Ancestor Bio – Bertha Koch (1862-1927)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-52
Darling-Huber-Trumpi-Koch
By Don Taylor

Bertha Koch is the mother of Bertha Barbara Trumpi[i] who was an immigrant ancestor. Bertha Barbara came to the United States first; then her mother went to the States to visit her.  Mom went back and forth from Switzerland to the United States several times. Eventually, she apparently divorced her husband, Bernhart Trumpi, married Kaspar Hefti, and then returned to the United States with her new husband.

Darling Research 2018 – Ancestor #31

List of Grandparents

Grandmother: Florence Wilma Huber Darling (1908-1934)
1st Great- Grandmother: Bertha Barbara Trumpi Huber (1884-1968)
2nd Great- Grandmother: Bertha Koch[ii] (1862-1927)

Bertha Koch (1862-1927)

Birth

Bertha Koch was (probably) born 21 August 1862 in Glarus, Switzerland. Her parents’ names are unknown. When Bertha was born, the Civil War was raging in the United States.  The Swiss had adopted a federal constitution in 1848 following its civil war.

Childhood

Swiss home interior from a display at the Swiss Historical Village & Museum in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Nothing is known of Bertha’s childhood specifically; however, when Bertha was about 12, Switzerland underwent an extensive constitutional change wherein the Swiss federal government took over responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters and everything else became the responsibilities of the individual cantons, such as Glarus.[iii]

Marriage

On 10 February 1883, the 20-year-old Bertha married the 39-year-old widower, Bernhart Trumpi in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.

Children of Bernhart & Bertha (Koch) Trümpi.

NAME BORN MARRIED DEATH
Bertha Barbara 1884 1905 – John Huber 1968
Babetta 1888 1906 – Wilhelm Bochs 1970
Tricela (?) c. 1894 Unknown
Freida A 1895 1913 – Adolph Karch 1971
August c. 1902 Unknown
Frederick c. 1903 Unknown
Ernst Lorrain 1905 1967

Stories

In 1903, Bertha’s oldest daughter, Bertha Barbara, left Switzerland for the United States. Oral tradition indicates she came to America in the care of an aunt and uncle who traveled from America to get Bertha Barbara and return to the States.

In 1905, Bertha went to the States to visit her daughter, Bertha Barbara, who was living near New Glarus, Wisconsin. Traveling with her were three children, daughters Babetta, Trucela, and her son August. She was very pregnant during the trip and had her youngest child Ernst Lorrain aboard the ship to America during the voyage aboard the S. S. Lorraine. Her youngest child’s middle name was fashioned on the ship he was born. The vessel departed La Have on October 21st.  Ernst was born on the 22nd of October, and the ship arrived in New York on 28th of October 1912[iv].

Image of the SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria
SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria

The next bit of her life is very unclear.  It appears that she returned to Switzerland before 1910 because she does not show in any records during that time.  Also, by 1912, Bertha had remarried to Kaspar Hafti. The documents I have found indicate that her husband Bernhart died on 10 February 1913. We don’t know if she and Bernhart divorced, if the date I have for Bernhart’s death is incorrect, or if she and Kaspar headed to the states traveling as “man and wife.”  In any event, she, husband Kaspar, and son Ernst Trumpi returned to the United States aboard the S. S. Kaiserin Augusta Victoria in 1912[v]. Their planned destination was Portland, Oregon. I have been unsuccessful in finding Kaspar and Bertha in the 1920 Census. I suspect they returned to Switzerland because they returned to the States from Switzerland in 1925 and were listed in the ship’s manifest with their last residence being in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.[vi]

Death & Burial

Bertha and Kaspar located in Escalon, San Joaquin, California, USA. Bertha died of cerebral apoplexy[vii] on 17 Apr 1927 at the San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, San Joaquin County, California[viii] about 17 miles from Escalon. Bertha was buried at a “Rural Cemetery.”  I have been unable to locate any burial information for Bertha Koch Trumpi Hefti.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Query various funeral homes in French Camp to see if any of them now have the records of what once was the Stockton Mortuary Company.
  • Follow the lives of each of Bertha’s children and learn if any of them provide insight into Bertha’s life.
  • Query more records for the Trumpi and Koch families of Ennenda, Glaris, Switzerland.

Endnotes

[i] I use Trumpi as the surname for standardization. Handwritten records in the United States typically use Trümpi. In Switzerland, the surname was typically spelled Trümpy. The use of American typewriters resulted in most modern records being spelled “Trumpi.”

[ii] Several records indicate Bertha’s surname was Kock. However, Babette indicated her mother’s surname was “Cook” in one record. The German word“Koch” translates to Cook in English, so I believe Koch is correct.

[iii] Internet: Wikipedia – “History of Switzerland.” Accessed 20 December 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Switzerland.

[iv] Year: 1905; Arrival: Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll: T715_636; Line: 4; List number:. Name:  Retha Trumpi  Birth:  abt 1863.

[v] Ancestry.com, Swiss Overseas Emigration, 1910-1953 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008), Ancestry. Accessed 27 Aug 2014.

[vi] Ancestry.com, Swiss Overseas Emigration, 1910-1953 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008), Ancestry, Bertha Hafti – 1925. Accessed 19 Dec 2018.

[vii] The term formerly referred to what is now called a “stroke.”

[viii] ”California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994,” database with images, FamilySearch — California State Archives, Sacramento. Accessed 19 December 2018.

