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Worth Knowing

What is the Tagwen and the Tagwenrecht ?

The Tagwen is the community of citizens of a specific community in the old Glarus village inhabitant organization and the Tagwenrecht is the traditional Glarus community citizenship, which gives the owner independent and specific rights within the community.

The word Tagwen is traced back to the enforced labor work. In the old days when Glarus was under the sovereignty of the monastery of Säckingen, the Tagwen was often referred to a field mass. But generally Tagwen means in the language of the middle ages as much as a day's work and was used particularly for compulsory labor work. Tag-wann was the unit for a day work. This term was used for the work of a man in the Gewann, i.e. in the fields during one day. Already early on the name Tagwen was not only used for the work performance but also for the association, for which the work has been done. These associations were responsible for the maintenance of the trails, racks and bridges. From the mere cooperative of use the Tagwen developed into a proper community and exercised for centuries all competencies and tasks of a commune. Initially, it accroached the church affiliated school and welfare duties, until it became independent in the 19th century and elevated into a self-contained community association. But the Tagwen remained always loyal of its cooperative mission, to contribute to the economic advancement of its Tagwengenossen (cooperative members) through issuance of usage rights.

Although in modern law, many rights and responsibilities were transferred to the municipalities, the Tagwen persists as a primordial cell of the Glarus and Swiss citizenship in the Glarus political system.

In addition to the civil rights (Bürgerrecht) at cantonal level there was already in early days like today the citizenship on community level (Gemeindebürgerrecht). Also here, the naturalization process brought economic benefits by one could participate in the so-called Tagwennutzen (cooperative use), for example, one could move his cows on the commons and alps or participate in income from timber sales. Conversely, one was obligated to enforced labor work and contributions to new accessions. Oddly enough, it was sometimes possible to purchase the Tagwen right without being a Landmann (citizen on cantonal level), even without being asked to live in the canton. So, quite a few French revolution refugees living in Geneva could be naturalized in Mitlödi, Näfels, Glarus and Netstal around 1800. These exiles could or wanted to consolidate arguably their legal status in Switzerland, while the communities pocketed substantial naturalization fees.


What means Landleute ?

Landleute is the term for people in Glarus with citizen rights at the cantonal level. There was only in the early modern period a significant migration in the Swiss Conferderation. Previously, there was no need to define the circle of the so-called "lantlüt" or to establish restrictive naturalization rules. On the contrary, an enlargement of the people in the canton was even desirable for military reasons. Only from about 1440, a fee had to be paid for the naturalization process. Additional aggravations were then introduced in the 16th century. About 1517 the purchase sum  was increased and it was determined that naturalized citizens could again be expatriated at improper behaviour. In 1549, a residence requirement of 10 years was introduced. The background was the increase in wealth and power of the country, e.g. through pension payments from the mercenary business and through the acquisition of bailliwicks. The respective revenues were distributed each to the Landleute. A light-hearted naturalization practice would have diluted the profit sharing to the previous citizens.

For the years 1552 until 1593 the canton even ordered a freeze on naturalisation, what was likely associated with the Tagsatzungsbeschluss (decision of the Federal Diet of Switzerland) of 1551, which had stated the poor relief duties to the communities. Also later, it came again to long interruptions in the naturalization process. In the 17th century, the charges were definitely excessive. The people who asked for naturalization had to pay the naturalization fee and additionally a smaller sum to the State. These costs were disproportionate to the expected economic benefits which they could expect from the periodic advantages. Pictured below is a voting document for the Landsgemeinde (country town meeting in Glarus).


What means Hintersässe  and Neulandleute ?

Hintersässe, were dispossessed community citizens, without legal claim for land use, most newcomers from outside the canton. In other words, they were sitting (in the assemblies) behind the legitimates (Landleute and Tagwenbürger).

The need of the Hintersässen people for naturalization was obviously abused by the Landleute for self enrichment. The legal status of the Hintersässen was even worse than about that of foreigners today in the Switzerland: They were very limited in conducting trade and commerce, were only allowed to hunt or fish temporarily and also limited in buying property. But nevertheless they were amongst other duties implied to do (limited) compulsory military services. The fact that the civil rights were viewed more as a commodity, was shown by the fact that even foreign officers without residence in Glarus could be naturalized against the payment of high naturalization fees, only to be able to gain privileges for the mercenary business.

