HERSHEY EUROPEAN HERITAGE TOUR
MAY 16-30, 2019
Click HERE to see the tour brochure and registration form.
While many details are known about the Hershey family as they began their life in the New World, little is known about their life in the old world. Thus it is hoped that in the coming years, trained, specialized researchers will discover significant primary source documentation to define the specific sites for this, our early Hershey family.
The Hirschi family roots likely lie within the Swiss areas of the Emmental (Langnau and/or Schangau), Canton of Appenzell and/or Canton of St. Gallen. From about 1614-1711 many Swiss Taufer (Anabaptist Christians) left their homeland due to persecution at the hands of both church and state. Some fled voluntarily and others were compelled to leave. Many found refuge in the Palatinate, with Hirschi family members settling near Friedelsheim, Germany.
After the 30 Years War, life in the Palatinate Rhineland was quite unsettled. These long bearded “Switzers” had a quest to live close to the land as agrarian farmers. Fostered by William Penn's visits and Quaker contacts, families responded to Penn's grand experiment thus by 1710 they began to take up land rights in Penn's Woods within the New World. By 1717 Christian Hirschi (deacon) and his wife, Adelheide Hirschi, took on these new adventures along with three of their children: Benjamin, Andrew and Anna
Aboard one of 3 ships, of which no passenger lists remains, this Hirschi family likely arrived in America in 1717. An eldest son, Christian Hirschi, arrived in 1739. Hans Brubaker and Christian Hirschi (Hershey) divided a 1000 acre tract, west of Lancaster PA by the Little Conestoga Creek, with the northern half deeded to Christian and southern half deeded to Hans.
This brief search seeks to follow the branches of four Hershey children: Christian, Benjamin, Anna and Andrew.