Jacob Roland lived in difficult times. He was born 19 June 1659 in Oberentfelden, Aargau, Switzerland, the son of Ulrich Roland and Verena Meyer. War and economic hardship had taken its toll. The Thirty Years’ War had ended just a decade earlier in 1648, but life was still quite difficult with Germans and Swiss families moving to new areas to try for a better life.
Jacob moved twice, once from Oberentfelden to Miesau, a distance of about 220 miles, which was quite a move in the 1600s, and then back again to Switzerland. In 1721, in his old age, he applied to the Berne Council (local authorities had to give permission for families to move about) to move back to the Palatinate. His request was denied, much to the pleasure of the elderly women and children who wanted to remain in Switzerland. [Note: This anecdote was found in Beiträge zur Aargauergeschichte, volume 16 (2009).]
Jacob married Catharina Brechbuhl, c1688, who was from Lauperswil, a bit over 40 miles away from Oberentfelden in the canton of Bern. How they met isn’t evident given the distances between the villages. However, Jacob and Catharina must have lived in or near Lauperswil when they left the Palatinate area and returned to Switzerland because it was the Bern Council that denied Jacob’s request to migrate once again.
Not much else is known about Jacob and Catharina’s lives.
Children, all born in Oberentfelden:
1. Hans Rudolf, born 23 June 1689
2. Hans Jacob, born 7 August 1692
3. Hans Melchior, born 28 February 1689; died 1 March 1749; married Anna Maria Lang
4. Johannes, born 1 August 1696
The Beiträge zur Aargauergeschichte says there were also three other children, but birth/baptismal records can’t be found for them. I am not sure how anyone knows then that there were other children. Perhaps there is a Swiss probate file for Jacob or Catharina?