Saturday, October 15, 2011

Candrian Images

These images were drawn and painted by the artist Emile L Herzinger who lived in St. Louis.  They were most likely done in the early 1880's when Adolph and Emma were newly married and living in St. Louis.  In the 1880 census, Adolph listed his profession as a music teacher. 

Emma Katherine Baenziger Candrian

Adolph Candrian

Adolph and Emma Candrian family: Irma, Olga, Janet and Lincoln

Janet Candrian (1920's?)
Janet Candrian


  1. Interesting blog. I am also a Candrian, but from an other line.
    Candrians probably all originate from the same place in Romansh-speaking Grisons Oberland near the source of the Anterior Rhine. At least according to current knowledge, the name appears in the early Middle Ages for the first time in a local court document. This was about approval of land claims.
    As was usual at this time, people were not only mountain farmers. Every able-bodied man had at least a secondary main occupation. Grisons people were already at this time highly respected and qualified professionals in the then known world. Mercenaries, officers, hoteliers, chefs, pastry cooks, watchmakers, teachers, manufacturers, bankers etc. So too the Candrian family. While one qualified male family member has looked to the right at home on the farm, the others went away to work. Usually, the eldest son took over the farm. If there were other sons, they were sent into church services for training and education. Girls were married so that the bride's family could profit from that nexus as well as possible
    Some people claim that the Candrian family divided because of the reformation. A portion has established and settled in the village Bonaduz, the other in the village Sagogn, 20 miles away from Bonaduz up the river Rhine, near the valley main town Ilanz.
    Obviously the Candrian family has already spread several centuries before the reformation by natural migration.
    Most interesting is the fact that many Candrians from the Bonaduz line emigrated to America. From the Sagogn line not one. These moved for work purposes to other European countries, but usually always returned to Sagogn or Grisons later.

    1. Duri, Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you found this blog interesting. I had to look up what a Grison was. I'm guessing you live in Switzerland. Are any of these people I've mentioned related to you?
      I knew about the eldest son obtaining the "family" land and was really glad for the details you provided about the possible reason the family split.

  2. How I do connect from available records, your ancestors were also directly affected by the overpopulation of the village Bonaduz described in my yesterday's email. It is quite possible that they were drawn anonymously in an official community meeting and that they had to leave the village to avoid inbreeding. Although most of the Grisons (citizens) were very connected to their home country, such situations were considered a preferred and privileged opportunity to emigrate, without getting into long-range financial liabilities by family, relatives and friends at home for lending money.

    According to the ship records, your 3rd grandfather Josephus Antoine Candrian traveled to America with his two sons Adolph an Herman alone. I could not find any information in the municipal archives of Bonaduz what happened to Josephus Antoine's wife Maria Anna Barbara Stiefenhofer, what happened to her and why she did not travel to America. There is no information about her neither in the church nor the community archive. No death records, divorce records, or any repeated marriage.

    Prior to the inclusion of the canton Grison into the Swiss Confederation through Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803, there was no official obligation to keep record for municipalities and their citizens. However, the congregation filed records for centuries of migration in to and from the community, births or deaths. Before this was done voluntarily by local residents. After 1803 was mostly the mayor responsible, or in large communities of elected municipal clerk.

    Before 1874 the villages Rhazuns, Bonaduz and Domat Ems and formed a unified community. 1874 civic community and municipality Bonaduz were separated from the others. As a result of that, and by a great fire that has destroyed large parts of the village, lots of historical documents about the village's history and citizens were lost.

    If you have previously traveled to Switzerland, you may have noticed that in many old churches a brass, gold plated or copper sphere crowns the spire. This sphere was earlier considered the place in the community, most protected from human and environmental influences. Until modern times, regularly someone had to climb the spire to fill new archive material into the weatherproof sealed sphere.

    In the historical archive from the Canton Grisons (called "State Calender") I have found two records, related to your swiss ancestors family roots: Johann (John) Mathias Candrian (Photo mentioned on this Blog) was one of the first federal sergeants from Canton Grisons in the Swiss federal parliament after conjunction with the swiss confederation.

    It seems that your 3rd great grandparents Josephus and Maria Anna Barbara Candrian - Stiefenhofer in Bonaduz had more descendants. I think that they could be grandchildren, what kind of relationship is not known.

    In Belarusian archives I have found following information: Candrian, Johann Christoph, Born in Bonaduz, Switzerland, June 1.1849, Died in Chur Switzerland, May 16. 1928. Descendant of a farmer family in Bonaduz, Switzerland. 1868 imigration to his brother Josef Anton to the town of Kaluga (Central Russia) to become a confectioner. However, he only came to Belarus and built in the town of Nowoborisow on the river Berezina a small empire as a publishing industrialist, which earned him the name of Governor of Borisow. Up to 30,000 farmers in the Minsk province, Mohiljow, Smolensk and Vitebsk delivered mainly in autumn hazel tires and baskets as a packaging material for cement and sugar industries as well as for fishing. Johann Christoph even exported to Germany and England. The First World War and the Russian Civil War ruined his business, he himself was convicted in 1916 for alleged German kindness to two years in prison camp and forced labor in Siberia. In the summer of 1920 Johann Christoph fled from the Bolsheviks and returned penniless to his home village Bonaduz, where he was henceforth called "The Russian".

    What happened with his brother Josef Anton in Kaluga is not known.