A Gathering of Grebings

Hartmann Grebing arrived in Perry County in 1839.  Because he did, there are still several Grebings that live here to this day, and on occasion, other Grebings often come here to visit.  Right now is one of those special occasions when a rather large gathering of Grebings is taking place.  Over one hundred descendants of Hartmann have gathered here for a family reunion.  We are thrilled that this group has included a visit to the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum in their agenda.

Hartmann Grebing was part of the New York Group that has been discussed previously on this blog.  Also, not long after he arrived, he married Justine Goethe in 1843.  Two previous posts have told those stories.

Here are photos of Hartmann and Justine.

In the Grebing/Göthe post, I wrote that I could not find a passenger list that included Hartmann in 1837.  Now I think I may have found such a record, but I am not entirely confident about my conclusion.  One of the reasons I could not find such a passenger list is the fact that the Grebing family histories say that Hartmann arrived on September 4th in that year aboard the Grand Turk.  Before I show that record, let me remind you that because Hartmann was born in 1811, he would have been 26 years old when he came to America.  What I found was that there are passenger list records that state the Grand Turk arrived in New York on September 2nd.  After finding this list, I started looking on it to find Hartmann.  I looked for passengers that were around 26 years old.  Here is what I found.

Hartman Grebing passenger list Grand Turk 9-2-1837 New York

Whoever transcribed this record for Ancestry.com described this record as being H Krahling, and understandably so.  However, I think there is a good possibility that this is Hartmann.  I have several reasons for saying so.

  • The date when this Grand Turk arrived in New York is so close to the September 4th date which is mentioned in some Grebing family histories.  No other ship by that name is recorded as arriving on September 4th.
  • This record is the only one on that passenger list that describes a 26 year old male.  There are some others that are close to 26 years old, but the spelling of those names do not look anything like Grebing.
  • The initial given for the first name is definitely an “H”.
  • I do not doubt that Hartmann came on a ship that was named Grand Turk.  He was known to make written records of his trip to America, and is very likely to get the name of the ship accurately.

Here is another story I found on the internet about a ship named the Grand Turk.  There was an incident which took place at the Strait of Gibralter that involved the British.  A British ship forced some sailors from the USS Grand Turk to serve on their ship.  Interestingly, that incident took place in 1837, the same year that Hartmann arrived in America.  I have doubts that the ship at Gibralter was the same one on which Hartmann was a passenger.  One reason is that those two ships had different captains.  I did find this painting of the USS Grand Turk (the one from the Gibralter story).

USS Grand Turk

Normally I try to find a story which is connected to the present date.  I did not do that today, but chose to do a Grebing story because of their reunion.  However, there are significant dates in Hartmann’s life that are very close to July 3rd.  Hartmann was born on July 6, 1811.  He and Justine were married on July 9, 1843.  He died on July 8, 1888.

Some original documents by Hartmann Grebing have been kept over the years and a translation has been made which contain some of the major events that he said occurred during his life.  Here is a typewritten page of those events.  It includes that September 4th date for his arrival in New York.

Hartmann Grebing journal entries
Hartmann Grebing journal entries – translated

We have a map in our museum which is said to have been drawn around 1860.  It is supposed to show where in the city of Altenburg the early settlers were given plots of land.  It shows Hartmann Grebing on a piece of property not far from where Trinity Lutheran Church was later built.

Early Altenburg map
Early map of Altenburg

Just outside Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, there is a geological survey pin located in the sidewalk.  That pin would be at the center of what is called the Public Square on this drawing.  Hartmann’s land would have been just west of there.  I caution you on putting too much stock in this map because just to the east of the public square is a plot identified with Joachim Schmidt (my great great grandfather), and I am reasonably sure that he never owned that parcel of land.  Family stories usually talk about how Hartmann Grebing owned land which is between the cities of Altenburg and Frohna, near where the Joint Utilities Building is now located.

On the other hand, we have evidence that G. Grebing (probably Hartmann’s son, Gottlob) had this same piece of property in 1915 as shown in this map.

Map including Grebing property

We at the museum hope that we can be of service to members of this Grebing Family Reunion.  We also hope that other families that have roots in Perry County might choose to have their reunions here and take the time to visit and research here at our museum.  I think we have a lot to offer.



2 thoughts on “A Gathering of Grebings

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Once again, I am not able to research a new story today, so I will share an old one. About a week ago, the Grebing Reunion took place in East Perry County. This story was posted back in 2017 when a previous reunion took place. I will add that a map of Altenburg shown in this post gives an answer to the question posed in a post several days ago about a parcel of land willed to Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg by Amalia (Grebing) Kluegel. The will mentioned that the land was near the creamery. That was likely part of the Grebing land shown in the map and would explain how the church became the owners of what would become the fairgrounds. FYI: The church no longer owns the fairgrounds.


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