When local resident and history lover Jann Adams was tasked with helping a family research its Marietta roots for an upcoming reunion in the area, she wanted to do more than jot down some important names and dates to give them.
The Rampp family's settlement in Marietta in the late 1800s was a classic German success story, and Adams wanted to lift that story from the pages and present their ancestors with something tangible when they congregated in Marietta Aug. 9 for a family reunion.
"The more I researched, the more I started thinking about how I was going to present it. It evolved step by step," said Adams.
Photo courtesy of Jann Adams
Brian Rampp, of Germany, and Helen Morris, of Calhoun County, W.Va., visit the grave site of their ancestor Joseph Rampp. Joseph, with wife Seraphina and son John, was the original immigrant that brought the Rampp family to Marietta in the late 1800s.
The result was a full-blown personalized historical tour of the area, complete with a trolley ride showing Rampp descendants where their ancestors had lived, worked, shopped, socialized and more.
The tour was very well-received by the approximately 20 Rampps who came to Marietta for the reunion, said Helen Morris, a Rampp descendant who helped organize the event.
"We got to see the place of business, schools, homes, things that pertained to our family. Jann also covered what Marietta might have been like at the time and what impact our family might have had here," said Morris, 84, of Calhoun County.
Marietta Family Heritage Tours
- Local resident and historian Jann Adams planned a personalized family history tour for recent Rampp family reunions.
- The tour took Rampp family members on a tour of Marietta that focused on their ancestors' homes, places of business and burial sites.
- Adams plans on making the tours a permanent offering in Marietta.
Source: Jann Adams.
A favorite stop of Adams' was 741 Glendale Road, where the house still stands that was built by the original immigrant Joseph Rampp around the turn of the century.
The Rampp family history was a fun research project for Adams because it's the perfect example of a German immigrant success story, said Adams.
Many in the family had traditional German occupations, like shoemaker and baker. Martin Rampp, the grandson of original immigrants Joseph and Seraphina, was the founder of the Rampp Company, a well equipment company which still exists in Marietta today.
The Rampps' German roots were evident at the reunion. Brian Rampp and his two sons traveled all the way from Germany to attend the reunion, said Morris.
"They enjoyed it. They made new friends, and I think they got a sense of family," said Morris of her German relatives.
The tour was so well-received that Adams is hoping to turn it into a local business.
Adams plans on calling the business "Marietta Family Heritage Tours." Much like she did for the Rampp family, the tours would begin with Adams delving into the research and then presenting her findings in a fun, interactive way that ties history, genealogy and the Marietta experience together as one.
"I would love to do this for other families. I think this is unique. I think it's fascinating," said Adams.