An Early German/Austrian Couple

You are getting today’s story a day late. It is because Fred Eggers experienced some internet website difficulties and had to postpone the post which was scheduled to be done two days ago. I had done research on the tale I will tell today that involves a special birthday, so I decided to still publish this story today, even though it is tardy.

The setting for today’s story is New Wells, Missouri, located in northern Cape Girardeau County. In that town’s early history, there was quite a large influx of Austrian Lutheran immigrants. There were also quite a few German Lutherans, some of which settled in that vicinity right after their arrival in America along with some others that had started in Perry County and migrated south across the Apple Creek into the Shawnee Township. You will be told the story today of a couple that consisted of a German Lutheran who had his early history in Perry County and an Austrian Lutheran whose family had recently settled in New Wells after their arrival in America.

It all begins with the belated 175th birthday of Rosina Theresia Lehner. Rosina was born in Alkoven, Austria on December 13, 1845. Her parents were Matthias and Marie (Jungmeyer) Lehner. In Rosina’s case, we can see a transcription of her baptism record from Alkoven that is found on

Rosina Lehner baptism record – Alkoven, Austria

There seems to be some debate about Rosina’s mother’s maiden name. The above baptism transcription says it was Zehntner. Other records say her maiden name was Jungmeyer. A possible answer comes from the baptism record of Maria Lehner, who may or may not be Rosina’s older sister. Her mother’s maiden name was Theresia Jungmayr.

Maria Lehner baptism record – Alkoven, Austria

This might lead one to think that Matthias may have had a second wife, but then we see another baptism record for a girl named Anna Lehner who was born later. This record once again has Theresia Jungmayr as the mother.

Anna Lehner baptism record – Alkoven, Austria

I am beginning to think there were two different Matthias Lehner’s. In fact, the version of the German Family Tree that I use says there were two of them, one that had a wife named Theresia and another that had a wife named Maria. I know my head is spinning.

When Rosina was 9 years old, her family traveled to America aboard the Sylphide. That ship arrived in December of 1854. We can see the Lehner family on the passenger list shown below. Matthias’s wife is called Maria on this list, not Theresia.

Lehner family – Sylphide passenger list – 1854

There are also some questions that arise with this passenger list. There was a Peter Lehner whose age matches up with the 4 year-old Johann. However, we have evidence that says another girl, Susanna Lehner, whose birthday is given as September 14, 1854. If that is the case, she would have been born right before this family left for America. She is not on this passenger list. I have somewhat of a vested interest in this Lehner family. Two main characters in my Wittenberg books are Theresia (Lehner) Lueders and Susanna (Lehner) Birner. Theresia’s age would match up fairly well with the Anna Lehner on the above passenger list, and Susanna would have been the one born in September of 1854. Were these two sisters from my book also the sisters to today’s birthday girl, Rosina Lehner? My head continues to spin.

I think Lynn Degenhardt, Diane Anderson, and Lori Adams have all been working on unraveling the Lehner ancestry from Austria. I looked for an update on this family this morning, but I was unsuccessful. Perhaps Lynn is working on it at his house and I will be able to see it in the future and stop my head-spinning. For now, I’m going to move on to today’s situation.

The first document I was able to find for Rosina Lehner in America was her confirmation record. It can be found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. She was included in the confirmation class for 1859. Rosina is the last person on this list.

Trinity, Altenburg – 1859 confirmation class

I found two Lehner families living in the Shawnee Township in the 1860 census. First, here is an entry which shows a Theresia Lehner family.

1860 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find a John Lehner (looks like Loner) family in the same census. John’s wife was named Mary.

1860 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Both of these families have a 17 year-old Theresia who could have been the Rosina Theresia Lehner that was born on this day.

The two Matthias Lehner’s found in the German Family Tree have different years of death. One of them died in 1854, which would correspond to the top Lehner family where there is no husband shown. The other one died in 1880. Perhaps that is the John Lehner in the bottom entry. It seems to me that the most likely entry for Rosina would be the bottom one.

Let’s turn our attention to Rosina’s future husband. His name was Ludwig Schuppan. Ludwig was born on August 22, 1839, the son of Adolph and Amelia (Vogel) Schuppan. He was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Since this post is getting lengthy, I’m going to skip ahead to his marriage. Ludwig Schuppan married Rosina Lehner on November 17, 1864 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is the church record for that marriage.

Schuppan/Lehner marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We can also view the civil marriage record for this wedding.

Schuppan/Lehner marriage record – Cape Girardeau County, MO

We find this couple in the 1870 census where we see the first 3 of the 11 children that were born to this couple according to our German Family Tree.

1870 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find the Schuppan’s in the 1880 census with 7 children.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last child born to this couple arrived in early 1885. It wasn’t long after that birth that Rosina died of liver problems at the age of 39. Rosina was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Rosina Schuppan gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Now Ludwig was a widower with a rather large family. He married again on August 15, 1886. His second wife was a widow by the name of Wilhelmina Mahnken. Her maiden name had been Hemmann, and her husband had died in 1878. Here is the marriage license for this wedding.

Schuppan/Mahnken marriage license

Here comes another mystery. A child was born to this couple in 1889. Not long after that birth, a death record says that Wilhelmina died at the age of 40. The baby died in early 1890. Wilhelmina is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Wilhelmina Schuppan gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Here’s the puzzle. The GFT says another child was born to Louis and Wilhelmina Schuppan in 1892. It was another child that died right away. However, how could this be? About the only thing I can figure is that Ludwig married another Wilhelmina. I could not find a marriage record for such an event, but I did find Ludwig in a few more census records, and they each showed him with a wife named Mina. Here is one for 1900.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find him in the 1910 census.

1910 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Ludwig Schuppan died in 1922 at the age of 82. His death certificate says he was a widower, but I was unable to locate a death certificate for a Wilhelmina Schuppan.

Louis Schuppan death certificate

Ludwig Schuppan was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.

Ludwig Schuppan gravestone – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

This post certainly leaves me with plenty of questions. Maybe I will find some time to research this story some more in the future. Maybe someone from the Lehner or Schuppan families knows some answers and will communicate them.

One thought on “An Early German/Austrian Couple

  1. Thank you so much for all your research and posting it for all to read. I enjoy all the history since both my parents were born and raised in this area (Edwin Fiehler and Wanda Ladreiter). Your post today really caught my attention when Austrians and New Wells were mentioned. I know a lot about the German Fiehler side but not much about the Austrian side. My mom grew up on a farm just across from New Wells. I hope to see more about the Austrian group in this area in the future.
    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

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