When My Grandmother Was Twelve Years Old

jantz family 2 (1)

A treasured item found among my mother’s things after she died, was this photo of my grandmother’s family in 1904 just before they began the immigration process to move to Canada from Kansas.  My grandmother Annie E. Jantz is the youngest girl in the photo.  She was born in 1892 so she would have been 12 years old. 

In the front row sitting from the left are Marie -14, my great grandmother Marie Gerbrandt Jantz born in 1860 in Swiniary, Poland, my great grandfather Peter H. Jantz born in 1850 in Zosnow, Poland,  Edward-16.

Standing in the back row starting from the left are Matilda-19, my grandmother Annie-12,  Ben- 25, Henry- 20,  John -17,  Valentine-22. 

My great grandmother Maria Gerbrandt immigrated to Kansas from Poland in May of 1875 with her family.  My great grandfather Peter H. Jantz immigrated to Illinois from Poland in July of 1874.  He moved to Kansas in 1877 and he and Maria were married in Kansas in 1879.  In 1905 their son Valentine moved to Drake, Saskatchewan, in 1906 their son Ben immigrated there, and in 1906 the rest of the family followed. 

Other posts………

Family Tree

A Good Understanding

My Grandparents’ Honeymoon


Filed under Family, History

6 responses to “When My Grandmother Was Twelve Years Old

  1. Eric Gordon

    Hi MaryLou, I was very excited to come across this post, as I’ve been doing family history…we are distant cousins. My great-grandfather Julius Jantz was the nephew of Peter H. Jantz; Peter had only recently passed away when Julius, his wife Ida and his family arrived from Prussia in late 1910/early 1911. Julius was the son of Gerhard, the older brother of Peter. Your grandparents took in one of the orphaned sons of Edward and Louisa Tessmer, who both died in the 1918 flu epidemic; Edward was Ida’s brother. I’ve written an article on that subject, which I’d like to send you. You’ll also be interested to know the musical background of the Jantz family carried through on Julius’ side.


    • Dear Eric,
      Would love to read your article. You can send it to me at maryloudriedger@gmail.com. My grandparents were married in 1917 and went on a long honeymoon train trip for several months. In my grandmother’s journal about that trip and the year following it she does write about the many people in her family who died in the flu epidemic. I know the family was musical. My Mom started piano lessons at age 6 and she became a very accomplished pianist. My grandparents sang duets together. I wish I could ask my Mom about this Edward Tessmer but she died in 2013. In November I am going to visit my Mom’s 96 year old sister in Saskatoon. She still has a very sharp memory so I will ask her if she knew about him. I look forward to reading your article.


  2. Eric Gordon

    Hi MaryLou, I emailed the article along with some old photos and records. Hopefully they came through.


    • Yes thanks ever so much Eric. I should have responded sooner. Our family has been in the midst of 90th birthday celebrations for my Dad so my e-mail responses have gotten behind. I look forward to delving more into our family connections in the near future.


  3. Al Tessmer

    Hi Mary: i’m the grandson of Edward and Louisa… teach at Eastern Michigan University… would love to share whatever I have on my grandfather, Edward, and my father (also Edward). phone 313 682 7848 or aetess@aol.com. I remember a Jantz visiting my parents when I was a child. Have much info to share…look forward to your call/email. Excuse the terrible writing/punctuation, please.
    Al Tessmer
    Belleville, Michigan (near Detroit)


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