Wieser Family Notes version 2.2  

NOTE - Version 3 will be hopefully be uploaded Spring of 08.  The new version will included much more material on more recent generations.

This is an ongoing research project, whose depth has changed as I learn to read the German script and understand more Latin terms, and discover new sources for information. I freely admit to many inconsistencies in the format of the text. This came about because my original document is no longer on my computer and I didn't want to retype the entire thing.  My sources are available, on request, for every statement of fact.  There are many books available on the 1848 "rebellion" in Germany.

The material comes from a variety of sources, especially a typewritten unpublished biography of her mother written by Ann E. Irmen - daughter of Frances Wieser and granddaughter of Anton Wieser and Elizabeth Winter with corrections and additions from the Parish Registers of Volkertshausen and Eigeltingen, Baden, Germany, the Federal Census of Iowa - 1860-1920., Andrew Weiser's (sic) Civil War pension files, and the county records of Buchanan and Dubuque Counties, Iowa.

I have followed standard genealogical abbreviations and conventions about place names and family trees. The place of an event is always given as the town or village first, followed by the county then the state, then the nation if other than the US. Last names are always capitalized and a woman is referred to by her maiden name for most genealogical purposes. Dates are always day month, year, when known.

I have additional information about the Wieser, and many wives's lines, especially the Winters, the Mathias Grafs and the Christian Grafs. If anyone is interested, please contact me.

Table of contents

    * The first generation - Hans Wiser and Anna Schlosser
    * The second generation - Nichoaus Wiser
    * The third generation - Antonius Wiser the first
    * The fourth generation - Another Antonius Wieser
    * The fifth generation - Jacob Christopher
    * The sixth generation - Antonius Wieser and Elizabeth Winter
    * The seventh generation - Vincent, Andrew, Martin, Frances and Theodore
    * The eight, ninth and tenth generations

Wieser Documents

The first generation on record Hans Wiser and Anna Schlosser -

On the 26th of November 1663, a metal smith by the name of Johannes (Hans) WISER married Anna SCHLOSSER in a little village called Volkertshausen near the Swiss border in the Aggravate of Baden-Baden. He came from the even smaller community of Aach, 4 kilometers to the north. Both towns are located in a lovely mountainous region near Lake Constance (also called Badensee.) Volkertshausen is on a small river called the Aachquelle - called the Aach in Ann Irmen's memoir.

"...I remember my mother telling me that people would come to the Watering Place {a nearby spa} for their health. A stream of cool, pure, crystal water ran through their land where many beautifully color trout swam leisurely. This stream was called "The Aach." The boys would lie immobile on the foot bridge (a plank) hands dangling in the water and, in this way, catch trout with their hands." [from the memoir compiled by Ann E. Irmen]

When Hans Wiser died or was buried on the 5th of January 1670, of cailor (or heat/fever), he left 2 young children, a daughter Agnes who was five years old and a small son Nicholas who hadn't turned 2.  His oldest son Mathias had preceded him in death at the age of 2 months. His wife Anna never remarried and lived until 12 October 1712. His burial entry in the Volkertshausen parish register identifies him as "Faber, progeranit cisea rosam decimanus" This can be partially translated as "smith, founder of his family [and perhaps] tithing parishioner."

Johannes (Hans) Wiser was born during the 30 Years War, perhaps the most devastating conflict in European history. If the marriage to Anna Schlosser was his first, he was most likely born/baptized c. 1636, at the height of the war and lived his first 12 years in war's shadow. He would probably have seen half of the population of his village die from war and war related disease. We know that more than half the dwellings in Baden were destroyed by marauding armies during the war. If he had siblings the majority of them would not have lived to be adults and of those that survived fewer than half would have married and had children. Southwestern Germany practiced a system of called partible inheritance, where the land and other inheritable property were divided equally among all the children. As a result many farms were too small to support a family, forcing young men to become laborers, unable to marry since they could not support a family. Johannes was lucky in that he had a well respected trade. Perhaps he moved to a larger village to work for a master smith. The stability of income would have enabled him to marry and start a family.

Johannes (called Hans) WISER born/baptized circa 1636 in Aach, Baden, Germany; died/buried 5 January 1670 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany;
married 26 November 1663 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany.

