The first known member of the WOLFENSBERGER family was Knight BALDERBERT, 1233 - 1259. The Noble Knight BALDERBERT was probably Knighted when he was a leader on probably the third crusade. Knight BALDERBERT, and possibly, others of his family endowed the Monastery at Ruti, where the family Coat of Arms was displayed and where many of the family may lay buried. The home of the Noble Knight BALDERBERT was the Castle Wolfsberg on the steep side of a mountain near the present town of Bauma in northeast Switzerland. The Castle is listed in the Book of Castles of Zurich. Now only the steep hill with the flattened top remains of the castle.
Hans von WOLFSBERG
WOLFSBERG was born about 1395 and lived in the
castle Hof Wolfsberg where many of the family
lived for several generations. The generations
between Knight BALDERBERT and Hans is not totally
connected, but there are records of several members
of the family between these two persons. The name
of the spouse of Hans is unknown. Hans had five
sons; Herman born about 1436, Ulrich born about
1439, Hans born about 1443, Frederich born about
1445 and Konrad born about 1446. All of the known
WOLFENSBERGER family are descendants of this Hans
von WOLFSBERG. The principle reference to this
family is "Deutsch-Schweizerisches Geschlechterbuch"
by Dr. Jur Bernhard HOERNER of Berlin and Fritz
UMBERGER of Zurich, published in 1929. This book
is out of print and only two copies are known
in the United States. This book was underwritten
by Jakob WOLFENSBERGER of Bauma, the father of
Heini WOLFENSBERGER. The other important reference
to this family is the "Wolfensberger Family of
Switzerland", Film 1181673, Item No. 16 from the
LDS Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, UT.
IMMIGRATIONS TO AMERICA
The first known WOLFENSBERGER family to arrive in America was that of Johannes WOLFERSBERGER, his spouse Anna Margaretha ENSMINGER and three of their children. The father of Johannes was Erhart born 18 November 1666 in Ettenhausen, Switzerland. He immigrated to Wolfsheim in the Alsace near Strasbourg in about 1688. Erhart met and married Ursula EMM. Ursula required Erhart to become a Catholic before their marriage. They made their home in Wolschheim which is only a short distance southeast of Saverne. There is only a record of one sibling by Erhart and Ursula that being Johannes. Johannes was born about 1694, probably in Wolschheim. Johannes met and married Anna Margaretha ENSMINGER in Mattstall of the Alsace. Mattstall is northeast of Wolschheim near the German border. They lived in Mattstall and Langensoultzbach, which is only about two kilometers southwest of Mattstall. Their first four children were born in Langensoultzbach. The children were; John Peter born 16 October 1721, Maria Ursula born 29 August 1724 died 8 September 1727, Jakob Frederich born 1 June 1727. Probably their son Johannes was born in Langensoultzbach in the early part of 1730, because he was an infant in their journey to America. The family came to America from Ludwigschafen down the Rhein to England They left Dover, England on the Thistle of Glasgow on 19 June and arrived in Philadelphia 29 August 1730. They settled for a short time in Lancaster County then relocated in Lebanon County, Pa. Their other children were born in Pennsylvania. They were; Mary Catherine born 3 August 1733 in Lancaster County, PA and John Philip born 14 February 1739 in Lebanon County, PA. Probably at least 80% of the total family descendants in America are descendants of this Johannes, as many of them had very large families. The descendants are scattered over the USA. The best early reference to this family in America is a paper by Raymond Martin BELL of Washington, WOLFENSBERGER WOLFERSBERGER FAMILY" of Switzerland, Alsace and Pennsylvania. This paper does a remarkable job of following the family from Switzerland to the Alsace then to America. Dr. BELL covers three or four generations in America.
The next known immigration to America was by Hans WOLFENSPERGER, his spouse Anna Regina HUBER and their four daughters. Hans was born 26 August 1706 in Uster Switzerland. Anna was born 10 January 1711 in Uster. Their daughters were all born in Uster. These daughters were; Regula born 1 March 1731, Elisabeth born 1 January 1735, Anna born 28 October 1737 and Cleophea born 26 March 1739. The family immigrated to Carolina in September 1743. Hans was the son of Hans WOLFENSBERGER and Elisabeth HEMIG from Medikon. The mother of Hans died in 1709 when he was three years old. The ancestors of Hans are complete all the way to Hans zu WOLFSBERG. At the present time we have no further records of this family. It is hoped that someone can be found or volunteer to trace the descendants of these four daughters. The above is the total information we have on this family. This information was obtained by an article in a 1919 issue of the National Genealogist Magazine.
