Zumstein Family History

The descendants of Christen Zumstein are from the Canton of Bern, of which Bern is the principal city and also the capital of Switzerland. In 1985 Heinrich Zumstein, of Mellingen, Switzerland, published the book "Genealogie Der Familien Zumstein In Der Schweiz" in which he traces the ancestry of the many Zumstein families or clans of Switzerland. In that book he shows Henry (Heinrich Ernst) Zumstein as descended from Christen Zumstein von Seeberg and Eva Glauser from the early 1600’s.

Of the five children of Christen and Eva, the youngest son was Hannes. Hannes b. 1637 married Ursula Arberb in about 1659. They had five children of which Hans was in the middle.

Hans, b. 1670 in Seeberg married Elsbeth Widmer of Grasswil. They had nine children of which Johannes was the youngest.

Johannes, b. 1713 married Elsbeth Jost von Alchenstorf in 1735. Of their six children Hans, der Zimmermann, was the fourth.

Hans b. 1744 married Anna Schneider von Waltingen in 1771. They had eight children of which Johannes was the eldest.

Johannes b. 1771 married Maria Glauser von Münchringen in 1799. Josef, the seventh of eight children, was b. 1815 married Marie Luise Spychiger of Grasswil in 1841. They had thirteen children, the eldest being Johann Ludwig.

Johann Ludwig b. 30 Oct. 1841 in St. Imier, also referred to as Jean Louis was born in the Bern Canton and d. 31 Aug. 1872. On 23 July 1864 he married Rosina Kohler of Landiswil, b. 5 March 1847 and d. 14 Nov 1882. They had six known children. Rosina died just one month following the birth of her last son, Emil. Some of their children were born in St. Imier, others in Villeret. Villeret is a municipality in the Jura bernois administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is located in the French-speaking Bernese Jura (Jura Bernois).

Seeberg is to the northeast of Bern, between Bern and Zurich. St. Imier is to the northwest of Bern and to the north of Neuchatel. Villeret is very near St. Imier.

The children of Johann and Rosina were orphaned on the death of Rosina in 1882. It is known that four of the children, Hortense, Lea, Joseph Archille, and Heinrich Ernst also known as Henry Ernest came to the USA between 1882 and 1890. Louis Oscar b. 18 Sep. 1866 remained in Switzerland and died there 21 March 1926. Emma b. 7 Aug. 1870 d. 1963, married Elias Friedmann 11 Mar. 1906, lived in Switzerland her whole life. Emil Eduard, the last son of Rosina was born 10 Oct. 1882 and died at less than one year of age on 7 March 1883.

Hortense, b. 7 March 1865 in St. Imier came to Oakland, California in 1882 and first married a gentleman named Bull, then married a J.B. Charpie. She died by a poisoning overdose after an illness in Alameda, California in 1942.

Lea, b.11 June 1868 in St. Imier came to the USA in 1891. On November 29th, 1894 she married Edward Bellerive. One of the witnesses at their wedding was Henry Zumstein. Henry's residence is shown as Sacramento, CA. Edward, listed as a painter on his death certificate, was, also according to that certificate, born in July 25, 1854 on the French Island of Reunion, which is in the Indian Ocean to the southeast of Madagascar. Lea died in 1926, he in 1935. They had four children, Myrtle, Henry, Evelyn and Rene. Myrtle married Paul Nutting, Rene died single. Evelyn, who was originally named Eveline Berke, but amended her birth certificae in 1941, the year she married George Hearst Danis. George's family traces its roots back to Canada. In Canada the family name is spelled D'Anis, and some relatives in the USA use the same spelling. George and Evelyn both died but weeks apart in July 1996. Henry Edward Bellerive married Marjorie Wood in 1927. They had two children who are alive today with their own families. Henry and Marjorie died just two months apart in 1993.

Archille b. 6 July 1871 in St. Imier is believed to have come to Oakland in 1882 with Hortense. He married a Louise, who is said to have been born in Belgium, in Oakland, California. They moved to Honolulu where Archille died in 1934 and Louise died in 1946.

Henry Ernst Zumstein b. 5 May 1870 in Villeret, emigrated to California at an unknown date but is believed to have come with one of his sisters. Henry suffered from asthma and traveled to many locations before and after his marriage to find climates compatible with that problem. He was a chef by trade.

