Our oldest know paternal ancestor is Henri Holiger of Boniswyl, Aargau, Switzerland, born in 1425. We have visited this lovely area and found relatives. The community is very attractive with a small castle located at the foot of a lake. A fast flowing stream forms a moat around the castle.
Our paternal Swiss ancestors immigrated to the United States in 1736 and settled in Pennsylvania. Their descendants gradually moved west with the frontier. Our branch of the family homesteaded in Vivian, South Dakota in the early 1900's.
We conducted genetic testing to learn about our ancient history. Craig Hullinger was tested for the "Y" chromosome which is passed from father to son with very little change. Clif Hullinger was tested for mtDNA, which is passed from mother to child. The results of Clif Hullinger's test is at harlandna.blogspot.com
Our Male "Y" Haplogroup is J2A4H2. This is not a widespread Haplogroup in Switzerland. It originated in the middle east.The maps below show the origination and migration path of men with the "J" Haplogroup.
"Y-DNA haplogroup J2 lineages originated in the area known as the Fertile Crescent. The main spread of J2 into the Mediterranean area is thought to have coincided with the expansion of agricultural peoples during the Neolithic period. "
"J2 is related to the Ancient Etruscans, (Minoan) Greeks, southern Anatolians, Phoenicians, Assyrians and Babylonians. In Europe, J2 reaches its highest frequency in Greece (especially in Crete, Peloponese and Thrace), southern and central Italy, southern France, and southern Spain. The ancient Greeks and Phoenicians were the main driving forces behind the spread J2 around the western and southern Mediterranean."
So our Swiss ancestor came from the middle east. Other Hollinger and Hullinger's have also conducted testing. As more people conduct tests we will learn more.
The test showed that our Swiss Hullinger genealogy was accurate. Our "Y" chromosome is closely related to other Hullinger / Hollinger men who who also took the DNA test. The table below shows twelve men with the Hollinger name who took the DNA test.
Eight are closely related (My test is the one indicating Henri Holiger). Four of the eight list their ancestral country of origin as Switzerland, with two unknown and one each from Austria and Germany. The other eight men are not closely related to us and perhaps acquired their last name through adoption or developed independently in a different locale, or they are related to Hollinger on the female line.
It thus seems likely that our ancestor immigrated into Switzerland and then acquired our last name. Our Hollinger (Hullinger) Name, according to Genealogy Family Education. http://genealogy.familyeducation.com/
South German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name for someone from places called Holling or Hollingen.
The test also shows the number of Swiss matches against the total number of Swiss and European "Y" Haplogroups tested. This result is quite low - only 2 Swiss cousins out of 1,618 Swiss tested. It is also rare in the rest of northern Europe.This indicates that our J2 haplogroup is a fairly recent and rare haplogroup in northern Europe.
Other DNA tests listed later in this blog show the total number of men who tested J2A4H2. Many of them are from the middle east.
We also found another interesting item. There were a large number of European Jews named Hollinger who were killed in the Holocaust. We don't know the connection. The Jewish Hollingers could have acquired their name independently of ours or they could be closely related. We will eventually find out - there are a number of Hollingers in Israel. As they get tested for their Y chromosome we will find out if we are closely related. If so our paternal ancestor was most likely Jewish. If not then the Roman soldier or slave solution becomes more likely.
Genetic testing is relatively new. We will likely find out much more about our ancient history as more people get tested and as we learn more about genetics.
Born Died First Last Name Spouse Birth Place / Comments
1425 1504 Henri Holiger Boniswyl, Aargu, SWZ
1446 Heini Holiger Boniswil (Holvil) Switzerland
1472 Hans Holiger 1504 Junghans Holiger
m Margaretha Rebmeyer
1548 1600 Heini Holiger m Barbara Mayer Boniswyl,Aargu, SWZ Burial: Seengen
1591 1643 Heini Holiger m Anna Huber
Aargu, Boniswyl, SWZ
1627 1689 Rudolph Holliger m Anna Hummel
1661 Jacob Holliger m Elisabeth Burger
1701 1779 Hans Jacob Hollinger m Anna Elisabetha Esterli
Immigrated to US 1736
1734 1802 Christian Hollinger m Eva Dorothea Feltz
Born Germany, Captain American Revolution
1757 1839 Daniel Hullinger m Ann Schockey
Lancaster Co, PA, 1st Lt American Revolution
1788 1856 Daniel Jnr Hullinger m Comfort Conway Staunton Trenton, OH
1833 1909 Daniel J Hullinger m Mary Kirk Ohio emigrated from Ohio to south central Iowa by wagon train in 1864
1870 1956 Eli Hullinger m Mary Elizabeth Siddons Leon IA
1893 1970 John Franklin Hullinger m Pearl Josephine Harlan
Leon, Iowa US Army, WW I
1920 Clifford Harlan Hullinger m Louise Liffengren
Vivian, SD 1st Lieutenant, US Army, WW II
1947 Craig Harlan Hullinger m Elizabeth S. Ruyle
Brookings, SD Colonel, US Marine Corps Reserve, Vietnam
1980 Bret Schaller Hullinger Harvey, IL
There is a lot of additional information in this blog and on the