Susanna’s Family

Parents: Xavier and Anna
Susanna's parents were Xavier Wagerer (also called Franz Xavier is some records), and Anna Wagerer.  Anna Wagerer was born Sigl (which is also spelled Siegl in some records). The name by either spelling is very common in that region. The word "wagerer" may be related to "wagner" which means "wheelwright" or “wagon maker” and the family coat of arms has a wagon wheel in the center, but the writer did not find any references to wheel or wagon building in the family history.  Wagerer Coat of Arms.

Xavier's father was named Andreas Wagerer but we do not know his mother’s name. Both Andreas and his wife were farm people, according to Klara Mayer (see below regarding Klara).  Xavier’s death certificate indicates he was born in “Gaserin,” but there is no town by that name on current maps.  Anna Wagerer nee Sigl came from the Beutelsback area, Beutelsback is a small town near Egglham, where the principal occupation is farming.  Anna's father, however, was a goldsmith, and Anna worked in that business with her father and brothers. Visitors at their farmhouse were sometimes asked to help drawing gold through dies to make gold thread.

Xavier was born in 1842, and worked for the postal service. Karl Baumeister (see below), the proprietor of the local ale house, said Xavier was a "postillion'," that is, he drove the mail wagon or stagecoach (the postal service in German and much of Europe is linked to the public transport). Karl conjures up a picture of Xavier driving the yellow stage coach 40 km to the towns of Pfaarkirchen and Aidenback then back again each day - rain, sleet or come what may - loudly blowing the post horn as needed. The post horn, roughly a bugle wrapped in a circle, is the symbol of the postal service in Germany. Klara Mayer and the Town Clerk of Egglham, Klara working from memory and the Mayor deciphering the old town records, both describe Xavier's job as "Postschalter," (literally "post counter") who manned the local post office and also delivered letters and packages to the local farmers.  Either way Xavier had a secure government job, which required some education, and the local farmers probably envied him.  Xavier died in January 13, 1915, at the age of 73. Death Certificate of Xavier.

Anna Wagerer nee Sigl was born either later 1841 or early 1842 in Holzpaulus near the town of Beutelsbach.  Klara said Anna kept chickens and sold the eggs at the roadside, 30 eggs for one mark (about 5 dozen for a dollar).  She also had a small store in one room of the house for selling pottery and milk. The house has been torn down and a new house built on the site. Klara recalls the old house had three cherry trees in front of it, one sweet cherry, one sour for making jelly, and one with small (decorative?) cherries. Postcard shows the old house location.  The author’s mother recalls reading letters Anna wrote to her daughter Susanna and remarking at her precise handwriting.  Anna died on May 11, 1933, at the age of 91 years and 5 months, according to the death certificate in the town hall.  This is at variance with Klara's and Susanna's (as told to the writer) recollection that Anna died at the age of 96. Death certificate of Anna 

The writer recollects Susanna's story, which was later confirmed by Klara that Xavier was born with very poor eyesight. As a teenager (on the recommendation of his future wife's family?) he had a small golden earring installed.  This earring so improved his eyesight that Xavier was later a sharpshooter detachment in the Army.  Xavier served in the Bavarian Army in the Franco-Prussian War.

Susanna's Brother – Alfons
Xavier and Anna had two children besides Susanna: Alfons and Anna.  Alfons Wagerer married Elizabeth Bernwinkler; she had 6 children: Alfons, Paula, Sepp, Bernhard, Maria, and Hans. Alfons Wagerer was a German soldier in the First World War. He was killed in April 13, 1915, in northern France and was buried there.  He was 32.  Before the war he worked as a clerk in Dommelstedal near Passau. After his death Elizabeth returned to Egglham where she ran a small hotel (Gasthouse) she died in 1943.  Of her children:

Maria and Paula’s family.

Susanna's Sister – Anna
Anna Wagerer, the eldest of the three children of Xavier and Anna, died April 12, 1944.  She never married.  Anna would tell stories to the neighborhood children, who called her "nonne," an affectionate term for "aunt."  She had two children, Rosa (Rosel) and Karl. 


File of photos of Susanna and Egglham family

Frau Klara Mayer recollects Susanna gave her the first banana she had ever tasted, a great delicacy in a small farm town before the turn of the century.  Susanna had a prayer book, a gift when she was confirmed in Vilshafen in August 1897.  It says her confirmation sponsor was Mery Fanney Rucker.  Susanna learned the trade of seamstress (näherin) from a Fraulein Maier of Egglham.  Klara has pictures of her first communion dress, which was sewn by Susanna.  Klara gave the writer a picture of Rosa Wagerer taken at that time; Susanna also made Rosa’s dress.  Susanna then worked as a seamstress in Munich for a time. While in Munich she had a large goiter removed.  Susanna immigrated to the United States, arriving on December 3, 1912.  She sailed from Bremerhaven on a ship named the Crown Princess Cecilia, which was taken over during the First World War by the US and renamed the SS Mt. Vernon.  In the US Susanna worked as the resident seamstress in the home of the Piels, wealthy German-American brew masters.  (The writer remembers a series of funny beer commercials in the early 60’s that featured Bert and Harry Piel – at the time Susanna said there were no Piel children with those names.)  The Piels lived in a townhouse on Riverside Drive in New York City and summered in Huntington, N.Y.


Sources of Egglham Information

Klara Mayer
Klara Mayer was born in 1896 and died in 1986; she was a friend of Rosa Wagerer and Klara's older sister was Susanna's girlhood friend.   [Photo 3.]   Klara’s father, Johan Meyer was the school master.  Klara was the town clerk of Egglham for almost 60 years, and the current town clerk suggested that the writer speak with Klara regarding the family history.  Klara helped fill in some the details.

Karl Baumeister
Karl is the proprietor of the "gasthof zur Post," a small hotel on the lot next where the Wagerer house stood.  Karl was lifelong resident of Egglham, and his English is quite good - he was a POW in Texas during World War Two. 

Clerk of Egglham
The clerk in the Egglham city Hall was quite helpful, despite the writer less-than-fluent German. Unfortunately the old German script in the records is difficult to read, even for a German. Attachment 2 has the pages of the town journal recording the deaths of Franz Xavier in 1915 and Anna Wagerer in 1933 (the neat printing above the difficult-to-read script was done by the clerk).  The older records were kept in the Pfarramt (literally the priest's office).  The clerk advised me that the older records were destroyed in a fire. The Pfarramt referred me to the bishop's archives in Passau, but the writer did not go there.  [Bischofe Archiv; Luragogesse  (spelling?) 8390 Passau]