The fact that Catharina Christina Becker died on June 24th in 1849 attracted my attention to the Becker family. This girl died of cholera in St. Louis during the Cholera Epidemic. As is so often the case, this simple fact led to several other side stories.
First of all, we find that Johann and Eva Becker traveled to Missouri with two children in 1839 as part of the New York Group. This was a group of Lutherans who had arrived in America prior to the Stephanite Immigration and were living in New York City. This group of people decided to join the Stephanites and made the trip to Perry County, arriving not long before Rev. Martin Stephan was expelled from the community. Below is a map showing the route of the New York Group.
Shortly after arriving, Eva gave birth to another child on November 27, 1839. This daughter was also named Eva. Then on August 20, 1841, another daughter was born. Her name was Catharine Elisabeth Becker. Now the Becker family had four children. However, this is when the story becomes sad.
On October 27, 1841, their three year old son, Georg, died. He had probably been born in New York City. Here is his death record which is in the Trinity, Altenburg church books.
On February 18, 1843, another son was born and was named Jacob. However, this boy only lived about a year and a half. He died on August 8, 1844. An interesting fact can be gleaned from the baptism record of Jacob which is shown below.
If you look closely, after the name Becker in the second line, it says Jacob was from Cape Girardeau County. His death record says the same thing. This leads to the possible conclusion that the Beckers lived in the Johannisberg settlement. It was the only settlement in Cape Girardeau County at that time.
When little Georg died, Eva must have been very pregnant, because Maria Elisabeth Becker was born just ten days later on August 18th. It was sometime between the time Maria Elisabeth was born and March 3, 1846, that the Becker family must have moved to St. Louis, because that was when Louise Becker was born, and the church record can be found in the books of Old Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard. Quite a few members of the New York Group became disillusioned with what was going on in Perry County and moved to St. Louis to become a member of Rev. C.F.W. Walther’s congregation. In this case, I am sure that Johann’s skills as a shoemaker could be put to better use in a bigger city such as St. Louis.
Not long after this birth, Maria Elisabeth died on June 9, 1846, not even making it to her second birthday. Death would again hit the Becker family about one year later on April 11, 1847, when Louise died.
That finally leads us back to Catharina Christina Becker. She was born on April 20, 1848, only to die a little over a year later during the Cholera Epidemic.
Two more children were born to the Beckers in the 1850’s, and then Johann and Eva became grandparents in 1858, when their daughter, Eva, blessed them with a grandson.
I guess you could say that the Beckers would never have envisioned experiencing all the changes that came their way. And I am sure all the deaths they experienced were not what they expected. However, it appears that the Beckers persevered, as so many of our ancestors did.