The Hunzikers from Leimbach and Gontenschwil are of one lineage. The assumption in «History of old Gontenschwiler Families», that the Hunziker progenitor of Geisshof (hamlet near Gontenschwil) came directly from Leerau to Gontenschwil, is erroneous and must be corrected. But lets start at the beginning.
|The place of origin of this widely branched surname Hunziker is known to be the hamlet named Hunziken, situated above Geuensee in the Luzerner Suhrental. Earlier, as far back as the Middle Ages, numerous Hunziker descendants left their small village. Travelling down the valley, they settled in Reitnau, Attelwil, Leerau, Staffelbach, Schöftland, Muhen, and yes, even in the city of Aarau. Kirchleerau and Moosleerau became a virtual Hunziker center; especially the latter. Here Hunziker rapidly developed as the main surname. After 1600 the two Leerau already counted 20 families bearing the Hunziker name. One of them was the family of Melchior Hunziker in Moosleerau. Notably, he was known in his village by two added surnames, as «Hentzman» and as «Hegi’s son».
Coat of arms of the Hunziker from Moosleerau
Only the second name, Hegi, was used by his descendants. Aside from this, he is the key figure in our brief Hunziker history. He appears in a Leimbach house register of 1647, alongside five other homeowners, as «Melcher Huntzigker called Heggi from Lerauw». He is identical with the above Melchior.
Hans and Fridli, sons from their father’s second marriage, were given the farmstead in Leimbach. The daughters were paid off.
The matter of the Leimbacher homestead had a record. Apparently already in 1593/1607 a Fridli Hunziker of Leerau lived on the same farm. He may well have been an uncle of Melcher. And since Fridli apparently had no male descendants, the farm probably went to the nephew Melcher after his death. His son, Lux Hegi or Lux Hunziker, ran the farm since at least 1643. His halfbrother Hans moved to the farmstead in Leimbach in 1647 after getting married in Leerau. After signing the property division contract in 1653, Lux moved back to Moosleerau. Hans stayed in Leimbach; then he was joined by his brother Fridli. But Hans died that same year. Their father, Melchior, who probably never lived in Leimbach, was buried in Moosleerau in February 1655. Fridli then moved his mother to live with him in Leimbach.
In addition they retained their old citizenship in Moosleerau. How they managed to retain this old citizenship rights for more than a century, is at present a puzzle. Another interesting point: to this day, the Hunziker families in Leimbach as well as in Geisshof can verify their common descent through their old surname Hegi.