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Legend or Legacy?

Legend has it that the family, whether Dällenbach or Tällenbach, descended from Wilhelm Tell (Tällen, Taellen). As the The DÄLLENBACHS in America 1710-1935 states: "The Tells (Tällens) who went into the valleys to dwell by the streams and brooks became known, so tradition runs, as the Tällen-bachs, that is, the Tells who live by the brook." "BACH" is the German word for brook or stream.


The Eighteenth Century

The family first came to the United States in 1710.  Jorg Martin Dällenbach, the first arrival to the new country, was born about 1690 in "Lauperswil."   This small Swiss village is in the Alps mountains a few miles northeast of Bern, Switzerland.

At least two variations of the Dillenbeck name can be found in Switzerland: Dällenbach and Tällenbach. That this is still true today is evidenced by cross-references found in the Bern telephone directory.

More information about Jorg Martin and his early days in the United States is available in the book The DÄLLENBACHS in America 1710-1935.

The Nineteenth Century

Around 1810, two brothers named Christian and Jacob left Switzerland to come to America; Christian came from Nidanberg and Jacob from Safneren. These fairly well-to-do gentlemen had lived in the vicinity of Lake of Bienne in Canton Bern.

Christian, after some thought of settling in New York, finally decided to settle in North Georgetown, Ohio. In Switzerland, he had been a prosperous cheese manufacturer, an enterprise he continued in Ohio. He died and was buried in North Georgetown in 1866.

Christian's brother Jacob, who had been a vintner and owner of a large vineyard in the old country, left Switzerland about the same time, but settled in Allegheny City. He moved to his new homeland alone, expecting to move the rest of his family later. However, his first wife Elizabeth (nee Hausey), refused to come to America. Eventually, they divorced and both husband and wife remarried.

There is a lot of information about both of these brothers and their lives in Switzerland and the United States in the book The DÄLLENBACHS in America 1935-1979 beginning at page 401.


This family has been in the United States since 1710 when Jorg Martin Dällenbach came to America. Martin, as he was called, was born about 1690 in "Lauperswil." This small Swiss village is in the Alps mountains a few miles northeast of Bern, Switzerland.

Since Martin's arrival, the Dällenbach name has undergone several transformations as the family branched out into the New World. The first change in the name occurred very early (in 1712) when Rev. Joshua Kocherthal, first pastor to the German Lutherans in the colony of New York, recorded the baptism of Martin's daughter Anna Margretha. The father is listed as "Jorg Dillenbach."

Even Rev. Kocherthal was not consistent with his mis-spelling: six months later, he recorded the second marriage of "Joerg Martin Dillenbach."

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Last Revised: May 26, 2011