Anniversary ~ Third Great Grandparents Johann Adam Layes (Leies) and Elisabetha Margaretha Pfeifer ~

On September 8, 1838, my third great grandparents Johann Adam Layes and Elisabetha Margaretha Pfeifer were married in Nuenschweiler, Germany.  They were the parents of my immigrant second great grandfather Johann Leies.

Elisabetha Margaretha Pfeiffer was born in Thaleischweiler in 1816 to Johann Pfeifer and Maria Eva Bauer.  They were farmers and were also born in Thaleischweiler, a little town closer to the French border than Nuenschweiler.  For a time after her mother’s death around 1833, Elisabetha Margaretha and her two young siblings were living with their relative Peter Bauer, in Thaleischweiler, while their father Johann Pfeifer was living in another little nearby hamlet called Reiffenberg.


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Why would Johann leave his children in the care of another and live in Reiffenberg?  That is a great question.

I found out about these living arrangements after using surnames and Thaleischweiler to search on Google Books.  Another relative had brought suit for the property that Peter Bauer and the minor children were living on in 1834.  Also mentioned in the suit was the fact that Elisabeth Margaretha’s mother, Maria Eva Bauer, had been a widow to her first husband, Joseph Matheis, also of Thaleischweiler.

I was able to trace the ancestry of Elisabetha Margaretha’s family to the early 1700s and late 1600s in most of her mother’s lines, and to the middle 1500s in one part of her maternal pedigree to a couple of foresters of the Palatine forest near Contwig.

Of note in her father’s ancestry is a lady born in the late 1600s – a 7th great grandmother named Anna Apollonia Moraux.  Where does Moraux sound like it came from?  France.  Perhaps she is another in the Leies ancestry of French descent.*

Johann Adam Layes was born on a farm called Huber Hof near Nuenschweiler in 1815 to Heinrich Layes and Gertruda Conrad.  Heinrich was deceased and had been a farmer.  Johann Adam was also a farmer.

Johann Adam and Elisabetha Margaretha had at least four children:

Margaretha Leis

Maria Leyes

Joseph Lays

Johann Leies (my ancestor)

They were all born at Huber Hof.

The Layes/Leyies-Trauden ancestry also traces back to Contwig.  More research needs to be performed on Elisabetha Margaretha Pfeifer’s ancestry, which I think may include intermarriage between these two families about 100 years before this 1838 union.

I used numerous spellings for Leies in this post.  I tried to stay true to the spelling of Leies in the church records of this area of the Palatinate when I located the records.  The ancestry of both parents of Johann Leies is peppered with Catholics, Protestants, and ancestors that seemed to decide on both during their lifetimes.

*Don’t forget the French ancestry of Second Great Grandmother Emilia Anna Bold Leies also from Nuenschweiler.


  • Uncle John
  • Nuenschweiler, Germany Catholic Church Records
  • Thaleischweiler, Germany Reformed and Catholic Church Records
  • Massweiler, Germany Reformed Catholic Church Records
  • Martinshohe, Germany Catholic Church Records
  • Contwig, Germany Reformed and Catholic Church Records
  • Amts- und Intelligenzblatt des Königlich Bayerischen Rheinkreises: 1834 via Google Books
  • Chicago, Illinois death records









Immigrants #41 – 42 ~ Martha Nicolai and Johann Friedrich Gerbing, a Mason and descendant of a Prussian Army Soldier ~

On May 1, 1852, my immigrant fourth great grandparents Martha Nicolai and Johann Friedrich Gerbing sailed from Hamburg, Germany for Quebec City, Quebec with their 5 children on a journey that would have taken approximately three months.  Their city of origin was Vieselbach, Germany (outside of Erfurt).  By the early fall of 1853, they were residing in Chicago, Illinois.

Up until a few months ago, my fourth great grandmother Martha Nicolai was just a shadow on my family tree.  I was not even sure her first name was Martha.  But when a small amount of church records from Vieselbach were mixed in with the Erfurt church records and put on, she became nameless no more.  Wonderfully, the baptisms of her children even contained her town of origin.

Dorothea Gerbing’s was the first baptismal record I found.  I knew I had the right person when the birthdate matched the birthdate we had in America for Dorothea Gerbing.


