Research into the history of your ancestors by Peter Wälti

The Wältis of Rüderswil from the Emmental


Until the 20th century, the notation of surnames was subject to the will and daily form of the local parish priest. For example in Rüderswil you will find forms like Wälthy, Wälty, Wählti, Waelti, Wälti, Welthy, Welty Welthi etc. even for closely related individiuals.


  The name Wälti is a derivation of the Christian name Walter or possibly in some cases of Valentin. As possible progenitors, everybody is possible whose line goes back to one of those two first names. So there were probably several possible progenitors and most of them were not related. Today, you will also find people with the last name Wälti whose pre-father came onto this name by another way. (I am an example of this).


Swiss citizenship is based on inherited right maintained in a specific community in Switzerland called “place of citizenship”. Regardless of the place of residence, or the place of birth, christening, marriage, divorce, death or burial, the registration of those events should have been recorded in the church books and citizens’ registers of the said place or community of citizenship. So this community, the corresponding civilian registry or in the old time the church of the corresponding parish community of canton Berne are the most important record centres for a search of an entire clan.

In principle, this system was introduced with the “begging order” of 1676 in Canton Berne. One can at the latest since then expect that children baptized outward were notified of to the parish priest of the child’s and his father’s place of citizenship. The baptizing parish priest has rather seldom also listed the baptism in his own baptismal register so that we can find the baptizing entry additionally and for once also at the place of birth of the child. According to the quality of the parish priests and the messengers involved and also according of the time period was of course also the quality of the system. As of the beginning of 18th century it gets, however, more and more reliable.

Among other things we must in addition take into account that a respected or rich family father also could change his place of citizenship. And sometimes there were limit clearings up between municipalities, such as between Rüderswil and Lauperswil. The place of citizenship of the family living in this area then changed with that, too. And the more we go back in the past, all the more we must expect such and other exceptions and sometimes also mistakes.

In the 19th century there were the following 48 places of citizenship or family clans for the carriers of the names Wälti, Welti, Walti and Wälty in Switzerland:

Old Places of Citizenship for people named Wälti, Wälty, Walti und Welti


Wälti (26)

Welti (17)

Walti (3)

Wälty (1)

Seeland BE

Büren a.A., Hermrigen, Mörigen, Siselen, Sutz-Lattrigen




Oberland BE

Boltigen, Lenk, St. Stephan





Arni, Hasle b.Burgdorf, Landiswil, Lauperswil, Lützelflüh, Rüderswil, Trachselwald, Trub





Bottenwil, Oberkulm, Scherz,

Schöftland, Berikon, Gipf-Oberfrick, Ittenthal, Oberwil-Lieli, Rekingen, Zurzach

Dürrenäsch, Seon, Zofingen


















Altdorf, Schattdorf





Kappel am Albis, Richterswil, Wädenswil

Adliswil, Boppelsen, Dägerlen, Embrach, Kappel am Albis, Oberembrach, Richterswil, Rüschlikon, Schönenberg




The table listed below contains the births of 395Wälti children listed in the parish registers of Rüderswil between 1554 and 1754. It shows that most of the children (14%) were born in February and that June was with barely 6% the weakest birth month.

These numbers show that the pleasure of life was rather a little subdued in the summer, fall and winter. The long days of the summer were full of hard work and it seems that the strengths were used up quite primarily in September. At this condition the long nights of the winter then did not change much either. Their highest objective was presumable surviving the severe winter as well as possible. But with the first spring flowers her life spirits woke up primarily in the month of bliss in May again, too.

Of course this behaviour made sense also for the off-spring. This because de children born in spring had the better chances of survival because of the milder climate in summer.


The Wälti families with citizenship in Rüderswil who entered in the parish books of Rüderswil in the time around 1850, are descending from the progenitors listed below.

1. Ulrich Wälti * before 1573, Margreth Brechbühl * before 1544 

The church registers of Rüderswil begin in the year 1554. His parents remain thus unknown. Ulrich Wälti owned the saw mill of Schwanden in the parish community of Rüderswil. It remained in the same family up to the 18th century and it still exists.

