Today, we will follow the story of an original immigrant who was part of the 1839 Gesellschaft, settled in Perry County, but apparently did not stay in this county for very long. His story takes us to several interesting places. We begin with a birthday that took place 189 years ago on this date.
Gottfried Heinrich Schlimpert was born on September 2, 1832, most likely in Zaβnitz, Germany. He was the son of Gottlob and Sophia (Frentzel) Schlimpert. When he was a young boy, he came to America with his family aboard the ship, Copernicus. On that ship were two Schlimpert families, one from Bernsdorf and one from Zaβnitz. A previous post was written about these families titled, Copernicus Couple. We see a 5 year-old boy by the name of Heinrich on this passenger list.
In most documents, Gottfried Heinrich is called G.H., so I will use those initials when discussing his life today. G.H.’s father, Gottlob, died already in August of 1839, the first year of settlement in Perry County, Missouri.
In our German Family Tree, we find very little information about this young man.
The only time Gottfried Heinrich is found in our church records is the one for his confirmation in 1846. That record is found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. This document is where we find the birthdate for him.
When the Civil War broke out, G.H. Slimpert served in the Union Army. We find his name on a Civil War draft registration list, and it says he was from Pinckneyville, Illinois. So, G.H. was no longer living in Perry County, Missouri, but now he was living in Perry County, Illinois and working as a wagon maker. It mistakenly says he was born in Missouri, but we do know he spent much of his childhood in that state. By this time G.H. had “Americanized” his surname to Slimpert.
A later Civil War pension form gives some details about G.H.’s service during that war.
It says he served in the 64th Missouri Militia Infantry (Simpson’s). That is the same unit in which his brother, Julius, served. Also, the Captain Boehme on the form below was married to Ernestine Schlimpert, who is seen as a 3 year-old daughter in the other Schlimpert family on the Copernicus.
Next, let’s take a look at G.H.’s future bride. Her name was Martha Susan Annis Short, who was born on December 13, 1846. Her parents were Washington and Annis (Rushing) Short. In the 1850 census, we find Martha living in Wayne County, Missouri.
Next, we find Martha in the 1860 census when she was 16 years old. Her mother had died and her father had remarried. This entry displays that Martha was born in Tennessee before her family moved to Missouri.
That leads us up to the marriage of G.H. Slimpert and Martha Short. He was married on August 27, 1865. That marriage took place in Wayne County, Missouri. The certificate shown below indicates that G.H. was from Illinois while his bride was from Missouri.
I know I wondered how a wagon maker from Pinckneyville, Illinois could meet a girl from Wayne County, Missouri. I found the answer in the Schlimpert family binder that we have in our research library. Here is an excerpt from that binder.
We find the Slimpert family living in Pinckneyville in the 1870 and 1880 census records. Here is the one for 1870.
Next, we find this family in the 1880 census. Their family had gotten quite large. G.H. continued to be a wagon maker.
A rather detailed family history on Ancestry.com shows this list of children for this couple which includes some interesting names for them.
Another excerpt from the Schlimpert binder tells what happened next in this family.
G.H. Slimpert died in 1889 at the age of 56 in the town of Grand Chain, Illinois, which is located in Pulaski County. I think it may have been the occasion of his funeral that have brought his family together for this photo that was supposedly taken around 1889.
Martha Slimpert died in 1894 at the age of 47.
Another document concerning the life of G.H. and Martha is shown below. It is a later letter that was written by a descendant in this family. This letter adds information about G.H.’s involvement in a masonic lodge.
G.H. and Martha Slimpert were buried in the Grand Chain Masonic Cemetery in New Grand Chain, Illinois. G.H.’s gravestone includes a masonic image on it. His gravestone is also one of those that gives how many years, months, and days that he lived, and those numbers indicate that he was born in 1833, not 1832.
A biography found in Goodspeed’s History of Southeast Missouri for Martha’s father, Washington Franklin Short probably explains G.H.’s involvement in a masonic lodge.
I’m going to close by showing you a few photos of G.H. and Martha. The one of G.H. was taken later in his life, and the one of Martha was taken when she was younger.
My father’s sister, Lorna Schmidt, married Oscar Schlimpert, who is another descendant from this original Schlimpert family. My Uncle Oscar was a great guy. I look at the photo of G.H. Slimpert, and I say, “He certainly looks like a Schlimpert.” I’ve placed Oscar and G.H. side by side below. Do you agree?