Fragments of a Life: A Speculative But Plausible Semi-Narrative of Christian Nisley, 1804 Immigrant to America

John Yoder

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The author traces the family name of his great-great-grandfather, 1804 immigrant to America, Christian Nüssli/Nisley, from its origins in Canton Zurich, Switzerland, to the Palatinate where that branch seems to have disappeared until, almost 100 years later, it re-appeared in what is now North-Central Germany. Yoder uses fragments of information from both primary and secondary sources to weave speculative but plausible connections between the immigrant and his family of origin near Nussberg in Canton Zurich. His account then picks up on the little that is known about Christian’s European roots and follows him to the port in Northern Germany where he makes connections with Mennonites while waiting to sail to Philadelphia and his becoming indentured to Amish bishop Christian Zook. The account concludes with Christian’s marriage to the daughter of an Amish bishop in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, their move to Ohio in later life, and their death and burial near Walnut Creek in Holmes County. (52pp. color illus. Masthof Press, 2024.)

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