Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Earliest Liebenstein in Zurich

The earliest Liebenstein in church records MAY be Casper Lybenstein who was the godfather at the baptism of Regali, daughter of Hans Schmidt von Riplen on 21 Feb 1527!!   I found this record in the baptisms and marriages of the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche Grossmunster Zurich  (FHC INTL Film 922691) 

After finding the Lybenstein and Liebenstein families in the microfilm records of Albisreiden Evangelisch-Reformierte Church, I was curious to look for family members in the other Evangelisch-Reformierte churches in Zurich during the 1500s.  The records for the Grossmunster Zurich Church begin the earliest.  The other two were the Frauenmunster Zurich and St. Peter Zurich churches.  After 6 hours of looking at microfilm, I found the name Lybenstein or Liebenstein in only two records.  The one above in Grossmunster Church and one in the Frauenmunster Church for the marriage of Elfi Libenstein to Mathis Rigardt in 1536.  I could search only a few years in each one, so there are probably more.  
One of the great reformers was Ulrich Zwingli of Zurich and he is a minister at the Grossmunster Church. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More on Goris Liebenstein

At the Family History Center in Salt Lake City last week, I spent several hours searching the "Evangelisch-Reformierte" church records of Albisrieden, a neighborhood in Zurich, where one Livingston researcher [thanks Lucy!] had earlier found the marriage of Goris Liebenstein and Anna Meyer in 1597 and births of their children over the next 23 years.  What was surprising to me was that there are so many records for members of the extended family.  The name is written Lybenstein (with an umlaut over the "y").  

Christening records for this church begin in 1590 and almost immediately there are Lybenstein men and women witnessing the christenings of their friends' children.  The first names are Verena L*, Hans L* and Jacob L*.  Then a Nicklous Lybenstein's daughter Elsbeth is christened and Felix L* christened a daughter Anna.  This is in 1590-1596, when Goris is still single.  Always the witness has the same first name, so Elsbeth Wydler is a witness for Elsbeth L*.  My conclusion is that Goris L* had uncles and aunts in Albisrieden when he married in 1597.  I just checked and there are microfilms for four earlier Zurich reformed churches, the earliest one begins in 1525 and at that time Ulrich Zwingli, one of the Swiss Reformers is the pastor.   Hopefully we will find more family members in the years between 1525 and 1590.  

This adds to the theory that the L* family were among the early Protestants in Zurich and maybe came for religious freedom during the Reformation. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DNA testing beyond YDNA and mtDNA

The newest DNA testing is Autosomal and it looks for long fragments of DNA inherited from our ancestors and matches them.  Here's a great and short explanation of autosomal DNA from the University of Utah's Genetic Science Learning Center.   

I had my autosomal DNA tested by Family Tree DNA, the same company that did my mtDNA.  So far, I haven't connected to any Livingston/Levingston family members.  That's because not many have been tested yet.  I have connected to others in my maternal ancestral line of Starns out of SW Virginia.  I feel good being in the forefront of this new genealogical tool. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Goris = Gregory

Tonight I was trying to figure out the name "Goris."  I found 5 men in the 1500s with that name in one database, two from Holland and three from Switzerland.  Two of these Swiss men were from Zurich, where we first find Goris Liebenstein.  Then I found a "Gregory (Gorius) __________."  Guess it is the given name for "Gregory".  Our Goris has a grandson named Gregorius, probably also the same given name.  My German professor son-in-law said that the name Hans is short for Johannes. Guess that should have been obvious.  So we have three generations in Switzerland: Gorius Liebenstein (b. abt 1570), his son Hannss (b. 1602, Albisrieden, Zurich, Switz.) and his grandson Gregorius (b. 1639, Zurich). 

Monday, April 12, 2010

YDNA links Liebensteins and Livingston in America

Since 2004, eleven men surnamed Livingston or Levingston with suspected ties to the Liebenstein immigrants in the 1700s have tested with FamilyTreeDNA or other labs and match each other closely.  They have some markers of other Livingston males, but always differ in the 13-25 marker tests from them while matching each other.  The Livingston Surname Project has these tests grouped together and marked "Liebensteins?" on this website:

Questions can be sent to the site administrator Andrew Lancaster-Boon or to other co-administrators.   We are eager to test other L* males, especially some whose German ancestors immigrated in the 1800s when the Liebenstein name was kept instead of changing to Livingston.  We thank all those men who have been willing to be tested; it has helped break down more than one brick wall.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Goris Liebenstein

Records in Duren, Germany show that Goris Liebenstein of Albisreiden, Zurich, Switzerland heads a family that moved to Duren, then emigrated to America.  Descendants who emigrated are John Georg Liebenstein, Hans Martin Liebenstein, Johann Bernardt Liebenstein, Johannes Liebenstein and others.