ANCESTRAL MEMORIES: ABRAHAM SCHMÜCKLIN AND THE HAMMER FAMILY
Recorded by John S. Schmeeckle, December 2017 and January, 2018
Click here for the stories shared by Abraham Schmücklin's parents and grandparents.
I discuss communicating with ancestors at this G2G thread: Communicating with ancestors.
(recorded Dec. 26, 2017)
Abraham Schmücklin is ready to share his story. Abraham was the son of a man who died when Abraham was very young. Abraham and his brothers were in Einod. They grew up under the authority of their mother. This was unusual. Abraham thought that not having a father made an impact on how he dealt with men. Abraham never learned how to naturally submit to a man’s authority. However, Abraham wasn’t rebellious. Abraham wanted to have a good life in Klienaspach. He knew that having a good wife was essential. He was afraid of marrying a woman who was difficult, and he knew that his mother would have been a difficult wife.
Abraham wanted to be able to participate in choosing his wife. But his mother chose and Abraham was unable to find the will to resist her choice. She chose a woman from an old family in Kleinaspach. She thought that the Schmückle family needed to be better rooted in the village. Abraham knew that this was not a choice that was based on the idea that Abraham would be able to live well. This was simply a way of improving the status of the Schmücklin family. Abraham knew that, because of this choice, his family would be regarded as one of the old families. This would be a benefit for future generations.
Abraham married his wife without wanting to. He knew that this was going to be a problem. He understood that his wife was willing to marry him because he had a reputation for being a hard worker. Abraham knew that, because of his reputation, he would be able to rise in respect in the community. He knew that, eventually, he had the opportunity to become one of the village leaders. But Abraham wouldn’t be able to do this if he didn’t have a good marriage. And his marriage wasn’t good.
Abraham and two other men had the opportunity to open up a new area of the village that hadn’t been used for many years. The village was slowly growing, and the leaders decided to develop this area once again. Abraham, with his reputation as a hard worker, was chosen to be one of three men who would be given extra land in exchange for the work that they did redeveloping this area. Abraham was pleased with this, and he was prosperous because of his choice.
Abraham wanted to become one of the village leaders. He knew that eventually, he would be asked to participate in meetings of village men. He also knew that his wife’s reputation as a woman who refused to submit to her husband’s authority would prevent him from being accepted as one of the village leaders. Abraham tried to enforce his wife’s submission. This did not work. Abraham failed and never became one of the village leaders. This is all that Abraham will say at this time.
(recorded Jan. 2, 2018)
Abraham Schmückle was the son of a man who had a new way of acting. Abraham’s father was not a very hard-working man. He was hard enough working, but he also knew how to relax. Abraham wanted to think that his father was a man who had a good balance. Abraham thought that most men were either too hard-working or lazy. Abraham didn’t know his father well. He just had impressions of his father working hard, and also of his father spending time with his children. Abraham knew that fathers didn’t spend time with their children. He learned that when he began to learn about the fathers of other children. That made him think that he was fortunate to have been able to be with his father.
Abraham was a different child. He knew that he didn’t want to play. He knew that he wanted to do the things that he remembered his father doing. Abraham wanted to help fix things in the house. He wanted to go the field. He wanted to make sure that everything was all right. Abraham remembered how his father acted, and wanted to do the same things.
Abraham wanted to be a hard-working man. He knew that his father was thought of as a hard-working man. He knew that, because of his father’s position, his father was able to make decisions for the families that lived in Einod. Abraham wanted to be able to do that also.
Abraham knew that, because he was a hard-working child, he would have opportunities to marry into a family that was well-respected. Abraham knew that his mother wanted to help choose his wife. Abraham’s two older brothers had married without his mother helping. His mother was able to make an arrangement with a man from an old family in Kleinaspach. Abraham didn’t know about this arrangement until his mother told him. Abraham was concerned. He thought that the young woman wasn’t a good choice. He thought that she wouldn’t be agreeable. He thought that, if he married her, he would have to be strict to make sure that she obeyed. He knew that, if he didn’t make her obey, he would never be able to be one of the leaders in Kleinaspach.
