Bernadette Durben was born in 1926 on a farm near Stockbridge, Calumet County, Wisconsin to Adam P. Durben and Mary Ecker. She graduated 8th grade from St. Mary's School in Stockbridge, and in 1943 from Chilton High School. (Her two years of German in high school were helpful when she began doing foreign research.)
In 1947 Bernadette received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Oshkosh State Teachers College (now U-W Oshkosh) with a major in Chemistry and minors in Math and physics. After that she taught in Brillion High School and Reedsburg High School. Her mother and two sisters were also teachers. In 1948 Bernadette married Clarence Bittner of Chilton, Wisconsin, who taught mathematics and physics in Reedsburg High School.
Besides working on Durbens, Hilgers and Thelens, she has completed books of her mother's ancestors, as well as her husbands--including Ecker, Schwobe, Bittner and Heimann families.
In addition to family history and local history research Bernadette enjoys reading, knitting, collecting cancelled stamps and bird watching.
The book ”Durben – Family tree and History of our Family” is mainly based on the long lasting researches of Bernadette Bittner. She started to engage in genealogy in 1966 and published the research results for the first time in 1978.
She surveyed the church books in Kempenich and almost all quoted sources of the book. Bernadettes’ textual contributions to the book are: ”Preamble”, ”History of the Marytown Church”. She also deserves credit for the critical review of the drafts and proof reading.