Elon Musk: Is the family of the world's richest man originally from Switzerland?

Elon Musk: Is the family of the world's richest man originally from Switzerland?

Despite holding US citizenship and having Canadian and South African parents, research from the SonntagsZeitung has found that part of Musk's family is from Emmental, Canton Bern. Elon Musk is one of the most powerful figures in the world, owning several international companies and most recently buying the social media app Twitter for 44 billion dollars.

Elon Musk's family traced back to Switzerland

Musk’s mother was born Maye Haldeman on April 19, 1948 in Canada. In her own memoirs, she said that her father’s family had migrated from Switzerland in the 1720s, but she was unable to trace where her descendants were exactly from.

Now, using genealogy websites and local research, the SonntagsZeitung was able to trace the Haldeman family back to 1544, when Bartholomeus Haldimann, 13th generational descendent of Elon, was born in Signau in Emmental. Using church records and local archives, the paper managed to trace three generations of Haldimanns that were born in the area.

Mother of Elon Musk must be from the Emmental

According to their findings, the family and children of the Haldimanns emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1719, renaming themselves just Haldeman. Many generations later, Maye Haldeman would marry Errol Musk and, in 1971, she would give birth to Elon, who would then go on to become the world's richest man and one of the 21st century's most successful - albeit controversial - global entrepreneurs.

Local Emmental historian Hans Minder said, “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.”

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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