Let the Children Come to Us – Part 3

The story you will read today is another one that tells of a couple that was childless, but chose to take in some children who needed a home, so I titled it Let the Children Come to Us – Part 3. It is a story that took me down some very interesting rabbit holes.

George Ernst Bergmann is today’s birthday boy. He was born on November 4, 1834 in Bavaria, Germany. He was the son of Ferdinand and Barbara (Billhorn) Bergmann. We see George coming with his family to America in 1840 aboard the ship, Plato. Here is the passenger list showing this family. George was 5 years old.

Bergmann family – Plato passenger list – 1840

We find George in the 1850 census at the age of 15. He was called a laborer, and his father was a farmer.

1850 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Now we will turn our attention to George’s wife, Christina Weinrich. She was born on May 17, 1837 in Bavaria, Germany. The Weinrich family came to America in 1853 aboard the Minerva. Christina was 16 years old.

Weinrich family – Minerva passenger list 1853

Christina was not in America very long before she got married. She and George Bergmann were married on December 30, 1856 at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. Below is a civil marriage record for this couple.

Bergmann/Weinrich marriage record – Perry County, MO

George and Christina had no children of the own, but a record in the Friedenberg book that attempts to reconstruct that congregation’s records after a fire, tells the tale seen below.

Goerge Ernst Bergmann bio – Friedenberg book

This bio mentions that this couple reared some Popp children and a girl named Julia Madsen. The 1860 census shows this couple with no children yet.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we find the Bergmann couple in the 1870 census in which we find an 8 year old boy named Peter Popp.

1870 census – Perryville, MO

Let’s backtrack for a moment to the 1860 census for Perryville where we find Peter Popp’s parents, John and Margaret (Hausmann) Popp. At that time, they had two children, Annie and George. Peter Popp would be born at the end of 1861.

1860 census – Perryville, MO

John Popp died around 1864, leaving Margaret Popp as a widow. There is a mystery here. We know that her son, Peter, was living with the Bergmann’s in 1870. Their son, George was living with a Webel (or Nebel) family in 1870.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

The mystery is where Annie and her mother were at the time of the 1870 census. What we do know is that Margaret Popp married again on April 21, 1872. It appears Margaret farmed her children out after her husband died. Since the Friedenberg book says the Bergmann couple took in some Popp children, it is somewhat likely that at some time along the way they took one or both of the other two Popp children, Annie or George, into their household. When we get to the 1880 census, we find the Bergmann’s living near a Weinrich family.

1880 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

John Weinrich was Christina’s sister, and that couple also had no children. In that Weinrich household, we find Ernst and Anna Doering. Anna was the Annie Popp, who was found back in the 1860 census at the age of 2. She had married Ernst Doering in 1879, and that couple would later end up living in Shawnee Township. It appears that Ernst and Anna were yet another childless couple. We also see Peter Popp in the Bergmann household at the age of 17. And there was a 7 year-old girl by the name of Julia Madsen as well. Peter and Julia are called “adopted” in this entry.

Unfortunately, we do not have an 1890 census to view, so we have to wait until the 1900 census to find any of these characters again. First, we will follow the Bergmann’s. Here is their entry in the 1900 census. These two were in the their 60’s and they had a servant by the name of Mary Albrecht in their household. George was called a capitalist.

1900 census – Central Township, MO

George Bergmann died in 1910 right before the census was taken. He was 75 years old when he died. Here is his death certificate that says George was a farmer and gardener.

George Bergmann death certificate

Christina is found in the 1910 census as a widow. She was living by herself.

1910 census – Perryville, MO

Christina died in 1916 at the age of 78. Her death certificate says she died of pneumonia.

Christina Bergmann death certificate

George and Christina are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

George and Christina Bergmann gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Now, let’s look at the other children that might have been taken in by the Bergmann’s. George Popp can be found in the 1870 census still living with the same family. The surname for that family definitely looks like Nebel here. This time he is called an orphan, even though his mother was still living.

1880 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

This is where I lost track of George. Next, we’ll look at Peter Popp. Peter married Theresia Schade on May 13, 1886 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is their marriage license.

Popp/Schade marriage license

Our German Family Tree shows 5 children born into this Popp family. Their first child was baptized at Immanuel, New Wells, but the rest of them were baptized at Immanuel, Altenburg. We find the Popp family living in Altenburg when the 1900 census was taken, and Peter was a photographer.

1900 census – Altenburg, MO

Peter died in 1905 at the age of 43. When the land maps were produced for Perry County in 1915, we find a parcel of land in Altenburg for Mrs. T. Popp, located just two houses east of Immanuel Lutheran Church. That would also be the year that Theresia died at the age of 52.

Mrs. T. Popp land map – 1915

Finally, let’s take a look at Julia Madsen. Julia was born on December 7, 1871, the daughter of Lars and Christiana (Jorggesen) Madsen, who were of Danish descent. Julia’s mother died in 1875, and apparently her father felt he could not care for Julia and her older sister, Sophia. That is how Julia ended up in the 1880 census living with the Bergmann’s. Sophia, by the way, was living with Rev. Carl Demetrio’s family in that census. Rev. Demetrio was the pastor at Immanuel, Perryville.

1880 census – Perryville, MO

Here’s where this story takes another interesting turn. Julia Madsen married John Popp on October 23, 1898 at Immanuel, Perryville. Here is their marriage license.

Popp/Madsen marriage license

John Popp (obviously a different John Popp than the one mentioned earlier) was a cousin to the other Popp children in this story. We have a wedding photo of John and Julia.

John and Julia Popp wedding

John and Julia Popp lived in St. Louis where John was a teamster for a brewery. Julia died in 1927 at the age of 55. Here is her obituary.

Julia Popp obituary

John died in 1949 at the age of 79. John and Julia are buried in the Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis.

I find these stories about children being taken in and cared for, especially when those households include childless parents, to be quite fascinating. This story was fun to research as it led me down so many different paths.

In closing, I wonder if John Popp, who has been a guest blogger on this site in the past, will take notice of this story. I do not think this is his Popp clan.


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