TSGS Cruiser Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Grampa Claus Died!"

A few years ago, Adele and I were doing some research on our Schmitt lines (my wife and I are second cousins, once removed). We had found a grand father, Nicholas (Claus) Schmitt born in 1691 whom we had become very fond of. It seems that in the records of Schoenau, Alsace - Claus was popping in everywhere on the records. It was almost as if he was sitting on the court house steps to be a witness for any event. As he was a fisherman by trade, we didn't know where he could get the time for this. He would sign his name, Claus, very large and it would stand out in any record. Being easy to look for it was a landmark for us and we got to know a lot of families in the town. We traced Claus through his birth, marriage and the births of his eight children through the years and he was always known to us as grampa Claus. One night at the LDS FHC in Evansville I was looking through some Artolsheim films and Adele was into the Schoenau films in another room. After a while Adele came in to the room I was in and just sat down in the chair next to me looking a little upset. Trying to take in what could be wrong, for a bit, I then asked her what the problem was as I thought maybe the film broke. She then gathered herself, looked me in the eye and said, "Claus died". I thought, "Yeah, right, 300 years ago!" Then I felt it, as she did, and we both felt a loss that night. When searching through, your ancestors can put that kind of feeling into you... then you really are into genealogy.

- Written by Gilbert Schmitt

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