Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Genealogy - Emma and August Krug

Last evening I stayed the night with my aunt and uncle in Lebanon. They have a lovely home, but better yet, they are the loveliest people. Helen and I visited with my other aunt, Lora, and we signed her out of her nursing home for the afternoon and we fed fish at their pond. Then we took Lora to dinner at Bob Evans and then took her into downtown historical Lebanon (Ohio) for an ice cream. Lora wasn't as confused as I would have thought, and yet, she was surprised I wasn't a little girl anymore, she doesn't remember my mom (her little sister) died, or that I'm married and have children and grandchildren. It's very sad. What was saddest was leaving her. After we took Lora home, Helen gave me a sheaf of pension papers about my great-great grandparents' separation/pension claim back in the 1860s and 1870s. There must have been 100 pages plus about their personal history, some dictated by my grandmother Emma Krug herself. The rest was by people - friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, and doctors - about Emma and my grandfather August. A lot of the information was conflicting. A lot was very sad. The family has always thought that August Krug left Emma and his children - until these documents were found. It turns out that Emma left August. She claimed she was afraid he was going to kill her. She said that he came home sick and mentally disturbed after the Civil War. Things seemed to be fine between them before the Civil War, but then he came home with "piles" (hemorrhoids I think), a "fistula", violent spells, and chronic diahrrea. Some of the depositions said August always seemed sane and pleasant and never drank except for one beer a day "because he was a German and all Germans drink" (huh? What a stereotype!) Others said that August said he saw black and white spirits, that he'd ask them to close the door because someone was following him. A couple said that Emma was intimate with a school principal and hadn't been loyal to August. Others said she was always loyal to August. History seems to be in the eye of the beholder. Even written in plain black and white, it's very confusing and it's difficult to know which side to believe. One thing's certain, we blamed August unfairly all these years. We shouldn't have assumed anything. Their daughter, Lillie Mae Krug, was my great-grandmother, my maternal grandpa's mother. My mom, Mae, was named after Lillie Mae. We have my distant cousin Lisa Cox to thank for finding these pension papers. In fact, she named her children, August and Emma. How special. The most I did was to name my oldest two boys for my husband (one got the middle and one the first name) and my youngest boy got my dad's middle name. I gave my oldest daughter my grandma's older sister's name for her middle name. I was trying to find names that sounded good together and keep them family names - at least the middle name. Anyway, I wish I could find more about my other ancestors. This is the first set I feel I know at all. Not that I wish such turmoil on anyone. I'm definitely going to have to dig into our genealogy again. I get involved in it every few years and when I hit all road blocks, I give up for awhile. Helen and Bill's really good about bringing me back and telling me family stories. Actually, I found Lisa through a genealogy site online when I posted for information about Emma and August Krug. If I found her, I'll hopefully find more relatives. Is anyone else here into genealogy? Have you made any good break throughs?

5 comments:

Shelley Munro said...

I've done a little genealogy but since I started writing I don't hae as much time. I have a couple of convicts in my background who were sent to Australia. Most of my family came from England or Ireland, and of course my husband's family came from Scotland. It's an interesting pasttime, that's for sure!

Shelley Munro said...

Sigh - my fingers went too fast. "I don't have as much time."

DJ Kirkby said...

Hi
All our family history was lost in a house fire, shame.

Ashley Ladd said...

DJ, so sorry. Some of ours was lost in a courthouse fire, too. Check the LDS church's library anyway. It's free, no strings, and they have an amazing wealth stored.

Shelly, that's been my problem lately - my time after the day job goes to writing.

LynTaylor said...

LOL! And here I thought you'd hightailed it over to the Middle East on a whim :D

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