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.

 

Huber – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Huber and its derivatives (Hubbard, Hibbert, Hibbins, Hibbs, Hibson, and possibly Hoover) derive from the word, hube, a measure of land that could sustain and be worked by one farmer’s family. The name Huber designated the farmer who owned a “hube.”

Geographical

The name is most prevalent in Germany (over 122,000 people) and most common in Austria where it is the second most common name in the country. In Switzerland, where Mary-Alice’s ancestors came from, it is the 7th most common name with 1 in 308 people have the surname.

Portrait of the Huber Family
Huber Family Portrait – Standing: Ernie, Jak (John), Jak, & Alfred, sitting Frieda, & Kath, boy standing Hermann.

Mary-Alice’s immigrant ancestor, John Huber, came from Switzerland in 1901 and settled in Wisconsin. In 1910 he and his wife, Bertha, located to Alabama. In 1920, they moved to Saginaw County, Michigan and remained there the rest of their lives. The 1920 Census indicates there were 162 Huber families in Michigan. John’s only son, Clarence, had no children, so the surname ended with Clarence. John’s daughter, Florence, was Mary-Alice’s maternal grandmother.

John Huber was the son of Jacob Huber and Kath Stuckling of Windlach, Zurich, Switzerland. I believe he had four siblings, Ernie, Hermann, Frieda, and Alfred. I know nothing about those siblings and need to research them in the future.

Direct Huber Ancestors

  • Photo of Florence Huber (1924)
    Florence Huber at 16 (1924)

    Grandmother – Florence Wilma Huber Darling (1908-1934)

  • Great-Grandfather – John Huber (1880-1948)
  • 2nd Great-Grandfather – Jacob Huber (b ca 1835-? )
  • 3rd Great Grandfather – Jak Huber (?-?)

Known relatives.

My records have 21 direct-line descendants of Jak Huber.

Sources:

Once Again, DNA Provides a Clue – Trumpi

By Don Taylor

A recent experience with Ancestry DNA reminds me that even fifth to eighth cousins on Ancestry DNA can provide a clue, possibly the big clue, to a breakthrough.

I was recently contacted via Ancestry DNA messaging by a 5th-8th cousin of my mother-in-law. She (I’ll call her K.B.) was excited because she had only encountered Trumpe’s[i] before that were known relatives. Her 3rd great grandfather was John Frederick Trumpe and was from the same place, Glarus, Switzerland, as my mother-in-law’s great-grandfather, Bernhard/Bernard/Benard Trümpi. There were some coincidental matches in our two trees. For example, K.B.’s John Frederick named one of his children Bernard and my mother-in-law’s Bernhard named one of his children Frederick. John Frederick Trumpe and his wife Catherine settled in Pittsburgh, PA.

The next piece of the puzzle came from family oral history. My mother-in-law’s grandmother, Bertha Barbara Trumpi, was said to have come to the United States with an aunt and uncle who were living in the States already. It was also family oral history that she came over “above decks” (not steerage). I had long suspected that it was her aunt and uncle, Rachel and Fredolin (Fred) Sigrist, but I had never found any support for that. Rachel and Fredolin had settled in Pittsburgh, PA, and traveled back and forth to Europe often above decks during their many trips but I hadn’t found any evidence of their traveling in 1901-1903 when Bertha came across.

Fritz, Katherine and Bertha Trumpi
Passenger List, S.S. Philadelphia 26 July 1902
Source: Find My Past (See Endnotes)

I revisited Bertha’s immigration and still didn’t find anything on Ancestry.Com, Family Search, or Ellis Island Foundation. Then I searched Find My Past and found a record of Fritz (Frederick) and Katherine (Catherine) Trumpi, who left Southampton on 26 July 1902, aboard the S.S. Philadelphia bound for New York with a 19-year-old spinster, Bertha.[ii] They are listed in the passengers with cabins section of the passenger list. I looked closer and couldn’t find and arrival document on Find My Past. I went back to Ancestry.Com and Ellis Island Foundation websites and looked at the passenger lists for the S.S. Philadelphia arriving in New York on 2 August 1902. Nothing. I browsed the images painstakingly several times and still didn’t find any arrival information. I noticed that the images only included people in third-class (steerage); none of the images included first or second class passengers. That is why I never found them before.