Altough the hudles for a naturalization were difficult to overcome and for decades no one was naturalized, the percentage of the Hintersässen was never very high. Obviously only few people from outside moved into the valley. An investigation done in 1816 identified approximately 5% of the population as Hintersässen. Most of these families (e.g. Hämmerli, Hertach, Linhardt, Schönenberger, Staub and Disch) lived already for over 100 years in the canton of Glarus. Therefore, they asked all together for naturalization. In 1834, the Landleute agreed at the Landsgemeinde to a collective naturalization against the sum of 20`000 florins for each applicant. 730 men from 47 families were accepted as so-called Neulandleute and got the Landrecht (cantonal citizenship).

Literature: Liebeskind W.A.. Die Hintersässen im Glarner Landrecht des 16. Jahrhunderts. In: Jahrbuch des Historischen Vereins des Kantons Glarus, vol. 55 (1952), pp. 79ff.


What is the Landsgemeinde ?


The Landsgemeinde is the assembly of all inhabitants entitled to vote and the highest institution of the canton Glarus. It still takes a few elections: the Landammann and the Landstatthalter (out of the elected officials at the polls) and the judges. Above all, it is responsible for constitutional and legislative matters, the fixing of the tax base and important decisions.


All voters have the right to make requests for support, modification, postponement or rejection. This distinguishes the Glarner Landsgemeinde of other Swiss Landsgemeinden and the ballots, in which the folk can only say yes or no and take no direct influence on the cantonal politics. Anyone who is entitled to vote, without collecting signatures, may at any time submit applications to the Landsgemeinde.


The Landsgemeinde gathers in the open air on the first Sunday in May on the Zaunplatz in Glarus. Grandstands are available for interested spectators. The Landsgemeinde is headed by the Landammann, who is based on the land sword during the whole gathering. He opens the session with a speech and put afterwards the voters under oath. The memorandum forms the basis for the negotiations, a copy of which is forwarded in advance to all the households in which at least one person with voting rights resides. On the basis of the deliberations in the district council, the submissions are presented therein. It also includes the budget and the government finances.


Voting is done by upholding the voting pass. The majority is determined by the Landmann by estimating. In doubtful cases, he advises four members of the Government Council in an advisory capacity and decides finally and unquestionably.


Siege and Capture of Huningue Fortress in August 1815 (about 200 Glarner participated under Legler)


In the genealogy record of Kubly-Müller you will find around the birth years of 1780-1790 the indication that the man participated as a soldier in the Glarner battalion at the siege of Huningue (e.g. Balthasar Hefti from Leuggelbach born 22. July 1789 / Schwanden # 221). What siege was this?

Right at the beginning of the rule of the Hundred Days, which began on March 1, 1815, with Napoleon's return from Elba, the Huningue garrison located on the Rhine River just a few miles downstream from Basel declared himself in favor of Napoleon. On March 25, Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia again concluded a coalition agreement against Napoleon, whereupon the occupation in Huningue was strengthened and the expansion of the fortifications started. On May 20, 1815, Switzerland joined the Allies. On May 15, 1815, Joseph Barbanègre took over the High Command in Huningue - with Jean Hugues Chancel Commander in Chief - and on June 11, soldiers and citizens of Huningue were banned from all traffic with Basel - the natural center of the region.

