| Who was Anton? This was the question asked my many generations of my family for the pat 125 years since the 1850's, and it was the secret my great grandparents carried to their graves. But guess what! As an amateur genealogist, I was able to find out the answer to this question. Well, sort of.|
I first heard the story of Anton from my mother with more details supplied by her cousins years later, and the story is this:
My great grandmother was a blonde, blue-eyed beauty when she immigrated to America from Salzburg, Austria. She brought with her a little boy named Anton. Anton was the son of royalty, and Gertrude Geyerstanger, my great grandmother, had been asked to take him to America to protect his life. There was much political intrigue in Austria at the time, and it was believed his life might be endangered. The plan ws that she would take Anton to hicago to her brother who was the editor of a German newspaper there. He would raise Anton as his own. On her way to hicago, Gertrude decided to stop off in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to visit another brother, Father Charles Geyerstanger, who was a Benedictine priest at St. Vincent's Abby, and the first Benedictine priest ordained in America. While in Latrobe, she met Karl Schultz, who was destined to become my great grandfather, and her plans changed. She married Karl, he adopted Anton, and together they had one daughter and five sons, and live went on. I don't know if she ever did go to Chicago.
Years later, Anton Geyerstanger (Schultz) now a young man, went to the Denver, Colorado, area to work and while there he contacted pneumonia and died at the age of 37. Karl made arrangements for Anton"s body to be returned to Latrobe but he needed a suit in which to buy him so he went up to the attic and looked for one in Gertrude's trunk. When he opened the trunk, he found, much to his surprise, and as the story goes, money attached to the inside of the lid. It was the exact amount of money to the penny needed to have Anton's body transported from Denver to Latrobe. It seems Gertrude was looking after Anton even in death, for she had died twelve years before.
So here it is, 125 years later, and I decided to find out more about Anton. I wrote a letter to the department in alzburg that stores all past vital statistics and asked for a copy of Anton's birth certificate. As I dropped the letter into the mail slot, the answer came to me: Anton was Gertrude's own son! Until that time, it had never occurred to me. And when the answer to my request returned to me from Salzburg, there it was: Antonwas Gertrude's illicit son, with father unknown.
Why was the father "unknown?" Surely Gertrude knew who the father was. Or did she? Perhaps she had been the victim of violence and truly did not know: or perhaps she had been having an affair with a married man and chose not to have his identity revealed; and the third possibility is that Anton truly was a son of royalty, and his birth would have caused a great scandal in that day of political intrigue.
Realistically, now, it is next to impossible to learn who the father might have been. Sometimes, though, what seems impossible gets answered in surprising ways. So with this in mind, I decided to try an esoteric solution. I took Anton's picture to a psychic to see if she could tell me anything. She couldn't. She said the picture was too old to contain any vibrations.
I'll have to try a more genealogical solutiion. Maybe hidden in some dark corner of a Salzburg attic there is a journal with mention of Gertrude. I could hire an Austrian genealogist to conduct a reseasrch, or advertise in a Salzburg newspaper for any information someone might have found in that old dusty attic.
At this point, though, I am content to have learned at least part of the truth of Anton's identity and the beautiful secret that Karl and Gertrude kept all the years of their lives together.....but I'm still wondering.
Posted 11 May 2013 by bandj21 on Ancestry.com