My Great-Grandmother Sophia

In the 1860’s in Baden-Baden Germany, when Sophia was in her twenties, her family was very sick with a disease called diptheria. Although now we have vaccines for this illness, none were available at that time. With an epidemic raging everywhere, it was nearly impossible to find a doctor to come to the home.

But their neighbor knew one. As as special favor to their family, he arranged for the doctor to pay the family a visit. After Sophia’s family got well, Sophia asked the neighbor what she could do to repay him.

“My brother lives in America. His wife just died leaving him six children. He needs a wife! Would you go to America and become his new bride?”

Leaving her homeland and her family forever, Sophia packed a large trunk and took a sister with her for America in 1866. She was twenty-five-years old. For six weeks, they traveled over the Atlantic Ocean and then on to Jefferson, Wisconsin to meet the man named Ludwig, who was to be her husband.

They married on April 24, 1866. He was eighteen years older than Sophia. Throughout their marriage they had three other children.

Writing Exercise: Do you have any stories within your family history you can discover and share? Interview a family relative. Find out information about your family tree. Which relatives were born where? Who was the first generation in America? Which countries did your ancestors come from? How did they come to America? Ask as many questions about what life was like. 1. Take good notes. 2. Tape record their answers. 3. Better yet . . . video tape their responses! This is VERY valuable for sentimental reasons, historical record, and for all of your creative projects now and in the future!

Questions you may want to ask: 1. What was life like back when you were a child? 2. What did you do for fun? 3. What was a typical summer day like? 4. What was a typical school day like? 5. Who was your favorite teacher and why? 6. What was the most memorable holiday or family outing? 7. What was the most sad day in your childhood? What happened? Recount that day, moment by moment if you can. 8. What was the happiest day? Recount that time, moment by moment. 9. Do you remember anything funny that ever happened to you or to a family member? 10. Did you have any pets? What did they look like? Act like? 11. What was a proud moment for you? 12. What did you used to play/pretend? 13. What did you want to be when you grew up? 14. What was your first job? Tell me about what that was like. 15. Did you ever go to the hospital? Share any experiences when you did or when you were sick.
******* You can also write about YOURSELF by answering these questions!******

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One Response to “My Great-Grandmother Sophia”

  1. Karen Says:

    What an amazing story! Your great-grandmother’s bravery is compelling. Sophia is lucky to have a descendant willing to preserve and share her history.

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