I just lately visited Langnau, Bern, Switzerland and spent two days immersed in all issues Langenegger. My spouse and I arrived on the Langnau rail station on June 25, 2004, exhausted from an extended flight from San Francisco. As we left the practice station we have been instantly struck by the distinctive character of this space.
Outside the practice station are the remnants of a cobblestone road, now patched by asphalt. Everywhere we seemed have been lovely Swiss homes and buildings — lots of them tons of of years previous — and all colorfully adorned with pink and pink begonias positioned in flower bins under every window. As we discovered later, the Emmental can also be a wonderland of coated bridges, pleasant individuals, church spires with Swiss clocks and chimes, tinkling cow bells — every little thing you anticipate Switzerland to be.
As we walked towards our lodge in Bareau we observed how pleasant and courteous the locals are — stopping to permit us to cross the road and smiling as we handed with a pleasant “Hallo” or “Guten Morgen.” The city is dotted with lengthy stone tanks with properly water splashing in at one finish and draining out the opposite. They look one thing like a stone horse tank. These can be found to anybody who needs a cool drink of properly water.
After we settled into our room on the Landgasthof Hotel Adler, the proprietor kindly invited us to a brief experience into the countryside the place we noticed extra lovely homes and pastures. After we returned we requested a couple of locals in the lodge restaurant concerning the Langenegger farm they usually had a great snicker. Turns out that there are numerous Langeneggers there and we did not know the identify of the individuals who lived in the unique home that we got here to see.
The hills are about 1200 ft above the valley flooring and extremely inexperienced with grass and forested areas seen from anyplace in city. Langnau is small — maybe three or 4 lengthy blocks throughout and the hills appear very shut. Black and white cows break up the greenery and produce and fantastic tinkling sound as they graze round ringing the bells round their necks. Higher pitched bells worn by sheep and goats mix with the clunk-clunk bong-bong of the cow bells making a scrumptious backdrop to the surroundings. This is the final sound we heard as we drifted off to sleep coated with a feather quilt on our first night time in Langnau.
The birds woke us as much as splendidly inexperienced world that’s Langnau in the summer time. We loved an exquisite breakfast of selfmade bread and jelly offered by our host, Stephen. We hoped to attend church, however discovered that our info was incorrect and arrived too early. Instead we began our strolling tour of Langnau early. Langnau is a small city and we walked all the most important streets by about midday once we took a break for lunch to share a small cheese tart and an apple pastry from a small store close to the middle of city. By that point, the native museum had opened. It is housed in one of many oldest homes in Langnau and is a superb alternative to go searching inside certainly one of these magnificent buildings and see all the fancy joinery accomplished by the builders. It can also be an excellent museum with a variety of everlasting and rotating reveals that depict the historical past of Langnau and its residents.
The museum’s docent has lived in Langnau for 70 years and is aware of the Langenegger identify very properly. She shortly discovered a guide that incorporates the Langenegger household crests — one for these in the valley (Langenegg Ey) and one for these up greater in the hills (Langenegg Unter). She additionally loosely parsed the identify into Lange (Long in English — pronounced ‘Long’ in German too) and negg (hill in English — pronounced ‘neck’ in German). I have never been capable of affirm the phrase ‘negg’ anyplace — however that’s what she stated. The e-book additionally included a press release, “Ulrich, von Langnau, wanderte 1748 nach Pennsylvanien [USA] Aus (Faust 61)” which roughly interprets that Ulrich Langenegger immigrated to Pennsylvania in the United States in 1748. This is our ancestor Ulrich Langenegger Sr. The ebook does not give an extra supply for this info. On the map, the Langenegg Unter is nearly a 30 minute hike up the hill from the museum and Langenegg Ey is a few mile down river from Langnau. Since the Unter had been owned by somebody aside from a Langenegger for a few years, we determined to take a better take a look at the Ey property in the valley to see if we might at the least get an image of the home and maybe, if we have been actually fortunate, meet a distant relative.
Margaret and I walked alongside the river the place most of the native individuals have been taking a break from common life to chill off. We have been pleasantly stunned on the variety of coated bridges in and round Langnau — all nonetheless getting used. We even drove over one simply outdoors of Langnau.
Just as we approached the lengthy driveway to the Langenegger home, two ladies got here up from the river and certainly one of them spoke English. She advised us that we have been in the proper place and that the Langenegger household did reside right here. She provided to escort us to the suitable home amongst a gaggle of a number of homes and buildings situated on the property. With a cheery German “Woo hoo” she referred to as out to the individuals inside and launched us to my ninth cousin who lives in the home the place Ulrich Langenegger Senior was born in 1664 (the identical one talked about in the guide that immigrated to Pennsylvania).
