The $15 Wedding

Johann Christoph Friedrich Feig was born on this day, October 7, in 1821 in Germany.  While still in Germany, he married Christiane Aloe.  In 1850, Christoph brought his wife and infant daughter, Johanne, to America.  They arrived in New Orleans aboard the Queen on June 10, 1850.


Passenger List – Queen

Christoph’s family is already recorded in the 1850 census.  It is interesting to note that the Feig’s arrived in Altenburg about the same time as Pastor Schiefferdecker and his family.  They are listed right next to each other in the census.

1850 census

When Rev. Schieferdecker was ousted in 1857 and left to form Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, the Feig family apparently remained at Trinity.  Christoph Feig lived through the time when Rev. Beyer was Trinity’s pastor, and then he died during Rev. Koestering’s time.  Fortunately, he lived past the Koestering Hole.  Rev. Koestering began recording deaths again in 1876.  During that year, Christiane Feig died.  Then in 1878, Christoph died.  At the time of his death, there were four Feig children.

I was able to find Christoph’s last will and testament.  It contained some rather interesting provisions.  The oldest son in the family, Gotthold August, was to be the executor of the estate.  However, he had two older sisters and one younger brother.  Gotthold was instructed to give each of his siblings $200, and Christoph gave him a six year plan for distributing those funds. He also gave instructions for his one unmarried daughter’s wedding.  Here we see those instructions.  Unfortunately, it spills over two pages, so I have to show two photos.


How about that?  A wedding that was not supposed to cost more than $15.  Even if you calculate what $15 would amount to in today’s money (about $365), that is still an incredibly small wedding expense by today’s comparison.  I know of many fathers of brides who would love to get by with that kind of wedding bill nowadays.

Magdalena Feig married Franz Ruehling from New Wells in 1882.  Their marriage was recorded in the Concordia, Frohna books.  There is no record of how much the wedding cost, but I’m relatively sure that Magdalena made sure to get her $15 from her little brother.

Feig/Ruehling Marriage Record – Concordia, Frohna

The Feig name is no longer found around East Perry County, however, some Feigs married folks with names like Roth, Ruehling, Mueller, etc., so there are still ancestors in the neighborhood.


6 thoughts on “The $15 Wedding

  1. Christoph Feig is my 3rd great grandfather. This was an interesting and informative post. I have learned some information that I was unable to find, such as when they arrived in America and what ship they were on. The posts that contain any of my ancestors has been of great help in verifying the facts I was hoping to be correct in my tree! Thank you so much!


  2. I was listening to a couple of guys talking this morning at a local coffee shop and thought that in my spare time I would read some of the blog entries. This one in particular caught my eye, as it mention a surname of Ruehling. In looking further into the name, it appears that Franz Ruehling was a brother to my great-great-grandfather Herman Ruehling Starting with my grandfather Eldor Ruehling, his father was Frederic Ruehling who married Katharine Perr ( whom I am named after) and his Frederic’s father was Herman who was a brother to Franz.

    Please check my fact finding and correct me if I a wrong.


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