Category Archives: Original Sources

Translating the Zumbrunnen Entry in Hans Jacob Leu’s Dictionary

The General Helvetic, Confederate and Swiss Lexicon of 1750

The General Helvetic, Confederate and Swiss Lexicon of 1750

In Zürich in the mid-1700s, a historian named Hans Jacob Leu set about compiling a historical dictionary about Switzerland, especially the families and events that contributed to the development of Switzerland from a territory of the Holy Roman Empire into a unified confederacy. Leu would later go on to become the mayor of Zürich, which speaks to the political nature of such early dictionaries, which were intended to instill a sort of patriotism and shared history among the Swiss.

The fourth volume of his work (titled the General Helvetic, Confederate and Swiss Lexicon) was published in 1750 and contains an entry on the Zumbrunnen family. At the time Leu was writing, the Zumbrunnen family no longer lived in Uri, but he was aware that a branch of the family had moved away to Parma.

His entry on the Zumbrunnen family is not long, but importantly, his work was published several decades before these archives were destroyed by fire in 1799.

What follows is a sentence-by-sentence translation of his entry on the Zumbrunnen. (My own commentary, provided for context, is in parentheses and highlights like this) The original is on Google Books and, as always, any improvements to the translation would be welcomed.

zum Brunnen

A noble family formerly from the country of Uri, of which Bucelin notes in his genealogy, has the same origin as the von Attighausen. Werner von Aetting or Ettighausen in 1209 distributed his estates among his two sons, to Werner, the Schloss Attinghausen and to Walter, the Schloss zum Brunnen (Schloss typically translates as “castle” but generally applied to any respectable stone house. The post on Zumbrunnen family castles contains examples of castles both grand and more modest). Some say this Schloss was located where the village Brunnen stands in the canton of Schweiz. Both men became known by the names of their estates.

The family Von Attinghausen were landammann, as were those of the family zum Brunnen. Among the zum Brunnen family there were several Landammann of Uri:

  • Burkhard in 1273.
  • Johannes, who had previously been bailiff (the Swiss title of “landvogt.”) in the free states in 1468, 1470, was landammann in 1482.
  • Hans, in 1477 the bailiff to Baden and in 1484 an envoy at the agreement between the Confederates and the cities of Bern and Fribourg. He fought in the Battle of Marignano where, according to Jove, he killed a number of enemies with his great battle sword before dying.
  • Mansuetus in 1548.
  • Hans in 1579. Also bailiff to Baden in 1536 and 1564. (the date of 1536 might refer to Mansuetus, rather than Johann) Also, at some time, he was involved in the business of the Catholic confederates to Rome, and was an envoy to King Henry the III of France in 1582. His brother Walter became a papal guard captain, and his nephew Josua became captain of Uri.
  • In 1621 and 1637 the Landammann of Uri was Johann Heinrich Zumbrunnen, who was also at the same time the captain of Uri, and a Knight in the Order of St. Michael. In 1622 he was sent to the House of Austria during the violent disputes of the Gray League in Lindau. In 1625 he owned a regiment in the French services, recruited into the Valtellina(This was a brutal conflict in the Thirty Years’ War).
  • This family is now extinct in the land of Uri, but there is still a fund, founded by the family, at Altdorf, which is called the zum Brunnische Pfründe (A “Pfründe” is a German word that refers to an endowment that sponsors a priest. The English word for this is prebendary.). Some of the family moved to Parma, and there they are still propagating.

    There was also a Conrad zum Brunnen who was Abbot of St. Urban from 1349 to 1356, but whether he is of the same family is not known.

    Also, this family sometimes was called Lowenstein.

    Original Sources: The Necrology of the Brotherhood of “Old Grysen” in Altdorf

    In Altdorf, in the 1500 and 1600s, a number of the prominent residents of the Canton of Uri belonged to a brotherhood named “Old Grysen.” The exact purpose of the brotherhood is unclear to me, but it was ecclesiastical, or at least church-affiliated, in character. The book is of interest because it establishes membership in the brotherhood for some of our Zumbrunnen ancestors and records some of their years of death. (You can read a bit more about older Necrologies here).

