I have discovered that topics that show up on this blog sometimes happen in spurts. Sometimes it is several people that have family connections that become the focus of posts that are written within days of one another. Sometimes it may be several folks found in consecutive posts that end up as neighboring farmers. Now it seems that stories seem to just appear before me that have the common thread of numerous tragic deaths, especially during the early years of settlement in Perry County. Like the story yesterday, you will read another one today about some families having to deal with plenty of funerals.
The story starts with a birth that took place on this day back in Germany before the Lutheran immigration to America occurred. Today’s birthday girl is Sophia Maria Weber, who was born in Planena, Germany on July 5, 1817. She was the daughter of Johann Christoph and Dorothy (Schenk) Weber. On some documents, you see her called Maria or Mary, and on others she was called Sophia. I choose to call her Sophia.
The Weber family traveled to America aboard the Republik. Some of the family was housed in the fore cabin area on the ship, while others were in steerage. Here are three images showing the Weber family on the passenger list.
While the family was still in St. Louis in early 1839, the father of this family, Johann Christoph Weber, died on March 29. Below is his death record as Rev. Loeber described it in the new books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. He had a few pages of records of deaths that took place in St. Louis before the group came to Perry County.
Now, let’s switch over to the story of Sophia’s future husband, Carl Gottlieb Zeibig. When the Gesellschaft came to America, Carl was married to Henrietta Wilhelmine Pietzsch. They had two young children when they boarded the Olbers for the trip across the Atlantic Ocean. We see this family on the passenger list below. It said Carl was a miller.
There is a black cross behind the name of the 1 year-old Ernst Wilhelm Zeibig. That indicates that this child died while the ship was at sea. So, the Zeibig family had some tragedy even before arriving in America. Then, while the family was still in St. Louis in the spring of 1839, a baby girl was born on April 27th. Her name was Johanne Christiane Zeibig. Here is her baptism record. Rev. Loeber also had a page of baptisms in his new church books for the ones that took place in St. Louis.
There is no documentation I could find, but it appears that this child did not live long. She does not show up in the 1850 census when she should have been about 11 years old. After the birth of this baby girl, the Zeibig family then traveled with many of the immigrants to Perry County in May of 1839 where they would make their home. However, on August 19, 1839, Carl’s wife, Henrietta, died at the age of 27. Below is her death record.
Now Carl Zeibig was a widower with a boy that was not even 3 years old and possibly an infant who would have been about 4 months old. I think it is safe to say that Carl needed another wife. On February 9, 1840, Carl Zeibig married Sophia Weber. Rev. Loeber would have performed the wedding rites for this couple. Here is their church marriage record.
This couple would have their first child on January 13, 1841. It was a boy named Friedrich Ferdinand Zeibig. His baptism record from the Trinity books is shown below. It spilled over two pages in the record book.
Friedrich Ferdinand only lived 7 months. He died on September 2, 1841. Here is his death record.
Let me take a little bit of time showing you where the Zeibig and Weber families had their land in those early days. The map below shows an area just east of the town of Altenburg. The Weber family owned the property shown as XV, while the Zeibig land was the parcel labeled as #10 farther east in the Dresden Colony. The land I own now is marked as #13 which is about halfway between the Weber and Zeibig lands.
On May 13, 1843, Sophia gave birth to a set of twins, a boy and a girl. They were named Ernst and Amalia Zeibig. Here is their combined baptism record.
Amalia Zeibig would become the first wife of Paulus Leimbach, a character that our intern, Faron Bartens, wrote about recently.
Carl and Sophia Zeibig have 6 children listed in our German Family Tree, but the parents would watch 4 of them die before they did. We find the Zeibig family in the 1850 census where Carl is called a farmer. Augustus was the only child alive from Carl’s first marriage, and he, too, would die before Carl and Sophia died.
Before the next census was taken, the Zeibig’s changed their church membership. When Rev. Georg Schieferdecker was forced out of Trinity, he went across town and formed Immanuel Lutheran Church in 1857. Carl Zeibig is listed as a charter member of that congregation.
The census taker really butchered the Zeibig surname in the 1860 census, so this entry was a real challenge to find. Ancestry.com calls him Charles Siewick, and that is indeed what it looks like.
The last census in which we find Carl and Sophia was the one taken in 1870. The twins had each gotten married in the 1860’s. Their youngest son, Charles, was the only child left in the household.
Carl and Sophia Zeibig both died in 1873. Sophia died in January; Carl died in October. These two are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
The only child left in the 1870 census, Charles Zeibig, got married to Catherine Mueller in November of 1876. However, that marriage lasted only a short time because about two months later, Carl died.
Sophia’s younger sister, Amalia Weber, married Dr. Ernst Eduard Buenger back in 1842. It looks to me like Sophia had to call on her brother-in-law on many occasions to tend to her sick and dying children.
Here are a few photos taken recently. Steel has been delivered, and it looks as if it will be attached to the beams to provide support for the main floor of the new addition.