Hiestand-Haston Family Heritage Tour

June 14-27, 2023 - Switzerland & Rhineland of Germany

By Roland zh - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11881637

Photo above: The “village” of Richterswil in Canton Zurich, Switzerland – where our Hiestand-Haston ancestors lived centuries ago.

A Tour with Double-Value

Scenic Value

The “scenic value” of this tour alone will be worth the price of the entire trip.  In Switzerland, you will see and experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps, the mountain villages and farms, the beautiful city of Zurich, the “Crescent Lake” – Lake Zurich, the centuries-old buildings, and breath-taking panoramic views.

By MadGeographer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5749443

Historic & Family Heritage Value

As you enjoy the beautiful scenery–some of the most awesome scenes in the world–you will learn about the early history of our Haston (Hiestand) family, from 1401 A.D. (and even earlier).  You will walk on some of the streets they walked on, see the ruins of the old castle some of them lived in, walk through some of the grounds of the Wilderness Trust property that they have co-owned with other Swiss families for 100s of years, and more.  And you will even eat lunch at the Hiestand Bakery in Zurich. 

And you will learn much about our Mennonite (Anabaptist) roots from the 16th century–why and how and where they suffered.  You will visit one of the caves where Swiss Mennonites met in secret to worship God in much the way New Testament believers worshiped Him.

You will take a ride on the Rhine River–the river that our forefathers used as an escape route to leave Switzerland to find more freedom of religion in the Rhineland of what is now Southwest Germany.  You will see ancient castles all along the mountains surrounding the Rhine, castles where our ancestors were forced to stop and pay tolls before moving on down the river.

Then, we will visit the village of Ibersheim near Worms, Germany where our Hiestands were allowed to settle to restore the farmland devastated by the Thirty Years War (1718-1748).  In turn for their work, they were allowed greater religious freedom than they had known in Switzerland.  You will visit–and participate in a church service–in the Mennonite Church in Ibersheim–the same building that many Hiestand ancestors worshiped in.

We will spending four nights here – in this “village” of Richterswil, Switzerland where our ancestors lived and were local leaders 500+ years ago.  And we will take a boat tour around Lake Zurich.  It’s all a part of the price for the trip.

Our Tour Guides

General Editor of Mennonite Family History journal and author of numerous books on Mennonite history. Lois Ann has led dozens of tours to the early Anabaptist sites in Switzerland and Germany that we will be visiting.
Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist and authority on Swiss Anabaptist families in Canton Zurich, including our Hiestands. Author of books on this subject, such as Apart from the World and A Lake Beneath the Crescent Moon..
Limited capacity: The tour will only be available to Daniel Haston family members and connected relatives through November 2021.  If the the tour limit has not been reached (and confirmed by a deposit) by December 1, 2021, the tour will be opened to others outside of our extended Daniel Haston family.  Confirmation of a place in the tour group is based on a deposit, as explained in the the following itinerary and tour details document.
Beginning December 1, 2021 the Tour Group will be opened to a broader group.
For "our folks" - please, if possible, confirm your place in the group as early as possible.
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