Angel and Her Bellmann’s Eldest

After Heinrich Bellmann married Engel Wichern in 1865, they had their first of 11 children on March 22, 1867. That child was Johann Heinrich Bellmann, and his story will be told today. Sometimes we see this child called John, but mostly he took the same name as his father, Henry. He was born in Scheeßel, Hanover, Germany. When Henry was just one year old, this small Bellmann family came to the United States aboard the ship, Dorrette, that arrived in New Orleans on October 27, 1868. A previous post titled, The Birth of Another Angel, told the story of Johann Heinrich’s parents. Below is the passenger list which shows the Bellmann family.

Heinrich Bellmann family – Dorrette passenger list 1868

This Bellmann family settled in the Brazeau Township of Perry County. We find them in the 1870 census in which John Henry was 3 years old, and his father was a farmer.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find this Bellmann family in the 1880 census. Henry, the son, was a teenager at the time.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we need to turn our attention to take a look at the early life of Anna Margaretha Schweizer. Anna was born on May 27, 1875, the daughter of George and Elizabeth (Distler) Schweizer. She was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. The record of her baptism from that congregation is shown below.

Anna Schweitzer baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

When Anna was just one year old, her father died. Her mother married again in 1879. Her second husband was Robert Moeckel, who moved this family across the river to farm in the area near Jacob, Illinois. We find this Moeckel household in the 1880 census for Fountain Bluff Township. Anna was 5 years old at the time.

1880 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Anna’s confirmation record can be found in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.

Anna Schweizer confirmation record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Henry Bellmann married Anna Schweizer on November 10, 1895 at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. If we could look at the 1890 Federal census, perhaps we would have a clue how Henry found his bride across the river in Illinois. Below is the church record for this wedding.

Bellmann/Schweizer marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

The German Family Tree says that this couple had 9 children, 3 of which died at an early age. All of the Bellmann children were baptized at Christ Lutheran. The deaths include a set of twin boys that were born and died in 1898. If you look at the church death records for these twins, you will see that Martin died on the 16th of June, was buried on the 17th, then Arthur died on the 18th and was buried on the 19th. There were 4 straight days of death and burial in the Bellmann family.

Martin and Arthur death records – Christ, Jacob, IL

The gravestone for these twins can be found in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob.

Martin and Arthur Bellmann gravestone – Christ, Jacob, IL

We find the Bellmann family in the 1900 census with two children. Henry was always a farmer.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

We find the Bellmann household again in the Fountain Bluff Township in the 1910 census.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

At this point, I am going to insert a photo that was part of the post written about Henry’s parents. If this photograph was taken at the time of his parents’ 50th anniversary, this gathering would have taken place in 1915.

Heinrich and Engel Bellmann family

It is reported that the extra picture attached in the upper left corner was a son who lived in Indiana and could not attend this event. That would have been Henry. We know that sometime between the 1910 and 1920 census, he moved his family to LaPorte County, Indiana. If the date of this photo is 1915, then we know he must have made the move before that year. This is the only photo I found showing either Henry or Anna.

We find the Bellmann household living in the Scipio Township of LaPorte County, Indiana in the 1920 census where Henry was still farming.

1920 census – Scipio Township, IN

The Bellmann family is found again in the same location when the 1930 census was enumerated.

1930 census – Scipio Township, IN

The last census in which we can find either Henry or Anna Bellmann was the one taken in 1940.

1940 census – Scipio Township, IN

About a month after this census was submitted, Henry Bellmann died at the age of 73. We can take a look at his Indiana death certificate.

Henry Bellmann – Indiana death certificate

Anna Bellmann died in 1949 at the age of 73. Her death certificate says she died in Chesterton, Indiana. It looks like their son, Rudolph was living in that town when she died, so she was probably living with his family.

Anna Bellmann – Indiana death certificate

Henry and Anna Bellmann are buried together in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in LaPorte, Indiana.

Henry and Anna Bellmann gravestone – St. John’s, LaPorte, IN

So, there you have it. A journey from Scheeßel in Germany, to Altenburg and Frohna in Missouri, to Jacob in Illinois, to LaPorte in Indiana. It was quite a life’s journey for this Bellmann/Schweizer couple.


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