This & That

Latest Changes

     The following is a list of the more recent changes made to the website (other than additions of, or corrections to, isolated individuals):

Dec 2019 A new Wenner coat of arms has been added to the home page. We were never too confident the former crest was valid. Actually we are also not confident that this one is either! But we believe the odds are better.

Aug 2018 Database updated.

Nov 2017 With personal privacy an ever-increasing concern we now show only "Living" for those people who fit our working definition. That definiton: those born after 1922 for whom we have no death recorded. We are sorry that this does have the unfortunate by-product of reducing the usefulness of the website in some cases. On the other hand, this change will likely be welcomed by many.

Jul 2017 A conversion table has been added so source references to CDs 1, 2 and 3 (which CDs are not readily accessible) can be found on the (easily accessible) Bern Archives website. (See below)

May 2016 We received another coat of arms – this one from Tamara (Studer) Matti – with an interesting background. It actually comes from a photo (courtesy of Jacques Von Siebental) taken of a window in the chapel in Gstaad, Switzerland. (See it on the home page by clicking on the Siegenthaler coat of arms. Note the similarity to the Trub Siegenthaler coat of arms.) This chapel is the same one that Johannes de Septem Vallibus donated 100 pounds to on 1 July 1511.   Septem vallibus is a variation of the latin for seven valleys (in German, Sieben = seven, T(h)al = valley). It all makes one wonder if the name of one of the branches of the Von Siebenthals evolved into Siegenthaler.

Jun 2015

As documentation of our sources of data has become more important to us in recent years, we have decided to now add source citations to the website for those events where we have included such documentation in the database. Unfortunately, not all of the sources are original documents (or replicas thereof). And, of course, the reliability of a source varies based on the nature of the source. Nevertheless, this information should provide some indication of the reliability of the data.
An event having a source citation will have a superscript number which can be clicked on to access the citation. (Return to the prior screen in your normal fashion or by scrolling the screen up or down a bit to bring a "To Prior Page" button into view.)


Source Conversion Table

     Many source references on this website are to Trub Parish church records as contained on three CDs. The identical records are, however, accessible on the Bern archives website, State Archives of Canton Bern. The trick is to get from the Trub CD reference to the proper spot in the Bern Archive records for Trub.

     Here's how. Once at the Bern archives website, go to Staatliche Sammlungen, then Kirchenbücher and then Trub. Then use this Conversion Table to select the proper Trub book from the array shown. The page number needed is the same page number shown in the CD reference. Of course, without using the conversion table at all, for most of the CD references you could find the source record in the Bern archives just knowing the event and its place and date.

Use of German vs. French Given Names

     The control of the Alsace-Lorraine region of France has alternated over the centuries between France and Germany (and Germany's "predecessors"). In the 19th and 20th centuries France and Germany exchanged control of Alsace four times in 75 years. However, even as a part of France, Alsace historically has been heavily influenced by its German heritage. For example, in French-written birth/marriage/death records for much of the 1800s the given names of the individuals and the witnesses have the French spellings while the signatures by those same witnesses (that we have examined) consist of the equivalent German spelling. (Many of these records prior to the French revolution were entirely in German.) The convention we have adopted here is to use the German version of the name, the name they apparently used in day-to-day life.

Baptisms vs. Christenings

     It is not always discernible to us whether the typical infant rite of a given individual is technically a christening or a baptism. Thus, no religious orientation (i.e., Roman Catholic or Protestant) should be attributed to these terms on this website.

Individual Photos

     Some individual photos have been added to the website. They are indicated, where available, by the camera icon () adjacent to the individual's name. They can be accessed through either the Family Group Sheets (via the Full Name Index) or the Descendants of... listings.

     We would very much welcome additional photographs of individuals to add to the website. There are now only a limited number of individual pictures  —  we would like many more! See Photo Submission for details.

Handling of the Two Main Siegenthaler Branches

     Based on our research we have found that there are questions as who the parents of Hans (ca. 1595) and Hans (ca. 1660) are (see Questionable Entries). Although we have included their likely/possible parents (and other ancestors), we believe treating the two Hanses as the respective "patriarchs" of their branches will be most recognizable to most people. Accordingly, they are given more prominence in various places on the website (e.g., the Descendant listings and the homepage).

