MARIETTA - When local resident and history lover Jann Adams was tasked with helping a family research its roots in Marietta for a reunion, she wanted to do more than jot down 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 visit the grave site of ancestor Joseph Rampp. Joseph with wife Seraphina and son John were the original immigrants of the Rampp family in 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 and socialized.
The tour was well-received by the 20 members of the family who came to Marietta for the reunion, said Helen Morris, a Rampp descendant and organizer.
"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.
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 occupations like shoemaker and baker. Martin Rampp, the grandson of Joseph and Seraphina, was the founder of the Rampp Co., an oil well equipment company which exists today.
The Rampps' German roots were evident at the reunion. Brian Rampp and his two sons came from Germany to attend, 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.