Eugenie Hoffmann Swing’s history is an excellent example of how my maternal genealogy in particular is a very tangled web. Eugenie B. Hoffmann was born May 1, 1865 in France, the daughter of Jacob and Annette (Meyer) Hoffmann. This makes her my great-great-grand-aunt, as her sister Catherine Marie was my Grandma Hoffmann’s paternal grandmother.
However, she is also my half-great-grand-aunt, as her half-brother, Paul (son of Jacob Hoffmann and his second wife, Christine Schmidt) and his wife Emma were my Grandpa Hoffmann’s parents (Grandpa and Grandma were half first cousins once removed).
On February 23, 1890, Eugenie married Joseph Gilbert Schwing/Swing (1861-1949) in Livingston County, Illinois. She was J. G.’s second wife; his first wife, Annie Schippee, had died in 1888 after giving birth to a son (Walter) and a daughter (Anna). Joseph’s older brother Albert Carl Swing was already married to Eugenie’s aforementioned sister Catherine, making her husband also her brother-in-law (sort of).
Eugenie, also known as Jennie, gave birth to four children: Joseph John (b. September 12, 1892); Mary S. (b. January 17, 1894); William J. (b. August 2, 1897); and Jacob G. (b. April 5, 1899). The census taker enumerated Eugenie and her family on June 5; one week later, Eugenie was dead at the age of 35:
Friday, June 15, 1900
Mrs. Joseph G. Swing
The death of Mrs. Joseph G. Swing occurred at her home in this city Tuesday afternoon at 12:30. She was sick but a few days and everything that medical skill could do to aleviate [sic] her suffering was done. It is sad to note the death even of those who have lived their three score years and ten, but doubly so to note the passing away of one in the full bloom of womanhood, surrounded by a family of affectionate children and a loving husband.
Jennie Hoffman was born in France May 19, 1865. She came to America with her parents in 1883, coming direct to Fairbury, where she has since resided. On February 14, 1890, she was united in marriage to Joseph G. Swing. To this union four children were born: Joseph, Mary, William and Jacob.
The deceased was a loving and affectionate wife and mother, a kind neighbor and a true friend. The blow falls heavily upon the bereaved husband and motherless children and they have the sympathy of the entire community. Besides her husband and children, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman, of Cissna Park, and five brothers and nine sisters, most of whom with numerous friends, were present at the funeral services. She was a member of the German Apostolic church and the services were held there this afternoon at 2:30. The remains were laid to rest in the Fairbury cemetery.
A little over a year later, Eugenie’s widower was married a third time – to her half-sister, Lydia, born February 25, 1877. Joseph and Lydia had 11 children; they named their eldest Eugenie C. Swing.