Mergers of the Trub and the Schangnau Siegenthaler Branches

     The following are cases (which we are aware of) of the marriages of descendants of Hans S. (c. 1595), primarily from Trub, with descendants of Hans S. (1660)  —  and his great-great-grandfather(?), Peter S. (1542)  —  primarily from Schangnau:

Trub Branch Schangnau Branch
Barbara Siegenthaler (1678) Hans Krähenbühl (1670)
Christian Siegenthaler (1698) Barbara Siegenthaler (1727)
Peter Albr. Ben. Siegenthaler (1730) Magdalena Siegenthaler (1736)
Barbara Jakob (1731)Benedikt Siegenthaler (1732)
Katharina Jakob (1734)Niklaus Siegenthaler (1737)
Magdalena Jakob (1736)Hans Bieri (1773)
Barbara Zimmermann (1772)Christian Siegenthaler (1765)
Johannes Siegenthaler (1795)Katharina Egli (1801)
Simon Peter Siegenthaler (1816)Anna Elisabeth Fankhauser (1825)
Elisabeth Krähenbühl (1822) Christian Siegenthaler (1815)
Anna Elisabeth Siegenthaler (1825)Daniel Fankhauser (1822)
Maria Siegenthaler (1835) Johannes Siegenthaler (1833)
Sophie Zürcher (1838)Daniel Fankhauser (1822)
Daniel Siegenthaler (1838)Elisabeth Siegenthaler* (1850)
Ulrich Blaser (1857)Elisabeth Siegenthaler (1860)
Johann Ulrich Siegenthaler (1858)Anna Elisabeth Siegenthaler (1866)
Maria Oberli (1866)David Siegenthaler (1849)
  *Actually, Elisabeth is a descendent of Ulrich S. (1638), who is reportedly the brother of Hans S. (ca. 1660)  –  see Questionable Entries.

"I, Christian Siegenthaler, take thee, Christina Siegenthaler, to be my..."

     With so many Siegenthalers living in relatively small areas with low mobility historically, it is not surprising to find cases of Siegenthalers marrying one another. Here are the examples we have come across in our database:

Coats of Arms

     Coats of arms for a family can vary over time. If you click on the Siegenthaler coat of arms on the home page, six other versions will appear. Clicking on the Wenner crest will enlarge it.

What's in a Name?

     If you are a Wenner or a Siegenthaler, do you have any idea what your name means? We have an idea, but only an idea  —  we're not sure. Various possible meanings for each name have come to our attention.

     Wenner might mean flag bearer  —  or maybe it means maker of baskets!

     We've seen Victors of the Valley given as the meaning of Siegenthaler. It conceivably could mean those living in the valley of the river Sieg, which meets the Rhine across from Bonn, Germany. More authoritatively, based on information from the book The Lineages and Coats of Arms of Emmental (Emmentaler Geschlecter- und Wappenbuch) by Hans Rudolf Christen, the various sources of the name Siegenthaler are as follows:

Speaking to the varied pronunciations, and resulting implied spellings of Siegenthaler, Heinz Siegenthaler writes, "In my local dialect (city of Bern) I am called Sigetaler, the Emmentalers from Trub say Sigitaler, and in High German it is, of course, Siegenthaler."

Lake Wenner

     On a map in the 1936 Encyclopedia Edition of the Winston Simplified Dictionary the largest lake in Sweden (and the third largest in Europe) was labeled L. Wenner. The Swedish word for the lake is Vänern. Take a look!  Note Wennersborg (Vänersborg) at the foot of the lake.

Map of Switzerland

     Thanks to Heinz Siegenthaler we have a map of Switzerland that has been further annotated to pinpoint several locations of significance to Siegenthalers. Check it out! (If the entire map is contained on your screen such that you cannot read the writing, it should be enlargeable.)


     The narration in the Descendants of ... sections now contains the place of residence of those individuals for whom it is known. Where a person (has) lived in more than one locale, generally only the principal place of residence is shown. Also, since residence in this context refers to residence as an adult  —  and given the longer-view nature of genealogy  —  places of residence of younger adults are, as a rule, not included.

Hey, I Get Lost in All Those Siegenthalers!

     If you begin in Descendants of Hans Siegenthaler and try to progress down to a particular individual or family, it's easy to get lost. Most of the Siegenthaler descendants we are familiar with stem from Johann(es) & Maria (Knöri) Siegenthaler and their children Maria, Luise, Johann(es) (Hans), Gottfried, Gottlieb, Friedrich (Fritz), Jakob, Magdelene (Mädeli), Alfred and Elisabeth (Bethli) and will recognize where they are when they get to them. But how does one get to them? Here is the path:

Hans → Benedikt → Peter → Benedikt → Ulrich → Ulrich → Johann(es) (Hans) → Johann(es)

     Actually, anyone who has difficulty finding his way from Hans S.(B. 1595) to another person may want to do this: (i) go first go to that person via the Full Name Index, then (ii) progress back in time through successive parents until reaching Hans, noting the pathway in the process, and finally (iii) start with Hans in Descendants of Hans Siegenthaler and simply reverse the pathway.

Song and Dance

     Have you been given the old song and dance lately? Well, here's one for you. It's called Wenner Achter . (In this case Achter is a Tyrolean dance for eight couples.) We have it in three versions: abridged for dial-up, abridged for DSL or cable, and original, uncut.

If you see additions or changes that you
think would improve this website, let us know.

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