Historians trace Elon Musk’s Swiss roots to Emmental

Elon Musk's maternal side of the family can be traced back to villages in the Emmental region of Switzerland. Keystone / Patrick Pleul

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has roots in a small, picturesque farming region in central Switzerland. Using genealogy websites and local archives, historians have been able to connect Musk with the Haldimann name, which is still present in the Emmental region today.

This content was published on May 1, 2022 - 17:45

There are few images as quintessentially Swiss as the green pastures, farmhouses and distinctive holey cheese in the Emmental region in Canton Bern. According to researchExternal link by the SonntagsZeitung, the ancestors of the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, come from this area.

Maye Musk, Elon Musk's mother, was born Maye Haldeman on April 19, 1948 in Canada. In her autobiography she says that her father’s family emigrated from Switzerland to Philadelphia as early as 1727. Maye Musk and others who have written about Musk’s family have never been able to identify exactly which village in Switzerland the family comes from.

Using genealogy websites, the SonntagsZeitung was able to trace the family history back to 1544. At that time Bartholomeus Haldimann was born in the town of Signau in Emmental. This is eleven generations before Elon Musk’s great grandfather John Elon Musk was born. Bartholomeus’ son Andreas Haldimann was born in 1572 and his grandson Peter Haldimann on August 19, 1593. Local archives, based on church records, validate this.

Based on the journalist’s research, the Haldimann family emigrated to the US in 1719. There they renamed themselves Haldeman and settled in Pennsylvania.

“It is clear that Elon Musk has roots in Signau and Eggiwil because the Haldimanns have lived in this area since time immemorial. Another origin is impossible, because outside of the Emmental region this surname never appeared at that time,” said local historian Hans Minder.

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