    The books have been transcribed by historians. The lists below draw on a transcription published in 1910 in the Journal of Swiss Church History. Not all the death years were written down but, because the people were listed in chronological order of death, the historians were able to infer many of the dates from the surrounding people on the list. The data added by historians is in [brackets] whereas the rest of the information is the direct transcription. Below are all the entries for our ancestors; a relatively small slice of the overall necrology. Read more …

    The Zumbrunnen Go to College

    The church at the Collège Saint-Michel, built 1606-1613

    The church at the Collège Saint-Michel, built 1606-1613, was the heart of the college.
    via Wikimedia Commons/(CC BY-SA 3.0)

    Many of our ancestors were active in political offices, especially as leaders, clerks and secretaries in the Canton of Uri. By the 1500s in Switzerland, people with such aspirations often pursued some sort of formal education. So, the boys of the Zumbrunnen family began to go to college.

    Their alma mater was the Jesuit Collège Saint-Michel[1], or the College of St. Michael, in Fribourg, Switzerland. The school was founded by Father Peter Canisius, S.J., in 1582. Amazingly, the school has some alumni records dating back to its founding. Nine different Zumbrunnen boys, all from Uri, enrolled in these early decades. Read more …

    Original Sources: The Oldest Baptism Book in Altdorf, Uri

    A register of baptisms at the church in Altdorf begins in 1648. Earlier records were destroyed in a fire in 1799. These baptisms don’t seem to be available on any genealogy websites, but were published in a Swiss history journal called “The History Friend: Messages from the Historical Society of Central Switzerland“.

    By the late 1600s, the Zumbrunnen family was in decline in Uri, and there are only a handful of Zumbrunnen baptisms. The surviving branches of the Zumbrunnen family seem to have left Uri by this point. Below I’ve transcribed the Zumbrunnen entries and translated them from Latin as best I could. There are many more entries for other families that had close ties to the Zumbrunnen, such as the Beroldingen, Crivelli, Zwyer, Puntener family, etc., that I haven’t transcribed.

    Most of these entries include some additional identifying information which I’ve included below, such as titles. (My own commentary, which is provided for context, is in parentheses and highlights like this). The commentary in the history journal introducing this information scoffs at the use of titles, however, noting that basically everyone who is not a cobbler is identified as a lord.

    • May 23, 1649: Sebastian Peregrin zum Brunnen, child of Lord Captain Sebastian zum Brunnen and Lady Maria Salome Rizard. Sponsors: Lord Colonel Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer, landammann and general captain of Uri. and Lady Maria Elisabetha von Beroldingen. (Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer was a very prominent political and military leader in Switzerland in the 1600s and a close associate of Landammann Johann Heinrich Zumbrunnen.)
    • April 17, 1654: Anna Maria Magdalena, child of Lord Carl Ernst von Roll and Lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen. Sponsors: Carl Emanuel von Roll, landammann and supreme captain of Uri, and Lady Maria Magdalena Rheding.
    • November 8, 1655: Maria Barbara, child of Nicolao An der Halden and Agatha Klan. Sponsors: Reverend Lord Stephen Straumeyer and lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen. (A Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen was married to Johann Martin Straumeyer. Perhaps Stephen was her brother-in-law. A close familial tie to the clergy may explain why she appears in multiple baptisms below, along with a clergy member.)
    • August 10, 1668: Maria Magdalena, child of Lord Antonio Schmidt, a centurion in the Savoy guard, and Lady Maria Anna Zwyer von Evebach. Sponsors: the pastor and Lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen.
    • January 16, 1679: Maria Margaretha, child of Francis Alexander Besler and Lady Maria Magdalena von Montenach. Sponsors: Lord Captain Johann Anthoni Schmidt and Lady Maria Magdalena Zumbrunnen.
    • August 14, 1684: Melchior Joseph, child of Johann Carl Besler, prefect of Lugano, and Lady Maria Anna von Beroldingen. Sponsors: Reverend Johann Melchior Imhoff and Lady Maria Magdalena Zum Brunnen.
    • April 10, 1688: Anna Maria Margaritha, child of Lord Sebastian von Beroldingen and Lady Regina Gasser. Sponsors: R.D. Franz von Beroldingen, of the monastery of Seedorf, and Lady Anna Maria Margaritha zum Brunnen.
    • October 10, 1691: Johann Baptist Anton Zum Brunnen, child of Lord Johann Heinrich zum Brunnen and Lady Maria Hyacintha, born in Parma on October sixth and baptized Catholic on October 10. Sponsors: Lord Joanne Herardo de Naithuldt and Lady Anna de Buffalini. (This branch of the family had moved to Italy, and must have written back to their home priest asking for the baptisms to be recorded in their “home” church. They may have used the name Fontana in Italy. The names Buffalini, Fratini, Ballarini, etc., suggest that they were integrating into Italian society.)
    • October 15, 1694: Anna Maria Theresia Salome Zum Brunnen, child of Lord Johann Heinrich Zum Brunnen and lady Maria Hyacintha, born in Parma and baptized Catholic on October 15, 1694. SponsorsL Lord Bartholomaeo de Ballarini and Lady Angela de Fratini.
    • September 19, 1697: Franz Heinrich, son of Lord Johann Sebastian Jauch, landschreiber, and Lady Maria Anna Troger. Sponsors: Reverend Lord Franz Troger, abbot of Fischingen, and Lady Maria Magdalena zum Brunnen.
    • There are also records of a “Bell Baptism” that took place in 1582. This was apparently a ceremony to consecrate beautiful new church bells and to honor their donors. Landammann Johann zum Brunnen and his brother Josue zum Brunnen are identified as the benefactors for one of these bells.