Anna SCHLOSSER born/baptized circa 1640 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died/buried 12 October 1712, in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany

  Agnes - born/baptized 11 January 1665; married 1st 1689, 2nd 1693; died/buried 21 March 1693.
  Mathias - born/baptized 24 February 1667, died/buried 29 April 1667.
  Nicolaus - born/baptized 3 September 1668: married 7 January 1692; died/buried 21 July 1718.

Wifely notes - Johannes Wiser married well, his wife's maiden name Schlosser is an indication that she was descended from an upper servant of a local aristocrat. A Schlosser is a castle steward or warder.

The second generation - Nicholaus Wiser

Nicolaus Wiser, the only known surviving son of Johannes Wiser, fathered 14 children with two wives. He married for the first time at age 23, quite young by the standards of his era and lived to the ripe old age of 50. He left his second wife with 5 children under the age of 10. In his burial entry in the parish register he is referred to as a pious man. No occupation or other information is given, however we may assume from his young first marriage that he was reasonably well to do. A man without land or business to support a family often had to wait until he was in his 30's to marry, if he married at all.

Nicolaus WISER born/baptized 3 September 1668 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died/buried 21 July 1718 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany
married first 7 January 1692 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany.

Sabina MAIER born/baptized unknown; died/buried 11 June 1710, Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany.

Anna Maria - born/baptized 29 August 1693; died/buried 14 September 1693.
Unnamed infant - born/baptized August 1696 stillborn.
Nicolaus - born/baptized 6 September 1697; died young.
Joseph - born/baptized 19 March 1699; died young.
Ursula - born/baptized 23 October 1700; died young.
Catherina - born/baptized 18 November 1702; died young.
Anton - born/baptized 9 September 1704; died/buried 29 April 1739. see sketch.
Juliana - born/baptized 20 February 1706; married to a WEDEMANN; died/buried 21 May 1768.
Laurentius - born/baptized 20 September 1707; died young.
Maria Regina - born/baptized 6 October 1708; died young.

married second 23 November 1710 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany
Magdalena BRENNER born/baptized unknown; died/buried 22 February 1729.

Magdalena - born/baptized 4 October 1711; died young.
Johann - born/baptized 9 June 1713; died/buried before 1717.
Thomas - born/baptized 12 August 1714; married 24 September 1741 to Johanna SCHEDLER; died/buried 23 October 1794.
Johann - born/baptized 5 July 1717; died young.

Wifely notes - Maier is a very prominent name in Volkertshausen and in the nearby village of Eigeltingen. Sabina's parents have yet to be uncovered, but I suspect that she came from Eigeltingen as I have thoroughly researched the Volkertshausen Maiers.

Maier was a term for a well-off farmer who farmed a full portion or 2 hectares. The average Maier employed a couple of house servants and a farm hand or two and was certainly in the middle to upper middle class in their village.

The third generation - Antonius Wiser the first

Antonius Wiser is the first of three men by that name in this Wieser family history. He also married young, age 23. But he died young as well at age 35. He was particularly fortunate in his family as 4 of his 5 children lived into adulthood and all of the sons - 3.married and had children. Although Anton left very little record in the parish registers he must have been a man of some substance, whose wife and young children were well provided for at his death.

Antonius Wiser (called Anton) born/baptized 9 September, 1704 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died/buried 29 April 1739 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany;
married 22 February 1727 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany.

Maria Anna LANG was born/baptized 24 September 1708 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany. She married second 20 July 1739 Martin RENTINGER; married third in1742 Bernard WIDEMANN; died/buried 3 September 1782 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany.

Justina - born/baptized 26 September 1728, died young.
Fidelius* - born/baptized 17 May 1730; married date unknown; had issue; no further information at this time. see below.
Eleanora - born/baptized 10 January 1732; never married but had 1 illegitimate son; died/buried after 1780.
Anton - born/baptized 22 May 1734; married 1763; died/buried 2 December 1796. see sketch
Pelagius - born/baptized 28 [???] 1738; married date unknown; had issue; no further information at this time.

Wifely Notes - Maria Anna Lang is the first Wieser wife for whom we are sure of her parents. She was the oldest child of Johann Lang and Magdalena ROTHAKER, a farmer in Volkertshausen whose family is traceable in the parish registers since 1630.

