Let me introduce myself. My name is Dieter Eby Newman and I am the co-author of “The AEBI- EBY Families of Switzerland, Germany and North America, 1550-1850.”
My experience with Eby genealogy began in my childhood when my father, George Frederick Newman began final research for his first of three books with Clyde L. Groff known as “THE EBY REPORT.”
I was exposed to everything from libraries and churches to ancient grave sites on overgrown farms all over North America where my crayons came in handy for the retrieval of long lost details by making rubbings of head stones in search of previously missed family information. It should not be surprising that I went on to get a degree in History, and still continue to feed my interest into the past.
In early 2000, it was noted that work on the Eby genealogy was still of great interest to many family members. After considering the republishing of the three long out of print “EBY REPORT” books it was decided that one new book would be a better idea since it could include corrections and new research into some of the lingering questions that had remained since the last book.
I took on the task of beginning a new phase of investigation by trying to discover any new or undiscovered primary source documents. In November 2000, I went to the Canton Bern Archives in Bern, Switzerland with a list of questions to be answered. I also visited all of the known towns that the Aebis once lived in search of any records that were available.
Though I was successful in finding some answers, my father and I felt that one week was not enough time to search for every source and that we had just scratched the surface of what might still lay hidden. Continuing research in North America for another year yielded a huge volume of data on the Aebi families from the 16th and 17th century which helped to paint a picture of how extensive the family is, but another trip to Switzerland would be necessary to find the most important documents.
In 2001, I again had an opportunity to return to Europe and spend more time in Switzerland and Amsterdam in search of more sources. This trip was the most productive in that I was able to personally examine several hundred original documents and secure photocopies of them and, in the case of the court documents from Switzerland, photograph them in their basement studio.
I was also able to locate the small cow-dorf of AEBI in the Emmenthal Region of Switzerland, which was previously unknown to us here in the United States. Though it was tough getting there, I was able to see the area that bears the Aebi name and giving me the thrill of a lifetime to see the same vistas that my forefathers saw over 500 years ago.
This new book is the product of over 30 years of Newman investigation into Aebi genealogy. I am very proud of this effort and I hope you find it informative.
Dieter Eby Newman