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
Dietikon (September 1799) and
the town name is now inscribed
at the pillar of the Arc de
Triomphe in Paris, France.
(Click on map for enlarged
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. -WIKIPEDIA
With that lets move on to the information about the Pfenningers after they come to
America . . . . .
Where in Switzerland?