A Nativity Name

I was attracted to today’s story by a name.  I noticed the name a while back, but decided that I would wait to do the story on December 21st.  It was the birthday of a girl who was named Christliebe Marie Schoenborn.  As near as I can tell, the name “Christliebe” means “dear to Christ”.  Google Translate says it means “Christian love”.  Liebe means “love”, so one could also say this name is a combination of the words “Christ” and “love”.  I believe the German “Marie” is the same as the English name, “Mary”.  And the surname, Schoenborn, is a combination of schoen, which means “beautiful”, and born.  So on this day which is so close to Christmas, we had a child born back in 1843 in East Perry County whose name is associated with the words Christ, love, Mary, beautiful, and born.  I could not resist the story.

Two members of the original 1839 immigration, Friedrich August Schoenborn and Johanne Christliebe Seifert, were married in Frohna, Missouri on November 25, 1840.  I am at a disadvantage today because I am out of town and cannot show you an image of this marriage from the Concordia Lutheran church books.  Friedrich is shown in Zion on the Mississippi as being a weaver from Burgstadt, Germany, but after coming to America, he became a farmer.  In the same book, Christliebe is listed as a maid from Niederfrohna.  The map below shows the proximity of these two towns in Germany.

Burgstadt Germany map

That couple then had their first child on this day in 1843……today’s main character, Christliebe Marie Schoenborn.  There was just one more girl born to this couple in 1848, but that child died before she was even one year old.  Christliebe must have been named after her mother, but she went through her life being called Marie or Mary.  In this 1860 census, we see the Schoenborn family living in the Frohna area.

Marie Schoenborn 1860 census Frohna
1860 census – Frohna, MO

Sometime around 1850, August Friedrich Schilling (not to be confused with Marie’s father, Friedrich August Schoenborn), arrived in America and settled in East Perry County.  In the 1860 census, we find this young man living in the Cinque Hommes Township in the household of Gottfried Hopfer as an apprentice carpenter.

August Schilling 1860 census
1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

On June 6, 1865, August married Marie at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  Rev. J.F. Koestering performed the ceremony.  This was during that time period when Pastor Koestering was serving both the Frohna and Altenburg churches.  Here is the marriage record for this couple.

Schilling Schoenborn marriage record
Schilling/Shoenborn marriage record

August and Marie would have nine children.  August had a brother who came to Perry County also.  His name was Friedrich, Jr., and between these two brothers, there are about ten pages of records that show up in our German Family Tree with their surname, Schilling.  Interestingly, the first child born to Christliebe Marie was named Maria Christliebe Schilling.

In the earlier censuses, August is called either a cooper or carpenter, but in the 1900 census, he had become a farmer.  August died in 1909; Marie died in 1922.  They are both buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.  Here are their gravestones.

I have a cousin, Mel Schilling, whose wife is named Mary.  She is not the first Mary Schilling to live around here.

I doubt that Christliebe Marie Schoenborn was named because she was born right around Christmas, but I do know that sometimes children born around this special day are sometimes given special names because of the time of their birth.  I once had a student in my class whose parents had another name picked out for her, but when she was born on Christmas Day, they named her Holly.

And the Mary in this story did not find a husband named Joseph, but she did marry a carpenter.

May the beautiful child born of Mary, also the Son of God, be the reason you celebrate this upcoming Christmas Day.  Christ came into this world because of His love for us.

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