A wife in 18th century Germany was an economic asset. She was responsible for the care and feeding of the entire household, including any boarders or apprentices.  She made all the clothing for the household, often spinning her own thread and cloth and she grew all the food except for the rare beef or pork. If her husband was a farmer she was expected to help in the fields during planting and harvest, especially harvest, and if he was a tradesman she helped with his business from time to time.

*Fidelius WIESER had 6 children, 5 of whom were boys. His oldest son Pelagius had 8 children only 3 of whom lived into adulthood.  His youngest surviving son Magnus WIESER (born/baptized 6 September 1794) immigrated to America in 1815. No further trace of this first family immigrant has yet been found.

The fourth generation - another Antonius

Antonius Wieser (the first generation to spell his name this way at least part of the time), appears to have been the victim of a change in inheritance laws that happened around the time of his father's death. In an attempt to prevent farms from becoming too small to support families, the Margrave of Baden-Baden changed the inheritance laws preventing the dividing of property equally among all children. As a result, Fidelius, Anton's oldest surviving brother probably inherited whatever farm or business their father owned.  Anton was forced to work as a day laborer, in other words he worked for a wage instead of on his own farm or business. He doesn't appear to have been apprenticed, but instead became a cottage and laborer in the increasing "cash" economy of the times. Fortunately, economic times were good and he was eventually able to marry and raise a family. He married well (carrying on the family tradition) choosing as his first wife, a young widow who was the village midwife.  Anton's burial register notes that he was "citizen of the village and a day laborer of good repute," a high complement in a time where most day laborers were viewed as little more than vagabonds and thieves. Not every inhabitant of a village was a citizen. This was a designation that conferred specific rights and privileges and usually was an indication of economic status.

Antonius WIESER born/baptized 23 May 1734 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died/buried 2 December 1796 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany;
married first 1 [???] 1763 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany.

Verena STAEFFER born/baptized 28 October [?] 1738 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died/buried 8 May 1772 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany.

Lorenz - born/baptized 9 August 1764; died young.
Johan Evangelist - born/baptized 25 September 1766; died/buried 3 June 1781; never married.
Thomas - born/baptized 12 December 1768; married date unknown; had issue; no further information at this time.
Ignatius Episcus - 1 February 1771; no further information at this time.

married second 20 July 1772 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany

Cecilia SCHLOSSER born/baptized date unknown; died/buried date unknown
Petrus Paulus - born/baptized 19 July 1774; married date unknown; had issue; no further information at this time.
Jacobus Christoph - born/baptized 24 July 1776; married before 1802; died/buried 1848/9. see sketch.
Eleanora - born/baptized 20 February 1788; died/buried 29 November 1788.
Maria Idda - born/baptized 30 October 1782; died/buried young.

Wifely Notes - In Verena Staeffer's parish burial register she is noted as "obstetrix studisosissima" or the "learned midwife.  She was the daughter of Phillipp Steffer and Ursula SCHEDLER.  Ursula was a cousin of Anton's mother. Anton's second wife Cecilia Schlosser was a distant cousin. She was the youngest daughter of Mathias Schlosser and Catherina FORSTER.

The fifth generation - Jacob Christopher father of the immigrant

Of Jacob Christopher Wieser, we know very little. He fathered 9 children and lost 2 of them in infancy. He married fairly young, before age 26 and died/ very late, at age 73, in either 1848 or 1849.

In 1848 Baden became the nerve center of a middle class rebellion in Germany. I suspect that this rebellion had a great deal to do with Jacob's death and the subsequent immigration of his oldest son Anton.  The educated, moralistic and liberal middle class demanded certain "rights" that were enshrined in a written constitution. Among their goals was the unification of Germany under an elected parliament. They were very naive. The general population supported this rebellion and it seemed as if radical change was about to take place in Germany society. However, the Prussian King Frederick William took military action in mid 1848, sending in his troops at the invitation of his fellow rulers. (I am obviously simplifying greatly) Baden was the last stronghold of the rebels and the Prussian troops were fairly ruthless. When all the shooting died down Germany as a whole, had become a much more conservative region. The surviving 48ers as they were called, immigrated by the thousands to America. Some estimates place the total immigration from Baden at around 30,000. The peak years for this immigration were from 1850-1855. These immigrants usually were better educated and more politically active than the average immigrant. They came primarily to Wisconsin and Iowa. I am not stating that Jacob Christopher Wieser was a casualty of the 1848 rebellion, but the timing and uncertainty around his death, his son's family's immigration and the high level of education in the family that came to America are very suggestive. I will keep researching in this area.