If Fritz Trumpi is John Frederick Trumpe and John Fredrick and Bernhard Trumpi are brothers, then we have a match. All the pieces seem to fit, all the ages are right for Fritz and Katherine to be John Frederick and Catherine. Also, the age for Barbara Bertha Trümpi is correct. With all the circumstantial evidence I have found I am going to tentatively associate John Frederick and Bernhard as siblings. What makes this association even more important is that, when John Frederick Trumpe died in 1917, the informant indicated that his parents were Benhart and Anna Oertli Trumpe.[iii] That information potentially extends the Trumpi line back another generation.

Back to the DNA

If Benhart and Anna Oertli Trumpi from Glarus, Switzerland, are the common ancestor for K.B. and my mother in law they should share, on average, 76cM of DNA. They share 16.8cM of DNA, quite a bit less than average but still within the range for third cousins once removed.[iv]

Is it possible that Benhart and Anna are not the common ancestors? Absolutely. It may be that Benhart’s parents are the common ancestor, or even back another generation. Time and further research will tell, but so many circumstantial bits of evidence fit that between the DNA and the paper trail, I know there is some kind of relationship.

Future Actions:

Visit Ellis Island and see if they have passenger records at Ellis Island that include the above deck passengers for the S.S. Philadelphia that arrived in New York on 2 August 1902.
Research the Trümpi family in Glarus, Switzerland further.
Consider doing a Trumpi family of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and determine additional information regarding potential family members.

ENDNOTES

 

[i] Trumpe, Trumpi, and Trumpy are all forms of the same surname. Often spelled with an umlaut as in Trümpi.
[ii] Find My Past – Passenger Lists leaving UK 1890-1960 – Trumpi http://search.findmypast.com/record?id=tna%2fbt27%2f0390000036%2f00509
[iv] Blaine Bettinger compiled DNA relationship data from more than 6,500 submissions of autosomal DNA test results. See: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/573857177499027891/
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Bernhead Trümpi – Climbing a wall.

Climbing a Wall – DH-30 – Bernhead Trümpi (unk.-unk.)

Bertha Trumpi’s Marrige Registration Entries

Bertha Barbara Trümpi’s marriage record is the one place the clearly describes her father’s name, Bernhead. Some other records indicated that his name might be Bernard or Benard. Family oral history indicates that he was a musician working at a local hotel in Glarus or Ennenda Switzerland. We know that he was married twice, once to Bertha’s mother and again to a woman who was Bertha’s stepmother, whom Bertha didn’t like. Bertha’s marriage record also indicates that her mother was “Bertha Koch.” Other records indicate that “Bertha Trümpi” came to the United States to visit her daughter Bertha Barbara Huber. Additionally, that second Bertha located to California and is thus believed to be her stepmother. Sound confusing? It is.

Searching more for Bernhead Trümpi in the on-line records hasn’t resulted in anything. Several scenarios come to mind.

It could it be that Bernhead married an unknown woman who gave birth to Bertha and then that woman either died or was divorced.
It could be that Bertha Koch was Bertha’s natural mother.
It could be that Bertha Koch was Bertha’s stepmother.
It could be that Bernhead married two different women both named Bertha.

Not being able to read German and finding a definite lack of Swiss records has made determining the vital records for Bernhead very difficult. Because of that, I’ve decided I have a wall that needs to be climbed. What I’ll do:

Climbing a wall

First, I should follow what happened to each of Bertha’s siblings. Possibly, there will be something in their lives that can point to his or her father’s life and untangle the mother, stepmother tangle.

Second, I’ll investigate of all individuals with the surname Trümpi from Ennenda, Switzerland, and see if anything illuminating comes from that.

Third, use a FAN (Friends, Acquaintances, and Neighbors) Analysis and see if I can determine more of Bernhead’s life from their lives.

Fourth, I’ll hire a genealogist in Switzerland who specializes in the Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland area.

Finally, I’d love to take a trip to Switzerland. A couple days in Glarus would be awesome. I could research and my wife would see the sights.

Ernst Lorrain Trümpi (1905-1967)

1940 Census showing Adolph & Freida
Karch and Ernest Trumpy

Ernst Lorrain Trümpi is Bertha’s youngest sibling. He was born 22 October 1905 at sea on the trip to the United States aboard the SS La Lorraine to Bertha Trümpi. Again, I’m not sure if it was Bertha’s mother or stepmother. The ship arrived in New York on 28 October 1905. Luckily, the 1940 Census shows him living with his sister Freida and his brother-in-law, Adolph Karch. When Ernst Lorrain Trümpi became naturalized, he changed his name to Ernest Lorrain Trumpy. Ernest died 05 Nov 1967 in Elkhart, Indiana.

That 1940 Census record provided the married name for his sister Freida.

