Sunday, June 8, 2008

IN MEMORIUM - Willard Schanz

I have been neglecting my blog recently. My excuse is that Ed and I took the month of May off and traveled to Texas to visit his family, and to California to visit friends. Since we got back, I have no excuse.


While we were on the road we were deeply saddened to receive word that my uncle Willard Schanz had died unexpectedly. His obituary is posted on the Berne Historical Project web site so I won't repeat it here.

Uncle Willard's great-grandfather, George Schanz, Jr. was born in Bavaria in 1840 and immigrated to settle on West Mountain in Berne about 1869. A few years later George married Christina P. Becker, the daughter of his neighbor's Mattice and Charlotte Becker. They were from Strausberg, Germany.

Willard's mother was Mildred Proper. Her ancestors settled in Schoharie in the late 18th Century.

On Aug. 7, 1954 Willard married my aunt, Mavis Ada Becker, daughter of Omer and Ada Shultes Becker. Mavis' great-grandfather, Peter Becker, was born in Waldham, Bas-Rhin, Baden, Germany. He and his parents and siblings immigrated in 1840 and settled on West Mountain. Peter's half-brother Philip was born in Strasurg according to 1855 NYS Census census records. It is not unlikely that Mavis and Willard's Becker ancestors were cousins, but their exact relationship is unknown at this time.

Ada Shultes' earliest known Shultes ancestor was Mathias, who came to Beaver Dam (now Berne) about 1751 with his mother , Maria Elisabetha Dietz and his step-father Jacob Weidman. Mathias' son Mathias II was one of the earliest settlers on West Mountain and is buried there in the Mathias and Peter Shultes Family Burying Ground.