Our new-discovered cousins have been gracious and greeted us warmly despite the fact that we simply confirmed up on their doorstep after over 250 years and not using a Christmas card! We had a brief dialog concerning the household and seen a number of the info that that they had there. Coincidentally, the couple’s sister-in-law subsequent door was in Pennsylvania to attend a Longenecker reunion whereas we have been in Langnau. We exchanged contact info in order that we will comply with up with them with info we discover that could be helpful to them. They kindly provided us a cool drink from their properly earlier than we took a brief stroll across the farm to get some pictures. The cows have been in the barn because it was unseasonably scorching that day. Milk from their cows is bought right into a coop of native farmers that makes it into cheese. If you’re on the lookout for some genuine Langenegger cheese, search for the Emmentaler sort as that’s what they make there. It is bought in the US as merely Swiss cheese — the sort with holes in it. I need to admit that it tasted a lot better in Langnau than in California.
The home is situated a simple hike alongside the river from Langnau and consists of the unique home plus some further homes and outbuildings. I discovered the home a problem to photograph by itself. It is a typical Swiss farm home organized with dwelling quarters and barn beneath one roof. On one aspect is an earthen ramp going instantly into the attic over the barn that’s used to maneuver hay into that space for storage and use through the winter.
The roof is steep by US requirements however not as steep as I anticipated in an space that will get a lot of snow. Most roofs in the world are tile and embrace a collection of brackets about six inches excessive that maintain the snow in the winter in order that it does not all fall down at one time. Some buildings had an easier system with just one set of brackets close to the underside of the roof that held a 4 inch pipe operating the complete size of the home — apparently for a similar function because the brackets on different buildings. In addition, this technique in all probability makes use of the snow to insulate the roof from the chilly. Another fascinating factor about some roofs and homes — the builders typically put their initials and the date of development on the roof through the use of totally different coloured tiles. Others painted this info beneath the eaves or on the face of the constructing underneath the eaves.
The Langenegger home is just not as fancy as some in city however is giant and consists of some fancy joinery work that we noticed repeated contained in the museum, on the coated bridges, and elsewhere in the world. The most important construction seems to be giant beams rigorously joined collectively on the correct angles in order that they get stronger as extra weight is placed on them — and held along with picket pegs. On one bridge close to city we noticed metallic strapping that appears to have been added later.
The enterprise of the farm facilities across the milk cows. There was a big area of corn planted close to the home together with a nicely-stored backyard that appears to grace each home we noticed in Switzerland. Along the driveway strategy to the farm there are some cherry timber with principally inexperienced fruit simply starting to show pink in locations. The remainder of the farm seemed to be in grass. My good friend John Garland in Oklahoma would name the fencing “psychological fencing” — not a lot of a barrier to an animal that desires out. We observed that loads of fences seemed to be momentary and electrified in order that the cows may be simply moved to recent grass as wanted. We even noticed one electrical fence hooked as much as a photo voltaic panel up excessive in the mountains an extended practice-experience away from Langnau. Out of respect for the present occupants’ time and area, we solely stayed briefly.
We returned to our lodge by way of a path the goes alongside the river and stopped for a relaxation in the shade of an previous coated bridge. We have been exhausted once more and glad at getting to satisfy our distant family members and to view the previous home.
Research: If you’re researching this space, no family tree info is available in Langnau. The data workplace has data from 1886, however does not launch it with out permission of the individuals talked about in the data and the fees to take action are very excessive. You may have a lot better luck in Bern the place a lot of the Swiss data are held. There is nearly all the time somebody round that speaks English and the data workplaces are not any exception. The data are neither computerized nor listed — however they’re very neatly categorized by location and time frames. You might want to inform them precisely who, the place, and once you need to look in order to get the best microfilm. Then it’s an previous-customary search shopping via data written alongside time in the past utilizing unfamiliar types and letters. Lockers are situated outdoors the workplace in the hallway and you’ll have to depart your backpack, purse, and so forth. there. It’s free and safe.
The Archives de I’Etat de Berne is situated at Falkenplatz four, CH-3012 Berne close to the primary railroad station. It was straightforward to seek out the third time I attempted. The rail station is giant and busy and on a number of ranges. Locate the elevators on one finish of the station and take all of them the best way to the highest. If you will have hassle, comply with the scholars and the indicators to the college in order to seek out the elevators. Once you’re on the prime, go towards the campus — the one approach you possibly can go actually — and cross between two giant college-wanting buildings. Falkenplatz four is the primary constructing on the suitable after you move by means of the campus space. There is a small road stand simply throughout the small park the place the scholars congregate for an inexpensive and good sandwich — get there early as they run out of sandwiches shortly after midday. The workplace is open from eight:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to five:00 each weekday besides Friday when it closes at four:30. If you need to affirm earlier than going, their telephone numbers are 031/633 51 01, fax 031/633 51 02. Copies are one Swiss Frank per web page — so take alongside loads of money so to get every part you need. You can simply spend 50 franks in one afternoon relying on the data you need. I did not have time, however you might also need to take a look at these sources offered by the museum in Langnau . . .
Des Kantons Bern
031/633 47 85
Fax: 031/633 47 39
3753 Oberhofen am Thunersee
033/243 24 52
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