top of page
Jenny Family Crest (Wappenbuch Glarus)
Jenny III is the commonly used crest
Jenny Family Crest (Wappenbuch Samuel Wild)

Occurrence in Glarus

Ennenda / Mitlödi / Niederurnen / Schwanden / Sool

About the Jenny Family

The Jenny family, which provided twice a Landammann (head of government) and four members of the Federal Parliament,, have played a major role in the development of trade and industry in Glarus.

The family name, which was formed from the given name Johannes (John), occurred in different places in Glarus. We find already in the 15th century Jenny's in the Sernftal and then also in Haslen. The vast majority of the today's Jenny families, especially those from Ennenda, descend from the Councillor Heinrich Jenny, who immigrated from the Bern area to Ennenda. He represented Glarus from 1477 until 1499 on so-called Tagsatzungen (federal hearings). His son Peter was 1522 Landweibel (bailiff in Glarus) and 1530 Landvogt (bailiff) in Mendrisio, where he died in office.

The Jenny Families from Ennenda


According to Kubly-Müller there are eight different lines attributed to the above mentioned ancestor. The progenitor of the first line, which became known mainly in trade and industry, was Kaspar Jenny (1585-1660). While his son Wolfgang (1636-1721) dedicated his live as a councilman, master builder and bailiff to the public, son Balthasar (1614-1697) founded together with his numerous sons a table trade dynasty who deposed their products even in overseas countries. When this business dropped slightly, two great-grandchildren of Balthasar, Johann Rudolf (1724-1790) and his brother Gabriel (1726-1766), appealed to the textile business. They established together with a brother-in-law the so-called Wienerhandlung (Vienna trading house), which dealt mainly with the export of canvas and cotton cloths to Austrian crown lands, Poland and Russia. Later, they also built textile factories. A son of Johann Rudolf earned in 1815 the Austrian citizenship and was elevated to the Peerage. Others of this Jenny family have chosen an officer career. The descendants of Gabriel dedicated themselves to academic professions or the civil service. Others emigrated to Riga, Saint Petersburg or South Russia. Another great-grandson of Balthasar, Kaspar (1725-1804), operated a trade with cereals, which he imported from Italy. His son Solomon (1757-1822) founded an import - and export company for grain trade, manufactories and money transactions based in Trieste and his son maintained under the name Jenny and Schindler industrial establishments in Vorarlberg/Austria. Other descendants of Balthasar mainly held military functions. Great-grandson Conrad (1706-1760) served as a lieutenant commander in the Dutch military service. He later became bailiff in Locarno. His grandson, Fridolin (1772-1826), who first also served as a Lieutenant in Holland, turned again towards trade and industry. He founded the company Jenny & Cie. with a textile printing plant in Ennetbühls, from which later the cardboard factory emerged. In 1856, the company built a spinning and weaving factory in Mollis, and descendants also participated in factory plants in Vorarlberg/Austria. Finally, many family members have earned their living as artisans and businessmen and officiated in various municipal functions.

Well-known businessmen and manufacturers emerged also from the second Jenny line. The line goes back to Rudolf (about 1570-1651), who appears 1589 in the Gewehrrodel (a register for guns) and was wealthy with lot of properties in Ennetbergen. In the 18th century, descendants of Rudolf first turned to the cotton wool production and then had a permanent trading branch in Bordeaux. On a larger scale, Daniel (1751-1834) founded a company together with other traders from Glarus. This was the so-called "Deutschländerhandlung (German trading company) Jenny and Streiff", which dealt with all kinds of things, from handicrafts to Schabziger (special green cheese from Glarus), mainly in Germany. A nephew of Daniel, Bartholome (1770-1836), turned at the beginning of the 19th century to the textile trade and the textile factory business. Along with his brothers, he founded 1808 the company Bartholome Jenny & Cie. and traded especially with Italy. Through a merger between the Jenny weaving mill and the company Trümpy Brothers and the subsequent incorporation of a textile printing plant, the company was in a very short time one of the leading industrial and trading houses. This base was extended by the building of a large mechanical spinning and weaving factory in Haslen. Today the company is called Daniel Jenny & Cie. Another factory and trading company goes back to Fridolin Jenny-Heer (1784-1857), a brother of Bartholome. After Fridolin had started his own trading company, he teamed up with David Enderlin from Graubünden, who was active in Lugano, and built 1836 a large mechanical cotton mill in Ziegelbrücke to which a few years later a company in Niederurnen was attached to. In 1868, the sons built another weaving mill in Triesen (Liechtenstein). In 1880, the Enderlins were ruled out, and son Caspar (1819-1894) took over the management of the company, now called Fritz and Caspar Jenny. From this second line, Landammann (mayor) Kaspar (1812-1860) rendered outstanding services to Glarus. He resigned from the company Bartholome Jenny in 1842, became a member of the Standeskommission (State Commission) and led the Landesschwert (country sword) from 1848 until 1857. As the first National Councillor from Glarus he represented the Canton in the National Council in Berne. Industrialist Daniel (1814-1895) was member of the Standeskommission (State Commission) for ten years. Adolf (1855-1941), partner of the company Daniel Jenny & Cie., rendered outstanding services mainly through his historical studies. He wrote among other things the book Handel und Industrie des Kantons Glarus (trade and industry of the canton of Glarus), as well as the three-volume history of Glarus in Daten (Glarus in data) and was awarded the honorary doctorate of the University of Zurich. His son Daniel Jakob (1886-1970) left a valuable collection of wood engravings. Other members of this second line operated as craftsmen, farmers and day labourers. Several settled in Glarus. Some officiated in various municipal functions. Jacob (1897-1985) campaigned for the establishment of a Kantonsschule (State school) and was its first schoolmaster.

