Thanks for your reply! I don't know anything of the people you mention, but will paste my little Jüsi family overview below in hopes that something will be helpful to you or anyone else reading this.
While it is possible that seperate families of this similar name originated in various places (Switzerland, Germany or Eastern France), the canton of Bern, Switzerland is where my family originated. Sound of the name Jüsi is quite unique, making me suspect that the family originated at one place. (Althought the given name, "Pierre", doesn't sound very Swiss-German to me!) Some of them may have left Switzerland for Germany or France before immigrating to America.
"My" Jüsi/Eusey family was in Ohio and known cousins were/are in OH, IN, MI, and PA. I know of no other "cousins" who immigrated besides the three brothers: Christian, Johannes, and Samuel Jüsi, sons of Johannes and Anna (Andrist) Jüsi. The father, Johannes (1767-1829), is described as "Sager, auf Reid su Aeschi" in Church records. Researching Church records from Aeschi is dificult as the Church there never allowed their books to be taken to Bern (the city) or photocopied or microfilmed, and so anyone wanting to do research at Aeschi must go there in person or hire someone to go there and copy the records by hand. The record I have comes from a "cousin" who transcribed them at Aeschi in the 1960s or so. My great-grandmother, Lola Sand (1907-1989) was a Eusey.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any other way!
John Day, Oregon
The following written by Nick Sheedy (January 2002):
NOTES on the JÜSI FAMILY
"Our" Eusey family came from the Canton of Bern in Switzerland where the name was spelled Jüsi, Jüssi, Jüsy. Three brothers, Johannes, Christian and Samuel, immigrated to Ohio about 1849. In Switzerland, they lived at and near the community of Aeschi in the District of “Frutigland” or “Frutigen”. They also lived close to nearby Reichenbach and in the area known as “Aeschi-Reid” and “Aeschi bei Spiez”. They were citizens of that place and the family was seated there. Some members of the family also enjoyed citizenship in the city of Bern. Aeschi is about two miles south of Lake Thun and is situated in a typical beautiful lush Swiss valley flanked by rocky mountains and snow-capped peaks. Our Jüsi family has been in this area for at least six hundred years. The Jüsi name is very unique and this is very likely the origin of all people with this name. (Some other people in the USA who may be more distantly related spell their names “Yousi”, “Youse” and “Yaussi”. They are not descended from the three brothers, sons of Johannes and Anna (Andrist) Jüsi --as far as we know!)
A letter from Herman Christman to his cousin, Lola (Eusey) Sand, October 1979, reads:
(from Christman, 223 Harding Way West, Galion, Ohio 44833; to The Sands, 160 North Canyon Blvd., John Day, Oregon 97845; mailed from Mansfield 15 Oct. 1979)
“The Eusey name appears in the records in Switzerland as early as 1390. The spelling was also Jüsi or Jüsy. The one who wrote me used Jüsi and Coral came back as Coral Eckstein Jüsi*.
They lived in the Canton of Bern, not the city of Bern. They lived in the area of Aeschi and Reichenbach which is perhaps 60 to 75 miles south of the city of Bern in the area of Lake Thun. I think south of the lake.
“I wrote to Frieda Hiltbrand Jüsy who lived in Scharnachtal … She had a sister, Mrs. Emma Bruner, who lived in the city of Bern. She could write in English but has never written to us. She has a son who is a minister in the Swiss Reformed Church.
Samuel Eusey, our grandfather, came from this area.
“Concerning the Church –King Rudolph II of Hochburgund (+937) founded the Church of Aeschi. The first mention of this church one can find is in the Tuscanny Church book of 1228. As we told you, we have the picture of this church which the Jüsi family attended.
“The Jüsi name was changed here to Eusey some time between 1875 and 1885. Elwood looked it up at the courthouse but could not find a record of the change. Mother always said the Indianapolis people changed it. It is pronounced the same.
“The visa that belongs to Merith’s family stated they came as free men, meaning they could take up residence in Switzerland anytime and also retain their residence in another country.”
(from Herman Christman)
*cousin, Coral Eusey Eckstein visited Switzerland and died there, being sent home in a coffin inscribed with the Jüsi name.
Annotations by the Swiss Consulate at Los Angeles, California:
“According to a genealogical study in the “Berner Zeitschrift fuer Geschichte and Heimatkunde” Nr.2, 1952, persons with the name Jüsi are known to have existed in the District of Frutigen in 1393. They belonged to the category of Free Men and also had citizenship rights in the town of Berne.”
Dr. Walter Schmid, PhD.
Swiss Consulate General, Los Angeles
8 November 1952
A little of what I know about Swiss history, political structure and family records:
Each Canton in Switzerland is its own Republic; the several Cantons form the Swiss Federation. The Canton of Bern and the city of Bern are distinct (although the city of Bern --Switzerland's capital-- is in the Canton of Bern). The Canton of Bern is among the most ancient that originally banded together to form the Federation of Switzerland over 1000 years ago. While the Swiss maintain political neutrality today, they have been involved in wars over the centuries: most notably old wars to repel Austrian invaders from the east. Napoleon I of France occupied Switzerland for a short time during his campaign. For the most part, the impassable mountains, narrow valleys and well-fortified passes protected Switzerland from invasion and made offensive military force unnecessary. The Swiss adopted official political neutrality in the mid 1800s. Each Canton has an official language and religion. The Canton of Bern is German-speaking and Swiss-Reform in religion (and have been Protestant as long as there were Protestants). Cantons have relative autonomy and keep their own records; individual Parishes kept vital records for centuries, and the public began keeping vital records starting in the late 1800s. Passports and the like are issued by the Federal Government, but as I understand it, citizens are citizens of their Canton.
The family unit has been and is the basic political unit of Switzerland. Each family historically has been charged with providing for its family members, with retirement homes and welfare; they have also kept many of their own records (at the church where they were members). Swiss families are “seated” at a particular town or District and Canton. All records for all family records are kept there and all members of that family are citizens of that place. A person may have been born and lived his or her whole life in a different town or Canton (and may never have visited the family “seat”!), but will have their vital records kept at the place where the family is seated, and not necessarily where they were born or resided. It is for this reason that it is very important to know where a family was seated to locate Swiss Records.
We know our Jüsi family lived at Aeschi, but that has not helped locate records because Aeschi has never allowed Berne to take the church books or copy them for the State Archives. Anyone who wants records from Aeschi before the late 1800s must go there in person and copy any relevant records by hand --leave it to our “cousins” to be old-fashioned and difficult!
The name Aeschi stems from the old high German word "Askahe", which today translates to "small ash tree forest". It was derived from the many ash trees that grew (and still do) in this area. In 1228 Aeschi was written as "Assches" or "Ashes", in 1361 as "Esse" and in 1453 "Eschy", out of which the name Aeschi developed. The name Aeschi has been in use since the 16th century.
Brief correspondance with an official (equivalant to a Chamber of Commerce director) at Aeschi related that they have no local historical or genealogical society.
An official website of Aeschi, Switzerland an be found at: http://www.aeschi.ch/english/english.htm
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