Jacobus Christoph WIESER born/baptized 24 July 1776 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died 1848/1849, place unknown.
married before 1802, exact date unknown, place unknown

Maria Ursula LAUFFLE born/baptized 23 [?] 1778 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died/ buried June 1860 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany

Franciscus Antonius - born/baptized 6 November 1803; married 17 September 1834; died/buried 1 November 1890. see sketch
Maria - born/baptized 4 February 1805; no further information at this time.
Remigus - born/baptized 20 September 1806; died/buried before 1814.
Carolina - born/baptized 22 May 1808; died/buried before 1818.
Veronika/Veronica - born/baptized 1 February 1809; married c. 1831 Joseph LATTNER; died/buried date unknown but in America.
Benedictus - born/baptized 14 March 1812; married date unknown left issue; no further information at this time.
Remigus - born/baptized 24 March 1814; no further information at this time.
Carolina - born/baptized 24 February 1818; no further information at this time.
Agnes - born/baptized 21 January 1822; no further information at this time.

Wifely Notes - Maria Ursula Lauffle, daughter of Benedict Lauffle and Caterina ABBULL, came from a family that had been in Volkertshausen from the beginning of parish record keeping. Her father's family descends from the first marriage recorded in the marriage register, in 1630. Her mother however is a mysterious woman. There are no other families with the last name of Abbull.  It doesn't even really sound German. And there is no record of Catherine's birth, marriage or death in the parish register. It is possible that she was of French Swiss Descent and met her future husband during a trip across Lake Constance which is all that separates Baden from the Canton of Bern.

The sixth generation - The immigrants

Franciscus Antonius (known as Franz Anton or Anthony) Wieser born/baptized 6 November 1803 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany; died/buried 1 November 1890 in Buchanan Co, Iowa, buried St. John's Cemetery, plat 3 block 10 lot 2, Independence, Buchanan, Iowa;

married 17 September 1833 in Volkertshausen, Baden, Germany

Elizabetha WINTER (known as Elizabeth) born/baptized 29 October 1807 in Eigeltingen, Baden, Germany, died/buried 15 September 1887 in Buchanan, Iowa, buried St. John's Cemetery, plat 3, block 10, lot 2, Independence, Buchanan, Iowa

Simon - born/baptized 28 October 1835; died 8 September 1839 - age 4.
Vincent Farrar - born/baptized 31 March 1837; married 26 November 1866; died/buried 13 January 1916.
Andreas/Andrew - born/baptized 23 November 1838; married 26 November 1866; died/buried 3 March 1917.
Matilda - born/baptized 13 March 1841; died/buried 30 March 1852 - age 11.
Martin - born/baptized 11 November 1842; married date unknown; died/buried 26 November 1926.
Franciska/Francis - born/baptized 9 August 1847; married date unknown; died/buried 12 April 1939.
Theodore - born/baptized 5 November; married date unknown; died/buried 11 January 1936.

"On New Year's, when Matilda was about 9 years old, while her parents were attending church, she was putting wood in a cook stove and her clothing caught fire. She ran from the house screaming. A passer-by rolled her in the snow and extinguished the blaze but the skin was completely burned from her body. She lived in agonizing torture for about 7 weeks.  The only relief she had was to saturate her body with melted lard and cover her with soft clothes." [Ann E. Irmen memoir]

Wifely notes - Elizabeth was the youngest known daughter of Andreas Winter and Rosa MAYER. She is the only one of her 5 siblings to have married and the only to survive past age 20. Elizabeth's mother Rosa was born/baptized in Volkertshausen and was probably a relative of Sabina Maier. Rosa Mayer's grandmother was Francisca Schlosser, older sister of Cecilia Schlosser. This makes Elizabeth and Anton double cousins.

Anton and Elizabeth and their 5 remaining children came to New York aboard the sailing ship "Red Rover", which arrived in harbor on the 3 January 1857. According to family tradition, they sold all their belongings and went to Hamburg where they were obliged to stay for a year before they could get passage to America. The ships' manifest lists their point of embarkation as Le Harve, France. However it is possible that they actually boarded the ship in Hamburg and Le Harve was the ship's last European port of call. On the other hand a large number of Germans were immigrating via Le Harve at this point in history.

