The Johann Gottfried Kramer family in Paitzdorf, Germany must have been going through preparations for a dramatic move from their homeland to America during that year of 1838. Johann Gottfried was a cartwright….a wagon maker…..and must have had to sell his business and many of his tools before their anticipated trip. They must have had to dispose of their property and most of their belongings. Then tragedy struck.
Mrs. Kramer….Maria (Bernhardt) Kramer….died on July 27, 1838. This was about four months before their eventual departure from Germany in November. That would leave Johann Gottfried as a widower left with his two sons, Johann Gottlob and William Gottfried. When they boarded the ship in 1838, Gottlob was 27 years old, and Wilhelm was 23. Both of them had learned the wagon making trade from their father, who at the time of departure was 60 years old.
The three remaining Kramers voyaged to America aboard the Copernicus. Here are their names on the passenger list which was recorded when they arrived in New Orleans.
On the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, another tragedy occurred in this family. On December 6, 1838, Wilhelm died of dysentery and had to buried in the middle of the ocean. Now the Kramer family was down to two. You can see that Wilhelm’s death was recorded on the above passenger list in the last column. Wilhelm was one of four deaths that took place on the Copernicus. Here is Wilhelm’s death record which is included in the Trinity Lutheran Church books.
Gottfried and Gottlob traveled up the Mississippi aboard the steamboat, Rienzi, to St. Louis. Then in May of 1839, they finally arrived in their new home in Perry County, Missouri. They became members of Rev. Gotthold Loeber’s congregation in Altenburg. However, it was not long before Gottfried, the father, died on this day, July 25th, in that same year, 1839. Now Gottlob was the last remaining Kramer. Here is Gottfried’s death record in the Trinity books.
On May 5, 1840, Gottlob married Rosine Sittner. Rosine was listed as a 23 year old maid-servant when she traveled aboard the Johann Georg as part of the Gruber Group which had arrived in Perry County in December of 1839. Here she is shown on the passenger list.
Here is the marriage record as written by Rev. Loeber in the Trinity books.
I am going to take a little side trip. There was another Kramer who came to America as part of the Gruber Group. Her married name was Rosine Kramer, although her maiden name was Kluegel. Right before coming to the United States, she divorced her husband, who happened to be another Gottfried Kramer. He was also from Paitzdorf. I do not know if he was related to the other Kramers. I do know that Rosine married Carl Julius Otto Nitzschke in 1843. She also came to America with a daughter, Wilhelmina Kramer, who married Immanuel Estel in 1856.
There was also another Sittner family who came later with the Gruber Group. The wife in that family was even named Rosine Sittner, but it seems that this is a different Sittner family. So there was a Rosine Kluegel and two Rosine Sittners. Two of the Rosines married Kramers, making two Rosine Kramers. I am so confused.
Now back to Gottlob Kramer. After he married, he and Rosine had three children, two girls and a boy. But then on October 9, 1844, Gottlob died. That once again left just one male Kramer to carry on that name.
This situation became the background for a few previous blog posts that have already been written. One was the story of how the three Kramer children just mentioned were all married on the same day, April 14, 1864 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. That post was titled Three in One at Trinity. The male Kramer that was married on that day was Johannes Kramer who married Magdalene Bergt. Here are photos of these two, although they are rather fuzzy.
Then there was the story of all the Kramers who became full-time church workers which was told in the post, The Laborers are Plentiful. Those Kramers would have been grandchildren of the two which are pictured above.
Even though on two separate occasions, there was only one Kramer to carry on the name, in the end, our German Family Tree has eight pages of Kramers that came from this beginning. At times, it may have looked like the movement of this Kramer family was going to be doomed to extinction, God managed to preserve it, and many of His blessings resulted.