My wife and I were married on July 1st. My wife’s birthday is on July 3rd (I had better not tell you the year of her birth). So, her anniversary and birthday are very near each other on the calendar. Today’s main character has a birthday and betrothal on the same date on the calendar. He hit the daily double. If he would have died on the same date, he would have hit the trifecta.
Heinrich Dietrich Friedrich Christian Brandes was born on July 24, 1827, so today would be his 195th birthday. I was only able to find this date of birth when looking at his death. His church death record and gravestone give that birth date for Henry. He was born in the Hannover region of Germany.
Henry Brandes arrived in America in 1859. Another Brandes named William arrived in the United States in 1848. William was born in 1823; Henry was born in 1827. They were both born in Hannover. I think there is a high likelihood that these two were brothers, although our German Family Tree does not show a definite relationship between William and Henry. The GFT gives the name of William’s father as Heinrich Brandes. Perhaps Henry was not only William’s brother, but he may have been named after his father. Other than that, I have no indication what Henry’s parents were named.
A passenger list for the ship, Bremen, that arrived in this country in 1859 shows a man by the name of Henry Brandes travelling with a woman by the name of Amalia. It gives all the appearances that these two were married and Amalia carried the name, Brandes. There is another clue here. It says Henry was from Winzlor, the same place our German Family Tree says that William Brandes originated.
The ship, Bremen, arrived in New York City on June 27, 1859. Less than one month after that, Henry Brandes married Amalia on July 24, 1859. It is debatable what the maiden name of Amalia was. Our German Family Tree lists Leskiehn, Loesker, or Soekin as options. Henry and Amalia have their marriage record included in the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. I honestly don’t know which word in the record shown below indicates a maiden name, but whoever translated this record for our German Family Tree says it was Soekin.
We can also take a look at a civil record for this wedding. Ancestry.com transcribes Amalia’s surname as Lansker. Our GFT says Loesker. It was Rev. E Riedel who performed the marriage. He served Grace, Uniontown for a very short time.
The first census I found including Henry and Amalia Brandes was the one taken in 1870. They are found living in the Cinque Hommes Township. The German Family Tree lists 6 children born to Henry and Amalia, all baptized at Grace, Uniontown. Five of those children are listed in the 1870 census entry.
Their last child was born later in 1870. After 1870, the Union Township was formed and it is in that township in which we find the Brandes family in 1880. We have to look in the recently discovered lost pages from that year’s census to find the Brandes household. Henry was a farmer.
There is a puzzling member of the Brandes household in the above two census entries. In 1870, there is a 75 year-old Johanna Franke, and in 1880, there is an 89 year-old Anna Franke. This may be the same person, but the ages do not jibe. In 1880, Anna is called a stepmother. I cannot figure that one out.
The last census in which we find Henry Brandes was the one taken in 1900. This time, at the age of 73, Henry is called a landlord. His son, Benjamin, was the farmer in the household.
Henry Brandes died in 1902 at the age of 75. His death record from the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown says he died of old age. It is one of those death records that makes you calculate a person’s birthday from their age in years, months, and days. If he would have hit the trifecta and also died on his birthday for that year, I suppose it would have said he died when he was 74 years, 0 months, and 0 days old.
Amalia Brandes is found in the 1910 census as a widow. She was 78 years old and living with her son, Benjamin, and his family.
Amalia Brandes died in 1915 at the age of 83. If I calculate correctly, Amalia’s birthday would have been November 22, 1831.
Church records indicate that both Henry and Amalia Brandes were buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown, but Findagrave.com only has a gravestone photo for Henry. He was buried in this congregation’s upper cemetery. His gravestone definitely gives a birthday of July 24, 1827.
As near as I can tell, all the folks that went on to carry the Brandes name around Perry County came from William or Henry Brandes, who arrived, one in 1848, the other in 1859. I also think there is good reason to believe that William and Henry were brothers.
3 thoughts on “Brandes Birthday and Betrothal”
Hi, Warren. I thought I’d check out your blog. There’s a lot of history here, and it seems that you really enjoy this research. It was good to see “y’all” at CTK in Memphis on July 23. God’s blessings always.
This was an interesting post for me to read because when I looked at the family last fall, I had many of the same questions you raised. Though Henry’s gravestone had his DOB inscribed as 1827, nearly all of his other records indicate it would have been the previous year. The baptism register from Bergkirchen, the parish to which Winzlar belonged, are not yet available online. A contributor to FamilySearch, whose work I’ve found to be very competent, did get a look at it and recorded his birth as 1826, so Henry might have been 196 today.
Who were his parents and was William his brother? According to that same contributor, Henry and William were indeed brothers and their parents were Heinrich Wilhelm Anton Brandes & Anna Catharina Friederike Franke. An index of the marriage register from Bergkirchen is available at it indicates those two were married in Bergkirchen on 12 Jul 1814:
What was Amalia’s maiden name? The image you showed of her church marriage record definitely looks like “Löskin” (it’s the word at the top right of your image). The image you found on Ancestry.com of the civil marriage register is rather low resolution and difficult to read but there’s a much clearer image of the civil marriage return signed by Pastor Riedel. Compare the “L” of “Loeskin” to the “L” of “Lutheran” and the “S” of “September”:
No Loeskin was listed in the marriage register index from Bergkirchen so Amalie’s parents may have been from one of the neighboring parishes.
Who was the elderly Anna/Johanna Franke? She was listed in the census household of William [sic] Brandeth (Brandes) in 1860, then as you noted, she was with Henry in 1870 & 1880 (as well as the MO state census of 1876). Let’s back up to March 1826, shortly before Henry was born, and when his father died. I’m not certain what happened to their mother after that but I suspect Anna eventually became their foster mother (“Pflegemutter”). German/English communication issues probably led to her being recorded as his step-mother (‘Stiefmutter”) on the 1880 census form. Her death record at Grace indicates her maiden name was “Grau” and that until her death, she lived with Henry Brandes and his wife. Unfortunately, it doesn’t elaborate on what their relationship was. Since her married name (Franke) was the same as Henry’s mother’s maiden name, she may have been married to Henry’s uncle. I didn’t see a relevant marriage record in the marriage register index from Bergkirchen.
Thanks for these answers. You do amazing research.