Family tradition appears to be weakest in the area of Anton and Elizabeth's immigration. For example, Ann Irmen states that the family left Baden to avoid the military draft. But there was no draft in Baden at this time. In fact Baden and most of the German states were at peace. The only military conflict in recent history (at least on a large scale) was the suppression of the 1848 rebellion as I discussed above.

"They came over in an American sailing ship, the voyage taking over 7 weeks.  They lost their course once, and at one time found that they were going back towards Germany. There were several storms and the trunks and other baggage rolled from one side of the ship to the other, until they were tied down. At that time it was compulsory that a certain amount of food, bedding, etc. for each member of the family be brought to the ship.  They brought vegetables, smoked meat, etc.  The meat was stored in the ship's "cellar" and they didn't get one bit of meat the entire voyage. There was a huge community cook stove on which each family, or a few joined together, cooked their own meals and there was only a certain amount of time allowed to cook. One day my grandmother [Elizabeth] was cooking their meager meatless meal (she was always the last as she was timid and afraid) a deck hand threw a bucket of water in the fire causing filth and ashes to settle on her dinner.  They did not eat that day.  When they reached New York and asked for their food and bedding they were told to come back later.  They did this but the reply was always the same.  They were practically destitute. However, they were not cheated as to money. The father [Anthony] and the oldest sons had studied all about American money and knew how much to get in change." [Ann E. IRMEN memoir]

Elusive relatives in America - the Lattners

The Wiesers had relatives in America who they were trying to reach. Anton's sister, Veronica Wieser (born/baptized 4 February 1810, Baden, Germany) and her husband Joseph LATTNER (born/baptized 4 February 1803, Baden, Germany; married circa 1831, Baden, Germany; died/buried 1852, Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio) had immigrated in 1847 with their three sons:

Paul  - born/baptized 29 June 1832, Baden, Germany; married Amanda Lesher, 5 November 1857, Buchanan County, IA.
Jacob - born/baptized 25 July 1833, Baden, Germany.
Wendlin - called Van, born/baptized 20 November 1834, Baden, Germany.

The Lattners had originally located in Port Jarvis, NY, where Joseph was a contractor employed on the construction of the New York and Erie Railroad. In 1850 they moved to Zanesville, Ohio where Joseph and his sons were employed as contractors on the Lake Shore Railroad. Between 1853 and 1855 Paul and Jacob Lattner signed Declarations of Intent, the first step in becoming U.S. citizens in Warren County, Indiana. In 1860 the three brothers were working on a railroad running from Dubuque, Iowa to Independence, Iowa, when the primary contractor went broke and paid the brothers in land. The brothers laid out a town called Lattnerville, which no longer exists - perhaps it was near Graf, Iowa, in any event it was close enough to Dubuque for the Irmens and some of the Wiesers to picnic at the site in 1922.

"From New York they traveled to Williamsport, [Warren Co.,] IN where, by previous arrangement, they were to meet the Lattners who had "moved on." The family stayed long enough to earn money for clothing and to move on.  The men cut ice on the Wabash River - the father [Anthony] and Vincent each received a man 'spay while Andrew and Martin received, together, one man's pay although they did more than 2 men would do.  They moved into an abandoned house, a  dark, long, ghostly monstrosity a full 3 stories high. It was a horrible object perched on the very edge of the bank of the Wabash, looking as if at the first breathe it would topple into the river.  There were two old stoves in the building, for which they were grateful....But for the poor but kind neighbors they would have frozen and starved.  They allowed the men to cut wood for heat and cooking and brought plain food to them often.  Fever and Ague eventually forced them to move on.  Wherever they asked it was always the same: the Lattners? Oh they moved to about X weeks ago. The family, to save bridge toll, walked from Dunleith [East Dubuque today] to Dubuque on the ice across the Mississippi, the two men carrying Frances and Theodore on their backs.  They kept going until they reached a place they thought would be their home and where they were to find the Lattners. But the neighbors said the Lattners had gone back to Dubuque.  The men worked awhile and then they went back to Dubuque County. [from Ann Irmen memoir]??

