There are two spellings of the TSCHIRGI name. One, like mine, ends with the GI and the other KY. For years I believed the two names to be the same just misspelled or misinterpreted. I now know the names are intertwined and different. The Catholic Church in Weisstannen, Switzerland has several Tschirgis married to Tschirkys.

Ivan III Vasilievich was known as "Ivan the Great" (1440-1505) was the Grand duke of Muscovy from 1462 to 1505. His victories against the Tartars laid the foundations for eventual Russian unity. Tsars, Emperors of Russia, started with Peter Romanovs 1682-1725, known as "Peter the Great", took title of Tsar in 1721. That is the area I'm looking for information. My chart begins in 1680. Peter ruled in uncertain times with a huge military force. Peter controlled huge armies who defended his land with a force that rivaled no other. But he was unhappy. His armies were winning in the open plains to the east. They defended the land to the west and there was little opposition from the south. Though they seldom lost any battles with the likes of Genghis Khan, he was unhappy because he lost 2000 men defeating their 1000. Peter the Great wanted to modernize his armies. He was jealous of the muskets the Barbarians used. He wanted the long knives for his officers. He wanted modern farm equipment, better facilities, modern methods. His people resisted wanting to hold on to the age old ways their fathers tough them. They wanted to remain the way they had been for hundreds and hundreds of years. The people resisted any change to their closed in, secure life. The council also resisted the new ideas. The military leaders preferred the safety of outnumbering any enemies rather than risk change and possible defeat with new ideas. This, of course, ran contrary to the Czars wishes. As in all governments, there was a faction of the council which deeply resisted the modern changes sought by the Czar. Fearing the rapid modernization of the army would undermine their determination to acquire power, they secretly plotted a rebellion. The history books are not clear about this particular attempted overthrow. Almost all the recorded history of the time was kept by monks whose primary aim was to point out the need for spiritual improvements.

The Tschirkys were always in the Canton of St Gall, Mels and the surrounding hills. They had several name variations because of marriages between different nationalities such as Romans, and Greeks. Though I believe the Russian name was actually CHIGORIN which translates to Tschirgi easily. In a book I prize given to me By Dr. Robert Tschirgi there is a quote about where Tschirgi came from. The book includes a story relayed to him from his Grandmother. I quote, "... that my ancestor was a Russian general by the name of Tachirgorian, and by the time the Republic of Switzerland was formed, he, together with his company of soldiers, fled from the despotic government of Russia to the promise of freedom in the mountain fastness of the Alps and of Switzerland. In this harbor of safety the name Tachirgirian was changed to Tschirgi, omitting the letters which would betray the Russian identification. I suppose this is why so many have a difficulty in determining the nationality of the name, calling it Italian, Japanese and whatnot." The Russian General in finding a name so close to his own might have decided to stay in the area."

The Chart.

The earliest Tschirgi on a chart my Grandmother owned is of a Georg Tschirgi who was born around 1630 place unknown. His son Valentine born in Switzerland, died in 1681, married Marie Bertschin in 1665 and had one recorded son. Johann Baptist born 1678 married Ursula Bleisch in 1707 and died at age 89 (somewhat unbelievable) in 1767. The records I have seen in Weisstannen have a Joesef Anton 1711-1772. He married twice 1745 and 1757. We lose a generation but pick up again with Mathias born 19 October 1803 to dies 9 December 1857. The chart shows him as a beer brewer. He marries on 11 April 1824 to his first wife Agatha Pappler(?). She has one son Mathias, born 23 October 1824 but she dies at childbirth. Mathias marries again to Matin Anna Schatz. Their first of 15 children started in 1827. Her last was in 1846 and in 1839, her 7th child, Alois was born. Mathias, the first son imagrates to America when Alois was 7. Alois follows him years later.

Click here. to see some pictures of Weistannen, Switzerland.
! NEW! My chart pages are under heavy construction. You can watch their progress by clicking ! here.

Tschirgis' in America.

According to the book, "The Tenderfoot", Mathias (born Oct 1824 in Canton, St. Gallen, Switzerland) arrived in the United Stated at age 21 in 1845. He arrived in New Orleans and found passage up the Mississippi. The river boat floundered and he was picked up bound for Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque at the time was a small Indian trading village. He was trained as a brewer and a Catholic Priest but decided to establish a brewery in Dubuque, the first in the state of Iowa called "Mathias Tschirgi" on Main between 6th and 7th Streets. I would imagine it would have been a brewery and saloon. That lasted from 1848 to 1850. He married Catherine Zollikoffer and together they raise 5 boys and 2 girls. In 1850 the company becomes M. Tschirgi and Co. on Julien St. in Dubuque. It stays that company till 1855 when it becomes Tschirgi & Schwind, Western Brewery Company which it remains till 1892. The 1860 census when Mathias is 36 shows him as a Lager Beer Manufacturer. Matheus and Louis Kammuller were awarded patent #57221 in August 1866. Click here to see the patent.

