Rambow V

According to Wikipedia, there have been five Rambo movies.  The main character in each of these movies is John Rambo, a Viet Nam veteran with special forces experience.  These movies are full of action.  I titled today’s story as Rambow V because it was on this day that another John Rambow was born in Altenburg, Missouri.  He was born on July 2, 1867 and was the fifth child born into his family.  As far as I can tell, Johann Rambow’s baptism record is the only record we have of this family living in the East Perry County.  All the evidence appears to point to a conclusion that the Rambow family was in Perry County, Missouri for just a short period of time.  Here is the record that can be found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

Johann Rambow baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Johann Rambow baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

This baptism was one of the last ones to occur before the dedication of Trinity’s new church in October of 1867.  However, there are a few reasons that I believe this baptism is more likely to have taken place in a home, not a church.  First, Johann was baptized on the Fourth of July, which in that year took place on a Thursday.  Secondly, the baptism record shown above does not show up in chronological order in the Trinity books.  It almost looks like the pastor added this record as an afterthought later in the year.

Let’s take a little look at the Rambow family history.  Johann was the son of Charles and Wilhelmine (Liebner) Rambow.  This Rambow couple came to America, arriving on December 1, 1856 aboard the ship, Sir Robert Peel, which landed in New York.  Here we see them on that passenger list as they arrived.

Carl and Wilhelmine Rambow passenger list Sir Robert Peel 1856
Carl and Wilhelmine Rambow passenger list (arrival) – Sir Robert Peel

It is not often that I have also find a passenger list for a ship that departed Germany, but in this case, we also see the Rambows of the same ship leaving Hamburg, Germany on October 12, 1856.

Carl and Wilhelmine Rambow passenger list Sir Robert Peel departure 1856

This census from 1860 shows the Rambow family living in St. Louis where Charles was a carpenter.

Charles Rambow 1860 census St. Louis MO
1860 census – St. Louis, MO

However, this record says their two young children had been born in Tonawonda, New York.  After arriving in America in 1856, they must have spent a few years in this New York town near Niagara Falls.

Here it gets a little confusing.  Future census records say that two more children were born into this family in New York.  Did they move back to New York after being in St. Louis for a short while.  There is a Civil War document that says a Carl Rambow participated in a New York regiment during that war.

Needless to say, we have definite documentation that the fifth child born into this family arrived in Altenburg in 1867.  Here is an image of Johann’s parents, Charles and Wilhelmine Rambow.

Charles and Wilhelmine Rambow
Charles and Wilhelmine Rambow

Before the 1870 census was collected, the Rambow family moved yet again.  This time they moved to the town of Lincoln in Benton County, Missouri.  This was the area that we often refer to as the Cole Camp Lutheran settlement.  Here is the record from the 1870 census showing the Rambow family.

Charles Rambow 1870 census Lincoln MO
1870 census – Lincoln, MO

John is 3 years old here, and one more boy would be born during the year of this census.

Now we need to take a look at the family of John’s future wife, Bertha Hesse.  Her parents were Henry and Louisa (Stricker) Hesse.  Both of her parents arrived in America in December of 1844, with Louisa arriving in New Orleans three days before Henry arrived there on another ship.  These two managed to meet and get married in Jefferson County, Missouri in 1850.  This brings up an interesting possibility.  This Hesse family started in the Joachim Township of Jefferson County.  We have talked about others in a Hesse family moving to the Farrar area that came from that same township.  I have not found a relationship between them, but that does not mean there isn’t one.  Here are photos of Henry and Louisa.


It is reported that two children were born into the Henry and Louisa Hesse family in Jefferson County before they moved to Benton County, Missouri.  In 1859, Henry bought some property near Lincoln, Missouri.  Here is a document showing that purchase.


When the Civil War broke out, Henry served in the Benton Home Guard.  I found two records showing a Henry Hesse in this military unit.  I will let you decide if these are records of two men with the same name or they are both the same person.


On December 17, 1868, the ninth Hesse child was born.  Her name was Bertha Hesse.  It was when Bertha was 27 years old that she married John Rambow.  They were married in 1896, but the date of their marriage is a matter of debate.  There is a marriage license for these two.  Ancestry.com says the marriage took place on June 2.  Family histories say this wedding took place on July 2.  Here is the portion of the license which records the date.  What do you think?  June 2 or July 2?

Rambo Hesse marriage license date

I think it says July.  If it was, then John was married on his birthday.  I guess that is an easy way to remember your anniversary.  Get married on your birthday.  Here are photos of John and Bertha.


I find it interesting that John’s younger brother, Fred Rambow, married Bertha’s older sister, Anna Hesse, in 1897.

John and Bertha had two children, Henry and Ella.  Many years later, Bertha’s Hesse family gathered for a family photo.

Hesse family 1917 Rambows boxed

John and Bertha are in the red box.  Fred and Anna are in the blue box.  John and Bertha’s children are shown with the red arrows.

Here is another photo of the Hesse sisters.  Number 2 is Anna and number 3 is Bertha.

Hesse sisters

I want to share one more photo.  This is a picture taken in 1914 at Zion Lutheran School in Lincoln, Missouri.  It shows the students in that school in 1914.  It includes several Rambows.  Henry is in the 3rd row.  Ella would have been only 7 years old in that year.

Zion Lutheran Lincoln MO 1914 class

John Rambow was not one whose story would be told in a movie.  He was a farmer all his life.  However, I ask this question.  How can one not write the story of a John Rambow, born in Altenburg on July 2nd and baptized on the Fourth of July?  Especially when you also find some wonderful photos to illustrate the story?

2 thoughts on “Rambow V

  1. I found on ancestry.com that Bertha was a first cousin (among many) to Emma, Fredericke, and Catherine, all of whom married Perry County men.

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