Hello Claudia and Mirja! My Grandmother's maiden name was Zwingelstein and her family immigrated from the Alsace region of France around the 1880/1890s.
Here is what I know of my family tree ... hopefully someone has additional information or this information could be helpful to someone.Please contact me if you recognize anyone!I have and amazing group Zwingelstein family photo with about 35 people in it. Sibilings: Louis Zwingelstein Jennie Zwingelstein married Frank Duprey Adele Zwingelstein married Emil Belot - I know Adele was born in France in 1870. Jack Zwingelstein married Mary Emil Zwingelstein married Kate Eugene Zwingelstein married Rosalie Chaourt
Eugene was born in 1867 in France and Rosalie was born in 1871 in France - they had 8 children: Alice Zwingelstein (1902-1970) married Peter Turner Isabel Zwingelstein (7.18.1904-1.20.1990 St. Joseph's Cemetery - Pittsfield, MA) married Elton R. Turner (died 12.20.1970) Joseph Eugene Zwingelstein (registered for the WWI draft) married Beatrice Zwingestein.They had 3 children:Beatrice (Tootsie) Zwingelstein born 1916 who married a man named Harold and had 2 children.Kathleen Zwingelstein (graduated Pittsfield HS in 1941) married John Magner and adopted 2 children.Eugene Zwingelstein. Louis Zwingelstein (7.24.1896-06.1964 social security number 026181598) married Lois Murray and had 2 children.Lillian Zwingelstain (graduated Pittsfield HS, employed as a telephone operator at Taconic HS and was a member of the Berkshire Hills Country Club) married and divorced Mr. MacCartney and had 2 children. Harriette Zwingelstein married Neil Newton and had 3 children - Isabelle Newtown (Pittsfield, MA), Edward Newton (Schenectady, NY) and Neil W. Newton (8.03.1921-07.11.1982 graduated Lenox HS and UMass at Amherst WWII 8th US Air Force in Europe, Cheif Economist National Park Service Departmen tof the INterior and interned at St. Brigit's Cemetery. Rose Zwingelstein married Alfred Fields and had 3 children - Rosemary T. Fields married Mr. Hatch, Francis A. Fields, Barbara Ann Fields (12.25.1937 co-owner/tresure Regan Industries, 1955 graduate St. Joseph's HS and Berkshire Business College, intered Pittsfield Cemetery) married Robert J. Regan and had 3 children. Susan Zwingelstein married Charles Thomas and adopted 2 children. My Great Grandfather Emil Arthur Zwingelstein born 1893 married Mable Marie Bullett and had 2 children - Emil Arthur Zwingelstein who married Jennie E. Jones and had 2 children Linda and Bruce. Mabel Marie Zwingelstein (6.6.23-10.4.96) married Clarence Romeo Ouillette (6.18.20-04.2006) both are interned Mount Olivet Brockport, New York.They had 3 children - My Mother Michelle Ouillette married & divorced Leonel Dufour (Boston, MA) and had 1 child, myself Nicole Dufour (born 1980 - resides in New York City) Raymond Ouillette who married Patricia and had 3 children Gregg Ouillette who married and divorced Patricia and had 1 child.
Here is some Alsace history via Wikipedia: France was defeated by the Kingdom of Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). During the Prussian-led unification of Germany, Otto von Bismarck added Alsace and northern Lorraine to the new German Empire in 1871. The imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine was administered directly by the imperial government in Berlin, and was granted some measure of autonomy in 1911. An estimated 50,000 people (of a total population of about a million and a half) immigrated to France. Alsace remained a part of Germany until the end of World War I, when Germany ceded the region to France under the Treaty of Versailles. However, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the région was self-ruling by legal status, as its constitution had stated it was bound to the sole authority of the Kaiser and not to the German state. Correspondingly, the government of Alsace-Lorraine declared independence as the Republic of Alsace-Lorraine, but could not fight off the French who took it over a week later. France tolerated no plebiscite, as granted by the League of Nations to some eastern German territories at this time. After World War I, the establishment of German identity in Alsace was reversed, as Germans who had settled in Alsace since 1871 were expelled. Policies forbidding the use of German and requiring that of French were introduced. Curiously, the région was not considered to be subject to some changes in French law from 1871 to 1919, such as the Law of Separation of the Church and the State. The région was effectively annexed by Germany in 1940 during World War II and reincorporated into the Greater German Reich. Alsace was merged with Baden, and Lorraine with the Saarland. The annexation, while putting a halt to the anti-German discrimination in the région, subjected it to the cruel Nazi dictatorship, which was loathed by most of the people. The German government never negotiated or declared a formal annexation, however, in order to preserve the possibility of an agreement with the West. France regained control of the war-torn area in 1944 and resumed its policy of promoting the French language with uncompromising vigor. For instance, from 1945 to 1984 the use of German in newspapers was restricted to a maximum of 25%.