Hanover to Farrar to Alva

We will be looking at a couple that was married on this day in Perry County. However, you will discover that both the bride and groom were born in the year, 1861, in the Hanover region of Germany, then immigrated to Perry County, eventually living near Farrar, Missouri, and then made another move later in their lives to Alva, Oklahoma.

Let’s begin by looking at the person who arrived first in America, Margaretha Versemann. She was born on November 14, 1861, the daughter of Johann and Maria (Brockmann) Versemann. Although I cannot find documentation, it is reported in a family history that Margaretha was baptized in Scheeβel, Germany. Margaretha’s mother, Maria, died in 1867. Again, I do not have documentation, but it appears that her father then married Engel Hollmann before his family moved to America in 1868. We find the Versemann family on a passenger list for the ship, Berlin. This family spills over two pages of the passenger list.

Versemann family – Berlin passenger list – 1868

On the above list, you see Marie Hollman, who would have been Engel’s mother. Also the 68 year-old Marie Versemann was Johann’s mother. Margaretha was 7 years old at the time.

We find Margaretha in the 1870 census for the Brazeau Township in Perry County at the age of 9. Her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Margaretha’s family in the 1880 census. This time, they were living in the Salem Township. Margaretha was the only female sibling left in this family by that time.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

Now we will take a look at Margaretha’s future husband who did not arrive in America until 1880. His name was Peter Christian Lohmann. At this point, let me add that I had to be careful with the name of Peter Lohmann. It’s one of those names that is found in several places in our German Family Tree. This Peter Lohmann was born on May 16, 1861, and he was born in Vahlde, in the Hanover region of Germany. Peter’s parents were Joachim and Catherina (Schleeselmann) Lohmann. Peter made the voyage to America by himself aboard the ship, Leipzig, in 1880. He is seen on the passenger list shown below as a 20 year-old workman.

Peter Lohmann – Leipzig passenger list – 1880

I don’t often get the opportunity to display a photograph of the ship upon which local folks made the voyage to America, but I did run across a photo of the Leipzig.

Leipzig passenger ship

Since Peter did not arrive in America until December of 1880, he does not show up in the census for that year. Then, on June 17, 1883, Peter Lohmann married Margaretha Versemann. I was not able to find a church marriage record for this wedding. There is a civil marriage record displayed below, but it is one of those records where it does not give a clue where the marriage took place.

Lohmann/Versemann marriage record – Perry County, MO

We have an index of Perry County marriages in our research library, and the image below shows the Lohmann/Versemann marriage and says it took place at the church in Frohna. No record for this wedding is found in the Concordia Lutheran Church books. Please note that there were two marriages that involved Peter Lohmann’s, one in 1882 and one in 1883. If you think I should write a story about the other Peter Lohmann tomorrow since he was married on June 18th, I must tell you that I have already written a post about that Peter Lohmann titled, Lohmann – The Altenburg Cobbler.

Lohmann/Verseman marriage record – Perry County, MO

Peter and Margaretha Lohmann are found in the 1900 census for Salem Township. I have enlarged it so you have a better chance of reading it. By that time, 7 children were included in their household. One child had previously died at an early age, and one more child would be born after this census, making a total of 9 children born to this couple.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

There is a family story that says Henry Lohmann, one of Peter and Margaretha’s sons, moved to Alva, Oklahoma in 1906, and Peter and other children moved there in 1908. However, we still find the Lohmann household living in the Salem Township in the 1910 census. Peter was a farmer.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

The 1920 census does show Peter and Margaretha living in the Valley Township of Woods County, Oklahoma, which is where Alva is located. Peter was still a farmer.

1920 census – Valley Township, OK

The last census in which we find Peter and Margaretha is the one taken in 1930. It is a very interesting page of census entries. The John Lohmann listed is Peter’s son. There are Rauh’s who had origins in Perry County, Missouri. Even the Herman Miesner toward the bottom of this list was married to one of Peter’s daughters. There is also a Walter Schuessler listed who was a Perry County native.

1930 census – Valley Township, OK

I might add that another interesting tidbit is that 4 of Peter and Margaretha’s children married spouses with the surname Dubben.

Margaretha Lohmann died in 1933 at the age of 72; Peter Lohmann died in 1934 at the age of 73. Their death records are found consecutively in the church books of Zion Lutheran Church in Alva, Oklahoma. Several years ago, our research library was gifted with copies of that church’s records because so many Perry County transplants have been found in those books over the years.

Margaretha and Peter Lohmann death records – Zion, Alva, OK

Peter and Margaretha Lohmann are buried together in the Lutheran Cemetery in Alva, Oklahoma. When I looked at their gravestone photo, I noticed how drastically different the geography for that area of Oklahoma is from that of Perry County, Missouri.

Peter and Margaretha Lohmann gravestone – Lutheran Cemetery, Alva, OK

Even though the main characters in this story have so many connections to Perry County, I was unable to find any records for them in any church books around here, although I will admit that there are plenty of baptism records for their children. Both characters were born and baptized in Germany. They were married here, but no church record is found for them. Then, because they later moved to Oklahoma, their deaths and burials did not occur here. I must admit that I did not expect such a lack of church records when I first began looking at two characters with the surnames of Lohmann and Versemann.


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