 

Family Search’s “Watch” & Barbara Bertha Trumpi

Darling/Huber/Trümpi

Family Search Watch

Family Search is one of my favorite genealogical websites. They have many great features, but one of my favorites is their “Watch” function. It is simple but really powerful.

Click “Watch”.

Family Search uses a universal tree. That is to say, everyone with a FamilySearch account sees the same tree (except for living individuals you created). Some people don’t like that feature because it means you do not have complete control over your tree. But once you have a person in the tree, you can watch that individual and be informed of any changes that occur with that person.  Those changes can provide import clues for your own research and can suggest contacts clearly interested in the same individuals as you are.

One of my problem research areas has been my wife’s great-grandmother Bertha Barbara (Trümpi) Huber and her parents [Bernhard and Bertha (Koch) Trümpi]. Little more than their names were in the tree when I began watching each of them. Over the past few months, another researcher has added several children to the couple that I didn’t know about, a second wife, who I knew about but didn’t have a name for, and Bernhard’s parents’ names. Wow!

Now, I don’t accept that new information at face value; but I consider it as clues to other facts, which I can investigate. In this case, the researcher suggested four new siblings for Bertha:

  • New Brother: Heinrich (1886-1914)  Potential –
  • New Sister: Barbara (1888-____)    Probably a mistake (same name as Bertha Barbara)
  • New Brother: Bernhard (1891-1961) Potential.
  • New Sister: Emma (1901-1901) Potential.

The entries also confirmed information I have about Bertha, Frieda, August, and Ernst.

It also suggested a first wife for Bertha’s father, Bernhard was Regula Stüssi and seven children for Bernhard and Regula. Following the Family Search additions, it seems that

Bernhard Trümpi married Regula Staüsi in 1867. They had seven children, four of whom died as infants. Regula died in 1882 and Bernhard married Bertha Koch in 1883. Although Regula was only two years younger than Bernhard, Bertha was 19 years younger. Now the family oral history which said that Bertha Barbara came from a large family makes sense. I had her with six siblings, with the addition of new family members she may have had 15 siblings, 11 of which live to adulthood. That would be a large family.

Finally, the researcher suggested that Bernhard’s father was Bernard and his mother was Anna Maria Oertli. That knowledge opens an entirely new avenue of research.

That which I thought was a brick wall now has many new holes for me to pick at and find a way through. Thanks to the “Watch” feature of Family Search I circle around and have a new direction for my research. If you aren’t using the Family Search “Watch” feature, I highly recommend you do so.

Bertha Barbara Trümpi Huber

52 Ancestors #18
Darling-Huber-Trumpi Line

Bio: Bertha Barbara (Trümpi) Huber (1884-1968)

The umlaut helps to confuse Bertha’s records in America. Usually, the umlaut is dropped and Trumpi is used, it is also Trumpe and sometimes Trumpy, misspellings include Trunpe. Bertha was born the oldest child of Bernhard Trumpe and Bertha Koch on 9 May 1884, in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland. We know nothing about her childhood, although we do know she “came from a big family and had a stepmother as her father married twice.
She is my wife’s most recent immigrant coming to America in 1903 when she was only 18 years old. She came in the care of an aunt and uncle who traveled from America to get her in Switzerland and bring her back. She then settled in Wisconsin where she met Johann (John) Huber. She married Johann on 2 March 1905 in New Glarius, Wisconsin,[1] most likely at the Swiss Church in New Glarus in a religious ceremony by Rev. A. Roth. Anna Altman and Gebert Huber were the witnesses.
The young couple settled in Primrose, Dane County, Wisconsin. [2]
In April of 1908, she had her first child, a daughter, Florence Wilma Huber.
1909-02-07 - Morning Star (Rockford, IL) Page- 13 - Home Seekers ad
1909 ad for Baldwin County Colonization Co. From The Morning Star (Rockford, IL)

Three Chicago businessmen formed the Baldwin County Colonization Company in 1903: Alexander Klappenback, F. W. Herdick, and Henry Bartling. They hoped to establish a German colony near Perdido Bay, Alabama. In 1904, settlers were offered 20 and 40-acre portions of land.[3] They provided free trips to southern Alabama in February to people who bought property in the Colony.

The excitement of land of their own in the warmth of Alabama enticed the young family to move south in 1907 or 1908. Shortly after she and John located to Elberta, Baldwin County, Alabama, in 1908 she gave birth to her second child.[4]
Sometime between 1916 and 1920, the young family decided to return to the north and purchased a farm in James Township, Saginaw County, Michigan. After daughter died in 1934, their granddaughter came to live with them (Bertha, her husband, and her son Clarence). Bertha spoke Romansh, High German, and English. Her husband died in 1948. She continued to live at the James Township farm until she died from a coronary occlusion on 21 March 1964.
Bertha was buried in an unmarked grave at Oakwood Cemetery, Saginaw, Michigan. Section 116, Plot S692 on March 25th.
List of Great Ancestors
1.    Bertha Barbara Trümpi
2.     Bernhard Trümpe

Sources:

[1] Wisconsin Marriage Records, Johana Huber and Bertha Trunpe, 02 Mar 1905.
[2] Wisconsin State Censuses, 1895 and 1905, Ancestry.Com
[3] Baldwin County, AL Genealogy Trails. See: http://genealogytrails.com/ala/baldwin/cities/elberta.html
[4] 1910 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin, Alabama; Roll: T624_1; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0013; FHL microfilm: 1374014.