He Almost Made It

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Trinity, Altenburg Church Records – 1839

On March 29, 1839, Johann Christoph Weber died at the young age of 44 and was buried in St. Louis, Missouri.  He had brought his wife and six children to America as part of the 1838-1839 immigration.  They had traveled aboard the Republic to New Orleans and then were transported up the Mississippi River on the Knickerbocker.  The family had arrived in St. Louis and was awaiting their move to the newly acquired land in Perry County when Johann Christoph died.  After leading his family thousands of miles away from Germany, he was laid to rest about 100 miles away from his final destination.

Johann Christoph’s wife, Johanne Dorothea, moved with her remaining family to Perry County and was granted some farmland outside Altenburg.  Two of Johann Christoph’s children became notable.  Their daughter, Amalia, married Ernst Edward “Doc” Buenger, who helped serve the medical needs of the new settlers in Perry County for many years.  Their son, Christian Adolph Charles “Carl” Weber, served as a captain during the Civil War, fighting with the Union troops.

Although Johann Christoph Weber did not cross the finish line and reach his goal of raising his family in Perry County, Missouri, his family did carry his legacy and faith on to future generations.

About the photo:  Rev. Gotthold Loeber recorded several deaths that occurred in St. Louis in the early months of 1839 in the Trinity Lutheran Church records.  The people recorded there were ones who had traveled with the Loebers to America and would have become members of Trinity if they had made it to Perry County.  These records are found on some of the first pages of Trinity’s church records. Genealogists are happy when pastors keep thorough records for their congregation.


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