Last year in March, I wrote the story of Justine Goethe’s 200th birthday, Justine’s Bicentennial Jubilee. There were 4 Goethe girls in that family, with Justine being the oldest. The time has come now to celebrate the 200th birthday of the second-born child in that family. Regina Goethe was born on December 9, 1822 in Germany. She was the daughter of Johann Gottlieb and Maria (Schmidt) Goethe. Regina was 16 years old when she traveled with her family aboard the ship, Johann Georg, in 1839. They were part of the Gruber Group that arrived in New Orleans in November of that year. That group of immigrants then made their way up the Mississippi River to Perry County by steamboat, where they arrived on December 12th, just 3 days after Regina’s 17th birthday. She must have celebrated that birthday aboard a steamboat on the river. Here is an image showing the Goethe family on the passenger list for the Johann Georg.
Regina’s first husband was going to be Friedrich Wilhelm Weber, who was born on February 17, 1816 in Germany. Friedrich was the son of Johann Christoph and Dorothea (Schenk) Weber. He was the oldest child in that family. The parents, along with 6 children, made the voyage to America in the fall of 1838 aboard the ship, Republik, which was one of the 5 ships that were part of the Stephanite immigration. Friedrich’s parents and their youngest child, Christian (Carl), traveled in the fore-cabin of the ship.
The rest of the family made the voyage in the steerage portion of the ship. Friedrich was 22 years old.
A few other members of this family were rather notable, and whose stories have been told on this blog. The youngest, Christian, went mostly by the name of Charles Weber, who was a Civil War captain and later a judge in Perryville. Amalia Weber would become the wife of Dr. Ernst Eduard Buenger, who was the first doctor in the German community in East Perry County.
Friedrich Weber married Regina Goethe on February 13, 1844. This couple was married by Rev. Gotthold Heinrich Loeber, who also traveled to America on the Republik. The church record for this wedding is found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of that record is displayed here.
We can also view a civil record for this occasion in the Perry County records.
Friedrich and Regina had two children, a boy born in 1845, and a girl born in 1847. The first child was baptized in their home; the second was baptized in the new church that was completed toward the end of 1845. The oldest, a son named Ernst Eduard Weber, was likely named after Dr. Ernst Edward Buenger, his uncle. Dr. Buenger was one of his sponsors. Sadly, Friedrich died in August of 1848, leaving Regina as a widow with 2 young children. The church death record for Friedrich says he died of a high fever at the age of 32.
Regina would get married again, so let’s take a look at her second husband. His name was George Kaufmann, who was born on January 22, 1823 in Germany. He was the son of Anton and Margaretha (Mueller) Kaufmann. George was the oldest child in his family when they arrived in New York in 1836 aboard the ship, Johann Friedrick. An image of that passenger list is shown here.
The Kaufmann’s became part of the New York Group that joined the Stephanites in Perry County in 1839. The Kaufmann name is one of the few from the New York Group that decided to remain in Perry County for the rest of their lives. George Kaufmann married Regina Weber on May 10, 1849. These two were also married by Rev. G.H. Loeber, as is shown in the civil marriage record pictured here. However, there were no marriage records placed in the Trinity, Altenburg books during 1849. That was the year that Rev. Loeber died, and he may have been both overworked and sick during that year to keep accurate records.
George and Regina had 9 children. All but one of them were boys. Their children were all baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Their last child, born in 1871, would have been baptized in the new church that was dedicated in 1867. The 1850 census shows the first Kaufmann child along with the two Weber children from Regina’s first marriage. There was a 55 year-old man named George Mueller, who will be found in all the census entries that I will display for the Kaufmann’s today. He was George Kaufmann’s uncle since his mother was a Mueller. George Kaufmann was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.
Next, we find the Kaufmann’s in the 1860 census. Their household had gotten considerably larger. The two Weber children were teenagers by this time.
When the 1870 census was taken, all but one of the Kaufmann children had been born. Their entry spills over two census pages.
The last census in which we find both George and Regina was the one taken in 1880. Eight children remained in their household, as well as George Mueller, who was 85 years old. This entry calls George Mueller an uncle.
Regina Kaufmann died in 1883 at the age of 60. Her church record says she died of tuberculosis. Her death took place at a time when Perry County kept track of death records. We can view Regina’s death record in two images. This document says she died of dropsy and malaria.
George Kaufmann died in 1891 at the age of 68. We can also view his death record from Perry County. Dr. Ernst Eduard Buenger is listed as the doctor on both death records of the Kaufmann parents.
Both George and Regina Kaufmann were buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg, but only George has an entry on Findagrave.com. I went to the cemetery this morning to look for Regina’s gravestone, but almost all the markers for people buried in 1883 are unreadable.
This story just so happens to include 3 characters that come from the 3 major groups of original immigrants that arrived in Perry County in 1839. Friedrich Weber was part of the Stephanites, George Kaufmann was part of the New York Group, and Regina Goethe was part of the Gruber Group. The Goethe name disappeared from this area very early on because all 4 of the Goethe children were girls. There were plenty of descendants that came from those girls, but none of them carried the Goethe name. The only Weber son in this story had one son who did not live long enough to carry the Weber name to the next generation. However, because there were so many Kaufmann boys in Regina’s family, she became the ancestor for many, many Kaufmann’s to be born in Perry County over the years.
Today is not only the bicentennial birthday for Regina Goethe. It is also the date when the Log Cabin College had its first day of school in 1839. Today’s date is still considered to the be the day that Concordia Seminary, now in St. Louis, began its existence. I try to remember to take a trip out behind my barn to visit the monument that was placed on the site where the Log Cabin College was built. I have had to bundle up on several occasions to do this, but this morning was almost 50 degrees here in Altenburg with plenty of fog.
Regina Goethe was not in Perry County on her 17th birthday, but just 3 days after that birthday, perhaps she traveled down the road that is located not far from here and was able to see the new log cabin that was used as a school and became such an important little building in the early history of the Lutheran church in America.