In 1873 my great grandmother, Susan Marti, who was nine years old at the time, immigrated to Ohio from Switzerland along with her parents and siblings. In 1885 she married my great grandfather, Charles Plau, the son of a German farmer. Charles died at the age of 33, but in the nine years that the two of them were married, they had five children. My maternal grandfather was the middle child.
Susan later remarried and had two daughters from that marriage. One of those daughters many years ago gave my mother a number of items which had belonged to Susan. Among those items was Susan's wedding ring from her first marriage. It is a beautiful ring with a garnet and six small pearls.
The ring has been locked away in my safe, but a couple weeks ago I got it out and took it to a jeweler. They cleaned it and checked that the prongs were tight. The jeweler said that it was in excellent condition.
I want this family heirloom to stay in the family. So, it is going to make the journey with me to Switzerland when I go to visit my Swiss cousins in August. I am going to give it to my cousin Brigitta, and she can pass it down to her daughter.
Great grandma Susan never returned to Switzerland, but her ring will soon cross the ocean to her homeland.