From Jeersdorf to Missouri

Fred EggersFred Eggers sent me this post several days ago when I was out of town.  I will try not to bore you with all the details, but I found it difficult to format this story to place it on our website, and I did not have the time to get it done where I was.  Now I am back in Altenburg, and I have found the time to get the job done.  The post was actually written by Hartmut Mensendiek in Germany, but it was sent to us in German.  Fred has taken the time to translate this story into English (using Google Translate).  What you are getting today is a combination of what Hartmut wrote in German and what Fred wrote in English (in the blue font).  I would like to thank both of them for their contributions to our blog.  I wish I had a photo of Hartmut to show you, so I will just have to show you one of Fred again.

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A few days ago Warren Schmidt’s blog was entitled A Supplement from GermanyIt included information sent to us on the Johann Mahnken family by Hartmut Mensendiek a relative of that family from the Scheeßel area from which many people came to Perry County, Missouri and the Jacob area across the river in Jackson County, Illinois.

Hartmut first sent this email to the Museum earlier this month:

My interpretations are included in this blue font.

Liebe Amerikaner! (Dear Americans!)
I´m trying to find out facts about the MAHNKEN family from Jeersdorf near Scheeßel.
Johann Mahnken left Germany in 1889 and settled in Salem Township, Perry County. He was a member of the Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.
I`m sending you a text in German.
Are you able to help me with more facts and photos about his children?
I was born about 3 miles from Jeersdorf, my mother Minna Marie was born Mahnke(n).

Herzliche Grüße! Best regards!

Hartmut Mensendiek

Attached to his email was his telling of the emigration of Johann Mahnken to Perry County.  I have interpreted his document.  It is very similar to Warren Schmidt’s blogs in its format and inclusion of photos and documents.

From Jeersdorf to Missouri

AUSWANDERER

EMIGRANT

JOHANN MAHNKEN (1853-1928)
FROM
JEERSDORF

Bei der Ausarbeitung der Miesner-Auswanderer aus Sothel stieß ich auf den US-Einwanderer Johann Mahnken aus Jeersdorf. Sein Sohn Henry hatte Emma Charlotte Miessner geheiratet.

While working out the Miesner emigrants from Sothel, I came across the US immigrant Johann Mahnken from Jeersdorf. His son Henry had married Emma Charlotte Miessner.

In der Chronik Kirchspiel Scheeßel wurde er auf Seite 213 als Auswanderer nach Amerika erwähnt. In Jeersdorf bewirtschaftete er ab 1885 die 65 Morgen (etwa 16 ha) große Neubauerstelle NEPERS-12 am Moorweg. Er verkaufte den Hof vor seiner Auswanderung (1898) an Friedrich Rathjen aus Stemmen.

He was mentioned on page 213 in the History of the parish of Scheeßel as an emigrant to America. In Jeersdorf he ran the 65 acre NEPERS-12 site on Moorweg from 1885. Before he emigrated (1898) he sold the farm to Friedrich Rathjen from Stemmen.

Scheessel churchJohann wurde am 6. Februar 1853 auf dem elterlichen Hof als Sohn von Engel Rathjen und Lütje Mahnken geboren. Er wurde in Scheeßel getauft und konfirmiert. Mit 27 Jahren heiratete er 1880 in der St. Lukas Kirche Maria Heitmann aus Westerholz. Maria wurde am 20.2.1858 in HEITMANNS-Haus, Westerholz Nr.15 als Tochter von Catharina Behrens und Johann Heitmann geboren.

Johann was born on February 6, 1853 on the parents’ farm to Engel Rathjen and Lütje Mahnken. He was baptized in Scheeßel and confirmed. At the age of 27 he married Maria Heitmann from Westerholz in the St. Lukas church in 1880. Maria was born on February 20th, 1858 in HEITMANNS-Haus, Westerholz Nr.15 as the daughter of Catharina Behrens and Johann Heitmann.

Folgende Kinder wurden in Jeesrdorf geboren und in Scheeßel getauft:

The following children were born in Jeesrdorf and baptized in Scheeßel:

  • Johann Wilhelm Mahnken *29.1.1881
  • Hinrich Mahnken *26.9.1883
  • Maria Mahnken *14.8.1886
  • Anna Irma Mahnken *15.4.1889

Nepers Haus

Jeersdorf map
Jeersdorf after the merger

Im Herbst 1889 überquerten sie mit der „Lahn“ vom Norddeutschen Lloyd von Bremerhaven aus über Southhampton den Atlantik und gingen am 25.10.1889 in New York an Land, um sich dann einige Tage in der damaligen Empfangsstation Castle Garden an der Südspitze Manhattens dem damaligen Bürokratismus der amerikanischen Einwanderungsbehörde zu unterwerfen.

In the autumn of 1889 they crossed the Atlantic with the “Ship Lahn” from North German Lloyd from Bremerhaven via Southhampton and went ashore in New York on October 25, 1889, before spending a few days in the then reception station Castle Garden on the southern tip of Manhattan in the bureaucracy of the time to submit to the American Immigration Service.

