The Trail of Christiane Theilig’s Out of Wedlock Child

Lynn Degenhardt

The  blog post today was written by Lynn Degenhardt.  I am reluctant to call him a guest blogger, even if this is the first post that has been authored by him.  Lynn is a resident of Altenburg and is one of the key members of our research team here at our museum.  He is by no means a guest.  He is also the person responsible for putting together our German Family Tree.  Lynn has been very instrumental in the development of our research library and the resources it contains.  Lynn came by the museum several days ago when I was working on the story about all the Roths getting married on the same day.  He once again became intrigued by the story of Johanna Christiane Schumann, the main character in this post.

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Sometimes there are still questions, when establishing who was who in the 1839 Lutheran immigration.For some people, events in a person’s life evolve, but not necessarily in an orderly manner. This certainly was the case for Christiane Theilig’s out of wedlock child.

A Georg Schumann shows up as an 1839 Gruber Group Saxon Lutheran immigrant, both in the book Zion on the Mississippi,and in the November 1839 Johann Georg Passenger Ship arrival list.  Right after Georg Schumann’s name, in the passenger ship list, appears Christiane Theilig’s name.

Christiane Theilig passenger list – Johann Georg

,Georg was 35, and Christiane was 21 years old at the time.  Both were from Grossenstein Saxony Germany.  Were these two traveling together?  In 1856 in Altenburg MO, a young woman named Christiane Schumann marries Peter Roth.  Since no other Schumann’s were present in East Perry County, MO, at the time, was there a connection between these three people?  After a close look at the early church and census records, it appears there was.

 Previous people have looked into this. In the Fall 1985 issue of the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly,writer LaVerne Boehmke in her article Some Paitzdorf  Saxons, lists Paitzdorf Germany people who emigrated to the USA with the Gruber group in 1839.  Among these were “Johanna Christiane Theilig and her child born out of wedlock”.

CHI Quarterly Fall 1985 issue

The article also notes that Johanna Christiane Theilig and her child are absent from the list of immigrants listed in Dr W. O.Forster’s book Zion on the Mississippi.Did this out of wedlock child make it to America?  Or did she die on the sea voyage?  Writer LaVerne Boehmke does not mention a Georg Schumann. Laverne Boehmke’s source for this information was research done by Ernst Braeunlich of Paitzdorf Saxony Germany which was located in the Altenburg Germany Castle Archives.

Thetrail of Georg Schumann ends in 1839.  Itappears that early on, Georg Schumann split with Christiane Theilig and thegroup of 1839 immigrants. There is no other mention of him in either the PerryCounty, MO church or census records. He may have died in the early years, but norecord of his death or burial can be found. A search for Georg Schumann on the Ancestry.com website provedfruitless.

The trail then follows mother Christiane Theilig, who married Johann Christian Richter on 12 Jul 1840, six months after her arrival in America. 

To this marriage were born two sons: Ehregott Richter born in 1841 and Gottlob Richter born in 1847.  First husband Johann Christian Richter, considerably older that Christiane, died on 16 Mar 1848. In Johann Christian Richter’s will, is the following: “I give to my step-daughter Johanne Christiane Schumann the sum of five dollars”.

Johann Christian Richter will

Was this a reference to Christiane Theilig’s child, born out of wedlock in Germany?

Christiane Theilig then married second husband Carl Christian Wunderlich in August 1848, who died in August 1849 during the cholera epidemic. Christiane’s third try at marriage was to Johann Gottlob Mueller on 6 Feb 1850. Johann Gottlob Mueller and his family also traveled with the Gruber Group, where Christiane Theilig undoubtedly became acquainted with the Mueller family.  Johann Gottlob Mueller’s first wife died before 1849. In the Perry Co MO 1850 Census, the following were listed: Gottlob Mueller age 37, his wife Christina age 43, and Gottlob’s children from his first marriage Fredericka age 12 and Christian age 2. But also listed are wife Christina’s children from her first marriage to Johann Christian Richter: Ehrgott Richter age 9 and Gottlob Richter age 3. Also listed was a “Christiane Richter age 12 born in Germany”. 

Was this another reference to Christiane Theilig’s child, born out of wedlock in Germany?