2. Hans Wälti * before 1633 von Schwanden und Elsbeth Lüthi * before 1635

Hans Wälti and Elsbeth Lüthi married in 1649, and they lived in the hamlet Schwanden in Rüderswil. They had at least nine children, and the last one was baptized in 1670. At the assumption that Elsbeth was not more than 45 years old in 1670, she was born between 1625 and 1635. The birth of her husband therefore falls in the time between 1610 and 1633. - Possible baptizing data of this Hans Wälti: - 13.5.1621 Hans Wälti from Rüderswil and Barbara - 22.12.1631 Ulrich Wälti from Niederäschli and Barbara Ellenberger - 3.7.1631 Hans Wälti from Schwanden and Anna Wyss

3. Christen Wälti * before 1720, Anna Röthlisberger * before 1722

Christen Wälti from Rüderswil and Anna Röthlisberger from Trub married in Signau on 1736. Their only well-known child, Christen, was christened in Rüderswil on 24.11.1754. A 75 years old Anna Röthlisberger was buried in Rüderswil in March 1785. If she was the wife or widow of Christen Wälti, she would have been born at 1710. The baptism of her husband has to be looked at the time from 1705 to 1720. Possible baptizing data and parents of this Christen Wälti:- 1.1.1708 Christen Wälti, Maria Thomi - 10.3.1708 Peter Wälti, Magdalena Hofer - 5.3.1717 Peter Wälti, Margreth Kräyenbühl

4. Hans Wälti * before 1744, Madlen Geissbühler * ~ 1736 - Barbara Liechti * before 1763

Hans Wälti married Madlen Geissbühler in 1760 and Barbara Liechti in 1778. He took his last well-known child to the baptism in Grosshöchstetten on 1787. Madlen Geissbühler died in 1776 at the age of 40 years. So she was born in 1744. Hans will therefore have been born between 1730 and 1744. – Possible baptizing data and parents of this Hans Wälti: - 14.1.1730 Hans. E: Hans Wälti, Elsbeth Aegerter - 5.3.1730 Hans. E: Christen Wälti, Madlen Burkhart - 13.1.1732 Hans. E: Christen Wälti, Madlen Thomi - 25.4.1738 Hans. E: Peter Wälti, Elsbeth Geissbühler

5. Ulrich Wälti * before 1751, Elsbeth Lüthi * 1747

Hans Wälti and Elsbeth Lüthi* 1747 married 1767 in Signau. At the baptism of their second child Elisabeth in the year 1768, Ulrich's sister Elsbeth Wälti was godmother. They had at least three children. The last well-known child was baptized in Signau in September 1773. They lived in Längenbach in Oberthal, parish community of Grosshöchstetten. Their traces lost themselves afterwards. – Because they only had three children, it’s possible that Ulrich was a widower when he married Elsbeth Lüthi. He may be born between 1735 and 1750. - Possible baptizing data and parents of men with the name Ulrich who had a sister named Elsbeth: - 12.8.1736 Uli Wälti, Anna Mosimann - 22.12.1741 Hans Wälti, Anna Liechti - 6.8.1747 Hans Wälti, Barbara Zürcher

6. Hans Wälti (1775-1853), Anna Aeberhard ( 1780-1853)

Hans Wälti-Aeberhard was - In accordance with statement of his mother, Elsbeth Wüthrich (1752-1834), and the verdict of the upper church court of Berne - a son of her husband Hans Wälti (1757-1799), saw miller’s son from Schwanden in the parish community of Rüderswil. An YDNA analysis seems, however, to prove that Hans Wälti-Aeberhard was a son of his mother’s master Hans Moser from Schwanden in the same parish community (see below). Christoff Wälti-Meyer (1780-1833) was, however, for certain a further son of Hans and Elsbeth Wälti-Wüthrich. An YDNA analysis of a descendant of this Christoff Wälti-Meyer would show, whether he was really a brother or only a half-brother of Hans Wälti-Aeberhard. Moreover, such a test is the perequisite for the further investigation of the ancestors of Hans Wälti-Aeberhard and Christoff Wälti-Meyer.

