Morgenthaler roots

Background of the family name Morgenthaler

The name Morgenthaler is rooted in the description of a person coming from a geographical place: the person from the Morning Valley. (In German Morgen Tal with ancient spelling Thal). But where in German speaking Europe was this Morning Valley? Or were there several Morning Valleys and the name developed several times parallely? This site tries to answer such questions.

Bildquelle: (Affoltern im Emmental)
Affoltern im Emmental. A typical place in Swizerland where persons with the name Morgenthaler have their place of citizenship. Aerial:

Morgenthaler in Switzerland

Every Swiss person has a so called Heimatort, a word that could be translated with place of citizenship. This place of citizenship is inherited from the father. If a woman gets married, she keeps her original place of citizenship and in addition gets the one from her husband. The place of citizenship was important in the past when there was no social walfare and no insurances. Persons who had lost their parents, families or existance had to be taken care of in their place of citizenship.

Studying the map below with all places in Switzerland where Morgenthaler persons have their places of citizenship, we can see there are two groups of places: three villages in the Swiss canton Aargau (AG) along the river Suhre and four villages in the canton Bern (BE) upriver the Langete. Comparing the family enblems of these places shows partial relations within the two groups. In this region full of hills there are many valleys that could have been the original Morning Valley. (Click map to enlarge)

Map of Swiss places where Morgenthalers have their place of citizenship
At: Attelwil (AG), which merged with the neighbour community of Reitnau in 2019
St: Staffelbach (AG)
Ue: Uerkheim (AG)
Ur: Ursenbach (BE)
Wa: Walterswil (BE)
Dü: Dürrenroth (BE)
Af: Affoltern (BE)
Mu: The village of Murgenthal and the river Murg
Picture source: App "Atlas of Switzerland" from

The next map shows the spreading of the name Morgenthaler in Switzerland in the year 2008. We can see a concentration in the same regions.

Picture of Morgenthaler name spreading in Switzerland
Picture from website, which no longer exists.

Morgenthaler in Germany

This next map shows the spreading of the family name Morgenthaler in Germany. It shows us a concentration in the southern region of the valley of the river Rhein; plus in Berlin.

** Update 2023 **
The Rheinland origin of the Morgenthaler family is likely due to the fact that after the Thirty Years' War, the area became a popular destination for Swiss farmers seeking to emigrate. Sons of farmers in Switzerland with no prospects of obtaining their own land were drawn to regions like the Rhineland, which had been severely depopulated by the war. (Source: Origin of the Morgenthaler Family on the website of the Heimats-Orts-Gemeinschaft Jarek)

Picture of spreading of the name Morgenthaler in Germany
Picture from website, which no longer exists.

Switzerland or Germany?

Based on the sources available to the site author, it is concluded that the Morgenthaler surname likely originated uniquely or concurrently in Switzerland, with subsequent emigration to the Rhineland. Additionally, another origin in Germany without Swiss roots is conceivable, but the site author has no sources for this.

Please contact the site author if you have information about this subject.

Morgenthaler worldwide

The website Publicprofiler offers the possibility to visualise the global spreading of family names. The centre of the spreading of  the name Morgenthaler is in the Swiss canton Bern. The spreading in Europe and wordwide shows immigration movement to typical Swiss immigration destinations. (Germany, France, Austria, England, USA, New Zealand).

** Update 2023 **
The following well documented migration route of Swiss Morgenthaler is noteworthy:

1) Initially to the southern Rhineland, which had been heavily depopulated due to the Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1648).
2) From there to the town of Jarek in the Batschka (marked with red B on the map below) along the Danube in present-day Serbia. During the third "Schwabenzug" (1782 - 1787), Morgenthalers also migrated as settlers, invited by the Habsburg Monarch Joseph II, to the German settlements in that area.
3) From there, due to the upheavals of World War II in 1944, to Berlin, the United States, and Canada.

Picture:, edited by the site author
Map of the world with the spreading of the name Morgenthaler
Picture: (2017)