Sunday, April 11, 2010


1. Book, "Wampler Family History 1500s - 1700s," by Fred B. Wampler, Ph.D.:
Pp. 1-2: "Origin of the name Wampfler (Wampler). The name Wampfler is Swiss in origin. Most researchers of the family history have known this for sometime. However, the exact manner in which the name originated and evolved has never been accurately presented on this side of the Atlantic. This is given below. In Bern Canton in Switzerland lies the village of Diemtigen. About a mile away from Diemtigen is a place called Wampflen. This place consists of four houses. Near Wamflen there is a gigantic high rising wall of rock. This totally vertical structure is fairly common in this part of Switzerland and is overwhelming to the mind when one first sees this towering creation of nature. In Swiss German, 'fluh' is the dialect term for a steep mass of rock. 'Wand' is the German word for wall. Thus, 'Wandfluh' is the word combining both of the two words of interest and indicates a place having a steep rising wall of rock. Accordingly, German grammar would imply that a Wandfluher was one who came from or near the Wandfluh. In the case of Wandfluher, the name gradually changed from Wandfluher to Wampfler. Hans Sommer in his book 'Kleine Namkund' (Verlag Paul Haupt, Bern 1944) states 'the one living near the Wandfluh was called Wampfler.' Niclaus Siegenthaler in his work 'Bilder aus der Geschichte des Obersimmentals,' (Verlag E. Blessing, Zweisimmen 1937) mentions the Wampfler clan on page 59: 'Wampfler from the Wandfluh by Diemtigen, Wandfluher to Wampfler).' It is interesting to note this is found in the chapter entitled 'More recent Upper-Simmen Valley Surnames, since 1556.' The Obersimmental (translated - Upper Simmen Valley) is the area that includes the villages of Lenk and St. Stephan as well as other villages. These villages are particularly important because numerous Wampflers moved from the Diemtigtal (the Diemtigtal is part of the larger area known as Niedersimmental, translated -- Lower Simmen Valley) to the villages of Lenk and St. Stephan. This emigration of many Wampflers from the Niedrsimmental to the Obersimmental took palce in the late 1500's and the early 1600's and that is why Siegenthaler includes the Wampler clan in the list of surnames after 1556 (i.e., for the Upper Simmen Valley). The Wampflers of direct interest to this book [database] did not move to the Obersimmental. However it may be of some interest to the readers of this book to know that in the Geimendehaus (town hall) of Lenk there is a family coat of arms hanging on the wall of the clerk's prominent among this collection of about a dozen is the Wampfler coat of arms. The first observed mention of the name Wamplen (instead of Wandfluh-place name) that I have found is a christening dated 22 June 1600, the father of the child Hanns Frey at Wampflen (Diemtigen church records). The immigrants to America carried the name Wampfler when they came in 1741 and 1747. The name changed to the easier to pronounce Anglo-Saxonized version Wampler. In Europe today the only form that is used is Wampfler. [The book contains photos of two of the four houses of Wampflen as it appears today. The houses are of swiss chalet type.]"
P. 4 discusses the Diemtigal (Diemtig Valley) . Diemtigtal consists of several places: Diemtigen, Wampflen, Zwischenfl√ɼh -- each of which are within walking distance of the other. The church that served these hamlets was at Diemtigen (the old church our ancestors attended was in the exact same location as the new church of which the book contains a photo.) For the earliest eras that we have written records, Zwischenfl√ɼh was the principal home of our Wampfler ancestors.
Pp. 10-24: The author includes about three dozen Wampfler entries for christenings and marriages from the church records of Diemtigen which church included all of Diemtigtal. There are no obvious pedigrees for any of those entries nor a specific entry for Heinrich Wampfler.

2. Book, "Wampler Family History 1500s - 1700s," by Fred B. Wampler, Ph.D., pp. 54-55 contains an enumeration of the various clans holding citizenship rights in Diemtigen and how many children of each appear in the local christening registers covering the time periods 1659-1712 and 1713-1766 as well as how many appear in the death register 1713-1766. The enumeration was in the back of the local church records book "Diemtigen Taufrodel, 1713-1766. Of the 49 family names, the following have interest:
Herren: 32-2-23.
Klossner: 61-94-51.
Knutti: 58-61-56.
Wampfler: 9-16-9.

3. The book, FHL 929.273 w181wf, "A Wampler Family History," by Roy H. Wampler, Chevy Chase, MD, 1999, quotes heavily from Fred Wampler's book. He does note that Fred found over thirty baptismal records among Wampflers from between 1559 and 1591 in the Diemtigen church books. The names of the fathers of the various children listed were given as Urgel, Hans, Anthoni, Michael, Jacob, and Niclaus. Maiden names of the mothers, where given, include Nidegge, Kammer, Herren, and Landbrandt. He also found marriage records of the period 1569-1593 recording the unions between the Wampfler family and those named Kammacher, Juzeller, Cuntz, Landbrandt, Herre or Herren, Kammer, Knuti, and Agenstien. No relationship has yet been determined connecting them.
Villages within Diemtigtal having Wampfler associations are Diemtigen, Wampflen (related to the name Wamfler), Zwischenfluh and Oey. Lenk lies in the nearby Simmental.

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