The following persons were descendants of Christoff Wälti-Meyer:- Christen Wälti-Kähr (1860-1910) in Bümpliz- Rudolf Wälti-Ulrich (1866->1903) in Bümpliz- Gottfried Wälti-Stoll (1868-1925) in Bühl (Walperswil)- Johannes Wälti-Pauli (1879-1908) in Merzligen- Friedrich Wälti-Wenger (1882->1921) in Walperswil und Biel- Emil Ernst Wälti-Wälti (1885-?) in Bühl (Hermrigen)- Samuel Wälti-Krieg (1882-1945) in Bern Descendants of these families who would like to make an YDNA analysis may write to me.


Elsbet Wüthrich was a maid of Hans Moser from Schwanden in the parish community of Rüderswil. On 30th June 1775 she complained Hans Wälti, saw miller’s son from Schwanden in the parish community of Rüderswil to be the father of her unborn child. 13 Juli1875: Hans Wälti was a farm hand of the same Hans Moser at the same time. On 13th July 1875 he accepted her paternity claim. He put, however, the condition that Elsbeth Wühtrich leaves her master immediately. Despite repeated requests of the church court of Trub and Hans Wälti she has not left Hans Moser. So on 1st October 1775 Hans Wälti announced that he doesn't want to marry Elsbeth Wührich any more. He suspected that Hans Moser is the father of the child. On 8th October 1775 Elsbeth has celebrated a suicide attempt. On 6th January 1776 the choir court of Trub could persuade Hans Wälti to marry Elsbeth Wüthrich. It also had forbidden to Hans Moser to do further interferences in this marriage, however. This verdict was confirmed by the upper church court of Berne on 28th January 1776.

«Elsbeth Wüterich, Michel’s daughter, resident at Rüppi in the parish community of Rüderswil is in the service of Hans Moser in Schwanden, parish community of Rüderswil. Her father had to inform the parish court of Rüderswil that she was pregnant by Hans Wälti, saw-miller’s son of Schwanden who is in the same service as she is. She lays claim to his paternity and to marry him».


Johannes Wälti

Place of citizenship




1775 - 1776



1800 – 1824




Rüderswil, im Armenhaus





* 29.11.1775

Trub: When Elsbeth Wüthrich gave birth to her child on 29.11.1775, she was questionned again by the parish judges about the name of the real father of her child. She insisted that the father of her child was Hans Wälti. They again appeared at the parish court of Trub on 6.1.1776 to get the baptism of their son.

Chorgericht Trub

~ 15.12.1775

Trub: Johannes Wälti from Rüderswyl, Elsbeth Wüterich.

K7Rw182, K7Trub269

Tz: Jakob Wälti, Hans Wälti, both of Rüderswyl; Barbara Kobel of Lützelflüh.

∞ vor 20.7.1800

Not found in the parish books of Heiliggeistkirche Bern, Rüderswil, Köniz, Belp, Grafenried. Jegenstorf.


# 05./08.06.1853

Rüderswil: Johannes Wälti of hier [Rüderswil], Ehemann der Anna Aeberhard, im hiesigen Armenhaus. Alt: 78 Jahre, 6 Monate.




Hans Wälti (6.2.1757 -20.7.1799)