Freida A Trümpi (1895-1971)

Born: 09 Aug 1895 – Glarus, Switzerland
Married: abt 1913 to Adolph Karch
Died: 28 Oct 1971 Elkhart, Elkhart, Indiana, USA

They appear to have had four children.

Freida Trümpi Karch Obituary

Albert Adolph Karch (1913-1963)
Elinor Freida Karch [McCarthy] (1914-1998)
Bertha Barbara Karch [Ayers] (1916-1975)
Evelyn Laverna Karch [Thime] (1918-2007)
[It is interesting to note that Freida named one of her children Bertha Barbara, the same names as her sister. Could it have been her mother’s name too?]

The 1940 Census also indicates that Adolph had a granddaughter living with them named Marcella Whitmore. It isn’t clear if Marcella is one of the above three daughter’s child or if she is the daughter of another unknown Karch daughter.

Freida’s obituary indicates that she had two brothers living in Switzerland at the time of her death. These must be August and Fredrick.

Trecela (or Trecele) Trümpi (c. 1889 – Unknown)

She arrived with Bertha and Ernst in 1905.

Rebetta Trümpi (c. 1888 – Unknown)
She arrived with Bertha and Ernst in 1905.

Bertha Trümpi and the three children were visiting
“Daughter Bertha Trumpi of New Glarus” in 1905.

 

Certainly, many questions need answering. Why would Bertha Trümpi (the elder) leave Switzerland pregnant with three children and never return. Had Bernhead died or had they divorced? If one of the siblings still in Switzerland when Freida died was Fredrick, whey did he return, is or there another sibling that is unknown.

My process is to:

Research the direct ancestors.
Research the siblings of direct ancestors.
Research the children of those siblings.
If viable, research similar surnames from same location.
Research friends, acquaintances, and neighbors (FAN).
Hire a genealogist with specialization in the time and place of interest.
If possible, personally research in the specific place.

Of course, anywhere along the way where I encounter another researcher researching the same people, I reach out to them and see if they may have additional resources or insight into the family.

Kath. Stuckling (c. 1855-bef.1945)Ja

Sometimes, when we know virtually nothing about a person we think of the situation as a brick wall. It certainly is a wall, but my goal is to go over, under, around, or through the impediment. There is always a way to progress, albeit a very difficult way to get around it.

Kath. Stuckling Huber
Photo from
Personal Archive.
One of my walls is Kath Stuckling(er).  Not only are there fewer records available online for Switzerland than US records, there is a language barrier, because I don’t read or speak German and what records I do find are brutally slow for me to go through.

Kath. Stuckling is one of those people. I don’t know when she was born, but because her eldest child, John [Johan] was born in 1880, we can guess that Kath was born sometime between 1845 and 1865 (that would make her between 15 and 35 at the time of his birth). Consequently, I use 1855 plus or minus 10 years.

Taken from Wisconsin Marriages 1836-1930
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRGX-6MQ

I’m not even positive that her maiden surname was Stuckling. An index for the above record indicates her name as Stucklinger. When I ordered the microfilm and reviewed it (see above) at my local Family History Library, I couldn’t see the “er” at the end. Maybe it is visible in the original document, but, I don’t see it in this microfilm version. So, either there is an error in the index or an error in the image on the microfilm,  Anyway, because I can’t see the “er,” I’m sticking with Stuckling for now, although I do have Stucklinger as a possible alternative. 

I suspect that Kath and Jacob were married one to two years before their oldest child, John, was born.
Jakob Huber Family c. 1900
Family Personal Photo Archive
Key for Jakob Huber Family Photo
We do have a photo of Kath as part of a family portrait taken about 1900., before her son John left for the United States. The children’s names are based upon that photo and the marks on the back.

Finally, I’m going to make a wild estimate that Kath died before she was 90, although I have absolutely no reason to make that speculation. Anyway, I’ll guess she died before 1945.

So here is what I have and/or speculate:

Katherine Stucklinger, born c. 1855 in Switzerland.
Married John Huber c. 1878.
Lived Windlach, Zurich, Switzerland.
Five children (Probably).

John – Born 1880
Ernie –
Hermann –
Alfred –
Frieda –
Died: (probably) before 1945.

I’ve tried finding out more about Katherine and Jacob. I’m not finding them or their children in any of the systems I use. I’m still looking though. But, I’m almost to the point of wanting to take a field trip to Switzerland to continue researching or hiring someone in Windlach to find birth, marriage, and death record for Kath, her husband, and four of her children.

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