The name Christiane Richter pops up again in the Trinity Lutheran Altenburg, MO Confirmation records: Christiane Richter, Confirmed 1851, birth date of 27 Jul 1837.

 We now have evidence that the out of wedlock child was Johanne Christiane Schumann, who later adopted the surname of Richter, after her mother married Johann Christian Richter in 1840.

We now follow Johanne Christiane Schumann.  On 22 May 1856, a Johanne Christiane Schumann married Peter Roth. 

From later 1870, 1880 and 1900 Perry and Cape Girardeau census records of Peter Roth, this Christiane Roth is listed as being “born in Germany”.  To this marriage were 10 children, 9 of whom lived beyond infancy.

Christiane Schumann Roth died on 14 Aug 1908.

Her death record lists her birth date of 27 Jul 1837, the same birth date listed in her confirmation record. The death record also listed her maiden name of Schumann.  This affirms that the “out of wedlock” child did make it to America and was Johanne Christiane nee Schumann Roth.  For some reason, Christiane Schumann’ name was omitted from the Johann Georg Passenger Ship List.

Christiane Schumann Roth started out life with a lot of strikes against her, being born out of wedlock, the long sea voyage to America, her birth father skipping town, the deprivation of the early immigration years, and the disruption of having 3 step-fathers and 4 homes in her formative years.  Yet she persevered to get married, raise 9 children, and lead a productive Christian life. Our hats are off to her!  A number of her descendants still live in East Perry County Missouri.

GERMANY FAMILY TREE (Revised):

SCHUMANN, Georg (Born ca. Apr 1804, Relationship with Christiane Theilig in 1837, Died ?) [ZionOnTheMississippi]: Georg Schumann was from Ronneburg Saxon Duchies Germany. He was part of a later 1839 German Lutheran Immigration led by Pastor Gruber, which came from Germany to the USA by traveling on the sailing ship Johann Georg, departing from Bremerhaven Germany on 14 Sep 1839 and arriving in New Orleans LA on 27 Nov 1839. The same ship had carried an earlier group. He then traveled by steamboat from New Orleans LA to Wittenberg, Perry County MO, arriving on 12 Dec 1839; [PassengerShipList]: Johann Georg Passenger – Arrived in New Orleans 27 Nov 1839: George Schumann age 35y7m from Grossenstein Germany 

THEILIG, Johanne “Christiane” (Born 28 Oct 1818, Relationship with Georg Schumann in 1837, 1st marriage 12 Jul 1840 to Johann Christian Richter, 2nd Marriage 2 Aug 1848 to Carl Christian Wunderlich, 3rd Marriage 6 Feb 1850 to Johann Gottlob Mueller, Died 8 Oct 1887) [PassengerShipList]: Johann Georg  – Arrived in New Orleans 27 Nov 1839: Christiane Theilig age 21 from Grossenstein Germany, her name is not listed in Zion on the Mississippi, but is listed on the Johann Georg passenger list – 27 Nov 1839 Arrival; [Altenburg-Trinity]: Johanne Christiane Theilig, oldest daughter of the late Michael Theilig, a laborer from Paitzdorf, Germany married Johann Christian Richter, widower, a farmer from Striessen on 12 Jul 1840; [PerryCoMO-MarriageRecord]: Johanna Chr Theilig married Johann Christian Richter on 5? Jul 1840; [Altenburg-Trinity]: Johanne Christiane Richter was a baptismal sponsor for Christiane Wilhelmine, daughter of Johann Gottlob & Christiane Friederike nee Helwig Mueller, Born 21 Sep 1844; [Altenburg-Trinity]: Johanne Christiane Richter, a widow of the late Joh Christian Richter married Carl Christian Wunderlich, a widower on Wednesday, 2 Aug 1848 – her 2nd marriage; [Altenburg-Trinity]: Johann Gottlob Mueller, a widower married Johanne Christiane Wunderlich, a widow of the late Carl Wunderlich on Wednesday, on 6 Feb 1850; [Altenburg-Trinity]: Johanne Christiane nee Theilig Wunderlich Mueller, Born 28 Oct 1818, Died 8 Oct 1887, Buried 10 Oct 1887, survived by children & grandchildren, died of stomach cancer, 69 years less 20 days old; Known Child:

A1.SCHUMANN, Johanne “Christiane” (Born 27 Jul 1837, Married 22 May 1856, Died 14 Aug 1908) [JohannChristianRichter’sWill]: From the will of Johann Christian Richter dated 14 Mar 1848 is the following: “I give to my step-daughter Johanne Christiane Schumann the sum of five dollars”; [PerryCoMO-1850Census]: Christiana Richter 12 born in Germany lived in the Gottlob Miller #892-Brazeau Twnshp household; [Altenburg-Trinity]: Christiane Richter, Confirmed 1851, Born 27 Jul 1837; [Altenburg-Trinity]: Johanne Christiane Schumann, stepdaughter of Gottlob Mueller, a bricklayer in Dresden MO married Peter Roth, second son of Johann Georg Roth, a farmer from Frohna MO on 22 May 1856; [PerryCoMO-MarriageRecord]: Johanna Christiana Schumann married Peter Roth on 22 May 1856; [PerryCoMO-1860Census]: Christiane nee Schumann Roth does not appear in the 1860 Perry Co MO census; [PerryCoMO-1870Census]: Peter Roth 38 a carpenter born in Bavaria Germany, Christena 30 born in Saxony Germany, August 12, Charles 10, Catharine 8, Elizabeth 5, Mary 1 (#102-Brazeau Twnshp); [PerryCoMO-1876Census]: Peter Roth 40, Christiana 39, August 19, Charles 17, Katharina 15, Elizabeth 12, Mary 8, Annie 4, Peter 1 (Brazeau Twnshp); [PerryCoMO-1880Census]: Peter Roth 47 a saw mill operator born in Bavaria Germany, Christiane 42 born in Saxony Germany, August 22 a farm laborer, Charles 20, Catharina 18, Elisabeth 15, Mary 12, Anna 8, Peter 4 (#122-Brazeau Twnshp); [CapeGirardeauCoMO-1900Census-dated21Jun 1900]: Peter Roth born Jul 1837 age 37, married 43y, born in Germany, immigrated 1836, wife Christina Roth born Aug 1836 age 32, married 43y, born in Germany, daughter Mary born May 1874 age 26 (#194-Shawnee Twnship); [NewWells]: Christiane nee Schumann Roth, Born 27 Jul 1837, Died 14 Aug 1908 from dysentery, Buried 16 Aug 1908, 71y17d old, survived by widower, 6 children & 23 grandchildren, wife of Peter Roth; [FindAGrave]: Christiane nee Schumann Roth, Born 27 Jul 1837, Died 14 Aug 1908, Buried in Immanuel Lutheran Old Cemetery, New Wells MO

ROTH, Peter (Born 6 Jul 1832, Died 15 Dec 1917) [Altenburg-Trinity]: Peter Roth, 2nd son of Johann Georg Roth, a farmer from Frohna MO married Johanne Christiane Schumann, stepdaughter of Gottlob Mueller, a bricklayer in Dresden MO on 22 May 1856; [PerryCoMO-MarriageRecord]: Peter Roth married Johanna Christiana Schumann on 22 May 1856; [PerryCoMO-1870Census]: Peter Roth 38 a carpenter born in Bavaria Germany, Christena 30 born in Saxony Germany, August 12, Charles 10, Catharine 8, Elizabeth 5, Mary 1 (#102-Brazeau Twnshp); [PerryCoMO-1876Census]: Peter Roth 40, Christiana 39, August 19, Charles 17, Katharina 15, Elizabeth 12, Mary 8, Annie 4, Peter 1 (Brazeau Twnshp); [PerryCoMO-1880Census]: Peter Roth 47 a saw mill operator born in Bavaria Germany, Christiane 42 born in Saxony Germany, August 22 a farm laborer, Charles 20, Catharina 18, Elisabeth 15, Mary 12, Anna 8, Peter 4 (#122-Brazeau Twnshp); [NewWells]: Peter Roth, Died 15 Dec 1917 from old age weakness, Buried 18 Dec 1917, 85y5m6d old (9 Jul 1832), survived by 1 brother, 6 __ children, 25 grandchildren & 5 gr-grandchildren; [FindAGrave]: Peter Roth, Born 6 Jul 1832, Died 15 Dec 1917, Buried in Immanuel Lutheran Old Cemetery, New Wells MO


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