Abraham knew that he couldn’t say that he didn’t want to marry the woman. He knew that, if he said that, he would have trouble. He knew that the family of the woman would never forget. He knew that he would probably have to leave Kleinaspach. He knew that, if he did that, he would be in a village full of strangers. He didn’t want that. He knew that his family had a good position, and he wanted to benefit from his family’s position.
Abraham wanted to be able to help in the decision to get married. He thought that there was one important thing that he could influence. Abraham wanted to make sure that, if there was any trouble, he would have the right to ask the minister to help understand the problem. Abraham was not listened to. He was told that he shouldn’t expect to have any trouble. He was told that, because of his thought, the family was concerned. He was told that, because he thought that the woman was not a good woman, his mother would be embarrassed. He was told that, if he said anything else, he would probably lose the opportunity to marry into one of the old families.
Abraham wanted to not marry the woman. He thought that, if the marriage was bad, he would have to leave Kleinaspach anyway. He thought that, if he didn’t insist on the right to ask the minister for help, his future wife would take advantage of him and insist that he do things that she wanted without being helpful. Abraham didn’t want to have this kind of marriage. He thought that, if he entered into a marriage with this woman, he would never be happy. He would always have problems. He knew that his mother wasn’t thinking about this. She was thinking about the future of the family. She was thinking that, if the family had an old family for relatives, this would help the children of her children be respected.
Abraham thought that, if his marriage wasn’t bad, his mother’s idea would happen. But he also thought that, if the marriage was bad, then his family would get no benefit. Abraham wanted to leave, but he had no way of leaving without being a single man. A single man had no family connections. A single man had little hope of finding a wife. A single man wouldn’t have any chance of becoming one of the village leaders. So Abraham consented. And this was the decision that made the rest of his life miserable. --
(recorded Jan. 2, 2018)
Martin Hammer will speak. Martin Hammer was not able to keep his promise. Martin Hammer knew that his granddaughter’s husband had spoken to him of his fear that his granddaughter would be a bad wife. Martin Hammer had promised his grandson that, if there was a serious problem, Martin Hammer would not object to his granddaughter’s husband talking to the minister to help resolve the problem. Martin Hammer knew that, in such a case, the minister would generally ensure that a disobedient wife was reprimanded. Martin Hammer didn’t want to have this experience. Martin Hammer knew that his granddaughter had been disobedient. He knew that his granddaughter’s husband had tried to ensure that she obeyed without being unduly angry. Martin Hammer’s granddaughter’s husband had talked to Martin. Martin Hammer had insisted that his granddaughter obey. Martin Hammer thought that this would be sufficient. But Martin Hammer’s granddaughter didn’t obey.
Martin Hammer’s granddaughter’s husband asked Martin for permission to talk to the minister. Martin Hammer knew that the minister would talk to Martin Hammer. Martin Hammer wanted to avoid this. Martin Hammer knew that his granddaughter’s husband had never been enthusiastic about getting married to Martin Hammer’s granddaughter. Martin Hammer knew that he had promised his granddaughter’s husband that he would allow the husband to talk to the minister. But Martin now forbade this. Martin said that his granddaughter’s husband should beat his granddaughter. Martin Hammer knew that this was a common way for husbands to enforce discipline. Martin Hammer expected this to be sufficient. But his granddaughter was enraged when Martin Hammer’s granddaughter’s husband beat her. She refused to stay in his house. She insisted that he not be considered her husband. She demanded that the minister investigate. She claimed that her husband beat her regularly. She said that her husband had beaten her ever since they had gotten married.
