The following is from Frieda Funkhouser Wilson's book, FUNKHOUSER - A SWISS-AMERICAN GENEALOGY (1364-1978)  Copyright date: 1978    (The following is presented with Frieda's permission)


...The oldest report on the Fankhauser family, dating back to the year 1364, is to be found in a document in the state archives at Berne.  In this document mention is made of a Hans zum Vanghus.  From the "Fontes rerum Bernensium", volume VIII, page 555:

"Hans zum Vanghus  13 Marz 1364   als Burge fur Uelrich Koch, der von Abt von Trub das obere Bannwart's gut erhalten hatte,"  (Bannwart's gut now Ober Schneidershaus).


"Hans at Vanghus     13 March 1364    as guarantor for Uelrich Koch, who received the upper farm estate and property from the Abbot of Trub."  (Apparently Herr Koch was not able to make a go of the farm and Hans had to take it over since he had guaranteed or acted as collateral for the property).

   From this name Vanghus, Fankhuser evolved and this was later changed to Fankhauser.  "Haus" being "Hus" in the dialect, pronounced Fahnckhuser.  The name sometimes appears in the early records as Fanckhauser.

   About 1400 Fankhausers are also found in the district of Entlebuch, adjoining Trub, which belongs to the Canton of Lucerne.   However, the fact that as early as 1364, a Hans Fankhauser (Zum Vanghus) is mentioned in record in Trub, and only after 1450 in Entlebuch, and the further fact that, near Trub, an entire valley went by the name "Fankhausgraben" gives proof that Trub was the ancestral home of the Fankhausers.

   Further proof is found in the records pertaining to the Monastery at Trub.  Here we find Clewi Fankhauser, our ancestor, owning property which is divided between his sons, Hans and Clewi, Jr.  Clewi is the Swiss diminutive of Niklaus. NOTE: For the interesting story of the division of the land see CONTENT: "Land Division-1495".