Barack Obama came from Switzerland…

…, a trove of useful information, informs me:

In Obama’s case, the US president-elect may be able to trace part of his European roots back to a man by the name of Christian Gutknecht, who emigrated from the village of Bischwiller in what is today the French region of Alsace, but at the time was a Bavarian duchy.

A local archivist in Bischwiller claimed in September that Gutknecht’s parents probably came from canton Bern at the beginning of the 18th century.

Christian, who was born in 1722, changed his name to Goodnight in America.




  1. Margaret
    Posted November 30, 2008 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Egad! He smokes? He can’t be all bad.

  2. Posted December 23, 2008 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of Americans have Swiss-Alsatian ancestry, but because they’ve lived here so long, they’ve forgotten about it. I, myself, have ancestors from Ingenheim, Alsace, with names such as Brunner, Schaub, and Rohfrietsch. I think those families originated in Switzerland.

    There seems to be a tradition in the Brunner and Rohfrietsch families, that
    they originated at, “Muehlbachen, in the Swiss Alps,” but there doesn’t seem to be any such place on the map, today.

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