Hartmann’s Daughter Marries Fischer from Wittenberg

When I saw that there was a Grebing girl who married Jacob Fischer back in the 1800’s, I figured it was a duo made up of two children of the original immigrants. Then I noticed that the New York Group not only included the original Grebing to enter Perry County, Hartmann Grebing, but there was also a Jacob Fischer in that group. I figured that Jacob and his wife may have also had a boy named Jacob, and in fact, they did. However, it did not take me long to realize that Jacob Fischer, Jr. died at the age of 2, so he was not going to be getting married. Eventually, after much head-scratching, I think I figured out that the Jacob Fischer who married a Grebing girl was not connected to any of the Fischer’s that were part of the original immigration. Let’s start by looking at the Grebing girl who happens to be celebrating her 170th birthday today.

Maria Magdalena Grebing was born on January 30, 1853, the daughter of Hartmann and Justine (Goethe) Grebing. Magdalena was the 5th of 9 children born in this Grebing family. She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record which is pictured below.

Magdalena Grebing baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Magdalena is found in the 1860 census at the age of 7. She is called Mary M. in this entry, and her older sister is called Mary E. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The only other census in which Magdalena is found living in Perry County was the one taken in 1870. This time she was called Lena.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Magdalena would get married before the next census, so we will now take a look at that puzzling man named Jacob Fischer. He was born on August 17, 1845. The 1920 census, which will be displayed later, says Jacob was born in Wittenberg, Germany where Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the church door to begin the Reformation. Perry County had its own Wittenberg that was named after the city in Germany, but that is not where Jacob was born. Later census entries give different years for Jacob’s immigration, but they were all in the 1860’s. I found a few Jacob Fischer’s living in St. Louis in 1870, but each one had facts that did not correspond with this Jacob Fisher.

There is evidence that Jacob was married prior to his wedding with Magdalena Grebing. His first wife was Franceska Heineke. Evidence for this comes from a death certificate for a child, Adolph Fischer. Adolph was born in 1871, before Jacob married Magdalena Grebing, and this form says Adolph’s mother was Francesca Heineke. Adolph is found in the 1880 census living with Jacob and Magdalena.

Adolph Fischer death record

There is a little bit of evidence that Francesca died in 1873. My suspicion is that Magdalena moved to St. Louis to find work in the early 1870’s, and it was there that she met the widower, Jacob Fischer, who had a young son. Jacob Fischer married Magdalena Grebing on April 15, 1875 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. There is actually a marriage record (placed there by Rev. J.F. Koestering) in the Trinity books. Ice on Altenburg roads this morning keep me from getting that record at the museum, but I can show you the transcription for it from the German Family Tree. It says that Jacob was from St. Louis.

[AltenburgMO-Trinity]: Magdalene Grebing married Jacob Fischer from St. Louis MO on 15 Apr 1875;

There is a civil marriage record for this event also.

Fischer/Grebing marriage record – Perry County, MO

Four children were born to Jacob and Magdalena between 1875 and 1880. The first one was born in 1876, a boy named George. If you look at George’s later death certificate, it says his mother was Magdalena Grebing.

George Fischer death certificate

The 1880 census is the only one in which we find Jacob and Magdalena together. Three children are listed, one from Jacob’s first marriage. One child was born to this Fischer couple later in 1880. Jacob was a carpenter in St. Louis. There are other extended family members in this household. Also, the entry below Jacob’s on this census page was that of Frederick Schade, who was a doctor. There were plenty of Schade’s in Perry County, but that is not why I included him in this image. I did not find a connection to Perry County for him.

1880 census – St. Louis, MO

The child born in 1880 to Jacob and Magdalena was a son also named Jacob. I found his St. Louis birth record. That record is pictured here. If you look at the very right of this document, you will see that the doctor who assisted in the birth was Dr. Fred Schade.

Jacob Fischer – St. Louis birth record

Magdalena Fischer died in 1882 at the age of 29. Her St. Louis death record is shown here. It says she died of hepatitis. Please note that the doctor listed on this form is once again Dr. Schade.

Magdalena Fischer – St. Louis death record

The above form says Magdalena was buried in the German Saxon Cemetery, which is likely Concordia Cemetery, but I did not find her in that cemetery on Findagrave.com.

Jacob Fischer married yet again. A family history on Ancestry.com says he married Theresa Koessel in 1883. I do not know much about Theresa. There were 4 more children born to Jacob and Theresa, so the grand total of children with Jacob Fischer as the father was 9. The Fischer household is found in the 1900 census with 7 children listed. Several of the boys were carpenters, like their father.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

The 1910 census shows a smaller Fischer household. Jacob and his son, Edwin, were still carpenters.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

The last census in which we find Jacob was the one taken in 1920. Just Jacob, Theresa, and their youngest child, Clara, were left in their household. This is the census that says Jacob was born in Wittenberg.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Before I deal with Jacob’s death, let me say that there are quite a few records for Jacob Fischer, his wives, and his children in the books of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in St. Louis. What is not there are records of his first and third marriages. The only church marriage I found was the one for his marriage in Altenburg.