Leiblicher Vater

Hans Moser von Schwanden, Meister


Elsbeth Wüthrich

Abstammung des Hans Wälti-Aeberhard

Juni 1775:   Elsbeth Wüthrich, die Magd des Hans Moser von Schwanden, klagt beim Chorgericht von Rüderswil, Hans Wälti, des Sagers Sohn von Schwanden sei der Vater ihres ungeborenen Kindes. Hans Wälti, Knecht bei demselben Moser, bestätigt dies. Er und später auch die Chorrichter fordern Elsbeth jedoch mehrmals erfolglos auf, den Moser sofort zu verlassen. Mit der Zeit vermutet Hans Wälti, Hans Moser sei der Vater des ungeborenen Kindes. 8.10.1775: Elsbeth Wüthrich versucht Selbstmord zu begehen. 6.1.1776: Das Chorgericht von Trub überzeugt den Hans Wälti, die Elsbeth Wüthrich zu heiraten und verbietet dem Hans Moser, sich jemals in diese Ehe einzumischen. 28.1.1776: Das Oberchorgericht bestätigt diese Ehe und legalisiert den am 29.11.1775 geborenen Sohn Hans Wälti. – YDNA-Proben beweisen, dass die Nachkommen dieses Sohnes nicht dieselbe YDNA aufweisen, wie Nachkommen anderer Rüderswil Wälti. Zudem gibt es in Amerika Moser-Nachkommen mit Herkunft aus dem Emmental, welche die gleiche YDNA aufweisen, wie Nachkommen dieses Hans Wälti. – Es ist bis jetzt nicht möglich, den leiblichen Vater Hans Moser einwandfrei zu identifizieren.

Anna Aeberhard

Place of citizenship



~ 10.12.1780

Jegenstorf; Eltern: Hans Äberhard und Barbara Stempfli von Habstetten.


Tz: Bendicht Iseli; Anna Dürig-Äberhard; Maria Iseli-Kunz, alle von Jegenstorf.

† 30.9.1853

Jegenstorf: Anna Wälti-Aeberhard, Johann Wältis von Rüderswyl




Hans Aeberhard von Jegenstorf



Barbara Stämpfli von Habstetten


Kinder (all baptised in Jegenstorf)

Anna Maria



~ 20.7.1800

Tz: Niklaus Junker; Magdalena Äberhard; Maria Äberhard} alle von Jegenstorf.


∞ 9.12.1821

Verkündung: Schein auf Jegensstorf: Bernhard Bösch, Johann Heinrichs Sohn von Wattwyl im Tockenburg. 28.8.1793. Anna Maria Wälti, Hansen Tochter von hier. 20. Juli 1800, beide zu Jegenstorf.


t: 2/5.8.1860

Maria Anna, Jahanns und der Anna Eberhard von hier im Armenhaus. Alter: 40 Jahr, 03 Monate 09 Tage.





~ 8.11.1801

Tz: Niklaus Äberhard von Jegenstorf; Anna Wüeterich von Trub; Elsbeth Wyss von Graffenried-Aberhard.


∞ 28.10.1831

Bendicht Niklaus, Bendichts von Zauggenried, in Jegenstorf getauft am 9.3.1806 und Anna Wälti, Hansen von hier zu Jegenstorf. In Jegenstorf getauft 8.11.1801


† 24.04.1860






~ 23.10.1803

Tz: Christoph Wälti, Onkel Kinds Bruder; Elisabeth Glauser von Jegenstorf; Anna Hoofer-Äberhard wohnt zu Jegenstorf.


∞ 18.10.1834

Muri: Heinrich Humbel, von Bonischwyl, Seengen im Aargau und Elisabeth Wälti, Johanns von hier, beide in Bern.


Anna Barbara



~ 12.04.1805

Tz: Hans Äberhard von Jegenstorf, des Kinds Grossvater; Anna Wahli von Bolligen; Anna Barbara Vögeli.


∞ 28.2.1827

Schein: Ulrich Rychard, Ulrichs von Affoltern i.E. getauft 21.6.1807 und Anna Barbara Wälti, Hansen von hier, 12.4.1805 Jegenstorf, beide in Burgdorf.





~ 6.2.1807

Magdalena, verstorben. Tz: Bendicht Äberhard; Elisabeth Iseli-König, Löwenwirtin; Barbara Äberhard- Glauser alle von Jegenstorf.


† 1807






~ 31.03.1809

Tz: Hans Aeberhard, Bruder der Mutter; Bendicht Uhlmann von Jegenstorf; Elsbeth Hofer Tochter des Niklaus Ballmos. † 30.09.1866.



