Sophia Catharina Wilhelmine Sachs…

3215373137_a36e6bab60_bOr as she was called by the family, Mina.

Mina was born in Dömitz, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany on the 28th of June in 1820 and was baptized two days later.1 Her parents were Johann Christoph Wilhelm Sachs and Ursula Margaretha Sophia Schult. In her picture on the right, she looks exactly like I would want a great grandmother to look, including that impish little smile.

Recently I have been able to search the indexed church records of Dömitz and expand Mina’s tree a few generations. So here it is now.sachs-sophia-catharina-willhelmine-meina

We have some pretty interesting German surnames to add to our family: Lütken / Lüthgen / Lütdan (apparently no one knows how to spell it), Schlein, and Schult. Schult has been on the surname list for a while, but these recent finds in the church records, make me more certain that the name is not Schultz, although I did see it in one record as Schulten.

Mina lost both of her grandmothers before she was even born. Of her grandfathers I have been unable to ascertain when they died. And, unfortunately for Mina, both of her parents were dead by the time she was almost 16 years of age, her father dying about 2 months before her birthday in 1836. She did have two sisters and one brother all older than her, the youngest of her siblings was 19 when they became orphans.

As none of her siblings were married when the last of their parent’s died, I am assuming that they were taken in by relatives until they were. Her sister Johanna married the next year to Christian George Heinrich Strempel.

In 1820 Mecklenburg abolished serfdom. While it is a good thing that this happened, it had  unintended side affects now that land owners were no longer responsible for the people who lived on their land. They reduced the amount of housing that was available, so the former serfs no longer had a place to live, land was not available for them to buy and farm for themselves, and work became much harder to find. About 250,000 people left Mecklenburg in several different waves of immigration. Many went to the United States, the rest went to other cities within Germany itself. The conditions at home left them very little choice. “Almost every third person from Mecklenburg left their home country, almost 90 % of them came from rural places.”2

Of great interest to me, is finding the answer to the question of how Mina and Friedrich Karl Isserstedt, who was born in Hessleben, Sömmerda, Thuringia, Germany, met. They were married somewhere in Germany, and came to America with 3 of their children who were born in Thuringia (where Hessleben is located).

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-12-45-43-pm

Here is a map showing the location of the two towns in Germany where Mina and Fred were from. Where and how did they meet? 

Was Friederick in the military and somehow ended up in Dömitz? Did Mina leave home because of the conditions in Mecklenburg and end up in Fred’s neck of the woods? I am hoping I can find the answer to these question with more digging. I would especially love to find out where they married as there is no record in Dömitz of their marriage. It doesn’t mean they weren’t married there, just that I can find no record if it.

In 1855 the Isserstedt family left their residence in Wandersleben3 and made the long trip to America. Sailing from Hamburg to the port of New York. Eventually ending up in Plymouth, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, where together they carved out a new home from the wilderness and prospered.

OBITUARY Mrs. Wilhelmine Isserstedt nee Sachs, one of the oldest settlers in this area, died on Friday in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Emilie Hamm, near Medford, at the age of over 70 years. Her husband, Mr. Friedrich Isserstedt, died about a year ago. She was born in Doemitz, Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 26 July 1820, and came to America in 1855 with her husband. At first they lived on a farm in the Town of Sheboygan Falls. Later they lived in the city for a time where Mr. Isserstedt has a shoemaker business. Then they again moved on a farm in the northeastern part of the Town of Plymouth. They lived there many years when they moved on the farm formerly owned by the deceased Chr. Komen where they lived until Mr. Isserstedt’s death. She is survived by a son, Mr. Fred. Isserstedt, in the northeastern part of Town Plymouth; three daughters, Mrs. Henriette Hoppe and Mrs. Emilie Hamm, Medford, and Mrs. Minna Kaestner, Town Plymouth. Another daughter, Mrs. Amanda Hoffmann, died several years ago. The funeral was held in Town Rhine on Sunday.4 [died 13 Aug 1899]


Sources:
1. Sophia Catharina Willhelmina Sachs baptism, Taufen, Hieraten, Toter, Konf. 1835-1852 vol. 2, entry ?3, (1820) page 12, Stadtkirche Kirchenbuecher Church Records Evangelical Lutheran, Doemitz, Mecklenburgische, Sippenkanzlei, Mecklenburg-Schwerin: FHL Film #69078, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
2. http://www.emecklenburg.de/Mecklenburg/en/emi_intr.html
3. According to the passport records from Hamburg. Wandersleben is near Gotha, which is also in Thuringia, where their only son was said to have been born. Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008. 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 00.
4. Wilhelmine Sachs obituary, The Plymouth Post, Plymouth, Wisconsin; [reprinted in ‘From Here and There’, 17 August 1899, page 1??, Historical Research Center, Inc., Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin].

