Sunday, March 4, 2012

Augusta Florentine Jaensch Piehl, 1858-1906

Augusta is the adult female in the first row in the Piehl family photo above, wearing a dark dress with a white bow. (Picture taken about 1906.) According to the book DESCENDANTS OF GRANDFATHER J. SAMUEL JAENSCH OF OHIO, compiled by Frederick A. Wargowsky (Williston, 1995), Augusta Florentine Jaensch was born in Posen, Germany to J. Samuel and Anna (Piehl) Jaensch on January 15, 1858. The 1900 U.S. Census indicates that Augusta emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1880. Ottawa County Marriage Records, available at the Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950 Collection at Family Search list the marriage date of Augusta Piehl to Gotthold Ferdinand Piehl as December 12, 1880. The marriage was performed by Rev. J. Bauch, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Oak Harbor, Ottawa County, Ohio.

Augusta and Ferdinand had a large family of eight daughters and nine sons. Further details about Ferdinand Piehl are found in DESCENDANTS OF GRANDFATHER J. SAMUEL JAENSCH OF OHIO. Ferdinand, who also came to the U.S. in 1880, cleared land in Ottawa County, Ohio, north of Oak Harbor. He built a log house on the land, and worked as a farmer. Ferdinand spoke only German. Little is known about his wife Augusta, who is my great great grandmother. Knowing that she came from Germany, and lived in a log cabin, I can guess that she worked very hard, helping on the farm, cooking meals, canning food, and raising her nine children. She probably faced many challenges in adapting to her new home, with an unfamiliar culture and language.

On May 22, 1906, Augusta and Ferdinand lost their teenage daughter Amanda to diphtheria. Later that same year, on December 13, 1906, Augusta Florentine Jaensch Piehl passed away. Her cause of death was listed as "dropsy of chest." Augusta was only 48 years of age. Dying so young, she did not live to see several of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I truly believe that the fruits of Augusta's labors resulted in her daughters' excellent homemaking skills, and their ability to also run a household in an efficient manner. Augusta was buried in the Piehl family lot in the Union Cemetery in Salem Township,Ottawa County, Ohio. She was a true pioneer woman. I only wish I had asked my Great Grandma, Lena Piehl Yeager, more about her beloved mother.

Note: This blog post was written for the 116th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Many of the facts and images which appear in this posting have appeared in previous articles at the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay.


Nancy said...

What a hard life our pioneer ancestors must have had (even though they had no way to compare it to the lives we live). It's amazing that she had 17 children! I can't begin to imagine.... The photograph you have of her and her family is beautiful.

Dorene from Ohio said...

Thanks for your kind words Nancy! I wish I could have learned more about her when her daughter was still living!

Joan said...

Dorene, enjoyed the story of your Augusta. My great grandmother Adeline's parents came from Germany about the same time (1880s) and they never were at home speaking English -- and only German was spoken at home. Was that so, with Augusta and her family? Thanks for a great story of a strong woman living in a new land with all of its hardships.

Dorene from Ohio said...

Well, I know that Ferdinand spoke only German, but I am not so sure about Augusta. I am guessing that maybe she picked up some English as the children went off to school. I wish I knew more about their everyday life!