The church record shown below indicates a marriage that took place on May 14, 1854 at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.
It shows the marriage between a Frentzel and a Hopfer. Before I go on, I must say that not long ago, another post was written about a marriage between two people with the same surnames. It was titled, Hopfer-Frentzel, and told about a wedding that took place in 1915. Today’s marriage took place a few generations earlier than that one.
The research into this story took me to our German Family Tree, the website ZionRootsGenealogy.com, and a family binder or two in our research library. It seems that all of these sources provided part of the picture to this story, but I hope to put some of those pieces together to tell a broader story. Most of this story takes place within the history of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri.
I am going to start with us looking at the passenger list of the Johann Georg which arrived in New Orleans in November of 1839. This was the second time this ship had carried German Lutherans who would settle in Perry County. The first one arrived in January of that year. This second shipload of passengers included Rev. Carl Gruber who began the church in Uniontown. Many of the passengers ended up as members of that congregation. This portion of that passenger list shows the two people who are the bride and groom in the above marriage.
The groom was Carl August Frentzel, and the bride was Emilie Hopfer. Emilie was the topic of a previous post titled, Which of the Original Immigrants Was the Last to Die?. For a while, we thought she was the last of the original immigrants to die, but since then, we have found another one.
As you can see from the passenger list, Emilie was the daughter of Michael and Justine (Quass) Hopfer who were from Haselback, Germany. Two posts have been written about this couple, Cooper Hopfer and Frau Cooper Hopfer. Here are photos of Michael and Justine.
Not far down the list of passengers from the Hopfers, you will find the Frentzels. Carl August was the son of Gottlieb and Johanna Sophia (Doberenz) Frentzel, who were from Stein, Germany. We have these two photographs the bride and groom, August and Amalia, later in their lives.
We need to take a side trip. In the above passenger list, right after the Frentzels, we find the name of Rosine Marie Hoffmann. She was the woman who was involved in the first marriage that took place in the Uniontown congregation on February 2, 1840. She married J.G. Hemmann, whose wife had died in Germany before he came to America with the Gruber Group in 1839. Rosine was 27 years younger than her husband, and she blessed him with 12 more children. Based on some information from ZionRootsGenealogy.org, Rosine was the daughter of Johanna Sophia (Doberenz) Hoffmann. In other words, she was the step-daughter of Gottlieb Frentzel. That also made her a step-sister of the groom in today’s marriage, August Frentel.
Now comes a rather interesting twist to this story. August had a sister who was also named Johanna Sophia Frentzel (Yes, she must have been named after her mother). She is also shown in the Johann Georg passenger list as being 17 years old, two years older than her brother. In 1843, Johanna Sophia married William Hemmann, who happened to be another child of J.G. Hemmann. However, William was a son who was born to J.G.’s first wife in Germany. If I have this figured correctly, Johanna Sophia married her step-sister’s step-son. That’s not something you hear everyday.
Today’s marriage couple went on to have 9 children. Three of their children married spouses with the surname Telle. That may be a story for another day.
Now, if I haven’t confused you enough already, let me share a few more tidbits. First of all, there were two Frentzel families on the Johann Georg. In addition to the Gottlieb Frentzel family, there was also a Gottlob Frentzel family. Gottlob’s wife was named Johanna Eleonore Frentzel. Gottlob died already in 1843, so there were not many Frentzel descendants from his family. I do not know whether Gottlieb was related to Gottlob.
Secondly, there was also a Frentzel who married a Schlimpert in Germany, and they came to America aboard the Copernicus. Her maiden name, believe it or not, was Johanna Sophie Frentzel. She was married to Johann Gottlob Schlimpert, who died right away in August of 1839. Johann Gottlob was the first one to be buried in the Seelitz Cemetery, and Johanna Sophie was the last one to be buried there in 1862.
There are way too many Johanna Sophia’s in this story. Keeping the Gottliebs separate from the Gottlobs is also a challenge. And because of the amount of deaths and remarriages that took place back in those days, it caused way too many incidents of half-brothers, half-sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, stepsons and stepdaughters. It makes me tired just having to deal with so many “steps”.