Our knowledge of the Iseli Family in Switzerland is ultimately limited by the availablity of records. Bern was established in 1191 and the City begain its territorial expansion in the 14th Century. No systematic records were in these early years, and the first known mention of a Family member is Konrad Iseli in 1348 as the Burger of Burgdorf. By the 1500's, local churches were keeping systematic records of baptisms, marriages and deaths. In the 1800's, civil systems of records keeping were being introduced and were uniformily standardized throughout Switzerland. Thus, direct genealogical research will probably be limited to the 16th Century. Athough there probably will never be any direct proof that all the Swiss Family Branches are related, it does not deminish the possiblity that they are.
According to the Swiss Surname Registry (1940, 1989) The following Swiss Villiages have records showing Iseli families living in them before 1800:
There are 12 known Swiss genealogies of the Iseli Family based on local town records:
Iseli von Jegenstorf: A full copy of this Family branch's genealogy has been received and is being processed into a database form. According to this document, the family name "Iseli" is documented for the canton of Bern since 1292. The name is mentioned in the records of Jegenstorf in 1371, 1533, and 1542; but it is assumed that this old lineage must have died off or moved away from Jegenstorf by 1600. The current lineage of Iseli's in Jegenstorf dates to 1676 with the introduction of the right of citizenship. Theeldest confirm ancestor is Bendicht Iseli - a miller and mayor - who came from Kernenried. He died before 1599 and probably came from the neighboring Rüdtligen. In Rüdtligen, Iseli's are known dating from 1348 and continuing on into current times.
Iseli von Hasle: A genealogy of the Iseli Family in the town of Hasle has been complied and is avaliable from on this site. The data is derived from the church records and covers 5 different lines of descent, but almost all come from Hans Iseli's three sons born between 1532 to 1531.
Biembach Branch: We have no detailed information on this branch other than a discription the Family shield. The shield is identical to that of the Hasle Branch, except with only a half millwheel (we are not sure which half). But this is not surprizing, as Biembach is in fact part of modern Hasle.
Burgdorf Branch: Konrad Iseli (mentioned in 1348 and 1361) and his son Rudolf (mentioned 1361, 1373, 1374, and 1380) both held the office of the Burgher of Burgdorf.
Saillens and Daillens Branch: This branch starts in the 1700's and has been traced back to the village of Mühleberg, west of Bern. Many millers are reported in the family. They "emigrated" to the French speaking part of Switzerland, now canton Vaud, which was still at that time part of canton Bern.
Grafenried Branch: Data is being processed...
Kirchberg Branch: Due to the important number of individuals found in the early 1500's in Kirchberg, we think that the Iseli family started there and moved up the Emmental Valley as cheaper land had to be found.
Täuffelen Branch: This branch was started by a pastor back in the mid 1500's. This is the most up-to-date Swiss-Branch we currently have.
Glarus Branch: We know there is a comprehensive genealogy of the whole canton Glarus in the Glarus State Archive. This handwritten information has, however, still to be processed. it originates in the mid 1500's and is believed to come from canton Schwyz. This is very strange, since Schwyz is quite a way from Bern. Could this be a totally different branch? We also know that current members spell their name Iselin, but they don't seem to have any connection with the Basel Iselin.
More information about these and the other Swiss Iseli branches will be posted as we receive it in the future.
Early Family records in America show many of the Iseli's originally came from the small villages surrounding Burgdorf, about 10 air miles northwest of the city of Bern. Villages in the immediate area that are mentioned in the Family genealogies include Wynigen, Tal, Walkringen, Lützelfluh, Schüpfen and Eriswil. Hubli and Mulchi are other place names that do not show up on a regular map of Switzerland. If you wish to learn more on these and other villages, please visit our tour through the Emmental .
The Swiss telephone directory lists more than 200 names and address with the surname of Iseli currently living in the region surrounding the city of Bern.
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