The title for today is what I would call a German mouthful. It contains two surnames, one of which is still a fairly common name in East Perry County. That surname is Preusser. The other surname quickly disappeared. The only records I could find for any Schlanstedt’s were for a mother and her daughter who must have come to America sometime before 1850. Our German Family Tree says this surname is spelled Schlanstadt…with an “a”…but I will display the marriage record that includes this name, and I think it clearly shows it spelled with an “e”.
That leads me to a little discussion about German geography. Several place names show up in the few records we have for the Schlanstedt name. They include Halberstadt, Rimbeck, Braunschweig (a.k.a. Brunswick), and even a village by the name of Schlanstedt. It makes me wonder if the name of that town came from a notable Schlanstedt personality from their past. All of these places can be seen within a small area of Germany on the map below.
To give you an idea of the scale of this map, if you travel from Brunswick to Halberstadt, it would be 49 miles (shorter than that as the crow flies).
Let’s start by looking at the marriage record for Friedrich Wilhelm Preusser and Sophie Schlanstedt which took place on August 8, 1850, making today this couple’s 170th wedding anniversary. The marriage record comes from the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.
The first thing I would point out is the underlined name in the middle of the document. I think it is pretty clear that the name is Sophie Schlanstedt…with an “e”. We have a translation of important information found in this image.
This is probably where we get the spelling, Schlanstadt, that is found in our GFT. This translation also states that Sophie was the 2nd daughter of Christoph Schlanstedt. Her father, being called the late Christoph Schlanstedt, had died previous to this wedding. The German Family Tree says that he died in Germany.
There is also a civil marriage record for this wedding. It includes two other marriages that were performed by Rev. Georg Schieferdecker in 1850, the first year he was the pastor at Trinity.
I think once again that Sophie’s name was spelled Schlanstedt in this document. Sophie was born on January 10, 1818. That would make her 32 years old at the time of her wedding.
Now, let’s take a look at the groom in this wedding. His name was Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Preusser. The marriage record shown above says he was the 2nd son of his father’s 2nd marriage. It also says that his father’s name was Friedr. Preusser and his family was from Frauenprieβnitz, Germany. The exact birth date for William Preusser’s birth is not known, but he must have been born around 1823. Based on records that we have at both Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg and Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis, it appears that when William’s family arrived in America, there were 3 other siblings as well as his mother, Christine Preusser. His father, the Friedr. Preusser mentioned earlier, may or may not have come with the family to this country. There is no church record for him. The first evidence of these Preusser’s is found in St. Louis. Even William’s marriage record states he was from St. Louis.
William and Sophie Preusser can be found in the 1850 census for Brazeau Township. Sophie’s mother was living in their household. This is where we get the first name of Sophie’s mother, Dorothea. I also found it personally interesting that this Preusser family may have been close neighbors of my great great grandfather, Joachim Schmidt and his family. William Preusser was a carpenter.
I was a little surprised that this couple would be found in the 1850 census since they were not married until August of that year, but the census taker did not submit these records until October of that year.
We find the Preusser’s again in the 1860 census. Three children had been born into this family before this census, all baptized at Trinity, Altenburg, but one of them had died at the age of 2. Sometimes William is called Friedrich, as in this case.
William served some time in the Union Army during the Civil War. Here is a document showing his military record. Captain Estel, his commanding officer, was another Lutheran from East Perry County.
When the 1870 census was taken, we find not only William Preusser’s family, but it looks like his brother lived nearby. His brother, John Preusser, had moved to Altenburg from St. Louis sometime in the mid-1860’s. Some of his children were baptized at Old Trinity, but in 1868, a child was baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. Also, it is this census entry that it says Sophie was from Brunswick, Germany.
A Missouri state census was taken in 1876, and William is still found in that document as J.F.W.Preusser.
In 1877, William’s mother, Christine, died in St. Louis. Here is what we find in the Old Trinity Church records.
What interests me here is that there were only 3 of her 4 children listed as mourners. One of her children must have died. The other 3 children lived until after 1900, so the one who died must have been William. The Trinity, Altenburg books do not have a death record for him, probably because it was in the notorious “Koestering Hole”. However, when 1880 rolls around, we do find the death record for Sophie Preusser.
The above record is where we find the birth date for Sophie. She was born on January 10, 1818, so this record indicates she died on January 9, 1880, the day before her 62nd birthday.
Both William and Sophie Preusser are likely to be buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg, but their gravestones are either unreadable or the gravestones are no longer there.
Quite a few Preusser descendants can be found in our German Family Tree from the two Preusser brothers that settled here. The descendants from William and Sophie are more numerous than those of his brother, so I am guessing that quite a few Preusser’s that live around here that come from today’s highlighted couple.