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Code H Lineage


Information from Rene Schürch, Swiss Schürch Family Historian Compiled by Newsletter Editors.

At last! The link between Code H Caspar Schürch and other known Swiss Schürchs was found in 2003 after years of searching.

In August of 2003 Rene Schürch, Swiss Historian, announced that he had been able to make the long sought connection using his own data along with new information about the Brechbühl collateral family, sent to him by U.S. Historian, Tom Sherk, of Womesldorf, PA., which he found at the Lebanon County, PA Historical Society. International cooperation, hard work and persistence contributed to establishing the connection.

The Brechbühl /Brechbiel/ Brightbill Family Background

The history of the Brechbühl family at the Lebanon Country Historical Society revealed that their ancestor, Christian Brechbühl, immigrant of 1738, aboard the ship, "Thistle," settled near Code H Caspar Schürch, immigrant of 1732, in Bethel Twp., Lancaster (now Lebanon Country, Pennsylvania.) Another shipmate of Christian was Abraham Stettler, who also settled on land near Caspar.

Brechbühl tradition says Christian Brechbühl (or someone else in his family) wrote a letter from Europe to our Code H Caspar Schürch in Pennsylvania asking Caspar to purchase land for him, "where he could come and settle with his family." Caspar did this for him. Christian Brechbühl, along with Abraham Stettler, came to Pennsylvania and settled on the land Caspar had acquired for them. It was located near Caspar Schürch's farm. Rene was able to confirm the close relationship between the Brechühls and Schürchs and that the Stettlers originally came from Eggivil, Switzerland.

The Brechbühl family was from the hamlet of Chrummholz (Krummholz), where there were two farmhouses. The name of this little valley was Dürrbach, which 40 years ago was renamed Heimisbach, in honor of Simon Gfeller, a famous writer and teacher. Today Heimisbach is part of the community of Trachselwald. Krummholz today consists of one farmhouse and the Restaurant Krummholzbad (English bath or spa), much the same as happened with our stem farm, Schürchtane, with the Restaurant Tannenbad, in the community of Sumiswald, which is only two kms away. American guests are welcome at both places.

This information can be found in page 13 of Schürch Family Association of North America Newsletter Vol. 22A dated April 2004.

The Brechbühl-Schürch Connection

Rene Schürch, on August 15, 2003 remarked - "With the new information..., I could identify (Code H) Caspar's family in Sumiswald. His father was A71- Caspar Schürch senior and mother Verena Burkhard. The genealogical grandparents were A7 Jacob and (first wife) Anna Muhmenthaler. When Anna died (c.1655), leaving four young children, Jacob remarried (second wife) Christina (Stini) Brechbühl in 1657 and she became Casper's stepmother when he was about age 8. Therein lies the Schürch/Brechbühl connection. Both these families were very strong Täufers...(and) influenced by Jacob Amman, who held the radical thesis that: a good Täufer should avoid any contact with the State church.." (Most of the Emmental Täufers followed the liberal Täufer leader, Hans Reist, who recommended some tolerance between State church and Täufer).. But: (by law) every newborn child must be baptized by the State church... Father Casper did not accompany his own children to the church (to be baptized). The Sumiswalder pastor baptized four of Caspar's children, who were born in Sumiswald, without (their) parents (presence) and made corresponding notes in the records.

"...We can be sure the Schürch families on the Musterplatz were not Täufer, since Musterplatz/Musterung means military mustering place." As Rene has pointed out numerous times, the Täufer (Anabaptist) aspect is very important and should never be ignored. Another documented clue to a possible connection is the fact that in 1739 Peter Burkhard tried to save Schürchtane after the death of Dr. Hans Schürch, without success.

In 1695/96 the family left Sumiswald and relocated elsewhere, believed to be in the Bishopric of Basle, the usual first stop for emigrants for the Emmental. Rene believes additional children including A715 Joseph (Code C) and A716 Caspar (Code H) were born in this new location. "The father was happy. His next children needed no baptism in the State church. Father was happy, (but) family researchers are unhappy, we have no birth/baptism dates..."

by Rene Schürch

The first stop for Täufer emigrants from the Emmental was the Bishopric of Basel. Including the Schürch Täufers. The first Schürch emigrant there seems to have been Jospeh A52 in 1679, who must have been very active in the Täufer movement. ... He lived several years in the northern Jura where he met ... friends. Traditionally, ... Emmentalers seemed to know they had friends in the Jura. Even in the 20th century, young Emmentalers went to the Jura after harvest (to help farmers there). Later we find Joseph in 1720-35 documented in the principality of Montbeliard. One of his grandsons, Andreas, settled in Salm, Principality of Salm.

