This page is my writing notebook. I don't expect anyone to read it, but feel free to look over my shoulder if you like.
I was inspired at FGS 2011 by a talk give by Lisa Alzo called Write Your Family History. One of the things she addressed was our excuses for not writing. One of those excuses - the one I use - is "I don't have time." As she's talking I'm thinking, "But I really don't. I work, I'm going to school, I get home late because of a project I'm working on..." and then she said, "Even if it's just 15 minutes every night write something."
OK, so how could I say that I didn't have 15 minutes in a day? Heck I spend that much time checking Facebook and tweeting or even watching TV. So, I decided to put a separate page on my blog to start putting in my 15 minutes a day. Much of what I write here won't be worth reading, but if I start getting down little snippets here and there hopefully I can then pull some of it out into actual blog posts. And then a few blog posts could actually become a chapter etc.
But for now it's just 15 minutes a day.*********************************************************************
D14 - Monday, 10/29/12
I know - a bit of a gap between D13 & D14, but hey, I got my MBA in that "gap"!! So, onward.
I'm still going to focus on Emma for this, but now I also have an idea for the final product. Rather than a "chapter" of anything, I want this to be an end unto itself. I want to have a coherent narrative of Emma's life that I can share with the family.
So, with that in mind I will start today with everything I have written previously and try to put it in some sort of order. That will probably take several days worth of "15 minutes" but I'll report in each day.
D13 - Thursday, 9/22/11
Discovered something interesting today in reading over some of my Zaugg/Graber material. I have an article from the the 1980 that has a great picture of "The Early Graber Cheese Factory." In the article, which is mostly about Rudy, it states that, "He married a young woman from the Calmoutier area. The interesting thing about that is that Calmoutier is in Holmes County - the county next to Wayne County. As I started to look around a little bit tonight I see that Holmes county, like Wayne, has a Salt Creek twp. I suddenly find that I'm not as sure now as to where the Zauggs lived in the early years. Oh - something else that just occurred to me - that picture in the paper...I wonder WHERE they got it?? Another item for my "to-do" list! Seriously, it's fortunate that I started with an ancestor that I knew "everything" about already - oh my goodness. I think I need to investigate some of Emma's children as well - for a few more clues.
D12 - Wednesday, 9/21/11
From "History of Wayne County, Ohio: From the days of the pioneers and first settlers to the present time" While this is specifically about the German Reformed Church in Apple Creek, were Emma was not a member until later in her life, I have to think that it would have been very similar for the church in Mt. Eaton. In recording the dedication of the church:
"Dr. Williard preached the dedicatory sermon in the English language, and Rev. Levan in the German. Rev. Philip Becker was the first regular pastor. In 1871 Dr. Kammerer officiated. In 1872 Rev. Zartman commenced supplying the pulpit each alternate Sabbath in the English language, all services having been in German prior to that time. In 1872 Rev. Edmund Erb, the present pastor, gave his services in English, Dr. Kammerer conducting German services from the establishment of the church until 1876, when he discontinued his labors, and Rev. Erb officiated in both language. The congregation numbers ninety members."
D11 - Tuesday, 9/20/11
Just looking through a wonderful old (and decaying) book I have and had almost forgotten. It's called "Picturesque Wayne" and is a history of Wayne County. While unfortunately about 4 or 5 of the beginning and ending pages are missing, and many of the pages are not in the best condition, it is still a wonderful source for some of the information about the Wayne County that Emma knew. This picture of main street in Apple Creek has to be sometime prior to 1900. (based on the guesstimate of WorldCat as to publication date)
I am going to scan some of the more pertinant pages - especially the ones with some information about the large Swiss population in the area and a picture of the Mt. Eaton Reformed church. According to her obituary, that would have been Emma's girlhood church.
D10 - Monday, 9/19/11
Emma was the fifth of eight children born to Barbara and Jacob Zaugg. By the time Emma was born in 1860 the family had been in the US for approximately 8 years. This is based on the naturalization petition of her father stating that he landed in the United States in 1852. I had always thought some of his children were actually born in Switzerland, but in reviewing the data I believe that all of his children were born in Ohio.
By the time Emma was born in 1860 she had two older brothers and two older sisters waiting for her. Two more sisters and a brother would come after. I have this picture in my grandmother's things and it's labeled "Aunt Caroline" and my grandmother told me it was Caroline Zaugg...she thought. Emma had a sister named Caroline, born in 1863 so that would have been the sister closest in age to her. I have no other pictures of Emma's siblings - although I do have one picture of her parents that was done when they were quite a bit older.
D9 - Sunday, 9/18/11
As I've been reading about the 1860's ( "The Expansion of Everyday Life: 1860 - 1876") I've come to realize that I've never really thought much about Emma's life prior to her marriage. I have quite a number of picture of the family considering the time period but they are all pictures of Emma and Rudy and their children. I want to think more in the coming week about Emma as a young girl and her early family life.
One thing that I'd love to know is how much English was spoken in her home and how much German. I can remember my own grandfather once teasing my grandmother 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.
Emma's parent came from Switzerland with a large family group. Additionally the area where they settled - not surprisingly - was already heavily settled by other German-speaking Swiss farmers. I 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?
