Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A Short History of the Scholl's of Graben, Baden, Germany

Notice the forest with little trees and fields which are tan colored around Graben

Graben lies 163 miles north of Zurich and 3 miles east of the Rhein River in the southwest corner of Germany. It is a small town with a church and small shops and surrounding fields. The topography includes the Pfinz River, the Heglach River, swamp areas, a small field for herbs, Walds or forests and spacious fields for growing food. Today Graben is known for its white and green aspargus. But that wasn't always the case.  

In the 14th and 15th century Graben used to be the official residence, market town ('Graben the Market') and site of a deanery. A deanery is an official residence of The Church Dean. 

The Scholl's have inhabited this town for hundreds of years. We are fortunate to have beautiful Kirche or church records going back to 1645.  However  the Scholl's lived there before that date. Not only that, but Scholl's live there today.

The first generation Scholl we have records for is Joss Scholl. He was born about 1610 and married Barbara Dieterich about 1636. Joss and Barbara lived in what some consider the longest and most brutal wars in human history, with more than 8 million casualties resulting from military battles as well as from the famine and disease caused by the conflict. The Thirty Years' War 1618 - 1648 brought a lot of despair and distress to Graben. In 1622 the population of Graben was 145 and in 1648 it was only 42. The horse population went from 345 to 62 and the cattle went from 400 to 71. Graben-neudorf website

In the 'Orlean War,' which was declared in 1688, French soldiers destroyed the castle and the village of Graben; only the church, the town hall and some buildings remained. The people of the village lived from then on in the forest and in the neighboring localities. Peace, order and recovery reverted but not before the midst of the 18th century or around 1750. Graben-neudorf website

We have four records that mention Joss's name: a 1646 birth record for a "young daughter" where he is the god-parent, a 1654 baptismal record where he is a witness, Joss's 1662 death record and Barbara's 1661 death record. Joss died at 52 years old in 1662. Joss's main occupation was Gerichtsverwandter which means he was the member of a Judical Court. There is also evidence he was a Bürgermeister or mayor. 

Joss and Barbara may have 4 children. The ages work, the place of birth works however no record exists that prove Joss or Barbara are parents of the four boys who are: Hans Matthias Scholl, Spöck lawyer, Hans Peter Scholl, a Tailor, Hans Andreas Endris Scholl and Hans Leonard Scholl. 

The second generation includes Hans Endris Scholl and his wife Anna Margretha Hosin. No birth record exists for Hans Endris. The couple had 10 children over a 21 period. Only their son Georg Scholl lived to adulthood. In the late 16th century and early 17th century 36% of children died before the age of six, and another 24% between the ages of seven and sixteen. In all, of 100 live births, 60 would die before the age of 16.

The third generation begins with George Scholl who was born in 1678. His godparents were Hans Georg, Bürger or citizen and Anna Catharina his wife, Hans Andreas Zimmerman, Bürger here and his wife Anna Margarethaa Bürger  and farmer. Georg married Maria Elisabetha Weidmann and they had five children.  Two of their children lived to adulthood. At his death he was considered a fairly important person in the community because at his funeral they had the chiming of the bells, singing, and a funeral sermon.

The scope of funeral ceremonies had to do with the rank of the person, which in turn determined how much was paid or donated to the church for the funeral service. There was a church manual explaining the charges.

There were different levels of funeral ceremonies. On one page of the church book there are named "Läutung der kleinen Glocke" (ringing of the little bell), "Läutung aller Glocken" (ringing of all bells), "Glockenklang" (sound of bells). The little bell is often also called the "Totenglocke" (death bell).

The fourth generation begins with Johann Georg Scholl 1720-1764. At his birth his god-parents or baptismal sponsors were: Christoph Schuhmacher, the butcher, and Elisabetha, his wife. Peter Merkle, the weaver here, and his wife. It was assumed if something terrible happened to the parents - the sponsors would raise the child. Georg married Anna Maria Kammerer 7 January 1744. Graben is known for many Kammerer families that span 400 years and continue today.  

In Germany there are three classes of people: nobility, Bürgers, and common folk. Bürgers are legally recognized inhabitants of a city or a state. In other words they are members of the middle class. These citizens are usually richer and/or more influential than a peasant/worker but poorer and/or less influential than a nobleman. If you are not Bürger (citizen) of a village (community) then you are a second class resident with no right to vote, no right to get elected to an official job - no privileges at all.

To become a citizen (citoyen) you have to invest money (considerable buy-in fee), in other words rich people even foreigners are welcome.  They can buy a house, a taverne (restaurant), a mill, a bakery (and even marry the baker's daughter) as Bürgers.

George's death record begins with: "Georg Scholl Geloeßter Bürger". The word Geloeßter means  to liberate someone or yourself, usually for a fee, from a legal or factual bond (surety, imprisonment, subservience, performance and payment obligation). It appears he earned the rights of citizenship. Georg died Dec 16, 1764 and his youngest daughter died 9 days later on the December 25. At the time Georg’s wife Anna Marie Kammerer was pregnant. Three months later on the 10 of April 1765 Georg's last child Maria Catharina Scholl was born without the sister next in age or her father. It was certainly a difficult time for Anna Marie Kammerer.

The fifth generation includes Wendel Scholl 1748-1817. His baptismal sponsors were Simon Merckle, citizen and artisan, with wife, and Christian Bickel, citizen and smith, with wife. Wendel married Augusta Raicher in 1771 and they had 10 children. Four died in infancy. Augusta died in Jan 1786, less than two months after the birth of her last child. Wendel remarried about 6 months later in Oct 1786 to Maria Katharina Nüchtern. She was 29.5 years old. They had six children. Wendel was a Webermeister or master weaver.  Wendel died in 1817 and Katharina died 8 years later in 1825.  