Martin Hammer knew that this was a lie. Martin Hammer stayed silent. Martin Hammer’s granddaughter’s husband asked Martin Hammer, in front of the minister, to acknowledge that this was a lie. Martin Hammer failed to acknowledge that his granddaughter was lying. Martin Hammer knew that, because of this failure, Martin Hammer’s granddaughter’s husband would be unable to gain respect. This is what happened. Martin Hammer knew, before he died, that his granddaughter’s husband had no associates. He was isolated in the community. He was tolerated but not respected. He was not able to find a wife for his son. Martin knew this because he continued communicating with his granddaughter after he died. He was concerned and his granddaughter was aware of the consequence of her lie. Martin thinks that he should have told the truth. But after having told the lie, he knew that he would be severely reprimanded. Martin Hammer was one of the elders. He knew that, if he was severely reprimanded, he would lose his position. Martin Hammer was responsible for ruining the relationship of his granddaughter’s husband with the community. This is all that Martin Hammer will say now.
(recorded Jan. 3, 2018)
Abraham was willing to try to make a good marriage. Abraham knew that the young woman was a good woman. She was polite and tried to be respectful. But Abraham could tell that she was very willful. Abraham didn’t want to have to suffer a willful wife. He wanted her to cooperate, and didn’t want her to try to dominate him. Abraham knew that this wouldn’t be a problem if Abraham and his wife were able to share a vision of being successful within the community. Abraham hoped that his wife would help him become a leader. Abraham didn’t tell his wife about this hope. He just hoped that she would understand what Abraham was trying to achieve. Maybe this was a mistake. Abraham suspects that his wife never thought of the consequences of what she did, until afterward.
Abraham knew, after he got married, that his wife would not cooperate. She refused to do things that he thought were necessary. He tried to get her to act like a proper wife. But she didn’t want to be obedient. She said that she should have an equal say in how to arrange things. She thought that, because she did the housework, she should be able to make decisions about how to put things in the different rooms. Abraham thought that, because he was the husband, he should make those decisions. He thought that, because it was his work that brought food into the house, he should be respected. Abraham wanted to find a way to ensure that his wife felt respected. He thought of what he could do to give her a piece of the decision making. Abraham wanted to be able to do this, so his wife would understand that he was willing to cooperate. But he failed to find a way to give her enough of the decision making. He discovered that, when he decided to let her do one thing, she would start doing other things that he hadn’t allowed. He had to constantly tell her not to do things that he wanted to have different.
This was the situation when Abraham decided to talk to his wife’s grandfather. Abraham wanted to have peace. He wanted to be able to make decisions and have them be accepted. He wanted to be able to not have to argue about whether things should be in one room or another. He thought that his wife was being deliberate. He thought that she was looking for a way to make difficulties. He didn’t understand why she kept on doing things in this way. He asked her grandfather for permission to talk to the minister. Her grandfather thought that the things that Abraham was talking about weren’t important. Her grandfather suggested that Abraham allow his wife to arrange things the way that she wanted. Abraham asked her grandfather if that was what he did. Her grandfather said, this is what a man does to keep the peace. He didn’t answer the question.
Abraham knew that his grandfather’s wife had been a very cooperative woman. He imagined that his grandfather had never had this problem. Abraham wanted to ask his mother. But his mother wasn’t willing to talk about problems. Abraham simply had to not talk to anyone. This made Abraham upset. He had difficulty relaxing. He knew that this situation was not good. He knew that he needed to find a way to change the situation. He knew that his wife wanted to be in control of the house. He knew that, if he allowed this, he would never be able to be a leader. Abraham wanted to tell his wife this, but he was afraid that she would mock him. Abraham knew that, if he spoke of wanting to be a leader, he would probably never have a chance. Leaders were chosen by the leaders, and people who showed that they wanted to be chosen were rarely chosen.
(Jan. 3, 2018) Martin Hammer was the son of Andreus Hammer. Martin was able to be a good son. He was able to learn how to cooperate. He had the ability to understand when other people were talking about a situation. He had the ability to tell what the real problem was. He discovered that he had this ability when he was a young man. Martin knew that, because of this ability, he had a good chance of becoming one of the leaders. He knew that his family was respected, and he knew that, because of his father, he would be able to cooperate with other men when making decisions.
