While on vacation earlier this month, I saw that I had received an email from my German acquaintance Friederike. She wrote to let me know that maybe she could explain how Frederick Isserstedt and Wilhelmine Sachs could have possibly met when they lived so far apart in Germany.
She also sent me this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journeyman_years <–GO READ THIS FIRST!
Journeyman — The tradition of setting out on travel for several years after completing apprenticeship as a craftsman.
There was a short time in the Isserstedt’s lives when they decided to open a shoe repair shop in downtown Plymouth, Wisconsin. This foray into retail didn’t last long though and they went back to farming full-time, no doubt because there wasn’t much money to be made in shoe repair. (Shoe forms and anvils were passed down in our family.)
In 1866 the Isserstedts sold lots in downtown Plymouth as seen below. Before this would most likely be where and when they would have opened their shop.
This Indenture made the first day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty six between Frederick Isserstedt and Wilhelmnie Isserstedt his wife parties of the first part and Peter Lesch party of the second part all of the county of Sheboygan and State of Wisconsin.
…in consideration of the sum of three hundred dollars to them in hand paid…[for] the following described piece, tract and parcel of land situated lying and being in the County of Sheboygan and State of Wisconsin to wit:
The South eighty four and one half (84 1/2) feet of lots no. one (1) and two (2) and the North eighty four and one half (84 1/2) feed of lots no. seven (7) and eight (8) in Block no. ten (10) of the Village of Plymouth.1
In order to have opened a shoe shop, Fred would have had to know how to make, or even repair, shoes. This skill would have been learned in Germany. So it is possible that Fred apprenticed as a shoemaker, and then went on to his journeyman training. This would have required that he travel all over the country finding masters that would teach him the skills he would need to make a living, and eventually to be accepted as a master shoemaker himself. So the story goes — Fred traveled as far north as Dömitz, met a girl, fell in love, and married her, as soon as he was done with his travels. (And how could he not fall in love, she had such a cute smile.)
Of course Fred’s possible journeyman’s travels are purely speculative on my part, but, it would explain a lot.
Thanks Friederike for the heads up! I knew nothing of this tradition until now.
- Sheboygan County Wisconsin, Register of Deeds; Deeds (1839-1886) and index to deeds (1839-1888); Deeds, v. 22 (p. 312-end) 1866-1867 Warranty deeds, v. 23-24 (p. 313) 1866-1867 – FHL film #1,392,898 – vol. 24, page 13 [image 1211].