The Graber family originates in Sigriswil, a little town on the shores of Lake Thun in Canton Bern in Central Switzerland.
The family history is based on data kept by various family members, as well as the digitized church books of Sigriswil. It made it possible to go back as far as the middle of the 1600’s. Data earlier than this were either not available, or were lost in the fire of 1671 when the church burned down to the foundations.
Sigriswil itself is located above Lake Thun on a sunny terrace with unobstructed views of the Lake and the Alps. It has a wonderful mountain view of Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, Niesen and Stockhorn. It is the ideal starting point for excursions to the Jungfrau region on the opposite side of the lake. More information at this Link: http://www.sigriswil.ch/xml_1/internet/de/intro.cfm
Our branch of the family emigrated during the 1800’s to East Prussia. There there they established many dairies and cheese factories in the area around Danzig and Miswalde. However, at the end of WW II everything was lost. A number of family members were deported by the Red Army to Siberia (despite being Swiss citizens) where almost all died.
Descendants of this line of the Grabers today reside in Germany, Switzerland, France, U.K., Brazil, USA and in Canada.
Archeological finds from the Neolithic and Bronze Age verify that the area around Sigriswil was inhabited by people 5,000 years ago. The place names like Merligen and Ralligen are Alemannic in origin. It leads to the conclusion that their first village communities at lake level were established in the 5th Century AD. The settlements higher up from the lake likely between the 8th and 10th Century.
In 1347 the community of Sigriswil was able to buy itself free for 300 pounds of “Thun pennies” from the Kyburg Count Eberhard, as the count had run into financial difficulties. This “Letter of Freedom” is still kept in the archives of the Sigriswil. It used to be kept in the Town vault built in 1564.
Some data to Sigriswil:
The municipality consists of 11 villages.
The lowest geographic point is at Lake Thun at 560 m. The highest point is the Sigriswil Rothorn mountain at 2050m.
Sigriswil is the largest municipality with 55 km2 of the County of Thun. It is located 11 km from the City of Thun.
Swiss tradition is herding the cows to the mountain meadows in the spring and bring them back down in the fall. Animals and people are decked out in their finest for this occasion.