The Wiesers and the Lattners finally connected in Lattnerville around 1860 and lived together for a time while the Wiesers earned money to purchase a farm. Although family tradition refers to "the homestead" I do not believe they actually homesteaded in accordance with the 1862 homestead laws. The references to earning money and the size of the family farm would indicate a real estate purchase, although probably a purchase from the federal government. I am investigating land records in Buchanan County. Anthony and Vincent signed Declaration of Intent Certificates on 2 October 1860 in Dubuque Co. Court. If they followed through on their declarations this would have automatically made Elizabeth, Andrew, Martin, Frances and Theodore citizens of the U.S.

"The men cut and hauled wood to save enough to move back to Buchanan County which they did [before 1866 when Vincent and Andrew married]...A little later they moved back to "the prairie " as they called it, apiece of land, 40 acres I think. There they planned to settle.  There were 3 small hills and they chose the highest to t build their humble home and this was the home where the grandparents [Anthony and Elizabeth] died/buried.  The trading post was Epworth.  They went "to town" and elsewhere via oxen, as they also farmed... They ground their own corn for cornbread and cornmeal. One reason the mill at Otterville was seldom in use as the water was too low, also they had no money to pay the charges. The coarse meal caused all to have hemorrhoids. No wonder. They ground the corn in an ordinary coffee grinder. "[Ann E. IRMEN memoir]

The seventh generation - Growing up, getting married, raising families in America

2. Vincent Farrar - oldest surviving son - born/baptized 31 March 1837; died/buried 13 January 1916.
married Mary GATES/GOETZ, 26 November 1866; died 1956 age 90 in Dallas, TX buried Hico, Hamilton Co., TX.

"Vincent was a born businessman and all went to him for advice. So much so the other children really felt belittled....after his marriage he lived in Otterville, a place with one or two houses. There was a run-down mill and a stream. He became a miller. However he realized there was little future and wanted to expand. About this time, I am vague about this, Joseph, his eldest child went to Hico, Texas, I never knew the reason but he became desperately ill and his parents were summoned. Vincent noted there was a mill, not prospering and with his experience, knew it was his golden opportunity. Made all arrangements, came back to Iowa, gathered his family together and came back to Hico where he established a cotton gin, flour mill, ice company, etc. He built the town. He really prospered. Many years after he left Germany he made a return trip to his old home. He had written some official, who, with almost the entire town met him at the depot. He had founded so many industries in Hico, and was president of most of them. He handed cards out to the group. It cost him plenty, he said but, I feel it was worth it.  The poor boy returned home a rich important man. "[Ann E. IRMEN memoir]

2.1  Clara E. - born/baptized 30 September 1867; died/buried 22 September 1868
2.2  Joseph F. - born/baptized circa 1869; married Agnes CASEY no further information at this time
2.3  Henry M. - born/baptized circa 1873; no further information at this time
2.4  Frances (became Sister Ursula) born/baptized circa 1875; no further information at this time
2.5  Frank - born/baptized circa 1877; no further information at this time
2.6  Antonette (called Netti) - born/baptized circa 1879; no further information at this time
2.7  Anna - born/baptized after 1880; no further information at this time
2.8  Mary - born/baptized after 1880; no further information at this time
2.9  Ida-born/baptized after 1880; no further information at this time
2.10  Matilda - called Tillie.- born/baptized after 1880; no further information at this time

3. Andreas/Andrew - born/baptized 23 November 1838; died/buried 3 March 1917.
married Mary Ann GRAF - 26 November 1866; buried in Dubuque, Dubuque County, IA. Mary Ann Graf (born/baptized 1847 Canton Bern, Switzerland; died/buried 16 June 1886) is buried in St. John's Cemetery, plat 3 block 5, lot 1 (next to her son Christian), Independence, Buchanan Co., I A.  Mary Ann Graf was born in Canton Bern, Switzerland, the daughter of Christian Graf and Mary PRISI. Christian Graf was the founder of Graf, IA. The Graf family immigrated in 1854.  The Graf and Lattner families also intermarried.

