I hope you are all well and enjoying the joys of the Christmas Season.
Have you ever wondered about your “roots”, about your heritage line through the ”Grossens” in Switzerland? I have. I remember, in my youth, going to the Grossen-Brugger reunions held the first Sat. in August. Years past, they were big affairs--well attended. I remember hearing my father and my aunts and uncles tell stories, anecdotes, and Uncle Pete sang songs of the old country. I very fondly remember my Aunt Sue. She acted as family historian and gave out accounts of the family tree I have included these in this packet.
( By the way-- the Grossen -Brugger reunions are still being held.)
In 1959, I had a music study tour to Europe. I had 2 days in Switzerland--a wonderful two days. However, not near our
families' town. I
always wanted to return. I wanted to do
it while my Mom was still living---to look up Dad's relatives. Mom would have remembered the stories that
Dad and the others had told. (I don't, I was very young at those
reunions.) However, time slipped by and I
didn't go. All at once I realized---the
people who knew
the contacts were either fairly old or gone. Time
slipping by. So I went over to Vivian
Starr’s home. They had made a trip in 65
(1 think). She gave me a lot of
I also got four Swiss relatives names and addresses from her. I wrote introductory letters.
Meanwhile, I signed up for a two week
commercial tour of Switzerland, and rented a car to be on
my own a third week. I talked a
teacher friend into going with me.
Finally, I received replies from my letters. I
arrangements to spend three days with relatives
in the Frutigen area. I would have liked
longer--but I was shy. I did not want to
It was a wonderful three days. Everything I saw, everyone I
met, made me proud to say I'm a ”Grossen from Frutigen”. During
Visit , I saw Grandpa Peter Grossen’s
(1844-1923) home, and Grandma Grossen
(Margaritha Ogi (1852-1923) home. Both houses are still being used.
Nice mountain chalets.
I was also given a 10 page genealogy chart which was prepared in 1982 by a high school teacher in Frutigen, Swit. For us it traces our line from 1699 to 1881--when Grandpa .and Grandma Grossen immigrated to America. I was thrilled. I have made copies for you (Grossen von Frutigen Genealogy).
There are some interesting twists in the family tree. As you probably know, our Grandma, Margaritha Ogi, was Peter Grossen' s 2nd wife. Grandpa's first wife--her sister-, Marie Ogi (1850-1873) --- died when she fell of a cliff making hay. They had no children. Grandpa Peter Grossen and Margaritha Ogi had seven children --3 being born in Switzerland (Margaret, Mary, Sue) , and four in America, (Peter, Fred, Will, and Lena).
Grandma's sister, Magdalena Ogi--married Sam Brugger. They also immigrated to Ohio. Hence, the resulting Grossen-Brugger reunions. Another sister, Kate Ogi married Fred Hari. They immigrated to Illinois. In 1947, Dad, Mom & I had a 19 state western USA trip. On the way, we visited the Hari's in Illinois. Another sister married a Sto11er. (I met a couple people from this line when in Switzerland this year)
Another interesting turn in the Grossen line, is the women - Margarita Steiner (1818-1869). She was Grandpa Grossen's mother. (See page 2, 7, 8, in the Swiss genealogy paper). It seems that Margarita Steiner married twice. She had children in both marriages. Her first marriage was to Gilgian Grossen (1781-1849) (She was his 2nd wife). Born to this marriage were three children. Gilgian(1841-1892), Margaritha (1842-?) and Peter (1844-1923) -- our Grandfather (see page 8) . She was 37 years younger than her first husband Gilgian. After his death she became the 2nd wife of Jacob Grossen (l82l-1880), nephew of' her first husband. He too was a widower. ( see page 7). To this marriage were born six children. This is why. in the letters of Grandpa Peter Grossen from America back to Switzerland in-1901, he addresses his ”worthy half brother and sisters, Jacob, Rosina and Sophia.”
The first son of Margarita Steiner's second marriage was Johann Jacob (1856-1921). Johann Jacob's seventh child was Emilie, born 1908, now 77 years old and in very good health. (see page 7). Now we are getting to present day. I met Emilie and her husband Adolf Buschlin who live in Reinesch, a section of Frutigen. They have three chtldren. Edith (1936), Werner (1940) and Dory (1943). Edith, husband Hans, & 17 year son live near Basel. (city people) Werner's family live in the family home. They are mountain farmers who make hay and graze the cattle on the high alp. They will inherit their father's properties. Dory is married to Jurg, a high school teacher. They have 3 children (20/l8/13) , and a love1y suburban chalet in Frutigen. It was Edith who was my main hostess during my 3 day visit. I met many other relatives, but the heritage line is too complicated to out in this letter. They where all warm, open, gracious and very energetic people. People I was proud to call relatives. (I hope they felt the same way about meeting me)
Another very interesting person in our heritage is Maria Lauber (1891-1973), daughter of Grandpa's half sister Rosina. (1859-?). Unfortunately, Maria is no longer living. Vivian Starr got to meet her on her Swiss trip. Maria Lauber was a school teacher, local historian, and author of many books -- some in high German, and some in the local dialect. She is/was a Highly respected intellect in the area. There is a street in the town named after her. I visited her grave in the local cemetery. I bought one of her books.
So, brothers, sister, nieces and nephews; I do hope you will save this material I have prepared for you. Even if you are not interested in family & heritage at this moment -- someday, you or your children might be. If these things are not kept account of the links in the chain will be broken and lost forever. I, unfortunately, have no children. So you are my links from the past, to the future.
With love I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Proud to be a Grossen,
Cordetta Grossen Valthauser (1936)
P.S. Grandpa Peter Grossen's home was in Ried--a mountainside area near Frutigen.
Margaret Ogi' s home was in Kandergrund,
another mountain area near Frutigen.