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.