The 1870 Census spells his name as Mathew and he's a brewer. His oldest son (then 20) also changed his name to Mathew. The census continues with Louisa (16) John (12) George (10) Arnold (8) and Frank (4). Frank was the youngest boy born about 1866. Young Frank is influenced by Horace Greelys call to "Go west young man." He moves to Montana and builds up the second biggest ranch in America. If you ever go to Custers Last Stand park and look to the West, everyting you see beyond the river was part of the ranch. Frank marries Ella N. Simplot from Dubuque on 5 June, 1890. They live in Montanna and raise 2 boys and 3 girls. The rest is well documented and there is some contriversy there too but I'll leave that for someone on their side.

The other side of the Tschirgi family.

My side of the family starts in America about the middle of the Civil War with Alois. I have not tracked down when Alois arrived. I would imagine he would have arrived in New York and taken the train to Dubuque.

On top from left to right. Anthony, Harry, Anna, George and Lizzie Pfeiffer
Seated left to right. Katie, Mimmie, Frederick* and Alois.

Alois was born in Weistannen, Switzerland in 1838. He came to America as a young man to work for his half brother in his brothers brewery. In a later census he is listed as a saloon keeper. He married Anna Pfeiffer in Dubuque on 16 June 1866. She has two children from a previous marriage named George and Lizzie who were born in Prussia. Alois and Anna have 4 children of their own according to the 1880 Dubuque census Katie (13), Anthony (8), Harry (6) and my limb, Frederick (3), and Mimmie (2/12).

In the 1900 census, great-great grandfather Fred (right) +1876 is living with his mother in her house with his little sister Mammie. His mother, Anna dies 25 January 1902. He marries Amelia Doerrer on 14 October 1902 at 26 years old. He is my Great Grandfather who left Dubuque around 1910 to work as a printer for his older brother Anthony A. Tschirgi in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My grandfather, Fred, was about 5 when they moved from Dubuque to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Fred and Amelia have 3 boys; Fredrick Harry +3 March 1905, Raymond Henry +20 May 1906, and Arnold Joseph + 3 May 1912. Anthony by the way, owned Russell's Railway Guides now Russell's Guides Inc. and is still directed by Ruth Tschirgi Berry.

Click here to see Russell's Railway Guide Front from February 1923.
Click BACK when you are done.
Click here to see Russell's Railway Guide First Page.

My great-grandmother died when grandfather was about 12 probably from complications from birth. It was a devastating event for the family. Fred took care of his two little brothers Ray and Arnold. When Arnold was old enough to take care of himself, grandfather was working for Armour Corporation as a book keeper. He married my grandmother Bessie Wiblishouser +24 December 1906 on 16 December 1925. Armour transfered him to Boonsville, MO., Elk City, OK., Woodward, OK., where they had their only child, my father, Fred +16 Jan 1934. Then on to Windfield, KS., before setteling in Houston, TX. in 1937. They lived in Houston till 1959 when they moved to Taylor, TX.

The middle brother Ray joined the Navy and was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed in 1945. Raymond spent 30 years in the Navy. He married the former Mary Ann Cavazza in 1932. They settled in Daily City, California when he retired until his death in 2000. He had one son Raymond born 1934. Raymond has 2 daughters, Laura Nichols and Vicki Gainni.

Arnold married Paulene Someone in July 1938. They adopted one girl named Pamela.

Click here to see the 3 boys about 1914. Click BACK when you are done.
Click here to see probably the last picture of Amelia about 1918. They are in Cedar Rapids.
These are the 3 Freds must be about 1948/49 in California.
This picture was probably the last time the 3 boys got together. The event was the death of John Kiebel around 1948/49.

Fred and Bessie Tschirgi
Click here for some pictures.

When Freds enlistment in the Army was up he worked for Armor Creamery near Woodward,Oklahoma. My father was born in Woodward during the Great Depression in 1932. Grandad threw in with a carpet salesman and moved to Houston, Texas about 1935. He didn't do to well selling carpet. He took night classes when you could monitor classes and passed his Certified Public Accountant exam. Back then you didn't need a degree to have a CPA certificate. My father married my mom Nancy Ruth Payne of Houston in 1953 and was drafted into the Army.

The story is one of the Johnston Testers owners had work done on his house and charged it to the company. Very illegal. Grandad turned him into the IRS. I don't know what happened but they moved to Taylor, Texas about 1956 and Grandad worked for Taylor Bedding till he retired. Life in small town Texas is good. The water in Taylor is horrable but country living, if you want to put your life on idle, is great.

Fred and Nancy Tschirgi

Fred was drafted into the Army just before he graduated Texas A&M with a MBA in accounting. Mom stayed home in Houston to have me. We joined dad at some point after my birth. After his enlistment they moved back to Houston and got his CPA certificate. He worked for Johnston Tester in the oil business but always with a grain of salt because of his fathers experience with the same company. The oil business took us from Houston, to Midland, Texas where he worked for Drilco. Drilco made the long pipes used for drilling holes in the ground. While there, Drilco was bought by Smith International of California. Smith made the bits that goes on the long pipes. Dad moved to the parent company so we moved to Mission Viejo, California where he worked for Smith Oil and later for Smith International. Mom and dad moved back to Texas in 1983. Mom got a job with Dallas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center near Love Field. When the position came open Dad took a job as the chief accountant. My dear mother died in September of 1991 at 57 years old in Arlington, TX of lung cancer. My father retired from MHMR and married Jewell Riggs in 1995. They moved to Smith Lake, Alabama later that year. That didn't work out for the both of them so they divorced in 1996. Dad moved back to Grand Prairie, TX and lived in the house behind me till the spring of 2003. He moved to California to spend his final days with my sister Lynn in El Cajon, California. He died peacefully in his sleep March 27th, 2004. 72 Years old. He was survived by Me, grand children Crystal and Fred, Lynn Spicer, Jeannene Standhardt and grand daughter Jocelyn Standhardt.