According to Kubly-Müller, the third root is attributed directly to Landammann (mayor) Heinrich Jenny (about 1490-1555). This line delegated several Ratsherren (councillors) and Tagwenvögte (village governor). Some operated as table traders. Fridolin (1716-1794) made a large fortune with operating a widespread cotton hand spinning. He distinguished himself as the promoter of the church in Ennenda and served as a Schatz- und Kirchenvogt (treasury- and church bailiff). His grandsons founded Jenny jeune in Bordeaux, which was dealing with straw hats. Daniel (1789-1860), another member of this line, built in 1821/22 at the village creek a mechanical cotton mill, which he converted 1843/44 in a so-called Yasmas- or Türkischkappendruckerei (Turkish textile printing factory). In the 18th century, members of this line settled in Glarus.

Only few members of the fourth to the eighth line emerged in the public. From the fourth line, Jakob (1844-1915) operated south of the Linthbrücke in Ennenda from 1867 a company for the processing of cotton waste. Johannes (born 1879) was known as an engineer and Colonel of the engineer corps (fifth line) and Jakob (Jacques, born 1910) from the sixth line made his mark as general director of Zürcher Kantonalbank and Credit Suissse as well as Commander of the Mountain Infantry Regiment 35. Hans (1573-1666), the progenitor of the eighth line, settled in Mitlödi, where he was elected as Ratsherr (councillor) and Tagwenvogt (village govenor). A great-grandson of Hans emigrated to Niederurnen and became the progenitor of the Jenny´s there. Amongst them also counts Regierungsrat (senior civil servant) and Gemeindepräsident (mayor) Heinrich (1876-1935). This eighth line includes also the Jennys who led the Soolerbogen in Glarus (Colonel Jakob 1872-1949).

The Jenny Family from Sool and Schwanden

According to Kubly-Müller, aspart from the eight lines from Ennenda, probably most Jennys coming from Sool belong to the Bernese family too, although bearer of this name are found there already in the second half of the 16th century. Several politicians and many manufactures and businessmen descend also from these lines. Part of them settled in Schwanden. Peter (1567-1622), who appears in the Gewehrrödeln (registers for guns) at the end of the 16th century, is considered the progenitor of the Sool and Schwanden lines. His son Hans (1599-1676) served as Ratsherr (councillor), judge and Kirchmeier (church custodian) in Schwanden. Other family members held similar offices. The brothers Felix (1769-1854) and Johannes (1778-1855) founded a hand-weaving factory as well as a Fergger business in Sool (the Fergger worked mostly on behalf of textile traders as a link between trade and crafts) and joined around 1800 the company of brother-in-law Peter Blumer, thereafter called P. Blumer und Jenny, headquartered in Ancona/Italy. The textile printing factory of Jenny und Blumer in the mill in Schwanden was linked with it as well as the mechanical spinning and weaving factory Gebrüder Jenny in Luchsingen. Descendants then continued these companies. Members of this family also took over the weaving factory Sernftal and founded a silk company in Stäfa / Zurich. Some of the Jenny´s from Sool were also prominent politicians. Peter the elder (1800-1874), who founded a trading company in Manila, was a member of the Standeskommission (State Commission), was a member of the court of appeal, presided the cantonal school commission, and joined the National Council from 1859. Under his leadership, the Landesplattenberg (slate mine in Engi) had become a thriving company in the 1830s. His namesake, called the "younger" (1824-1879) belonged to the progressive politicians. He also sat in the State Commission and was the successor to its namesake in the National Council in 1866. From 1875 to 1877 he represented the Canton in the Council of States. In his younger years, he had been working as a consul in Manila.

Interpretation of the Family Coat of Arms of the Jenny family



Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz, Band 4, p 399

Schweizerisches Geschlechterbuch, Band 7, p 292-303; 793-823; 955

Stucki Fritz, 50 alte Glarner Familien, p 45-49

Tschudi-Schümperlin Ida / Winteler Jakob, Wappenbuch des Landes Glarus, p 44


bottom of page