I added Xavier Zemp as a sealed son of John Kunz II and Anna Zemp.

Catherine Zemp (1837-1911) and her daughter Caroline Zemp Akert (1860-1902) were sealed to John Kunz II (1823-1890) as a family while all three were adults on 29 October 1884 in the Logan Temple. Catherine was never married to Caroline's birth father.

After John Kunz II passed away, Catherine's LDS twin brother, Peter Zemp (1837-1909), had their deceased elder sister, Maria Barbara Zemp (1823-1892), also sealed to John Kunz II. Attached is a pdf of Peter's Zemp's "Temple Ordinances Performed" record. It's a bit of work to read it, but make the effort to read page 7. It is a record of their sealing. It's interesting. Maria Barbara Zemp had never been married to anyone. You will see on this record that Peter listed many sealings of unmarried deceased women to John Kunz II at that time. This type of posthumous sealing of unmarried people was common at the time but was eventually discontinued.

Peter and Catherine referred to their sister as Maria Barbara Zemp although she was christened as Anna Maria Barbara Zemp on 22 January 1823 as seen in the Escholzmatt Christening Register Transcripts 1776-1833, Lucern State Archives, FA 29/57, p. 238, entry no. 7. That record is available on microfilm in the Salt Lake Family History Library. I don't have a photo of the christening. I am working with my Swiss-resident genealogist cousin Paul-Anthon Nielson. Paul saw this record and noted it when he visited the Lucern Archives about four years ago so we have the source information from his original notes.

Recently, a descendant of Peter Zemp came from the United States and asked Paul to be her translator while visiting with Robert Zemp, the current owner of the estate farm called "Ruetihus" in the village of Escholzmatt in Canton Lucerne (Switzerland). Twins Peter and Catherine Zemp were born in that family estate home, as was their eldest sister Maria Barbara Zemp and their other siblings.

Robert Zemp and his wife Marie were so kind and hospitable during our visit. They showed us numerous old photos, pedigree charts, court documents and deeds to the estate farm extending over a period of some three centuries.

At that time, the connection was unknown between Robert Zemp's family and the family of Catherine and Peter Zemp, but both families were keen to discover it. They allowed us to borrow many of these documents and photos from their family archive in order to compare and discover if a connection could be established.

Robert had a family group sheet which showed his grandfather, Xaver Zemp (1855-1930), as the son of Maria Zemp. Robert also had an official extract of the birth record of Xaver which showed that Xaver's father was never identified. I will attach a jpg of both these records.

Paul discovered that Xaver's mother, Maria Zemp, was the same woman identified as Maria Barbara Zemp, the older sister of Peter and Catherine, who had been sealed to John Kunz II over a century ago. I have added all the photos and data from the documents that Robert provided into Familysearch.org and will also add this explanation.

It seemed that the intent of twins Catherine and Peter Zemp would have been to have their nephew, Xaver Zemp, sealed to his mother, Maria Zemp and John Kunz II, however, such was not possible because at the time of the sealing of John Kunz II to Maria Barabara Zemp, Xaver was living. As there was no father of Xaver ever identified, we decided to seal Xaver to his mother and to John Kunz II, the man to whom she was sealed over a century ago. It seemed like the right thing to do.

John Kunz III was my great-great-grandpa. My great-grandpa, John William "Johnny" Kunz (1869-1945) was the younger brother of your ancestor Rosina Katharina "Rose" Kunz Eschler (1867-1944). I think that makes us 4th cousin's once removed. It's so nice to meet you. Do you use Facebook at all? We have two groups that add family history information. "Our Kunz Family in America" and "Diemtigen Bern Switzerland Roots." Both are great. People add their information and it makes for a more complete picture of our ancestors.

