Saturday, May 13, 2017

A New Family

February 18, 1985

My mother, Elva Crabtree Harris Rodriguez, was widowed at the age of 57 in 1972 when my father, Daniel Lawrence Harris, died of complications following a heart attack and stroke. They had been married for almost 32 years. 

Although she still traveled to all the places they had planned to see together, she was lonely. She once told me she never expected to be alone for so very long. But then she met Ernie (Ernest Raymond Rodriguez) and they married when she was 70, on February 18, 1985. Their life together was truly wonderful and she greatly enjoyed her expanded family.

I'm so glad that someone thought to take this photo of the combined family--the newly married couple; Elva's two daughters, Clair (that's me) and Jean; Ernie's three daughters, Linda, Diana, and Patt; plus our children. Many thanks to Linda Griswold for helping me with all the names I wasn't sure of.

In the front row, left to right:
Benjamin Daniel VandenBoom (Clair's son)
Breca Rodriguez Griswold (now Mariscal--Linda's daughter)
Ernie Lopez (Patt's son)
Colin Rodriguez Griswold (Linda's son)

Middle row:
Clair Harris Zarges (Elva's daughter)
Jocelyn Elise Goldsmith (Now de Sena--Jean's daughter)
Diana Rodriguez Muñoz (Ernie's daughter)
Linda Rodriguez Griswold (Ernie's daughter)
Patt Rodriguez Lopez (Ernie's daughter)

Back row:
Bill Zarges (Clair's husband)
Jean Harris (Elva's daughter)
Elva Crabtree Harris Rodriguez (the bride)
Andy Muñoz (Diana's son)
Ernie Rodriguez (the groom, holding his grandson, Andy)
We think the man who is partly out of sight on the right is Jerry Griswold (Linda's husband)








Monday, May 8, 2017

My Parents as Children


Elva Crabtree Harris Rodriguez
1914-1998



Daniel Lawrence Harris
1907-1972


Saturday, February 11, 2017

August Ihm

Johannes Martin August Ihm
1867-19??


I've been learning how to work with my new software, Family Tree Maker, which syncs back and forth with the information I put on Ancestry.com, so I'm going to try using some of the charts that the software makes to tell the story of Augustus Ihm. 

August, or as his family called him, Gus, was the father of my husband's paternal grandfather's second wife, so is the father of Bill's step grandmother. Here is the relationship chart from Family Tree Maker:


Relationship: William John Zarges Jr. to Johannes Martin August Ihm 
Johannes Martin August Ihm is the father of the step grandmother of William John Zarges Jr. 

Father of step grandmother 
          Johannes Martin August Ihm
          b: 15 May 1867
          Germany
          d: [date unknown]

          Anna Katharina Böhler [Gus' wife]

          b: 20 Jun 1876
          Germany
          d: [date unknown]
Step grandmother 
Ellen "Ella" K. Ihm
b: 06 Mar 1901
Schwetzingen, Rheind:
d: 07 Dec 1971
          Paternal grandfather

          John Zarges

          b: 07 Jul 1877
          Eder, Germany
          d: 25 Aug 1954
          Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut
Father 
William John Zarges Sr.
b: 04 Nov 1916
Greenwich, Connecticut,
d: 19 May 1995
Stamford, Connecticut,
          Bill
William John Zarges Jr.
b: 23 Dec 1948
Stamford, Connecticut,

Gus started out in southern Germany, came to the U.S. in 1883, spent some time "on the Mississippi," and became an American citizen before returning to Germany to marry. He then returned to America for the rest of his life. Here is another chart from Family Tree Maker:




Family Group Sheet for Johannes Martin August "August" Ihm

Husband: Johannes Martin August "August" Ihm
b: 15 May 1867 in Germany
m: 15 May 1900 in Schwetzingen, Baden, Preußen

Father: Ernst Ihm
Mother: Marie Elisabeth Charlotte Ihm

Wife: Anna Katharina Böhler
b: 20 Jun 1876 in Germany

Children:
1
F
Name: Ellen "Ella" K Ihm
b: 06 Mar 1901 in Schwetzingen, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Baden-
Württemberg, Germany
d: 07 Dec 1971
Spouse: John Zarges

2
F
Name: Gertrude M Ihm
b: 27 Dec 1908 in Connecticut
d: 14 Mar 2000 in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA

August's self-published pamphlet


Here are August’s own words, from his self-published pamphlet, “What Darn Fools We Are:”

“My life, as I look back, was a happy one. By being self reliant, willing to learn, and always watching others I picked up twenty different trades.

At home in southern Germany, my father ran a hotel and wine business, and produced most of what was consumed there on his own land. He baked his own bread, got milk from his own cows, and other crops from his fields. I learned the cooper trade [by] farming.

In the back yard I had a collection of pets, aquariums, potted plants, guinea pigs, etc., to sell to youngsters when they came with their parents in their carriages. I became a salesman, and always had my own pocket money.

At the age of fourteen my father asked me what trade I wanted to learn. I told him the florist trade. It was the poorest trade at that time and besides serving three years at hard work as an apprentice and paying for my own bed and board I had to pay a six hundred dollars tuition fee.”

August arrived in the U.S. in 1883 and was naturalized in 1896. He continues his narrative:

“After sixteen years on the Mississippi I returned to Germany as an American citizen. Started the first American farm, got married, came back to God’s country, and struck the same depression under President Cleveland that we have now. Over production [sic] and dry spells ruined farmers and they had no money to spend. Wages were one dollar a day with jobs hard to find. 

Landing in Stamford [Connecticut] I pioneered on the poorest and rockiest soil I ever saw. I raised a family on it and gained a national reputation in my line as a plant breeder, producing 1,600 different colors in one species of pansy. 

I introduced the police dog to the United States. Then the depression got me. Happier than ever, my last property in good times was worth twenty-five thousand dollars.”

Next: A little more about August Ihm