Sunday, January 30, 2011

What I Know: Matthias Zogg

I've started trying to compile some of the information from historical records to make a narrative about my ancestors. Might as well post some of it in case others are looking for this information. Up first, my Great-Great Grandfather. 

Me > Russell Terry Mason > Jessie Mae Terry Mason > Flora Margaretta Augusta Zogg Terry > Matthias Zogg

Matthias Zogg was a miner who immigrated with his family from Grabs, Obershan, St. Gallen Canton, Switzerland to the USA through Baltimore on 28 Aug 1874. Matthias and his father and brother (both named Florian) were miners in West Virginia before moving to the Carthage, Missouri area. They continued to mine zinc and Matthias also farmed. 

Matthias was married three times and divorced twice. The first marriage to Anna Knust did not last long. He accused her of shirking her wifely duties, complaining that he was forced to prepare his own meals before going to work. There was one child from that union, my great-grandmother Flora Margaretta Augusta Zogg Terry. Then, Matthias married Mary Ellen Williams. They had four children: Pearl, Hulda, Dixie and Martin. In the legal proceedings prior to their divorce, she accused him of going out and keeping company with other women. His final marriage was to Margaret “Maggie” Pauline Langworthy. They had three children: Paul, Lily, and Lelah. 

Matthias and Maggie moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado later in life, presumably for the notoriously healing air. But the years of mining could not be undone. He died of tuberculosis in the Woodmen’s Sanatorium in Colorado Springs and is buried in Littleton, Colorado.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Obsessive Genealogist

So when I decided to blog more and focus on genealogy, I changed the title of my blog to be "The Quest" because it was more descriptive than just my "handle." But I'm beginning to think that I should rename it "The Obsessive Genealogist." Why? Simply because every time I hear someone say, "I really don't know much about my family," I immediately go home and start a family tree for them in Family Tree Maker. Is it strange that I know which of my friends' great-grandfathers lived in Canada? Or where they're buried? Or that they died of typhoid? Is it odd that I'd spend hours upon end looking up census records and death certificates and tombstone photos of people that aren't remotely related to me? (You never know.... I might find out my friends ARE related to me!)

No. It's not strange. A little obsessive, maybe. But completely normal.

Aha! Didn't Know This...

If you're a genealogist, you probably know that you're not likely to find your family in the 1890 U.S. Census. That's because most of it was lost in a fire in the 1920's. But due to the Ancestry.com Facebook page, I now know that they are working on a database that will help fill the gap. Here's a link to the article and more about the so-called "1890 Census Substitute."

http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/Article.aspx?id=15918

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Heirs

I love romantic movies. I watch them over and over again. And yet there is no romance in my life. You would think I wouldn't watch them so I'm not reminded of what I'm missing... but I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. The biggest thing I miss by being alone is not having someone to do the mundane things with... dishes, grocery shopping, wandering aimlessly on Saturdays. And then there's the fact that if you never date anyone you'll never marry anyone. And if you never marry anyone you'll never have kids. And if you don't have kids you don't have heirs. And if you don't have heirs, who do you leave all your genealogical research to? Truly I never wanted children. But I am saddened by the prospect of our family line coming to an end. I guess technically it's not entirely up to me. But this little part of our line is up to me. And it ends here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cold hands, cold feet, hot face, and family mysteries

I finally decided to really try to figure out why my feet and hands can be frigid while my face feels hot and flush. It only happens during the winter, but it happens with such frequency now that I just wish for summer! Which is not normal for someone who lives in Texas and doesn't like to be hot. I came across a recent blog post from a gal in London. She describes a similar sensation, although hers seems to come along with changing of color and is diagnosed as Raynaud's. I don't think I have the actual disease, but perhaps a lesser version of it. Or maybe just erratic circulation. But she also mentioned having problems regulating body temperature when drinking alcohol. I've always thought I was just a lightweight (figuratively... if you know me you know that's not literal) and couldn't hold my liquor. But when I have an alcoholic beverage my face gets extremely hot and I just feel generally uncomfortable. Maybe I do really have this disease!

On a vastly different note, I brought up the topic of family mysteries at a staff lunch today and we immediately honed in on the story of my friend who is adopted. We now have a collective effort to try to gather up small-town gossip from 40ish years ago to get to the bottom of why she was adopted and why her mom won't talk about it. I love a good family mystery!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reconciling History

As I'm researching family history, I'm finding it very difficult to reconcile the timeline in my mind. I think of immigration as a contemporary happening. Something that occurred in modern times. But I think of the Civil War as an old fight. An antiquated quarrel that couldn't have happened in the recent past. And yet it wasn't long after the Civil War that my Zogg ancestors immigrated to America (less than 10 years actually). What made them think that a country divided would be a better place to be than the picturesque village of Grabs, Switzerland?

It's hard for me to imagine that the Civil War was so relatively recent. On this MLK Day, I think about the fact that it was only 50 years or so ago that segregation was "abolished." And even now it remains in some ways. Last night I was watching Oprah's Master Class featuring Maya Angelou. I had never read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," so I decided to start reading it. The whole concept of race determining status is so foreign to me that I can hardly believe it has been that way in our recent lifetimes. It was only 150 years ago that the Civil War brought an end to slavery. Only 160 years ago that MY OWN family left Negroes - PEOPLE - to their heirs in their wills... like they were a piece of property. It's simply inconceivable to me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Mystery of Zogg

I'm reading a book right now about a woman who was lost as a child. The book is about how she and her granddaughter tried to solve the mystery of who she really was. It makes me think of the Mystery of Zogg. What I would really like to know is... what happened to Anna Knust Zogg? From the divorce proceedings, we know that she wasn't one for staying around the house cooking and cleaning (if you can take Mathias's word for it). But why would she leave her child to be raised by family members? Did she die? Did she run away? And where did she come from to begin with? We don't even know who her parents were.Was Knust her maiden name, or was she married once before Mathias? Did she marry again after divorcing Mathias? Did she have more children?

What we DO know: Anna Knust was briefly married to Mathias Zogg and had a baby girl named Flora Margaretta Augusta Zogg. And if she hadn't, I wouldn't be here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Direction

I haven't blogged much in the recent past, and honestly it's because I've been busy doing other things. Well, other THING actually: genealogy research. So I've decided to gear this blog more towards my current work in "stalking dead people" as my sister calls it.

Most recently I've been working on the Gideon/Giddens line of our ancestry. Some of the Giddens migrated to the area where I currently live back in the 1860's, so I've been trying to track them all down (since I live here now). In the process, I was able to connect with the widow of Thomas Berry Gideon, who is living in Granbury. She had possession of a book entitled "Descendants of James Giddens, Sr. 1720-1811" written by Andrew J. Giddens in 1988.  I borrowed the book, but before I started reading in-depth I decided on a whim to google the title. I found a copy for sale on Amazon of all places! So I purchased the book and have now scanned the chapters. If you are interested in information about any of the following descendants of James Giddens, Sr., I can provide you with a PDF file of the chapter that covers that line.
CHAPTER 1 - The brothers of James Giddens Sr.
CHAPTER 2 - James Giddens Sr. (1711-1820)
CHAPTER 3 - Francis S. Giddens
CHAPTER 4 - William Giddens
CHAPTER 5 - Susanna Giddens Wilson
CHAPTER 6 - Martha Giddens Conway
CHAPTER 7 - Ann Giddens Green
CHAPTER 8 - Richard Giddens
CHAPTER 9 - James Giddens Junior
NOTE: I can't speak to the accuracy of all of the information in this book, but it does provide some good information.