    Original Sources: The Oldest Church Death Book in Altdorf

    Nearly all early church records in the Zumbrunnen hometown of Altdorf, Switzerland, were destroyed in a fire in 1799. The oldest book of church death records that has survived is one that begins in 1649. This church book was therefore started after the Zumbrunnen family had branched off to the Bernese Highlands region of Switzerland, and may also have been published after a branch of the Zumbrunnen family ended up in Baden-Wurttemberg.

    A copy of this record was published in the “Journal for Swiss Church History” in 1911. As far as I can tell, this record isn’t available on any of the various genealogy websites. The deaths of 16 members of the Zumbrunnen family are recorded in this church book (I think, strictly speaking, most of these are the dates of funeral services rather than death dates), and are listed below:

    Note: I’ve preserved the different renderings of the name. It seems the family during this period was inconsistent in the spacing and capitalization of the name (sometimes Zumbrunnen vs zum Brunnen vs Zum brunnen) although I don’t know if there’s any significance to this; it could merely reflect different styles of handwriting. Most of these entries include some additional identifying information which I’ve included below. (My own commentary, which is provided for context, is in parentheses and highlights like this).

    • April 17, 1648, Lord Johann Heinrich zum Brunnen, knight, old Landammann and captain.
    • March 2, 1649, Captain Josue Zumbrunnen. (There are several Josue’s and I’m not sure which one this record refers to. The Josue who was Johann Heinrich Zumbrunnen’s brother is said in other sources to have died in 1643.)
    • May 8, 1655 Carolus Ernestus a Roll. Born 1631 and married to Magdalena zum Brunnen
    • April 20, 1657, father P Bernhardi Zum brunnen.
    • September 12, 1667, Joannes Gualtherus Rothuet, married to Anna Barbara Zum Brunnen.
    • February 18, 1672, Captain Burkardus zum Brunnen. Married 1st to Anna Katharina Behsler and 2nd on October 3, 1651 to the widow Maria Elisabetha Blatler von Unterwalden.
    • January 7, 1678, Captain Sebastianus zum Brunnen.
    • December 21, 1684, Josue zum Brunnen.
    • October 10, 1687. Henrichus Burkardus zum Brunnen. (Because there are three different people named Heinrich Burkhard Zumbrunnen — I, II and III — it’s unclear which one this is.)
    • June 23, 1689. Anna Maria Margaritha Zumbrunnen, wife of Josue Zumbrunnen (Her maiden name was also Zumbrunnen; Josue was her second cousin once removed.)
    • March 21, 1690. Maria Magdalena Zum brunnen, wife of Ernst von Roll and married a second time to Johann Karl von Schmidt.
    • May 8, 1690. Henrichus Burkardus Zumbrunnen. Listed as mentally incompetent. (As above, there are three different Heinrich Burkhards — I, II and III — and it’s unclear which one this is.)
    • May 9, 1699. Maria Magdalena zum Brunnen. (There was a Maria Magdalena Zum Brunnen married to Johann Martin Straumeyer, although if this is her it’s unclear why her married name isn’t mentioned.)
    • September 30, 1700. Anna Barbara zum Brunnen.
    • March 26, 1705. R. D. Franciscus Zum Brunnen, died at age 62. Son of Burkhard and Anna Catherine Behsler.
    • September 3, 1729. Maria Elisabeth Crivelli, born zum Brunnen. Wife of Heinrich Anton Crivelli.

