|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, New York, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Appalachia and Georgia|
|American English, German (especially Swiss German), French, Italian, Romansch|
|various Christian denominations, including Roman Catholic, United Church of Christ, Reformed Church in the United States|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Swiss people, Swiss Brazilian, Swiss Chilean, German Americans, German diaspora|
- 1 History
- 2 Population
- 3 Notable Swiss Americans
- 4 Swiss American historical societies
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The first Swiss person in what is now known as the territory of the United States was Theobald (Diebold) von Erlach (1541–1565). The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann, a native of Erlenbach im Simmental.
The late 18th and early 19th century saw a flow of Swiss farmers forming colonies especially in Russia and in the United States.
Before the year 1820 some estimated 25,000 to 30,000 Swiss entered British North America. Most of them settled in regions of today's Pennsylvania as well as North and South Carolina. In the next years until 1860 about as many Swiss arrived, making their homes mainly in the Midwestern states such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. 50,000 came between 1860 and 1880, some 82,000 between 1881 and 1890, and estimated 90,000 more during the next three decades.
In spite of Swiss settlements like Highland (Illinois), New Glarus (Wisconsin), Gruetli (Tennessee) and Bernstadt (Kentucky) were emerging fast, most Swiss preferred rural villages of the Midwest and the Pacific Coast where especially the Italian Swiss were taking part in California's winegrowing culture, or then took up residence in more industrial and urban regions such as New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis or San Francisco. As the lifestyle and political institutions of the United States were compliant with those of their homeland most Swiss had no problems starting a new life in their part of the New World and became attached to both countries.
Along with the Swiss Immigrants came their traditions. By the late 1800s sufficient numbers of Swiss had arrived that Swiss Vereins (Clubs) were established to provide camaraderie and sharing of customs and traditions of the Heimat (Homeland). The William Tell Verein of Oakland and the Sacramento Helvetia Verein founded in the 1890s were examples of clubs formed during this period. Much later, the West Coast Swiss Wrestling Association was established to preserve the Swiss tradition of Schwingen (Swiss wrestling) on the Pacific coast of the United States.
Swiss immigration diminished after 1930 because of the Great Depression and World War II. 23,700 Swiss arrived until 1960, 29,100 more between 1961 and 1990. Many of them being professionals or employees in American branches of Swiss companies, returned after some time to Switzerland.
Swiss Americans by numbers
According to the 2000 United States Census, the 15 cities with the largest populations of Swiss Americans are as follows:
According to the 2007 American Community Survey, the states with the largest populations of Swiss Americans are as follows:
Swiss Americans by percentage of total population
According to the 2000 United States Census the highest percentage of Swiss Americans in any town, village or other, are the following:
only cities, towns and villages with at least 500 people included
According to the 2000 United States Census the states with the highest percentage of people of Swiss ancestry are the following:
Communities settled by Swiss immigrants
Notable Swiss Americans
- Mary Katherine Campbell (1905-1990) only Miss America winner to hold beauty title twice. 1922 & 1923. Mother was of partial Swiss ancestry.
- James Caviezel (1968 - ) Film actor
- Travis Childers (1958 - ), U.S. Representative from Mississippi
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969) 34th President of the United States
- Marc Forster (1969 - ) Film director, raised in Davos (Switzerland), Swiss mother, holds Swiss citizenship
- Alexander Frey (1972 - ) Conductor, pianist, organist and composer
- Albert Gallatin (1761-1849) 4th United States Secretary of the Treasury, Congressman and diplomat; immigrated from Geneva (not formally part of Switzerland at the time) in 1780.
- Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) 31st President of the United States
- J. Edgar Hoover (1895–1972) first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States.
- Jewel (1974 - ) singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, and author
- George Lucas (1944 - ) Film director
- Michelle Pfeiffer (1958 - ) Film actress
- Jean Piccard (1884–1963) scientist and high-altitude balloonist
- Ben Roethlisberger (1982 - ) football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL
- Liev Schreiber (1976 - ) Film actor
- Ryan Seacrest (1974 - ), Television host & radio personality
- Meryl Streep (1949 - ) Film actress
- Chesley Sullenberger (1951 - ) American airline transport pilot (ATP) who successfully carried out the emergency ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, saving the lives of the 155 people on the aircraft.
- Henry Wisner (1720-1790) Member of the First Continental Congress and Second Continental Congress
- William Wyler (1902–1981) Film director
- Darryl F. Zanuck (1902–1979), Film producer
- Renée Zellweger (1969 - ) Film actress
Swiss American historical societies
- Beech Island Historical Society, a historical society in South Carolina dedicated to the preservation of Historic Beech Island, including the early Swiss settlement led by John Tobler.
- Grundy County Swiss Historical Society, a historical society in Grundy County, Tennessee, site of former Swiss colony of Gruetli.
- Highland Historical Society, a historical society centered in Highland, Illinois, site of one of the oldest Swiss settlements in the United States. It was founded in 1831 by Swiss pioneers from Sursee, Switzerland.