Fritz and the in-laws…

My 3xgreat Uncle Fredrick (Fritz) Isserstedt, jr. was the only son of Fredrick and Wilhelmena Isserstedt. He was born in Gotha, Germany on the 8th of March in 1852. And was only 3 years old when the family made  their 49 day voyage over the Atlantic Ocean to America on the ship ‘Elise Rühke.’

When he was 29 years old Fritz married Phoebe Coon in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, where the Isserstedts had established their new home. A few years later, in 1886, Fritz and Phoebe ‘purchased’ land from Phoebe’s parents Benjamin and Philena Coon. But this wasn’t just a simple transfer of money for property, there were some interesting stipulations with this purchase.

This indenture made this 5th day of Feb. 1886 between Benjamin Orrin Coon and Philena R. Coon his wife all of Sheboygan County Wisconsin parties of the first part and F. J. Isserstedt of said County party of the second part. 

…..on the following terms and conditions to wit: 

The said F. J. Isserstedt shall furnish one half of all seed neccessary to be used on the said premises the said Benjamin Orrin Coon the other half each to furnish one half of the cows to be kept on the farm the said F. J. Isserstdt to turn over one half of the proceeds of the farm at the end of each season to Benjamin Orrin Coon as the consideration for this conveyance made to him of the said premises and in case said Benjamin Orrin Coon shall die before his wife does, then said Isserstedt or his heirs or assigns shall turn over to the wife of said Coon the one half of the said proceeds during the term of her natural life.  

It is further agreed between the parties that when it is necessary to have new machinery or farm implements on the farm each is to furnish one half of the expense of such new machinery or farm implements.

The said party of the first part shall furnish a good able bodied man to work on the farm eight months in the years commencing about March 14 of each year each party shall furnish one half of the trains or teams necessary to do the work on the farm. 

The party of the first part and his wife shall have the privilege of residing in the dwelling house from on said described premises and in case a new house shall be [built on the?] premises by the parties of the second part the first part shall have the privilege of residing in such new house in suitable manner to be provided for them by the parties of the second part during the terms of their natural lives.

It is further agreed between the parties that a failure to perform any of the conditions of the foregoing agreement shall under this conveyance absolutely void and the party of the second part shall become a tenant at sufferance of the parties of the first part in case this agreement beomes void as aforesaid and be liable to be recorded as such tenant. 

So instead of giving the in-laws money for the property, they made a deal to work the land together with each couple doing their part to share in the profits and expenses as long as the in-laws can continue to live on the land and even move in to any new digs built on the property, if they so desire.

Another example of land records doing more than just showing a transfer of property, here you find some interesting family dynamics. (See documents below.)

Digital image of deed.1


Sheboygan County Wisconsin, Register of Deeds; Deeds (1839-1886) and index to deeds (1839-1888); Warranty deeds, v. 53 1883-1884 Deeds, v. 54 1883-1887   –  FHL film #1,392,913 – vol. 36, page 453 [image 1213]:


Back to my old tricks…

Well, it has been almost a week since I came back from my exhausting trip to Salt Lake City. When Mary told me she took about 40 pictures of documents during her research, I just blinked and said “Really, I think I took about 400”. I was close, 448. That’s just with my camera, that doesn’t count the 30 or more I took with my iPhone.

I have pretty much recovered, although not from the weather shock. I really miss my 80 degree days.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a few items from my trip, but it is going to take me a while to assess the haul. As of right now I am not quite sure if I have anything of significance, as I don’t have time to read the material, just find and photograph it.

But, I do have something to share that wasn’t from my trip.

Friederike, my new German acquaintance, has sent me something even better than Friederick Karl Isserstedt’s birth record, he has found his parent’s marriage record.

This is the marriage record of Fred Isserstedt’s parents.

They were married in St. Michael’s Church in Hassleben, Germany.

“The 16th of October [1811] bachelor Mister Johann Heinrich Isserstedt ?? citizen and linen weaver of this town, [son of] Mister Johann Carl Isserstedt ?? citizen and linen weaver of this town ??  born in marriage [meaning legitimate], with Magdaline Regine Gross, [daughter of] Johann Nicolaus Gross ?? citizen and neighbor of this town, oldest born in marriage ?? ?? of this town, were married.”

The question marks are items that Friedrike was unable to translate or transcribe. He also sent me the records of all the siblings, or at least the ones from the church records, I do not know if there were more. I will post those next week.

Now thanks to Friedrike’s help I have gone back two generations, although I am missing the women’s names from the marriage record. Of course. I am extremely grateful for Friedrike’s help, otherwise I would probably never have gotten these records, as they have not been filmed by the Family History Library. Friedrike tells me that he does this to help other genealogists who have relatives from Hessleben, as that is where one of his ancestors also came from, his RAGK.