    The Ancient Necrologies of the Zumbrunnen and Attinghausen Families

    One of the ways we know for certain that the Zumbrunnen were an important family even in the 1200s and 1300s is through their appearance in ancient church books, where they were memorialized for their donations to the church.

    In the Middle Ages, when a wealthy person died they (or their family) would often make a donation of property or wealth to the Catholic Church. The churches, in return, would record the names of these beneficiaries in large beautiful books, where each donor was assigned a day of the year. These books, which were zealously protected by their churches over the centuries, were known as Jahrzeitbuch (in German) and liber anniversarum or martyrologium (in Latin). In English, they are often called Necrologies or simply Yearbooks.

    In exchange for these large donations, the priests of the church would consult the Necrology throughout the year and pray for the benefactors on their designated date. It is in part through this practice of donating land in exchange for a place in the necrology that the Catholic Church came to own the rights to huge swaths of land across the Holy Roman Empire. Below is a scan of one of the pages from the Necrology for the Monastery of the Order of St. Lazarus, to show what they looked like.

    The necrology of the Monastery of the Order of St. Lazarus

    Sadly, no Zumbrunnen are on the page I’ve found an image of! A full facsimile of this beautiful book is available at some European libraries. It’s quite difficult to make sense of, isn’t vigilant about spelling, was clearly added to over time, and is written in a sort of German-Latin pidgin (for example, the Zumbrunnen sometimes have their names as “Zum Brunnen” or “Zem Brunnen” or “Ze Dem Brunnen” or even translated literally into Latin as Ad Fontem meaning “to the fountain”). One name you can clearly make out in fairly large letters, on the seventh line from the bottom, is “Frat. Egloff de Atighuse”

    Read more …

    The Oldest Genealogy of the Zumbrunnen by Gabriel Bucelin

    The Benedictine monk Gabriel Bucelin, who published a genealogy of the Zumbrunnen family in 1678

    The Benedictine monk Gabriel Bucelin, who published a genealogy of the Zumbrunnen family in 1678 via Wikimedia Commons

    In the mid-1600s, a Benedictine monk named Gabriel Bucelin compiled numerous genealogies of prominent German-speaking families. I had seen references that Bucelin wrote a genealogy of the Zumbrunnen family, but it took me quite awhile to find it (Bucelin wrote in Latin and I can’t read Latin).

    One of Bucelin’s works is called “Germania topo-chrono-stemmato-graphica sacra et prophana” published in 1678, containing thousands of genealogical entries. Each volume of the sprawling work runs for hundreds of pages. I finally located the Zumbrunnen entry in Volume 4, page 48. There’s no copyright for works this old so I’ll just post the page in its entirety, as there’s actually a sort of beauty in manuscripts this old.

    Read more …

    Translating the History of the Barons of Attinghausen and Schweinsberg

    The castle of Attinghausen by Roland Zumbuehl/Wikimedia  Commons CC-BY-3.0

    The ruins of the Castle of Attinghausen
    Roland Zumbuehl via Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-3.0

    In 1865, a Swiss historian named Theodor Von Liebenau, who would later become the chief archivist of the city of Lucerne, wrote a detailed history of the Barons of Attinghausen and Schweinsberg (from whom the Zumbrunnen descend).

    Theodor Von Liebenau was from a much later generation of historians than Jean-François Girard who wrote the Nobiliaire Militaire Suisse, which contains one of the oldest histories of the Zumbrunnen family. There are both benefits and drawbacks from relying on historians of this later period. Von Liebenau was much more scientific and critical than earlier historians, who sometimes used unreliable sources. But he also wrote his work after many of the original documents had been lost — a fact he himself acknowledges.

    The most famous Attinghausens are not ancestors of the Zumbrunnen. Rather, they were the cousins of our earliest ancestors. But the first chapter of Von Liebenau’s history covers the oldest barons of Attinghausen, some of our ancestors from the oldest mists of the Middle Ages.

    What follows is a sentence-by-sentence translation of the first chapter. (My own commentary, provided for context, is in parentheses and highlights like this) The original is on Google Books and any improvements to the translation would be welcomed.