After the defeat at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, Napoleon abdicated on June 22, 1815. On June 25 Huningue received a message from Lieutenant-General Claude-Jacques Lecourbe, who announced the abdication of Napoleon and the beginning of peace negotiations. On June 26, 1815, the Austrian troops under Archduke Ferdinand with 130,000 men crossed the Rhine in Basel and invaded Alsace. On June 27, the French troops were attacked near Burgfelden near Huningue. Austrian and Swiss troops formed a siege ring around Huningue, but due to the lack of heavy artillery, they could not effectively attack the fortress. Field Marshal Lieutenant Mariassy had command of the Siege Corps, and the High Command had Archduke Johann. On 28th June Austrian associations set fire to houses in some Alsatian villages, whereupon the fortress artillery bombarded the Basel districts of St. Johann and St. Peter. A request for surrender rejected Barbanègre on 3 July. By July 7, of the initially about 2,000 men of the Fortress 385 had deserted. After a further request for surrender was rejected on 11 July, the Austrians now began to bombard the fortress with artillery. Switzerland was asked to provide the missing heavy artillery, which took place until 15 July. Barbanègre sought the dissemination of news about the return of Louis XVIII. to prevent the French throne and rejected on July 20, a renewed call for surrender, while his occupation was increasingly reduced by further desertions. On July 22, Generals Lecourbe and Rapp concluded a truce with the Austrians, which included the Huningue Fortress. Nevertheless, Basel was shot at by the fortress again on 26 July. Now another Swiss gun was set up in Klein-Huningue, and from 6 August, Swiss snipers intervened directly in the fight, after the Swiss had previously only occupied their outposts. On 17 August, finally, the Swiss Tagsatzung (Federal Diet of Switzerland) approved the active commitment of the 5000-strong Swiss troops in Basel. The political situation in France continued to be confused and on 13th August anti-royalist activities were reported from Belfort and Huningue.

The Austrian siege corps counted 12,000, together with the Swiss federations so 17,000 and now had over 110 cannons, howitzers and mortars. The large number of troops was not needed for attacks, but for the digging of the trenches, which was done for speeding in shifts. In the fortress there were initially about 2,400 men with about 100 guns.


On 17 August, Count Wilhelm von Hochberg arrived in Basel and received the command of one of the two divisions of the Siege Corps from Archduke Johann. The attack on the fortress began in the night of 17 to 18 August 1815. The fortress artillery not only answered the shelling by the siege artillery, but also took Klein-Huningue and Basel several times under fire. Negotiations began on August 24, during which the truce prevailed. However, on 26 August the fighting resumed and the fortress was under heavy fire all day long, so that at the end of the day Barbanègre finally signed the surrender document, which included handing over the fortress and weapons on an honorable withdrawal from the garrison.

At the insistence of Switzerland, the grinding of the fortress Huningue was set in the Treaty of Paris on 20 November 1815.The actual fortress was demolished on 17 October 1815 and completed on 15 January 1816.

The Glarner battalion with around 200 men under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Legler took part in the siege of Hunigue. The battalion was part of the Brigade Hess, which was commanded by Colonel von Courten.

Legler Thomas 1782.jpg

Thomas Legler (1782-1835)

Commander of the Glarner Battalion

Fortress of Huningue 1797

Siege of Huningue Fortress 1815

General Barbanègre and Archduke Ferdinand after the surrender of the Fortress Huningue

The Wildheuer (wild-hay cutter) - One Foot on the Border between Life and Death

(Source: Robert Elmer: Family History Notes Winter 2010)



The occupation of Wildheuer(wild-hay cutter) had to be among the most arduous occupations known to man.   In Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell drama the destitute mother, Armgart, pleads to the tyrant Gessler to release her husband from prison.  “Who is this man?” Gessler asks.  “A poor wild-hay cutter from the Rigiberg” Armgart replies.  “He mows hay from the steep and craggy shelves to which the very cattle dare not climb.” 

The life of a Wildheuer gets an almost romanticized makeover  in the book “The Alps:  Sketches of Life and Nature in the Mountains” which states, “High up on the rocky summits, which, as seen from below, appear to be inaccessible to human feet, where the little round and bright green cushions of turf refresh the eye by their contrast with the smooth vertical grey cliffs, and clothe with mildness the jagged weather-beaten line of dead rough rocks, where at the utmost one would look for the eyries of the eagle and lammergeyer (bearded vulture), there is the harvest-place for the Wildheuer.”   But as the book’s description continues the hardship of the Wildheuer becomes apparent.  “Yes, indeed it is a wretched life, a toilsome day's work, full of deprivations, fighting against wind and weather, always with one foot on the border between life and death. For only those slopes of grass in the mountains which are almost inaccessible become places for wild hay, generally high above the forest region, that is, at a height of 6000 feet and upwards.”   And confirming Armgart’s assessment, “(the wild-hay) can be approached neither by goats nor sheep, much less by heavy cattle. . .”

