Paulus Leimbach arrived in America aboard the ship, Ernestine, in 1854. Paulus was the son of Justin and Anna Katharina (Schneider) Leimbach of Hilgershaugen, Hesse, Germany. Paulus traveled to America alone. His parents remained in Germany. Paulus can be found on the passenger list for the Ernestine shown below. He was recorded as being 18 years old.
Paulus is another person for which we do not find an official record of his birth until he dies. It is in the death record for Paulus in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg that we find his birthday to be October 4, 1835.
Before I move on, let me say that there seem to be two different Leimbach clans that have populated this general area over the years. One Leimbach clan settled in northern Cape Girardeau County. The other settled on The Ridge north of Altenburg. We have not discovered a connection between these two Leimbach families. Maybe someday we will. I call the descendants of Paulus the Ridge Leimbach’s.
We find Paulus in one census before he got married. That census was taken in 1860, just before the Civil War took place. Paulus was living in the August Engert family and probably was a farm laborer.
Quite a bit happened in Paulus Leimbach’s life before the next census was taken in 1870. First of all, he became a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. I found 3 different records of his service during that war. They are in chronological order from left to right.
The first record shows Paul serving under Captain Weber. The third shows him serving under Captain Estel. Both of those captains were German Lutherans from East Perry County. We also have a later pension record for Paulus.
Paulus must have been able to get home during the early part of 1864, because it was on January 19, 1864 that Paulus Leimbach married Amalia Zeibig. These two were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. If they were still alive, they would be celebrating their 156th anniversary today.
Amalia Zeibig was the daughter of Carl and Sophia (Weber) Zeibig. She was born on May 12, 1843. Both of Amalia’s parents were part of the Gesellschaft in 1839. Since her mother was the sister of Captain Charles Weber, Paulus married the niece of his former commanding officer. Amalia was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is her baptism record.
Amalia first shows up in the 1850 census for Brazeau Township.
The marriage record for Paulus Leimbach and Amalia Zeibig can be found in the church books of Immanuel, Altenburg. It is shown below.
The photo shown here may be a wedding photograph for this couple.
Paulus and Amalia did not waste any time to have their first child, Mary Leimbach, who was born on October 14, 1864. Based on the Civil War documents shown before, Paulus must have been away on his last stint during that war when his first child was born. A second child, Ernst Leimbach, was born after the war was over. He was born on February 6, 1866. Then about 3 weeks after that child was born, Amalia died on February 27th. Paulus was left a widower with a 2 year old and a baby.
Later that year, Paulus married Louise Schreier on November 11, 1866. Below is the civil marriage record for that wedding which took place in Cape Girardeau County. The document states that the marriage took place at the St. Johannes Church in Apple Creek Township. After some research help from Gerard Fiehler, we discovered this church was the one located in Arnsburg, which no longer exists except for their cemetery.
According to our German Family Tree Paulus and Louise had 7 children, starting in 1867. We never did see Paulus with his first wife, Amalia, in a Federal census. We do find Paulus and Louise in the 1870 census with two children from Paulus’s first marriage and two children from his second.
By the time of the 1880 census, all the Leimbach children had been born. All 9 of Paulus’s children can be seen on this census entry.
The only portion of the 1890 census that has survived are the Veteran’s Schedules. We find Paulus on this schedule because of his military service.
The last census in which we find both Paulus and Louise was the one taken in 1900. In that census, we find several Leimbach households, all living on The Ridge.
Later in his life, Paulus had this portrait made.
Paulus Leimbach died in 1904; Louise Leimbach died in 1908. They were both buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. As of the time of this post, there are no photos of their gravestones on Findagrave.com. Perhaps Diane Anderson can do something about that. I found images of their gravestones in a collection of that cemetery’s photos that we have in our research library.
Paul’s first wife, Amalia, is also buried in that cemetery. Below is the gravestone for her, although I think this stone looks too modern to have been put there in the 1860’s. It even looks like there was a previous stone in that spot, and it had been replaced.
I was almost done with my research for this story when I found that our research library had not one, but five, binders that tell the story of Paulus Leimbach and his descendants. It was so overwhelming that I chose for the time being to not study it in detail. Suffice it to say, that if you have roots in this Leimbach family, we have incredible resources here for you to study.
I will close by pointing out two more things about Paul Leimbach’s children. First of all, three of his children married people with the name Holschen, another prominent name from The Ridge. Also, in a photo that has shown up on this blog before of The Ridge Band, four out of the five sons that Paulus had are to be found in this band. I’ll let the caption help you find them.