Monday, May 3, 2010

Foreign Service Officers

Over the 800 or so traceable years of de Büren family history, many de Büren men have served in Swiss military regiments of foreign princes, kings and emperors. As mercenaries, the Swiss fought all over Europe, providing their services to the highest bidder. Interestingly though my ancestors would serve the Kings of France and Princes of Holland repeatedly over many generations.

Some historical background on the Swiss military from The Swiss Army System by Remy Feesch

"Some facts of Swiss history may explain how the military spirit has developed and has always been kept up in that little Republic, and that the actual state of preparedness is partly the result of that military spirit of the Swiss population.

The foundation of Switzerland dates from the 1st of August 1291, when those farmers and huntsmen round the Lake of Lucerne assembled on the 'Rütli' and after deliberation took a solemn oath to defend one another and to destroy those tyrants which Austria had sent to subdue the country.

Already in those days general conscription formed a basis and was a principle of the swiss military system. It was a matter of course to the Swiss people that every able bodied man or boy should defend his country.

For the next few hundred years we find the Swiss continuously fighting for independence against almost every power in Europe. The Swiss Regiments became quite famous and when there was nothing to fight for at home, they sold their sword abroad. We find Swiss Regiments fighting with the armies of Philipp II, Francis I, and Charles V. During the terrible struggle of the French Revolution in 1792 the famous 'Red Swiss,' a Regiment of body guards of Louis XVI, were entirely annihilated in the garden of the Tuilleries by the bloodthirsty mob of Paris."


In the service of Louis XII
Louis de Büren (1453-1526)

In the service of Henry II
Conrad de Büren (1530-1561)

In the service of Louis XIII
Jean de Büren (1610-1631)

In the service of Louis XIV
Victor de Büren (1641-1708)
Albert de Büren (1644-1685)

In the service of Louis XV
Nicolas de Büren (1708-1727)
Philippe de Büren (1727-1808)
David de Büren (1734-1782)
Louis de Büren (1735-1806)
Philippe de Büren (1737-1760)

In the service of Louis XVI
Louis de Büren (1735-1806)


David de Büren (1614-1659)

Gabriel de Büren (1669-1694)

Victor de Büren (1703-1753)
David François de Büren (1714-1743)
Charles de Büren (1731-1757)

In the service of William V, Prince of Orange
Charles de Büren (1731-1757)
Jacques Louis de Büren (1771-1838)

In the service of William I
Philibert Charles de Büren (1794-1858)


Albert de Büren (1719-1798)


In the service of William III
Gabriel de Büren (1669-1694)

In the service of George III


  1. Wow, you are so lucky to have this much information about your ancestors! I read your older posts, too. How did you get so many details? Obviously, your family moved in high circles, so perhaps that makes more information available. Very impressive! Astrid

  2. Astrid,

    Thanks for your comment. I am very lucky to have had ancestors collect family stories over time. A good deal of my information comes from these older genealogies supplemented with new research of my own.

    Thanks, JF

  3. It is so fascinating and as you say, you are lucky that your ancestors kept all these stories, it probably has to do with an uperclass that was well educated.
    When I research some of my ancestors from canton Vaud, they wrote in some kind of "patois" It is so weird to read the legal jargon about successions, money was seldom involved, it was all some type of bartering system and in some case there are pages and pages of very detailed exchanges.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...