I had the privilege of speaking at a Hemmann Reunion in Shawneetown, Missouri yesterday. It was a gathering of 72 folks who could all trace their ancestry back to one of J.G. Hemmann’s grandsons, Gustav Hemmann, who was born in 1850.
I happened to run across another record in our German Family Tree that comes from what I call the Hemmann Herd. That record is one that describes a wedding that took place on July 15, 1877 making today the 142nd wedding anniversary of that couple. But before I proceed with that story, let me backtrack a little.
Our museum now has many of the church records from the parish located in Paitzdorf, Germany. That is the congregation at which J.G. Hemmann was a member before he came to America. The immigrants who were part of the Gesellschaft were gathering in Bremerhaven and loading up on sailing ships in November of 1838. J.G. Hemmann would be part of the Gruber Group that did not depart from Germany until almost a year later, arriving in Perry County at the end of 1839. Right before the gathering of immigrants in Bremerhaven, on October 28, 1838, J.G. Hemmann’s first wife, Maria (Bachmann) Hemmann died in Paitzdorf. She was buried on Reformation Day. Her death record from that parish is shown below.
This death record was #11 for that church in 1838. If you look at that page in the Paitzdorf records, you will find not only Maria’s death record, but also a record for Justina Hemmann, one of their daughters. She is record #9.
Here is an enlargement of Justina’s death record. I believe Justina was 14 years old when she died.
People have often speculated why the Gruber Group left later than the rest of the Gesellschaft. I have heard that possibly one of the reasons could have been these deaths in the Hemmann family.
When J.G. Hemmann arrived in America with six children, he quickly married his second wife, Rosine Hoffmann. She went on to bless J.G. Hemmann with 12 more children. One of those children was one of today’s characters, Ernestine Hemmann, who was born on August 7, 1855. Below is her baptism record from Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.
I purposely included the record right below Ernestine’s to show the baptism record of Friedrich Hemmann, who was a younger brother of the Gustav Hemmann, whose family reunion was held yesterday. Friedrich and Gustav were grandsons of J.G. Hemmann. Ernestine was J.G.’s daughter. So what we see here is the fact that when Ernestine was born, she already had a nephew who was 5 years old, and another nephew was born 5 days after she was born. I wonder how hard it was for boys like Gustav and Friedrich to call someone like Ernestine….Aunt Ernestine.
We find Ernestine in the 1860 census for Cinque Hommes Township in Perry County. Ernestine, whose name is butchered, is the child who is 5 years old.
J.G. Hemmann died in 1864, so we do not see him in the 1870 census. Ernestine was 15 years old then.
Now, let’s turn to Ernestine’s groom. His name was Louis Bender, and he happens to be the only Bender in our German Family Tree. And even then, it is only his marriage record that is found there. I want to spend a little time talking about Louis’s roots. Louis was the son of Friedrich and Margaretha (Seip) Bender. The marriage record for Friedrich and Margaretha can be found in some St. Louis marriage records. They were married on August 3, 1851.
It is hard to read, but it says that the pastor who performed this wedding was Rev. Joh. Herman Fick. Rev. Fick was earlier the pastor of one of the original charter member congregations of the Missouri Synod located in New Melle, Missouri. However, in 1850, he became the pastor for a congregation in a place called Bremen, Missouri. If you look really closely at this marriage record, it says Rev. Fick was the pastor of a church in Bremen. Bremen was once a town described as being north of St. Louis. It was annexed into St. Louis early on, and now it is an area of St. Louis sometimes described as Hyde Park.
The first son of Friedrich and Margaretha was Louis Bender, who is said to have been born in St. Louis. The 1860 census for this family shows them living in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Louis was 7 years old.
Friedrich was called a “saddle tree maker” on this form. I must admit that I did not know what a saddle tree was. Below is a photo the part of a saddle that is called the saddle tree.
Friedrich was not only a saddle tree maker, but it is said that he made saddles for the Union Army during the Civil War, which took place not long after the above census was taken. Not long after that war, Friedrich died in 1866. A note that can be found on Findagrave.com states the following about Friedrich:
We find Louis Bender in the 1870 census living with his mother and siblings. Louis is described as an “apprentice to carpenter” at the age of 18. This census also shows that the next two Bender’s after Louis were born in Illinois.
That leads us up to the marriage between Louis Bender and Ernestine Hemmann. I have no idea how a carpenter in Cape Girardeau managed to find his bride in Uniontown. They were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. The church record for that wedding is shown below, but it is very difficult to read, and in those days, the pastor did not record much information other than the name of the bride and groom and the wedding date. I have placed a red arrow on the photo to help identify the correct entry.
The Bender family lived in Cape Girardeau. There are numerous records for Bender’s in the Trinity Lutheran Church books in Cape Girardeau, but we do not have images of those records in our museum. There is a family history on Ancestry.com that lists 9 children for this Bender family.
Over the years, in census records, we see Louis as a carpenter. This post is getting pretty long, so I choose not to show all those records. Ernestine died in 1933; Louis died in 1935. They are buried together in the New Lorimer Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.
For some reason, only Louis’s death certificate can be found. It is shown below.
The Hemmann Herd has certainly provided plenty of fodder for stories on this blog. I’m sure there are still many Hemmann characters to write about in the future.