A Baptism on Paar in Perry

I rarely do a story that originates with the date of a baptism, but that will be the case today. This baptism was one of the first to occur in the German Lutheran settlement in East Perry County, Missouri. This baptism piqued my interest for a couple of reasons, one being the fact that this baby was born in New York City, yet not baptized until after she arrived here. This girl’s parents were part of the New York Group that has been discussed on this blog before.

Christiane Friedericke Paar was born on April 18, 1839 in New York City. Her parents were Andreas and Elizabeth (Loskamp) Paar. Andreas (later Andrew) Paar arrived in America when he made the voyage aboard the ship, Constitution, in 1834. According to this passenger list, it appears that he travelled alone.

Andreas Paar – Constitution passenger list 1834

There is a rather well-developed family history on Ancestry.com that details this Paar family. Several descendants have contributed comments on that tree, adding credence to it reliability. That family tree is called the Lynch-Magin tree on that website. According to that source, Andrew Paar married Elizabeth Loskamp on October 9, 1836 in New York. No documentation is give however.

This Paar couple joined a group that we refer to as the New York Group that desired to join the Stephanites that planned to settle in Perry County. That group of about 100 people left New York on April 22, 1839. They traveled by boat up the Hudson River, through the newly built Erie Canal, through some Great Lakes, down another canal through Ohio, then by riverboat down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi River, landing in Wittenberg on May 17, 1839. I find it amazing that Andrew and Elizabeth Paar made that journey with a baby that was born just 4 days before they left New York.

It was not until about a month and a half later that Christiane Friedericke was baptized on July 7, 1839. Her baptism record is displayed here. Since it spills over two pages, I have to display it in two images.

Christiane Paar baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

It was when I went to find this baptism record that I discovered another very interesting fact. Christiane’s baptism was not the only one that occurred on July 7th that year. There were three baptisms, and a note above those 3 records indicates that all 3 of the children were part of the New York Group, and they were all baptized “in camp”. No one is absolutely sure what “in camp” means, but I think it was located in the settlement of Dresden not far from where I live, and that settlement was first served by Rev. C.F.W. Walther. I think it is very possible that Rev. Walther performed these 3 baptisms. The page on which those baptism records begin is shown below. Christiane Paar’s baptism begins at the bottom of this page. I have highlighted where it states these families were in the New York Group and the children being baptized “in camp”.

Let me say just a few tings about the other two babies that were baptized that day. First, here is the record for Christiane Grass, the daughter of Conrad Anne (Loehne) Grass. Her sponsors were Bertha Sproede, the wife of Friedrich Sproede, Christian Koerner, and Christiane Elgen. All of these sponsors were part of the New York Group.

Christiane Grass baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

The second baptism was that of Agnes Bertha Geisel, the daughter of Conrad and Anna (Roos) Geisel. She was born on April 9, 1839, which was just 13 days before the New York Group departed on their way to Missouri. Her sponsors were Agnes Buenger, Bertha Sproede, and Jacob Fischer, all fellow members of the New York Group. I find it interesting that this child was given the names of both of her female sponsors.

Agnes Bertha Geisel baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

At this point, let me say that the sponsors for Christiane Paar were Christiane Buenger (who I affectionately call Mama Buenger), Friedrich Koch, and Christiane Elgen. Although it is debatable if Friedrich Koch was a member of the New York Group, the two women sponsors were definitely part of that group.

I thought that the Paar family might have settled in the Johannisberg community like many others of the New York Group, but I did not find Andrew in the 1840 census for Cape Girardeau County. Nor did I find him living in Perry County in that year’s census. What we do know is that, unlike many other members of the New York Group, he did not move to St. Louis. Instead, he moved to Cape Girardeau. We find his family in the 1850 census for that city, and Andrew was a shoemaker. Apparently Christiane died before this census, because she is not in this entry.

1850 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Next we find Andrew’s family found in the 1860 census. This time, he is called a grocer.

1860 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

There is a little conflicting information concerning Andrew’s military service during the Civil War. First, here is a record of his service. This document says he enrolled in 1864.

Andrew Paar – Civil War military record

This conflicts with the fact that an entry on Findagrave.com says that Andrew died in 1863. Let’s take a look at his gravestone in the New Lorimer Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.

Andrew Paar gravestone – New Lorimer, Cape Girardeau, MO

I think the death year of Andrew is obtained from this stone. I can display an enlarged portion of this gravestone. The date of death does look a little like August 3, 1863. However, if you look toward the bottom, I think it says that Andrew was 54 years, 5 months, and 24 days old when he died. If you work ahead from his birthday, February 9, 1813, you end up with a date of death as August 3, 1867. That would explain him serving in the Civil War in 1864.

When a Missouri state census was taken in 1868 for Cape Girardeau, we do not find Andrew, but we do find his family with Elizabeth as the head.

1868 Missouri state census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Now, let’s take a look at one of their sons, Adolph Paar. In 1872, he married a girl by the name of Maria Rabe. That marriage took place in Lafayette County, Missouri. Below is the marriage license for that couple.

Paar/Rabe marriage license – Lafayette County, MO

If you look at the name of the pastor on this form, you will find F.J. Biltz. That was Franz Julius Biltz, who was part of the Gesellschaft and was one of the first students in the Log Cabin College in Altenburg. I think Adolph Paar had attended St. Paul’s Lutheran College in Concordia, Missouri when he met his bride. He did become a Lutheran teacher. In fact, when we find him n the 1910 census for Butler County, Pennsylvania, he was a teacher at an orphans home. He also had a daughter who was a music teacher.

1910 census – Butler County, PA

Another son of Andrew and Elizabeth, William Paar, was a charter member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jackson, Missouri and also was a county court judge for many years. In addition, one of Adolph Paar’s sons, Edward Paar, became a Lutheran minister.

This post is getting much longer than I anticipated, so I will bring it to an end by stating that Elizabeth Paar, Andrew’s wife, died in 1890 at the age of 77. Below is her death record from Cape Girardeau County.

Elizabeth Paar death record – Cape Girardeau County, MO

Like her husband, Elizabeth was buried in the New Lorimer Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.

Elizabeth Paar gravestone – New Lorimer, Cape Girardeau, MO

This story could continue because it opens up new questions about other people tied to the history of our region. I may have some more posts to write. But isn’t that Paar for the course?

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