Thursday, March 5, 2020


1.  On August 29, 2018 I emailed the Zürich 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 Zürich Oberland where the Jenta family is from.. For many years he and his Brazilian partner visited the Zürich 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 Zürich 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 Zürich 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, Zürich, 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.