Camp Church Confirmations

An interesting event took place on Sunday, August 25th in 1839.  Five people were confirmed on that day at the camp church which at that time was located in the area of Perry County known as Dresden.  Two of the five were also baptized.  All five of these people had come to Perry County as part of the New York Group which joined the rest of the immigrants in 1839 after traveling from New York.  Here is Rev. Loeber’s recording of that event in the Trinity Lutheran, Altenburg church records.

1839 Confirmations Trinity
Trinity Church Records – 1839

If you are like me, you need an English translation of these writings.  In this case, a translation is available.

1839 Confirmations Trinity translation
Trinity Church Records translation

One thing becomes quite clear right away.  Apparently, not all the members of the New York Group were Lutherans.  A few had not even been baptized before.  It puzzles me a little bit that the two ladies who were baptized are described as being from the Catholic church.  I would have expected Roman Catholics to have been baptized as infants.

If these five people started confirmation training as soon as they arrived in May of 1839, it would have taken them only three months to complete this training before they were confirmed in August.

William Hoffmann was a hatter from Duerckheim, Germany which is in the region of Bavaria.

New York Group Hoffmann

Josephine Ruhle was a maid from Baden, Germany.

New York Group Ruhle

Michael Stephan was a brazier from Kleeberg.  There seems to be some debate as to whether Kleeberg was in Germany or France.  My bet would be on Germany.

New York Group Stephan

As was the case with so many of the New York Group, all five of these people would later move to St. Louis.  Their names occur over the years in the Old Trinity church records there.  Many in the New York group, after living in the large city, decided to move to the larger city of St. Louis after experiencing a short time in Perry County where the situation was very difficult.

I was unable to find out much else about these five people.  There were several children born to the Hoffmann’s and the Stephan’s, but most of those children died at an early age.  If you know anything else about these people, we would love to hear about it.


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