Did you know that when your ancestor, Rose Kunz, was born, the brother just older than her, Johann Jakob Kunz (1866-1867), had passed away two days previously? Their dad, John Kunz III was away making cheese and had to be brought home. About this event, our Swiss resident cousin Paul-Anthon Nielson wrote:

In a very brief autobiographical statement dicated shortly before his death by John Kunz III (to his granddaughter Sophie Olive Kunz Bateman [1894-1969]), he stated that his daughter Rose was born just two days after the death of Johann Jakob, he "...Being a corpse in the house ["auf der unteren Blatten" in Meniggrund] at the time." As seen in this family record, Jakob died on May 14th, Rose was born on May 16th and Jakob was buried on May 18th.

It was a particularly difficult time for the children's mother, Magdalena Straubhaar Kunz (1837-1874), because John III was already up in the higher Alps, presumably making cheese produced from the milk in a herd of cows owned by the "extended" Kunz family. Someone was sent to inform John III that his infant son had passed away, and by the time he returned home, his daughter Rose had been born.

In his short statement, John III also referred to the fact that his twin aunts, who lived -- literally "next door" -- on the old family farm "Blattenschwand," had been especially helpful to his wife and family during this trying time.

To the dismay of many in the immediate family, Aunt Rosina (1836-1913) had been baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in the summer of 1862 along with her father, Johannes Kunz I (1803-1871). A year later, Aunt Katharina (1836-1907) had also been baptized as a Mormon. Through the zealous efforts of John III's grandfather, the "Schwand" farm in Meniggrund had become the center of the little Simmental Branch of the denomination.

In the trying year of 1867, Magdalena Straubhaar Kunz contracted a fever, she "...Being a very sick woman almost unto death for over three months" After Jakob's death, John III's twin aunts, who were only a few months younger than his wife, were of immense help in looking after 2-year old William J. and baby Rose. It is certain that the three women developed a close friendship and that Magdalena Straubhaar Kunz learned much about the teachings of Mormonism.

When it became known that Mormon missionaries would be holding a "cottage meeting" in the late fall of 1868 at the nearby "Schwand" home where her husband's twin aunts lived with their parents, Magdalena Straubhaar Kunz pondered on the acutely difficult moments in her life in 1867 and the good deeds which the twin aunts had done for her and her children. Magdalena informed her husband that she would attend the gathering, whether or not he accompanied her.

John Kunz III finally agreed to go to the Mormon meeting in the home of his grandparents, but took along his long-stemmed pipe, with the intention of "smoking out" the missionaries. It was in that meeting that he first met Karl Gottfried Maeser (1828-1901), who was serving as the president of what was then known as the Swiss-German Mission, (then, apparently,) headquartered in Zurich. Throughout his life, John III repeatedly observed: "It took a Karl G. Maeser to make a Mormon out of me." Additionally, Magdalena Straubhaar Kunz, was a strong-willed woman, John III always "...Claiming that [she] had been instrumental in bringing indirectly his [own] conversion about as well as that of his grandmother." President Maeser baptized the couple in the Meniggrund creek below their home on 15 November 1868. Rosina Katharina Klossner Kunz, John III's grandmother, was baptized by the mission president at the same time, some six years after her husband had joined the Mormons.

We are very lucky to have great ancestors and to be able to learn many things about them.

Concerning the photo of the Ruetihus home where Catharina Zemp Kunz was born, Paul-Anthon Nielson wrote:
"'Ruetihus,' the Zemp Family Estate Farmhouse on the Outskirts of the Village of Escholzmatt (Canton Lucerne, Switzerland) where the Nine Childen of Peter Zemp and Barbara Stadelmann were born. This old photo was taken by an unknown photographer, probably sometime in the 1920s. Only two of the eight people seen standing in front of the farmhouse are (presently) known: the second man from the right is Robert Schoepfer; his wife, Katharina Ulmi Schoepfer (b. 1874), is standing between him and a child. They were the owners of the "Ruetihus" farm until 1936."

More information about the Zemp family can be obtained at Familysearch.org.

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