Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Regula Sauermann

Regula Sauermann is my great-great-great-grandmother (more precisely, my FMMFM*).

In what follows, I am going to put events** in order, but add very few, if any, invented details. I will also add a couple of location links. But, it is a very interesting story, even if one only considers the events themselves.

She was born on 21 November 1779 in Volketschweil, Zuerich, Switzerland to parents Hans Jakob Sauermann (age 25) and Elisabeth Frei (age 26), and was apparently their only child***. Nothing is known about her childhood and growing up years.

At some point (perhaps at age 22 or 23), she married Martin Wintch, who had been born in the same village on 22 December 1776. Tragically, about 4 weeks before the birth of their first child, Regula's father, Hans Jakob, passed away at the age of 48 without seeing any of his grandchildren. Regula and Martin's children were Casper Heinrich Wintch (born 30 January 1803 (my FMMF)), Verena Wintsh (born 26 February 1804), and Hans Ulrich Wintsch (born 3 February 1805, but who lived to be only 15 months).

Sadly, her husband passed away on 7 May 1806, just three weeks before his youngest son. Regula was only 27 and a half years old. She had only been married 4 or 5 years.

We know nothing of her mourning the twin loss of husband and son in the space of a single month, but can assume that she was busy with her 2 and 3 year-old children (who ended up living to ripe old ages (and dying in Utah as it happens, but that is another story)).

In any case, she remarried within a year, moving to the nearby village of Bisikon in Illnau, to Hans Jakob Vollenweider who was about 33 years old. Within the space of just a few years, they had 5 children. Hans Heinrich Vollenweider (born 18 May 1808), Barbara Vollenweider (born 9 December 1809), Magdalena Vollenweider (born 23 February 1811), Adelheid Vollenweider (born 9 July 1813), and Heinrich Vollenweider (born 2 July 1817 who only lived 3 months).

Sadly, again, her second husband passed away, less than two months before his youngest son. Regula was 37 and a half years old. Again, there is nothing recorded (that I have found) of her mourning another twin loss. At this time, she had 6 children, ages 14, 13, 9, 7, 6, and 4.

Almost two years after her latest losses, on 28 July 1819, she (aged 40) married widower Kaspar Willemann (aged 50), whose first wife, Regula Maeder had died nine months earlier, leaving him with 5 living children (not counting the 4 they had lost as babies), aged 25, 24, 23, 19, and 12. One can assume that not all of these children were living at home. But still, the blended family, at the time of the wedding, included children aged 25, 24, 23, 19, 16, 15, 12, 11, 9, 8, and 6. Wow.

With Kaspar, Regula had two more children, Barbara Wylimann (born 26 May 1820) and Kaspar Wylimann (born 16 December 1822).

Her third husband lived long enough to see his children grow to adulthood--another 15 years, until 10 March 1837, when he died at the age of 68 years. Regula's mother, Elisabeth, had died just 4 months before, at the age of 83 years. Regula lived on in Bisikon another 9 and a half years, and died there 30 October 1846 at the age of 66 years.

One can only wonder what she felt about the wedding, at age 21, of her oldest son, Casper, to her oldest stepdaughter, Dorothea, then 30 years old, on 2 February 1824, back in Volketscheweil (Regula being 44 years old at that time). She would have known their three children, Rudolph Wintsch (born and died 1826), Henry Wintsch (born 15 April 1828), and Barbara Wintsch (born in 1830 (and lived to be 86 years old)).

Regula would also have experienced her oldest son's wife's death on 22 February 1835, at the age of 41 (and Regula being 55), when her two children were only 5 and 6. This must have brought back such memories of loss for her, not to mention sad for the children and Casper.

Her son Casper remarried within the year, at age 32, to the youngest sister of Dorothea, Anna (my FMMM), then almost 28, on 25 May 1835. Regula lived to see 6 of their 8 children born. These were Jakob Wintsch (born 29 August 1837), Magdalena Wintsch (born 3 March 1839), Anna Wintsch (born 12 September 1841 and died just over a year later), Hans Heinrich Wintsch (born and died in 1842), John Ulrich Wintsch (born 1 March 1843), and Elizabeth Wintsch (born 27 February 1846 and lived 5 and a half years).

Eight months after the birth of her granddaughter Elizabeth, and about ten years after the death of her mother, Elisabeth, Regula left this planet.

After her death, Caspar and Anna welcomed two additional daughters, Louise Wintsch (born 13 February 1849) and Anna Caroline Wintsch (born 12 January 1851).

Up to this point, the story of Regula Sauermann, my great-great-great-grandmother, has been told merely by putting together the dates of recorded events, and calculating peoples' ages when those events occurred, with just a little supposition.

But, fortunately, Anna Caroline Wintsch, my great-grandmother (my FMM), took the time to write some of her life's story. It has been posted on the Internet as part of Dianne Elizabeth's Family History.

If you, too, are descended from Regula Sauermann, as are countless Utahns--and many Swiss--I invite you to read her story. Among other details, you will encounter the story of the conversion to Mormonism, and the adventures of the journey of her son Casper and his wife Anna, and several of her grandchildren, out of Switzerland, across the Atlantic Ocean, and finally to Utah.
*My father's mother's mother's father's mother.

**Source: USGenealogy.net, and linked pages.

***Oddly, her parents also appear each to be only children. This is probably an artifact of the way the records have come down to us, being brought by Henry Wintch (Senior) to Utah. It is reasonable to assume that he wouldn't have brought information about his great aunts and uncles (if any). This also explains why there is so much more information about the family members who came to Utah than there is about those who stayed "behind" in Switzerland.


Myrna said...

And in our FMM's history :Aunt Bryner" is the person from whom LeRon and all the Redds descend, further convoluting the already mixed-up family. How did I not realise that Casper Wintch had married two of his step-sisters? (Andrew and Jessica? That is just weird!)

And what did I say? You are being so prolific lately! I think you are writing more than Nancy!

Bruce Conrad said...

Thank you, Myrna, for reading. Yes, "Aunt Bryner" is none other than Casper's sister, Verena, who married Hans Ulrich Bryner in 1826. After their children were all born, the entire family (as far as I can tell) emigrated to Utah, and have left a numerous posterity, all of whom are our distant cousins (including LeRon).