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   Elmer Gibson

   Daniel Noffsinger

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Visit to Early Nafzger Cities

Ben Noffsinger


In February 2005, my wife and I were presented with the opportunity spend some time in Germany. We did so and were able to visit some sites of genealogy interest for each of our families. This was a whirlwind tour lasting barely a week and did not include time for any research. Mainly we wanted to get a brief feel for these areas where many of our ancestors came from.

Geislingen an der Steige is a town of Wurttemburg between Stuttgart and Ulm. We took the Autobahn 8 south east from Heidelberg past Stuttgart toward Ulm. We exited near Weisensteig and continued down the valley to Geislingen. Geislingen is a somewhat sprawling town nestled in a valley, surrounded by hills. The town extends out from the center in arms along the highways. On one prominent hill above the town there are the ruins of a castle and on another a tower. Across the valley, another hill has a large cross. To the north, large modern wind mills can be seen on the tops of the hills. The main church (stadtkriche) dates back to the 1200s and much of the current structure was standing when the earliest known Nafzger residents. We found a Nafzger on an inscription honoring veterans of the first world war.

From Geislingen we doubled back to Weisensteig, where an early Nafzger is documented. Weisensteig is a small town on the side of the hill up the valley from Geislingen. It is near the headwaters of the river and there are ski areas nearby. This is where the Autobahn 8 crosses the hills. On one side the rivers drain into the Rhine and therefore the North Sea. On the other, is the Danube that drains into the Black Sea. After Weisensteig we made a brief stop in Ulm, where there is a beautiful cathedral with a prominent tower.

From there we went south to the Zürich area where we explored towns significant to my wife. And then we continued westward to the Thun area.

Just north east of Thun is the hamlet of Uetendorf, where early Swiss Nafzgers were to be found. Uetendorf is a small town that is very close to Thun and somewhat higher in elevation. The church there was of a modern origin. Thun itself was a very charming swiss city with an impressive castle and an island in the river that flows through the city.

We moved north east from Thun through French speaking swiss towns (some of which had significance for my wife) and back northeast to Basel. Then we drove through some of the French Alsatian countryside to Neuf Brisach. Here again is a town with Nafzgers at an early date. Neuf Brisach is an impressively laid out walled town. The walls and earthworks are quite well preserved.

Unedited pictures from our trip are available.

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Last Modified: 2005-06-14

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