Lahn shipDie „Lahn“ (Stapellauf 1887 in Glasgow) hatte eine Tonnage von etwa 500 BRT, konnte in der 1. Klasse 224, in der 2. Klasse 104 und im Zwischendeck 600 Passagiere unterbringen. Die Überfahrt dauerte etwa 6-7- Tage.

The “Lahn” (launched in 1887 in Glasgow) had a tonnage of around 500 GRT, could accommodate 224 passengers in 1st class, 104 in 2nd class and 600 in the intermediate deck. The crossing took about 6-7 days.

Die Passage für eine Person kostete um 150 Mark, Kinder zahlten wohl die Hälfte, Kleinkinder nur einige Mark. So waren alleine für die Überfahrt fast 500 Mark aus dem Verkauf des Anwesens in Jeesdorf  verbraucht. Weiterhin musste jede erwachsene Person Reisegeld für die Weiterfahrt zum zukünftigen Wohnort in den USA nachweisen.

The passage for one person cost around 150 marks, children probably paid half, toddlers only a few marks. For the crossing alone, almost 500 marks were used up from the sale of the property in Jeesdorf. Furthermore, every adult had to prove travel money for the onward journey to their future place of residence in the USA.

Von New York aus dauerte sie Eisenbahnfahrt nach Perry County, Missouri damals etwa zwei Tage.

From New York it took about two days by rail to Perry County, Missouri.

Wahrscheinlich hatten die schon zu Hause ihr Ziel in Perry County ausgewählt, weil dort schon Auswanderer aus dem Kirchspiel Scheeßel wohnten, zum Beispiel Mahnken (Deepen), Veersemann (Ostervesede) und Miesner (Ostervesede).

They probably had already chosen their destination in Perry County at home because emigrants from the parish of Scheeßel already lived there, for example Mahnken (Deepen), Veersemann (Ostervesede) and Miesner (Ostervesede).

Castle Garden

Johann Mahnken Lahn passenger list
Extract from the Lahn ship list
Johann Mahnken’s profession was given as workers (“laborer”).

Das Klima in Perry County war mit dem mitteleuopäischen zu vergleichen, warme Sommer und nicht sehr kalte Winter und genügend Niederschläge. Auf dem Ton- und Lehmboden konnten verschiedene Getreidesorten angebaut werden. Auch Gemüse und Obst wuchsen sehr gut und brachten reiche Ernten, die u.a. in St. Louis aufgrund der Eisenbahnverbindung gut abgesetzt werden konnte.

The climate in Perry County was comparable to that of Central Europe, warm summers and not very cold winters and enough rainfall. Various types of cereals could be grown on the clay and loam soil. Vegetables and fruit also grew very well and brought rich harvests that could be sold easily in St. Louis due to the rail link.

Damals hatte Perry County etwa 12 000 Einwohner und -typisch für den Mittleren Westen- viele verschiedene Kirchen: fünf römisch-katholische, acht lutherische, fünf methodistische, zwei presbyterianische und eine baptistische Kirche. Es gab nur wenige Afroamerikaner.

At that time, Perry County had about 12,000 residents and, typical of the Midwest, many different churches: five Roman Catholic, eight Lutheran, five Methodist, two Presbyterian and one Baptist. There were only a few African Americans.

Im Census von 1900 wurde die Familie zum ersten Mal in Salem, Perry County auf einer gepachteten Farm erwähnt.

Drei weitere Kinder waren nach der Ankunft in Salem geboren:

In the 1900 census, the family was first mentioned in Salem, Perry County on a leased farm.

Three (Actually four) more children were born on arrival in Salem:

  • Friedrich Ludwig *6.4.1892
  • Martha Sophia *30.10.1894
  • Bertha Katharina *20.7.1898
  • Wilhelm Karl *25.6.1901

Die Söhne Johann und Wilhelm wurden im Census 1900 als Farmarbeiter bezeichnet.

The sons Johann and Wilhelm were referred to as farm workers in the 1900 census.

Perry County map
Perry County on the Mississippi in southwestern (southeastern) Missouri

Johann Mahnken 1910 census Salem Township MO Hartmut

Nach dem Census von 1910 war John selbständiger Farmer in Salem Township, Perry County. Er war schon mit der Einwanderung naturalisiert (eingebürgert) worden, und somit wahlberechtigter Amerikaner. Sohn Henry wohnte nicht mehr auf dem elterlichen Hof. Sohn Frederick war Student auf einem College.

According to the 1910 census, John was a self-employed farmer in Salem Township, Perry County. He had already been naturalized with immigration, and thus an American with voting rights. Son Henry no longer lived on the parental farm. Son Frederick was a college student.

Johann Mahnken 1920 census Salem Township MO Hartmut

Im Census von 1920 lebten neben den Eltern die Kinder John und Bertha auf der Farm. Sohn John wurde als selbständiger Farmer angegeben. Vater und Sohn haben die Farm sicherlich gemeinsam betrieben. Bertha hatte keinen Beruf.

