Zwar > Family Tree

Other Zwars – unrelated to Australian Zwars

No known connection to Australian Zwar Families

The following ‘Zwar Family History’ came to me by email some years ago. I saved the History but have since lost the email and no longer have a record of who was kind enough to send it to me. The email also included a graphic ‘Zwar Family Tree’. If anyone emails me the original Family Tree I will know they are genuine! I won’t publish the Family Tree until I have permission from the author / artist!

Christian and Augusta Zwar

First Generation

Tracing the Zwar family tree takes us to many countries. This is a brief record of the lives of Christian and his wife, Augusta. Details concerning this couple have been hard to obtain, but his oldest son, Friedrich, mentioned to his daughter that at one time the Zwar ancestors had originally come from Graz, Austria. They left Austria because of religious persecution, which was prevalent at that time.

Those Zwars of stronger Lutheran faith decided to go to Kaliz, Poland. There could be a link there, as one of Friedrich’s grandsons and wife vacationed in Salzburg, Austria. They looked in the telephone directory in Salzburg to see if the Zwar name was listed, and to their surprise, there was a Rudolph Zwar listed. They then called him and he invited them on a Sunday to meet his family. Friedrich Zwar’s grandson, Ernest and his wife couldn’t get over the close resemblance there was with Rudolph and Ernest. Their personalities were the same. Rudolph said he had heard from his ancestors that some Zwars went to Poland in the early 1800’s. Rudolph told that there is a Zwar’s Villa still standing in the city of Graz, Austria. He mentioned he had many uncles and cousins by the name of Zwar.

One of his uncles, a doctor, made a family tree of Zwars, but he didn’t say where he lived. Christian and Augusta Zwar lived on a farm in Kaliz, Poland, when their oldest son, Friedrich, was about four years old. They went to homestead in Volhynia, Russia, in about 1862 when over 200,000 Germans moved from Western Poland from German colonies, deeper into the Russian Empire. They settled in the county of Volhynia, Russia. The land was of virgin forest and very swampy. At first they lived in sod houses and told of the many hardships they endured the first years they lived there. There were many nights the wolves and other wild animals climbed onto their roof and tore it apart and made much damage in the gardens. They would kill cows and horses, even peoples lives were in danger. Life was not pleasant in the primitive early days. Once land was cleared of virgin forest and swamps drained, Christian, a Carpenter, built their own home and barns. This is where Christian and Augusta lived the rest of their lives.

There were seven children born to this union-‘ – three sons and four daughters. FRIEDRICH CHRISTIAN AND JULIANA ZWAR Friedrich was the eldest child born to Christian and Augusta Zwar. He was born on May 3, 1859, in Kaliz, Poland. The village was one hundred miles from Warsaw in Prosna Valley River area, hear the Prussian frontier. It was a beautiful area of Poland. His wife, Juliana Hinz, was born on October 30, 1860, in Kaliz, Poland. When Friedrich was four years old, his parents moved to Vohlynia, Ukraine, Russia, to homestead. His parents left Poland, since there was an upheaval of the government and they wanted to own their own land and have freedom of oppression. There, Friedrich spent his early years. He attended the Lutheran Church in the village of Zhitomir. His father was a Carpenter and Friedrich learned this trade, in addition to helping build homes in the surrounding villages with his father. In 1881, when Friedrich was twenty-two, he met and married Juliana Hinz.

The first years of their marriage they lived with his parents. Later, his father gave him a parcel of land and helped him build a home on it. A short time later, he bought a farm in the Village of Kolewert, where he lived with his family. Friedrich always took great pride in farming and livestock. His horses were some of the finest. Much of a persons wealth was represented by the team of horses and wagons he owned. It gave him great pleasure to ride into the village with his wagon called a Britzka, and his horses with their beautiful manes flung and bells ringing. There were twelve (12) children born to this union—six girls and six boys.

Wanting more for his family than the hard life on a Volhvnia farm, Friedrich sold his farm and moved to Winnepeg, Canada. It took more than twenty days of ocean crossing before they arrived at port of Quebec, Canada. From there they took the train to Winnepeg, Manitoba. It was May 1907, and they soon found out that times were hard in Canada. There was a large amount of unemployment and the only work available for his and his sons was in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, working in the lumber camps cutting down trees and grubbing stumps for very little pay. In addition, they had to endure the bitter cold winter.

After less than a year, Friedrich.decided to return to Kolewert, Russia, on a sixty acre farm. They again made the tiring boat trip, journeying across the Atlantic Ocean. It was during this crossing that their three year old son, Gusrave died of pneumonia and was buried at sea. This is when Juliana vowed she would never again cross the Atlantic ocean-It was necessary for them to stay over in England several weeks while their lost luggage caught up with them.

After four years in Kolewert, in the Spring of 1912, Friedrich decided to go with his family to East Prussia, Germany. In addition, the oldest son, Henry and his daughter, Emelia were married, and they also joined the family and went with them to the Village of Angerupp. Friedrich bought a large farm with a nice large home and other buildings, to provide for the entire family to live together, until each of their children were able to purchase farms of their own. In 1913, with the threat of war in Europe, Friedrich took his two sons, Wilhelm and Ferndinand and set out to go to the United States. They arrived in the twin cities area of Benton Karbor and St. Joseph, Michigan, where they stayed by Henrietta Schmidt. Henrietta was the sister to Juliana.

Wilhelm and Ferndinand found employment and Friedrich took odd little jobs. After two years had elapsed, he went back to his family in Germany, as his wife would not make the ocean journey again. Six of Friedrich and Juliana’s children immigrated to the United States. His oldest son Henry, in 1922. Wilhelm and Ferndinand in 1913. Their daughter Olga, in 1923 and their two youngest sons, Herman and Karl in 1925. The rest of the children lived in Germany.

Friedrich’s brother, John Zwar, came to the United States with his two oldest children, Emelia and Gustave in 1914, to North Dakota, Later on they settled in St. Paul, Minnesota. John Zwar passed away on August 10, 19 62, at age 93. One sister, Johanna Caroline Zwar immigrated with her husband, Rev. Gustave Frigang, in May 19, 1913. She passed away at the age of 60. Her husband, Gustave died on February 16, 1967, one month before his 100th birthday. Friedrich made one more trip to America in 1923 by way of Mexico to see his children. His grand daughter was quite intrigued with his handle bar mustache. After a short stay, he went back to Germany. When World War II came about, he had to flee his home in 1945. He passed away in 1948 at the age of 8 8 in Poland. His wife Juliana, died when they were on the trek on February 10, 1945, at the age of 85. Friedrich Christian Zwar had 242 descendants.