Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1880s Autograph Album of Bertha Fitz of Carman, Illinois

1880s autograph that belonged to Bertha Fitz of Carman, Illinois.

The album is approximately 5" x 3" and contains 48 pages signed by Bertha's relatives, friends and schoolmates.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

The album is in rough shape and is missing a title page and perhaps also some pages at the beginning or end, but not many, if any.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections welcome]

Bertha T. Fitz was born 22 October 1873 at Carman, Illinois, the daughter of Gebhard and Emma Elizabeth (Kunze) Fitz, who were born in Austria and Germany respectively.

Bertha's mother Emma signed a page in the album, in German, in 1884.  She penned a few lines from a German hymn: Es ist bestimmt in Gottes Rath/It is Certain in God's Wisdom

It is certain in God's wisdom
that from our dearest loved one
we must part,
even if there is nothing in the world
that falls, oh! so bitterly on the heart
as such parting, yes parting.

As to you is given a small bud,
thus put it into a tumbler,
but know this, yes know it!,
a little rose that blooms tomorrow,
the following night will see it wither,
know that, yes know it.

And as God has given you a devotion
and you hold that love quite dearly,
as your own!
It will be about eight boards, then,
you soon will put her in!,
weep then, yes weep!

Now, you must also understand me properly,
yes, understand!
If people do thus part, then,
they say: we'll see each other again, 
yes, again.

Bertha's paternal grandparents were Gebhard and Helena (Peters) Fitz.  Her maternal grandparents were August and Theresa (Albrecht) Kunze.

On 4 October 1893 in Henderson County, Illinois, Bertha married George Edward Chandler, son of George W. and Annie Elizabeth (Walter) Chandler.  George E. was born about September 1868 in Henderson County, Illinois.

The couple farmed at Stronghurst, Illinois and raised, I think, seven children.  

Young Clara Fitz signed a page in her sister Bertha's album .

Alma Fitz signed a page in 1884.  She may have been Bertha's sister. 

Bertha's aunt, Anna L. Mohrling, signed a page.  I wonder if she was the half sister of Bertha's mother Emma Elizabeth (Kunze) Fitz.  Emma's mother was Theresa Albrecht, and I found a Theresa Albrecht who was married to Karl Heinrich Mohrling.  

Several other people named Mohrling signed pages in Bertha's album.  One of them signed the first page in the album, in German, in 1884.

Matilda Morling signed a page in 1884.

May Morling signed a page in 1885.

Thanks to a collaborator on the Heirlooms Lost and Found community on Google+, I have a translation for the following page, signed by Alma Siegwarth of Carman, Illinois.

Die Rose blüht
Die Dorne sticht
Darum Liebe mich
und vergiß mich nicht.

The rose blooms
The Thorn stings
So love me
and do not forget me.

If you have corrections and/or clarifications to the information above, or can provide a translation of the pages written in German, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Alphabetical list of signers [note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alpha order.]

  • Minnie of Terre Haute, Illinois, 1886; schoolmate
  • Eva; schoolmate
  • Maranda, 1884
  • Gertrude, possibly Gertrude D. F. of South Prairie, Illinois, 1884
  • Lydia, 1886; her surname is smudged and illegible; could start with F or P
  • Rob [I think];1884; schoolmate
  • Ella Anderson, 1885
  • Hettie Annegers of Carman, Illinois
  • Clara M. Apt of Carman, Illinois, 1886
  • Bertha Apt
  • Ollie M. Best, 1884
  • Sophia E. Bradley of Carman, Illinois, 1885
  • H. N. Burns of Olena, Illinois, 1884
  • Essie Carothers
  • Eva Carothers, 1884
  • Robbie Carothers, 1884
  • L. A. Coffin of Terre Haute, Illinois, 1885; Bertha's teacher
  • Clara D of Carman, Illinois, at Maple Grove Schoolhouse, 1887
  • Lula Dixson, 1884
  • Cora Dixson, 1884
  • Bertha Fitz of Carman, Illinois; album owner
  • Clara Fitz of Carman, Illinois; Bertha's younger sister
  • Emma Fitz, 1884; Bertha's mother Emma Elizabeth (Kunze) Fitz
  • Alma Fitz; possibly Bertha's sister
  • Henry M. Foote, 1884
  • Jessie Foote
  • Eliza C. Freeman, signed at Terre Haute, Illinois, 1886; schoolmate
  • Hattie E. Gibson, 1884
  • Annie Hillier of La Harpe, Illinois, 1886
  • Cora Lee
  • Andreres Mohrling, 1884
  • Matilda Mohrling, 1884
  • May Mohrling, 1885
  • Anna L. Mohrling; Bertha's Aunt.  I wonder if Anna was a half sister to Bertha's mother through their mother Theresa (Albrecht) Kunze who possibly later married Karl Heinrich Mohrling?
  • Lavina J. Nichols, 1884
  • Bertha Peasley, signed at Terre Haute, Illinois, 1886
  • Ida Powell, 1885
  • Luis Quaintance of Carman, Illinois
  • Maud Ross of Carman, Illinois
  • Maggie Ross of Carman, Illinois
  • Addie M. Ross, signed at Maple Grove school, 1885
  • Hattie Shafer, signed at Maple Grove School, 1885; schoolmate
  • Katie C. Shafer, signed at Maple Grove school, 1885
  • Della Shafer, signed at Maple Grove school, 1885
  • Alma C. Siegwarth, 1884
  • Alma Siegwarth of Carman, Illinois
  • Henry Song
  • Lenore Stevens of Morning Sun, Illinois, 1884; Bertha's teacher
  • May Tadlock, 1885
Carman, Illinois

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Her mother's verse is from a hymn and is translated here: http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=5629.

  2. Judy, thanks so much! I'm amending the post.

  3. Hi!
    I am a relative from Bertha from Austria!
    My grand-grand-father was a cousin from Bertha!

  4. Omigosh - that's wonderful! Thanks for writing, Anneliese. I'm so glad you happened upon this post and that it connects with your family!

  5. Hi! Is this Album for sale??

  6. Yes, the album is for sale. Please contact me at my email address in the right column near the top.