Not long ago, we did a few blog posts concerning J.G. Hemman who fathered so many children. J.G. came to America with the Gruber group in December of 1839. There was another fertile father in the Gruber group. His name was August Friedrich Wilhelm Engert. I ran across his name today because his first wife, Christiane Eleonore (Matthes), died on this day in 1849.
A side note: Christiane’s death is recorded in the Frohna church books. 1849 was a year that Rev.Gotthold Loeber was covering the Frohna congregation, but he was also about to become ill and die later that year. The Engert family was living in the Seelitz area. He had bought one of the original plots of land in Seelitz (only 1.5 acres) It must have been an unsettled time in the Perry County Lutheran churches when the only pastor around Altenburg and Frohna was very ill. One would think that the Engerts would have been members of the church in Altenburg, but the record of this death is in Frohna.
Friedrich Engert and Christiane came to America with four children, and one other daughter had died in Germany before the immigration. After arriving in America, Christiane gave birth to five more children, two of which died right away. That puts the total number of children to ten for Friedrich. Friedrich married Anna Margaretha Jungclaus in 1851. Anna was about 20 years younger than Friedrich and only two years older than Friedrich’s oldest daughter. They were married in Frohna with Rev. Christoph Heinrich Loeber (Gotthold’s son) performing the ceremony. Anna gave birth to thirteen children, one which was stillborn and one other son died right away after birth. Friedrich was 63 years old when his last son was born. Friedrich’s grand total of children with both wives was 23.
Friedrich died in 1877 and is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. Friedrich was one of the charter members of Immanuel.
As if he didn’t have enough children of his own, Friedrich is also listed as having been a sponsor at ten other children’s baptisms.
Between J.G. Hemmann and Friedrich Engert there were over 40 children. This all took place before the era of birth control, but also before the era of Viagra.
It just so happens that another Mrs. Engert…..Gladys…..is working at the museum today. She has five children, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.