Messen.   … tot gefunden.





*/~ 22.7.1813

Vater: Hans, Hansen selig. Tz: Niklaus Aeberhard von und zu Jegenstorf; Nicklaus Nicklaus von und zu Jegenstorf; Magdalena Aeberhard-Hubacher von Jegenstorf, die Wirtin zu Urtenen.


∞ 7.8.1838

Bern Nydeck: Niclaus Wälti, Hansen von hier, Müllerknecht in Bern, Jegenstorf get. 8.8.1813 und Catharina Knutti, Johanss selig von Zwischenflüh, Diemtigen, getauft 27. September 1811.





* 29. 9.1816

Tz: Jacob Dürrig, Schmied zu Jegenstorf; Georg Bischof von Chevraux, C. Waadt, Löwenwirt; Maria Wälti, Schwester des Kinds.



∞ 27.5.1842

Rüderswil: Jacob Wälti, Johanns von Rüderswil, wohnhaft zu Niederscherli getauft am 6.10.1816 und konfirmiert an Ostern 1833 in Jegenstorf und Elisabeth Blaser, Niklausen von Lauperswil, wohnhaft zu Schliern, getauft am 21. 7.1816 und konfirmiert 1832 in Krauchthal, verstorben am 30.12.1890.

K19Rw107, K22Köniz112

t 20.5.1852

Rüderswil: Jacob Wälti von hier, Ehemann der Elisabeth Blaser im hiesigen   Armenhaus [von Rüderswil].


Maria Anna



~ 24.4.1820

Tz: Jackob Iseli von Jegenstorf, Löwenwirt; Maria Hofer von Ballmos, alt Almosners Ehefrau von Jegenstorf; Frau Maria Iseli-Dürrig, des Gerichtsweibels Christen Dürigs Ehefrau.


† 2./5.8.1860

Maria Anna Wälti, Johanns selig und der Anna Eberhard Tochter,

von hier im Armenhaus. Alter:   40 Jahre, 3 Monate, 9 Tage.


Hans Jacob



~ 15.07.1821

Tz: Hr. Jakob Aeberhard, Amtsrichter und Grichtsschreiber zu Münchringen; Rosina Hubler von Bäterkinden, Kreuzwirtin zu Jegenstorf; Jakob Junker, Chorrichter von Jegenstorf.




Insel Bern: der Insel zu Bern, Johann Jacob Wälti, Johanns und der Anna Aeberhard Sohn von Rüderswyl, sonst zu Bümpliz, alt 25 Jahr.





~   3.10.1824

Tz: Johannes Iseli, Niklausen von Jegenstorf. Herr Johann Ludwig Fasnacht aus Bern Pfarrer zu Jegenstorf; Elisabeth Knuchel von Iffwyl, Niklausen selig Tochter an der Matten.


∞ 18.8.1848

Rüderswil. Friedrich Wälti, Johanns von hier im Byfang bei Lüzelflüh, getauft Jegenstorf 3.10.1824 und Anna Barbara Christen, Christens von und zu Dürrenroth, getauft in Dürrenroth am 3.12.1826.


∞ 11.12.1886

Verena Tschanz-Grädel, Andresen und der Magdalena Minder, Witwe des Johann Gottlieb Tschanz von Röthenbach, geboren in Huttwyl am 16.8.1843.



Burgerregister von Rüderswil, Band 2, Seite 264 sowie die in der dritten Spalte aufgeführten Kirchenbücher.

Abkürzungen und Regeln

Abkürzungen: * = geboren. ~ = getauft. ∞ = verheiratet. † = gestorben. # = begraben. Tz =Taufzeugen. K = Kirchenbücher. BR = Burgerregister. Rw = Rüderswil. Jt = Jegenstorf. Regeln: «von Rüderswil» = das Wort «von» vor einem Ortsnamen bedeutet, dass es sich um einen Place of citizenship handelt. Die mit Quellenangaben bezeichneten Orts- und Personennamen entsprechen der Original-Schreibweise.

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