Wiser or Wyser
Family History of WISER from NIEDERGÖSGEN
By Kurt F. Laube
Nov 28, 2004 - 12:20:00 AM

Map of Switzerland

Rom. Kath. Pfarrei St. Anton Niedergosgen
Niedergösgen is a community in the district of Gösgen, canton Solothurn, a parish village with a former castle of the barons of Gösgen. Originally it was called "Bötzbach" and was built 1229 or 1230 by Gertrud I from Gösgen into a castle. Niedergösgen remained in the possession of the family Gösgen until 1444. The castle was then captured and burned by the Solothurnians.

In 1458 the dominion was finally taken over by Solothurn, the destroyed castle was reconstructed and became residence of the new administration.

In 1798 the castle was destroyed by the French army. Niedergösgen belonged to the parish of Stüsslingen until 1838, when it was made into a parish of its own. Part of the castle ruin was built into the Catholic Church.

Please click here for aerial views of the castle.





Short history of the Wiser family from Niedergösgen

Documents relating to the Wiser family, formerly also written as Wyser and Wieser, can be traced in Niedergösgen from the first half of the 16th century:


In this year we find a Heiny Wiser from Niedergösgen among the citizens who swore, before the bailiff, the civic rights.  (Note 1: Tractatenbuch p. 102)

Already in the 16th century we find in the records (Urbare, Grundbücher = land register) some Wiser in Niedergösgen who were land owners.  Towards the end of the 16th century they were already a respected family.


Hans Wiser (our ancestor) from Niedergösgen received from the government of Solothurn a dress in the State colors (in his function as a beadle).  (Note 2: Rats-Manual 1585, p. 22) 

Carving in Church -- I Love The Hiding Pig

Jacob Wiser (son of Hans Wiser), beadle in Niedergösgen, is mentioned.(Note 3: Gösgen-Acten, vol. 7, p. 400)


The house of the above Jacob Wiser burned down. (Note 4: Gösgen-Schreiben, vol. 2, p. 343)


A fine was reduced to Jacob Wiser, the beadle. (Note 5: RM 1600, p. 297)


In the land register of Gösgen we find the beadle Heini Wiser, son of Jacob Wiser, as a land owner.  (Note 6: Urbar Gösgen 1619, p. 904, 906, 908, 909)


The above mentioned beadle Heini Wiser received from the government material for a dress.  (Note 7: RM 1626, p. 495)


The government allows Lorentz Wiser, beadle from Niedergösgen, to lay out a small garden at the requested place. (Note 8: RM 1644, p. 449)


Franz Wiser, beadle and innkeeper in Niedergösgen, was granted the “right to keep an inn" for his inn called "To the White Cross"  (Note 9: RM 1683, 20.10)

Niedergösgen belonged to the parish of Stüsslingen/SO. The government of Solothurn decided in 1580 that priests should enter baptisms and marriages carefully in a book, according to the resolution of the council of Trient. The priest of Stüsslingen, however, only started the books in 1705. We can therefore exactly follow the Wiser family from Niedergösgen starting from this date.

From various records in the State archives in Solothurn I have looked up the beadles from Niedergösgen before 1705, who can be taken most probably for ancestors of the Wiser family.  At that time the charge of a State beadle was transferable from father to son.

  • Hans Wiser beadle before 1585
  • Jacob Wiser beadle about 1600
  • Heinrich Wiser beadle about 1626
  • Lorenz Wiser  beadle about 1644
  • Franz Wiser beadle  from 1683 - about 1700 (documentary proof)
  • Felix Wiser  (son of Franz Wiser)

From the book of baptisms from Stüsslingen, starting 1705, it was possible to research the generation of Felix Wiser, as the first generation of Wiser from Niedergösgen.

Albert Wyser Stained Glass Window

1st generation: FELIX WISER from Niedergösgen 1684-1724

(innkeeper, farmer and beadle in Niedergösgen)

Felix Wiser, son of Franz Wiser, beadle and innkeeper in Niedergösgen, was born in 1684. According to an entry in the death book, he died 1724, at the age of 40. He married, before 1705, Barbara Schenker.

To see the Wiser family tree, starting with Felix Wiser, please click here

The couple had ten children:

  1. Leonz -- baptized 1705
  2. Anna Margaretha -- baptized April 16, 1706
  3. Ursus -- baptized March 9, 1707
  4. Anna Maria -- baptized May 13, 1708
  5. Franciscus -- baptized November 3, 1709
  6. Elisabetha -- baptized February 1, 1712
  7. Elisabetha -- baptized March 23, 1713
  8. Maria Ursula -- baptized October 3, 1714
  9. Jacobus -- baptized June 27, 1716
  10. Joan Jacobus -- baptized September 16, 1717

All the children were born in Niedergösgen and baptized in the church of Stüsslingen.

