Early Swiss Genealogical Resources

May 18, 2007

Despite some inaccuracies and incomplete documentation, the genealogies collected by Julius Billeter (1869-1957) include more that 1200 families and are among the best sources of genealogical information on families of Swiss descent.

According to the Billeter collection, the Streiff family has origins in Diesbach GL, Linthal GL and Schwanden GL, Switzerland.

Online Billeter collection resources can be found in German or English for more details about Streiff and other surnames of Swiss origin.

For more information about Julius Billeter and his work, check the Swiss Roots website.


Streiff Surname in the United States

May 18, 2007

According to the 1990 US Census, the Streiff surname is ranked 21,858 in frequency of occurrence in the United States. The surname is held by less than 1,000th of 1% of the total population, which means it is very uncommon in this country.

By contrast, the most frequently occurring surname of Smith (ranked number 1), is held by 1.006% of the population.

Find out how common your surname is in the United States here.

Streiff Family Crest

May 17, 2007

Streiff Family Crest

Streiff Family Origin

May 17, 2007

STREIFF. Originally an old, noble family of the city of Chur, they adopted the villages of Diesbach, Linthal, Schwanden, Glarus, and Mollis in the canton of Glarus (Switzerland). Coat of Arms: In gold, two red hearts placed one on top of the other.

I. St. von Diesbach – 1) Hans from Graubunden, Captain in the Swiss Confederation League at the Castle of Mailand in 1513; he was killed in the battle of Marignano in 1515. 2) Fridolin: died December 20, 1658, was the ancestor of all presently living Streiff’s in the land of Glarus. 3) Joachim: September 26, 1607 – September 1647; purchased the Tagwenrecht in Schwanden in 1638. He was a shipbuilder and was Provincial Governor of Werdenberg in 1647. 4) Fridolin, brother of Joachim #3, was born May 21, 1620; and died November 30, 1690; he was an ancestor of those of Glarus and Mollis. He served for his brother as Provincial Governor of Werdenberg, he was a Senator and Ennetbirgischer Judge, an Ambassador in 1676, a representative of the Glarners in the negotiations that came as result of the evangelical and religious feuds in the land of Glarus in 1682, local Captain from 1656 to 1690, and Burger of Glarus in 1665.

II. von Glarus: Johann Balthasar, born August 8, 1656 – was Provincial Governor in Mendrisio in 1674, in local government in 1691, (Landshauptmann); was Chorrichter in 1697, and died June 20, 1720. 4) Fridolin: born December 8, 1653 – died September 25, 1742. Leader of an evangelical. Leader of a Company in the Peter Stuppa Regiment in France between 1693 and 1697. He was Commander of the march against the revolting citizens of Werdenberger in 1721. 9) Johann Heinrich: born January 1, 1708 – died October 28, 1780. A Senator and Ambassador of the hilly region in 1743 and 1751. He was Country Squadron-Leader in 1749 and Provincial Governor of Thurgau in 1768. He founded the first cotton and handkerchief fabric factory in Glarus in 1740 and through this became the founder of the world famous textile printing of Glarus and of Glarus’ factory industry.

STRAIFF, STRAIF. Families from the cantons of Graubunden and St. Gallen.

A. Canton of Graubunden. Straiffer and Streif. State bishop of Chur ministers. Coat of Arms: in blue, two white Capra Ibex in Pfahlstellung (stake prop). Already in 1270 the Knights, 1) Conrad I. and 2) Otto I., brothers, left. Temporarily they were feudal lords over the citizens of Falkenstein at Igis, Strahlegg at Fideris, Upper and Lower Sansch, and Kapfenstein at Kublis. 3) Johann I. (Hans) led an unfortunate private war against the Barons of Razuns in 1335 and was captured by them; he lived in Kapfenstein and Strahlegg. 4) Albrecht soon after 1350 won the citadel fortress Neu-Aspermont, and was the biggest landed proprietor of the family; wealthy with Jenins, Maienfeld, Malans, Igis, Zizers, in Schanfigg and in Davos; inherited from the Knights of Rankwil fixed wealth on the Walserstz Rofels at Maienfeld, and gained the Castle Aspermont which reached the Urdensee Alps in Radanfis (Flaschertal, Falknis) and the Ortensee Alps (Jenins) and sold, with his brothers and sisters, Johann II, Otto II, Elsbeth, Anna and Agnes, on April 1, 1351, the Castle Kapfenstein (Upper Sansch) to the Countess Kunigunde, from Vaz. In 1403 came complete possession of the City together with the Veste Strahlegg by Friedrich VII of Toggenburg. With that they disappeared from Churwalden (the forrests of Chur), and in 1518 the name Streiff appears in Glarnerland.

Information from: Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz (7 volumes + Supplement), Neuenburg 1921-1934.