Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Switzerland, Part 5 Family History Day!

We stayed in Interlaken overnight, and then were able to begin our adventures in the beautiful Switzerland.  

For a little background: Mr. H and I both have ancestors that come from little villages close together close to Interlaken.  We discovered that our ancestors knew each other, and helped each other come to America.  We also discovered we are related about 7 generations back. :)  Anyway, we were really excited to come to Switzerland and see some of the places we were from.  

For our first day, we were able to devote the entire day to being and discovering the villages where we were are from.  
We met Mr. H's grandpa's cousin, P, at the train station in Spiez.  
My goodness, it was such a miracle and a treat that we were able to get together with P.  He was such a delightful man, and a terrific guide.  He is actually a professional genealogist.  He knew SO MUCH about family history and the places where we were going.  

Stop #1
Niederstoken, Switzerland

Home of my S family!!!  This village was incredibly beautiful.  The flowers were out, the animals bells were ringing.  I almost cried being there, and I could feel the spirit so strongly.  We saw the home of John Kunz's (Mr. H's ancestor) first wife, Magdelena Straughbar and where her first two children were born.  We also got to see the site of where my 2nd great grandfather was born.  The house burned down in 1999, so this house was built on the spot.  It was so special.  We got to go to the old church in the Reutigen valley, where all my family would have been christened, married and buried.  It was so neat.  I loved being there!  The church was beautiful and had some amazing 14th century frescoes.  It was really neat to be in the same place that my ancestors had lived.  

The Schilthorn, where my Great-Great Grandfather Rudolph said he hiked!

Stop #2
Erlenbach, Switzerland

We stopped at P's lovely home and met his partner K.  Their home was amazing, and it was neat to see where they lived.  P took us to the church here, which ended up housing some of he best art pieces I saw on the entire trip.  K was related to Peter Kunz, who was a reformer in the time of John Calvin.  Peter Kunz had helped put together and preserve this church.  When he was told that the frescoes had to go, instead of destroying them, he had the people white wash over them, which ended up preserving them amazingly well.  These frescoes were awe inspiring.  The church housed what was believed to be one of the first poor man's bible, that is bible scenes on the wall so that people who couldn't read would be able to learn the scriptures.  The images were in amazing condition and were beautiful.  One picture in particular was really neat-it showed the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.  It then also showed Christ freeing the spirits out of spirit prison after he had been crucified and before he had come back to the earth and showed himself to the apostles.  P told us how he has felt many of the spirits there in spirit prison pushing and pulling him to find them.  It was so neat to see this in the little church.  There was also a rendition of Christ giving Moses the 10 commandments---they were not written in Latin, which was typical at that time, bu in the local dialect.  So amazing!

Stop #3
Diemtigen Valley

This is where the Kunz family came from!  We drove up this gorgeous canyon, and were able to have the best lunch and meal I had on my entire trip!  We had fresh cream soup, hearty bread, salad w/ local roots and greens with homemade dressing and then I had noodles and a homemade pork bratwurst--it was amazing.  For dessert, P was so kind and ordered us strawberry sundaes w/ fresh cream on top, and then we had the best dessert ever, a BRETZLI!   It was like a waffle cookie with some amazing swiss chocolate inside.  Seriously so good.  We had a great conversation and then continued in the valley.

View from the restaurant

Stop #4
Zweishenfluch (SP?) +Kunz Family Dairy

We saw the church where the Kunz's would have all been christened, married and buried.  Then we were able to see the home built in the 1670's where the 2 of the Klossner/Schweingruber couples lived. (5 brothers married 5 sisters).  He shared that these 2 sisters started skipping their local church meetings and started studying the scriptures on their own at home.  It was against the law, as a member of the family had to be at church every week.  They had to meet with the church court for this and they told them they didn't go because they were waiting for further revelation.  They ended up not getting punished.  We loved that story.  It was neat to see their names and dates carved on the home.  We were able to see the family dairy which was cool, since the Kunz's carried on the dairy tradition in Cache Valley, UT. 

Kunz family dairy

do you see the 1693??? Crazy how old these houses are!
 Stop #5
Kunz family farm
We were then able to see the homes of John Kunz I, II, and the III.  This was where a lot of the missionary things happened, and where Karl Maeser taught the family. It was really neat to see these homes.

Fun candid of Mr. H :)

Stop #6

This was Boss country!  We were able to see the home of Elizabeth Boss who was born here, and where John Kunz III would have come many times.  We walked along the path he would have taken many times.  We saw the stable where John Kunz III was burned in effigy-they hung a stuffed dummy and set in on fire.  We were also able to see the place where some of the Boss daughters were baptized.  It was awesome.

We were so blessed to be able to do this with P.  It was so neat to see all of these places, and he was so great to do that for us.  He is doing amazing work over there!

Stop #7

We were able to take our cable car up to the tiny alpine village we were staying at.  Oh my, it was gorgeous.  We stayed at the Mountain Hostel there which was AWESOME!  We dropped off our stuff, and took a hike to Murren, it was SO beautiful.  
View from our Hostel


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