    I. The Oldest Barons of Attinghausen

    In the first half of the fifth century after Christ’s birth, the tribe of the Alemmani, from Swabia, entered the Roman-controlled lands of Switzerland, and took possession of the land of Uri through armed conquest. At that time, the land around the lake of the forest states was no longer wilderness, as numerous coin finds tell us.

    It is therefore not unbelievable that one of these conquerors, who divided up the land they had conquered, was given a plot of land in the country of Uri, in the region where the forest joins the Reuss river and whose descendants, in much later times, built a mighty fortress which was named after its builder — Atto or Hatto — and was called Attinghausen.

    This hypothesis is not affected by the fact that Attinghausen is not enumerated among the towns in Uri, which were given by the Carolingian King Ludwig the German to the abbey of Zurich. At that time there was no other kind of nobility in Attinghausen.

    They became the family of the Barons of Attinghausen, the only one of the higher nobility who lived in Uri. (There are two theories about the origins of the Barons of Attinghausen; this is some of the evidence that they are an ancient family of Uri.) They distinguished themselves especially with the possession of great commodities and a considerable number of serfs, as we can see from the records of the late period. Unfortunately, only a few documents bear witness to the existence of this ancient family. These are the old walls of the castle, and some notes in the Yearbooks of Attinghausen. (These yearbooks, also called Necrologies, were calendar books kept by churches that recorded the date of death of wealthy benefactors so that the priests would pray for them each year. They are a key source for ancient genealogies.)

    Determining the age of the walls of the Attinghausen Castle is extremely difficult. The assumption is that the castle of Attinghausen, whose windows show round arches, was rebuilt and fortified after the first half of the twelfth century. It was in 1162 when Emperor Frederick I destroyed the city of Milan after a long siege and brought rich booty to Germany. It is possible that one of the Barons of Attinghausen was with the King in Italy — where the siege gave energetic men a splendid opportunity to prove their bravery — and they were entrusted by the emperor with the honorable commission, the Gotthard Pass. The castle of Attinghausen was very well situated, especially as the old Gotthard Road stretched along the left bank of the Reuss River.

    Due to a lack of documents it is no longer possible to determine who was this vassal of Attinghausen for Frederick I. We know only the following names of Attinghausen’s earliest barons: Heinrich, Albrecht and Lamprecht, and of women: Bertha and Othilia, the latter being buried in the Lazerite monastery at Seedorf.

    The barons further enriched themselves through a heiress of the House of Löwenstein, Richenza was her name. They glorified her name by means of renumerations to the church at Attinghausen, and ended her tribe of Löwensteins. They also came into possession, possibly through a heiress, to the Barony of Schweinsberg.

    This information does not all come from contemporaneous data. It is nevertheless possible that two old scholars: Franz Vinzenz Schmid and Jean-François Girard may have drawn their reports from older writers who were lost at the fire of Altdorf.

    The House of Löwenstein was later found to be in the possession of the Zumbrunnnen Family, which still lived in Tuscany in the last century, and who uncritical genealogists like Gabriel Bucelin also say descend from the Barons of Attinghausen.(Some Zumbrunnen lived in Parma, Italy in the 1700s. While Bucelin may have been an “uncritical genealogist” in some cases, his genealogy of the Zumbrunnen family from the 1600s is actually quite accurate.)

    The Barons of Schweinsberg originally lived in the Bavarian Alps, in the regions of Tegernsee and Tyrol. Often their names are found in the “Codex Traditionum” of the Tegernsee Abbey, founded between the Isar River and the Inn River, around the year 700 by Albert and Ottoger, Earls of Warngau and Tegernsee.

    From about 1140 to 1150, Wernher von Schweinsberg appears several times with his father Gerwich. Wernher had a son named Gervich and a brother Wolftregil. When Frederick I was in Würzburg in 1157, he was with Kraft Von Schweinsberg. One can also find a Castle Schweinberg near Hardheim am Main; the owners of this castle also possessed a Castle Löwenstein. The Schweinsberg, who lived in Franconia, would later be called Count Von Wertheim. The most prominent names of this family are: Erlewein, Conrad, Heinrich, Hermann, Johann, Reiner and Wernher. The family known as Von Schweinsberg, which still lives today in Darmstadt, is very well known. The fact that the Barons von Schweinsberg really moved away from Tegernsee is confirmed by the fact that their names are not mentioned in any later document of this monastery.

