Friday, September 20, 2013

Great-Grandpa Koleber's German Letter to Dad

 In this photo are my paternal grandmother Amalia Koleber (1902-1986) with her two older brothers, Daniel (1898-1916) and John George "Jager" Jr. (1895-1962) and their parents John "George" Koleber (1875-1952) and Catherine Elisabeth "Katy" Dietz Koleber (1874-1929). This family immigrated to America, through Ellis Island, in July, 1904 from Kratzke, Saratov, Russia. 
This photo shows the entire family in the late 1920s. From left are Albert (1916-1983), Victor (1911-2002), Henry (1909-1980), Amalia "Mollie" (1902-1986), George "Jager" (1895-1962), Fred (1907-1979), and Emil (1914-1974). Seated are parents George and Katy Koleber. 
Katy Dietz Koleber died in 1929 and George remarried to Mary Elizabeth Mehling in 1931 (pictured above). They were residents by this time at Fort Collins, Colorado. 
Pictured here are my father Ernest L. Margheim with his maternal grandparents, George and Mary (Mehling) Koleber. This photo was taken about 1942 before Dad went into the Army.
This picture of my Dad, Ernest L. Margheim, was taken 60 years after the previous photo. 

I've inherited letters that Grandpa Koleber wrote to my dad's parents, that being his daughter Mollie and her husband John Margheim, when they lived in Hoisington, Barton, Kansas. They were written in German, Grandpa's native language, as he was born in the Volga German colony Kratzke, Russia. Dad has told me that Grandpa Koleber, a farmer, served in the White Russian Army before he immigrated to America at age 26. 

I've recently been blessed beyond measure by my cousin Dawn Faber who has a neighbor, Silke, who reads German and offered to translate one of Grandpa Koleber's letters that was written to my Dad when Dad was in the Army in 1943. This is the letter that Silke translated, with the help of her mother in Germany. 
This week I received the following translation from my new "German Translating Angels": 
September 18th, 1943
Fort Collins, Colorado

My dearest Ernest,

With great joy, we received your lovely letter on September 9th and heard you are healthy and well.  I and Mother are doing well too, and we are not in distress.
We heard in your letter, that you went home in July and got married to the girl, who was with you, the last time you visited us, we are truly happy for you. 
Your uncle Henry is in the Army, and also Albert and Adam are in the Army. They are all still healthy and they are doing well.
Write real soon again
With greetings 
Your Grandfather and your Mother
                                              Goodbye Goodbye 

With a generous and very gracious offer from Silke and her mother to do further translation work for me, I've scanned 6 more letters written in German that I'm going to send them next week. I'll post the results when I get them.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Grandma Mollie's "California Flower Beads" Necklace

Amalia Koleber, age 13, 1915, Wakeeney, Trego, Kansas
My paternal grandmother was Amalia "Mollie" (Koleber) Margheim. This photo of her at age 13, taken in 1915, is my absolute favorite photo in my entire collection. It speaks to me because it tells me a lot about her as a teenager. I was at first amazed that it portrays her as being more dark-complected than she was. Maybe it's just the dark background, or the dark-colored dress, or the lighting, or the middle part in her dark hair. By the time I was born, Grandma appeared as an "old" woman (she was all of 45 years old!), wearing those big black laced-up shoes with thick raised heels, flower-print dresses and her hair was short, starting to gray and styled with a tight curly perm. I had never imagined her as a teenager with very long, dark flowing or braided hair, as in this picture. Grandma was a hard working woman but not the serious type, as reflected in the above photo. 
Mollie Margheim with twins Becky and Dennis, 1949, Hoisington, Barton, KS
As I was cleaning out "treasures" from my father's house last Fall when he took up residence in a local Care Center, I discovered the necklace that Grandma was wearing in her teenage photo. I am so blessed to have it! I looked up the "California Flower Beads" company on the internet (see the photo at right). The beads were made by the Restall Manufacturing Company of Long Beach, CA in 1915-1916. I know the photo of Mollie was taken in 1915-16 because on an accompanying portrait in which she's standing beside the same chair she has written "age 13" and she was born in October, 1902.

