This web site presents a compilation of the history, genealogy, photos, and activities of the descendants of Stefan Aner who was born in Windlach, Switzerland in or about 1569. It is a story of risk taking, hard work, entrepreneurship, service to God and to Country and contributions to the welfare of mankind. We, the descendants, are appreciative of the morals, values and ethics imparted to us by our ancestors. It is our sincere desire to see these important aspects of life continued at full strength and commitment by our progeny. May this compilation support and inspire that effort. ??????????????
THE ARNER HISTORY BOOK A book edited by Judy McElderry, Produced by Diana McGurk and the Arner.org committee covers the history of the expansion of the Arner clan through the centuries and everything that happened to and for us as we evolved. It contains first hand accounts of the early years and a summary of noteworthy Arners of modern history and everything in between. Click on the listing in the index to the left marked "The Arner Book."
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FROM SWITZERLAND TO BENTZELFANIA
The first Aners to leave Switzerland were Johann Hans Ulrich Aner (Great Grandson of Stephan) and his wife Verena (Feronica) Eberhard. They left the Zurich area with their four children on October 4, 1734 and arrived in Philadelphia on May 29, 1735. The story of this long and arduous journey is told in the "The Arner Book" which was published for the 2004 Arner family reunion.
Following their indenture near Germantown, the (now spelled) Arners moved with their religious group to the Jordan Creek area of what is now Lehigh County. The first Arner home was in the Goshenhoppen area that is now Upper Hanover Township around East Greenville, Montgomery County. By 1744, with three more children to feed, they moved to Lehigh County, 3 miles Northwest of the present Allentown near the Trexler Game Farm. There they settled in and farmed, raised their children and supported the Pennsylvania German Reformed churches in the area. Eventually, as the children grew, they purchased their own farms and prospered in that area near what is now Rockdale Creek on the north and Fells Creek on the south (the site of the Rising Sun Felix Arner home in the photo.)
SPELLING THE ARNER NAME
From Dr. Pfister, Director of the Archives in Zurich, we learned that the ancient spelling of our name was Anner. The old German language allowed the two ns to be replaced by a single n with a line above it. Eventually the line was eliminated and the name became Aner. Incidentally, Some of Dr. Pfister's ancestors joined our family on the trip across to America and he has a serious interest in our piece of history.
When the English clerks greeted the new emigrants in Philadelphia, they wrote their names as they heard them. Throughout the frontier, clerks wrote names phonetically and if you listen to how a German says Aner you will hear it as - ah ner - or - ah nah. As a result, we see our name appear as Ainer, Arnor, Orner, Erner, Herner, Aarner, Arnd, Ahner, Arnor, and even Arnertt. All of us Arners, none the less.
The archivists in Zurich tell us that the name Anner means of, or from, Ann - just as Zürcher means "of Zürich" and Berner means "of Bern." The name even appears in the Arnold family history as a possible origin for that family name in England. That history lists the meaning of Arner as "Eagle."
To our knowledge, there is no authentic coat of arms for the Arner (of any spelling) clan, in spite of what the popular heraldry shops promote.
The Arner name pops up in Ireland, Cuba, Spain, Sweden, Italy and elsewhere. So far no connection has been made of these Arners to our Arner name. We do know that the Swiss of the early years were accomplished military and became mercenaries in many counties. A good example of this is today's Papal Swiss guard. We also know that a large number signed on to serve royalty in Ireland and there is an Arner hotel and Arner River in Ireland.
Southeast of Windsor, Ontario, Canada and just north of Lake Erie lies another conclave of Arner places and people. Some believe it is one of Hans Ulrich's sons who could not fight against the British and moved to Canada at the outset of the Revolution.
There are blacks in the southern US that carry the name Arner.
Some of us heard stories that not only in the Revolution did Arner fight Arner but also in the War Between the States.
We do know that Hans and Verena boarded the good ship "Mercury" thinking they were headed for Charleston, South Carolina.
There is recorded an Arner from Ohio or Indiana who converted to the Native American way of life and never returned to the European life style.
ARNER.ORG. Home for all descendants of Stefan Aner.