Part 2 - Becoming AmericansIf you missed Part 1 of the story, go here . . .
In the middle of the 19th Century, six brothers, the sons of Johann Heinrich and Ursula would join the growing migration from Canton Glarus, Switzerland to New Glarus, Wisconsin. There is still some speculation as to the exact date or dates the brothers came over and what ship or ships they might have traveled on. What we do know is that all, except one, were recorded in the church records at New Glarus by 1854 and all seemed to settle in the town of New Glarus or the Town of Washington in northern Green County, Wisconsin.
|A typical Wisconsin pioneer log house. The Zweifel|
brothers may have encountered and lived in houses
similar to these when they first arrived.
Adam was the third son of Johann Heinrich Zweifel and Ursula Zweifel and the oldest of the six who came to America. He was born in 1819 in Linthal. He married Verena Durst (b.1826, d.1965) in 1847 and already had four children by the time if his immigration. Verena was the daughter of Johannes Durst and Magdalena Legler. Of all of the brothers, his passage to America seems to be the most verifiable. Adam, Verena and their four children were listed on the passenger manifest of the ship Cotton Planter which sailed from Antwerp, Belgium and arrived at New York on June 10th 1853. Family history recorded that one of their children died prior to their departure in Linthal and another on the voyage. Ships records, however, list all four of the children and there is no death notation for any of them. While the death on board cannot be fully verified, it does seem certain that none of the children died in Switzerland. One other discrepancy is that the ship's records list the family as being from Germany, but because all of the names and ages are so accurate, it seems likely that this is Adam Zweifel from Linthal.
Adam purchased a farm on Section 24 in the Town of New Glarus in November of 1853. Adam and Verena started a family and raised 10 children on the farm. Verena died in 1865. In 1871 Adam married Louisa Figi (b.1824, d. 1898). Born Loiusa Holsi, she was a widow with seven children, four of which were still at home at the time of her marriage to Adam. He formally adopted her youngest child, Margaretha. Adam would live out his life on the farm and die at the age of 80 in 1900. Adam and Verena's eldest son, Heinrich apparently left New Glarus for parts unknown after a family squabble. All of the rest of the children, except one daughter, moved on to Iowa. The farm was purchased by John Zweifel, the son of Adam's brother Bernhard. Adam is buried in the New Glarus Cemetery.
|Part of the Ship's Manifest of the Cotton Planter listing|
Adam Zweifel and Family on lines 222 - 227.
The fifth child of Johann and Ursula, Fridolin reportedly came to America in 1854. He was born in 1823 in Linthal. He married Regula Oswald (b.1836, d.1906) in either 1854 or 1855. She was the daughter of Fridolin Oswald and Maria Stussi who were reportedly from Canton Bern, Switzerland. It is unclear if Fridolin and Regula were married in Switzerland or Wisconsin. Additional information on Regula's family history has yet to be found. There is a Fridolin Zweifel listed in two passenger manifests. One is from the ship Rotunda (from LeHavre, France) which also lists Regula Zweifel and Albrecht Zweifel (see Albrecht below). The ship arrived in 1854 and the ages of the three seem correct. If Fridolin and Regula were married in Switzerland, it would have been just a few months before their departure. There is also a single man named Fridolin listed on the ship Mecadonia, which also arrived in that same year. There were a number of Zweifel's listed on that ship's manifest but Fridolin is grouped with a David Zweifel and his age is off by a few years so that record seems suspect.
Fridolin raised a large farm in the Town of Washington, just south of New Glarus and right next to his brother Bernhard's farm. He accumulated over 200 acres in three purchase made in 1860, 1864 and 1869. Fridolin and Regula had 11 children over an 18 year period. He died in 1879 and per a doctor's note, his death was caused by his refusal to undergo surgery for a hernia. After Fridolin's death, his eldest son Johannes wanted to buy the farm but Regula would not let him. She insisted on owning the farm and having her children run it for her. After a court battle, Johannes left and cut off contact with the family. Eventually, Regula moved to Monroe and most of the children quit the farm. She finally sold it to her son Fridolin in 1901. He in turn sold it to his son, also named Fridolin, and it remained in the family until 1967. Fridolin is a direct ancestor of this writer and more information about his family is found in part three of this report.
|A contemporary view of the Fridolin Zweifel farm on Sections 4, 8 and 9 in the|
northwest corner of the Town of Washington, Green County. At the top of
the map, between the two roads, is the beginning of Bernhard Zweifel's Farm.
The sixth child of Johann and Ursula, Peter came to America in 1854. He was born in 1824 in Linthal. There was a Peter Zweifel listed on the ship Mecadonia which sailed from LeHavre, France and arrived in New York in 1854. He is listed with two others (see Jost, below) and his age is correct so it could be this Peter. He married Barbara Zweifel (b.1839, d.1897) in 1869. She was many years younger than him and the daughter of Jakob Zweifel (d.1865) and Margaret Zweifel. It is unclear how Peter was related to his wife but her family was noted to be from Linthal so he was probably a distant cousin. Peter fought in the Civil War. He enlisted in Monroe in August of 1862, fought for the duration of the war and was mustered out in June of 1865. At his enlistment, he was noted to be 37 years old, medium build and a farmer from New Glarus.
