The Oldest Immigrant

“Tis another holiday season, and I will be traveling to spend time with family. I may not be able to do much researching and writing for the next several days. Today, I am re-posting a story I wrote 4 years ago.

I have mentioned before that I do not often look at dates of death when locating stories to tell on this blog, but today is such a case.  In fact, for the individual we will look at today, the death record is all we have.  We do not know a birth date, a wedding record, or anything else for the woman whose name was Christiane Sophie Barthel.  We do have a death record, and it states that she died in Altenburg on November 23, 1839.  This is her death record in the church books of the Altenburg congregation.

There are several interesting facts associated with this woman who was one of the members of the Gesellschaft.  First of all, she was the oldest person who traveled on the original five ships that came across the Atlantic Ocean in 1838-1839.  When she arrived in New Orleans, the passenger list gave…

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