The equipment used by the Wildheuerincluded his scythe and sharpening stone, an alpenstock(a long staff with an iron point), crampons (metal footwear to provide traction), and cloth in which to bundle the cut hay.  

Provisions were also carried, along with the possibility of a goat for milk and as a faithful companion.   In addition to falling from those dizzying heights, the occupational hazards of the Wildheuer also include falling stones, swollen streams, and the possibility of sudden snow storms.


The mountain hay serves as winter fodder for the animals in the valley.  Cows fed the aromatic mountain grasses and herbs are said to produce a richer and more flavorful milk for butter and cheese than milk derived from cows fed valley-grown hay.  The wild-hay cutters generally had only August and September to mow the hay.  The remainder of the year found these men working such jobs as laborers, chamois hunters, weavers, or as foresters.  


There were a number of Wildheuern among the ancestors of New Glarus folk including Fridolin Oertli (1769-1850) and original colonist Jost Becker (1790-1871) both of Ennetbühls, Fridolin Stuessi-Hoesli (1760-1834) and Fridolin Stuessi-Heer (1769-1837) both of Riedern, and Thomas Zimmermann (1697-1749) of Schwändi.   Zimmermann died in August of 1749 while cutting wild hay as a result of possible dizziness, blackout or stroke.  Daniel Durst, older brother of Judge Niklaus Durst, fell while cutting wild hay in August of 1799.  He died hours later as a result of his injuries.   

The Wildheuer

The Schwabengänger (Swabia Goers)

(Source: Robert Elmer: Family History Notes Winter 2014)


The year 1799 brought unimaginable suffering to Central Switzerland, Valais and the Canton of Glarus. The sudden loss of hundreds of men and fathers could not be without consequences, and it is striking that the first safe testimonies for the Glarus Schwabengänger come from the years shortly after 1800. Some families were so destitute that family members walked to Swabia (southwestern Germany) to find seasonal farm jobs. These migrant workers of that day were known as Schwabengänger (Swabia goers).  Workers left Switzerland (especially Cantons Graubunden, St. Gallen and Glarus), Liechtenstein, Austria (Tyrol and Vorarlberg) and walked to Swabia. Also among the migrant workers were women and children.  The children were referred to as Schwabenkinder.  Upon arrival in Swabian cities such as Ravensburg, Wangen and Friedrichshafen those seeking employment were bid upon at public markets.  Their working conditions were often harsh.

Canton Glarus documents recorded many people - mostly adult men around 1814 – who were among the Schwabengänger. And at least six Stauffacher men found on the accompanying charts were listed as Schwabengänger.  These men were Heinrich (Matt #143), Rudolf (Matt #122), Niklaus (Matt #92), Johann Peter (Matt #94), Jacob (Matt #98) and Jacob (Matt #117). This latter Jacob Stauffacher was a migrant worker with his wife Anna Maria née Almendinger.   Niklaus Stauffacher (#92 on attached Chart 1) is the ancestor of many New Glarus area people including the descendants of Oswald Babler and John Stauffacher-Norder.  Descendants of Jacob Stauffacher (#98 on Chart 3) include the families of Dietrich and Margaretha Marty of New Glarus and Hilarius and Agatha Stauffacher of Monroe.


Johannes and Elsbeth (Schneider) Zentner, a husband and wife from Elm, were both Schwabengänger.  Mathias Schneider, also of Elm and the ancestor of the late Fred Schneider of New Glarus also was a 22 year old migrant worker.   One of the saddest stories was that of Adam Luchsinger of Engi, who as a 9 year old lad, who was sent far from home to work to help support his parents and 5 young siblings.   This Adam Luchsinger is an ancestor of Al Hefty of New Glarus.

The Schwabengänger

Linth Colony

From the Charity School for poor boys to the School on the Linth


The Linth School named today was founded in 1816 by the Evangelical Relief Society of the Canton of Glarus.


