Electronic mail message from Beverley Gutenberg, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Got this tale from Puis Welk who may be known to some of you. It concerns the maternal family of Lawrence Welk. This may have been written in one of Joseph Heit's books. A notation on the page says: "From Dr. Heit".
The Schwan's had one son, Johannes, who married and fathered six children. They lived on the homestead in Strassburg . Johannes' first five children were girls, his youngest was a son, Johannes, born in 1846. Little Johannes' mother had tragically died of blood poisoning in childbirth.
Fortunately the Schwan's neighbours, Ludwig and Marianna (Bertsch) Erk were kind people. As it happened they had had a baby girl, Barbara, just a month before Johannes' birth and his mother's tragic death. Marianna Erk, a good Christain woman with a warm and loving heart, offered to nurse the neighbour's little baby boy along with her own daughter. Each day at feeding time one of Johannes' sisters would take the baby over to Mrs. Erk until the time came when he was weaned.
However, thoughout his childhood and as a teenager, Johannes Schwan remained a daily visitor at the Erk home. He loved his nursing mother and was deeply devoted to her. Twenty years later she was to become his mother-in-law when he married Barbara.
Johannes and Barbara had seven children. The second born was Christine - Lawrence Welk's mother.