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Schwery Family History
Switzerland, Illinois, Iowa

Family of Gottfried and Mary Margaretha (Jemming) Schwery
Theodore Joseph (10/16/1870 - 10/1/1946), married Mary Ann FOXHOVEN (daughter of John and Maria Catherina)
John Anthony (9/10/1873 - 5/30/1960), married Mary Anna SCHMITZ (daughter of Adam and Maria Anna)
Susan Louise (8/11/1877 - 3/1/1945), married Joseph Benedict LEUSCHEN (son of Benedict and Ann Maria)
Melchior Joseph (1/6/1881 - 1/18/1942), married Theresa KLEIN (daughter of Joseph and Theresia)
Godfried (Fred) Mathias (6/22/1887 - 12/1957), married Dessa Beatrice MILLER (daughter of Frank and Mary)

Gottfried SCHWERY was born June 16, 1835 in Koblenz, Zurzach, Canton Aargau, Switzerland, near the border with Germany. Gottfried's parents were Michael SCHWERI (1786 to 1871) and Rosina SCHWERI. Godfrey worked with his father, Michael Schweri, on a small freighter on the Mediterranean Sea before coming to America. He was the last of 13 children. When he came to the U.S. he located in Louisiana, and worked on a flat-boatman on the Mississippi river. A few years later he located in LaSalle County, Illinois, where he worked for some years as a farm hand and then bought a small farm. It was in LaSalle County, Illinois that Godfrey met and married Margaret(ha) Jemming on April 15, 1869. Margaret, born May 12, 1845 in Kehlen, Canton Capellen, Luxembourg, was a daughter of Anton and Anna

The family farmed in Illinois before moving to Shelby County, Iowa about 1879-1880, settling in Westphalia Township. The 1883 plat shows "Godfried" owning 160 acres in the NW of section 11, and another 160 acres of land in the SE of section 21 which was immediately west of the small community of Westphalia.

Around 1901 Godfrey and Margaret moved to Panama, Iowa, where they spent the remainder of their years. Mr and Mrs Schwery died within two days of each other and had a double funeral. Margaret died on Ferbuary 10, 1914, and Godfrey died February 12, 1914, and both are buried at St Marys Cemetery, Panama, Shelby Co., Iowa.
Margaret's parents were Anton JEMMING (9/13/1811 to 9/5/1897) and Johanna [Anna] HOFFMANN (11/16/1812-10/14/1890), who are buried at St Josephs Cemetery, East Orange Twp, Sioux Co., Iowa.

Biographical Information from "Past and Present of Shelby County Iowa", published in 1915.
Godfred was born in Switzerland, educated in Germany and then began a sea-faring life with his father who had a small freighter on the Mediterranean Sea and carried goods between the various ports bordering the sea. When still a young man Godfred came to this country, located in Louisiana and found employment as a flat-boatman on the Mississippi river. A few years later he located in LaSalle County, Illinois, where he worked for some years as a farm hand and then bought a small farm. He continued to reside in Illinois until 1880 when he came to Shelby county and purchased a farm in Westphalia township. He and his wife died only two days apart, he passing away on February 12, 1914, and his wife two days before. They were the parents of five children: Theodore, whose history is here recorded; John, who married Mary Schmitz; Susan, the wife of Joseph Leuschen; Melcher, who married Matilda Schomer (deceased), and then Theresa Klein; and Godfred, who married Dessie Miller. [source: 1915 biography of his son Theodore]

Godfred was a native of Switzerland and his wife of Luxembourg, Germany, and they came to the United States several years before their marriage. Godfred Schwery was educated in Switzerland and after leaving school worked on a farm until he came to this country, at the age of twenty-three. He located in Illinois, and worked as a farm hand for ten years, during which time he married and began to farm for himself. In 1880 he sold the farm which he had previously bought in LaSalle county, Illinois, and brought his family to Shelby county. Iowa, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He farmed this for four or five years and then sold it and bought the farm on which his son, John A., is now living. He remained on this farm until 1901, when he bought a farm near Panama, this county, on which he lived until his death, which occurred February 12, 1914, his wife having died two days previously. Godfred Schwery and wife were the parents of five children: Theodore, who married Mary Foxhoven: John A., with whom this narrative deals; Susan, the wife of Joseph Leuschen: Melchier, who first married Matilda Schomer, and after her death, Theresa Klein, and Fred, who married Bessie Miller. [source: 1915 biography of his son John Schwery]

Another Member of the Schwery Family?
In some of the history passed down in the Schwery family, it mentions that Godfrey had brothers named Timothy and Joseph. It was thought that Joseph came to America, lived in Illinois, and served in the Civil War. Although Godfrey is believed to have arrived in the U.S. in the 1858-1860 timeframe, he does not appear in the Civil War rolls.

There was a Joseph who lived in Illinois and served in the Civil War. This was Joseph Schwery who was born about April 1825 in Switzerland, and who lived in the area of Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois. Joseph served as a Private in Company C of the 96th Illinois Infantry Regiment. Joseph married a Barbara ?? about 1864-65, and had a family which included Frank, George, Frances, Joseph, Edward, Herman, Mary, and Elizabeth. Joseph died in 1904 and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Waukegan, Illinois.

Article compiled by Dennis Walsh, October 2005.