least one fairy tale has lived on for centuries
about the Wolfensberger family. There’s
a fascinating legend associated with the original
Wolfensberger family castle, a long-vanished medieval
stone structure known as the Altlandenberg that
once lay atop the Wolfensberg, the family’s
ancestral home in Bauma, Switzerland. Deep in
the castle’s cellar, as the legend goes,
a golden plow lay buried, guarded only by a poisonous
snake. One day, a goat herder noticed a beautiful
young maiden walking by the castle walls. Since
he’d never seen the maiden before, the shepherd
asks who she is. The maiden replied that she is
the daughter of the Knight of Wolfensberg. She
is condemned to live under a spell as a snake
to guard the golden plow. Only once in a century
is she allowed to shed her skin and become a living
figure, said the maiden. If the shepherd had the
courage to kiss her three times, she would be
released from her spell, never to return in the
guise of a snake. Smitten by the maiden’s
beauty, the shepherd didn’t hesitate. As
he kissed her, she turned suddenly into an ugly
snake. In the beautiful maiden’s voice,
the snake said sadly, "Now you must kiss
me as I slide past you as a snake." With
that, the snake rose up to meet his lips for a
second kiss. When the shepherd saw the head of
the terrible reptile just inches from his lips,
he was horrified. He pushed the snake down and
raced down the mountain, leaving the maiden to
sob and scream in disappointment. The legend is
included in the Swiss family history, 66 Familienamen
seit 700 Jahren, written by Dr. Armin Sierszyn
The Sparger\Spargur Connection
by Richard "Buzz" Evans
I'm sure there are WFA members who wonder where the Spargers and Spargurs are related to the Wolfensbergers. Several e-mails received this week have encouraged me to retell the Sparger story. But before I do, I want to give credit where credit is due.
Some years ago, I received a box of papers and old photos that belonged to my father's mother. Mary "Kate" Evans, who was the daughter of Mary Sparger, was from a large family and collected many papers and photos during her long life. Among the papers was a typed copy on onion-skin paper a 25-30 page family history written by W. M. Creasy and J. B. Sparger in 1932. This text was included in my book A Search For Family which I wrote in 1997. Most of what follows is also taken from this document.
John Wolfenberger, son of John Wolfenberger and grandson of Johan Wolfersberger, the emigrant who came to America on the Thistle of Glasgow eventually settled in North Carolina and married Christina Frey. Sometime after his marriage he changed his name to John W. Sparger and named his children Reuben W. Sparger, Joseph W. Sparger, etc. The story told about this name change is as follows: The sheriff called on John to serve a warrant calling John for jury duty. As many others, he had trouble with names of some of the Moravians that lived in the County. The warrant was made out in the name of John W. Sparger.
Apparently, John liked this change in name. When his children grew to adults, some of them resettled in Highland Co. Ohio and changed the spelling to Spargur. The reason for this change is not made clear. Those that remained in North Carolina retained the Sparger spelling. Among those who stayed in North Carolina was John W. Sparger (Jr.) who married Sarah Lyon about 1816. After John's wife. Christina, died, Rueben Spargur returned to North Carolina and took his father back to Ohio with him. John W. Sparger died in Ohio and his grave marker shows his name as John W. Spargur.
The Sparger family history compiled by W. M. Creasy follows only the children of his ancestor John W. Sparger (Jr.), who is also my ancestor. His next ancestor was Murlin Sparger, John W.'s eldest child and my next ancestor is Mary Sparger, his youngest child. Creasy stated that Mrs. C. S. Swadley of Rainsboro, Ohio was compiling the record of the Ohio Spargurs. It would be interesting to know if this record is available to any WFA members.
Finally, I know of no one named Sparger or Spargur who did not spring from this North Carolina ancestor. I'm sure all the WFA members came from this ancestry. If any have even a partial family history of you Sparger\Spargur family, please share it with the WFA by sending you information to our Historian, Myrna Liddell.