Frank R. Hoch's last day was noted in The Harrisburg Telegraph, Harrisburg, PA in March 22, 1939. At the time of his death my mother's father was a sheet metal worker and had his own tin shop on Ludwig Street (28th St) in Penbrook, PA. He was found in his small shop hanging from a beam in a back room. My dear mother was only 14 years old at the time of his suicide. Even though it is not noted in the news article, our mother told her children that she was with her brother George that day when they found him. Their mother had sent them both out to look for their father.
Another story my mother had passed on to me was that several months before her father's suicide, one of her brothers was tossing a hatchet above a doorway in the tin shop and had left it stuck in the wood above the doorframe. At some point the hatchet dislodged as my grandfather passed beneath it, and it cut in to his head causing him injury and distress. Many decades later the family was left to wonder about traumatic brain injury and ensuing depression as a possible cause for his suicide. We'll never know.
My mother always called herself a 'Heinz 57 variety" whenever I asked about her ancestors. She said she was Scottish (Graham); (high) German (Phillabuam) and what was called Pennsylvania Dutch. She also told me her lineage included a male relative long ago who was descended from the Susquehannock Native American Tribe. My DNA testing shows all of these except the Native Tribe, but I would not show it in my DNA if it was passed down on a Y-Chromosome. As a female I only can reveal from two X chromosomes, but I do show some Mestizos.
My mother was mostly correct in her sharing. She had stories passed down to her. She told me that through the Scottish Graham clan that we were descendants of one of the Viscounts of Dundee. But that is for another essay.
My mother's HOCH ancestors settled early in 1717 in Bucks County, PA after leaving their home in Switzerland for America. I found out that the surname HOCH means HIGH. (as in high up in the Swiss Alps). They were considered Moravian, fleeing religious persecution in 1717. I have been able to trace back these Hoch's thanks to wonderful online sharing.
My grandfather Frank R. Hoch is a HOCH descended from ancestors in the areas of Liestal, Basel, (Baselland) Switzerland. I have been able to trace back his (part of my own) family roots to the year 1542 in the LDS (LatterDaySaints) Film No. 0921231: St. Leonard's Evangelical Reformed Churchbook, Basel. Liestal, Baselland, Switzerland. Some of the female names that married in to the Hoch clan from mid 1500's to the 1700's were: Zeller; Meichener; Pfaff; Biri; Schweitzer; Tschudi; Baumgartner. I was astonished to read such details because most of the female surnames were not penned in many records.
There were two Hoch brothers who settled in Pennsylvania in 1717. They were brothers Rudolph and Melchior. I am a descendant of Rudolph born in 1683. According to a search on rootsweb, the two brothers left their ancestral home near Basel, Switzerland, then spent some time in German Palatinate, then sailed from Rotterdam in 1717 to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rudolph owned a farm of 300 acres. He died in 1748. His wife, whom he married in Switzerland, died and was buried in 1728 in Pennsylvania. They had five sons, and some daughters, and so thus my ancestry continue to grow.
I find it interesting that I had ancestors fleeing religious persecution in 1717 from no less than Switzerland. It proves that no country is above horrible deeds towards the people. Like so many refugees today, they simply wanted to be the Mennonites or Brethren as they were at the time. Clearly, my mother's father, Frank R. Hoch, as am I, a descendant of refugees who were being persecuted for their religious beliefs at the time.