- Orangeburgh German-Swiss Genealogical Society, a genealogical society focused on the early Swiss and German settlers of Orangeburg, South Carolina.
- Santa Clara Utah Historical Society, a historical Society dedicated to the preservation of an early Swiss Settlement in Utah.
- Swiss American Historical Society - focuses on the involvement of the Swiss and their descendants in American life, aspects of Swiss American relations, and Swiss history.
- Swiss Heritage Village & Museum - begun in 1985, it is currently the largest outdoor museum in northern Indiana. It is located in Berne, Indiana.
- Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association - consists of descendants of the Mennonites who immigrated to the USA from Ukraine in the 1870s.
- The Swiss Center of North America includes an extensive list of Swiss clubs.
- Swiss people
- Swiss Argentine
- Swiss Brazilian
- Swiss Canadian
- Swiss Chilean
- Swiss diaspora
- European American
- Hyphenated American
- Swiss American Historical Society
- 2008 Community Survey
- "Swiss Americans"
-  "History of Swiss Settlers"
-  "immigration since 1930"
-  "2007 American Community Survey by State"
- http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=12388 "John A. Sutter Jr. Founder and Planner of City of Sacramento ... Was born in Switzerland, October 25, 1826. He was the son of John A. Sutter..."
- Bouquet and Pennsylvania "Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission"
- "An American of 10 Generations". New York Times. 1907-05-12.
- Swiss Roots: Renee Zellweger
- Swiss Roots: Herbert Hoover
- Swiss Roots: Jewel Kilcher
-  "His father had mainly Swiss and British roots."
- "...and my mother is Swiss and Swede."
-  "Swiss Roots: How much do you know about your Swiss heritage? Ben Roethlisberger: Honestly, I didn't know a whole lot until recently; then I started feeling it out a little more and hearing a little more about it. Now, when people ask me where I'm from, I'm quick to say, "Well, I'm Swiss." I'm sure I have a lot of things in me, but that's one of the things I tell people—that I'm Swiss."
- ""Held vom Hudson" stammt aus Wynigen" (in German). Berner Zeitung. 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
-  "Born Willi Wyler ... to a Swiss father and a German mother"
- Swiss Americans
- Swiss American Historical Society
- OltreconfiniTi, the official website dedicated to Ticinese emigration
- San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club (California, USA)
Articles about the Swiss in the United States
- The History of New Schwanden Swiss community Hennepin County, Minnesota is the story of a former Swiss colony in Minnesota written by Wayne C. Blesi.
- Tobler, Douglas F. (1994), "The Swiss In Utah", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917
- Swiss Americans Article by University of Illinois - Chicago emeritus professor Dr. Leo Schelbert about Swiss Americans.
- Settling Berne Article by Harold Miller about Berne, NY.
- Keith Zollinger Collection of Swiss Manuscripts Brigham Young University-Idaho Special Collections at the David O. McKay Library.
- The Archives of Le Temps Archival collection of every Journal de Geneve, Gazette de Lausanne and Nouveau Quotidien.
- The Swiss American Historical Society Records 1927-1985, including correspondence, reports, minutes and other materials, are available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
- Swiss Colonies in Tennessee and Kentucky Collection, 1830-1938 University of Tennessee Special Collections Library, Knoxville, TN.
- Swiss Posters Collection The Swiss Poster Collection at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Swiss Benevolent Society of Chicago Housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Richard J. Daley Library's Special Collections Department.
- Swiss Society of New Orleans records, 1855-2010 Housed at Tulane University as part of the Louisiana Research Collection, at the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.
- Swiss Singing Society of Chicago Housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Richard J. Daley Library's Special Collections Department.
- Swiss Prints Collection Graphic Arts Collection in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library.
- Holden Rightmyer/American Swiss Company Papers 1933-1946 The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections at The University of Toledo.
- Richard Bird missionary notebook from the Swiss/Austrian mission Housed at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.
- Swiss and German Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Housed at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.
- Walter Kiener, Papers Housed in the Archives & Special Collections at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.
- Bluntschli (Johann Casper) 1808-1881 Collection 1750-1884 Housed at the Special Collections of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at The Johns Hopkins University.
- Eddie Rickenbacker Papers Housed at Auburn University Special Collections and Archives.
- The Papers of J. Warren White Housed at the Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University.
- Herbert Matter Papers Housed in Special Collections Green Library Stanford University.
- The Rièse collection Housed at The Victoria University Library of the University of Toronto.
- Swiss imprints in French Housed in University of Cambridge.
- The John Lyman Ballif Papers Housed at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
- Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland
- Robert Billigmeier Collection Hosted by University of California, Santa Barbara.
- Hoehn and Müller families papers, 1828-1980s Housed at Tulane University as part of the Louisiana Research Collection, at the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.
- German and Swiss Colonization in Morgan County, Tennessee, 1925 Housed at University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections.
- Mennonite Historical Collections Very extensive Collection of Swiss and Swiss-American Mennonite information hosted in the Archives and Special Collections Librarian at Musselman Library, Bluffton University.