Great-Granny

by Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue March. 11, 2018 2547 views

This photo-brooch is more than 100 years old. It belonged to my great grandmother from my mother’s side of the family. The pictures of her and her husband were either a reminder of her engagement or a wedding gift. When my mother gave the broche to me, she knew I would like it a lot. My mother told often about her nice childhood memories, when she spent holiydays in the little village, where her grandmother lived.

Her maiden name was Luise Jost (1885-1961) and she was a midwife. She was an interesting woman, but not in a fancy way as my grandmother from my father's branch of the family tree . She married in 1906 Johannes Friedrich Link (1875-1916), who was a tailor but he worked in an aniline factory. Maybe that was the reason he died (cancer?) in 1916 – even a treatment in a health resort in 1913 couldn’t spare him his fate. The couple had 6 children, two of them died at young age. When Nikolaus, died and was burried, his father Johannes said to Luise: “Don’t store away the fine porcellain set, you will need it soon.” He followed his youngest son only two weeks later.

Lotze-Louis (a nickname after the name of the house she lived in) was widowed at the age of 31. She had four children between the age of 5 and 9. She never remarried. She struggled through her remaining live in poverty. There was only a very small income by farming a very small piece of land. Therefore the butter wasn’t for her or the children, the butter had to be sold. She asked for financial help, but the mayor of the village denied it. She never forgave him for this wrong. Especially because it wasn’t only unethical but he didn’t help her to get her rightful pension. She got her first own money, her rightful pension, at very old age – maybe by the help of her daughter-in-law. It was her greatest joy to have her own money for the first time in her entire life! The four children, Adam, Georg, Maria and Katharina, helped her mother as soon as they earned their own money. Luise lived all her live in the same house with her oldest son and his family until her death.

My mother loved her granny and liked to visit her. She slept in her chamber and she learnt the bake the best bread from her. These are her most cherished childhood memories. She stayed with her even during the increasing bombing campaigns of WWII.

I didn’t know her, she died six month after I was born. But I love the stories my mother told me and I love this brooch, which is not my only heirloom. Every time – which is very often - I wear it on a jacket (yes, even jeans!) people ask me who they are.

I like this kind of questions – they are the spark to let people live on forever!

Luise and Johannes before 1906.

Luise and Johannes before 1906.

Luise Link neé Jost - 21.02.1985-21.12.1961

Luise Link neé Jost - 21.02.1985-21.12.1961

Johannes Friedrich Link - 24.09.1875-20.04.1916

Johannes Friedrich Link - 24.09.1875-20.04.1916

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Jan Barlow 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you for this lovely remembrance. I love these stories.  :) They're a beautiful couple. I can't imagine being widowed and left with four young children. God bless her. I momentarily wanted to be a midwife! But I had young children of my own (both born at home - on purpose - with midwives) and I figured I didn't need to be out running around in the middle of the night at that point of my life. :)

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Jan Barlow 1 year, 9 months ago

A woman alone and poor, struggling with four small children through life, seeing two World Wars - no, that wasn't funny at all! But she must still have been a nice person, my mother loved her. I have two great grannies, which were midwifes. One of them had 12 children (twice twins) - she must have been her best customer. I won't imagine what I would do, if I had to be a midwife -  at least someone would have to revive me first. I'm more the fan of clinic, doctors, nurses, midwife, more nurses, more doctors AND all the electrical things with the bing. I'm complicated BEFORE it will become complicated.  grinning

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Jan Barlow Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 1 year, 9 months ago

Home birthing - yeah, it depends on your where your comfort zone is. We are old hippies and when my husband went to Chiropractic college, it was very much “the thing” to do. I hadn’t even thought about it before we entertained the idea of having children, but definitely loved the idea - and home was and is my comfort zone. I totally get that it’s not for everyone, though. :)

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Jan Barlow 1 year, 9 months ago

thumbsup

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 1 year, 9 months ago

Touching story & beautiful heirloom! I can see a striking family resemblance between you & your great grandmother, especially in those strong, wonderful eyes!

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year, 9 months ago

No, more the nose, which my mother and I inherited from her. I hope not for the eyes, please! She lost her eyesight during old age. A severe problem, which the youngest sister of my mother suffers too. nose

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh.....OK......
May your eyesight be with you, always, as long as you live.....

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks, may right away hit your wish God's eardrum! grinning

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 1 year, 9 months ago

Amen & Amen!

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Heike 1 year, 9 months ago

Sehr interessant und spannend, Sigrid. Ich weiß sehr wenig über meine Großeltern, hat mich früher nie besonders interessiert und jetzt ist's zu spät... :-(

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Heike 1 year, 9 months ago

Mündliche Überlieferungen - und da gibt's dann haufenweise Märchen darunter - sind bei den sog. "kleinen Leuten" am wichtigsten. Sonst bleiben nur noch die Eckdaten. Andererseits nützt dir dein ganzes Interesse nichts, wenn du Familie hast, dies Leute aber alle "verschlossene Austern" oder totale Ignoranten sind. Ich verdanke meine infos nicht nur meiner Mutter, sondern auch ihrer ältesten Schwester, die die Familienforscherin par excellence war.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Joe Zink 1 year, 9 months ago

She sounds like an incredible woman, Sigrid .
You must be proud to have ancestors like that, and this wonderful brooch to remember them by.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Joe Zink 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm always shocked about cruelties of politicians   not helping a poor widow with four children - although I'm sure the mayor of this tiny village was not rich either.
It is good example for oral history - all the rich, intersting stuff which you won't find in documents like birth or death certificats.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

Very nice story, loved reading it. Good photos as well.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks! blush

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year, 9 months ago

Nice familystory,like many of that time it reflects on to the hard life they had. Wear it proudly. Love things like this.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Berckmans Peter 1 year, 9 months ago

There is only a second item - no more. It's nice, that this pieces went straight as  heirlooms to my mother.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
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