Monday, January 27, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #4 ~ Anna Barbara Bartschi/Bartchey

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog)

First, just the facts:
Name: Anna Barbara Bartschi/Bartchey
Born: Sep-1832, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland
Married: Jacob Zaugg, Mar-1852, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland
Died: 20-Aug-1890, Wayne Co, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]
Relationship to me: Great-great-great-grandmother

I am descended through:
- her daughter, Emma (Zaugg) Graber (1860 – 1919)
- her daughter, Ella Rosa (Graber) Saurer (1883 - 1963)
- her daughter, Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie (1913 - 1991)
- her son, my father, Donald John Ritchie (living)

They did the best they could with the charcoal picture, but as you can see from the original they didn't have much to work with.  I guess having the larger, charcoal portraits done was a way of airbrushing.

I have very little information on Anna.  When she came to this country she had one young son, Jacob.  She would have 7 more children in this country, all born in Ohio.

Jacob Zaugg - b. 19-Aug-1852, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland
Frederic Zaugg - b. 11-Jul-1854, Wayne Co, Ohio
Elisabeth Zaugg - b. 1857, Wayne Co, Ohio
Mary A. Zaugg - b. 1859, Wayne Co, Ohio
Emma Zaugg - b. 13-Sep-1860, Wayne Co, Ohio [my great-great-grandmother]
Caroline Zaugg - b. 24-Oct-1862, Wayne Co, Ohio
William Zaugg - b. 17-Feb-1868, Wayne Co, Ohio
Rosa A. Zaugg - b. 15-Nov-1870, Wayne Co, Ohio

Besides the pictures I have of Emma, the only other one of the children that I have a picture for is Caroline.  At least that has always been my assumption as on the back of this picture is written, "Aunt Caroline".  She would have been my great-grandmother's aunt.

In the 1880 census, all 8 children are living at home and Anna's mother-in-law, also Anna is living with the family as well.

Before her death in 1890, several of the children would be married and therefore out of the house in the 1890 census - if we could see the 1890 census!

 As you can see, Anna's side of the stone was in somewhat better condition than her husband's at the time this picture was taken.  I've been back there fairly recently and the stone is much harder to read and is tilted even more.  I'm so glad we found the "old" cemetery when we did!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #3 ~ Jacob Zaugg

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog)

First, just the facts: 
Name: Jacob Zaugg
Born: Mar/Apr-1824, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland
Married: Anna Barbara Bartchey, Mar-1852, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland
Died: 01-Jan-1900, Wayne Co, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship to me: Great-great-great-grandfather
I am descended through:
 - his daughter, Emma (Zaugg) Graber (1860 – 1919)
 - her daughter, Ella Rosa (Graber) Saurer (1883 - 1963)
 - her daughter, Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie (1913 - 1991)
 - her son, my father, Donald John Ritchie (living)

The picture I've posted above is the most flatter of Jacob.  I have the large charcoal drawing as well as the picture that I believe was the model.  As you can see, in the original he looks a little more care-worn.

I am also fortunate to have a picture of Jacob and his wife Barbara.  My Grandpa Ritchie always used to say, "Those Zauggs were some BIG women"  - which is ironic considering that Barbara was only a Zaugg by marriage.  I do certainly come from "sturdy" farmer stock.
 One of my early exciting finds in genealogy was discovering where Jacob was buried.  Sometime in the late 1980's/early 1990's my parents and I were visiting Ohio and my Dad was indulgently visiting courthouses and cemeteries with me.  I didn't know much about Jacob, but from his daughter's obituary I thought he might have lived in Mt Eaton.  We went over to prowl through the cemetery there, but weren't finding him.  There were certainly Zauggs buried in that cemetery but not Jacob.

As we were finally getting ready to leave an older man came over from the house across the street.  He and my Dad began talking and it turns out that as a boy, this man used to mow the cemetery.  We chatted about finding Jacob Zaugg for a few minutes and then he and Dad began to talk about ALL the people they knew in common in the whole of Wayne County.  OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I was getting impatient and mentally rolling my eyes. 

As they were finally wrapping up, the man said, "I wonder if your Jacob Zaugg was buried in the old cemetery."  WHAT OLD CEMETERY?!?!  Turns out that while the old German Reform Church was no longer standing, there was a cemetery still there.  We wouldn't have seen it from the roads we had been traveling, but once he told us where it was, it wasn't at all hard to find.  Always, always talk to the local people and more importantly, listen to them.  Thanks to that conversation, we found Jacob and his wife. 

