Surname Saturday – Bewildering Bollingers

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Saloma Bollinger, my 3G-grandmother, is bewildering. Was her name Saloma, Salina, Lalla, or Salome? Was she born September 22, 1821; September 22, 1822; or between 1823-1824? Was she born in Zurich or Schaffhausen, Switzerland; Kentucky; Germany; or Akron?

It seems most likely that she was named Saloma Bollinger and was born September 22, 1822 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. She appears to have emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio, about 1848 with two brothers, a sister, and a brother-in-law (and possibly her parents). One brother was named Baldes and is said to have served in the Civil War.

What of the Bollinger surname? I have yet to identify who Saloma’s parents were, or any siblings other than Baldes (and even he is pretty murky). Ancestry.com provides the following: Swiss German: habitational name for someone from any of three places called Bollingen, in Schwyz, Württemberg, and Oldenburg, or from Bohlingen near Lake Constance (which is pronounced and was formerly written as Bollingen). 

This doesn’t provide us with much. Fortunately, Saloma’s later years are more easily documented. By 1850 Saloma had moved to Akron, where she met Karl Schwing; they were married in Akron the following year. In 1860 Karl and Saloma (ages 46 and 36) were enumerated in Akron with children John, 9; Henry, 3; Albert, 1 (my great-great-grandfather); and an Elizabeth Raison, 20. Karl’s occupation is listed as tailor. Another son, Charles, had died in childhood.

In 1870 the family is still in Akron; “Charles Schwing” and “Soloma,” John, Henry, and Albert have been joined by Joseph, age 8.

By 1880 the family has moved to Chatsworth, Illinois: Charles Swing, 66; “Lalla” Swing, 58; Henry Swing, 23; Albert Swing, 20; and Joseph Swing, 18.

On August 14, 1880, the Chatsworth Plaindealer noted the following:

Deaths

Mr. Swing formerly of Ackron [sic], Ohio, died at his home in this township Tuesday evening, aged 67 years. His funeral was attended Thursday.

Saloma’s son John had died earlier that year of “lung fever” at age 29. It seems that Salome spent the final 20 years of her life rotating between the Illinois farms of her three remaining sons, living at different times in the Chatsworth area, Cissna Park, and after 1888 in Fairbury with son Joseph. Saloma died in early 1900 and was buried in Graceland Cemetery, Fairbury.

Derrick K. Babbs, in his book 91 Years of of the Fairbury, Illinois German Apostolic Church: 1874-1965, reprints Saloma’s obituary:

Saloma Bollinger Swing

Mrs. Saloma Swing died at the residence of her son Joseph Swing in this city Wednesday, January 7, aged 77 years, 4 months and 10 days. Saloma Bollinger was born in Switzerland September 22, 1822. She came to America with her parents in the spring of 1849. The family first located at Akron, Ohio. She was united in marriage to Carl Swing in 1851 at Akron and 24 years of her life were spent at that place. Five boys were born to them, three of whom are living: Henry Swing, at Lamar, Missouri; Albert at Cissna Park, Ill.; and Joseph the youngest at Fairbury. On first coming to Illinois the familiy located near Chatsworth where they lived for five years. It was in that place that she lost her husband, Mr. Swing dying August 10, 1889 [sic].

The family came to Fairbury in 1888 and she has since made her home in this city. She was a kind and affectionate mother and a loving wife. She was for many years a member of the German Apostolic Church and died in that faith. Besides her three children she leaves two brothers and many friends to mourn her death.

The funeral services will be held this afternoon in the German Apostolic Church of this city, and the remains will be laid to rest in the Fairbury cemetery.

Apostolic Christian Church

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5 responses to “Surname Saturday – Bewildering Bollingers

  1. Have you looked at the Ohio databases on Family Search? At the very least, you would be able to find a copy of her marriage record.

  2. I’ve taken a look but haven’t come across her marriage record there either. It probably doesn’t help that the names were listed in such a variety of different ways!

  3. Sharon Bollinger

    Hi, My name is Sharon and I am married to a Bollinger. He has been researching his family tree on Ancestry.com. His grandfather [Joseph] was born in Bollin, Switzerland, then settled in Advance, MO. I noticed Saloma had 2 brothers; I wonder if they were siblings [considering she named a son, “Joseph”]. The timeline seems to fit my husband’s grandfather. Hmm…please let me know if you have any further info. I will advise my husband to check out the Ohio databases also.
    Thanks,
    Sharon Bollinger

    • Hi Sharon – I know Saloma had a brother Baldes (Balthasar?) but don’t know the names of any other siblings yet at this point. I’m not aware of the family living in Missouri, though anything is possible! When was your Joseph born?

  4. Pingback: Tombstone Tuesday – Darmstadt to Fairbury | Ahnentafel

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