Peter served with the Company B of the 31st Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. They were organized at Prairie du Chein and trained at Camp Utley in Racine. In 1863 they headed to Kentucky. They initially performed a number of rear-duty operations that ranged from guarding prisoners in Wisconsin to protecting rail lines and bridges around Nashville and Chattanooga. Later they finally saw action at the siege of Atlanta. In the summer of 1864, they spent almost a month dug-in about 1/4 mile from the southern defenses and were under constant fire. After Atlanta, the 31st continued with Sherman on his march to the sea where the Company was engaged in foraging for supplies, building corduroy roads and a number of small battles in Georgia and South Carolina and then the Battle of Bentonville in North Carolina. They ended the war by participating in the “Grand Review” at Washington, D.C.
The seventh child of Johann and Ursula, Albrecht reportedly came to America in 1854. He is a bit of a mystery as there seems to be little information about him. Swiss records indicate he left Linthal but are unsure about his destination. Zweifel ancestors in New Glarus do not remember him and he was not recorded as a member of the church. He does seem to be recorded as dying and being buried in New Glarus in 1857. There is no record of him at the cemetery but records that early are often incomplete. There was an Albrecht listed as holding a mortgage for Adam Zweifel. There was also an Albrecht Zweifel on the voyage of the ship Rotunda, which sailed from LeHavre, France and arrived at the Port of New York on May 17, 1854. He is listed as being from Switzerland and is of the right age, though the handwriting of the age is hard to make out. On that voyage, he is listed along with a Fridolin Zweifel and Regula Zweifel.
The eighth child of Johann and Ursula, Jost came to America in 1854. He was born in 1827 in Linthal. He married Verena Zopfi (b.1834, d.1887) in 1854, reportedly, in Switzerland. She was the daughter of Johannes Zopfi and Anna Streiff. There was a Jost Zweifel listed as a passenger on the ship Mecadonia which sailed from LeHavre, France and arrived in New York in 1854. This Joist is grouped with a Peter Zweifel and Verena Zweifel. Jost's age is correct so at first glance, this might seem to be two brothers and a wife, however, Verena's is listed as only eight years old when she would have actually been 20. Her name is spelled correctly so it might be possible that the age is recorded wrong but that cannot be verified. Jost fought in the Civil War. He enlisted in Monroe in September of 1862. Family stories say that he was so angry over the outcome of an election that he abandoned his family and joined the army. They did not hear from him until he returned three years later. At induction, he was noted to be a 34 years old, middle-sized, grey-eyed, light-haired, fair-complexion, 5'-11" tall and a farmer from New Glarus.
Jost joined the 9th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment in October of 1862 where he served in Company B and F. The unit was known as the German regiment because it contained many veterans of the German Army. They were experienced, well trained and very disciplined. The regiment expected to be thrown into the war in the east but instead, ended up as part of the "Southwest Expedition" into Kansas, Missouri, Indian Territory as well as engagements in Mississippi and Arkansas. They spent most of the war performing the arduous task chasing small bands of guerrillas and Indians. Jost did see action in a number of small campaigns including such interesting locales as: Ferre Noire, Prairie D'Ane and Poison Shrimps. His final battle would be at Jenkin's Ferry, where he was wounded in April of 1864. The battle was fought on mud soaked fields and in flooded swamps as the Union Army was trying to build a pontoon bridge to retreat across the Saline River in what would be the last battle of the Arkansas campaign. Jost was taken prisoner and held until July of 1865. It is reported that he was shot through the lung and never fully recovered from his wounds. When he returned home, he was so malnourished that his family did not recognize him. Despite this, he went on to live another 30 years.
|Barbara Zweifel, the fifth born child of Jost.|
The ninth child of Johann and Ursula, Bernhard came to America in 1853 or 1854. He was born in 1829 in Linthal. There was a Bernhard Zweifel listed as a passenger on the ship Mecadonia which sailed from LeHavre, France and arrived in New York in 1854. This was the same record that lists Fridolin, Peter and Jost, though Bernhard is not grouped with any of these other Zweifel names. His age is correct so it could be this Bernhard. He married Barbara Kundert (b.1836, d.1922) in 1860. She was the daughter of Thomas Kundert and Elsbeth Voegeli from Ructi, Glarus. Bernhard farmed in the Town of Washington right next to his brother Fridolin. He bought 135 acres in 1860 and and additional 40 acres in 1872. His son, Thomas took over the farm in 1904 and ran it until 1955. Bernhard and Barbara had six children and after selling the farm, they lived a quiet life of retirement in the Village of New Glarus. They are buried in the New Glarus Cemetery.
|Map of the Town of New Glarus (top) and northern half of the|
Town of Washington (bottom). The farms of five Zweifel brothers
can be seen. From the 1873 Atlas of Green County, Wisconsin.
The next generation, the children of the Fridolin Zweifel, can be found here . . .