The children:

  1. Leonz –- became a blacksmith and settled in Alsatia.
  2. Anna Margaretha –- married February 4, 1732 Joan Jacobus Wiser in Stüsslingen. 
  3. Ursus –- became a shoemaker in Niedergösgen.  He married in Stüsslingen January 22, 1731 Anna Maria Brunner from Olten.
  4. Anna Maria -– died in childhood
  5. Franciscus -- became a town clerk and innkeeper in Niedergösgen.  He married in Stüsslingen February 4, 1732 Anna Soland from Kienberg.  The couple had seven children. Franciscus Wiser died March 15, 1784 (see second generation)
  6. Elisabetha -– died in childhood
  7. Elisabetha –- married in Stüsslingen February 5, 1731 Jacobus Gisi from Niedergösgen
  8. Maria Ursula –- married Hans Meyer
  9. Jacobus -– became a farmer in Niedergösgen
  10. Joan Jacobus -– became a farmer in Niedergösgen [see Anna Margaretha, above – I’m confused about the marriage comment] 

Felix Wiser was a clever man. From his father he took over the inn "To the White Cross" as well as the charge of beadle from Niedergösgen.  He also owned a rather big farm. Felix Wiser died rather young, at the age of 40 years, on February 5, 1724. The widow, Barbara Schenker, continued with the inn and the farm.  For the underage children an orphan's ward was appointed.

The inventory over the pecuniary circumstances of Felix Wiser was made on February 10, 1724. (Note 10: Inventare and Teilungen Gösgen 1708-1731, vol. 4, Nr. 29) The property left was estimated at 5,174 pounds:

The inn

600 pounds


2,100 pounds

Arable land

1,700 pounds

Agricultural utensils & household effects

774 pounds


5,174 pounds

The debts were

1,461 pounds

The dowry of the widow

520 pounds

According to the widow's wish, Barbara Schenker, the division of the property and handing over to the children took place on December 10, 1731. (Note 11: Inventare und Teilungen Gösgen 1728-1741, vol. 5, Nr. 4)

The widow at first kept the house with the inn "To the White Cross," with the orchard and some meadows. The heirs were:

  • Leontz Wiser in Alsatia,
  • Urs Wiser,
  • Franz Wiser,
  • Jacob (Joggeli) Wiser,
  • Hans Jacob Wiser,
  • Margreth Wiser,
  • Elisabeth Wiser,
  • Maria Wiser.  

The property and the debts were distributed among the children by lot.  Each of the heirs received land and so on in the amount of 267 pounds. After the death of their mother, the house with the inn "To the White Cross" was taken over by the son Franz Wiser. Barbara Schenker died on February 26, 1736.

Maria Wyser Stained Glass Window

2nd generation: FRANCISCUS WISER from Niedergösgen (1709-1784)

(innkeeper and beadle in Gösgen)

Franciscus Wiser, son of Felix Wiser and Barbara Schenker, was born in Niedergösgen and baptized November 3, 1709 in the church of Stüsslingen. He grew up with his brothers and sisters in his father's house in Niedergösgen and on February 4, 1732 he married  Anna Soland from Kienberg/SO in Stüsslingen. She was the daughter of Ursus Soland and Elisabeth Ripstein, born and baptized January 22, 1707 in Kienberg. Anna Soland gave birth to seven children.

  1. Maria Elisabetha -- baptized November 19, 1732
  2. Joannes Georgius Antonius -- baptized November 13, 1734
  3. Catherina -- baptized April 21, 1737
  4. Franciscus Antonius -- baptized October 21, 1738
  5. Ursus -- baptized October 26, 1746
  6. Magdalena -- baptized November 5, 1751
  7. Josephus Conradus Georgius -- baptized 1755

All children were born in Niedergösgen and baptized in the church of Stüsslingen.

The children:

  1. Maria Elisabetha -- died March 4, 1733
  2. Joannes Georgius Antonius –- later on called Georg, was blind and remained unmarried.  He died 1802.  According to the inventory dated March 24, 1802 his brothers Franz, Urs, Joseph, and his sisters Katharina and Magdalena Wiser inherited his fortune.  Each of them received 285 francs.
  3. Catharina -– married Hans Joggi Meyer, innkeeper from Winznau/SO
  4. Franciscus Antonius –- became a farmer and innkeeper, as he inherited the inn "To The White Cross" from his parents.  He was married twice.  With his first wife he had a son Johannes and a daughter Elisabeth.  His second marriage took place August 6, 1772 in Stüsslingen with M. Ursula Lehmann from Trimback/SO.  Franz Wiser died February 1803.  His widow Maria Ursula Lehmann sold the inn by auction in 1806.
  5. Ursus -– became a farmer.  He married Anna Maria Näf.  The couple had five children:  Franz Joseph, Franz Jacob, Urs, Magdalena, and Anna Maria Wiser.  According to the inventory dated March 24, 1820 Ursus Wiser left behind a fortune of 5,731 francs.  The debts were 4,467 francs.
  6. Magdalena -– was married to Joggi Busser from Niedererlinsbach.
  7. Josephus Conradus Georgius -– later on called Joseph, became a farmer and married February 9, 1779 in Stüsslingen Katharina Schenker from Obergösgen.  The couple had eleven children:  see third generation.

