Sidler Family 1670 census Ottenbach

Verena Haberling born 1670

Verena Haberling death 1728

Jakob Sidler and Jagli Haberling married 1690

Jakob Sidler death 1741

Hans Rudolf Sidler 1635

Hans Rudolf Sidler birth 1635

Hans Rudolf Sidler family

Hans Rudolf Sidler died 1710

Margaretha Grob Sidler died 1683

Margaretha Grob born 1683

Jakob Sidler 1608

Jacob Sidler born 1698

Jacob Sidler and Verena Urmi married 1629

Johannes Sidler 1583 and Katharina Kleiner 1584

Kathrina Kleiner died 1627

Johannes Sidler 1568 and Magdalena Stalin 1568

Population increase over time:

Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid

Population 1643 - 1742

Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid

Population of Ottenbach according to the Ottenbach Municipality Website:
146722 Households
Animals in Ottenbach:

Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid
Native beliefs and denominations of the inhabitants of ottenbach 1836 to 1985
Ottenbach Told by Bernard Schnider and Salomon Schneider and Erika Schmid

Ottenbach Coat of Arms, symbol: "In silver a standing black cock
with red comb, red neck and feet."

Church, parsonage and former schoolhouse 1985
The church tower with the typical Kasbissen roof was built around 1485, the nave of the church Ottenbach is even older. 

Interior of Kirche Ottenbach:

Ottenbach Kirche exterior, interior and bells:

The Jenta's hometown.
Old hand-painted view kars from the village of Ettenhausen, around 1910,
right below: school building at the corner Ringwilerstrasse / Hinwilerstrasse (Hauptstrasse) top left: Restaurant zur Traube with bakery and gazebo, carriage horse and cart bottom left: View of the village Ettenhausen from Kempten / Wetzikon, view to the Bachtelwith tower), left in the picture Wirtshaus zum Leuen, at that time still with stairs, right of the main street old fire brigade building with hose tower top right: a gas-powered street lamp can be seen, electricity was not connected until 1912.

Colored picture postcard, about 1910, in the middle the multi-storey factory building Rosenthal, in the Background Wetzikon, bottom right as a separate representation Restaurant Traube with specialty shop / Bakery, to the right the schoolhouse. One of the landlords was Walter Sidler, baker and landlord, later the Vogelbacher families until 1968 and Peter from 1968 to 1999.
Wetzipedia, Wartmann

Old Ettenhausen Schoolhouse 1809 - 1954
The community of Ettenhausen was initially to Oberwetzikon, since 1673 to Kempten. Swiss school. Due to the long journey to school, a separate school was granted in 1711, due to the of foundations and bequests, an own schoolmaster could be employed, who would in his parlour. The first school building was only built in 1809, demolished in 1954 or was replaced by consumption. See below
W146, W575, BF 176, Wartmann

Since 1673 Ettenhausen was a member of a school in Kempten. However, this condition did not appeal to the church members there and after only a few years they demanded their own school.

On 22 November 1711, the Etttenhausen civil-game community was granted its own school by the Education Council in Zurich in Adoration of the numerous schoolchildren there. On December 9, Joos Sporri was appointed as the first schoolmaster. As elsewhere (e.g. in Bauma, where the schoolmasters antenten Wartmann from 1678 - 1828) also in Ettenhausen the school was held in the living room of the schoolmaster. The schoolmaster was kept in the living room of the schoolmaster. The schoolmaster in Ettenhausen did not receive a fixed income like the schoolmasters of Oberwetzikon and Kempten. 

In the year 1714, the brothers Johannes and Konrad Scheuchzer made a large legacy in Zurich for religious reasons (Christian duty) to improve old schools in need of mines in the Zurich landscape. The schoolmaster of Ettenhausen also benefited from the annual interest on the legacy.

In 1809, the Civil Community built a simple school building with a teacher's number and a boiler room.

The schoolhouse was demolished in 1954 dare a consumer new building

Upstairs was a room for the teacher

This small school house was apparently built in 1809 and removed in 1954 when the Konsumverein food shop was built there, today this building is used as Kindergarten. It is at left side at the beginning of Ringwilerstrasse.

Church for the Jenta's
All Jenta ancestors were baptized, married and buried in this reformed church of Wetzikon. A new church building was built in 1897 which still stands today.

Swiss Clothing:

History of Swiss police 

The Kantonalpolizei was established in 1804 named the Landjäger-Corps des Kantons Zürich, in reaction to the civil unrest known as the Bockenkrieg. The KZ is the legally responsible police force for the municipalities in the canton of Zürich, including the Stadtpolizei Zürich for the City of Zürich, for matters pertaining to cantonal law. (Zurich police)

Did Rudolf Sidler wear a uniform?

'Landjäger' around 1800.
Swiss national museum

'Landjäger' from Solothurn, around 1813.
Swiss national museum

Wetzikon Kirche where many of the Jenta's were confirmed, married and buried.

Wetzikon Reformed Church, 2015

The Jentas probably dined at the Gasthof zum Ochsen in Kempten which is 20 minutes walking distance of Ettenhausen:

Gasthaus (also called Gasthof, Landhaus, or Pension) is a German-style inn or tavern with a bar, a restaurant, banquet facilities and hotel rooms for rent. Gasthäuser are typically found in smaller towns and are often family-owned