The earliest known ancestor of this branch was Rudolph BOLLINGER, born in Switzerland around 1700. He seems to have arrived in Lancaster County, PA in the early 1700s (all his children were born there), although no record of his immigration has yet been found. The family later spread to many parts of the U.S., although the branch mainly represented in this index (i.e. Daniel) moved during the early 19th century from PA to eastern OH. Daniel's son Benjamin later moved from Akron, OH to the vicinity of Lansing, MI.
There are two theories as to the origin of the name BOLLINGER. The first is that the name derives from the French word for the occupation of baker. This is the old French "bulenger", modern French "boulanger", old Latin "bulengarius", Latin "bulla". This was the original conclusion taken by the primary source of family information (The History of the Clan of Rudolph BOLLINGER from Switzerland).
Sometime after the 1951 version of the source was distributed, Mr. Louis BOLLINGER of Richland, PA provided information from a letter written by Dr. Fritz BRAUN of Kaiserslautern, Germany in response to a query. Dr. BRAUN was a professional investigator of family genealogy for his government at the time. He made the following observations:
The name BOLLINGER is not of French origin, nor did the BOLLINGERs belong to a French group of Huguenots who scattered into Switzerland (the original theory).
The name originated in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, where there is a small village named Bollingen in the Canton Sankt Gallen. This may be the place from where a member of the family went to another place during the time when family names were being adopted, perhaps during the 14th or 15th century. The villages with the suffix -ingen were Frankonia settlements, started more than 1200 years ago (early 700s).
The big question is from where did Rudolph BOLLINGER emigrate? There is no doubt that he is from Swiss stock, but it is possible that he or his parents lived in the Palatinate before moving to PA. The family history suggests that Rudolph had come from the Palatinate (i.e. there is a record of a Jacob BOLLINGER, believed to be a brother of Rudolph, coming from there 14 Sep 1753 aboard the ship Edinburgh under Capt. James Russel of Rotterdam).
There was a Johann Rudolph BOLLINGER in Neupel near Zweibrucken that could have been born around 1705. A Jacob BOLLINGER lived in Hornbach (near Zweibrucken) in 1725. Unfortunately, the Zweibrucken church books were destroyed in WWII.
Place were BOLLINGERs lived in Switzerland before 1800 are: Niederhasli (Zurich), Schaffhausen, Oberentfelden (Aargau), Lehr (Bern), Beringen and Lohningen (Schaffhausen), Biberist (Solothurn), Hofstetten, Neftenbach and Turbenthal (Zurich).
Aaron (1???-1???) Abraham (1756-1814)
Benjamin (1787-1???) Benjamin (1818-1???)