Her husband was another recent immigrant so I know that he was a native German speaker - only coming to the United States as a young man. Did Emma and Rudy speak German to their children? They did have a German bible but I don't know much else.
Here's one of those if I only knew then what I know now things - while my great-grandmother, 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 never thought as much about their stories.
D8 - Saturday, 9/17/11
One thing I'd like to explore more about Emma's life would be where she lived prior to marrying Rudy. Oh I know she lived in Wayne Co, Ohio - it's where she was born. But I've realized that she had a HUGE family - aunts, uncles, cousins - all living in the area as well and I want to look at the area better and understand where they all lived. I also need to go back through my papers and figure out when her parents came over and it it's true that the whole family - Emma's grandparents and all their grown children and their children's spouse came over at once. I do know that all of Jacob Zuagg's children were living here at the time he died because I have his will. I also know that neither he nor any of his children were born here. What I don't know is where I developed this idea that they all came over together.
However it was Emma would have been surrounded by a mini-Swiss community for much of her life. The Zauggs were not the only German-speaking Swiss immigrants in this Ohio community. I imagine that German was the language spoken in Emma's home. I have a family bible that belong to Emma and Rudy - but they weren't much at recording anything in it. I believe (don't have it at hand) that only one or two of the older children's births were recorded.
I guess that's not so different from people today - we have good intentions but life catches up with us!
So now that I've been writing - or at least THINKING about Emma Zaugg for the last 6 days it's time to decide how I want to proceed and what I want to do. One thing that this has shown me is all the holes I have if I really want to write about Emma. It's not so much research holes - the basic facts of Emma's life are pretty well known to me. She was born, lived and died in Wayne County, Ohio. She was born on a farm and died on a farm. The part of Wayne Co where she lived and died is still pretty rural. I think that I need to know more about life specifically there during this time. I also need to find answers to my questions below. So, in the coming days I might be writing more about farm life in Ohio in the 1860's or things along those lines. But I'll still be thinking about Emma & family as I'm going that.
On days like today, when I've had to work late and then still try to do a little homework when I get home, I wonder what a "typical" day would have been like for Emma. 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! At roughly my age right now (early 50's) she would have had four children still 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 am still generally able to get a good night's sleep - at least 7 hours. I also have time, even when I get home late from work, to sit down at my computer. I imagine that Emma had very little, if any, time to herself during this time in her life.
Emma was, by all accounts, a typical farm-wife. She raised eight children and kept house on a farm in rural Wayne County, Ohio. The farm where she and Rudy raised their brood is still standing. While this picture 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.
Note to self:
Why/when did John & Ella get the farm? Rudy & Emma had two sons - why did neither of them end up with the farm
When did Rudy and Emma first buy/move to this farm potentially between 1891 (child born in Sugar Creek twp) and 1896 (first child listed as born in East Union twp)
Today I'd like to write about Emma as a young girl, but I don't know how. I only know the dates in her life - when she was born, married, when her children were born etc. I imagine however that she lived a life surrounded by a community of German-speaking Swiss <> most of whom were in some way related to her. If not related, still from the small village <area> in Switzerland that her whole family had left less than 10 years prior to her birth. Certainly the church she attended, the Mt. Eaton Reformed Church would have held services in German.
Note to self - read up on the 1860's/1870's history in Wayne Co.
The obituary of Emma Zaugg Graber:
Mrs. Emma Graber, wife of Rudolph Graber, deceased, was born Sept. 13, 1860 near Apple Creek, Ohio. Here she grew to womanhood an was married to Rudolph Graber, March 15, 1881. Eight of the ten children born to them survive her. She was confirmed as a member of the Reformed Church at Mt. Eaton, O. in her youth. Three years ago she transferred her membership to Apple Creek. She led a quiet, unpretentious, but consecrated Christian life. Her influence was felt in the home as all her children are in the church with her. She departed with full assurance of faith, Sept. 7, 1919. Funeral services by the writer - F. E. Zechiel.
Reading her obituary gives the sense of a peaceful, fulfilled life. But in that one short sentence, "Eight of the ten children born to them survive her." I'm 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. Little 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.
There is no marker for Clara in the Apple Creek cemetery, but at the time she was born the Grabers were a young couple just starting out.
The other child who did not survive her was her second son, Elmer born on October 22, 1889 only to die before he was even 6 months old on April 8, 1890. At this point in Emma's life she had two daughters and a son.
D1-Saturday 9/10/11 - First up - my focus. Lisa encouraged us to have a focus - is it a person, a branch of the family, a geographic area etc. On the drive home I decided that my focus would be Emma ZAUGG, my great-great grandmother. So, let's get started!
|Emma Zaugg - 16yrs|
The "entire family" did not just include her parents and sibling however. Her father's own parents, Jacob and Anna, along with all of their children and children's spouses and children came together to this country.
OK - that doesn't SEEM like 15 minutes of writing...but there is so much I realize I don't know or don't have at hand. I kept opening things up to check something. I need to verify where in Switzerland Emma's siblings were born. Canton Bern I believe but don't know if I have anything more specific. Also, I don't know if ALL the family came together. I had previously only focused on Jacob Jr & Sr. More tomorrow.