The Reverend Jonathan WOLFERSBERGER migrated to Page County, VA in about 1840 probably from the area of Baden-Baden, Germany. The location and date of his birth is unknown at this time. Neither are his parents known. Jonathan was born 24 July 1815, died 30 May 1891 in Stanley, Page County, Virginia. The records in America are fairly complete and have been provided by Alice Wolfersberger FOUTZ of Page County, VA , Harry WOLFERSBERGER and his late spouse Virginia of Orange Park, FL and Judy WOLFERSBERGER of Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Judy is presently working on these unknowns. The spouse of Jonathan was Mildred LILLARD, born 10 November 1821 in Madison, Virginia, died 5 October 1918 in Stanley, Page County, Virginia. All of their six children were born in Page County, Virginia. The children were; William H born 13 April 1844, Sarah E born 12 June 1847, Cecelia born 26 October 1849, J. Harrison born 28 May 1852, George H born 19 September 1857 and Robert Edward born 16 May 1866. Most of the descendants of Jonathan still live along the Atlantic coast. There are 125 descendants listed on their family records.
Martin WOLFERSBERGER, his spouse Katherine SHERRER and their five year old son, Franz lived in Hartzviller, France. Hartzviller is located some 20-30 kilometers southwest of Saverne. They came to America through New Orleans in 1843.They went up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri. The settled in Mascoutah, Illinois. Mascoutah is about 30-40 miles east of St. Louis. Martin was born about 1800 in Hartzviller, France. He died in Mascoutah on 27 February 1860 and is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Mascoutah. Katherine was born in about 1802 in France. She died in 1880 and is buried in Mascoutah. The children of Martin and Katherine were; Franz born in Hartzviller December 1838, Michael born in Mascoutah January 1844, Christina born in Mascoutah May 1849, Joseph born in Mascoutah April 1850, Caroline born in Mascoutah 1854 and Lillian born Murphysboro, Illinois. There are 176 members of this family on our records. This family had a great genealogist, George WOLFERSBERGER. George spent most of his life in Detroit where he was employed by the Ford Motor Company and it was there that he did most of his genealogical research. Not only did he research his ancestors but the entire family. Some of the family history that we now have are due to his research. I never had the opportunity to meet or talk with George, but I have communicated many times with his son Charles. Charles is an engineer for a manufacturing company in St. Louis, Missouri. It has been Charles that has provided the history of this family. The descendants of Martin are still mostly in the St. Louis area.
Dr. Isaac WOLFERSBERGER came to America in about 1884 from Holland. He was born about 1854 and died in 1926 in Hutchinson, Kansas. It is not known what port of entry he used. Evidently he had two marriages. His first wife was - McMullan. She and Isaac had two pair of twins. One of the twins was Patrick McMullan WOLFERSBERGER. It is believed that Isaac first had his home in Pennsylvania. Patrick was in the Hutchinson, Kansas area at the age of 16. Patrick had a son, Charles Patrick WOLFERSBERGER who had a son Reverend John D. WOLFERSBERGER. John now lives in Chino, California. It is this John that has provided the information on his family and he will continue an attempt to find more information on his family.
Wolf WOLFENSBERGER was an immigrant to the U. S., from Mannheim, Germany, in 1950. He married Nancy ARTZ. Nancy was born in Indiana. Wolf and Nancy have two daughters and one son; Margaret, Joan and Paul. Wolf obtained a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology and is now a professor at Syracuse University. Wolf’s family is connected, without a break, to Hans zu WOLFSBERG through Hans youngest son Friederich von WOLFSBERG. Wolf’s ancestors immigrated into Canton Luzerne in about 1550 then to Southern Swabia in about 1650. Southern Swabia is near the north end of Lake Constance. Much of this family information was researched by Wolf’s late father, Friedrich, who had taken the same footsteps as his ancestors in this research.
There are probably several other members of the WOLFENSBERGER family that have come to America that are not here recognized. Efforts will continue to locate and recognize them.