Family and travel…

As I am heading out to Salt Lake City for my annual research trip tomorrow, I thought today’s post would be most appropriate. It is about family and travel. Hence the title.

Frieda Isserstedt, born 1882.

Frieda Isserstedt is my 1st cousin 3 times removed. Or to be less confusing, she is the daughter of my gg grandmother Amelia Isserstedt Hamm’s brother, Fritz. I hope that helps. She was a graduate of the University of Chicago and was a teacher. From all accounts a very much respected one too. According to her students no one could stump her on a historical event date.

In 1929 Frieda decided to take a European tour.

This article is from the Sheboygan Press.

That sounds like quite a trip, she never visited the family’s hometown, but it looks like she might not have had time.

Here is the Olympic, the ship she sailed home on:

A postcard version of the ship. As you can see it is a White Star Line ship, the same as the Titanic, and no, the ship made it home just fine.
This is the passenger list for the Olympic, Frieda is number 8 on the list.

My trip won’t be as exotic. But I do hope to have a good time. At least the restaurants are usually excellent. I can’t wait to head to my favorite sushi stop, way better than anything we get here.

I won’t be posting anything next week. Unless I have a really big find, but I have my doubts about that. So until the next post, stay cool. Aloha.

Another generation…

I had a surprising email waiting for me this last weekend. It was a notification from ancestry.com that someone had left a messsage for me with my account. As it has been quite a while since anyone has contacted me through Ancestry I was eager to see what it was about.

A gentleman from Germany was asking me if I was still interested in information on my Isserstedts in Hassleben, Germany. My first thought was, ‘hell yeah!’

Friedrike is German and has been helping out folks with ancestors from Hassleben, because he has an ancestor from there. He has photographed all the pages from the St. Michael’s church books and sends them out to folks who are in need of copies. As the Mormon Church hasn’t microfilmed any of these church records, this was an excellent opportunity to get those church records.

Unfortunately, the book earlier than 1798 was burned in a fire and the one between 1824ish and 1843 was stolen, but as least there was one record he could send me:

Whole page of church book with Friedrich Carl Isserstedt entry.

Close up of Fred’s church entry, 1822, p231
Here Friedrich, my German acquaintance, translated the information so I would be sure to know what it means.

The translation (with a few grammatical corrections to read easier):

5. Friedrich Karl, Mister Johann Heinrich Isserstedt and his wife Magdalene Regina (born Grosse) 4th child, was born the 26th of February [1822] and baptized the 3rd of March through his godfathers 1. Johann Felix Mälzer Chirurgus = doctor 2. Adelgunde Sophie Grimmer wife of Johann Nicol Grimmer in Werningshausen [is a small town some miles north of Hassleben].

In case you haven’t figured it out by now this is Fred Isserstedt’s birth record from Germany. According to the church record Fred had three siblings and I am hoping to get their names. I don’t know if I will be able to find out much more on his parents as the church books needed are missing. Not having done much research with records still in Germany, it will be interesting to see if I will be able to find anything else about the family.

That tiny 5%…

Not too long ago I posted an entry talking about the results of my Dad’s upgraded DNA tests. In it I mentioned the fact that his FamilyFinder results (ethnic background) indicated 95% Western European and 5% Palestinian, Adygei, Bedouin, Bedouin South, Druze, Iranian, Jewish, Mozabite.

Wow that’s a mouthful.

As I heard nothing from anyone in the family about this information, I can only assume that no one really understood the significance of this find. So let me clear the matter up in layman’s terms. Here is a simple chart:

The ‘SELF’ in this particular case is my Dad. The chart shows what percentage of DNA he is inheriting from each generation of grandparent. So this means that he inherited his 5% from somewhere in the 2nd to 3rd generation back in the family tree.

So if I look at the family tree chart, some lines can automatically be eliminated: Irish, Norwegian, in America for 200 hundred years. Basically it boils down to either someone in the John/Deadrich line or someone in the Hamm/Isserstedt line. My money is on George Hamm’s unknown father. Remember, he was illegitimate, his surname at birth was his mother’s KNOBLOCH. So we do not know who his father is, and probably never will. (Unless I can find a George Hamm descendant willing to contribute to the DNA pool.)

My theory, admittedly it is pretty sketchy, is that Elizabeth Knobloch had a romantic love affair with a Jewish gentleman and they were not allowed to marry because of the religious differences. But theories aside folks, what this means is that my siblings and I, and my cousins on the John side of the family have 100% Jewish/Palestinian ancestors.

The surname lines of interest are: JOHN, DEADRICH, SCHULE, SCHULZ, ISSERSTEDT, SACHS, NEHRBOSS, KNOBLOCH, Unknown father of George HAMM

This map shows the areas of origin for Dad’s results.

I hope folks will now appreciate the significance of this information. I myself am fascinated and look forward to more refined tests in the future.