    Even the name of Wernher von Attinghausen, which occurs multiple times (The key challenge untangling the genealogy of this family is the large number of people at the time who were all named Werner.), and which is also found in the lands of the Barons of Schweinsberg, indicates a kinship between the two families. But the immigration of these barons into our country is credible for other reasons.

    In 1156, Henry II, of the House of Babenberg, handed over Bavaria and Austria to Emperor Frederick I, who handed over the duchy to Henry the Lion. The land where the Barons of Schweinsberg lived, turned into a duchy, which should be hereditary for both male and female lines of the house of Babenberg.(In short: the Barons of Schweinsberg lost their original lands in Bavaria as part of a land swap that was designed to avert conflict.)

    When the emperor took his second trip to Italy, and destroyed Milan in 1162, the duke of Austria was with him and so was Baron Von Schweinsberg. During this campaign, the Barons of Schweinsberg became friends with the Barons of Attinghausen, and were given estates by the emperor in the Emmental Valley, where they built a castle.(This seems to be a reference to Castle Wartenstein)

    Of course, we can make this assertion with documentary support; On the other hand, it is very easy to prove that in these days, many other families migrated from Bavaria and Austria to Switzerland. We recall here, for example, the families of Utzigen and Wilbeck, of Trostberg, whose castle was situated in the Chiemgau, where Traun fell into the Alza, and to that of Noberg, whose castle was almost the same as the old castle of Trostberg: In the Aargau, in Uri, and in the gorges of the Jura.

    After these barons of Schweinsberg (perhaps at the beginning of the thirteenth century) had entered the estates of Attinghausen by means of inheritance, they took the name of Attinghausen. Throughout the 14th century they called themselves, in seals and letters, sometimes Von Schweinsberg, sometimes Von Attinghausen.

    Probably the first of the Barons of Schweinsberg who settled in Uri is in the “Directorium Cantus” of the Benedictine monastery of Engelberg. It is beginning with Lord Ulrich that we securely know the order of the Barons of Attinghausen, who always enjoyed special respect.

    It is the task of the following pages to illustrate the history of this glorious house, which at a later time was divided into one line in Uri and one line in the Emmental, near Bern. The pages will especially focus on the line which was situated in Uri.

    A man stands where he is born and as his spirit first develops, he unconsciously interacts with the rippling waters and shale of his country in a constant and intimate process. For men do not educate their children alone. The mountains and valleys, forests and corridors, streams and seas, nature and climate, in their entire splendid change, and no less in times of storms or in the peaceful course of their events, form and shape the man to what he is and shall be, according to the power of the spirit that lives in him.(Poetic!)

    Burkhard Zumbrunnen and the 1251 Alliance with Zurich

    Walter Zumbrunnen was the first man to adopt the Zumbrunnen surname. So his eldest son Burkhard Zumbrunnen must have been the second man in history with this name.

    Burkhard would have been born in the late 1100s or early 1200s. He was the grandson of Werner, the Baron of Attinghausen, but Burkhard was not nobility himself. While many junior branches of Medieval nobles disappeared into obscurity, this was not to be the case with Burkhard. We know Burkhard through two interesting records that show he was an early participant in institutions that became Democracy, and was a key figure in the establishment of Switzerland as a nation.

    Read more …

    Translating the Zumbrunnen Entry in the Nobiliaire Militaire Suisse

    The title page

    The title page

    The Nobiliaire Militaire Suisse was an incredibly ambitious effort by an Abbot named Jean-François Girard in the 1700s to compile genealogies of aristocratic Swiss military families. Too ambitious in fact. The first volume, published in 1787, was over 700 pages. It documented 50 families from Aa-Ayent in extensive detail.

    Sadly for families B-Z, the author never finished even the second volume. But luckily for us, he did document the Zumbrunnen family as the “second branch” of the Attinghausen family.

    This work is an especially important source because, just a dozen years after its original publication, a major fire devastated the town of Altdorf in 1799, destroying many of the records to which Girard had access. Had he not written down this information (and had Google Books not recently digitized it!) it’s likely that the full story of the Zumbrunnen and Attinghausen family would have been forever lost to time.

    The Zumbrunnen branches, translated below, conclude an entry that also contains the Attinghausen family and Von Schweinsberg and Der Frauen families. The Zumbrunnen, the Von Schweinsbergs, and the Der Frauen, all descend from Werner, the Baron of Attinghausen.

    Read more …