At the beginning of the 19th century, there was a great famine in the Canton of Glarus, especially in the Grosstal, in the Senftal and on the Kerenzerberg. The wars, the stationing of the soldiers, the catering for the French, Habsburg and Russian troops robbed the poor peasants of the last supplies. In addition, the main activity of the population, the hand spinning was no longer in demand as a result of the emergence of the English spinning machine. More than a thousand children from the Glarus outback were pulled out of their families and placed somewhere in Switzerland because they could no longer feed them.

One of those who saw the need and wanted to do something about it, was Pastor Schuler from Obstalden. He described to the Swiss Charitable Society the terrible hardship of the people in Glarus and urged the wealthy citizens to form an aid fund. Although in September 1813 the foundation was decided, one did not know with which means one should fight the emergency.


The saving thought came when Hans Konrad Escher von der Linth and his experts built the Linthkanal. The aid fund bought land along the new corrected Linth, which was now being dug by the canal, and had it made fertile during the years 1816 and 1817 by 300 poor people from the most distressed communities in the canton. Within a short time, a sum of 120,000 Swiss Francs was collected, including a handsome sum from the Emperor Alexander I. of Russia. However, the original plan to found a workers' colony had to be dropped as either the necessary funds were lacking or because the need for it was not so urgent.


In order to save some of the idealistic plans, instead of the originally planned pioneer settlement, the Foundation for the Charity School for Boys (Stiftung Armenschule für Knaben) was founded. The initiator was Landammann Niklaus Heer. In 1819, the reformatory was opened for poor neglected boys of the ages between 11 and 16 years.

Linth Colonie.jpg

When the Evangelical Relief Society of the Canton of Glarus (EHG) came to terms with the project, it had come across of Philipp Emanuel von Fellenberg (1771-1844). Since 1799, he led in Hofwil in the canton of Bern an agricultural charity school and offered to train a teacher in his institution, which could then take over the leadership of the charity school on the Linth. In the person of Melchior Lütschg (1792-1872) from Mollis, a young man volunteered for this task, who later turned out to be a lucky chance.

The school was opened in the spring of 1819. Initially, 5 boys were admitted, but soon the number increased to 26. The educational institution should as far as possible be a faithful image of the natural family. The children should be "deprived of the inevitable ruin and power of the bad parental example and find here a new family that makes them capable, righteous members of the society, and grows up as true Christians".

The first home director, teacher and economist Melchior Lütschg was influenced by Pestalozzi's ideas of a charity education. To conclude from the reports, he is said to have lived according to these ideals and to have been an excellent educator.


What was life like in this institution? The boys stood up at 5 o'clock in the summer and at 6 o'clock in the winter. In addition to the school they were involved in all field work and had to learn everything that arises in a peasant system. In addition - mainly in winter and during bad weather - the boys had to do their jobs in the household and their industrial tasks. Everyone has learned to knit and sew. Straw mats and wicker baskets were made and in 1823 a weaving mill was set up where the children used to work as wages.

In school, the children were taught the following subjects: arithmetic, writing, reading, Swiss history, geography, German language teaching, a bit of natural science, singing and religious education. Although school lessons were limited to the winter months, boys were much educated when they left the school than other students in the canton. Mandatory compulsory education was introduced in 1835. The public school year ended at that time when the boys were 12 years old. However, the boys of the Linth Colony were taught until the age of 17.


Soon it became apparent that the too large agriculture land could no longer be mastered. The proceeds went back and the director on his own was no longer able to take care of everything and to educate besides 30 neglected boys.

Linth Kolonie - Litho Rudolf Leuzinger .

The EHG tried in vain to reduce their property, therefore, the district council suggested to found a second institution in Bilten. In 1850 this was opened.


In 1861, with the financial help of the canton, a safe bathing place on the Linth was built. It was believed that the boys should learn to swim.


It is interesting that already in 1863 the integration of girls was discussed. After that, it was still 130 years until the first girls were admitted to school. An exception was the daughter of the director couple Bäbler.


In the fall of 1874, a fire burnt down the house and the stable to the foundations, along with the food supplies. A year later, the new building with 2 floors was built.

In 1984, the new boarding school was built for 2.9 million Swiss Francs. It was financed by the Federal Social Insurance Office, the Federal Department of Justice, the Canton of Glarus and the remaining costs were borne by the EHG. In 1996, the last construction phase, a spacious school complex, was inaugurated.

