SCHWALD FAMILY GENEALOGY
genealogy of the Schwald-Bergh and Buck-Verdugo families
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  Switzerland to America





Lizzie's g. grandson, Rod Schwald, visits her birth city, Bern 2003.
Lizzie's g. grandson, Rod Schwald, visits her birth city, Bern 2003.

Lizzie Gyger  Lizzie Gyger's Journey
Our paternal Great Grandmother Lizzie was born Elisa Gyger on 16 April 1868 in Canton Bern, Switzerland.

     Lizzie Gyger's birth city, Bern.(Click to enlarge)
     Lizzie Gyger's birth city, Bern. (Click to enlarge)


Lizzie was the third child born to David Gyger, a farmer, and Katharine (maiden name Leuthold), and was the youngest child in the family in 1870, having an older brother and sister, Gottfriey "Godfrey" and Karolena "Lena". Prior to leaving Switzerland, the Gyger family was living in the village of Frutigen, located south of Bern.

Lizzie Gyger was living in Frutigen before coming to the USA.
Lizzie Gyger was living in Frutigen before coming to the USA.
Lizzie Gyger left Switzerland in 1870 from this train station in Thun.          
Lizzie Gyger left Switzerland in 1870 from this train station in Thun.          


Lizze, at age 11 months old, left Switzerland with her parents, David & Katharine (who was 6 months pregnant), and older siblings on 26 March 1870. Accompanying them was a nine year-old-girl, Magdalena Berger (relationship unknown).

The five of them traveled North from Frutigen to the train station in Thun, and then traveled by train to Le Havre, France.

Lizzie's train trip to Le Havre.
Lizzie's train trip to Le Havre.
Lizzie's Family's Travel Papers, Pg. 1.(Click to enlarge)                     
Lizzie's Family's Travel Papers 1870, Pg. 1.(Click to enlarge)         


In Le Havre, France, on 30 March 1870 they boarded the ship, City of Manchester, and sailed to the USA, landing at the Castle Garden Immigration Center, New York on 19 April 1870.

Lizzie's ship, City of Manchester
Lizzie's ship, "City of Manchester".
Castle Garden Immigration Center
Castle Garden Immigration Center circa yr. unknown.


After arriving in the United States, Lizzie's family settled down in Lee Center, New York, for a short period of time. Three months, later, her brother, Emil, was born on June 1870.

Within two years the family had moved to Ohio where Lizzie's four younger siblings, John Albert, Ida, Minnie, and Alfred were born, all their births occurring before the end of 1882.

In 1881 the Gyger family was living in the Upper Sandusky section of Ohio, where they welcomed the arrival of new Swiss immigrants, including the arrival in 1884 of Katherine's brother, Christian Leuthold II, his wife, Katherine (Knoti), and their nine children; Katharine Rosina, Christian III, Rosina, David, Johannes "John", Gottfried "Godfrey", Alfred, Samuel and Louise.

Katherine's brother, Christian Leuthold, eventually settled in the Bucyrus area of Ohio. However, Lizzie's parents decided to continue traveling further west, to Washington state, arriving between 1886 and 1887.. Lizzie's mother's (Katherine) died in 1891 in Seattle, Washington.

In 1897, at age 29, Lizzie was earning a living as a seamstress in Seattle when she met our German Great Grandfather Johann Friedrich "Fred" Schwald, a baker, who, at age 23, was six years younger than her. They married the following year on 4 January 1898.

Lizzie circa 1897.
Lizzie circa 1897.





Lizzie's Gyger Family L-R Lena, David, Minnie, Lizzie circa bef. 1904.       
Lizzie's Gyger Family L-R Lena, David, Minnie, Lizzie circa bef.1904.          






Lizzie's father (David) died in 1913 in Seattle, Washington. Her brothers moved to Bellingham, Washington, where they settled down, married, started families, and farmed their land. Her sisters also married and started families in the Seattle area.

Lizzie and Fred had seven children, all living except for one unnamed baby girl who died at age 1 in 1900. Lizzie helped raise her granddaughter and grandson, Betty and Lester "Bob" Schwald (her son's, Lester, children) for several years after Lester's wife died in 1928 while both children were still toddlers.

Lizzie and Fred were always working. Lizzie once told her grandson, "Bob", "Bobby, work will never hurt you".

Brave Lizzie sought medical care for her throat and internal ear cancer in 1937, but it was too late, and she died in bed seven days later on 10 October 1937 in Seattle.

She was buried in Seattle at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, on Queen Anne Hill, where her son, Lester's wife (Johanne "Joan" Bergh) was also buried in 1928.