BOB AND VIVIAN DOERR'S KEY FAMILY SURNAMES:
BOKEL; ?*>(bef 1866) St. Louis
CARPENTIER; Bad Lippspringe>(1848) St. Louis
DEWES; ?*>(bef 1850) St. Louis (Not Dewes of Losheim.)
DOERR/DORR; Babenhausen, Hessen (ca 1800)>Dieburg, Hessen
DOERR/DORR; Dieburg, Hesse>(1847) St. Louis
DROEGE; Osnabrück>(bef 1849)St. Louis. (I'd like to connect the St. Louis Droeges with those of Washington, Mo.)
EGGERS; Bockenem, Hannover>(bef 1858) St. Louis
FAHLEY; Harsum, Hannover>(1854) Oshkosh, WI
FEHLIG; Harsum, Hannover>(1867) St. Louis
FERRARA; ?, Austria>(bef 1864) St. Louis
FRIES, O.R.; (bef 1900) St. Louis
GRIMM; ?>(bef 1866) St. Louis
HAFKEMEYER; Haste (Osnabrück)>(bef 1849) St. Louis
HEUMANN; Söhlde, Hannover>(1865) USA
HOFFMANN; Ulrichstein/Darmstadt, Hesse> Sugarloaf, St. Clair Co., Ill.
KAFFENBERGER; Reichelsheim, Hesse>(bef 1855)St. Louis> S. Illinois
KIMPEL; Ulrichstein>(?) Illinois
KOESTER; ?>(bef 1856) St. Louis
KRETZER; ?>(bef 1856) St. Louis
LUDEWIG; Hannover> Martinsburg, MO; 1883
LUNKENHEIMER; Wallhausen>Dieburg, Hesse
LUETKEMEIER; Bad Lippspringe; 1837
MIEHE; ?, Hannover>(1857) St. Louis
MIETH/MUETH; Dieburg, Hesse>(1847) St. Louis
NIEMEYER, Joseph; (bef 1900) St. Louis
OBRECHT; ?>(bef 1889) St. Louis
REIFEISS, Martin; (bef 1900) St. Louis
SCHMIDT; Baden-Baden zu Wolfach [whatever that means!]>(bef 1855) Ill.
STEIGER; Baden>(1831?)> USA
URBAN; Berlin, Prussia; 1820s
WANGLER; Buchenbach>Freiburg, Baden>(1831?)Pittsburgh PA>(1851?) Franklin Co., MO
WANGLER; Freiburg, Baden>(bef 1860)Rich Fountain, MO> St. Louis
WUNDERLICH; Dieburg, Hessen>(1847) St. Louis
ZAEHRINGER; Freiburg, Baden; 1790
ZAKEZEWSKA; Poland>(1795)Berlin>(1853) New York>Cleveland>Boston
ZAKEZEWSKI; Poland>(1795)Berlin, Prussia>(1854) St. Louis
* Main remaining questions
BEST CURRENT STORIES
In early April 1999, I wrote to the six or so Lütkemeyers in Bad Lippspringe, seeking cousins. The third response included a copy of the April 1999 issue of the local history magazine Wo die Lippe springt in which is presented a major family history article that covers the Carpentiers and Lütkemeyers. I claim no credit. It was a huge conincidence; the article surely was in preparation long before I wrote.
After 49 years of marriage, my great-grandfather died in St. Louis in 1908. In his probate packet is a document signed by his widow and dated in May 1910.
I sought the death of my great-grandma, his widow. Old as she was, surely, she had not returned to Germany. I checked for any offspring with whom she might have moved. I checked the funeral notices in the daily paper from May 1910 thru 1917. (I had had a hint that she was dead before the end of 1917.) I checked the St. Louis death index for 1860-1909. I checked with the cemetery where he was buried. All was to no avail. A request on the Internet brought a response from a researcher who checked the on-line index to St. Louius death notices, and found that she had died in 1909.
How could this be? The answer lies in two parts.
1. The document dated 1910 had been signed by her, but not dated. The document served to renounce her rights to her husband's estate. I have since learned that that was a fairly common practise; she retained the document. If she needed any of the assets, she could claim them. If she died without needing any of the assets, the document could be dated and filed. It served to avoid the need for passing his assets thru two probate procedures.
2. I only thought that I had checked the 1909 death index; the St. Louis death records for 1909 had been lost before the records were microfilmed. The index is mis-labeled in showing that it covers 1909.
About ten years ago, a cousin lent me her file for photocopying. In it was an unidentified copy of a 2.5-page chapter on the Fehlig family. I managed to determine the old german book from which the chapter was copied, and mentioned this to a friend, who happened to take interest in that family, and who replied, "I have a friend going to Germany; I'll ask that a copy be gotten for me." Later, I borrowed the book from her. As I was looking thru it, I noticed the words, "Missouri", "Webster Groves" and "St. Charles" in a chapter on the Machens family. I transcribed that chapter for publication in the Journal, and apprised some members of the Machens family that I had so done. That was to have been the end of the tale. But, in 2002, I posted a note in which I identified my ancestors (Fehligs and kin) and asked about contemporary cousins. A cousin in Germany sent me a great quantity of data, in which I learned that the Machens family are among my cousins.
SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
Bob: My big mistake in family history:
I neglected to document my findings; I even went so far as to circulate forms to family members and ask for completion, and now I do not even know who provided the data. 2. I used a computer program that allows only one date for an event; in many instances, conflicting data are received, and I retained only the date that, at the moment, seemed correct.
