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The Beginning

So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Herrmann History

Dad never talked about his family or the history of his family. He avoided all questions for years. And to honor his privacy and memory for the personal reasons he had for doing so, I will not go into the personal aspect of it.
Dad was born in Sacramento to Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. Dad was the oldest of three children. He also had two younger sisters. 
Conrad was the son of Konrad Herrmann and Magdalena Martsch. They came from the Black Sea region of Russia and were known as the Volga Germans. 
Konrad emigrated to the U.S. with his mother, Fredericke Schumacher. They settled in Fessenden, North Dakota. This is, presumably, where Konrad met Magdalena (Lena) and, presumably, where they married. 
Konrad and Lena had many children. Some family members say 15 or 16, while others say 12/13. Lena had a diary in which she had recorded the children.  It is written in Old German and there are many different translations of it by various people and each one translates it differently.
Either way, out of all those children only a handful survived into adulthood. They were - Lucille, Ben, Lydia, Fred, Conrad and Freda. 
The family moved from North Dakota to Oklahoma for a short time, than onto Colorado where my grandfather, Conrad, was born. They eventually moved to California.
I can trace Konrad's parents to Conrad Herrmann and Fredericke Schumacher. Conrad the elder died in Russia and Fredericke died in Colorado. Two of Konrad's sisters emigrated to the North American continent. His sister, Karoline, settled in Canada and his sister, Wilhelmina, settled in California.
There is a story in the family that says there were so many Herrmann's moving about the two continents, that two of them (not sure which ones) passed one another at the annual Expo in Sacramento and didn't recognize each other right away. The one sibling had no idea the other sibling had emigrated.
Magdalena's parentage is my major brick wall. Mostly due to her surname. No one knows of the exact spelling. It has been spelled Martsch, Martch, Martz, and even, perhaps, Matz, as there is a person with the surname Matz in her diary. A marriage record for Conrad and Lena has not been found yet, and no one seems to know or can find an immigration record or year for Lena.