Corrections, Complement, and Confirmations

I want to address a few matters that need attention today and add a few items of interest.  I will start by taking care of a few necessary corrections.

First of all, in the recent post titled, Flummoxed by a Family, the following photo was published.

Caroline Wilhelmine Stueve

I identified this bride and groom as Martin and Caroline Stueve.  Diane Anderson, who I consider a very reliable source concerning the Stueve family, has informed me that this is incorrect.  It is actually the wedding photo of Paul Stueve and Lena Leimer.  Paul was Martin’s brother.

A second correction must be made concerning a photo which was part of the post, Got California Milk? NO!  A person was misidentified in this photo:


I identified the second person from the right as Larry Leimbach.  I have heard from several sources now that this gentleman’s name was Leroy Leimbach.  However, I still am unaware of what happened to him after this photo was taken.

I want the readers of this blog to know that I really want to be as accurate as possible when writing these posts, so I welcome it when people let me know when mistakes are made.  I have lived in Perry County for a relatively short period of time, and although I have roots to this area, I by no means consider myself to be an expert on the history of East Perry County.  Each day, I am learning a new story, and sometimes I make mistakes.

Now for a complement to yesterday’s story about Fred and Agnes Groh.  Sharon Hays, a granddaughter of Fred “Fritz” and Agnes, shared this photo on our Facebook page.  It is a wonderful photo, and I think it ought to be shared here on our website as well.

Groh house c.1910

This photo was likely taken about 1910.  It shows Fritz and Agnes standing to the right, along with young Carl Friedrich, who looks like he may be sitting on a wooden rocking horse.  Sitting on the porch is the patriarch of the Altenburg Groh family, Christian Carl Groh.  He would die in 1912, so this picture had to be taken before then.  I was just asking Gerard Fiehler yesterday morning if he thought this house was already built by 1910.  This photo answers that question.

At our congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church here in Altenburg, we had Confirmation questioning this morning.  That is that dreaded rite of passage by which our confirmands have to endure what I’m sure many of them consider an inquisition in front of the congregation to prove their worthiness for confirmation.  It is a demonstration of the fact that our congregation, along with many other congregations which are part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, considers it important that their members are familiar with the church’s beliefs.  After what usually consists of two years of catechism instruction and surviving the questioning, one is then ready to be confirmed.  Most congregations in the Perry County area conduct Confirmation on Palm Sunday.  Questioning is usually the Sunday before that.

When I am looking for a story to write for this blog, I often go to our German Family Tree, which is a Microsoft Word document.  I do a search for a particular date, looking for an interesting event.  I usually settle on a birthday or wedding anniversary.  Lately, such a search has been slowed down because I have to skip over so many dates which indicate a confirmation.  We are indeed in the confirmation season.

I decided to look for confirmations that took place on April 2nd.  Here is what I found.  There were three dates which popped up frequently.  They were April 2nd in the years 1871, 1882, and 1888.  In the year 1871, April 2 was indeed Palm Sunday, but the only congregation that recorded confirmations in that year was Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Palm Sunday was also on April 2 in 1882.  I found confirmation records for Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, and Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.  All of those classes had around fifteen members.  Interestingly, both churches in Altenburg did not record confirmations on April 2nd that year.  The missing Trinity confirmation records are understandable.  That would be part of what we at the museum call the “Koestering Hole”.  Rev. Koestering’s records are minimal.

The 1888 confirmations are interesting.  The only congregation recording confirmations that year was Immanuel in New Wells, and April 2 was not a Palm Sunday.  In fact, it was not even a Sunday.  These confirmations took place on an Easter Monday.

Pastors are usually responsible for keeping the church records.  Some of them were more reliable than others in this task.  Confirmations were not recorded by some pastors.  Some pastors seem to record confirmations, but did not indicate the dates when they occurred.  I do know that today’s pastors often use a person’s confirmation verse as the basis for their funeral sermon.  Those Bible verses are not always recorded, or they are hard to read.

In our museum, we have a binder full of confirmation photos which were taken during the years when Rev. Adolph Vogel was pastor at Trinity.  Here is the first one included in that binder which was taken in 1918.

1918 Confirmation Class – Rev. Adolph Vogel – Trinity, Altenburg

I leave you today with a photo of my confirmation class.  It took place in St. Louis at St. Jacobi Lutheran Church, which no longer exists.  However, back in 1964, this class consisted of almost 30 confirmands.

Confirmation Class 1964 St. Jacobi


One thought on “Corrections, Complement, and Confirmations

  1. One more correction may be needed. Regarding “California Here We Come” Posted on July 23, 2016, it states “Anna Dorothea Schuricht was born on this day (July 23) in 1859. Her parents, John and Anna Susanna (Tirmenstein) Schurict were living in St. Louis and members of Old Trinity Lutheran Church.”

    Actually Anna Dorothea is the daughter of Johann (John) Traugott Schuricht and Anna Maria Tirmenstein. Two Johann Schuricht brothers married two Anna Tirmenstein sisters, which may be the cause of some confusion.

    The Tirmensteins and the Schurichts were part of the group that decided to stay in St. Louis. Johann Traugott Schuricht married Anna Maria Tirmenstein 25 Jan 1846 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Anna Dorothea was the 8th of 13 children. Johann Fuerchtegott Schuricht married Anna Susanna Tirmenstein 10 Sep 1854, also at Trinity Lutheran.

    Johann Fuerchtegott actually may have been engaged to a third Tirmenstein sister, Christine Concordia. This is based on a family history account that was once published in Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, Vol 11. I’ll be requesting a copy soon.

    According to this account, John F. had taken to Anna Dorothea as a child on the Olbers journey, but was closer in age to her elder sister, into whose care she had been given. He called Anna Dorothea his “Kleiner Schiffsbrummer.” When John F. was heartbroken by the sudden death of his “betrothed”, Anna Dorothea stepped in to cheer and care for the bereaved. Eventually they fell in love and married.

    Another family account states Christine Concordia died in the cholera epidemic 16 Jun 1849. Her grave has not been found. More research is needed, as this account states she never married.

    Her sister Elisabeth Juliana sadly also died in the epidemic soon after the birth of her first child, Herman Christian Augustin. There is a sampler currently in the Concordia Historical Institute museum by 11 yr old Elizabeth Julianne Tirmenstein, likely made on the Olbers journey.

    There is another unconfirmed family story recorded by my uncle from Tirmenstein family members that Elisabeth, like some of the Schuricht brothers, ended up on a different ship than the rest of her family.. It’s said that the two ships were brought close together and that she was swung back and forth by hands and feet by sailors on the one ship and tossed onto the other ship to be caught by sailors there. Highly unlikely, as there is no confirming evidence and plenty of accounts, but colorful nonetheless.

    Hopefully the stories of the Tirmenstein and Schuricht families stories can be told with more detail and pictures in the future. I have much information and photos to identify and sort through, including data from German and Hungarian researchers collected decades ago.


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