Today the Linth school is a special school recognized by the Canton of Glarus for children and adolescents with learning and behavioral difficulties. It accommodates 18 students in the boarding school and 18 places in the day groups. The school is under the sponsorship of the Verein Glarner Gemeinnützige.


The school accommodates boys and girls of school age who require in-patient education and care as well as individual educational support for a certain period of time. The children can come from the canton of Glarus as well as from other cantons. The entry age of the children is usually between 7 and 12 years.

Directors of the Linth Colony from 1819 - 2017

1819 - 1857    Melchior Lütschg (1792-1872)

1857 - 1867    Peter Tschudi (1824-1897)

1867 - 1869    Johann Salmen (1831-1879)

1869 - 1874    Abraham Friedrich (Fridolin) Zwicki (1841-1902)

1874 - 1899    Heinrich Aebli (1846-1919)

1899 - 1921    Eduard Widmer

1921 - 1954    Johann Christoph (1889-1962) and Anna Bäbler-Elmer (1891-1978)

1954 - 1955    Heinrich Hermann (1921-2003) and Waldburga (Burgett) Trümpy-Weber (1926-)

1955 - 1956    Johann Christoph (1889-1962) and Anna Bäbler-Elmer (1891-1978)

1956 - 1967    Georg (1926-2016) and Elsa Kundert-Hefti (1926-2004)

1967 - 1968    Georg Melchior (1942-) and Claudine Hausammann-Kundert (1945-)

1968 - 1974    Hansueli (1933-) and Vreni Bäbler-Stuber (1936-)

1974 - 1995    Heinrich (1943-2002) and Sabine Bäbler-Zentner (1947-)

1995 - 1999    Otto Jossi-Frehner

2000 - 2011    René Realini (1948-)

2011 -             Urs Liljequist (1954-)

Schule an der Linth Neubau.jpg
The Linth Colony

Johann Jakob Kubly-Müller - The author of the Glarus Genealogy Records

(Source: F. Schindler, Obituary, in: Jahrbuch des Historischen Vereins des Kantons Glarus, 47 (1934) III. ff.)


Johann Jakob Kubly-Müller was born on the 6th of July 1850 and died on the 23th of August 1933. As a child, even before the fire of Glarus, he lost a part of his eyesight in an accident. Despite the accident, he went through the secondary school without difficulty. At young age he became an assistant to the public registry office, where he met his future father-in-law, court clerk Georg Cham (1819-1886) in the court office. The old pharmacist Stäger-Lüscher became aware of him and brought him into his coal business as commercial apprentice. Although Johann Jakob Kubly made quick progress there, he did not really get involved in business activities. From 1893 onwards, Kubly was elected to various boards and authorities such as local council, district administrator (Landrat), and criminal court judge. He distinguished himself with intelligence and conscientious fulfillment of duties. People were glad when he took over the position of police director. The management of the vow records and thereby the examination of taxable inventory of estates was also handed over to Johann Jakob Kubly. In this function he discovered his passion for genealogy to which he dedicated most of his time until the end of his life. He compiled and recorded the entries according to a consistent pattern and reference system similar to a database with a very small and fine handwriting. It became obvious that Kubly wrote his records with highest accurateness and that his work reflects his enormous commitment to the genealogy of Glarus families. 

The work of Johann Jakob Kubly-Müller (the second family name Müller belongs to his second wife Anna Müller (1862-1955)) was created over 30 years of research and compiling. It includes persona data grouped by parish with information about spouses and children as well as with information on occupations, functions and various other interesting facts such as emigration dates, causes of death etc. The work includes 28 large and 8 medium-sized volumes. The Canton of Glarus purchased Kubly's work by a decision of the Landrat (parliament) in 1927.

Entries from church records mostly back to about 1600 and for some families partly from further sources back to the 14th century. Most of the entries are from the hand of Johann Jakob Kubly-Müller, who worked on the genealogy from 1893 until about 1928. After that, entries were added by the National Archives, handwritten in the volumes or in an internal database until about 2004.

