Today’s post was written by a new contributor to our blog. His name is Wayne Schuessler. He may be new to you, but he is a well-known person to us at the museum. Wayne is very familiar with the in’s and out’s of genealogical research. He is a great friend of our museum and our historical society. Wayne lives in St. Louis, but he often finds the time to travel down here to Perry County for a visit. Today, he will share a story about his Schuessler family. Thanks, Wayne, for sharing your story with us.
No, today’s blog is not about our local bowl maker, Robert Schuessler, nor is it an advertisement for his business, but it is about his great-great-grandparents. The main characters in today’s blog chose today’s date for their wedding day 188 years ago. They are Johann Michael Schüßler (Schuessler) and Johanne Rosine Hoppe. They were married on this date in 1830 in the village of Niederwinkel in Saxony. Today Niederwinkel is part of the community of Waldenburg in the state of Saxony, Germany. Niederwinkel is also believed to be the birthplace of Rosine on 26 May 1809. Her parents were Christian Hoppe and Eva Rosine nee Lindner.
Her future husband, Michael, was from the nearby village of Meinsdorf. He was born on 6 Nov 1794. His parents were Abraham Schüßler and Johanne Elisabeth nee Pilz.
The Schüßlers, for at least six generations prior to his birth, had lived in Meinsdorf and they were members of the Langenchursdorf parish at the time of the church’s earliest records. According to the church records, the earlier generations were judges of the village.
Details of their marriage were recorded in the Schuessler Family Bible. The wedding page is shown below.
The villages of Meinsdorf, Langenberg, Falken and Langenchursdorf shaped the parish with the main church in Langenchursdorf and a filial church in Langenberg. These towns all lie in a valley along the Chursbach, a small spring fed stream. The whole valley is about 4 ½ miles in length. Today these four small villages have joined with the neighboring villages of Callenberg, Grumbach and Reichenbach to create a single town named Callenberg.
Michael and Rosine were living in the old village of Langenchursdorf before their emigration to Perry County. In the 13th century when the village was founded, each farmer received an equal share of the surrounding property, about 62 acres. The church also received a share, which the clergymen farmed. In later years, the church and clergy received taxes, gifts and contributions and operating the farm was no longer necessary. The farm was then leased and in the 1830’s Michael was the tenant.
There is a building located next to the parsonage which we would call a barn but it has an area which was formally a residence. It is assumed that this was the home of Michael and Rosine and their growing family.
The parish pastor at the time of the Saxon emigration was Gottlob Heinrich Wilhelm Walther. His father, Adolph Heinrich Walther, had been the pastor there from 1763 until his death in 1802. G.H.W. Walther then became pastor until his death in 1841. His son, Otto Herman became his assistant in 1834, while another son, C.F.W. Walther was pastor at a nearby parish in Bräunsdorf from 1836.
During the time of planning for the emigration, Michael and his family would most likely have been living in the combination house/barn adjacent to the parsonage. I am sure that they were greatly influenced by the Walther brothers. The two Walther brothers, C.F.W. and Otto Herman, along with sister Amalia Ernestine, who was married to Pastor E.G.W. Keyl, and the two Schubert children of their deceased sister, all immigrated to Perry County. Four other families; Koch, Müller, Stiegler and Weise; also emigrated from Langenchursdorf.
Michael, his wife Johanne Rosine and their children left Langenchursdorf on 14 Sep 1839, and traveled to Perry County with the Gruber group. They traveled from Bremen aboard the barque Johann Georg, which had been one of the ships used by the earlier Saxons. They arrived in New Orleans on 27 Nov 1839 and traveled upriver by steamboat, landing at Wittenberg on 12 Dec 1839. For more info about the Gruber Group see the recent blog entitled The Comeback of the Johann Georg.
At the time of their emigration, the family consisted of Michael and Johanne Rosine and 5 children. The children were 2 sons and 3 daughters. An excerpt from the passenger list follows.
While Forster in “Zion on the Mississippi” listed Michael as traveling with wife and 8 children, Loeber’s list indicates 5 children which agrees with both the records in Langenchursdorf and the ship registry.
But this was not the end of the Schuessler children. After they settled along the northern edge of Frohna, more children were to come along. Over the next 10 years, Michael and Rosine had 5 more children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Actually, Michael died on 22 Jul 1849 from nerve fever (typhoid) at the age of 54, a little over 5 weeks before his last son was born. Rosine never remarried after he died. At the time of Michael’s death, the two older boys were in their teens and I assume that they operated the farm until their later marriages.
At the time of his death, Michael and family resided on 37 acres which had been purchased from Pastor Keyl by a deed dated 1 May 1847. Pastor Keyl had acquired 77 acres of Federal public land (blue box below) in 1839 and which was registered to him in 1841. Similarly, Michael and Rosine acquired 40 acres of public land (red box below) behind the cemetery which was registered to Johanne R. in 1854 (see Patent below). That property was later sold to August Vogel.
Sometime later the family lived at the present location of Edgar Dreyer’s home in Frohna. The house was located in the current backyard of the Dreyer home. A barn was located in the area of the Dreyer Electric building. This 3 1/3-acre property was also part of the 77 acres of public land acquired by Pastor Keyl.
