My family left late, 1886, to avoid service in the Swiss military due to religious beliefs (changes to the constitution in the 1870s removed any exemption to military service) but most of our people left a century or two earlier, fleeing first the the Jura, France, and Germany and finally to America. We are Anabatist -Mennonites, Amish, etc. We were persecuted because Switzerland had fought religious wars to determine whether they would be Reformed or Catholic, and we were neither, choosing instead to cling to the old ways. So they killed us at first, then imprisoned us,. then exiled us. Some were sold to Venice as galley slaves (the executions of earlier were a better fate than this) The city of Bern was particularly bad, and most of our people were in Bernese territory. They wanted to control everything, including the church. Our churches are all but nonexistent in the Canton today, because we all left. Switzerland has escaped the turbulence of the modern world, but before that experienced quite a bit of its own.
I'm surprised to find out how few people know of our history -most people have no idea that we peaceful, gentle folk have such a history of death and suffering -a history we pass on and try to honor every day. Official tolerance was never granted to the Anabaptists, though today there is no penalty or suffering as the Canton enjoys freedom in this regard. Even so in the 1880's it was still a big enough problem that my family fled. But we still maintain contact and travel back. We are still Swiss, America is just where we have to live.
And that is nothing against America or its people, just the fact that we came here against our will