One of the tragic stories of the 1839 immigration was the recording of numerous deaths that took place in the Schlimpert family during and not long after the journey to America. There were two Schlimpert families that traveled aboard the Copernicus, and the fathers of these two families are believed to have been brothers. They were Johann Gottlob Schlimpert and Christian Gottfried Schlimpert.
The first death occurred aboard the Copernicus. Ernst Schlimpert was only about one year old when he died on December 13, 1838. Ernst was the son of Christian Gottfried. By the time of his death, the ship had been at sea for over a month. There was also another death aboard that ship on the same day. Her name was Johanne Sophie Hempelin, age 19. That means that Rev. Ernst Moritz Buerger had to bury two people at sea on the same day. How sad that must have been. You could add to the sorrow the fact that there were two previous deaths aboard the Copernicus prior to these two. After Rev. Buerger left Perry County not long after getting there, Rev. Gotthold Loeber recorded the deaths in the Seelitz community in the Trinity, Altenburg records. Entry #4 was the death of Ernst Schlimpert shown below.
The next Schlimpert to die was Johann Gottlob. He died on August 12, 1839 at the age of 47. He was buried in the Seelitz Cemetery and was #9 on Rev. Loeber’s list.
Christian Gottfried Schlimpert was the next to die. He died on this day, May 7, in 1840 and is #17 on the Seelitz death listing. Christian Gottfried was one of the signers of the document that sent Rev. Martin Stephan in exile to Illinois about a year earlier. Along with six pastors, there were five lay people who signed that document, and Christian Gottfried was one of them.
Finally, on July 17, 1840, Amalie Theresa Schlimpert died in Seelitz at the age of six. She was #19 on the list. It must have not only been a sad time period in the Schlimpert family history, but we also know that the many deaths that Rev. Buerger had to deal with in Perry County, including his own wife’s, led to his decision to leave this area very quickly.
The good news about this family is that there were several sons in these two Schlimpert families, and the Schlimpert name continues on in Perry County to this day.