I never know from day to day where a story will lead me. Today, I started with a baptism record at Salem Lutheran Church. That and a confirmation record for today’s birthday girl are the only records we have in our German Family Tree. The girl’s name was Julia Boehme. Before I go on, let me say that there is a huge Boehme family around these here parts, but what I refer to as the Farrar Boehme family is not connected to it (at least as far as I can tell). The original Farrar Boehme (Friedrich Boehme) came to America in the 1850’s, and he married Caroline Eichhorn in 1862. Their marriage record can be found in the Grace Lutheran Church books in Uniontown.
The first two children from this couple were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but the remaining children were baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. That is why I refer to this family as the Farrar Boehmes. Their last child is the subject of today’s post. Julia was born on August 29, 1885. Here is her Salem baptism record.
In 1899, Julia was confirmed at this congregation.
Earlier in 1899, on January 26th, Julia’s father had died leaving her mother a widow. Caroline, Julia’s mother, and her family can still be found living in Farrar in the 1900 census, but after that, she and Julia disappear from any Perry County records.
In the 1910 census, we find Caroline, Julia, and another son, August, living in Dubuque County in Iowa. Julia was then 24 years old.
I found this move to Iowa to be a mystery. I couldn’t help but wonder why a widow would move her family to this location. Knowing that Julia would marry a man by the name of William Hammerand led me to a possible explanation. I found William’s confirmation record from St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Sherrill, Iowa, which is located in Dubuque County. First, here is William’s confirmation record from 1900.
His name can be found in the second row of this image. It indicates that William was born on August 17, 1885. Now look at the name in the third row. I’m not sure what the first word is, but the next two words are Daniel Boehme. On the same page as this record were some other confirmation records for this congregation in Sherrill.
In both the 1893 and 1896 records, you will find both a Hammerand and a Boehme listed. I suspect that the Boehmes listed here in this Iowa congregation may have been related to the Boehmes from Farrar.
It was in 1911 that Julia Boehme married William Hammerand. Here is their marriage record in two images.
William Hammerand was a carpenter (which I find to be a very appropriate occupation for a Hammerand). The family lived in the city of Dubuque for much of their lives. It appears that they had three or four children.
One of their daughters, Lucy, tragically died when she was just 6 years old after she was struck by an automobile in 1921. Here is her death certificate.
A 1939 Dubuque city directory indicates that there were several Hammerands living in that city, including William and Julia.
If you look in Findagrave.com at the interments found in the St. Matthew Lutheran Cemetery, you will find that there are 20 entries that have the name Hammerand, which amounts to 10% of their graves. There are also six burials with the name Boehme in that cemetery. However, I was unable to find the death dates or the burial places for either William or Julia Hammerand. I do know that William was still living in 1942 when he filled out this World War II draft card.
Sherrill, Iowa is located not far from the Mississippi River, so Julia Boehme never did wander too far away from this river. On this modern map, we even see that near Sherrill you will find a Hammerand Rd. Also, to the right in this image is the Mississippi River.
Before I quit, I must tell you about two rabbit holes that I explored while researching this story. First, the little town of Sherrill, Iowa is the home of a building known as the Black Horse Inn.
This building was originally called the Sherrill Mount House and was built in 1856. You do not find many pre-Civil War hotels in the middle of the country that are still standing. This one has been made into a bed and breakfast. There is a legend that the Jesse James Gang stayed in this hotel on their way to their infamous bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota.
The other rabbit hole I went down has to do with one of the above confirmation images. I will place it here again, this time with a red box around another name.
The name circled is Anna Wehrspann. This name stuck out at me because the Lutheran pastor that confirmed me at St. Jacobi Lutheran Church in St. Louis was Rev. Leo Wehrspann. I knew that Rev. Wehrspann had some Iowa roots, so this got my attention. I just had to find out if there was a connection. There is. If I have it figured correctly, Rev. Wehrspann’s grandfather had two brothers that lived in Sherrill, Iowa. I also found a Hammerand in the Wehrspann genealogy.
Like I said, I never know where a story will lead me.