Saturday, July 14, 2007

Phend Family Vital Records from Switzerland

On December 31, 2000 I was "exploring" databases on WorldConnect. In previous searches I had never found any entries on the surname Phend. Imagine my surprise when the results showed not just one family but several by that surname! All in the same database. I immediately sent an email to the contributor of that database and as a result found a distant cousin, Sonja Reid, something along the line of 4th cousin 5 generations removed, but a cousin nevertheless. And I will be forever indebted to her for the information she provided. At that time she didn't have my ancestor, Johannes Phend, in her database but Sonja was pretty sure that he belonged to her family. Sonja had been doing extensive research on the Gsteig bei Interlaken Parish and had the microfilms at her local Family History Center.

I gave her all the information available (names, dates of births, marriages, etc.) and, amazingly, two days later I received an email from her with transcriptions of the applicable records! And she sent printed copies the following week. I was so excited, I sent an email out to all of the Phend relatives that I had email addresses for, about 25 of them, and waited for their response. The result was disappointing, not a single one of them replied! Perhaps they didn't want to acknowledge that our immigrant ancestor, Johannes, was an illegitimate child? I don't know, it didn't make any difference to me. The only thing is, there will always be a dead end to that line since his father's name was not recorded. We only know that, according to his christening record, he was the illegitimate son of Catharina Fendt. But, along with the records Sonja sent, she also provided information for several more generations of Phend's and other connecting lines in Switzerland. It was Awesome.

Presented below are those transcriptions and cropped scans of the records. You'll definitely have to click on the images to be able to read the records. Johannes Phend and Barbara Wyss had five children: Barbara, Margaret, Johannes, and two infants who died at birth. Barbara died in 1821 while giving birth to the last of those infants. In 1824, Johannes married Susanna Kuebli and they had a son, Jacob, born in 1829.

Daughter, Barbara, was born 6 Jun 1807, christened 14 Jun 1807. Her parents are Johannes Pend, tailor, from Aarmuehle and Barbara Wyss. The witnesses are Jakob Pend, von (from) Aarmuehle; Magdalena Wyss, Jakob Blatters weib (wife), am Wasserbach; Anna Wyss, Hansen in der Polsteiten.

From the Habkern Kirchenbuch, 1627-1925 created by the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche. Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah at the Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern, 1992-1995. Call Number: 2005678 & 2005679. FHL Film 2005678, Births 1807, Page 13.

All of the records below are from Gsteig bei Interlaken Kirchenbuch, 1593-1875 created by the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche. Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah at the Staatsarchive des Kantons Bern, 1991. Call Number: 2005438 - 2005447.

Daughter, Margaret, was born 23 Feb 1812, christened 1 Mar 1812. Her parents are Johannes Bhend and Barbara Wyss, from Habkern. The witnesses are Johann Caspar Brugger, storekeeper from Aarmuehle; Margaretha Bhend, the old "Hauptmann's" daughter, from the same place, single; Magdalena Bhend, Jakob's (deceased) daughter, from the same place, single.

FHL Film 2005440, Christenings 1812, Page 165, Entry 21.Witnesses: Johann Caspar Brugger, Handelsmann, von Aarmuehle; Margaretha Bhend, alt Hauptmans seel. Tochter, indidem, coelebs; Magdalena B'hend, Jakobs seel. Tochter, indidem, coelebs.


Son, Johannes, was born 20 Jul 1815, christened 30 Jul 1815. His parents are Johannes Bhend, tailor and Barbara Wyss from Habkern. The witnesses are Herr Christian Tschiemer, Gerichts Statthalter (some kind of a local official) from Habkern; Jakob Blatter, uxoris affinis, from Wasserbach in the same place; Barbara Wyss, born Wyss, from the same place.

FHL Film 2005440, Christenings 1815, Page 251, Entry 96.
Witnesses: Herr Christian Tschiemer, GerichtsStatthalter von Habkern; Jakob Blatter, uxoris affinis, am Wasserbach, indidem; Barbara Wyss, geb. Wyss, auf der Burg, an der Bolseite, indidem.


The birth and death of a child of Johannes and Barbara was recorded just above hers and says that a premature daughter of Hans Bhend from Aarmuehle and Barbara Wyss from Habkern was born dead on 10 Dec 1821. She was buried on 11 Dec 1821.

FHL Film 2005446, Deaths 1821, Page 149, Entry 86
Text: Ein todtgebohrenes unreifer Maedchen der Hans Bhend von Aarmuehle und der Barbara Wyss vo Habkern.

Recorded just below the child's record is the death of Barbara Bhend, born Wyss. She died 14 Dec 1821, was buried 16 Dec 1821. Barbara Bhend, born Wyss of Habkern, the wife of Hans Bhend from Aarmuehle, married 9 Mai 1806, died from heavy, long childbirth requiring an operation. She was survived by 4 children. She was 37 years and 10 months old.

FHL Film 2005446, Deaths 1821, Page 149, Entry 87Text: Barbara Bhend, geb. Wyss von Habkern, der Hans Bhend von Aarmuehle, Ehefrau geb. , cop. 9 Mai 1806. Storb als Kindbetterin, an geschwaren, langen daran sie eine operation ausgehalten, hinterlasst 4 kinder. Alter, 37 Jahr, 10 Monat.


The marriage record of Johannes Bhend and Susanna Kuebli. The banns were proclaimed January 4, 11, 18 and they were married in Gsteig on January 23, 1824. Johannes Bhend, from Aarmuehli, christened 18 January 1782, illegitimate child of Katharina Bhend, widower of Barbara Wyss, deceased, from Habkern. Widower since 14 Dec 1821. Susanna Kuebli, from Aarmuehli, christened 1 January 1786. The daughter of Jacob Kuebli and Verena Laederach, deceased, from Worb.

FHL Film 2005444, Marriages 1824, Page 56, Entry 3.Text: Johannes Bhend, von Aarmuehle, get 18 January 1782, unehelich, Mutter, Katharina Bhend. Wittwer des Barbara Wyss sel. aus Habkern, seit 14 Dec 1821. Susanna Kuebli von Aarmuehle, get 1 Januar 1786, E. Jacob Kuebli, Verenea Laederach, sel von Worb.


Jacob [my 2nd Great Grandfather] was born 27 June 1829, christened 5 Jul 1829, the second child of Johannes Bhend and Susanna Kuebli. His father was Johannes Bhend, from Aarmuehli, the son of Katharina, deceased. His mother was Susanna Kuebli, from Aarmuehli, the daughter of Jacob and Verena Laederach from Worb. They were married, 23 January 1824. The witnesses are Jacob Kuebli, des kinds Grossvater (the child's grandfather); Jacob Kuebli, Sohn, der Mutter Bruder (son, the mother's brother); Margaritha Bhend, des Kinds Halbschwester (the child's half-sister). FHL Film 2005440, Christenings 1829, Page 792, Entry 80.

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