Freitag, 12. September 2014

Story by Peter Eymann about the emigration from Switzerland to the Palatinate, 1864


PETER Eymann




In order that my children, and, the Eymann Family in general, might be aware of where our ancestors or forbears came from, I will, to the best of my knowledge, write the history and record the genealogical data of the family, as I can recall it to my mind.
My great great grandfather lived on the Sionerhof by Alzey in the Palatinate, and it was here that my great grandfather, Christian Eymann, was born in the year of 1701. He first resided on a leasehold estate in Niederroedern in Alsace, then at Donnersberg., then in Kindenheim on the Von Der Muehlenschen farm where he passed away in the year of 1767.
My great grandmother, a Gerber by birth, was born in Switzerland, in the so called Schwamboden, during the year of 1706. Her father was a member of the Reformed Church and fought in the Civil War.
During the Reformation period when the Church and State, as a Unit, tried to force everybody to follow their edicts, as far as religion was concerned, many a pitched battle was fought and wholesale murder was committed where not even the old people were spared.  At a time when the Reformed people and the Catholics were all living in the same Cantons and the reformed people were victorious, the tables were turned. On a certain day, my great grandmother's father, together with another Reformed Comrade (during the time they were persuing and persecuting the Catholics and some others, in their homes), came to a house and found no one inside. My great great grandfather went outside to take a look around and spied an old barn with one of the doors ajar and entering thereby to search the interior, came upon an old man kneeling and praying.
This made such a profound impression on him, that he silently turned to leave the barn and as he came out through the door, his comrade, who had just emerged from the house, met him and inquired if he had found anyone in the barn.  Since my great great grandfather was so astounded by the scene he had just witnessed, his mind was still pondering on the matter, he could not give an immediate answer to his query, thereupon his comrade took his sword and placing it against my great great grand-father's chest, said, "I should run you through with this sword, if you as much as spare any of them (The Catholics)“, then entered the barn, found this old man kneeling and praying and slew him with his sword.
This incident affected my great great grandfather still more and after giving it some serious thought, he said to himself: "I can not stand by and see any more of this, much less carry it out.“
From all indications this incident did not happen too far from his home because he went to his home in the night and told his family all that had happened, stating further that he could not stand the sight of it anymore and had made up his mind that they would all leave the country together but they could not do so openly.  So the mother spoke up, or it might have been his grandmother (because she was quite elderly) "You folks go with your children, Go in God's name. I will remain here to die because I will not be able to go along anyway." To which my great great grand­father replied: "If you will not come along with us, none of us will go.“ She must have made up her mind to go along for they left in the night and while the elderly grandmother could not walk, he took her upon his shoulders and carried her.  The children carried bundles of clothes, along with as much food as they could possibly carry. Everything else was abandoned and left behind. They travelled during the night and secreted themselves in the woods and forests during the day. The elderly grandmother could not stand the rigor of the trip and passed away under a large tree where they buried her remains and continued the trip they had so earnestly and hurriedly undertaken.
This was the manner in which the family came out of Switzerland and settled in the Palatinate, which twenty years earlier had been destroyed by fire and sword by the French Army in the War of Orleans.
Here, the family found much peace and contentment from 1775 to 1820, a period of forty five years.  He died in Kindenheim in the year of 1827 at the age of ninety one years and several months.  I was thirteen years old at the time and knew him very well.

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