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Ancestral Memories: Hans Jacob Schmückle and Dorothea Hofsäss

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Recorded by John S. Schmeeckle, Feb. 2018


(Feb. 2, 2018) Hans Jacob Schmückle was unable to have a happy childhood. Hans Jacob knew that his father and his mother were not able to be good to each other. Hans Jacob didn’t want to think about his father and his mother having problems. Hans Jacob wanted to not have problems with his parents. Hans Jacob knew that his parents got angry and shouted. Hans Jacob didn’t think that his parents were bad to Hans Jacob. Hans Jacob just knew that his parents were angry.

Hans Jacob remembered when his father didn’t say what he wanted to say. Hans Jacob understood that his father didn’t speak. Hans Jacob wanted to ask his father what he didn’t say. Hans Jacob knew that something bad had happened. Hans Jacob didn’t ask. Hans Jacob learned afterward. Hans Jacob was shocked. Hans Jacob knew that what his mother said wasn’t what his father did. Hans Jacob wanted to not feel bad about his mother. But Hans Jacob couldn’t not feel bad.

Hans Jacob wanted to be a good person. Hans Jacob hoped to have a good wife. But Hans Jacob knew that, because of the problems with his parents, most young women wouldn’t want to marry him. Hans Jacob knew that his mother knew of a cousin. Hans Jacob knew the cousin. Hans Jacob wanted to not marry the woman that his mother chose. But Hans Jacob knew that he wouldn’t have another opportunity. So Hans Jacob married Dorothea Hofsäss.

Hans Jacob knew that his wife wasn’t a bad person. He knew that she wouldn’t be difficult. He didn’t think that she would have problems like his mother had. Hans Jacob was unwilling to marry her, because she didn’t have any way to marry anyone else. She was the daughter of a man who was from a different village. She wasn’t in the part of the parish that Hans Jacob knew was where the respectable people lived. She lived in the new area near where Hans Jacob and his family lived. Hans Jacob never thought that she might become his wife. He imagined that his father would talk to other men. And then his mother would talk to the wife of the man who talked to his father. But this never happened. Hans Jacob knew that, because of the problem that happened when his father didn’t speak, he wasn’t able to find a wife for his son.

Hans Jacob didn’t think that he would have problems. Hans Jacob married Dorothea Hofsäss. He had a family. Hans Jacob lived a life of work and sleep. Hans Jacob never had problems with his wife. Hans Jacob didn’t have any problems with men in the parish. Hans Jacob wanted to be able to give a good wife to his son. But Hans Jacob didn’t have that ability. Hans Jacob found the daughter of a woman in Einod. Her husband had died. Hans Jacob thought that she would be able to let Hans Jacob’s son marry her daughter. Hans Jacob thought, because of this, he would fulfill his obligation to his son. Hans Jacob thought, if he was able to find a wife in another parish, he wouldn’t have any problem. But Hans Jacob didn’t know people in other parishes. So Hans Jacob decided to not look elsewhere for a wife for his son. This is all that Hans Jacob will say.


Dorothea Hofsäss was the daughter of a man who moved to Kleinaspach parish. Dorothea knew that her father didn’t know people in the parish. Her father helped settle a new area. Her father was a hard working man. Her father didn’t make friends with other men. Her father knew that he wasn’t a good person to have conversation with. He didn’t talk much. He worked.

Dorothea wanted to think that she would have a chance to marry a good husband. Dorothea hoped that she would be chosen by the son of a respectable family. But this never happened. Dorothea knew that, because her parents didn’t know people in Klienaspach, she wouldn’t have much opportunity.

Dorothea’s father was the distant relative of the wife of Abraham Schmückle. Dorothea knew that Abraham Schmückle and his wife had a big problem. Dorothea didn’t want to marry their son. Dorothea hoped that, if her father didn’t insist, she would be able to not marry him. But Dorothea’s father insisted. Dorothea didn’t think that Hans Jacob Schmückle was a bad man. Dorothea didn’t think that he would do to her what she knew that his father did to his mother. But Dorothea knew that his family was not respectable. So Dorothea didn’t want to have a husband who wasn’t respected.

Dorothea married Hans Jacob. Dorothea knew that her husband was not disrespected. But Dorothea knew that her husband wasn’t part of the group that made decisions. Her husband wasn’t ever asked for his opinion. Her husband was accepted, but he was not allowed to be part of the community beyond attending church.

