Migrating Miesner’s

After a day on the road, followed by a day of dilated pupils, I am back in the business of blogging. You will be reading the story of a Fred Miesner family today. This is not the first post about a person named Fred Miesner. One was written back in 2019 titled, May the Fourth Fred Miesner. That Fred Miesner was born in the 1860’s. Today, the Fred Miesner was born in the 1880’s. I will eventually get around to an event that took place on this date, but I will start with today’s Fred.

Friedrich Claus Miesner was born on August 25, 1877, the son of Claus and Margaretha (Ehlers) Miesner. I found photos of Friedrich’s parents.

Fred was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. His baptism record is displayed below.

Friedrich Miesner baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Before I move on, let me point out an interesting fact about Fred’s parents. There were 9 children born to this couple, and 8 of them were boys. Fred was the 3rd child in this family. The only girl was Anna Miesner who was child #7. Believe it or not, Anna married Henry Miesner…a Miesner/Miesner marriage…so even her children carried the surname, Miesner.

Fred Miesner is found in his first census in 1880 when he was 3 years old. The 9 year-old Maria in this entry was a daughter born to Claus’s first marriage. Fred’s father was a farmer in Salem Township. There was also an orphan named George Vorster (Voerster?) living in this household.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

When the 1900 census was taken, we find a potentially confusing situation. Take a look at this entry from the Fountain Bluff Township across the river in Illinois.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The entry shows the household of a Miesner family with John and Anna at the head. In the list of household members, you will find two Friedrich Miesner’s, one a 12 year old son and another a 22 year-old cousin. The Fred we are discussing today is the 22 year-old cousin. He was a farm laborer.

Now, we need to turn our attention to Fred’s future wife, who is also today’s birthday girl. Her name was Louise Martha Christiane Schlichting who was born on April 16, 1885. Her parents were Johann and Maria (Stueve) Schlichting. Like her future husband, Christiane was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Below is an image of her baptism record.

Christiane Schlichting baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Christiane was born during a small window of time when Perry County was keeping birth records. The two images below show the birth record for Christiane.

Christiane Schlichting birth record – Perry County, MO

Christiane is not found in a census until the one taken in 1900. At that time, she was 15 years old. As you can see, she was also part of a rather large family.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Fred Miesner married Christiane Schlichting on May 17, 1906. Their wedding took place at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We can view the church record for their marriage.

Miesner/Schlichting marriage record – Salem, Farrar, MO

The marriage license for this couple is also available to view.

Miesner/Schlichting marriage license

According to our German Family Tree, Fred and Christiane had 6 children. The first two children were baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown, and the last four were baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. We see the Miesner family living in the Salem Township in the 1910 census with their first child. Fred was a farmer.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

Fred had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. It indicates that he was then living in Gorham, Illinois.

Fred Miesner – WWI draft registration

At this point, I realized that I had to be careful. I found a Fred Miesner who did serve in the military during this war, and he even had a father named Claus. He lived in Cole Camp, Missouri, which is another area in this state where early German Lutherans settled. However, that was a different Fred Miesner.

When the 1920 census was taken, we find Fred and Christiane living in the Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois. At that point in time, they had 4 children.

1920 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

In the 1930 census, the Miesner family is found living in McClure, Illinois, which is located in Alexander County just across the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Two more children had been born in the 1920’s. Fred was still a farmer.

1930 census – McClure, IL

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. Fred and his remaining family were living in Wittenberg, Missouri where he was a farmer. This census record also shows that he had been living in Jackson County, Illinois in 1935, indicating there was yet another move made in the 1930’s.

1940 census – Wittenberg, MO

Fred had his World War II draft card completed in 1942.

Fred Miesner – WWII draft card

For a while when living in Wittenberg, Fred and Christiane lived in the house that is labeled #10 in the aerial photo shown below.

Fred Miesner home – #10

Fred Miesner died in 1967 at the age of 90. His death certificate says he died at the Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis.

Fred Miesner death certificate

Christiane Miesner died in 1979 at the age of 94. She died too recently to view her death certificate. Fred and Christiane are each buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wittenberg.

Fred Miesner migrated back and forth across the Mississippi River on several occasions during his lifetime. For some of those migrations, his wife, Christiane and family joined him. He and his wife had their origins in Perry County, Missouri, and they are buried in Perry County, but in between, they spent much time in the bottomlands on the eastern side of the Mississippi River.

Just this morning, I had breakfast with one of Fred and Christiane’s grandsons, Russ Miesner, who was able to give me a few more details about the lives of the Miesner’s. It’s always nice to have such a great local resource to consult on these stories.


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