Martin married a woman from another parish. He thought that, because his wife wasn’t from Kleinaspach, he wouldn’t have to worry. He thought that he wouldn’t have problems with her father. He was confident that, after he and his wife had children, she would be content to stay with them. He expected his wife to not want to visit her family. He thought that this would be a burden. He thought that, if she wanted to go to another town, he should accompany her. He wasn’t willing to do that. He thought that he was needed at home, and he didn’t think that going to another town was important.
Martin knew, from the stories that his father told, that he would not be able to be a leader unless his wife was cooperative. Martin thought that, if his wife had been more cooperative, he would have been chosen earlier. Martin wanted to not worry. He thought that he had time to ensure that he was an acceptable man to become one of the leaders. Martin thought that, if he was chosen to become one of the leaders, there wouldn’t be any problem that he couldn’t solve. He was confident. Martin will say that he was overly confident. He didn’t realize that some problems have no solution. The leader can only find a way to help people tolerate the problem. Martin wanted to have a child who would be just like him. He knew that some men had a favorite son. He didn’t want to have a favorite son. He just wanted one of his sons to have a personality that was similar to his.
Martin wanted to not have to worry. Martin decided that, if he was going to be a leader, he had to be a good candidate, first. Martin thought that he could participate in the group discussion that men had when it was time to think of a leader. He thought that, if he made good suggestions, people would start to think of listening to him. So he told people who wanted to be thought of as leaders to explain to him what they would change in the town if they were suddenly chosen to be leader. This had the effect of starting conversations. And Martin began to think more deeply, for this was the way his mind worked.
(Jan. 5, 2018)
Martin Hammer wanted to be able to have a good family. Martin hoped that his wife would be a cooperative helper. He hoped that she would help raise healthy children. He hoped that, after he had become a leader, she would be supportive. He thought that, if he became a leader, he would have to spend time outside the home. This would make it difficult for his wife. He thought that, if his wife was receptive, he would become a leader. But he knew that, if his wife was unwilling, he would never be able to be a leader. He knew that one of the criteria for choosing a leader was the marriage. And Martin knew that a proper marriage meant that the wife was submissive.
Martin thought that, because he had a wife from another parish, she wouldn’t have as many relationships with other women. He thought that, because she didn’t have as many relationships, she would spend more time caring for her children. He imagined that a wife who was active in the community would be an asset if he wanted to be a leader, but he preferred to think that his wife would stay at home with her children. Martin knew, after he got married, that his wife wanted to be active in the community. She was the type of woman who had to have (a social network). Martin knew that, if his wife developed a social network with women from respectable families, then he would have a better chance of becoming a leader. He thought that, if this was the case, he would be tolerant of his wife being outside the house from time to time. Martin wanted his wife to find ways to work in the house together with other women. Martin wanted this to be a way of making his house a place where other people felt welcome. Martin hoped that, if this was going to happen, there wouldn’t be any problem. Martin knew, if people made themselves welcome in his house, they would sometimes not want to leave. Martin was afraid that people would not cooperate. But Martin knew that he had to take a chance. He decided that his wife could help other women learn how to sew. His wife was a good (seamstress). Martin thought that his wife would become popular if she had a way of encouraging other women to practice sewing in her home. Martin’s wife was receptive to this idea, and she told other women at church that she intended to host a gathering of women who would sew and share ways of sewing.
Martin’s wife was good at this, and her sewing gathering was attended by six or seven women each Saturday. Martin thought that some of the women were not from respectable families, but his wife reminded him that the leaders were the leaders of everybody, not just the respectable people. Martin saw the wisdom in this, and was pleased to allow his wife to continue.
Martin wanted to be able to have a way of leading people that encouraged them, instead of compelling them. He knew that, if he was able to do this with his wife, he would have the ability to do this with other people. He also knew, if he wanted to be a leader, that he would not have the opportunity to talk about how he intended to make things better. He would be selected without any direct communication.