"Andrew worked like a slave. Said he would rather work than a profession or trade. He always felt pushed back. Had a good education and a sad life. One day Andrew was missing He had run away to war [1864.] He didn 't want to say "good-bye " to his mother but it almost broke her heart. During the Civil War if a man was drafted and did not want to go he could buy a substitute. Andrew was a substitute and received $50 which he sent back to his mother... He was what they called "100 day man. " He came home uninjured but not well [he later applied for and received a disabled veterans pension] He was an educated man, musical, loved to come to our house (this was after he moved to Dubuque) and sing with me on the piano. " [Ann E. Irmen memoir]

According to his Civil War disabled veterans pension application file, Andrew enrolled as a private in Company E 44th Iowa Infantry on 10 May 1864 in Davenport, I A. He was listed as 5 feet 11 inches with a light complexion, black hair and black eyes. He was honorably discharged at Davenport on 15 September 1864 having served his enlistment. When he applied for his pension, on 4 August 1890, he declared that he was permanently disabled with a rupture of the right side and rheumatism acquired during the war. Andrew, an educated and literate man signed his pension application as Andrew Weiser and is consistently referred to within the affidavits as Weiser. His brother V.F. signed an affidavit in the same file as Vincent Wieser.

3.1  Minne - born/baptized 23 October 1867; married William MCDONOUGH no further information

3.2  Emma - born/baptized 31 May 1869; married David LATTNER (her second cousin) no further information
    3.2.1 Wilfred
    3.2.2 Walter
    3.2.3 Rita

3.3  Amanda - born/baptized 20 December 1870; married Casper TRUOG no further information
    3.3.1 Andrew
    3.3.2 Ursula
    3.3.2 Roy

3.4  Lucy - born/baptized 9 March 1873; died/buried 9 March 1915 .

3.5  Elizabeth - born/baptized 26 February 1875; married Sam YOUNG no further information
    3.5.1 Vera
    3.5.2 Andrew
    3.5.3 Cletus
    3.5.4 Joseph
    3.5.5 Sam Jr.
    3.5.6 Mary
    3.5.7 unnamed infant

3.6  Veronica (a twin, known as Fanny) born/baptized 15 April 1877; married Barney MCPOLAND; no further information
    3.6.1 Lucille
    3.6.2 Clifford
    3.6.3 Donald
    3.6.4 Kathleen
    3.6.5 Arabelle  (a twin)
    3.6.6 Bernice - twin.
3.7  Christian (a twin) born/baptized 15 April 1877; died/buried 8 December 1879. (an accidental shooting.)

3.8  John Andrew born/baptized 11 March 1880; married Hannah BURKHARD date unknown; died/buried 11 August 1965 - buried Dubuque, IA.
    3.9.1    Marie
    3.9.2    Lester
    3.9.3    Charlotte
    3.9.4    Andrew

married Mary Teresa GRAF 30 October 1918,
    3.9.5    twin sons - still born.
    3.9.6    Kenneth
    3.9.7  Eugene
    3.9.8    John Joseph - known as Jay.
    3.9.9    Robert

married Leona DESOTEL date unknown,
    3.9.10 James

3.10 Clara - born/baptized 29 January 1882; married Frank FIRZLAFF date unknown; died/buried before 9 March 1915
    3.10.1. son

3.11  unknown infant son birth order unsure.

4. Martin - born/baptized 11 November 1842; died/buried 26 November 1926.
married Barbara IEKEL, date unknown, Independence; buried Independence, Buchanan Co., Iowa, St. John's Cemetery, plat 5, block 2, lot 3.

"Martin was a hard worker, had a good education as they all did, noted for being a "talker," but kind and generous. He had a sad life. ..I remember the family only after they lived in a small shack near the homestead, a small run down farm. He ran a milk route, finally gave up and came to Dubuque. His wife Barbara IEKEL died many years before, I think about 1903 or around that time....I think all of the children had early schooling in a small rock house. Later they attended the schoolhouse which was situated a short distance from their homestead - this school was also attended by the children of Andrew, Martin and Theodore. My mother told me of an incident - there was a male teacher, in which school I do not know. He was always uneasy as he knew the older boys were more advanced than he. One day, spelling class, he pronounced the word "Chicago" but pronounced it "Ki-ca-Go." Martin, with a straight face, pronounced it correctly, spelled it correctly the again pronounced it correctly.  The poor teacher got red to his ankles. He was not re-hired." [Ann E. Irmen memoir]

4.1  Mary E - born June 1878; married John WEEPIE; no further information at this time.
4.2  Anthony C. - born May 1889; married Anna WEBER; died/buried 6 July 1959; no further information at this time.
4.3  Gertrude A - born March 1882; married Leo GLOVIK; no further information at this time.
4.4  Rose - born April 1885; never married; no further information at this time.
4.5  Charles - born April 1887; married Kroma (not sure if first or last name) no further information at this time.

