Two German Grandmothers, Friends & Confidantes

“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”
Marlene Dietrich

In January of 2006 I received a message from a woman in Brownsville, Texas. Thankfully I archived copies for future reference.

Her note was fascinating. She included details about my great grandmother and how her family had been friends with mine, even before immigrating to America.

Back in Germany they likely attended church together. Remarkably her ancestors even moved again after settling down, from Wisconsin to South Dakota, to be nearby, according to her note. What’s another 400 miles after crossing the Atlantic and half a continent?

My great grandmother delivered her grandmother’s children. They must have been very close. Thousands of miles and innumerable difficulties could not keep these two women apart.

Mr Hill,

You mention [the name] Fromke i[n] your message. I have then name in my family. My grandmother was from Morgenstern. [S]he went to the Evangelical church in Borntuchen. My Grandfather was from Borntuchen, [K]reis Buetow. [The] Fromke’s came to America around 1895 [and] moved to South Dakota. My grandparents moved from Wausau, Wis[consin] to be near them. Mrs Fromke delivered my grandmother’s babies. I can’t remember their first names but I can research South Dakota records and find out. My grandmother’s maiden name was POCH or POOCH. She used POCH in her obituary. I also have some pictures taken back then I don’t know who the people are but am sure it is [the] Fromke‘s kids. Let me hear from you. Delores Bryan. Right now we are in Brownsville, Texas for the winter . . .

Delores mentioned some old photographs. I didn’t think much about it at the time. Looking through these old notes I realized my oversight and tried writing her again. Unfortunately, the email address was out of date. Using Google and other search tools, I tried to find her. But to no avail.

So I had to give it up. Until, that is, about a week ago, when she wrote to me again after reading a message I sent to a genealogy mailing list. So, we are in contact once again.

She has promised to mail me the photos, so that I can compare and contrast with the photos our family has. I am looking forward to seeing them.

Delores is now 88. I hope to be able to meet her in person one of these days.


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