Great-Grandma’s German Books

German was the predominate language spoken by my most of my ancestors.  My grandfather, Fred Kaiser, was born in Chicago, Illinois, however his parents were new immigrants when he was born, and they spoke only German in their home.  My grandfather did not learn English until he went to school.  He often talked about how he was behind in school because he did not know English.  He eventually caught up, but it sure made an impression on him.  I have a couple of books that belonged to his mother, Wilhelmina Kaiser nee Springer, that are written in German.  They are a Gesangbuch fur die Evang. Luth. Kirche[1] (hymnal).  It has her first initial and last name on the front cover (see below). 

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Another book from her is a small book of the New Testament[2] in German.  It was published in 1888 the year she emigrated from Germany, but I don’t know if she brought it with her or not.  She did write in it.  On the one page she wrote: “Mrs Wilhelmina Kaiser geborn Springer Dinkelsburl Bayern born 17 December 1869.  Father Karl Mother Margaret Springer.  October 31 1911.”  On the next page she wrote in German “Immigrating to America in July 1888 and arrived 3 August”  Mina Springer Dinkelsburl.” (see below). 

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Some of the words I cannot read.  If anyone reading this post can read it, I would appreciate your input. 

It’s amazing to me that these books have survived over 100 years, and that I have something written in my great-grandmother’s handwriting.  In her own little way, she was trying to let future generations know who she was, where she came from, who her parents were, and when she came to America.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  topic is Language.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] Philadelpia:  Lutheran Publication Society, Gesangbuch fur die evangelish lutherische kirche.  For sale by German Literary Board, Burlington, Iowa.  Copyright 1902 by the by the Hymnal Book Publishing Committee of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States.

[2] New York: Americansche Bibel-Gesellschaft, Gegrunbet im Jabre 1816, 1888, New Testament.

7 thoughts on “Great-Grandma’s German Books

  1. Gail — I lived in Germany for a few years, many years ago. Although I’m not so good at reading German script, I think the town in Bavaria may be Dinkelsbühl. BTW, I’m going back to Ottawa in August for a memorial service. Left there as a boy in 1949. Visited once briefly in 1963. I wonder if it has changed much.

    On Sun, May 20, 2018 at 3:20 AM Family Tales from Gail wrote:

    > Gail Grunst Genealogy posted: “German was the predominate language spoken > by my most of my ancestors. My grandfather, Fred Kaiser, was born in > Chicago, Illinois, however his parents were new immigrants when he was > born, and they spoke only German in their home. My grandfather did not” > Respond to this post by replying above this line > New post on *Family Tales from Gail* > Great-Grandma’s > German Books > by > Gail Grunst Genealogy > > > German was the predominate language spoken by my most of my ancestors. My > grandfather, Fred Kaiser, was born in Chicago, Illinois, however his > parents were new immigrants when he was born, and they spoke only German in > their home. My grandfather did not learn English until he went to school. > He often talked about how he was behind in school because he did not know > English. He eventually caught up, but it sure made an impression on him. > I have a couple of books that belonged to his mother, Wilhelmina Kaiser nee > Springer, that are written in German. They are a Gesangbuch fur die Evang. > Luth. Kirche[1] > > (hymnal). It has her first initial and last name on the front cover (see > below). > > [image: img008 (2)][image: img009 (2)][image: img010 (2)] > > Another book from her is a small book of the New Testament[2] > > in German. It was published in 1888 the year she emigrated from Germany, > but I don’t know if she brought it with her or not. She did write in it. >

    • Thanks for the correct spelling of Dinkelsbuhl. I think you will find a lot changed since 1949. What remains the same are some of the houses. The one I stayed in as a child has not changed. My ancestor’s houses have been updated. Downtown Ottawa isn’t the vibrate shopping area it was at one time. The parks are about the same. Some of the schools and churches are still there and haven’t really changed. Grocery stores have changed. Out side of town going north on route 23 is a Walmart and other stores which were not there back then. Some fast food places and such are there too. I hope you enjoy your trip back there.

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