The exact date of immigration for Henry is unknown. He first shows of record, along with his brother Archille, in an 1890 listing in the San Francisco City Directory. Both brothers are shown as confectioners, living on Polk St. Archille continues listed every year in this directory through 1907. Hortense shows up once in 1892 as a domestic. Henry is listed only once more, in 1894, as a baker. It is assumed that the directory was printed in the beginning of 1894, as Henry shows up later that year as a resident of Sacramento on the Marriage Certificate of Lea and Edward.

Where was Henry between 1894 and 1905? In 1898 he registered to vote in Sonora, CA. In 1892 Henry and his brother Achille registered to vote in San Francisco, CA. Reviewing the two registration documents one finds two differing dates of Naturalization (1891 and 1892 in San Francisco). His daughter Clara said that he worked as a chef in a restaurant in the Lake Tahoe area. This is probably true as found in his cook books were copies of menus and invitations from various establishments including Lake Tahoe. It could also be that he moved back and forth from the San Francisco Bay Area to these outlying jobs during high seasons - as the dates on the menus tend to show. These menus and invitations are from San Mateo, CA in 1894, Paso Robles, CA in 1897-988, Lake Tahoe in 1900-1902, Tonopah, NV in 1905-1906, an unknown city in 1909 and finally Vancouver, BC in 1913. The 1909 city could be Tacoma as the menu is from a Cafe and Oyster Parlor and Emil was born in Tacoma in 1910, but maybe Oakland because he was listed there in early 1909 as a chef.

On 15 June 1905 Henry married Rosie Anna Meister, daughter of Joseph Meister and Christina Weiffen in Tonopah, Nevada. Rosie was born 30 March 1883 in Newark, Nevada at the mining claims of her father. They must have been a very interesting couple as Rosie was very tall at nearly six feet, while Henry barely stood five and half feet tall.

Henry and Rosie had a large family of ten children, although two, Wilfred and Anna, died in childbirth. Clara was born 31 May 1906 in Tonopah. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Blair, Nevada, where Ernest was born 13 Nov. 1907. Blair is now a ghost town but was a very active silver mining town in the early 1900's.

In 1909 Henry and family moved to Oakland, CA where he continued his trade as a cook. Henry and family moved to the State of Washington in 1909-1910 where in 1910 Emil was born in Tacoma. In 1912 Cecelia was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Clara said they lived in Canada for a short time. The family moved back to the USA just across the border to Blaine, Washington. In 1912 Henry began the purchase of a small farm just on the outskirts of Blaine on a land contract basis, with the final payment and warranty deed not being made and recorded until March 1915. Correspondence, payment receipts, and recorded deeds show an interesting history of this property. Henrietta often related stories of men bringing bootleg (the US Prohibition began in 1919 and ran through the time the lived in Blaine) liquor across their back fence (which was the Canadian border, hiding it in the trees and other men coming by later on the US side to pick it up. According to comments from Rosie to various grandchildren, Henry worked in a restaurant in Bellingham,WA while Rosie and family lived and worked on the farm (see farm house and barn).

Henrietta was born in Blaine in 1913. Some of Whatcom County's (the county in which Blaine is located) records were destroyed in a fire, a Baptismal Certificate being the only record we have of Henrietta's birth. Wilfred (who was stillborn and buried on their property in Blaine) was born in 1915, Martha in 1917, Lawrence in 1918, and Carl in 1920. Pictures show several of the children on the farm in the early 1920s. Family stories relate that their back yard, which was on the Canadian border, was a point of crossing for smugglers of booze during the Prohibition.

In the mid-1920's the family moved to Stockton, California where Henry established a small restaurant, called Henry’s Good Eats, in downtown near the Stockton Hotel. According to comments from Henrietta and Martha, in 1924 the last of the children, Anna, died in childbirth in Stockton. The family lived at 1937 So. Sutter Street in Stockton until after Rosie’s death.

All of the children attended high school, many of them going to St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Stockton. The only child to attend college was Clara. The younger girls said they willingly worked in the restaurant so that Clara could get through college.

Henry operated the restaurant until his death in 1934 at age 63 of stomach or colon cancer. The cuisine at the restaurant was common for the times. However, Henry’s personal recipe book, mostly written in Swiss-German, includes many recipes for pastries and other sweets.

Rosie was a devout Catholic. She attended early mass nearly every day. She died in a rest home in Stockton at the age of 91.

Copyright 2002-2013 by Bob Serventi