I am once again a little frustrated today. After researching a name based on a special event that supposedly took place on August 30th, I now have discovered that date might not be correct. It was even a wedding that our German Family Tree says took place on August 30, 1846, making today the 175th anniversary. I spent too much time researching this story, and it would take too long to find another story, so you’re getting this one anyway.
The main character today, Johann Adam Stengel, has a surname that has not shown up at all on this blog before today. So, in a way, it’s a new name. However, since Johann Adam Stengel came to America as part of the Gesellschaft in 1839, we would also have to call it an old name. I also don’t think this surname ever made it into Perry County, Missouri. One family history on Ancestry connects the baptism document shown below with Adam’s history that says he was born and baptized in Birkenhoerdt, Bavaria. Two facts seem to go against this being the correct Adam Stengel. Adam Stengel’s gravestone says he was born in 1808, not 1809, and this is a baptism record from a Roman Catholic parish.
The passenger list shown in Zion on the Mississippi says Adam was from Thierstein, Bavaria, Germany. That makes him a little unusual. We usually think of the Gesellschaft as being made up of Saxons from Germany, not Bavarians. However, if you look at a map of Thierstein, you see it was not at all that far away from cities like Dresden, which is in Saxony.
Adam Stengel made the voyage to America aboard the ship, Olbers. He was 30 years old and was called a shoemaker. This list indicates he was from Dresden.
It was not long after arriving in this country that Adam Stengel got married. He was one of the persons who remained in St. Louis after his arrival and did not move to Perry County. His bride was going to be another member of the Gesellschaft, Agnes Henrietta Hoffmann. Agnes made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the ship, Johann Georg. We find a whole bunch of Hoffmann’s on that ship’s passenger list. Agnes was 18 years old at the time.
Let’s backtrack a bit. We do have a birthdate for Agnes because there is a birth record for her back in Frankenberg, Germany. She was born on November 16, 1818, the daughter of Friedrich and Charlotta (Saurig) Hoffmann. This does not explain her age of 18 on the passenger list.
Adam Stengel married Agnes Hoffmann on November 22, 1840. A few facts make this marriage interesting. First of all, the pastor who married them was Rev. Otto Herman Walther, the brother of Rev. C.F.W. Walther. Pastor O.H. Walther would die in January of 1841, just a matter of months after this marriage. Secondly, this marriage appears to be a double Hoffmann marriage. Agnes’s niece, Christine Hoffmann married Johann Martin Johannsen on the same day. We can see the marriage records of both of these weddings next to each other in a civil listing of St. Louis marriages.
The books of Old Trinity Lutheran Church list one child born to this couple who was baptized there in 1841. However, that child died in July of 1842. Then, in 1845, Agnes died at the age of 26 leaving Adam as a widower. He would get married again in 1846. His second wife was Catherine Bischoff. Our German Family Tree doesn’t officially connect Catherine with the Johann Bischoff who was a member of the New York Group, but all indications are that Catherine and Johann were sister and brother.
Here is where we run into a dating disagreement. First, the church records that we have for Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis which are in an Excel spreadsheet, indicate a marriage date of August 30, 1846. I find it interesting that Catherine’s father in Germany was a shoemaker like Adam.
However, the civil record we find for the Stengel/Bischoff marriage gives a marriage date of November 30th, not August 30th. This time, Adam was married by Rev. C.F.W. Walther. I wonder how many people can claim to have been married by the two brothers, Rev. Otto Hermann and Rev. C.F.W. Walther.
I found 5 baptism records in the Old Trinity books for children born to Adam and Catherine. This Stengel family is found in the1850 census for St. Louis. Adam was a shoemaker.
Next, we find the Stengel household in the 1860 census. Three children are listed.
The 1870 census is the next one in which we find Adam and Catherine. This is the only entry in which we see Adam called a merchant. Perhaps he had a shoe store.
The last census in which we find either Adam or Catherine was the one taken in 1880. They were found in a new location. They were living in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin where Adam was still a shoemaker. Their son, Henry, was called a laborer, but a later census calls him a plumber.
Adam Stengel died in 1883 at the age of 75 or 76, depending on when he was born. Adam was buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Interestingly, Catherine is not found buried there. There is a Stengel family stone along with a separate gravestone for J.A. Stengel.
We find Catherine Stengel in an 1887 St. Louis city directory, so she was no longer living in Wisconsin.
There is an obituary for a Catherine Stengel in a St. Louis paper published in 1895, but I do not have access to it, so I have no way of verifying that this was Adam’s wife. I suspect she came back to St. Louis to be near her daughter Rosine (Stengel) Reusch. I could find no record either for Catherine’s burial. Her daughter and her husband, however, are buried in the Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis.
This is two straight days in which I have written posts that have arguable dates. I hope this doesn’t turn into 3 straight days.
Also, I must confess that I had to at least take a look to see if I could find a connection to the most famous of all the Stengel’s, Casey Stengel, the manager of the New York Yankees. I found none.