Daily Archives: 1 Jan 2010

A Bit About Zwingli’s Family

Philip Schaff writes

Huldreich or Ulrich Zwingli – the name is often misspelled Zwingel (by Luther), or Zwingle (by English and American writers) – was born January 1, 1484, seven weeks after Luther, in a lowly shepherd’s cottage at Wildhaus in the county of Toggenburg, now belonging to the Canton St. Gall. He was descended from the leading family in this retired village. His father, like his grandfather, was the chief magistrate (Ammann); his mother, the sister of a priest (John Meili, afterwards abbot of Fischingen, in Thurgau, 1510–1523); his uncle, on the father’s side, dean of the chapter at Wesen on the wild lake of Wallenstadt. He had seven brothers (he being the third son) and two sisters. The village of Wildhaus is the highest in the valley, surrounded by Alpine meadows and the lofty mountain scenery of Northeastern Switzerland, in full view of the seven Churfirsten and the snow-capped Sentis. The principal industry of the inhabitants was raising flocks. They are described as a cheerful, fresh and energetic people; and these traits we find in Zwingli. Mörikofer (I. 4): “Zwingli erinnert in seinem Wesen immer wieder an seine helle Heimath; wir haben stets den in frischer Bergluft gestärkten und gestählten Alpensohn vor uns.” The Reformation was introduced there in 1523. Not very far distant are the places where Zwingli spent his public life,—Glarus, Einsiedeln, and Zurich.

Zwingli's family tree