Swiss Sutter swings by Sacramento

Janet Fullwood has an interesting article in The Sacremento Bee, Swiss Sutter swings by Sacramento, that is the opposite of what Americans normally experience when it comes to travel and genealogy – somebody from elsewhere stopping by to do a little genealogy research in the US, or in this case, several times.

Excerpt from the article:

Americans travel all over the planet to trace their family history. But given our nation’s relatively short existence, the reverse isn’t so often seen.

Bernhard Sutter, 38, a Swiss journalist in town recently for a travel industry conference, grew up on stories of a relative named John Sutter who traveled to California in the 1830s, charmed his way into a Mexican land grant, built a fort and founded a colony called New Helvetia (New Switzerland).

That settlement, of course, became Sacramento. And John Sutter, whose mill on the American River was the site of an 1848 gold discovery that rocked the world, has had a place in the history books ever since.

“My father and grandfather always told me we were somehow related, but no one really knew if it was wishful thinking or true. No one had done the genealogy,” Bernhard Sutter said.

What is known is that Sacramento’s founder, though born in Germany, married and fathered five children in the same Swiss canton (political-geographic area) that is the ancestral home of Bernhard’s branch of the Sutter clan.

Good article, and unique. Usually it’s Americans returning to Europe or elsewhere.

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