Monday, December 9, 2019

Kaspar Jenta 1741 - 1790

Susanna Jenta's grandfather Kaspar Jenta was born on the 30th of April 1741 to Conrad Jenta who emigrated from Germany. He had one sibling, Anna born 1748. Kaspar’s father was a Gerber or tanner of cowhides. To do this you needed to have plenty of water which the area does. We assume Kaspar helped his father in the tanning process.

The Jenta family first lived in Untermedikon on the west of the river. Untermedikon and Robank are part of Wetzikon in the West of a little river called Aa-Bach. This area early attracted industrial activities along this river.  So it is easy to imagine the first Jenta's coming there to tan cowhides into leather. The couple had two children Kaspar, Susanna's grandfather, in 1741 and Anna 1748. In Germany the name is also spelled as Jentha. Susanna was definitely of German heritage.(Peter Bertschinger)

When Susanna's grandfather Kaspar was 10 years old  in 1751 the family became Swiss citizens in Ettenhausen. To do so they had to pay for it (buy-in). It normally takes some years after moving to a community that you can become citizen and you had to buy a house. The Jentas lived in one of the few houses west of the main cantonal street, probably a street today called Winkelstrasse. Susanna's grandfather Kaspar Jenta, became a Schulmeister or schoolmaster to teach the "dumb" farmer children in Ettenhausen. Kaspar and his wife Anna Wolfensberger had 7 children.

Ettenhausen School
Kaspar taught from 1767 to 1790 or 23 years. When Kaspar died in 1790 he son Johannes took over and taught from 1790 to 1828 or 38 years. That means that Susanna's uncle taught Susanna from the time she entered school until she left home. The school was held in Johannes's parlor from 1790 until 1809, at which time the first school building was built. School was held in that building until 1954.  When Johannes died in 1828 Susanna's uncle Johannes' son Heinrich took over and taught from 1828 until 1949 or 21 years.  (Jenta history researched by Peter Bertschinger, Full history, & photos of Ettenhausen by Peter Bertschinger, History of the municipality of Wetzikon)

What was school like for these School Teacher Jentas?
In 1799 schoolmaster Johannes Jenta reported on the conditions in the school which went into great detail on what school was like for his students. The agency over the school was the pastor of Wezikon. This wasn't a school just for Ettenhausen but included six small surrounding hamlets all 10 to 12 minutes away. Ettenhausen had far and away the largest number of students totaling 76 everyday students and 26 repeater students. The other hamlets made up 10 students and 7 repeaters. There were 85 High School Students in the summer. School was 6 hours a day. Most of the year they met daily but in summer they met only 2 days a week.  School began with prayer, then songs from the Schmidlischen Choral Songs, the Psalms of David, and Songs of the Christian hymn book. Children were divided into the following five classes. 1. Nammenbuchli, 2. Teacher, 3. Test Book U. Psalter, 4. Psalm Book and 5. Testament. The schoolmaster is examined by the Convent of Zurich for the pastor's presence and standstill , after the rehearsal, reading, writing, singing, The schoolmaster has a wife and 2 children. Students paid a small tuition of 20ß  and Johannes received 10 fl a year. The schoolmaster kept the school in his own room (parlour), from which he receives interest above school fees, approximately from the church property for Sunday school 5 fl. (Salutation: Ettenhausen. in March. 1799.  Greeting and brotherly love Schulmstr Jenta., Ettenhausen School report 1799,) 

(Notes for above: Stillstand - church overseers, also called Ehegaumer. They had to stand still after the sermon on Sunday and discuss with the pastor all the scandals that happened at their place/ 1 fl. is one Florin = one Gulden, used to be a piece of money, coin, quite valuable/1 ß is one shilling, a part of a florin like a dime/ The wood of the big Ettenhausen forests was necessary to heat the oven in the school house during winter season. Often the pupils had to bring a log to the school to heat./Namenbüchli was full of names, often from the Bible - the kids used it to learn the letters, i.e. to spell./Scheuchzer was a famous (rich family) in the City of Zurich. They sponsored a fund, to make possible the school in Ettenhausen, i.e. to pay the teacher).

Kaspar died in 1790 at 49 years old. His wife was three years younger and we do not have her death date. All four of his children attended his funeral including Rudolf 19, Johannes 17, Hartman 12 and Regula 9.  

Kaspar's son Johannes became a teacher and had 6 children. Rudolf was a municipal worker and had 13 children, Hartman unknown profession but he had one child and divorced and Regula died at 20.

Document Relating to Kaspar Jenta:

Zürich Archives, Kaspar Jenta Family Record, Wetzikon E lll 139.21 p 1733
Kaspar Jenta Family from Jenta Family of Wetzikon by Julius Billeter page 1