As I write this, I realized just how little I've looked into Jacob's life since then although there are a number of documents that should be available to me. I haven't done much (OK, anything!) to really verify the facts of his life.  That is mostly because I have this wonderful book that I inherited from my Grandmother (Lela Saurer, above)

The Jacob Zaugg of the title is "my" Jacob's father.  So that gives me his parents as well as all his siblings and many of their spouses and children.  One thing that I need to work out is who all came to this country.  I know that my Jacob came as an adult with a wife and one child and that his parents and many (if not all) of his siblings also came.  All the information I've found shows them in and around Wayne County, Ohio so I think I need to work in a trip sometime soon. 

Inside the book, the page relating directly to my line has been updated by hand throughout the years.  I've found copies of this book in several libraries and there are always handwritten notations on different pages which I copy and file with my book.  I've used this information as my sole source for the collateral Zaugg relatives in my tree, as I don't always feel the need to document them as thoroughly as I do my direct line.  It's mostly "cousin bait."  

However, I've realized that there is a lot I need to do on Jacob so this post is my wake up call to start working on him.

I do have one new find.  While I was in Salt Lake City last week I did steal a few hours at the FHL and had a great time with Swiss records.  When I started looking I was admiring the gorgeous hand writing and how legible it was.  Then, I moved on to the year I was interested in, and there was obviously a totally different person who didn't seem to care about whether I would be able to read the record!  In spite of that I did manage to find a record of Jacob's marriage:

So that will be my starting point for working on Jacob and family.  Just as a word of warning, there will be many more Zaugg posts.  This is my family to work on for 2014!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #2 ~ Emma Zaugg

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog) 

Emma at 16

First, just the facts:
Name: Emma Zaugg
Born: 13-Sep-1860, East Union Twp, Wayne Co, Ohio
Married: Rudolph Graber, 15-Mar-1881, Apple Creek, Wayne Co, Ohio
Died: 07-Apr-1919, Wayne Co, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Great-great-grandmother
I am descended through:
- her daughter, Ella Rosa (Graber) Saurer (1883 - 1963)
- her daughter, Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie (1913 - 1991)
- her son, my father, Donald John Ritchie (living)

As you can see from this, Emma never went very far from home that I've ever been able to discover.  While all her family, parents, aunts and uncles and even her paternal grandparents all came from Switzerland (mostly together) in the mid-1800's, once they got here they stayed.  Emma was surrounded by family in Wayne County as she grew up.

In 1881 she married a young man, Rudolph Graber, who was himself a recent immigrant from Switzerland. [picture to the right is likely a wedding picture or taken close to that time]

 I blogged previously about the extraordinary coincidence of the man who performed that wedding ceremony turning out to be an ancestor of my best friend.  It's amazing because it's not like we grew up together in the small town in Ohio - Apple Creek - where this wedding happened.  We met in St. Louis as adults.

One thing that I'd love to know is how much English was spoken in Emma's home and how much German. I can remember my own grandfather once teasing my grandmother (Lela Saurer above) that she didn't speak English until she was 5 and went to school! Now certainly that's not true - but it's interesting how many generations that carried down since my grandmother would have been Emma's granddaughter.

I do know that the German Reformed church where Rudy and Emma were married still conducted services in both German and English. While Emma was born in Ohio, I wonder what her first language really was? Did she speak English at school and German at home, or were there so many other children such as herself that German would have been spoken in the school yard? Which language would she have spoken naturally and most comfortably? With her husband being a native German speaker, did Emma and Rudy speak German to their children? They did have a German bible but I don't know much else.

It's one of those "if I only knew then what I know now" things because while my great-grandmother, Ella Graber, the oldest girl in the picture below, died when I was not quite 5, her youngest sister Laura was alive until I was well into my 20's. She would have know at least some of the answers - I just never thought to ask her. At the time, as I was getting into genealogy I was so fascinated with just finding more ancestors I didn't give as much thought to their stories.

This picture I believe to have been take in 1891 as I've identified the baby as Edna Graber who was born Jul-1891.  I've always thought that the family looks sad in this picture but that's probably because I know that they lost a young son, Elmer in 1890.  I blogged previously about finding Elmer's gravestone.

The Graber farm
At this point Emma is a young mother, 30 years old, who has had six children with four now living. I wonder what an average day was like for Emma and how many of those days she fell into bed exhausted? She was, by all accounts, a typical farm-wife. She raised her children (there would eventually be 8) and kept house on a farm in rural Wayne County, Ohio. With her first child being born when she was 21 and her last when she was 40 that's a lot of year to be dealing with young children.

Later, at roughly my age now (early 50's) she would have still had four children at home (based on the 1910 census for the family) with the youngest being 8. I'm sure the demands of keeping house and looking after children and all the hard work associated with living on a farm occupied her every waking minute. I often feel that I have so much to do and yet I can still find time to sit down at my computer every day. I imagine that Emma had very little time to herself during this time in her life.