Franciscus Wiser was, like his father Felix Wiser, an able man. He was farmer, innkeeper and town clerk (apparitor) in Niedergösgen. During his marriage he also bought a farmhouse and the upper house in Niedergösgen. Franciscus Wiser died at the age of 75 years, on March 15, 1784. The inventory was made April 20, 1784. (Note 12: Inventare und Teilungen Lostorf 1783-1790, vol. 24, Nr. 103)

The heirs: Georg, Franz, Urs and Joseph Wiser (the sons) and Catharina and Madle Wiser (the daughters)

Dwelling house

1,900 pounds

Upper house

375 pounds

The inn

1,500 pounds

Meadows and fields

6,722 pounds

Livestock and fruits

738 pounds


2,234 pounds

Total Assets

13,469 pounds


1,800 pounds

Total property

11,559 pounds

The children agreed to a usufructuary contract with the widow, Anna Soland, as follows:  she retained a living room, bedroom and a cellar in the dwelling house, one bed with three plumeau cases and sheets, fruits, butter, oil and so on as well as 106 pounds a year.  The two daughters let their brothers have the land, the houses, securities, and the agricultural utensils, for which each daughter received the amount of 1,300 pounds and the son Georg, who was blind, received 300 pounds more than the sisters.


  • After decision by lot Franz Wiser received: the inn, meadows and fields and took over part of the debts.
  • Urs Wiser received the upper house with orchard, meadows and fields and took over part of the debts.
  • Joseph Wiser received the father's dwelling house with orchard, meadows and fields and took over the remaining debts. 

Anna Soland, the wife of Franciscus Wiser, died after 1784.

3rd Generation: JOSEPHUS CONRADUS GEORGIUS WISER from Niedergösgen (1755-1830)


Josephus Conradus Georgius Wiser, later on called Joseph, son of Franciscus Wiser and Anna Soland, was born in Niedergösgen and baptized February 12, 1755 in the church of Stüsslingen. He grew up in his father's house with his brothers and sisters and married Katharina Schennker, daughter of Ursus Schenker from Obergösgen February 9, 1779 in Stüsslingen. The couple had eleven children:

  1. Konrad -- baptized December 16, 1779
  2. Johannes Petrus -- baptized August 15, 1800
  3. Elisabeth -- baptized --?--  
  4. Franciscus Salesius -- baptized January 29, 1783
  5. Anna Maria -- baptized December 18, 1784
  6. Maria Franzisca -- baptized March 11, 1786
  7. Victor Antonius -- baptized January 18, 1787 
  8. Franciscus Silvester -- baptized December 31, 1789
  9. Maria Katharina -- baptized January 6, 1792
  10. Ursus Josephus -- baptized March 24, 1794
  11. Alois Josephus Maria -- baptized July 18, 1797

All the children were born in Niedergösgen and baptized in the church of Stüsslingen.

The children:    

  1. Konrad -– became a veterinarian and settled in Huggerwald near Kleinlützel/SO.
  2. Johannes -– became a farmer in Niedergösgen.
  3. Elisabeth -– married Leontz Gyger, tailor, in Niedergösgen.
  4. Salesius -– became a farmer and settled in Kappel/SO.
  5. Anna Maria -– died in childhood.
  6. Maria Franzisca -- died in childhood.
  7. Victor Antonius -- died in childhood.
  8. Franciscus -- became a farrier in Niedergösgen.
  9. Katharina -- married Joseph Herzog, schoolteacher from Schönenwerd.
  10. Joseph -- became a hatmaker in Niedergösgen.
  11. Alois -- became a colonel of the Swiss Army and war commissioner. He married Katharina Herzog from Schönenwerd. Alois Wiser died on October 28, 1870 in Solothurn.

Joseph Wiser became a farmer. He had inherited the paternal dwelling house and some meadows and fields from his parents. During the marriage Joseph Wiser bought a second house, Nr. 86, with a smithy and a hatmakers workshop, as well as some arable land.

The couple, Joseph Wiser and Katharina Schenker, gave over their property to their children, as mentioned in the inventory. (Note 13: Inventare und Teilungen Niedergösgen 1822-1831, vol. 2, Nr. 9)

Heirs were the sons Konrad, Salus, Franz, Joseph, Alois and Johannes Wiser and the daughters Elisabeth and Katharina Wiser.

