American Glattfelders Tracking Their Roots

(Translation of the text of May 30th 2013 Swiss Newspaper „Der Glattfelder" by the author Koni Ulrich, for the many friends in America who asked for it, specially on facebook)

On May 23rd two young couples from Virginia came for a visit to our town. They followed the tracks of their pre-pre-pre-pre-ancestor Casper Glattfelder, who migrated with his family to America in the year of 1743.

Last Thursday two young American Couples arrived in our town (or rather village, of 4500 inhabitants). They came from a business-trip to Frankfurt, Germany and thought to invest at least one day following their roots in the person of their ancestor far back, Casper Glattfelder. The four people were enthusiastic about the old center of the town, the « grey house », (built 1526), the Gottfried Keller Center (Swiss author 1819 to 1890) and the church where Casper once had been baptized, before he left his hometown.

Donnie Gladfelter, his wife Helen and their friends John and Andrea Frankovich, all in their thirties, had to do some work in the neighboring country and thought: Why not try to wander for a while on the tracks of good old Casper, our grand-grand-grand-grandfather down south in Switzerland? As they were used from their home-country, the young people from Virginia just jumped in their rental car and drove all the way south into the larger area of Zurich, (not the capital, but the biggest town in the country). So, on Thursday-morning they made it out to the Zurich Underland. They took a walk to the river Glatt (that gives the name to the village) and its newly rebuilt wooden bridge. They looked at the old logs in the grey house. Postcards with sights of the town were stamped at the near post-office, so they could later be sent home from the hotelroom.

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No Glattfelders in Glattfelden any more

by Koni Ulrichglattfelder pic

If in the future Americans with the family name of Glattfelder walk the footsteps of their ancestors, they will not find residents by that name in Glattfelden any longer. Liesel and Reini Meier–Glattfelder have moved out of Glattfelden. As so often in recent years, at the end of June, an illustrious group of seven Americans visited our village tracing the footsteps of their ancestor Casper Glattfelder. In 1743, with his family, he crossed the Atlantic and settled in Pennsylvania where the Glattfelders thrived. The large family group led by Lois and Larry Gladfelter spent two days in the lowlands accompanied by Henry and Myrtha Glattfelder, Mayor Pier-Luigi Quattropani and Koni Ulrich.

Read more: No Glattfelders in Glattfelden any more