I am re-posting a blog from last October, with corrected dates and ages, thanks to the sleuthing of a newly-discovered third cousin, who is better than I am at this genealogy stuff. Of course, he has had the advantage of some family records, including a family Bible, that I have not seen -- just another of the many reasons I am grateful for our 21st-century access to the internet.
My grandfather, Joseph Lyle McCaskey, was all Scotch-Irish, but my grandmother, Karolina Schweinsberg, was German. Her parents (who would be my great-grandparents) were Johan F. Schweinsberg, (1831 - 1899) born in Hesse, and Philippine Jung, (1831 - 1906) born in Rheinland-Pfalz. She and Johan married on 17 July 1853. I do not have an immigration date for either of of them, but their first child, Wilhelm, was born 30 March 1854 in western Pennsylvania, when they were both 23 years old.
I can trace Johan's family back one further generation, and the Jung family for three generations, taking me to some great-great-great-great-grandparents living in Rheinland-Pfalz at the beginning of the eighteenth century. There are no details, however, beyond birthdates. Having found neither any horse-thieves or any relatives that seem closely connected to a great philosopher, I am content to let buried ancestors stay buried.
I was curious, however , about my grandmother's siblings -- wondering why I did not hear more about her brothers and sisters. A little probing turned up some sad details.
· John Fredrick Schweinsberg, born in 1847, lived with Johan and Philippina in 1860, but he was actually the son of Henry (“Georg Heinrich”) Schweinsberg, the brother of Johann Friedrich Schweinsberg.
· Wilhelm J. was born in 1854 and died in 1887. That makes two young men who died in their thirties.
· Johannes S. was born in 13 November 1855 and died on 17 January 1944, He married Mary Louise Workley and had two sons and two daughters.
· Grandma Karolina was born in 1858 and died in 1933.
· Karl Henrick was born in 1860 and died at age ten.
· Maria was born in 1862 and died at age eight.
· Henrick August. was born in 1864 and died in 1955 at the age of 90. (Talk about a changling!) I guess if you survived childhood, you could survive most anything.
· Jacob was born in 1867 and died at age 1 year, 4 months..
· Fredrich was born in 1869 and died at age 1 year, 6 months..
· Emma Margaret was born in 1871 and died in 1942.
· 9 births and one nephew taken into family.
· 4 died in childhood
· 2 died in their middle to late thirties
· only 4 lived to their Biblical three-score and ten or beyond
With that in mind, take a look at this picture. That's Karolina Schweinsberg McCaskey seated on the left, and on the right, her mother, Philippina Jung Schweinsberg or possibly her sister Emma. That's Minnie (Wilhelmina) McCaskey Swick standing and holding baby Gladys Swick.
I grew up with an enlargement of that picture on my mother's dressing table, and I always wondered why they were all wearing black on what seemed to be a happy occasion. Now I understand. Poor Great-Grandmother Phillippina must have spend most of her adult life in mourning garments.