6.  Franciska/Francis - born/baptized 9 August 1847; died/buried 12 April 1939.
married Mattias IRMEN, no further information at this time at this time.

"Even though she was my own mother I do not know where they located after her marriage. At one time they lived in Waterloo but that was not good. My dad was no farmer, was a wizard as far as education but could not stand being laughed at when could not express himself in the English language, although he could read and could get more out of a book than most as he would never skip a word without knowing the meaning. My mother was a dear kind soul. Frances like the boys was a reader, had a nice voice, and she and her mother would sing duets. Later she had a 10 cent mouth organ, she could play with one hand and teach boys and girls to dance by leading them with the other hand.  They eventually moved to Independence where my brother and myself were born/baptized... At that time it was unthinkable not to have barrels willed with rainwater to wash one's hair and the weekly wash. By the way, the Wieser family was the only one for miles around who did a weekly washing. Others washed once perhaps twice a winter. Each member of the family had a barrel of their own a short way from the house. One night Frances decided to take a barrel bath, ran down the slope in her night gown, crawled in the barrel via the stepping stone, splashed around, and suddenly heard an unusual noise in the grove near. She got scared.  Tried to climb out of the barrel but was too scared to make headway, finally rocked back and forth until the barrel fell over covering her with water. She grabbed her nightie, ran to the house and that was her last barrel bath alone." [Ann E. Irmen memoir]

6.1  Matilda (known as Tillie) no further information at this time.
6.2  Oscar - born ?; married Jennifer MAUER; no further information at this time.
6.3  Ann E. - born ? ; married [?] GALLAGHER; no further information at this time.
6.3.1 Norman
6.4  Mary - born ?; married [?] FERNCA; date unknown; no further information.
    two children names and sexes unknown.

7. Theodore - born/baptized 5 November; died/buried 11 January 1936.
married Clara GATES/GOETZ November 1879; buried Dubuque.

"Theodore should never have been a farmer.  They called him the "tinkerer." At times they said he tinkered more than he worked. He was a born/baptized inventor. On this non-irrigated land of 40 acres were numerous streams and in these streams were dozens of little windmill, all water driven and made by Theodore. He had a deplorable accident in his very young days. Martin was turning the corn shredder when Theodore put his hand in the spout and it was caught and mangled. He was taken to the doctor at once, who, at first, tried to separate and form the fingers, then bandaged the hand all together. At the appointed time they took him to the doctor again. He had hopes he could separate the fingers and started to cur downward. On the second cut his knife slipped and cut way down. He fainted away, as did (almost) the father [Anthony], who then said "bind it up as it is." This accident, however, did not daunt Theodore. He did not need rehabilitation. He never complained, never used his handicap as an alibi. He took advantage of every possible thing to become useful. He was an excellent carpenter, learned to play the accordion and played for house parties and barn dances. His hobby was going to auctions. He could "jew" them down, he used to say to almost nothing. I should say "bid" them down. At that time they served lunches, usually a hunk of bologna, crackers, etc. He would be one of the first with perhaps shirt sleeves, old coat on one side, get his lunch, then join the tail end of the line with coat and hat, just to see if he could get another lunch." [Ann E. IRMEN memoir]

When Theodore and Clara celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Dubuque in 1929 there was a photo and small write up in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.

7.1  Leo V. - born/baptized March 1882; no further information at this time.
7.2  Henry - born/baptized October 1882; no further information at this time.
7.3  Louise - born/baptized October 1887; married Joseph MCDONOUGH, date unknown; no information at this time.
7.4  Joseph - born/baptized March 1890; no further information at this time.
7.5  Agnes - born/baptized June 1896; married Hugh BRYD, date unknown; no further information at this time.
7.6  Angeline C. (called Angie)- born/baptized April 1892; married Joseph TRUMM, date unknown; no further information at this time.
7.7  Emma - born/baptized before 1900; married ? Stoffel, date unknown; no further information at this time.

The eighth, ninth and tenth generations

Currently under construction. Now the children of John Andrew Wieser have all passed on and the grandchildren, great grandchildren and great grandchildren are growing up scattered across the United States.  Periodically one of them returns to Germany and visits the lovely village where the family began.

Copyright (C) 2006-2007. All rights reserved. Wednesday, March 12, 2008www.mcwieser.info - Heather McLeland-Wieser webmaster