Informative about this activity are the descriptions of Kubly-Müller himself, in the first volume of the first version on Glarus (LAGL GE 26) as an experience report from the year 1906:


"The genealogical works of the Canton of Glarus are the fruit of an immense, laborious work, which the undersigned began in 1893. The occasion for this work was the death of the factory owner Rudolf Heer in 1893 [...], who had established great bequests in favor of relatives and private persons at his death. At that time, the undersigned held the position of an honorary official (unpaid honorary office) and it fell to him the task of ascertaining the degrees of relationship of the testator with the many beneficiaries. This task was complicated insofar as the citizen registers of Glarus were in a very poor condition and also the registers compiled by pastor Willhelm Freuler were very incomplete and often proved to be incorrect. Unfortunately, the so-called Tschudi book by Camerarius Joh. Jakob Tschudi of Glarus, compiled in the years 1770-1772, and continued by him until 1784, was never completed, although all church records of Glarus were available. This work proved to be a most necessary one, it was strange enough that such was not felt for a long time and found completion. These circumstances prompted the undersigned to propose to the council that the matter be taken up by the municipality and that the Tschudi book be completed and the other registers rectified by experts. The longer one waits, the more difficult the work will be, since personal inquiries with old, still living people are inevitably necessary. However, after others pointed out the great costs, which were estimated at at least 20 thousand francs for Glarus-Riedern alone, and after doubts were raised as to whether it would even be possible to find people who could guarantee such serious work, my request found no mercy and the matter was left undone. It would have remained so if the writer of these lines, as a police chief and a civil servant at that time, had not taken the matter into his own hands on his own initiative and recognizing the great necessity. Within a few years he had succeeded in completing the Tschudi book, and also the erroneous Freuler citizen registers at the civil registry office Glarus-Riedern were completely gone through, rectified and completed by him. This alone was a work of 2-3 years, which did not cost the municipality of Glarus a single centime. For my unpaid work I have not even known a word of thanks, not to speak of disdainful ingratitude - which I experienced later and which caused me to leave the narrow homeland. The same experience that Cameralius Tschudi made with his book c. 130 years ago, I have also recently gone through. Ingratitude is the reward of the world. [...]"


The fact that the above sobering report of 1906 was followed by a full two decades of further collection and research activities, in which he compiled the actual genealogical work on the entire cantonal territory after the first version on Glarus, shows a high degree of commitment.


Johann Jakob Kubly-Müller compiled the genealogy works from 1893 and devoted several decades to these works. His last additions date from about 1928. The entries are always noted according to an identical pattern, with careful, small-format handwriting, and including a reference system as in a database. For many decades, the National Archives added newer personal entries by handwriting to the large-format volumes and, where space was too limited, new volumes were created. Then, newly added personal data were noted in a database, the contents of which are still subject to a personal protection period and are not available for use. The genealogical work allows historical researchers the exact identification of named persons and interested persons a reconstruction of their lineage mostly up to about 1600.

Kubli Johann Jakob 1850.png
Johann Jakob Kubly-Müller

What was a Schiffmeister ?

The Linth course favored by shipping was the so-called Kleine or Alte Linth, one of numerous arms of the river. In contrast to the transport on the Lake of Zurich and the Walensee, where the ships could be powered by sails and oars, the ships had to be forged up the line. While forging, the ships were pulled on ropes of plows or horses. For this purpose, so-called stretch paths were created and maintained along the rivers. Again and again, Zurich, Schwyz and Glarus regulated the trade on the river Linth. A regulation of 1603 shows that Lachen had day and night 36 horses ready to forge the ships. The journey from Zurich to Walenstadt took one and a half to three days. Important infrastructures were so-called Susten and moorings, such as the old Sust (terminal) in Niederurnen, which was replaced by the Sust at Ziegbrücke at the latest in 1532, and the "Süstli" on the way from Filzbach to Biäsche, which lay before the construction of the Escherkanals 1807 at the Walensee. All carters and boatmen were obliged to transport their goods over these terminals. In 1749, the Glarus part of shipping was divided between two Reformed and one Catholic shipmaster, as traffic had increased considerably. The Glarner cloth products, which also supplied overseas markets, probably accounted for a large proportion of this.

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