Part of the fun was the WHO part of it: Tom, Glenn, Bev, Gary, Bob and me. Bob is a descendant of Johannes Janson, the cousin and traveling companion of Josef Janson on their trip to America in 1883. He first emailed about the ship our two families arrived on, the Zeeland. That was December 2014. So, how does he connect specifically? His mom was Bette, the daughter of Sophie (Janson) and Nick Daniel. Sophie, of course, was Johannes & Marie's daughter.
(The rest of us at the meeting were descendants of Joseph's via Sebastian and Anton, but you knew that, right?)
Now, Larry and I've found a few dubious stories over the years we've been researching the family, but usually there's something true in a story, even if it's not the WHOLE truth. However, it sounds like mom's story of 4 adults and 10 kids leaving by night in a rowboat was only true in that they did leave Germany together.
According to Bob's research, they left by...train.
Still, I think I heard the story once, not over and over. I don't know how old I was, but I recall being thrilled imagining the romance and danger of the river, with dark woods and towering castled promontories along the way and towns that needed avoiding. Of course it stuck in my head. In reality, they had to leave because 9 of those 10 kids were boys, and subject to the draft in a few short years. I imagine tales of America's opportunities were pretty irresistible, too.
It's another cool mystery for us to ponder ☺ **
** Hmm, going thru Pierz Journal clippings today (May 1), I found this puzzling auction bill, from 1921: it was published just days after Reinhard was born. There was a follow-up note in the paper saying that Anton Janson got good prices for his stuff at the auction (they said that about all the auctions, but it means that the event was actually held). Since Reinhard, Mom and Loretta grew up in that house, and Reinhard's family after them, what was grandpa doing having an auction?? Still, it might have been an opportunity for John's family to walk around in the yard, then. OR...did they stop at the farm when they knew Joe and Franziska were not home? Wow, that's possible, too.
We may never know.....
Here's Bob, by the way--5th adult from the left--white hair and glasses.
THANKS for traveling to Minnesota, Bob.
Meeting you was interesting & fun!