As I was planning our road trip to Wisconsin I contacted a cousin of my mother’s. Her maiden name was Pauline Ramminger. I remember mom taking my sister, brother and I to Pauline’s wedding in Dorchester, Clark County in 1963. We stayed with mom’s aunt Bessie (her mother’s sister) who still lived on a dairy farm; and we visited other cousins’ in the area. What an experience for us city kids; we had such a blast on the farms! The visit was also the first time we saw Amish riding down the road shoulders in a horse and buggy. We thought mom made that up.
In 1977, mom and I visited Wisconsin and stayed with her father, my Grandpa Hank (Henry Raminger [he always dropped the second "m" in Ramminger]) and his second wife Bonita. They lived in the small town of Waterloo in Jefferson County. The four of us piled in grandpa’s car and drove up to Dorchester for a visit. Mom and I stayed with her cousin Mildred; Grandpa and Grandma Bonita stayed with grandpa’s brother and sister-in-law Arthur and Margaret (Pauline’s parents). During our stay Pauline came over and we got to meet her four young children. That was the last time I saw Pauline.
Through the years mom would get holiday cards and letters from Pauline and her family; she would let us read the letters so we could also keep up with the relatives in Wisconsin. I seemed to have picked up the holiday card and letter writing after mom passed away. When I starting with my family genealogy, Pauline was one of the people I contacted for family information. She was happy to hear we wanted to visit. She’s 70, but still has her own beauty salon attached to her house; her daughter also works with her. We were only planning on visiting on a Sunday, but since she didn’t work on Monday we stayed an extra day, so glad we did.
Pauline filled in so many gaps and holes in my family research. She told me her father Arthur Ramminger, acquired the family farm and took care of his elderly parents George and Suzanna Ramminger. George had come from Sheboygan County to Clark County in the early 1890s to homestead. I had previously found the Ramminger name in Sheboygan County and wondered if we were related. I’d been keeping separate records about that family until I could link them with ours. I didn’t want to start following the wrong family just because they had the same surname. Pauline had assured me that yes, they were our ancestors.
|Pauline & me|
Pauline took us by the original family farm and to cemeteries where other family members were buried. We took many photos. She explained the area, the schools, who married who, etc. She reminisced about growing up on the farm, school; family visits with my mother and her family, etc.
Pauline remembered she was given a box of “stuff;” never really had the time to thoroughly look through it. She remembered where it was stored, and brought to the table. Apparently years ago, a younger cousin had sat down with his father John and his uncle Henry (my Grandpa Hank) and wrote down everything the brothers told him about the Ramminger family. After finding all this documentation, it really did link the Clark County Rammingers’ with the Sheboygan Rammingers’. OMG, holy mackerel, pay-dirt, jackpot, happy dance! After that find, I decided we were going to Sheboygan County before we left Wisconsin.