Martin knew, when a new leader was chosen, that the leaders would make an announcement. This announcement was usually in the church. Martin thought, at the end of the church service, he could make himself noticed. He thought that people often lingered. He imagined having an organized gathering after the church service. He imagined that people would take part in the gathering. He asked the minister if this was a good idea. The minister replied that this had been tried, and had not been successful. An organized gathering was difficult to manage. People wanted to have something to do. If people simply lingered after the church service, then they felt no pressure. This helped Martin intend to be informal in his style of leadership.
Martin wanted to be able to help people. He understood that, if he was able to do so, this would be remembered. He looked for opportunities. He thought that, if he was able to be helpful, people would remember him. Martin imagined that, if he found ways to be helpful, he could have a growing network of associates who remembered that he had been good to them. Martin often found ways to be helpful, but this took time, and Martin had to take care of his own family. He realized that, because of this need, he had to limit his involvement with other people. This taught Martin that leaders had to be practical. He simply couldn’t do everything that he imagined doing.
(Jan. 10, 2018)
Martin wanted to be a leader. Martin wanted to be able to help people. He also wanted to get respect. Martin wanted to be sure that he could act as a good leader. He began to think about what leaders did. He realized that most leaders didn’t do very much. Only a few of the leaders did most of the work.
Martin wanted to be one of the leaders who did most of the work. He knew that he had a talent for helping people think of solutions. He thought that he would be a good leader because of this. Martin wanted to ensure that he was properly considered. But he knew that if he openly showed his ambition, this would make it very difficult. So Martin was careful to never say that he wanted to be a leader.
Martin knew that three other men his age were hoping to become leaders. Martin thought that, if he was able to demonstrate that he was more qualified than they were, he would have a better chance. So he thought of how to demonstrate his capability. Martin wanted to be known for his ability to solve problems. But this meant that he needed to be in communication with people who had problems that needed solving. Martin wanted to be able to have a good reputation. He knew that, if he had a bad reputation, nobody would ask for his help. So Martin was always careful to ensure that he did things in a way that was socially acceptable.
Martin wanted to be able to have a good family. He learned that, if he wanted to take good care of his family, he had to not spend too much time helping other people. Martin knew, after this became a problem, that he needed to make sure that his family was well cared for. Martin knew, after the incident, that he needed to make his wife feel secure in his attention. This is what Martin did after that.
Martin wanted to have a way of communicating that helped people feel comfortable. He knew, from personal experience, that some people made others uncomfortable with the way they spoke. So Martin wanted to practice. He thought of how to speak and when he had the opportunity. Martin realized that, because he was able to communicate well, he simply needed to make sure that he didn’t offend anyone. This was what Martin focused on when he communicated.
Martin wanted to believe that, because of his effort, he would be chosen leader. But time went by and he wasn’t chosen. Two other men were chosen. Martin was disappointed. But Martin knew that there were other reasons why those two men were chosen. Martin now realized that people made choices because of family connections. Martin had no family connection to the men who were current leaders. Martin wanted to be able to develop a way of communicating that would ensure that he could make people understand his ability. He thought of how to impress people. He knew that, if he could do this, he would be able to be a leader. But he realized that most people didn’t want to be impressed. They just wanted friendly communication. Martin stopped trying to impress people. Perhaps that is why he was the next man chosen to be a leader, when he was fifty-five.
(Jan. 11, 2018) Martin was able to have a good first year as a leader. He helped make decisions and learned how to interact with the other leaders. Many of the people in the town weren’t able to observe Martin’s contributions. Martin knew that, after time went by, people would become more aware of how he contributed. He wasn’t worried about this. He knew that, because of his contributions, the decisions in the town were being well made. This pleased Martin. He had achieved what he wanted. He had a stable position and a good family. However, his son Andreas died the following year. This made a problem for Martin. His son’s widow gave birth to a daughter. The daughter had to be raised and the widow was unable to nurse the daughter. Martin had to help his wife find a (nursemaid) for his granddaughter. This required Martin to be involved in decisions that were unfamiliar to him. He was able to do this, but it distracted him from his responsibilities as a leader.
