Ernst Eduard’s Women

One hundred sixty-four years ago, a wedding took place in Frohna, Missouri with Ernst Eduard Burkhardt as the groom and Johanna Schuessler as the bride.  The wedding took place on September 6, 1855.  Both the bride and the groom had come to America aboard the same ship in 1839, but they were both young children at the time.  They were both part of the Gruber Group that arrived in Perry County at the end of 1839.  Below is the passenger list showing the Burkhardt family aboard the Johann Georg.  Ernst Eduard was 11 years old.

Johann Gottlieb Burkhardt family passenger list Johann Georg Gruber Group
Burkhardt family passenger list – Johann Georg

Next, here is the Schuessler family on the same ship.  Johanna Christiane was just one year old.

Schuessler family passenger list Johann Georg Gruber Group
Schuessler family passenger list – Johann Georg

Before we can get to the 1855 marriage, we need to take a further look at the early life of Ernst Eduard Burkhardt.  We find him living in Brazeau Township with his parents in the 1850 census.  His father was a farmer, and Ernst Eduard was a 21 year-old laborer.

Ernst Burkhardt 1850 census Brazeau Township MO
1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

On May 9, 1852, Ernst Eduard married Ernestine Mende in St. Louis.  We have a civil record of that marriage.  They were married by Rev. Fr. Wyneken, the 2nd president of the Missouri Synod.

Burkhardt Mende marriage record St. Louis MO
Burkhardt/Mende marriage record – St. Louis, MO

Ernestine Friederike Mende was another of the original immigrants from 1839, making the voyage to America aboard the Copernicus.  Below is the passenger list showing the Mende family.  Ernestine is shown as Fried. Mende who was 5 years old.

Mende family passenger list Copernicus
Mende family passenger list – Copernicus

Let’s take a look at the Mende family as it is shown in the book, Zion on the Mississippi.

Mende family Zion on the Mississippi passenger list
Mende family – Zion on the Mississippi

There is an asterisk next to the members of the Mende family.  That indicates that the family was reported to have left the Gesellschaft after they arrived in America, but before 1844.  There is also a 4 next to the name of Christiane Henriette.  I’ll get to her soon.

When Ernst Eduard Burkhardt married Ernestine in 1852, the Old Trinity records say that she was the youngest daughter of the late Gottlieb Mende.  In fact, there is other evidence that Gottlieb Mende must have died before 1842, but his death record is not part of Old Trinity’s records.  The fact that his death record is not found there is an indication that he had left the Gesellschaft early on.  However, let’s return to the Christiane Henriette Mende, Ernestine’s older sister.  Christiane married Friedrich August Grosse in 1841.  Friedrich was one of three Grosse shoemakers who were brothers who came to America as part of the Gesellschaft.  So at least one of the Mende children once again became part of Old Trinity Lutheran Church.  That Friedrich August Grosse eventually became a shoemaker in Collinsville, Illinois.  Other family histories on seem to show that most of the other siblings in the Mende family died not long after arriving in America.

After Ernestine married Ernst Eduard, they lived in Perry County.  However, Ernestine did not live there long.  She died on September 10, 1853.  The death record from Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg states that she died as a result of problems with childbirth.  Apparently no child was born because there is no baptism recorded.

Ernestine Mende Burkhardt death record Trinity Altenburg MO
Ernestine Mende Burkhardt death record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

That leads us up to the marriage of Ernst Eduard Burkhardt that took place on this day in 1855.  It just so happens that another of those Grosse brothers, Ernst Moritz, had married Wilhelmine Schuessler, in 1850.  Wilhelmine was the older sister of Johanna, who married Ernst Eduard.  The connection with the Mende family may have contributed to Ernst Eduard marrying Johanna Schuessler.  Below is the Concordia Lutheran Church record of the Burkhardt/Schuessler marriage.

Burkhardt Schuessler marriage record Concordia Frohna MO
Burkhardt/Schuessler marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The first census in which we find this couple was the one taken in 1860.  This one was hard to locate because the census taker listed the family as having the name Beghardt.  There were already 3 children, and Ernst was a carpenter.  August Winter was living in their household and was a wagon maker.

Ernst Burkhardt 1860 census Brazeau Township MO
1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

According to our German Family Tree, there were 6 children born into this family, and they were all girls.  We see this situation for this family in the 1870 census.  I have to wonder whether Ernst may have done some carpentry work on the new church Trinity built in 1867.  His father, who was called a mason on the passenger list, may have also been involved if he was still alive.  We find his father in the 1860 census, but not the 1870 census.

Ernst Burkhardt 1870 census Brazeau Township MO
1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last census in which we find Ernst Eduard was the one taken in 1880.  Their last daughter was just 3 years old.

Ernst Burkhardt 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ernst Eduard died on December 30, 1893, but he was not buried until 1894.  He was 65 years old when he died.  No grave site is listed on, so it was off to the cemetery again.  I really had little hope of finding his gravestone, and I was correct.  However, I may have found where he may have been buried.  In the photo below, the person on the right was buried at the end of 1893, and the one on the left was buried in early 1894, but after Ernst Eduard.  I think it’s possible that this empty spot may be the burial site for him.

Ernst Eduard Burkhardt possible grave site - Trinity, Altenburg, MO
Ernst Eduard Burkhardt possible grave site – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We still find Johanna (Jane) in the 1910 census.  She was living with her daughter, Anna Wagner, who was also a widow, and her single daughter, Matilda, who never married.

Jane Burkhardt 1910 census Brazeau Township MO
1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Johanna died in 1914 at the age of 78.  Here is her death certificate.

Johanna Burkhardt death certificate
Johanna Burkhardt death certificate

Johanna is buried in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg, and her gravestone can be found on

Johanna Burkhardt gravestone Trinity Altenburg MO
Johanna Burkhardt gravestone – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

The surname, Burkhardt, is not one you find in East Perry County anymore.  The fact that Ernst Eduard and Johanna had an all-girl family is just one of the reasons why that is the case.




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