April 9, 1817 was the birthday of Johanna Rosine Poppitz. She was born in the town of Seelitz in Germany. She and her family sailed to America aboard the Copernicus in 1838, arriving in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve. Her husband-to-be, Gottfried Noennig, traveled on the same ship. Their towns in Germany were 36 miles apart, so it is likely that Johanna and Gottfried did not know each other before the voyage, and the two may have struck up a romance on board the Copernicus.
On June 8, 1840, Johanna and Gottfried were united in marriage in Seelitz, Missouri, one of the seven settlements which began in Perry County. Rev. Ernst Moritz Buerger was their pastor. The church records for the short time that the Seelitz congregation existed were written down in the Trinity, Altenburg records by Rev. Gotthold Loeber. Only eight marriages are listed from Seelitz, although that is really a relatively large number considering the size of the Seelitz congregation and the short time period in which they existed. Quite a few couples must have been eager to get married in America after the journey here. It has also been reported that many young couples could not be married in Germany because of the legal issues concerning marriage there.
Johanna Rosine Poppitz was the great great grandmother of Judy (Noennig) Kraft. Judy’s husband, Ken Kraft, is largely responsible for the Zion Roots Research Project which is housed in the research library at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum. We are so thankful for Ken and Judy’s contribution to our mission at the museum. The stories we post on this blog are largely due to the resources we have here in our library.