Jacob Fischer died in 1925 at the age of 79. We can take a look at his death certificate below. This document does not give us any help in identifying Jacob’s parents.

Jacob Fischer death certificate

Theresa is still found in the 1930 census living with daughter, Clara.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Theresa Fischer died in 1937 at the age of 85. We can also view her death certificate.

Theresa Fischer death certificate

Jacob and Theresa Fischer are each buried in Our Redeemer Cemetery in Afton. They have one of those gravestones that mark the family plot, along with individual markers for members of the family.

I must admit that the Jacob Fischer in this story proved to be a real challenge for me. In the end, I think the information I found is accurate.

Magdalena was Hartmann Grebing’s daughter. That makes the children born to her Hartmann’s grandchildren. I don’t know how many descendants have come from Hartmann. I won’t even try to count them today. I do know that another descendant of Hartmann was recently born in Texas. Shepard Hartmann Grebing, as well as his brothers and his father, all carry the middle name, Hartmann, in honor of the patriarch of this family. Shepard is Hartmann’s great great great great grandson. I might also add that Shepard is the grandson of Carla and Kent Grebing.

2 thoughts on “Hartmann’s Daughter Marries Fischer from Wittenberg

  1. The death certificate displayed here for Jacob Fischer’s son indicates the son was born in Kansas City (Jackson County), Missouri on 31 Dec 1871 and that the mother was “Francesca Heinecke”. There is a Jackson County marriage record from 18 Jan 1871 for “John Jacob Fischer” of Kansas City & “Amalia Franzisca Heinicke” of St. Louis. It was officiated by Rev. Michael Meyer, who at the time was serving at St. Paul Lutheran in Leavenworth, Kansas, which I understand was the first LCMS congregation organized in that state.

    The marriage filing also notes the wedding took place at the home of “Mr. John and Mrs. Louisa Fischer”, who it turns out were Jacob’s older brother and sister-in-law, Johann Gottlieb Fischer and Louisa née Durst. Interestingly enough, the marriage recorded directly below the Fischer/Heinicke entry also took place on the same day at the Fischer/Durst residence–a double wedding. Louisa’s brother, Gottlob Durst, married Franzisca’s sister, “Emma Emily Heinicke”. The Heinicke sisters were born in Roda (a.k.a. Stadtroda) in Saxe-Altenburg and arrived in NYC together as teenagers on 20 September 1865 aboard the S.S. Germania from Hamburg. While the Fischer/Heinicke couple soon returned to St. Louis, both the Fischer/Durst couple and the Durst/Heinicke couple ended up moving to Bates County, Missouri. There, they were involved in Zion Lutheran in Prairie City, a church mentioned several times before on this blog for its Perry County connections.

    Identifying Jacob Fischer’s brother on FamilySearch proved to be the pivotal clue in determining where Jacob was born. As clarification, that was not in the Luther city of Wittenberg, but rather in Schützingen, a village in the former Kingdom of Württemberg. These two words frequently get mistaken for one another in census and other records in North America. The State Archives of the modern German state of Baden-Württemberg have done a great job of digitizing their historic records and making them freely available online. 1845 Schützingen baptism record #21 indicates Johann Jacob [Fischer], son of local resident and farmer, Matthäus Fischer, and his wife, Christine Catharine née Straub (both Lutheran), was born in Schützingen on 17 Aug at 11PM and baptized on 24 Aug. This DOB agrees with Jacob’s Missouri death certificate.

    Jacob’s St. Louis neighbor, Dr. Frederick Schade, was the attending physician on 1873 St. Louis civil death record # 9989, which indicates “Amelia Fransiska Fischer” died 31 Oct 1873 of puerperal fever at the age of 25Y 5M and was buried at “New Saxon” (a.k.a. Concordia) Cemetery. Concordia Cemetery’s website includes an amazingly useful spreadsheet of the burials that have occurred there. It includes entries for Jacob Fischer’s first two wives. “Franziska Fischer”, age 25Y, was buried in Section 5A, Lot 393 on 31 Oct 1873 and “Marie Fischer”, age 29Y 10M 16D, was buried in the same lot on 17 Dec 1882.

    Jacob married his third wife, Theresa Koessl, on 23 Sep 1883 at Immanuel Lutheran in New Wells. She was born in the Vöcklabruck area of Upper Austria and as a small child immigrated to the US with her parents, Mathias Koessl and Maria née Haberfellner. Since Jacob was in St.Louis and Theresa was in New Wells, there’s not an obvious answer to how they met; there doesn’t appear to have been other intermarriages between their siblings.


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