Martin had thought that he was done with rearing children. This was expected of the leaders. But now this responsibility took time away from his decision making. He knew that, in order to be a responsible leader, he had to limit the time that he spent with his granddaughter. This gave him the incentive to help his wife find a nanny for his granddaughter, while her mother worked in the church. This way Martin and his wife were able to fulfill the expectations of the community while still ensuring the care of his granddaughter.
Martin wanted to be able to have a good leadership experience. Martin wanted people to respect him. And Martin succeeded in this. He was a respected leader and eventually became the oldest of the leaders. Martin could have stopped being one of the leaders, but Martin enjoyed doing things for the community. This gave him a sense of being worthy, and this was what he wanted. He hoped that this wasn’t a sin, because he thought of what motivated him. He realized that, because he had this motivation, he was able to do good things for others. He imagined that, for this reason, it wasn’t a sin.
Martin was able to have a role in the decision of the town to make a new church. He had a way of focusing his energy and deciding what would be best. This was his way of contributing. Martin knew, because of the cost of the church, that he wouldn’t be able to experience being inside the church when it was completed. He knew that, because of his age, he would be dead before the church was finished.
Martin wanted to be able to have a new condition in the town. Martin wanted to be able to have a regular way of decision making. The previous way involved people making conversation at times that were not regular. Martin wanted to make sure that people had the opportunity to think over what was being considered. If three or four leaders had an informal conversation, the other leaders would not have as much time as they wanted to consider what was being proposed. This led sometimes to delays. Martin thought, if there was a regular time for the leaders to meet, this would make it easier for decisions to be made. Martin was successful in developing this intention. He found that the leaders preferred to have discussions together at a regular time. He also found that, because he was one of the busy leaders, he would often be asked to choose the time, because the schedule of the other leaders was easier to arrange. Martin wanted to be able to have a decision quickly. He knew that another leader wanted to have time to think carefully. Martin was always able to make his decision without thinking for a long time. He was inclined to be impatient, but he learned to value the thought of the other leader when he had had time to consider the question.
(Jan. 12, 2018) Martin will continue. Martin had a good year as leader. Then his granddaughter’s husband came to Martin. Martin knew that Abraham had been having difficulty with Martin’s granddaughter. Martin had not had time to talk to his granddaughter. He had thought that this problem shouldn’t be a problem. He didn’t understand why his granddaughter was doing things deliberately to annoy her husband. Martin didn’t think that this was really happening. Martin hoped that Abraham and Martin’s granddaughter could figure out how to make a good arrangement. But Martin knew, after Abraham came to Martin, that this wouldn’t be possible.
Martin tried to talk to his granddaughter. She wasn’t willing to tell him why she did things that annoyed her husband. Martin thought that his granddaughter was hiding something. He thought that there was a reason that she didn’t want to talk. Martin knew, from previous experience talking to other husbands and wives, that sometimes a lack of communication was the biggest problem. Martin hoped to find a way for his granddaughter to talk to somebody. He thought that a woman in the town could help. But he was unable to get her to be willing to listen. He thought that she was afraid to say anything critical of Martin’s granddaughter, because Martin was a leader. Martin thought, if he was able to have a talk with Abraham, this would help. Abraham came to Martin and asked for Martin’s permission to talk to the minister. Martin took this opportunity to suggest that Abraham beat his granddaughter. Martin thought that his granddaughter was in the wrong, and he thought that this would be a way for his granddaughter to receive proper punishment. Martin didn’t want Abraham to talk to the minister. This would show that Martin wasn’t the master of his own family. Martin wanted to avoid this, because this was a requirement for a leader. Martin made a big mistake. He later had to do something even worse as the consequence. This is Martin’s great regret.
