I stumbled on this blog doing a search for the roots of my mother's maiden
name.John Schlaphoff that you note in this story is my great uncle. I have
visited our cousins in Germany and I have a little bit of insight to the story
as I have read a hand written account of it and how my great grandfather Carl
Schlaphoff came to work for his aunt Dorothea. According to the story I read,
both women were very poor and only had one wooden tool chest (a small hand
carried woodworkers kit) between them to pack all their belongings, since they
could not fit much for clothes in the box other than their unmentionables they
each wore a number of dresses to the harbor. I would certainly hope they had
someplace to disrobe the extra ones on the ship. I do not know whether a
wedding dress was among the dresses that either wore, but it must have made quite
a site if it were.
So it was a hand carried woodworkers tool kit.Would it have a lid or be open. A friend from Germany says she thinks it may have been a closed tool box.
Honestly, what would you pack in that wooden tool box?
I would wear as many clothes as I could too, so I could get more into that box. I'd probably look like a tinckerman and be so weighed down, I could barely walk. Maybe, I would have to remember that Nebraska has stores and orders items from the east. Would you be thinking that more things could be sent to you or purchased once married. Or would you be thinking, we may be too poor to get some of these things, so I had better bring it with. I am sure you would consult someone who would know what for sure was needed to take. Perhaps the future groom sent a list.
And all the practical wants and needs does not account for anything sentimental from home or reminders of loved ones. What sentimental item could you get into the box.
1. And the essential, your bible for daily reading,
2. My families recipes unless I had them memorized. [ Check the census to see if she can read or write].
3. I am sure I would try to bring some all important seeds.
4. Things to eat might have been very important.
And lastly, I wonder what I would have forgotten to bring, that I should have. [ An extra pair of shoes, or my thimble, etc. [smile] Shoes can be made in America so nix to the shoes, I am sure supplies like thimbles etc were at the general store. I think, if I knew my parents were coming later for a visit, I certainly would mail them a list of special requests!
Most of all this Mail order Bride story encourages me to think that since Dorothea was very poor and that she still refused to marry the older gentleman, she was a very brave young lass. I would say maybe more romantic, and wise on top of practical thinking in one way and less in another. Unless she knew she could find something for employment. Had she made friends there to help her. Surely she consulted someone before refusing his hand to know the whys and hows to proceed. There always has to be a plan b in times of a gamble.
I remember reading in a letter a year or so ago,sent by one of the other Schlaphof relatives, who told me that there was a relative who had gone to this area prior to her arrival. I think the name was Ruge. So there was at least someone there for the two girls they knew.
Wouldn't you still love to know more of the story. I sure would.
Note: [I'll have to see if I can give ourselves a few more mental pictures of the times in regards to Cass county Nebraska. Dorothea Schlaphof was Daughter of my second-great aunt sister to my second-great grandmother who married Jurgen Friedrich Meyer . Just click on Dorothy to read more on her, if you like.
It is sad that I let so much time fill between this post and his posting. The good thing is that his finding of my blog means that my blog is drawing in the right readers. It is doing what it is suppose to do. It's brought in Luhmann relatives and Schlaphoff relatives. I am still waiting for Seil and Meyer descendants to visit here and contact me.I sure hope this a Anonymous returns so I can ask more questions. [Note to self: Write to Cass county Nebraska for more details on the area ways of pioneers settling into this frontier area.]
For more reading:
Crazy me replied with this blog at A Rootdiggers sunnyside instead of here. Don't I wish I knew what's going on with my brain sometimes. I am deleting that posting.