The farm house with barn and stables, No. 24

3,600 francs

Store house, No. 78, with cellar

100 francs

House with smithy and hatmaker workshop, No. 86

1,050 francs


1,550 francs

Arable land

2,720 francs

Purchased land

650 francs

Livestock, fruits, hay

454 francs


1,581 francs

Total Assets

11,705 francs

Total Debts

4,445 francs

Net Property

7,260 francs

Usufructuary contract:  Joseph Wiser and Katharina Schenker let their children have all the goods mentioned in the inventory, however, they retained:

  • pigsty, firewood and so on.
  • The use of the entire orchard.
  • One cow.
  • The right to live in the house Nr. 24, half of the kitchen, a bedroom, the small cellar, half of the cow house, half of the yearly rent of 108 francs.
  • Should all this not be sufficient, then the sons should be under the obligation for an extra pay.                 
  • Should one of the sons die, then the orchard would be allotted to the remaining sons, who would then have to pay to the parents 225 francs more.
  • In case of illness of the parents, the children have to take over the costs for the doctor and the medicine, as well as the costs of the funeral, in case of death.  

Compensation to the daughters:  The six sons take over the complete property mentioned inn the inventory and pay to each of the sisters 680 pounds or 1,020 Swiss francs.

Division of the heritage among the sons:

  • Konrad Wiser receives property in the amount of 1,170 pounds           
  • Salus Wiser receives property in the amount of 1,075 pounds
  • Franz Wiser receives property in the amount of 1,170 pounds 
  • Joseph Wiser receives property in the amount of 1,170 pounds
  • Alois Wiser receives property in the amount of 1,127 pounds
  • Johannes Wiser receives property in the amount of 1,880 pounds          

The division was made by lot.  

Katharina Schenker died on August 23, 1826. Joseph Wiser died on February 14, 1830 at the age of 75 years. They were both buried in Niedergösgen.

4th generation: ALOIS WISER from Niedergösgen (1797-1870)

ALOIS WISER (1797-1870) colonel of the Swiss Army, 1817-1820 in service of the Netherlands, 1822-1830; in French service, where he distinguished himself as officer and received the Order of the Holy Ferdinand, war commissioner of Switzerland, manager of the arsenal.  (See the Herzog family history.)

5th generation: BRUNO WISER from Niedergösgen (1841-1895)

The most important personalities of the Wiser family from Niedergösgen:

Alois Wiser (1797-1870) colonel of the Swiss Army,1817-1820 in service of the Netherlands, 1822-1830; in French service, where he distinguished himself as officer and received the Order of the Holy Ferdinand, war commissioner of Switzerland, manager of the arsenal. 

Otto Wiser (1835-1914) son of Alois Wiser, manager of the silk ribbon factory of Alexander Bally in Schönenwerd/SO, 1876 and 1881-1887 councilor of the canton Solothurn, military rank of battalion commander.

Konrad Wiser (1805-1871) son of Konrad Wiser, councilor of the canton Solothurn (1856-1871).   

Bruno Wiser (1841-1895) businessman, sheep breeder in South America.  Click here for more information about Bruno and his children

View from Church to Nuclear Reactor


Tractatenbuch p. 102ff             
RM (Rats-Manual) (resolution of the government) 1585, p.22              
Gösgen-Acten vol. 7, p. 400                
Gösgen-Schreiben vol. 2, p. 343                      
RM 1600, p. 297                    
Urbar Gösgen 1619, p. 904, 906, 908, 909     
RM 1626, p. 495                    
RM 1644, p. 449                                
RM 1683, date 20.10.1683                             
Inventare und Teilurigen Gösgen 1708-1731, vol. 4, Nr. 29
Inventare und Teilungen Gösgen 1728-1741, vol. 5, Nr. 4
Inventare und Teilungen Lostorf 1783-1790,  vol. 24, Nr. 103
Inventare und Teilungen Niedergösgen 1822-1831, vol. 2, Nr. 9

Archives records used at the State Archives Solothurn:

Pfarrbücher (parish books) of:

Stüsslingen with Niedergösgen (baptisms, marriages, deaths) 1705-1839

Kienberg  1585-1853

Obergösgen  1665-1835

Zivilstandsregister N.gösgen  1836-1875

RM (Rats-Manuale) – 16th to 19th century

Gösgen-Acten – 17th to 19th century

Gösgen-Schreiben – 17th to 19th century

Urbare Gösgen (land registers) – 17th century

Inventare und Teilungen Gösgen – 17th to 18th century

Inventare und Teilungen Lostorf – 18th century

Inventare und Teilungen Niedergösgen – 19th century

© Copyright 1998-2007 by Craig W Walsh