Introduction, four complete indexes (three place name indexes and an Every Name Index) by Dr. Urspeter Schelbert and Foreword by Lewis Bunker Rohrbach, CG, all in English. 512pp. 1995 (1889). Text in Swiss-German. #1607 $49.50
1997 Award for Outstanding Contribution in Swiss-American Studies to Prof. Leo Schelbert, for America Experiences - The National Center for Swiss-American Studies, Inc.
Originally published as Geschichte und Leben der Schweizer Kolonien in den Vereinigten Staaten von Nord- Amerika (History and Life of the Swiss Colonies in the United States of North America), Swiss Colonists contains biographical sketches of some 9,000 Swiss individuals and families who came to America in the 19th century.
Most sketches include the commune or canton of origin in Switzerland - one of the most important pieces of data on a Swiss immigrant - as well as the individual's location and occupation in America. Some of the Swiss colonists you meet here will already be familiar to you: the founder of Delmonico's in New York City; Johann August Sutter of 1849 California fame; Johann M. Brunswick of Cincinnati, already manufacturing billiards equipment; Johann Cullmann of Cullman, Alabama; etc. There are wonderful oddities such as Josef Burger of Detroit, who lists his occupation as shoemaker and head of the secret police. All in all, something for everyone!
The text is in Swiss-German, while the Introduction and new annotated indexes by Dr. Urspeter Schelbert are in both English and German. The indexes usually include the place of origin in Switzerland; the location of the settler in America; and their occupation.
This book, one of the most important works on 19th century Swiss immigrants to America ever published, has been virtually unknown to genealogists. Whether or not you can read German, you will find more than sufficient information in the massive 120 pages of English Indexes and English Introduction to make this book very worthwhile.