Canton Berne
The Lehnherr Home in Wimmis, Canton Berne, Switzerland
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The Lehnherr Family Crest
Family crest from the village church in Wimmis

The surname LEHNHERR is usually spelled LEHNER in Switzerland (from "lehenaere" = owner of a feudal property). Families originated in the Swiss Cantons of Appenzell, Bern, GraubŁnden, Luzern and the Valais. The name is of European origin, initially from Austria to Switzerland some 700 years ago in the 1200’s. The early family is believed to have been Christian.

Some unconfirmed data indicates that there may be seven different LEHNHERR family lines, all of which originated in Austria or Switzerland; eventually we may find that all seven lines started with one father and mother--that would make us all cousins! They initially settled in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Utah and Oregon. With enough historical data, we believe they all lead to a common source.

The Lehnherr Home in 1909Family folklore indicates that the Lehnherr family once occupied a castle in Wimmis. Wimmis, itself is documented since AD 994. Nothing is known about the early history of the castle. Before the barons of Weissenburg took over, the lords of Strattlingen appear to have been in possession of it. The village was bought by Bern in 1449 from the brothers Kaspar & Niklaus von Scharnachtal. Today, it is the capital of the district Niedersimmental (the lower valley of the Simme river).


So far genealogical research has found five separate lines of LEHNHERR's, all of whom emigrated from the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. We are unable to show any relationship of one to another. They are as follows:

1. 1882 - Rudolph LEHNHERR settled in Wisconsin and went in the cheese business.

2. 1860 - Christian LEHNHERR settled in Oregon and installed the first grist mill in what is now Myrtle Point.

3. In the early 1880's, Jacob LEHNHERR, married to Susan Gurtner, settled in Minnesota with five children--Jacob, Susan, Fredrick, Godfred, and Gottlieb.

4. In the early 1900's, Ernest LEHNHERR settled in Utah.

5. In the early 1880's, Alfred LEHNHERR settled in the Emporia, Kansas area.

Map of Wimmis


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Other family names include Andersen, Arbogast, Ashler, Bartell, Baumgartner, Baussan, Benerotte, Berger, Bevit, Blain, Bouslog, Blumer, Briggs, Broderson, Buehler, Caflisch, Case, Chapman, Cofield, Collingham, Davis, Drackley, Edds, Ely, Granger, Gurtner, Hager, Hickmon, Hoeft, Holmes, Huff, Huffman, Johnson, Karsten, Kleve, Kuehne, Leeder, Lord, Lutz, Marmet, Mendez, Meismer, Melrose, Mills, Mitchell, Muhler, Mullinix, Neumann, Olson, Palmer, Ponson, Quattlebaum, Schuetz, Stewart, Sutton, Suyama, Thornton, Valek, Wallace, Waslager, Wittwer, Zahler, Zahner, Zimbelman.

Just as our family is always growing and changing, so is this web site.
We welcome your comments, corrections, and contributions.

Copyright © Robert Earl Lehnherr and Kathleen (Lehnherr) Ely, 1997-2002
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