The Swiss Family Holliker: Introduction

I have always held an interest in my family of origin; the Swiss Family Holliker.  The original spelling of the name was ‘Holliger.’  Johannes Holliger came to America in 1833, and this is where this story will begin – with Johannes.

In 2006 I wrote a book, “Grampa, Where Did We Come From.”  I wrote it to explain our heritage to my grand daughters, and will pull a great deal from it as I develop this thread.  Since 2006 I have learned a little more that lends to the story, and really should be included.

Our story is not ‘extraordinary’ from the standpoint of great accomplishments of the Swiss Family Holliker; but from the simple fact that is is a story of the American Dream.  Johannes came to America with virtually nothing – and built a life for himself and his family with just the opportunity offered by our nation.  No expectations – just opportunity.  

How any times have we asked ourselves, “I wonder why I didn’t ask Mom or Dad, about this or that, while they were alive?”  I have, on many occasions.  And then there are ‘those boxes;’ those boxes of old pictures, letters and documents our parents and grandparents saved for whatever reason.  Things that make no sense at all to us today.  I have some of those boxes, and for the most part, I know a great deal about everything in them.  However, there are still a few “holes,” but I am working on them.

My work on my family began when I was a kid.  My grandparents’ house had 3 wonderful attics with all sorts of ‘treasures.’  At some time or another I found a copy of a family history, “Family History of John Holliker and Eva Cripplever Holliker.”   This is often referred to as “the Green Book.”

As we see, it was printed in 1959.  (My grandmother’s, Vilena’s, handwriting).

When I got serious with my family history, this is the document I began with.  From it I discovered ‘John Holliker’ and the search began.

Once I began looking I found many documents and pictures relating to the Hollikers.  I also made note of the stories I’ve heard over the years, about various Hollikers.

In 1999 I decided to travel to Switzerland to see what else I might discover about our ‘roots.’  I asked Bud Bauman if he might be interested in going with me.  Bud is also of Swiss origin, and has an interest in genealogy.

As it turns out, Bud knew a man, Dr. Max Baumann, he had met some 10 years before – maybe around 1989 or so.  Max has done a fair amount of work researching Swiss immigrants.  He was in Sandusky, OH doing research on the Swiss family “Hirt.”  Someone who knew of Max’s work, also knew Bud.  It was thought that Bud and Max might be related.  So Bud met Max, only to discover they weren’t related after all.  However, Bud maintained contact with him, and when we decided to go to Switzerland, got in touch with him.  As it has turned out, Max has become so instrumental in my quest to discover my family – and I am so grateful for meeting him.

And so, the story begins… The conclusions herein are mine, as well as any errors.  I will correct any errors as they may come to light, and a gun is held to my head!  Enjoy…

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