The Swiss Migration of Our BUTLER/FISCHER Ancestors to New Zealand

Image of Mt Egmont/Taranaki

Many regions of Switzerland had Butler/Fischer family lines that migrated to New Zealand, from the German speaking Northern part of Switzerland, known as the Alpine region to areas that included Aettenschwil, Baar, Auw, Muri and Sins in Canton Aargau, Sirnach in Canton Thurgau and Zug.

Aettenschwil is a very small village about 15 minutes from Sins (a larger town) where Joseph Felix Butler and all his brothers and sisters Births are registered. Josef Felix Butler immigrated to New Zealand in 1884 and as he landed in Taranaki he probably thought of the good fertile earth of Canton Aargau through which the River Aare runs. He would have recognized the potential of being a prosperous landowner in New Zealand compared to that in Switzerland at the time. The venture to a new life in a new land, possibly with less risk of disease and plagues, appealed with the beautiful mountain, fresh air and water to remind him of home.

Josef Felix would have informed family back in Switzerland about Taranaki with its milder weather and better prospects as most of them followed him. With such opportunities on offer and problems with various religions in Switzerland, it would have been worth the risky trip to NZ. His older half brother Caspar Josef Butler, from his father Bartholoma's first marriage, was the only son to remain in Switzerland. Many Swiss families settled in Taranaki including Fischer, Steiner, Rust, Chamberlain, Schufer, Arnold, Schicker, Werder, Jans, Leuthard, Nolly, Schumacher, Miers and Hinz. Josef Felix and his brother Johann cleared their unfarmed properties and thus began a new chapter in life. Joseph Felix and Idda Butler nee Fischer's first property as on Suffolk Rd, Kaimata and all their 14 children were born on this farm.