My Soap Box:

Smoking took 33 years from my mother’s life. Both of her parents lived past 85. Mom died of lung cancer at 57. My father smoked and suffered from emphysema. He did not enjoy his life much after moms death 12.5 years before. He died 13 years early because he smoked. Both of his parents were past 85 when they died. I feel I have lost some lung capacity due to my smoking for 14 years 15+ years ago. Who knows how many years I've shaved off my life. When I run I believe I could go further if I could get more oxygen to into my system. Direct result of poor judgement on my part.

My entire family has suffered at the hands of tobacco products. Yes, smoking was our choice.
Don't you make the wrong choice. RJ Reynolds has adversely affected my family.
Don't let smoking ruin a generation of your family too.
I think the man below would agree.
Don't Smoke!

Frederick LeRoy Tschirgi
January 16, 1932 to
March 27, 2004

Dad and I were strangers
who knew each other
very well.

My younger sister Lynn Spicer was born in 1957 in Houston and is married to Duane Spicer in El Cajon, California. They own a ranch up in the hills where they raise and board horses.

Click HERE for a picture of Lynn and her Friesian in a parade in San Juan Capastistrano, Califonnia, 25 March 2006

My youngest sister, Jeannene was born in Midland, Texas in 1960. She has one daughter named Jocelyn born in 1981 pictured here with good friend John on a day trip to Idyllwild, Ca. Jeannene passed away after a long illness in April 2010

Jocelyn Standhardt Lopes works as an office manager of a dentist and really enjoys her job. She and Christian live in Morongo Valley CA. They have 3 children.

Fred and Elaine Tschirgi, Ibiza Spain, 1989

I was born April,1955 in Houston. Dad moved us to Midland TX when I was very young. I attended Robert E. Lee High School my sophmore year. When I was 15 we moved to Mission Viejo, California. I attended Mision Viejo High School graduating in 1973. I joined the Air Force in June 1975 and became an air traffic controller. I married Elaine Marie Amendola who I knew from high school in November of that year. Elaine is the second of nine children. She was born June of 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Our first real assignment after technical school was to Fort Worth, Texas. Crystal Ann Tschirgi was born October 1978 in Fort Worth, Texas. After a remote assignment in Alaska, I was assigned to RAF Upper Heyford, near Oxford, England. Elaine wanted a job when she arrived at Upper Heyford so she joined the Air Force as a personel specialist. Frederick Swan Tschirgi born in England in April 1982. From England, our assignments were; Wichita Falls, Texas, back to England, back to Fort Worth, then to Minot, North Dakota.....

North Dakota!

Picture above, Dad said he hadn't seen a picture of us in a while.

Dad said, "HAHA, very funny." So I sent him this one. Notice I couldn't get the kids to go.
Still crazy after all these years. As I remember it was about 20 below
but it was no wind which makes all the difference. Please notice I couldn't convince
Elaine she was having a good time. She was - she just didn't know it at the time.

I retired honorably in 1995 at the rank of Master Sergeant. My final job title was Chief, Air Traffic Control Training. Air force retirement put me in the wonderful position of being able to pursue a new career. I graduated (3.9 GPA) in June 97 with my second degree in electronics from DeVry University. I found work as a network manager at Irving Independent School District. I had a house built just the way Elaine wanted it in Grand Prairie. That is where we make our home. We're still having fun and she's still the one. Life is good here on the far side of the bell curve.

People I would like to get in contact with again are:
John Pichler from El Toro
Joe and Beatrice Garcia from Sheppard and UH
CA from Minot, ND

Crystal and Richy Sutton married 31 October 2000 in North Richland Hills, TX. They have my first
grandbaby, Angela Charlotte Sutton and my first grandson, Mike. Who ever said, "If I knew grandchildren
were so much fun, I would have had them first." was right on the mark.

Fred Swan (Hammer) joined the Marines the spring of 2004.
He married Crystal Lynn Sumner 12 November 2004. After
his enlistment he got a job with Verizon and finished his
degree at my alma mater DeVry. She is going into the
business premotion business. They have 2 children, Skylar and

Dan and Joy Cowen, me and Elaine,
The "Outlaws" Dan and Liz Sumner

And finally, your host. Retired from a school district in 2012. I spend my time between traveling, gardening,
reading, working on my 1965 VW Bug and helping my kids when I can. Discovered Multiple Myeloma cancer summer
2017. After treatment I seem to be doing OK.
My life is good.

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