Celebrating Susanne Fritz Schaefer b. 4 November 1855

Meet my Great Grandmother, Susanne:Susanna Schaefer

Susanne’s mother was Rosina Magdalena König from Grossgartach and her father was Peter Fritz from Dettingen by Urach.  They were not married.  Susanne was born November 5th, 1855.  In about 1843 Rosina married Xaver Fleck of Biberach and they had a daughter named Rosine in 1844.  I’m not sure what happened to Xaver.  I haven’t found him yet.  In 1860 Rosina married Johann Georg Ranger and they had 4 sons.  He died of lung disease when their youngest son was only 5 months old in 1867.  Susanne’s mother lived another 21 years as a widow.  Below is Susanne’s birth entry in Grossgartach in 1855:

Schaefer, Susanne b. 1855 birth entry GGT

Susanne married Christof Wilhelm Schäfer on the 17 May 1880 in Grossgartach.  She was 24 and he was 34 years old.  He was a sculptor who made beautiful monuments and stone carvings.  They lived in the home across the street from the Lorenz Kirche pictured on the postcard below.  Just behind the insert in the bottom corner is a stone water fountain Christof carved.  You can see the top of it in this photo:

Schaefer, Elsa home in GGT

Below is the Schäfer Family Register entry showing their 6 children:  Frieda, Wilhemina (Mina), Wilhelm Carl, Mathilde (Hilde), my Grandma Elsa, and Emma.  Mathilde and Emma died as babies.  I met my Tante Mina and Tante Hilde in 1976 when I stayed in this home in 1976.  That was a delight!

Schaefer, Christof & Susanne Family, Elsa

Susanne did not like having her photo taken.  These are the only 2 photos I have of her living.  I have one more of her in her coffin at her death in 1937.  She and her girls had a handwork shop in their home.  They sold stitchery items and handwork.

Schaefer, Christof Wilhelm & Susanne

Not long ago I was going through a box of linens my Grandma Elsa gave to me.  There were several linen hand towels and some pillowcases and some dowry items.  I enjoyed fingering the monograms on each of my Grandma’s pieces of handwork, with her “E. S.” for Elsa Schäfer.  Then I noticed some stitches in red in the corner of two of the linen towels:  “S. S.”  Susanne Schäfer!”  I was holding 2 pieces of handwork Susanne had embroidered before passing them on to her daughter, Elsa, my Grandma.  I was pretty excited as those old towels turned into a treasure!

I don’t know much about Susanne’s life, other than they were poor and they worked hard.  They raised animals and did their best to support the family with their little shop and Christof’s carvings.  I love knowing Susanne and Elsa did fine hand work.  I also enjoy stitching.  I think someday maybe the three of us will get together and sit and sew and visit about the things that are important to us.  I would look forward to that.

Schaefer, Susanne monogram handwork (2)

Schaefer, Susanne monogram handwork (1)

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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