Today’s post is a result of two researchers working together in an attempt to solve some confusion between two names that appear in our German Family Tree. Those two researchers are very good friends of our museum and research library. Those two are Dale Kirmse and Lori Adams. Since Dale lives in Florida and Lori lives in Arizona, these two never had the opportunity to discuss their research face-to-face, but they were still able to make some great progress in settling some puzzling issues. I know that as a result of this research, Lynn Degenhardt, the creator and sustainer of our German Family Tree, has plans to make changes to that document using these results. We at the museum are very grateful for the efforts of these two in their research as well as the post that was put together to publish on our blog.
Let me also say that there are some items in this post that are in red letters. Those are links. If you click on them, it will take you to another site where you can find additional information if you are interested.
When Claus Heinrich Korte was born on August 10, 1849, in Scheeßel, Lower Saxony, Germany, his father, Hans Korte, was 19 and his mother, Anna Sophia Wahlers, was 25.
Claus H. Korte was a farmer from Germany and was traveling with his family to the United States of America aboard the SS Ohio. As shown by the Passenger Manifest of the ship and its transcription, the Korte family were included in the 1195 passengers taken aboard the ship at Bremerhaven, from where they departed on October 5, 1881. After two weeks and one day at sea, they arrived at the Port of New York on October 20, 1881
Note that there is only one child (Margr. age 7) listed on the Ohio ship passenger manifest for the Claus H Korte family. A ship passenger manifest was usually generated at the time the ship left port and sometimes corrections were added at the end of the passenger manifest. However, there were no additions to this passenger manifest.
There is a question as to where their daughter Anna was born. According to the 1900 US Census, Anna Korte was born in Germany, but she is not listed as having immigrated to the USA. However, in the same census record. the rest of the Claus H. Korte family is noted as having immigrated in 1881. And, no documents from Germany have been found to give any information about Anna’s birth or baptism.
Fred Eggers has noted that Anna’s confirmation record shows that she was born October 9, 1881.
If this information is correct, then Anna was born at sea, and could explain the absence of her name on the ship’s passenger manifest as well as in the lack of records in Germany.
Claus Heinrich Korte married Margaretha Cordes in 1873 in Germany. They had three children during their marriage.
FRONT ROW: Claus Heinrich Korte
BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Anna Christine Korte, daughter of Claus Heinrich and Margaretha (Cordes) Korte; Margaretha Sophia Korte, daughter of Claus Heinrich and Margaretha (Cordes) Korte;Heinrich Mangels Steffens, son of Michael and Hedwig “Hattie” (Katt) Steffens and husband of Margaretha Sophia Korte; Margaretha (Cordes) Korte, daughter of Johann Peter Hermann and Margaretha (Lüdemann) Cordes and sister of Heinrich Cordes
LEFT TO RIGHT: Margaretha Sophia Korte, daughter of Claus Heinrich and Margaretha (Cordes) Korte; Heinrich Mangels Steffens, son of Michael and Hedwig “Hattie” (Katt) Steffens
Margaretha Sophia Korte was born on April 5, 1875 in Germany. She died on August 22, 1948. She married Heinrich Mangels Steffens on 24 Oct 1895 in Farrar, Perry, Missouri, USA. He was born on February 11, 1870 in Farrar, Perry, Missouri, USA. He died on November 24, 1932 in Perry County, Missouri, USA.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Anna Christine Korte, daughter of Claus Heinrich and Margaretha (Cordes) Korte; Joachim Martin Steffens, son of Michael and Hedwig “Hattie” (Katt) Steffens
Anna Christine Korte was born on October 9. 1881 (probably at sea). She died on January 23, 1969 in Perryville, Perry, Missouri, USA . She married Joachim Martin Steffens on November 9, 1905 in Farrar, Perry, Missouri, USA. He was born on August 15, 1882 in Farrar, Perry, Missouri, USA. He died on May 18, 1928 in Perry County, Missouri, USA
Claus died on January 18, 1932, near Seventy-Six, Perry County, Missouri, at the age of 82, and was buried in the Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery at Farrar, Missouri, USA.
Many family trees such as on Ancestry.com and the German Family Tree (GFT) confuse and combine the families of Claus Heinrich Korte and his brother-in-law, Heinrich “Henry” Cordes. A comparison of the family group sheet for Heinrich “Henry” Cordes shown below to the one shown above for Claus Heinrich Korte illustrates why they are often confused for each other.
There are at least a dozen commonalities of Claus Heinrich Korte and Heinrich Cordes that lend to the confusion between the two men and their families.
- They both have Heinrich in their given names
- Their surnames are somewhat similar, Korte vs. Cordes
- Their birth years are the same, 1849
- The both were born in Scheeßel, Rotenburg, Germany
- The given names of their wives are Margaretha, Margaretha (Cordes) vs Margaretha (Meier)
- They each have daughters whose given name includes Anna, Anna Christine Korte vs Anna Marie Cordes
- They each have daughters whose given name includes Margaretha, Margaretha Sophia Korte vs Martha Margaretha Cordes
- They both had a son whose given name includes John or Heinrich, Johann Heinrich Korte vs John Peter August Cordes and Heinrich Cordes
- Their sons died in infancy
- They both immigrated to Perry County, Missouri, USA
- Both were members of the Salem Lutheran Church, Farrar, Missouri, USA
- Both were buried in the Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Farrar, Missouri, USA
For more information about Claus Heinrich Korte and Heinrich “Henry” Cordes, see My Scheeßel Relatives – Vol 1 located at https://myscheesselrelatives.pressbooks.com/.