Johanne Rosine sold the 3 1/3-acre property in 1868 for $75. In 1959, when Mr. Dreyer purchased the property, the log house was still on the property. He tore it down in the early 60’s and used some of the logs to repair the log house at the Saxon Lutheran Memorial at Frohna.
Rosine died about one year later at the age of 60 on 28 December 1869. Johann M. and Johanne R. are buried side by side in the cemetery at Concordia in Frohna, across the highway from Rosine’s old home. Rosine died during the period when J.F. Koestering was pastor at Frohna & Altenburg. As has been recorded in a previous post entitled the Koestering Hole, the original records for this period have been lost and therefore an image of Johanne Rosine’s death record is not available.
No known pictures of Michael and Rosine exist but various documents which contain their signatures have managed to survive. Michael’s signature below is from his Last Will and Testament dated about 1 month prior to his death. Rosine signature has been located on a Loan Promissory Note that she co-signed for her son Gottlieb in 1862.
But the passing of Michael and Rosine was not the end of Schuesslers in Perry County, following is a short history of their children.
- Unknown Son – This child was likely born prior to the 24 Jan 1830 marriage of Michael and Rosine. When Johanna Christiane was baptized (Oct 1830) she is listed as the second child of the pair. Also when Carl Gottlob was baptized (Feb 1834) he is listed as the second son. No further information has been located regarding this son.
- Johanna Christiane – she was born 17 Oct 1830 – she died 29 Sep 1832 and was buried in Germany.
- Wilhelmine – she was born 21 May 1832 – she married Ernst “Moritz” Grosse at Concordia, Frohna 1 Jan 1850 – he was a school teacher in St Louis – they had 10 children as well as 5 children by his first marriage – she died at age 76 on 30 Apr 1909 and was buried at Western Lutheran Evangelical Cemetery in St Louis.
- Carl Gottlob – he was born 27 Feb 1834 – he married Dorothea Haarnagel at Trinity, Altenburg on 3 Apr 1856 – they had 8 children – after Dorothea’s death in 1871, he married Johanne Burkhardt Leonhardt on 21 Nov 1871 – they had 2 children in addition to the 4 step children from her earlier marriage – he died at age 45 on 12 Oct 1879 and was buried at Trinity, Altenburg.
- Johann Gottfried – he was born 20 Aug 1835 – he married Maria Jahn at Trinity, Altenburg on 19 May 1859 – they had 11 children – he died at age 77 on 25 Jun 1913 and was buried at Concordia, Frohna.
- Theresie – she was born 21 Jan 1837 – she married Wilhelm Petzoldt at Concordia, Frohna 10 Aug 1854 – they had 2 children – after Wilhelm’s death in 1857, she married Friedrich Schilling at Concordia, Frohna 16 May 1858 – they had 6 children – she died at age 63 on 18 Mar 1900 and was buried at Trinity, Altenburg.
- Johanne Christiane – she was born 26 Apr 1838 – she married Edward Burkhardt at Concordia, Frohna 6 Sep 1855 – they had 6 children – she died at age 76 on 10 Jun 1914 and was buried at Trinity, Altenburg.
- Johann Gottlieb – he was born 4 Jun 1840 – he married Emilie Siermann Reuschel at Trinity, Altenburg on 10 Nov 1864 – they had no children but did have one stepdaughter from her earlier marriage – he died at age 24 in early 1865 and was buried at Concordia, Frohna. His burial record indicates that he was a widower but the fate of his stepdaughter is unknown.
- Elisabeth – she was born 11 Sep 1842 – she married Herrmann Burfeind at Concordia, Frohna 24 Jul 1862 – they had 6 children – she died on her birthday at age 69 on 11 Sep 1911 and was buried at Concordia, Frohna.
- Friedrich Gotthilf – he was born 24 Feb 1845 – he married Sarah Saalfeld at Trinity, Altenburg on 10 Nov 1864 – they had 11 children – he died at age 65 on 15 Mar 1910 and was buried at St Pauls, Wittenberg.
- Maria Magdalena – she was born 13 Aug 1847 – she married Wilhelm Pfannkuchen at Concordia, Frohna 1 Jan 1870 – they had 7 children – she died at age 34 on 3 Nov 1881 and was buried at Concordia, Frohna. The story of this family is told in the blog entitled The Pancakes Disappear.
- Michael Heinrich “Henry” – he was born 31 Aug 1849 – she married Catherine Baum at Concordia, Frohna 16 Feb 1871 – they had 13 children – he died at age 63 on 18 Dec 1912 and is buried at Concordia, Frohna.
This humble marriage 188 years ago has blossomed into 12 children, 80 known grandchildren, 208 known great-grandchildren and the family keeps growing. Anyone who can claim descendance from a Schuessler in Perry County, can claim this couple as their ancestors and celebrate their wedding anniversary today.
For those of you wondering about the title of today’s blog, the literal translation of the name Schüßler (Schuessler) is Bowl Maker. Thus the current Bowl Maker of Frohna has a very appropriate surname.