After Martin told Abraham to beat Martin’s granddaughter, Martin heard that his granddaughter had told people that Abraham had beaten her since the beginning of their marriage. Martin knew that this was a lie. Martin was deeply disturbed. He had hoped that his solution would be the correct one. He knew that talking to the minister would have been effective. But he was unable to allow this. Martin is the one responsible for what happened next.
Abraham was called before the leaders. The leaders were responsible for maintaining order in the town and the surrounding clusters of houses. Martin wanted to be excused from this meeting. He knew that Abraham would say something that Martin couldn’t answer. He knew, because his granddaughter was in the wrong, that he would have to admit that he had been the one who had recommended that Abraham beat her. This was Martin’s prerogative as the senior man in the family. (Abraham’s father had died when Abraham was young, so Martin was the natural head of this family.)
At the meeting, Abraham didn’t deny that he had beaten his wife. He said that he beat her exactly once. He said that he did so because he hadn’t been allowed to talk to the minister. Abraham didn’t mention Martin’s name. Martin knew that Abraham was trying to show respect. Martin knew, after Abraham spoke, that Martin would have to reply. Martin said that he had not been aware of the situation. He said that he wanted to have peace in the home of his granddaughter and her husband. This is all that Martin said.
The leaders took the view, because of what Martin had said, that Abraham had been guilty. The leaders respected Martin and this was the foundation of their decision. Martin knew that, because of this, Abraham would not be respected. Martin knew, if Abraham had hoped to be a leader, this would never happen. Martin wanted to be able to act to help Abraham. But he knew that Abraham knew that Martin had made Abraham appear to be guilty. This made Abraham bitter toward Martin. Martin had to accept that the husband of his granddaughter would not talk to him. Martin didn’t have to worry much about this problem. He fell ill and died.
(Andreas Hammer has a story but will tell it another time.) Andreas will speak. Andreas was the son of a man who was one of the leaders. Andreas was proud of his father. He knew that his father was a hard worker. His father took much time worrying about the problems in the village. Andreas thought that his father wanted Andreas to think about the possibility of being a leader. Andreas thought of that, but he wasn’t ambitious. He wanted to have a family and be a respected member of the community. This is what he imagined when he got married. Andreas was able to begin a family, and then he died.
ANNA BARBARA HAMMER
(Jan. 13, 2018) Anna Barbara Hammer will speak. Anna Barbara will use both names, although when she was alive, she used Barbara. This is to help distinguish her from other women named Barbara.
Anna Barbara grew up without a father. Her mother took care of her, and she lived in the home of her grandfather. Anna Barbara knew, because her grandfather was a village leader, that she would have the opportunity to marry a man who would also become a leader. She didn’t realize that, because her mother was a widow, her status was lower than she thought. Anna Barbara was sure that she would be able to marry a man from a good family. She knew that there were three men whom she thought would be appropriate husbands. But none of them ever considered her.
Anna Barbara was resentful. She knew that she was being denied an opportunity because of something that was not her fault. She thought that being the daughter of a widow was unimportant, because her grandfather was a leader. But this isn’t how others thought. They thought that her grandfather would die soon. And then she wouldn’t have anyone who was important in her family. So the sons of the respectable families married other women.
Anna Barbara was concerned that she might not find an appropriate husband. Then her mother told her that the mother of Abraham Schmücklin had talked to her. Anna Barbara had never thought of Abraham. Shen knew that his mother was a widow. And so she simply never thought of him as a potential husband.
Anna Barbara wanted to think of a husband who would become a leader. She thought that Abraham might have that potential. She knew that he had a reputation for being a very hard-working man. This was important, but it wasn’t as important as being connected to respectable families. Abraham’s family was not an old family, but his grandfather had been a deacon, so people knew the family.
Anna Barbara decided that this might be the best chance that she had to marry a husband who might become a leader. Anna Barbara was reluctant to marry Abraham. She thought that he might not be properly respectful of her status. Anna Barbara was from one of the old families. She knew that old families had more respect, and she thought that Abraham should keep that in mind. Anna Barbara also thought, because Abraham didn’t have any connections with other families, this would be difficult. So Anna Barbara wasn’t of a mind to marry Abraham. However, nobody else approached Anna Barbara’s mother. This made Anna Barbara unhappy. She thought that she would have many men to choose from.
