Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bustin’ out the BLOG!

Wait. . . I know you’re asking yourself who I am.  I know I’ve been gone a while but let’s just pretend that I’ve been here ALL along.

So, it’s time to bust out the good ol’ blog!  I’m headed on an epic adventure and it needs to be documented, so to ensure I do that, I’m starting it off before I leave TOMORROW! 

departure to america2

These awesome people are the Schwendimans.  Samuel and Magdalena Schwendiman to be exact.  Our Madison was almost named Magdalena, after this fabulous woman.  Samuel and Magdalena both grew up in a tiny town in Switzerland called Niederstocken (knee-dur-sh-token).  They joined the church (more on that story in a later post), and decided to immigrate to America.  They are pictured here with their 6 sons.  From left to right the boys are Christian, Samuel, Friedrich, Gottfried, Johannes (John--my great-grandfather!), and Rudolf.  This photograph was done they day they departed for America in May, 1886.  The circumstances of the move to America was difficult.  Much persecution was upon them, most of it from their own family.  Below is a quote from our family history book written by my Dad’s cousin Glenn.  Glenn compiled most all of the journals and documents we have and had them published and bound for all of the family members.

“The matter of fact account of the journey of Samuel and Magdalena Schwendiman and their children as written mainly in the memoirs of Sam and John do not convey to us a sense of the emotional feelings which they must have had as they left their homeland.  In a day when we drive to the nearest airport and are then air lifted to an overseas destination in a matter of hours, it requires time and effort to reflect and think what it must have been like for them to be taken to the nearest railroad station in a horse drawn wagon with all the family belongings.  The parents must have sensed the dramatic change that was coming in their lives for they paused long enough in Thun to have a family portrait made.  How grateful we should be that they did this.  It preserves a moment in time which enables us to appreciate and share what they experienced.”

That is why we are going back to Switzerland.  To get a taste of what life was like for them there, and to visit and bond with our Schwendiman family that still lives in that wonderful little country (and village of Niederstocken).  I’m so grateful for the strength of Samuel and Magdalena and the courage they had to begin a difficult journey with their young boys, and I’m grateful I get to make the journey back with all my siblings and my Dad to celebrate his 70th birthday! 

9 comments:

Jon said...

I have encouraged Heidi to keep a journal during the trip. I think it would be great to read them together in a few years.

~j. said...

Yay! Thank you for sharing this!

The CEO said...

OH MY GOODNESS! How fun. I'm Swiss too!! How did we never put this together (Butikofer-got to love those Swiss names!!) I can't wait to hear all about it. HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!!

Lisa said...

This is wonderful! I'm so excited you get to do this! What a great gift it will be to give to your kids--this knowledge of their ancestors. Amazing! Plus, I'm Swedish, too! SOooo, we're totally related!

Julie Ramsay said...

See you soon!

Queen Scarlett said...

Awesome. Also... I feel like I see the resemblance... I'm not just seeing things right? Hope you're having a grand time.

kteuscher said...

I wanted to let you know that I asked my father in law about our possible relation. He never got back to me but I read something the other day and I think there is a really good chance that you and I are related (through marriage)...which really makes since cause we could pass as twins. I am so jealous of your trip.

Michelle said...

I thoroughly enjoyed looking at your pictures and reading about your Swiss adventure with your family. I am a Schwendimann as well. My great grandfather was Hans J. Schwendimann (b.1881), and my grandfather was John R. Schwendimann (b.1919). I believe Hans was brought with his family as a very young child. My grandfather was raised in Tennessee before growing up and moving to Louisiana (where I am from). I am wondering how closely related we are. :) I just don't know enough of my family history. It was really awesome to find your blog and look at your trip with your family. Thank you!

wendysue said...

Hi Michelle! Sorry I'm just getting back to you now. . .could you email me? wsmar@yahoo.com

Do you know who Hans father was? (Almost all the Schwendimanns in Switzerland were Johannes (or Hans!) I'm sure I can get you some more info!) My Great Great Grandpa was John (Johann) Schwendiman who was one of 6 boys born to Samuel and Magdalena Schwendiman, who converted to the Mormon church and came to America.