My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Thursday, September 29, 2011

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY'S PHOTO - Frisz Family Reunion 1908, Terre Haute, Indiana

1908 Frisz Family Celebration
On October 12, 1908, over 90 family members of John Frisz (1830-1913) and Magdalena Gasper (1839-1911) gathered together at their home in Terre Haute, Indiana, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. John is my 4x great-uncle. His parents, my 4th-great-grandparents, were Joseph Frise (1796-1864) and Marguerite Lang (1802-1868), immigrants from Seingbouse, Moselle, France. Their oldest child, Barbara, (1822-1893) was John's older sister, and my 3rd-great-grandmother.

In 1846 John and Magdalena set sail from Le Havre, France, with eight of their nine children, ages 2-24, including Barbara, 24, and John, 16, on the ship J.H.Cooper. They arrived in port at New Orleans, Louisiana on July 20, 1846 along with 209 other "huddled masses" hoping to start a new life in America. Their last name, spelled "Fries" on the ship's manifest, had several variations after they arrived. On John's tombstone his name was spelled "Frise". After their mother's funeral it is said that the boys got together and decided on one spelling - "Frisz". Its pronunciation rhymes with "grease".

Also on board the ship was 28-year-old Jean Brunet/John Michael Baptiste Brunett, my future 3rd-great-grandfather. He, too, was from Seingbouse. Barbara and John were married one month later, on August 11th, in the village of Saint Anne, Jennings County, Indiana. They settled here in Jennings County, and started their family of ten children, including their fourth child,  Barbara Brunette (1852-1896), my great-great-grandmother. [Barbara would later marry Phillip Huber (1847-1901) and their daughter Mary Huber (1873-1913) would marry John Martin O'Donnell (1865-1937) and be my great-grandparents.]

Barbara's younger brother John married Magdalena Gasper (1839-1911) and they settled in Jennings County near both of their families. In 1850 John was a farmer. By 1860 he was working as a blacksmith. John and Magdalena had eight children - Katherine Margaret (1859-1939), Mary Magdalene (1860-1951), John K. (1861-1897), Joseph William (1863-1939), George Bernard (1864-1947), Magdalena Virginia (1866-1942), Christopher C. (1868-1881), and Peter Paul (1881-1882). By 1870 the family had moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where John was working as an "Ale Dealer". He continued this trade for several years.
(l-r) John Frisz, Anne Kipper, Peter Frisz, Joseph Frisz

By 1890 he and "Maggie" had moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where John was working as a house carpenter. Many of their children and their own families followed their parents to Terre Haute. It was here that everyone gathered together on that sunny day in October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John and Magdalena. Along with the group picture taken on the front lawn of the house, several photographs were taken including one of the four surviving children of Joseph and Marguerite - John, now 77, Anne, 75, Peter, 70, and Joseph, 65. My great-great-great-grandmother Barbara Brunett had died in 1893; her husband John had died years earlier, in 1863. None of her children were in attendance.

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