Anna Barbara agreed to marry Abraham. And then she discovered that Abraham had never thought of marrying her. Anna Barbara was upset. How could she agree to marry a man who had never thought of her? Anna Barbara wanted to change her mind. But her mother insisted that there might not be anyone else. Anna Barbara met Abraham. She wasn’t polite. She knew that she made a bad impression on Abraham. She knew that, because of that, Abraham wasn’t interested in marrying her. She thought that she would be free to hope for another husband. But Abraham’s mother talked to Anna Barbara’s mother. This made it possible for Abraham to agree to marry Anna Barbara. Anna Barbara didn’t know that Abraham had insisted on the right to talk to the minister if there was trouble between him and Anna Barbara. She discovered that much later.
Anna Barbara had six children. She thought that she was a good mother. She knew that her husband worked hard and provided well for the family. But he insisted on making decisions that she thought were her right, regarding how to arrange things in the house. Anna Barbara cleaned the house, and put things in the places that she thought were convenient. Abraham wanted to change the locations, just to demonstrate that he was her master. Anna Barbara resisted this. She changed locations of things that Abraham had insisted be in inappropriate places. This made Abraham angry. This problem continued for many years.
Finally Abraham talked to Anna Barbara’s grandfather. Anna Barbara knew that this was now a serious problem. Anna Barbara didn’t realize how much this made Abraham upset. Anna Barbara began to think that maybe she had acted inappropriately. Anna Barbara didn’t want to have a discussion. She thought that it would be sufficient for her to simply agree to what Abraham insisted on. But her grandfather insisted on having a discussion. This made Anna Barbara feel rebellious. After the discussion she refused to change what she had been doing. And then Abraham beat her.
Anna Barbara was full of anger. She had never been beaten. She knew of women who had behaved badly and had then been beaten. She knew that this usually happened. She also knew that often this happened only once. Anna Barbara had been proud of never being beaten. But now that pride was taken away from her. Anna Barbara decided to get revenge. She complained to the minister. She said that Abraham had beaten her ever since they had gotten married. The minister was not able to argue. The minister had an obligation. Anna Barbara knew that the minister would talk to Abraham and her grandfather. Anna Barbara didn’t realize that Abraham had insisted on the right to talk to the minister. Anna Barbara didn’t realize that her grandfather had denied Abraham this right.
Anna Barbara heard that the minister had talked to Abraham. She heard that, because of this conversation, it was decided to have a meeting. Anna Barbara wasn’t invited to the meeting. Anna Barbara was very nervous. She knew that Abraham would tell the leaders that her grandfather had given him the right to talk to the minister. But Abraham didn’t do that. He simply denied that he had beaten Anna Barbara, except for one time after her grandfather had told him to do that. Anna Barbara heard that her grandfather had said that he knew nothing of that. Anna Barbara realized that, because of what she had done, her grandfather had suffered. Anna Barbara wanted to change what she had said. But she knew that it was too late.
Anna Barbara heard that Abraham was reprimanded. She knew that, from now on, men wouldn’t talk to Abraham. She heard from other women that, because he had beaten her so much, men would never talk to him. Anna Barbara thought of telling the truth, but she was afraid that nobody would talk to her if she did so. So Anna Barbara never said anything.
Anna Barbara didn’t act like she had acted before. She knew that she had done a terrible thing. She stopped moving things around that her husband had placed in a place that he wanted. She didn’t give him any more trouble. Anna Barbara had found that she could get revenge, but the consequences were terrible, for both her and her husband. Anna Barbara never talked to her husband about what had happened. She knew that he wouldn’t agree with anything except if she told the truth. And she knew that she couldn’t do that. Anna Barbara lived with that for the rest of her life.
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