Rusterholz coat of arms from Wädenswil (from The Swiss Family Rusterholtz in America by Wallace P. Rusterholtz, via 'Nos ancêtres de Suisse: les Rusterholz')

The surname Rusterholz (pronounced Rueschterholz in the local dialect) is derived from the Swiss German word Rueschtere/Rueschen, a rare species of elm that gave superior wood for use in wagons (cf. High German Rüster, elm). The name designated either a joiner or a place of residence by an elm grove. The first known mention occurred in 1404, when der Rusterholtz, 'the (man) Rusterholz', inhabited the farm on the Gisenrüti in Wädenswil. Families by this name obtained citizenship before 1800 in the municipalities of Richterswil, Schönenberg, Uetikon am See, and Wädenswil.

Hans Rusterholz lived at the Egg in 1634. At least 2 children:

·         Anna Rusterholz ('Annali'), baptized 3 April 1631, died 20 April 1708 in Wädenswil. She married there 10 December 1667 to Hans Pfister, baptized 13 August 1637 (son of Rudolf Pfister and Anna Landis, Wädenswil). They lived in Stocken, but moved to Sunft with their 3 sons.

·         Jakob Rusterholz, blacksmith, borrowed 150 guilders from Hans Pfister in 1686. In 1688, Jakob went bankrupt and lost his farm Gisenrüti to Hans.

Kaspar Rusterholz from Richterswil, district judge, died before 1818. He lived in the Holz ('Wood') when he married on 14/15 November 1764 to Susanna Pfister, baptized 27 December 1744, died 1829 (daughter of Jakob Pfister and Anna Isler, Wädenswil; Jakob was a grandson of Anna Rusterholz). Since they were second cousins, the wedding took place in the Grossmünster ('Great Minster'), Zurich. Kaspar and Susanna lived at the Egg. Children:

1. a child that died young

2. Regula Rusterholz, baptized 26 July 1767, died 5 April 1852. She married 8 November 1785 to Rudolf Tanner, fire chief, baptized 11 June 1758, died 12 December 1833 (son of Hans Heinrich Tanner and Barbara Hiestand, Richterswil). They had a farm on the Vorder-Egg ('Front Egg') and had 15 children, of which 10 died young.

·         The eldest was Barbara Tanner, baptized 2 July 1786. She married 14 March 1808 to Heinrich Rusterholz. They lived in Haslen in the village of Samstagern, Richterswil.


Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich. Richterswil, family register I (E III 95.14): fol. 49 / Richterswil, household register 1818–49, vol. I (E III 95.11): p 329 / Dr H. U. Pfister, department head: email 21 Jan. 2002

[Rudolf Annæus Tanner.] Genealogy of the Family Tanner (manuscript)

Karin Pfister-Künzle, 'Der Flur- und Hofname "Sunft"', 'Hofchronik', Sunft, dem innovativen Landwirtschaftsbetrieb (2011)