It amazes me that Grandma owned a brand new necklace. I'm very happy for her. She obviously valued her jewelry. Notice on the photo at the top that she's wearing a broach (pin), three rings and a bracelet! That's my Grandma! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Treasures: My Koleber Family Photos

John "George" Koleber and his wife Catharine Elizabeth "Katy" Dietz Koleber, sons George, Daniel and daughter Amalia "Mollie", my grandmother.
I've been scanning and sharing old photos and thought this would be a good place to post a few of the great family portraits I have of my paternal grandmother's Koleber family. The photo above shows the Koleber family unit to immigrated from Kratzke, Saratov, Russia to America, through Ellis Island in July, 1904. 
This is the same family years later, with sons left to right: Albert, Emanuel "Victor", Henry "Tiny", Amalia "Mollie", George "Jager", Fred, and Emil, with George and Katy Koleber seated. Son Daniel, who is pictured in the photo at the top, sadly passed away 5 Jan 1916, three days before his 18th birthday. 
As you can see at the bottom of this photo, at left is my great-grandmother Catharina "Katy" Dietz Koleber (1874-1929), with her parents (my great, great grandparents!) George Daniel (1852-1932) and Maria Elizabeth (Meier) Dietz (1851-1929), and Katy's brother John "Ludwig" Dietz (1872-1930). Each of these family members was born in Kratzke, Saratov, Russia and died in Wakeeney, Trego, Kansas.

These are my favorite photos of my grandmother Mollie Koleber. She was 13 years when they were taken in 1915. I love it that she's wearing jewelry! I own the necklace that she's wearing in the top picture.
My paternal grandparents John Ludwig (1900-1978) and Mollie (Koleber) (1902-1986) Margheim.
After his first wife Katy died in 1929, Grandpa George Koleber, in 1931, married Maria Elizabeth Mehling (1880-1955), and lived in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Pictured here are my Great Grandpa and Grandma George Koleber at their home in Fort Collins, CO with my dad, Ernest L. Margheim 2nd from right, his sister Laverna M. Margheim at far right and her twin brother Leonard M. Margheim at far left. Beside Leonard is my mother Ruby (Flanders) Margheim. 
Great Grandpa George Koleber was buried in the Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery, Wakeeney, Trego, Kansas beside his first wife Catharine Elizabeth "Katy" Dietz Koleber on 25 May, 1952.

Henry Koleber (b. 1845 or 1866?) in Kratzke, Saratov, Russia

I inherited this photo from my Grandmother Mollie (Koleber) Margheim. She wrote on the back that it is "Grandpa Koleber's older brother and grandchildren....they never came to America" (from Kratzke, Saratov, Russia). If she meant her kids' grandpa, this would be Heinrich Koleber b. 1866 in Kratzke, spouse unknown to me. If she meant HER grandpa's older brother it would be Georg Heinrich Koleber (b. 1845) and wife Sophia Schmidt, in Kratzke. wish I knew for sure and knew who the grandkids were.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

There's that Kunz name again

The G. Jacob and Katy Margheim Family, about 1906
In my posts of August 10th and August 11th, I wrote about the discovery that my paternal great-grandfather was married to Mary Katherine "Katy" Winter or Kunz. At the Margheim website that has published the research done by Clarence Jake Margheim, the following paragraph is entered for my great-grandfather George "Jacob" Margheim: 
  • Came to the USA from Wiesenmuller, Samara Province, Seelmann District, Russia. Arrival date was December 1886 at New York.
  • Wiesenmuller is a daughter colony of Merkel, and was founded in 1860. Georg Jacob probably left Merkel as a young man to take advantage of the new land made available by the Russian Government. 
  • Declaration of Intention was filed November 2, 1889 in Russell County, Kansas. Age listed as 32, and had been born in Russia. Filed as Jacob Margheim. 
  • Dr. Igor Pleve, Saratov State University, Saratov, Saratov Province, Russia, included a copy from the Merkel Church Book of the page registering the birth of Georg Jacob Margheim on May 7, 1857. Baptised Lutheran in the church by Pastor Ludwig Marpurg. Sponsors: Colonists Jacob Margheim, Heinrich Templing, and Catherine Kunz. Note in right margin: Moved (Ausgesiedelt). The copy is included in the Documentation Section of the Margheim Family History Book.
I had not noticed this piece of information until my cousin Charlene West-Scheneman posted it on Facebook yesterday.
I noticed that KUNZ name again, this time belonging to a woman who was a Sponsor for my great grandfather when he was baptized. Further research is definitely needed to identify this Kunz connection!