Dorothea thought that this wasn’t good. Dorothea thought that her husband hadn’t done anything wrong. Dorothea didn’t know the truth about her husband’s parents. This was something that her husband never talked about. Dorothea learned about this when her husband’s father Abraham Schmückle told his story. Now Dorothea has a better feeling about her husband and his father. This is all that Dorothea will say.

(in response to my question about marriages of her children) Dorothea and her husband had six children. All of the children grew up. Dorothea thought that she was fortunate. She knew that most women lost at least one child. Dorothea knew that it would be difficult for her children to find husbands and wives. Dorothea knew, because her husband wasn’t well respected, that she would have to take the lead in looking for husbands for her daughters. Dorothea was able to find husbands for her two younger daughters. But this happened after they were too old to marry young men. They had to wait until they could marry men who lost their wives.

Dorothea wanted her eldest daughter to find a husband. But Dorothea wasn’t able to do that. Her daughter was a good woman. Her daughter should have been able to be a good wife. But this never happened.

Dorothea’s eldest son was able to get married. Dorothea and her husband knew a family in Einod. This family had moved to Einod in the previous generation. Dorothea knew that this family would have trouble finding a husband for their daughter. So Dorothea made sure to befriend the mother of this family. And this led eventually to Dorothea’s eldest son finding a wife. But Dorothea’s other sons weren’t able to find wives. Dorothea hoped that one of her sons would find a wife outside Kleinaspach. But this never happened. This is all that Dorothea will say.


Hans Jerg Hofsäss was the son of a man who wouldn’t have been a bad man. Hans Jerg Hofsäss had a father who was unable to avoid a serious problem. For this reason, Hans Jerg Hofsäss had to look for a wife in another parish. Hans Jerg Hofsäss knew, because he moved to a different parish, that he wouldn’t have opportunities. He would simply be a farmer. He wouldn’t help make decisions. He wouldn’t be able to share his thoughts. He would be expected to accept the decisions of the leaders without talking. And this is what Hans Jerg Hofsäss did.

Hans Jerg Hofsäss was a farmer in a new area, that had trees covering the old fields. Hans Jerg Hofsäss was a partner with two other men. These men were chosen because they were hard workers. These men were able to have extra land. They knew that they would work hard and they would have more than many other families.

Hans Jerg Hofsäss wanted to be able to find a good husband for his daughter. Hans Jerg Hofsäss had three sons and one daughter. Hans Jerg Hofsäss was able to find wives for his sons outside Kleinaspach parish. But he had trouble finding a husband for his daughter. Hans Jerg Hofsäss knew, because of his wife, that the son of Abraham Schmückle wanted to marry a woman in Kleinaspach parish. Hans Jerg Hofsäss eventually agreed to let this marriage happen. He was worried that this wasn’t a respectable family. But Hans Jerg Hofsäss wanted his daughter to be near her mother. And this is what eventually happened. This is all that Hans Jerg Hofsäss will say.


Martin Hofsäss wanted to have a reason to stay in his parish. Martin Hofsäss was the son of a man who had moved to the parish. Martin’s father wasn’t well respected. Martin’s father had moved to the parish because he had a big problem with a leader in the parish that he came from. Martin’s father wasn’t able to stay in the parish. He had to find another parish. Martin grew up in a family that wasn’t accepted. The parish had accepted that Martin’s father would be in the parish. But they didn’t have (an open attitude).

Martin knew that he would have difficulty living in this parish. Martin hoped that he could find a wife from a different parish. But his father made an agreement with the mother of a woman whose father had died. This meant that Martin would stay near his father.

Martin agreed to his father’s decision. Martin hoped that this wouldn’t be a bad situation. Martin knew, because of his father, that he wouldn’t be allowed to have opinions. Martin had to accept that he wouldn’t be able to help make decisions. This meant that Martin knew that he wouldn’t have respect. He would just be a member of the church. He wouldn’t help think about things that affected the people of the village.

Martin knew, because of his situation, that he wouldn’t have a good family. Martin knew that, as he had children, they would want to have husbands and wives. Martin knew, because of his father, that he wouldn’t find good husband and wives for his children. So Martin decided to have very few children. This made it easier for him when he had to find husbands and wives. This is all that Martin will say now.

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