Sharon Aasheim's "MIRACLE"

I researched the family of my great grandfather and his siblings families back in the middle 70's. One thing led to another and I ended up finding out that his father my great great grandfather, Balthasar Schwartz had come to the U.S. (I had not known this or ever heard of him) in 1869 and with him were three unmarried sons (one of which became my great grandfather) and a daughter. Later two of his married children and their spouses and children came to Ottumwa, Iowa from Germany and settled at the same place as Balthasar. I found Balthasar's will in the Wapello Co. court house and discovered there were other married children he named who remained in Germany. Anyway, I put all of my information in a book and in 1979 we had our first Schwartz reunion with 135 attending from all over the United States. I quit the research as I did not have the know how or have the money to search in Germany. But a MIRACLE happened, or at least I think of it as a miracle. Unbeknownst to me, the descendants of the Schwartz family that remained in Germany were listening to stories about the Schwartz's that came to the U.S., that had been passed down to an old Schwartz lady. They decided to find the U.S. cousins and since they knew the name of the town Ottumwa they were successful. Some there had corresponded with cousins in the U.S.up until the middle 1930's which I did not know. They sent a picture of a nun that had been sent from the U.S. and the secretary of the genealogy society in Ottumwa compared it to pictures in the book I had done and low and behold we knew we had made a connection. That was in 1981, I believe. Once the connection was made we quickly became good friends as well as cousins. The European cousins have attended the reunions we have in Ottumwa every 5 years and they started the research of Schwartz people in Germany and France and hold reunions also. Many of us from the states have attended the two reunions they have had visited the farm that the Schwartz's owned and viewed other artifacts the Schwartz's left behind in Germany and France. They have done lots of research and a man named Walter Oehling who is a school teacher, writes articles for their local genealogy magazine and does research put together this book. He has been working on the Schwartz lines for several years. This book contains the names of all Schwartz men he could trace. There are 14 lines that he traces that do not connect back to one Schwartz man. In other words they are separate lines. He includes all of these lines in the information in my book, plus some more specific information for lines in my Schwartz line. He also includes the information from my book. Women are named in this book only if they are the wives or children of Schwartz men. In other words he does not follow a womans line once she marries. It may tell who she marries and stop there. The book is written in German and the only title I can determine is: Familienwappen Schwarz

There are only 10 copies made and the relatives put it together quickly so they could present me with a copy at the reunion we just held in Ottumwa this past August. It is glued as they did not have time to bind it, so I have to be careful when turning the pages etc., that is why I do not know if I can lay it flat enough to copy it, but I will try.

Thanks for letting me tell you the story. I love to tell it as I still can't believe our luck in finding this European connection.

Sharon Aasheim

backBack-To Other researchers list.