Neuenschwander (Niswander, Neiswander, Nicewander Neuschwanger, Neuen, Nisewander, Newswanger, Nighswander) family
Neuenschwander, a family name, means a man from Neuenschwand, a place near Langnau, canton of Bern, Switzerland. The word Neuenschwand means a place where the forest was recently cleared. The first person of this family known to have been an Anabaptist was Uli Neuenschwander from Eggiwil, who appeared at the Bern disputation March 11-18, 1538. In 1551 Mathis Neuenschwander fled from his Emmental home because of his Anabaptist faith. Peter Neuenschwander and family left their home in Langnau in 1729 and settled at Cortébert in the Jura. A son Michael lived on the Münsterberg. The latter's son Michael moved to the Normanvillars settlement in France and in 1823 migrated to Wayne County, Ohio, becoming one of the first settlers in the Chippewa settlement. In 1833 the family moved to Putnam County, Ohio, to become the first Mennonite settlers there. A son, John B. Neuenschwander, founded the Mennonite settlement in Polk County, Iowa, by settling there in 1849. This family moved to Moniteau Co., Missouri, USA), in 1868, becoming one of the pioneer families in that settlement. Peter M. Neuenschwander was a bishop at Berne, IN. The Dutch Naamlijst of 1802 lists Ulrich Neuenschwander as an elder of the congregation at Boliou (?) in the county of Limousin, France; he was ordained in 1782.
Another family that some claim were originally Neuenschwanders are the Newschwangers who first appeared in Lancaster County, PA, in the 18th century. Of this family Emmanual Newschwanger (1758-1846) ministered to the Diller congregation (Mennonite Church) near Newville, PA for many years. In Virginia, Abraham Nisewander (1774-1846) served in the Rockingham County Mennonite ministry for a number of years. In later generations the name became common in the Church of the Brethren. Other families of this name have been located in Ontario, Kansas and Oregon.
A Neuschwander family immigrated to Oregon from Switzerland in the 1880s, eventually settling near Silverton.
Kauffman, Daniel. Mennonite Cyclopedic Dictionary. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House, 1937: 264.
Gratz, Delbert L. Bernese Anabaptists and Their American Descendants. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1953, passim.
Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam, 1829.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 847-848. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Gratz, Delbert L. "Neuenschwander (Niswander, Neiswander, Nicewander Neuschwanger, Neuen, Nisewander, Newswanger, Nighswander) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N483ME.html.
APA style: Gratz, Delbert L. (1957). Neuenschwander (Niswander, Neiswander, Nicewander Neuschwanger, Neuen, Nisewander, Newswanger, Nighswander) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N483ME.html.