March 23, 2023

I just lately visited Langnau, Bern, Switzerland and spent two days immersed in all issues Langenegger. My spouse and I arrived on the Langnau rail station on June 25, 2004, exhausted from a protracted flight from San Francisco. As we left the practice station we had been instantly struck by the distinctive character of this space.

Outdoors the practice station are the remnants of a cobblestone road, now patched by asphalt. In all places we regarded had been lovely Swiss homes and german genealogists for rent buildings – a lot of them a whole lot of years outdated – and all colorfully embellished with pink and pink begonias positioned in flower bins beneath every window. As we discovered later, the Emmental can also be a wonderland of coated bridges, pleasant folks, church spires with Swiss clocks and chimes, tinkling cow bells – every little thing you anticipate Switzerland to be.

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

After we settled into our room on the Landgasthof Lodge Adler, the proprietor kindly invited us to a brief journey into the countryside the place we noticed extra lovely homes and pastures. After we returned we requested a couple of locals within the lodge restaurant in regards to the Langenegger farm they usually had an excellent chortle. Seems that there are a variety of Langeneggers there and we didn’t know the identify of the individuals who lived within the authentic home that we got here to see.

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

The birds woke us as much as splendidly inexperienced world that’s Langnau in the summertime. We loved an exquisite breakfast of home made bread and jelly offered by our host, Stephen. We hoped to attend church, however discovered that our data was incorrect and arrived too early. As an alternative we began our strolling tour of Langnau early. Langnau is a small city and we walked all the important streets by about midday once we took a break for lunch to share a small cheese tart and an apple pastry from a small store close to the middle of city. By that point, the native museum had opened. It’s housed in one of many oldest homes in Langnau and is a good alternative to go searching inside considered one of these magnificent buildings and see all the fancy joinery performed by the builders. It is usually an excellent museum with quite a few everlasting and rotating displays that depict the historical past of Langnau and its residents.

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

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

Simply as we approached the lengthy driveway to the Langenegger home, two girls got here up from the river and considered one of them spoke English. She instructed us that we had been in the proper place and that the Langenegger household did stay right here. She provided to escort us to the proper home amongst a bunch of a number of homes and buildings positioned on the property. With a cheery German “Woo hoo” she referred to as out to the folks inside and launched us to my ninth cousin who lives in the home the place Ulrich Langenegger Senior was born in 1664 (the identical one talked about within the e-book that immigrated to Pennsylvania).

Our new-found cousins had been gracious and greeted us warmly despite the fact that we simply confirmed up on their doorstep after over 250 years and not using a Christmas card! We had a brief dialog in regards to the household and seen a number of the data that they’d there. Coincidentally, the couple’s sister-in-law subsequent door was in Pennsylvania to attend a Longenecker reunion whereas we had been in Langnau. We exchanged contact data in order that we are able to comply with up with them with data we discover that may be helpful to them. They kindly provided us a cool drink from their properly earlier than we took a brief stroll across the farm to get some pictures. The cows had been within the barn because it was unseasonably sizzling that day. Milk from their cows is offered right into a coop of native farmers that makes it into cheese. In case you are on the lookout for some genuine Langenegger cheese, search for the Emmentaler kind as that’s what they make there. It’s offered within the US as merely Swiss cheese – the sort with holes in it. I have to admit that it tasted a lot better in Langnau than in California.

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

The roof is steep by US requirements however not as steep as I anticipated in an space that will get a lot of snow. Most roofs within the space are tile and embody a collection of brackets german genealogists for rent about six inches excessive that maintain the snow within the winter in order that it doesn’t all fall down at one time. Some buildings had an easier system with just one set of brackets close to the underside of the roof that held a 4 inch pipe working all the size of the home – apparently for a similar goal because the brackets on different buildings. As well as, this method most likely makes use of the snow to insulate the roof from the chilly. One other attention-grabbing factor about some roofs and homes – the builders typically put their initials and the date of development on the roof through the use of totally different coloured tiles. Others painted this data below the eaves or on the face of the constructing below the eaves.

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

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

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

In case you are researching this space, no family tree data is available in Langnau. The data workplace has data from 1886, however doesn’t launch it with out permission of the individuals talked about within the data and the fees to take action are very excessive. You should have a lot better luck in Bern the place a lot of the Swiss data are held. There’s virtually at all times somebody round that speaks English and the data places of work are not any exception. The data are neither computerized nor listed – however they’re very neatly categorized by location and time frames. You’ll need to inform them precisely who, the place, and whenever you need to look with a view to get the proper microfilm. Then it’s an old school search looking by way of data written alongside time in the past utilizing unfamiliar kinds and letters. Lockers are positioned outdoors the workplace within the hallway and you’ll have to depart your backpack, purse, and so on. there. It’s free and safe.

The Archives de I’Etat de Berne is positioned at Falkenplatz 4, CH-3012 Berne close to the primary railroad station. It was straightforward to search out the third time I attempted. The rail station is giant and busy and on a number of ranges. Find the elevators on one finish of the station and take all of them the best way to the highest. If in case you have bother, comply with the scholars and the indicators to the college with a view to discover the elevators. As soon as you might be on the prime, go towards the campus – the one manner you’ll be able to go actually – and cross between two giant university-looking buildings. Falkenplatz 4 is the primary constructing on the proper after you cross by way of the campus space. There’s a small road stand simply throughout the small park the place the scholars congregate for an inexpensive and good sandwich – get there early as they run out of sandwiches shortly after midday. The workplace is open from 8:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to five:00 each weekday besides Friday when it closes at 4:30. If you wish to verify earlier than going, their telephone numbers are 031/633 51 01, fax 031/633 51 02. Copies are one Swiss Frank per web page – so take alongside loads of money with the intention to get every little thing you need. You possibly can simply spend 50 franks in a single afternoon relying on the data you need. I didn’t have time, however you may additionally need to try these sources offered by the museum in Langnau . . .