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The Raisley Name

What kind of name is Raisley, anyhow? Well, I guess you could say it's a misspelled name. ;-) Originally, it was spelled Rösli, and dates back to the 1500's and before in Switzerland. The Rösli families lived on Eschenberg, a small mountain just south of Winterthur, which is north-east of Zürich. Research I've done in the States and in Switzerland indicates that the Röslis lived for about two hundred years on that mountain, until dispersing in the early 1700's. While there are still quite a few Röslis living in and around Winterthur (including some wonderful people who I have visited several times), my ancestors moved away from Switzerland, to the Pfalz area of Germany for a short time, and then sailed from Rotterdam (the Netherlands), to Cowes in England, landing at Philadelphia harbor in 1739. Hans Conrad Rösli arrived with his son, and settled near Easton, Pennsylvania, where variations of the Rösli name are fairly common.

Did I say variations? There are so many variations, or derivations, of the Rösli name, it's hard to list them all. Obviously, Raisley, along with Rasely, Rasley, Raesly, Racely, Raceley, Roesly, Roesli and more! My ancestor Henry Rasley left Easton (Stone Church, actually) for Butler, Pennsylvania in 1865, and that is where my dad was born (quite a few years later, obviously).

As I mentioned above, I have had the good luck of traveling to Switzerland a number of times, to do research in Winterthur and Zürich, visit Eschenberg, Kyburg castle and much more. We have had Roesli reunions at the Roesli restaurant in Seen, where I photographed a painted ceramic tile with the Roesli coat of arms (a crude representation of which is pictured below), and just thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

If anyone is interested in specifics concerning the Raisley/Roesli families, including genealogy files in Family Tree Maker, please email me.


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