Jacob Pfenninger and Lena Schottlin Pfenninger and family on
Mother's Day in 1917
I am impressed with the amount of family history that has been
preserved in the Pfenniger Family. This makes it pretty easy for me
to just transfer what I was given to the website. I hope that this is
of interest to you. We should all know where we come from. It
helps us to appreciate where we are now and where we are going.
I have one small bit of new research to contribute to what follows.
I am always interested in tracing our families' movements back to
where we come from in Europe. I was intrigued that in the family
history written by Jacob J. Pfenninger he mentions the locales that
Henry Pfenninger and Lena Schloettlin came from. The place
names as recorded do not match up with current place names in
Switzerland, which is not surprising. Jacob J. Pfenninger was
remembering what he had heard decades after the fact. I happen to
have several friends from Switzerland. I asked them to help me
puzzle out where these place names might be. It didn't take long for
my friends to locate the Pfenninger and Schoettlin ancestral
So, first, a map of Switzerland. I have outlined the small area that
is the Pfenninger and Schloettlin home area (the Cantons of Zurich
and Schaffhausen) with a thick red line:
Next, a close up map of the Canton of Zurich with the city of Dietikon highlighted. The village
that Jacob J. Pfenninger called "Rieti Ducuten" is today known as Dietikon. This is where
Henry Pfenninger is from.
Dietikon is first mentioned
in 1100 as Dietinchovin.
In Dietikon there are
several Roman ruins and
also the Fahr Benedictine
Convent, given by the
Lords of Regensberg
around 1130 AD, with a
cloister church dating
from the years 1743 to
1746. The Second Battle
of Zürich was fought in
1799) and the town name
is now inscribed at the
pillar of the Arc de
Triomphe in Paris, France.
ONCE UPON A TIME, IN A
LAND FAR, FAR AWAY...
(Click on map for enlarged version)
Next, a close up map of Schaffhausen Canton with Hallau highlighted. The Village that Jacob
J. Pfenninger called "Hollan" is today known as Hallau. Until recently it was known as "Unter
Hallau". This is where Lena Schoettlin Pfenninger is from.
(Click on maps for enlarged versions)
Hallau is first mentioned in 1095 as Hallaugia
superiori et inferiori. In 1273 it was mentioned as
Hallowe. Until 1526 it was part of Oberhallau. About
two-thirds of the land in Hallau was originally owned
by the Benedictine monastery of All Saints in
Schaffhausen. In the tax record from 1100, there are no
vineyards mentioned in the villages. It is not until the
Kelhofbrief of 1280 that the local vineyards first
appear. In 1302 the Bishop of Konstanz acquired the
vogtei rights over both villages. In 1343 the village
organized the Gebursami ze Hallow and secured the
market rights, a mill, salt tax and other rights for
themselves. In the 2nd half of the 15th Century the
Bishop and the Landgrave of Sulz fought over the High
justice rights in the Klettgau valley. During the Late
Middle Ages and the Early modern period the villages
expanded. They purchased the Lauferberg at some
point, in 1457 they bought the Vogtei Wunderklingen
an der Wutach and in 1507 the weir and water mill.
With that lets move on to the information about the Pfenningers
after they come to America . . . . .
Where in Switzerland?
Pfenninger Family Summary - Page 2