"Graber" farm today taken in 2007
The farm where she and Rudy raised their brood is still standing. While the picture above is titled, "The Graber farm" to my own father it was always "Grandma & Grandpa Saurer's farm" with Grandma Saurer being Emma's & Rudy's oldest daugher, Ella Rosa Graber and her husband John F Saurer.

I've wondered why Ella ended up with the farm and not one of her two brothers.  It's true, she was the oldest child, but still I would have expected one of the boys to end up with the farm.  As you can see from the more modern picture of the farm, the area is still very rural.

Emma died in 1919, a year after her husband and I'm fortunate to have this obituary from my grandmother's things.  It's so neatly trimmed that no indication is given of the newspaper in which it would have appeared.

Reading her obituary gives the sense of a peaceful, fulfilled life which in many ways I'm sure is true. But in that one short sentence, "Eight of the ten children born to them survive her." I'm also sure there is more heart break than the writer has indicated.

One of those children who did not survive her was her first child, Clara Emma Zaugg. Clara was born on December 14, 1881 and died the same day. From reading the records it isn't clear if this was actually a stillbirth or if little Clara cried in her mother's arms before she was gone. Emma had been married less than a year and surely felt that same expectant joy that so many first-time mothers-to-be feel. How devastating to lose her first child. The other child who did not survive her was her second son, Elmer born on October 22, 1889 only to die when he was barely 6 months old on May 7, 1890.

However given that times in which she lived, she was very fortunate to be able to raise most of her children to adulthood.  This family picture [probably maybe between 1908 - 1910 based on the youngest girl having been born Jul-1901] shows a large and prosperous family. The youngest daughter, Laura, will write later, in a biographical sketch of her father, "He has an excellent little farm which yields a very comfortable income under his able management. He has a cozy home and everything about the place has an air of contentment."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sibling Saturday ~ The Eickelberg Family

Sibling Saturday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Susan Mosey of Ancestry Binders.

 In keeping with my theme of blogging about Nelle Eickelberg this week, I thought I'd post today about Nelle's siblings.  Nelle was the oldest, born in 1885 and she had a brother, William, born in 1887 and a sister, Selma born in 1894.  This picture of the family outside their house is the only one I have with all of the siblings together. 

I haven't been able to identify where this house was.  I can clearly see the house number - 2621 but there was nothing written on the back.  I would guesstimate this was taken around 1900 as the youngest daughter would have been about 6 at that time.  On the 1900 census the family is listed as living at 2432 Curtis Street which, as best I can tell, is no longer is there as a house. The area isn't residential when I look at it on Google street view. 

I do have a number of separate pictures of Selma.  Selma died young - just days shy of her 19th birthday.  She is buried in Fairmount Cemetery with her parents and grandmother.  I have a ring that was hers and my mother has a painted china dresser set that Selma painted.  I also noticed, just recently, that it was Selma who gave her sister the baby book for her sister's second child, my grandfather Jack Quick. 

This picture of Selma reminds me that the sisters certainly loved to dress!  The hat is somewhat of a throwback to the one that Nelle wore in one of her pictures.

I have no other pictures of brother Will.  While I don't know the whole story, I believe that Nelle and her brother had a falling out over their mother's will.  It's strange because, from newspaper articles I know that both Nelle and her mother visited Will and his family in Reno, Nevada many times.

So, I don't know a lot about the Eickelberg siblings, but I thought I'd share the pictures I DO have.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Nelle Eickelberg

Nelle and John Quick
To go along with my post on Nelle Eickelberg yesterday, I thought I would post her gravestone today. 

Nelle is buried in Denver's Fairmount Cemetery next to her second husband (and my great-grandfather) John Quick rather than with her third (and final) husband Richard Heflin. She was not able to be buried with her last husband as he was buried in Fairmount's Garden of Honor which is reserved for veterans. 

An interesting note is that John's brother Edwin is also buried here although there is no stone noting that.  I found this out the last time I visited and stopped in the office for a map and to ask where to find this plot.  The nice lady there not only looked up the location but offered the information of everyone buried there.  I hadn't known that previously.  It always pays to chat with people.

Monday, January 6, 2014

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: #1 ~ The "Pretty Miss Eickelberg”

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog)

First, just the facts:

Name: Nelle Eickelberg
Relationship: Great-Grandmother
Born: March 25 or April 1, 1885 in Carbon, Clay Co, Indiana 
Married first: William Nissen 26-Sep-1901
Married second: John H Quick 1910
Married third: Richard Hefin 26-Aug-1920
Died: 15-Aug-1970 Denver, Colorado

It was easy to pick my first ancestor to feature in this challenge. Nelle was the subject of my very first blog post in 2009. In some ways she inspired the name for this blog.

The little girl in this picture is Nelle and this is the earliest picture I have of her. The picture was taken in Denver at Foreman Studio about 1887 as the little boy, her brother William, was born on February 15, 1887.

