The Hunsberger Family Association
In 1922, the first documented reunion of the Hunsberger family took place at Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania, USA, with 60 persons present. The idea of formalizing an association came to fruition soon thereafter in 1925, when bylaws and a constitution were adopted, creating the Hunsberger Family Association.
The Association named as its historian Byron Keyser Hunsberger. He contacted the US Consul in Bern, Switzerland, to inquire about the origins of the Hunsberger name, and eventually visited Switzerland in 1938. One source put the earliest mention of the Hunsberger name in the year 1295. Another source suggested the family could have come from the hamlet of Hunsperg, northeast of Bern in the vicinity of Krauchthal, although no connection could be established with the Hunsbergers in America.
In 1941 Byron K. published a 750-page book entitled THE HUNSBERGERS, in which he traced most of the known Hunsbergers in America back to three brothers who first appear in 1720 in the records of Franconia, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA.
A noteworthy feature of this genealogy was its innovative family numbering scheme, giving members of each generation a digit appended to the father's number, indicating birth order. The numbers 1, 2, and 3 are given to the original Hunsberger brothers; their children have numbers such as 21, 22, 31, and 32; and the grandchildren are given numbers such as 211, 212, 213, and so forth. The tenth child in a family is represented by the letter "J", and the 11th by "K", etc. The letter "O" is skipped, since it looks too much like a zero. The largest documented Hunsberger family goes to "Q" -- indicating 16 children.
Another feature of the 1941 book of the Hunsbergers was a family crest conceived by Byron K. Hunsberger and drawn at his request by an artist. Having found no authoritative family crest in his research, Byron K. chose a bear and mountains to represent the Bern area of Switzerland, and sheaves of wheat to depict the farming occupation of the early Hunsbergers.
The most recent family book, The Hunsbergers, was published by the Association in 1995, in three volumes, with over 1700 pages. The index of the latest book contains 58,000 names, approximately 10% of which are still Hunsberger or some spelling thereof. (Spellings treated as part of the family include Huntsberger, Hunsperger, Honsberger, Honsperger, Hundsberger, Hunzberger, and many others.)
The principal researcher and assembler of the 1995 book was George Sheppard Hunsberger, who served until recently as the Association's Historian.
Inquiries concerning the book should be addressed to the Association's Treasurer, Allen Bradley, at 11421 Ann's Choice Way, Warminster PA 18974 USA (Tel: 215-957-7916). Copies of this book (all 3 volumes) are available for US$70 plus $10 for shipping. To submit new or changed family information or corrections for the next edition of the book, please use the form on this Web site.
A family reunion is held annually on the third Saturday in August at the Highland Park Camp Meeting Ground in Sellersville, PA. Recent reunions have featured talks by local historians and a tour of Hunsberger family points of interest in the nearby Souderton area , where the first Hunsbergers settled in America.
The Association also publishes a Newsletter three times each year. To get on the Newsletter mailing list, please contact Sylvia Hunsberger, 211 Cedar Ave., Holmes, PA 19043.
E-mail for the Association may be sent to Phill Hunsberger at Hunsperg@aol.com.
To add or update a family member in the Family Association's records, click here to go to the personal information form we have designed for this purpose. Please print, fill out, and mail the form to the Association's President and Acting Historian, Sylvia Hunsberger, 211 Cedar Ave., Holmes, PA 19043 (Tel: 215-380-3874).
Searching the Web for the name Hunsberger reveals that many Hunsbergers have their own Web pages, and many others are referenced in a variety of Web documents. For a collection of links to some of these pages, please see our links page.
This web site is maintained by David H. Hunsberger.
Please e-mail comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org