Our birthday boy for this day was once described as a butcher from Friedland. He was described this way in the church records of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri on the occasion of his wedding in 1881. His name was Gottfried Schuerenberg. He was born in Germany on January 16, 1856. Although his parents likely never lived in the United States, that same church record states that Gottfried’s parents were Wilhelm and Louise Schuerenberg.
On November 17, 1881, Gottfried married Emma Bethulia Engert. When Gottfried married an Engert, he married into a large family. Emma and her twin sister, Petrina, were numbers 17 and 18 is a group of 23 children born to Friedrich Engert by way of two different wives. Friedrich’s story was told in the post, Another Fertile Father. The twins’ mother was Anna (Jungclaus) Engert. We see this entry for the Engert family in the 1880 census.
This census is the last evidence I could find of Emma’s twin sister, Petrina. I don’t know what happened to her. Her brother, Jacob, shown in this census, died in 1881, between this census and Emma’s marriage in 1881. Also note that Emma’s father is no longer alive at this point. He died in 1877.
The first three children born into the Schuerenberg family were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Then in 1888, when their fourth child was born, that boy was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from Perry County.
1889 was a scandalous year in this family. Apparently, Gottfried fathered an illegitimate child. The mother of that child was one of his wife’s sisters, who was also married at the time to another man. It appears that even though this child was conceived in Illinois, the child was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church back in Altenburg. There was also a legitimate Schuerenberg child born that same year who was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.
In 1892 and 1894, we see two more legitimate babies from this family being baptized at Immanuel Lutheran in Altenburg. They by 1900, they are back across the river in Illinois. Here is the 1900 census from Degognia, Illinois showing the Schuerenberg family.
Gottfried, at this point in his life, is listed as a farmer. Some of the children are mistakenly shown as being born in Illinois.
By the time 1910 rolled around, the Schuerenbergs had moved back west of the Mississippi River, but they were not located in Perry County. Their new home was in Morley, Missouri in Scott County, about halfway between Scott City and Sikeston. Gottfried is back to being a butcher.
In looking at the future lives of the children of the Schuerenbergs, they seem to be found in several locations around Scott and New Madrid Counties in Southeast Missouri.
Gottfried died in 1927 while living in Kewanee, Missouri. Here is his death certificate.
Emma died in 1934, also in Kewanee. Here is her death certificate.
Both Gottfried and Emma are buried in the Morley Cemetery. Here is their gravestone.
Gottfried, the butcher, was from Friedland. That was a term that once referred to an area of East Perry County also known as The Ridge. He arrived in America around 1879, and did not seem to settle in any place for very long. He did manage to find a bride from Altenburg, and then hopped back and forth across the Mighty Mississippi before eventually ending up in an area of Missouri where we do not find many German Lutherans. The stories coming out of Perry County certainly do not always have the same ending.