Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Tale of Two Houses

I realized when I got ready to write about Anna Moser Vonderheide, my great-grandmother, that I knew quite a bit about her as an adult and very little about her as a child. I knew from Aunt Evelyn that she had been raised by her grandparents, the Wockers, and that she is even buried in a plot owned by her grandparents at Mother of God. But what of her parents? I knew very little.

My search took me over to the Kenton County Library to research many clues I had from scanning their data base online. But I had no idea how interesting it was all going to be.Anna's parents were Charles (Karl) Moser and Francisca Wocker. I've now found "Wocker" spelled six different ways in documents. Charles Moser and Francisca "Wacker" (an example of the multiple spellings) were married August 8, 1867 at Holy Trinity Church in Cincinnati. They moved to Kentucky early on where Charles' occupation was most often listed as "cabinet maker."

They had eight children:
Frederick - 1868
Karl - 1869
Joseph - 1873
Geroge - 1875
Anna Catherine - 1876
Henry - 1879
Stillborn Girl - 1880
Adolf - 1881 (lived four weeks)

The majority of their married life, they lived in this home at 218 W. 6th Street in Covington. It was a two-family and they lived in the unit pictured on the right. It is located just down the street from Mother of God Church. Interestingly, Anna's maternal grandparents, Frederick and Catharine Wocker lived right next door at 216 W. 6th Street.

It appears as if all was not well in the Moser household. Anna's mother, Francisca, died at the age of 39 years old. I was able to find a Death Certificate that listed her cause of death on July 14, 1885 as "cirrhosis of the liver." Note that her last two children really didn't survive very long.

Charles remarried and Anna now had a stepmother, Elizabeth. Note that Anna was the only girl among her siblings, and according to Aunt Evelyn, all was not well. Anna's bedroom was in the uninsulated attic. Her stepmother insisted that she wash her "long johns" daily. By the next morning they would not be dry, but Anna was required to put them on anyway. This practice led to Anna becoming quite ill and her grandparents, living next door, agreeing to let Anna move in with them. Thus Anna, following the death of her mother, was largely raised by her grandparents.

As if knowing that was not enough, I found more evidence of "trouble in paradise". I will discuss that in the next post.

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