The Bishopric in the Jura mountains was private territory of the Bishop. To understand the situation there 300 years ago, we ... compare it with the principality of Montbeliard in southern Alsace and the principality of Salm in the Upper Bruche valley in Alsace. Conditions in all three regions were similar: (1) Mennonites were welcome. (2) We find traces of Schürch Mennonites. (3) Capable farmers were needed in mountains and marshy grounds. (4) Religious tolerance prevailed. (5) (They were) private territories of a bishop or prince. (6) Napoleon ended ... (these conditions).

After 1815 the Bishopric of Basel (has been) more or less the (same as) Berne Jura region. ... More nebulous in marshy ... southern Alsace. Napoleon decided the State of Bern would dominate, (and made) changes: French speaking Waadtland would be ... Canton Waadt/Vaud. ... Region and city of Murten ... to the canton Freidburg/Fribourg. ... Berner Aargau was formed from Canton Aargau. ... The Bishopric went to Canton Bern. After years of problems the Jura was divided. The north part of the Berner Jura is today Canton Jura.

Mennonite centers exist today in the north and south parts of the Bishopric. In the south is the Mennonite community Sonnenberg (Mont Soleil) with the meeting house and archiv Jeanguisboden. In the north is all complicated. After Napoleon's ... changes, the prosperous old Mennonite community Florimont, former Blumbergerwaldgemeinde, was no longer. Since 1815 the Swiss/French border separates region Sundgau/Alsace from region Elsgau/Ajoie. An old chapel with a cemetery is the last witness. Today is the Mennonite meeting house in the city Delle on the Swiss border. The "Aeltesteancient" is Raymond Geiser in Grandvillars. ... He gave Rene the address of Maurice Hebert who gave Rene great support finding Schürch family dates in Alsace.

Family research (today) in the Bishopric is practically nil. In 1815 ... the castel Porrentruy/Pruntrut, then the Bishop's residence, became a civil administration center. Old documents were burned, probably too many tragic Täufer stories could be incriminating (to someone).


Swiss Code A716 = American Code H

Code (A716 = H)
Casper Schürch m. 1732 Magdalena Foulk, Pennsylvania (c.1705-1770)

H1-Wendel (1733;
H2-Casper (1734);
H3-Peter (1735);
H4-Joseph (1738);
H5-Catherine (c.1739);
H6-Magdalena (c.1740);
H8-Abraham (1750);
H9-Mary (c.1751); H
0-Andrew (1753)

Code (A71)
Casper Schürch m. 1688 Verena Burkhard, Sumiswald (1649)

A711-Verena (1689);
A712-Barbara (1691);
A713-Uli (1693);
A714-Madlena (1695);
*A715-Joseph (c.1700); and
*A716-Casper (c.1705)

*Ed. Note - believe A715 - Joseph may be (Code C) - Hemp. Twp, Lanc., PA. and A716 - Casper is (Code H), Bethel Twp., Lanc. PA. there may have been other children but have assigned these code numbers for identification purposes.

Code A7
Jacob Schürch m. 1647 (1) Anna Muhmenthaler, Sumiswald (1627), m. 1657 (2) Christina (Stini) Brechbühl

A71-Casper (1649);
A72-Ulrich (1650);
A73-Valentiny (1653);
A74-Elsbeth (1655);
A75-Anna (1657);
A76-Margaret (1660);
A77-Christina (1662);
A78-Verena (1664);
A79-Cahtri (1668);
A71-Joseph (1669);
A7B-Hans (1673)

Code A
Casper Schürch m. 1610 Margaret Trüssel, Sumiswald (1585)

A1-Hans (1611);
A2-Benedicht (1612);
A3-Ulrich (1614);
A4-Hans (1618);
A5-Peter (1621);
A6-Elsbeth (1624);
A7-Jacob (1627);
A8-Joseph (1631)

Hans Schürch m. (1545), Sumiswald

A-Caspar (1585)

Hanns Schürch (1520)

Hans Schürch (1545);
Elsbeth Schürch (1565)

Note: More information can be found on page 1471 of the Schweizersiche Gesellschaft der Namensträger Schürch (SGNS) newsletter #34 December 1996, and on page 1508 of the SGNS newsletter #35 December 1998.

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