My first and last immigrant ancestors were on my mother's side; they immigrated from about 1831 to 1867, and these first (WANGLER; built iron plates for Civil War Mississippi River gunboats two years before the Monitor and Merrimack, and built the boilers for the St. Louis Cathedral) and last (FEHLIG; started a box and lumber business still in the family after almost 125 years) are the ones with which I have had the greatest success in terms of tracing back. In the case of Wangler, I have found a cousin who knows the family home.
It is true; if you can determine from where in Europe someone came, usually, it is easy to trace back. Conrad Wangler's son, Joseph F., married Matilde CARPENTIER, of Bad Lippspringe, Westphalia?, who was easily traced.
However, Theodore Fehlig of Harsum, Hannover, married (1870, St. Louis) Wilhelmina HEUMANN, who lived until 1927; I recently found her origin in Söhlde Hannover. Her sister was on the same ship as Carl MIEHE, whom she married, but know not from whence he came.
Conrad Wangler of Freiburg, Baden, married Theresia STEIGER; I know nothing of her origin and not even on which side of the Atlantic they married.
On Dad's father's side, I mostly had it easy; the DOERRs, WUNDERLICHs, LUNKENHEIMERs and MIETHs all came from Dieburg, Hesse, as did Cousin Lorenz DORR, who came a generation later and founded Dorr and Zeller. One of the Doerrs invented and produced the drive system used on most towboats. One started as a messenger for a bank and became its president. His daughter's husband built and owned the St. Louis Arena and the tall bank at Grand and Gravois. A problem is that I have been unable to find a connection between my Lunkenheimers and the town of Wallhausen, their point of origin.
Dad's mother was a descendant of the major noble Polish ZAKRZEWSKI family that fled the Russian aggression of 1795 and went to Berlin. (There were about 350 thousand major, and 450 thousand minor, noble families in Poland.) Grandma's aunt was Marie E. Zakrzewska. She was also a descendant of the EGGERS clan, from Bockenem, Hannover. A problem is that I find none of her relatives in the USA. The big problem is this. After a marriage of 49 years, her husband died in St. Louis in 1908; as recently as 1910, she signed docs in his probate file, then disappeared. The lawyer for the pitiful little estate was a very prominent attorney, Theodore Eggers. I suspect, with no hard evidence, that he was her nephew. I checked daily lists of funeral notices from 1910 to 1917. I checked for children or grandchildren with whom she may have lived. I sought a death certificate.
Vivian: Researchers in our family do not know from whence came the BOKEL clan. Great-grandpa Adam married Caroline GRIMM in St. Louis; they had at least two children, including a son, John Edward.
The HOFFMANNs left good info to trace to Europe; Charles Carl Hoffmann, immigrant from Oberhausen, married (14 May 1876) Marie Sybil KAFFENBERGER of Darmstadt, Hesse. The Hoffmans lived mainly on Sugarloaf in St. Clair County, IL. The Kaffenbergers lived mainly in Red Bud, IL; some of them now live in Lebanon, MO. The first of ten Hoffmann children was Catherine, who married (28 Aug 1898) John Edward Bokel. Their first child of four was Henry Charles.
My other big mistake was that I lost my documentation on their native places, and the name Hoffman is far too common.
\Immigrant Conrad HAFKEMEYER of Haste, Hannover, was the first German school teacher in St. Louis. His wife was Katrina Elizabeth VORNHOLT. Their daughter, Sophia, who was baptized in the Cathedral of Osnabrueck, married (12 May 1849, St. Louis) immigrant Gerhardt DROEGE, also from near Osnabrueck. One of their seven children was Matilda M. Droege. I have been unable to connnect all of the early Hafkemeyers of St. Louis or those of Osnabrueck, or to find the connection between the Droeges of St. Louis and those of Washington, MO.
Ann Mary BERGMANN, married (14 Jan 1844, St. Louis) Bernard DIERKES; he died and she married (16 Apr 1850, St. Louis) Heinrich DEWES. Nothing of the origins of any of these three is known.
Henry Alexander Dewes was one son; he married (27 May 1873, St. Louis) Matilda Droege. One of their six children was Eward Henry Dewes.
Anton and Caroline KRETZER had five children, of whom one, the master tailor Frederick William, is known to have emigrated. Not much is known of the Kretzer family in what is now Germany. Fred married Anna Bernhardine KOESTER; they had ten children, the last nine of which were born in St. Louis. [The last, George, married (1904, St. Louis) Jeanette CONKLKIN, and the fourth last, Frederick William, married (14 Jun 1893, St. Louis) Eleanor Jostrand; their fifth child was Leonor, who married John B. SULLIVAN and was a long-time US Representative.] The second-last was Olivia Francesca Kretzer; she married (16 Sep 199, St. Louis) Edward Henry Dewes. They a son and a daughter. The daughter, Vivian, married (24 Aug 1926, St. Louis) Henry Charles Bokel.
They had five children, oldest of whom was the present Vivian.
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The data herein were revised, following a Fall, 1998, trip to Darmstadt, Dieburg, Reichelsheim, Buchenbach, Freiburg, Harsum, Bockenem, Bad Lippspringe and Missouri Platz in Lank-Latum.
Page revised: 05 Apr 2008