The sixth generation begins with Christina Scholl, 1798-1843. Living in Graben, meant her family paid allegiance to the Margraviate of Baden who resided in nearby Karlsruhe. It was to him that her father Wendel Scholl paid taxes. Margraviate Charles Frederick was the law of the land.  

Christina was born on the 22nd April 1798. She grew up in this community and no doubt learned the catechism from the Lutheran Pastor Friedrich Maag. This involved learning how to pray, the ten commandments and in learning the answers to religious questions from the Bible.  When Christina was 27 years old she had a child out of wedlock and named him Philipp. Some German pastors at the time wrote illegitimate children's birth records upside down. Illegitimate children also had a difficult time getting work. Neither happened to Philipp. It was the custom at the time that an illegitimate child take the name of the mother so Christina gave her son Philipp her own surname Scholl. 

Two years later Christina met a man named Johann Martin Koehler whose first wife named Elisabetha Heinla died the 17 Feb 1827. Martin married Christina Scholl 19 April 1827. Together they had three children. Now Philipp had three half siblings. Martin was a farmer in Graben. He died in 1841 and Christina died two years later. Christina was 45 years 5 months and 10 days and the witnesses were Frederich Pfeil and Johann Herbster both local citizens.

Philip Scholl, the seventh generation, was born February 12, 1825 in Graben,  Baden, Germany to Christina Scholl and an unknown father according to his birth certificate.

On October 1, 1943 Philipp's mother Christina died.  Philipp was 18 years old when his mother passed. Five years later at 23 in 1848 he immigrated to New York where he made shoes. He married Elizabeth  Kelsch from Rineland, Germany in New York City. They had eight children during 16 years from 1849 to 1865 in Manhattan . First came Frederick, then Elizabeth, Philip, Christina, Elizabeth, Lydia, George Philip, and Josephine.

Philipp's oldest son, eighth generation, Frederick Scholl, was born in New York City February 16, 1849. He was employed by a piano house as a boy whose job was carving legs. He left New York at the age of 17 and later viewed the remains of President Lincoln in New York as the train stopped on its way to Springfield, Ill. Growing up, Frederick's father was a successful shoemaker in New York City. They lived near the river in Lower Manhattan. Frederick attended Sunday school for nine years without missing a Sunday and received a Bible as a reward. Philipp, Elisabeth and the children moved to Nebraska sometime around 1866.

Upon arriving in Nebraska Frederick fell in love and married Fannie Weinert. She was also the daughter of a German immigrant. Frederick became a successful farmer in Arago. They had eleven children. The girls married a pastor, farmer, cattleman, chicken farmer, and one boy named George was a carpenter, another a car salesman and the third a RR Office clerk.

George Scholl, ninth generation,  was born in 1886 in Falls City, Nebraska to Frederick and Fannie Scholl. George lived on a working farm for the first 20 years of his life and as such he knew animals, how to harvest crops and how to build. He went to school in a rural one room school called the Arago Center District 28. When George was a teenager he went, with his brother Augustus, to the Peru  Nebraska Normal School and sang in the glee club. In 1909 he moved to Portland where his uncle, August Weinert was living. 

During his growing up years he watched his carpenter grandfather Augustus Scholl build barns. He also learned carpentry from his own father Frederick. The latter part of 1909 George left farm life and moved to Portland, OR to be a carpenter. At first he lived with his uncle August Weinert.  Two or three years later his father arrives in Portland. Together George, his brother Augustus and Frederick build houses. This is an important time in George's life because he refines his carpentry skills and realized he can make a good living building homes. A few years later George hears about a building boom in Los Angeles and he moves there in 1914. His sister Laura Scholl introduces him to a friend of hers, named Emma Bachman. He dates, falls in love with, and marries Emma Bachman in 1915. Audrey, his first daughter, was born in 1916. 

Tenth generation, Elaine Mary Scholl was born in Los Angeles, California on April 28, 1925 to George and Emma Scholl. Elaine graduated from John Marshall High School in 1942 and attended Angles City College for one year. Religion was important to the Scholl family.  George attended the Presbyterian Church, and Emma and the two girls attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elaine was 16 years old, when the United States entered World War II after the attack of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. When Elaine was 17 she met James Hulet Gardiner (Jim) at a church activity. Jim was from Malta, Idaho and was working for Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California assembling aircraft. Jim and Elaine married May 19, 1943 in the Salt Lake Temple, 21 days after her 18th birthday.

Home and family is where Elaine found her passion. Her daughter Sandra Gardiner Blunck recalls;, "In 1950 our family included Mother, Dad and three children. That was the year we moved to 914 N. Isabel in Glendale, California. The home was a wonderful 3-bedroom house with hardwood floors on a quiet street with a small grocery store on the corner.  The backyard was large and fenced with a garage in the back and a big cement area.  It was a great location and climate in which to raise children. 

“Mother loved family picnics, and trips to the park or zoo with the children. These often included Aunt Audrey and her family. With plenty of food, and Mother’s picnic tablecloth, off we went to Verdugo Park, Griffith Park, the beach, or the zoo (all free).  When we visited the beach, Dad would get out the umbrella and mother would make tuna fish sandwiches.”After the birth of her seventh child Elaine did not feel well. The doctor’s eventually found extensive cancer and in 1960 she died at the age of 35. Her example of faith and love will always be remembered. She is buried in the Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California.

The time span between Joss Scholl to Elaine Scholl is 350 years.