In the census of 1920, the children John and Bertha lived on the farm in addition to the parents. Son John was listed as an independent farmer. Father and son certainly ran the farm together. Bertha had no job.

Mahnken map Salem Township 1915

Vor allem im Mittleren Westen wurde das Land in 6 x 6 Meilen große Verwaltungsbezirke mit 36 Sektoren eingeteilt, die z.B. bei Wahlen als Bezirk zugrunde gelegt wurden.

Especially in the Midwest, the country was divided into 6 x 6 miles administrative districts with 36 sections, e.g. were used as a district in elections.

Farrar

Mahnken land map 1915

Salem Lutheran Church Farrar MO

Die lutherische Kirche in Farrar wurde 1886 in der heutigen Form als Nachfolgerin einer von sächsischen Einwanderern gebauten Holzkirche errichtet. Für die Einwanderer u.a. aus der Region um Lamstedt und Scheeßel war es nicht nur das klerikale, sondern auch das kulturelle Zentrum. Eine lutherische Schule war schon ab 1867 das „Bildungszentrum“ in Salem Township und existiert noch heute. In der kleinen Kirche wurden die in Salem geborenen Kinder der Mahnken-Familie getauft.

The Lutheran church in Farrar was built in its current form in 1886 as the successor to a log church built by Saxon immigrants. For immigrants and others from the region around Lamstedt and Scheeßel it was not only the clerical but also the cultural center. A Lutheran school had been the “education center” in Salem Township since 1867 and still exists today.

The children of the Mahnken family, born in Salem, were baptized in the small church.

Auch die Trauerfeiern für die am 12. Oktober 1926 verstorbene Maria Mahnken, geb. Heitmann wurde hier durchgeführt. Sie wurde anschließend auf dem Friedhof neben der Kirche beerdigt.

The funeral service for Maria, born Heitmann, Mahnken, on October 12, 1926, was carried out here. She was then buried in the cemetery next to the church.

Maria Mahnken and gravestone

Johann Mahnken starb nach längerer Krankheit (Nierenentzündung) am 1. Februar 1928 mit 74 Jahren, 11 Monaten und 25 Tagen zu Hause.

Auch er wurde auf dem Friedhof in Farrar beerdigt.

Johann Mahnken died after a long illness (kidney infection) on February 1, 1928 at the age of 74, 11 months and 25 days at home.

He was also buried in the cemetery in Farrar.

Auf dem Friedhof befinden sich heute über dreißig Grabstellen mit dem Namen Mahnken.

Today there are over thirty graves in the cemetery with the name Mahnken.

Heute hat Salem zwischen 650 und 680 Einwohner.

Today Salem Township has between 650 and 680 inhabitants.

Johann Mahnken death certificate Hartmut
state death certificate

Johann Mahnken gravestone Salem Farrar MO Hartmut

Please note that in his email Hartmut made this request:

Are you able to help me with more facts and photos about his children?
I have replied to Hartmut and sent him what is available on the Johann Mahnken family in our German Family Tree and will continue to send anything that I can find in the future.  Unfortunately, I do not think that there are any descendents of his Johann Mahnken living in our area at this time.

This is brief information on the children of Johann Mahnken:

  • Johann Wilhelm Mahnken, born 29.1.1881 – married Anna Grass, died 1951, they had no children.
  • Hinrich Mahnken, born 26.9.1883 – married Emma Miesner from Illinois, moved to Grant, Nebraska, died 1957.
  • Maria Mahnken, born 14.8.1886 – married Peter H Perschbacher, from St Louis MO in 1913, moved to St. Louis, died 1959.
  • Anna Irma Mahnken, born 15.4.1889 – married Peter H Eckert, from St Louis MO in 1913, died in 1930.
  • Friedrich Ludwig, born 6.4.1892 – graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1916, married Alwina Eckert, Pastor at Zion, Crosstown 1916-1920, Pastor at Immanuel, New Wells 1952-1958, died in 1960.
  • Martha Sophia, born 30.10.1894 – married Albert Eckert of Darmstat, Illinois in 1914, died 1916.
  • Bertha Katharina, born 20.7.1898 – married Ludwig Koenig in 1923, moved to St. Louis in the 1930s, had one stepdaughter, returned to Farrar in 1950s(?), died in Perryville in 1978.
  • Wilhelm Karl, born 25.6.1901 – Died as infant 2.4.1902.

We would certainly appreciate if anyone can help Hartmut by providing any additional information and photographs of this family.

It is interesting to see that just as we research our ancestors in Germany, relatives in Germany are also interested in researching where there families settled in the United States and their history here.

**Note from Warren Schmidt:  I have chosen not to include the contact information for Hartmut Mensendiek in Germany on this website.  If you have any information on his descendants, please contact our museum, and we can tell you how to get that information to him.


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