The reason I have Nelle's birth as March 25 OR April 1st is that the birth information from Indiana indicates April 1st, but that also happens to be the date the record was created - the date the birth was REPORTED by the father.  Nelle always used March 25th as her birthday and if that's the date her mother gave her, I tend to trust that more.
This is probably my favorite picture of Nelle and I think it goes well with a story I found recently.   I always said that I never found fun things about my ancestors - they all seemed to keep a low profile.  Turns out I just needed to look a little harder.  When I originally started working on my family history, I knew about Nelle's first husband but somehow I always had the impression that he had died,as her second husband, my great-grandfather, had.  I later found out that she had divorced him - oh the scandal!!  And then, this past August, I found this gem which was published in the Denver Post on November 11, 1901. :

I even have a picture of the restaurant that is mentioned.  Nelle is the young girl in the middle but the man to her right was an employee there, not her future (first) husband.

 One of my favorite stories that my Grandpa Quick told about his mother had to do with his first day at school.  His name is Jack H Quick - the H does not stand for anything and so that is his full name.  Well, the teacher didn't see it that way.  She told him that "Jack" was just a nickname and that his real name must be John and she proceeded to call him that all day.  She also insisted that the "H" had to stand for something and kept quizzing him on what his middle name "really" was.  When he got home that day he apparently asked his mother why she hadn't told him that his real name was John and also asked her what his middle name was as his teacher demanded that he know the answer the next day.  Well, apparently Nelle accompanied Jack to school, swept into the classroom and proceeded to set that teacher straight!  "I named him Jack and this IS what you will call him from now on."  I can just picture it all from my Grandpa's telling of it.

In the picture to the right, the baby on her lap is my Grandpa, Jack and the older boy is her first son Harry whose father is the "disgusting" young son-in-law mentioned above.

I was very fortunate to actually know my great-grandmother.  She had a cabin in the mountains above Denver and we stayed there when I was about 9.  That was definitely a family tradition as here is my Mom (in the front with the floppy hat) at that same cabin with her cousins when she was young.  The thing I remember about the cabin was that while there was no indoor bathroom, there was a player piano and the outhouse had a pearl green toilet seat. 

My Mom was very close to her grandmother as she lived with Nelle after her own parents divorced.  I have many wonderful studio portrait pictures of my Mom because of Nelle.   Each year on Mom's birthday Nelle would get her all dressed up and take her to have a picture taken.

My Mom had twin cousins - Harry's daughters - that were very close to her in age.  Nelle would buy all the girls matching outfits.

 Although Nelle stayed in Colorado, she stayed close to her youngest son's family even after they left Denver and would come out to Ohio to visit from time to time.  Here is a picture taken at the time of my Mom's graduation.

I remember her visiting when I was maybe 7 or 8.  I had just gotten a camera for my birthday and I remember so clearly taking her picture - I even can see the picture (it was a little overexposed!) but I can't seem to lay my hands on it at the moment.  [And this is why I have trouble blogging - an hour later and I've finally found the picture.  I just couldn't rest until I sorted through the box where it should be.  The good news is it was there.  The bad news is that now I feel the need to organize the whole box of pictures.]

I do remember her coming to stay at our house about that time and she let me look through her magnifying glass.  I was always just a little in awe of her.

I have many more stories and pictures, but I think I'll end with this series.  

While several of my great-grandparents were alive when I was born, Nelle is the only one that I really remember.  I'm so happy to have those memories!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ What's Your Ancestor Score?

For once I'm actually going to be doing a SNGF ON a Saturday!!  So here is our "mission" from Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope more of you do than participated in the last several SNGF challenges), is to: 

 1) Determine how complete your genealogy research is. For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart's What Is Your Genealogy "Score?" For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person. 
2) Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method). Tell us how you calculated the numbers. 
3) Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Score" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations). 
4) For extra credit (or more SNGF), do more generations and add them to your chart. 
5) Post your table, and your "Ancestor Score," on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post. 

1.) I created an Ahnentafel report with my genealogy software (The Master Genealogist) and then counted the number of people in each generation.

2.) Here is my chart:
 3.) My "Ancestor Score" for 10 generations is:
       Number of known ancestral names = 145
       Number of possible ancestral names = 1,023
       10 generation Ancestral Name Number = 145/1,023 = 14.2%

I didn't go for any extra credit so that's it for me!  I will admit that my number would be much lower is I only included ancestors that I felt were well documented.  I had done a similar exercise earlier and my score was lower but about a year ago I was put in contact with someone who had extensive information on my Nissan line and that really made the number go up.

So, I am far from "done"  ~ but that's what make genealogy so much fun!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolutions ~ Or Not

Emma Zaugg 16 yrs old