Justine’s Bicentennial Jubilee

The name of Justine Grebing has appeared in quite a few posts on this blog. In fact, back in 2016, the first year of this blog’s existence, I wrote a post titled, Grebing/Göthe, which highlighted Justine’s marriage. That post was written back in the days when I was a rookie in the blog game, and that story contained only 321 words and just a handful of images. Posts these days average around 900 words and quite a few images. Today, I will return to Justine’s story, and there is an important reason for doing so. Today would have been Justine’s Bicentennial Birthday.

Justine Göthe was born on March 4, 1821 in Heiersdorf, Germany. Her parents were Johann Gottlieb and Maria (Schmidt) Göthe. I am going to now begin using the Americanized spelling, Goethe, for this surname. At the age of 18, Justine made the voyage to America with her family aboard the ship, Johann Georg, as part of what we call the Gruber Group. That ship landed in November of 1839, whereas the Stephanite group of immigrants had gotten to Perry County in May of that year. The passenger list for that ship showing the Goethe family is displayed below.

Goether family – Johann Georg passenger list – 1839

Justine was the oldest child in the family. One more child was born after their arrival, and all of the children were girls, which explains why the surname Goethe is no longer found around here. I looked for Justine in the 1840 census, but was not successful. I wish I could have found it because if I had, I would be able to show you Justine being found in 7 different censuses.

Justine would go on to marry Hartmann Grebing, who was born on July 6, 1811 in Monhausen, Germany. He was the son of Johann Heinrich and Elisabeth (Kaufmann) Grebing. Hartmann left Germany in 1837 and made the voyage across the Atlantic on the ship, Grand Turk, which landed in New York City in September. In a previous post, A Gathering of Grebings, I discussed a passenger list of the Grand Turk that had a name on it that I think was Hartmann. I will display that passenger list again today.

Hartmann Grebing? – Grand Turk passenger list – 1837

Hartmann Grebing came to Perry County as part of the New York Group that arrived here at about the same time as the Stephanites. Like Justine, I was unable to find Hartmann in the 1840 census. Hartmann kept a journal and he compiled some of the major highlights of his life which are shown here.

Hartmann Grebing life highlights

On July 9, 1843, Hartmann Grebing married Justine Göthe at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. While looking at the marriage records for this wedding, I made a discovery. Hartmann and Justine were not the only ones who got married on that day. The other couple married that day were Jacob Seibel and Christiana Rabold. Those two would be one of my sets of great great grandparents through my great grandfather Schmidt’s wife, Wilhelmine Seibel. Below are the church records for these two couples that have to be displayed in two images.

Grebing/Goethe and Seibel/Rabold marriage records – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

The civil records for those two weddings are also found together. Here they are.

Grebing/Goethe and Seibel/Rabold marriage records – Perry County, MO

I am not able to tell you if these weddings occurred at the same time or not. Trinity technically had no church building at that time, so many marriages took place at people’s homes. However, it is fascinating that two of the Grebing children would later be married on the same day. What makes that more interesting is the fact that one of those Grebing children married a Rabold. The story of that double wedding was told in the post, Double Wedding in the Hole.

Just a side note on Justine’s wedding. According to Hartmann’s notes, he had an Achilles tendon injury not long before his wedding. I have to think that he was still limping when he got married.

The German Family Tree records 8 children born to this couple. When the 1850 census was taken, we find this Grebing household with 3 children. Hartmann was a farmer.

1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The 1860 census shows a larger family.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

One more child was born in 1861, so we see this Grebing family in the 1870 census.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last census in which we find Hartmann was the one taken in 1880.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Somewhere along the line, the images shown below were produced for Hartmann and Justine.

Hartmann Grebing died in 1888 at the age of 77. Justine, as a widow, still appears in two more census records. We find her listed by herself in the 1900 census, but nearby we see Jacob Grebing’s family. Jacob was her youngest son.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last census in which we find Justine was the one taken in 1910. This time she was listed as a member of Jacob’s household. I find it somewhat interesting that Justine’s age and marital status are left blank.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Justine Grebing died in 1913 at the age of 92. Since she died after 1910, we are able to view her death certificate. It is not often that I see a death certificate for one of the original immigrants that arrived in 1839. It may also be the only place we find the maiden name for Justine’s mother, Schmidt.

Justine Grebing death certificate

Hartmann and Justine Grebing are each buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. Hartmann’s gravestone is one of those that has fallen over and remains flat on the ground.

In a Grebing family binder we have in our research library, there is a page that displays the children of Hartmann and Justine. I don’t know if I’m right, but the house in the background may have been a home of Hartmann and Justine.

The Grebing surname is alive and well in these here parts. I just could not resist telling more about Justine and her family on this special bicentennial birthday. I have the feeling that more Grebing stories may show up on this blog. There are so many that have yet to be told.


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