Just how does a person end up with siblings who are also their cousins? I will attempt to answer that question today. The scenario for this post is also another one of those situations where we have siblings marrying siblings. It will also include a side story of a tragic death in the family.
My starting point for this story is the birth of Rudolph Stueve on January 3, 1894. Rudolph was the son of Claus (Jr.) and Alvine (Braeuner) Stueve. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. This is his baptism record. It is in two images.
In 1917, Rudolph’s mother died, and Claus, Jr. remarried in 1918. His second wife was Sarah Leine. Here is that marriage license.
This license states that Sarah was from Wittenberg. In the 1910 census, we see Sarah Leine living in the Braeuner household, which was located not far from where the Stueve’s lived on The Ridge. She is mis-identified as a brother-in-law. She was a sister-in-law of Herman Braeuner. In other words, Herman’s wife, Elizabeth, was Sarah’s sister.
Elizabeth had married Herman Braeuner in July of 1900 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. That marriage record says that Herman was from Wittenberg. As far as I can tell, that event is what got other Leine’s to show up on The Ridge near Wittenberg. On this map from 1915, you can see where the Stueve and Braeuner land was located. The Stueve land is boxed in red. The Braeuner land is boxed in blue.
Rudolph had an older brother named Ernst. In 1920, he married Louise Leine. Look at this 1920 census for the Claus Stueve household.
Louis and Ernst are shown right next to each other. Louise is described as a niece, and Ernst a son. Those two were married not long after that census was taken. Here is their marriage license.
This form states that Louise was from Gordonville, Missouri. She was the daughter of August and Anna (Kuntze) Leine. August was the brother of Claus’s second wife, Sarah. That leads us back to our birthday boy, Rudolph Stueve. Rudolph ended up marrying another daughter of August and Anna Leine. Her name was Dorothea Leine. I found a baptism record for Dorothea in the Trinity Lutheran Church, Friedheim books.
She was born on March 28, 1907. She almost certainly got to know Rudolph through the other Stueve’s who were already married to Leine’s. Rudolph and Dorothea were married on December 9, 1926. Their marriage license indicates that Dorothea was from Gordonville, just like her sister was listed when she got married.
Rudolph and Dorothea would have just one child, Ruby Viola Stueve. Rudolph died in 1978; Dorothea died in 1999. They are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
After Claus Stueve, Jr. married Sarah Leine, they had two more children, Reinhold and Nora. That made these two children not on siblings of Ernst and Rudolph, but it also made them their cousins.
Before I quit today, I want to tell you about another brother of Ernst and Rudolph. His name was Johann Herman Stueve. Here is a photo of him.
He was born in between Ernst and Rudolph. In 1917, he filled out this World War I draft registration.
Johann was drafted and was inducted on July 26, 1918. He is one of the men in this photograph taken on the Perry County Courthouse steps.
I happen to think that he might be the one seated directly under the right pillar in the dark suit. You can tell me if you think he is somewhere else in the photo.
Johann Herman returned to Perry County not long after he left, but he came back in a coffin. He died at Camp Funston, where there was a huge influenza epidemic. In a previous story, I posted this photo of an infirmary dealing with that disease at Camp Funston.
One more question: I wonder if Rudolph called Sarah, “Mom”, while at the same time his wife called her “Aunt Sarah”.
And another P.S.
Gerard tells me that the photograph below was donated to our museum, and he remembers that it was said to be a “Leine girl”. If you know who it is, please let us know.