The first column is Dorothea’s birthday.

The second is her baptismal date.

The third is her full baptismal name: Dorothea Elisabetha Mathilde.

The fourth is the father: Johann Friedrich Gorbing.  Did you notice it is Gorbing?  In Vieselbach it fluctuated between Gorbing and Gerbing in the records.

The last column above is the mutter: Martha geb. Nicolai aus Niederzimmern!

My fourth great grandmother Martha Nicolai was from Niederzimmern!  It is about one mile from Vieselbach.  Sadly, I do not know the names of her parents.


Johann Friedrich Gerbing was born in 1807, according to the Graceland Cemetery record of his burial.  There is a possibility he was born in Vieselbach.  But, Peter Heckert’s website in Germany contains “Zur Chronik der Kirchgemeinde Vieselbach” detailing the church records of Vieselbach.  It specifically contains the surnames listed in the book before 1800.  There are no Gerbings or Gorbings.

On the 1836 baptismal record of my third great grandmother Louisa Gerbing, Friedrich’s occupation was journeyman bricklayer/mason of Vieselbach.  The occupation of bricklayer was also on the Hamburg ship manifest.  See this post: On This Day in 1852…

I suspect Johann Friedrich’s parents were Johann Christoph Gerbing and Anna Martha Engelbrecht.  Johann Christoph was a daylaborer.

According to “Zur Chronik der Kirchgemeinde Vieselbach,” there are many Engelbrecht’s living in Vieselbach before and after 1800.  It also recorded that Anna Martha Engelbrecht left Vieselbach’s Lutheran school in 1796 and received a hymnal.  Engel means angel in German…

A wonderful genealogy angel retrieved Anna Martha’s baptism from the Vieselbach records available at Family Search to members of the LDS.  Her parents were Johann Andreas Engelbrecht and her mother was from Obernissa and named Barbara Magdalena Korner.

Without the retrieval of that record for me, I’d likely still be stuck at Johann Friedrich and I would not have located an incredibly interesting church record in the Vieselbach records available on  The Lutheran marriage record of Anna Martha’s parents Johann Andreas and Barbara Magdalena from 1780, stated that, Anna Martha’s grandfather Heinrich Wilhelm Korner (my 7th great grandfather), was a Corporal in the Prussian Army, in the service of the Prince-Electorate of Mainz.  This meant he served in the powerful army of King Frederick the Great of PrussiaPlease note the surname Korner contains an umlaut over the o.  The Prince-Electorate of Mainz was a Catholic Bishop and in 1780 was Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal.  Anna Martha’s parents were marrying in the Lutheran Church.



Friedrich and Martha in the United States

Little is known of Friedrich once he was in the United States.  The spouse of a descendant of Martha and Friedrich’s son Christian Gerbing shared the Family Burial Card from a Graceland Cemetery file on  It shows that Fred Gerbing (Friederich) was deceased on March 11, 1858 and was buried in Christian’s plot on July 20, 1865.  Thank you KStockmar46!  

Why the delay in years of placing Friedrich in the plot?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Apparently though, Friedrich was moved into the plot the same day as an infant child named Christian Gerbing, deceased in 1857, and an infant child named George Joseph? Lincoln Gerbing.  Immigrants Christian Gerbing and wife Anna Bauer, named their infant after the assassinated President of the United States, who was shot and killed in April of that year.  Perhaps Patriotism was also on their minds when they also named him George.

Sadly, nothing else is known about my immigrant 4th great grandfather Friedrich Gerbing in America right now!  

Likewise, little is known about Martha in the United States beyond the fact that she was widowed and living with her youngest daughter Maria (Mary) in 1860.  The census taker wrote their surname down as “Garvin.” Wow that’s a new one.  The records of Graceland cemetery (where the Schuttlers of my family are also buried) list that she was deceased on August 2, 1869.  That makes two records in America that mention my immigrant fourth great grandmother Martha Nicolai.

The following children of Martha and Friedrich came with them to the United States (with their full baptismal names):

Franz Heironimus Emil, emigrated at age 20 (Frank) m. Elizabeth Schuettler

Christian Georg Istoph Edward, emigrated at age 18 (Christian) m. Anna Bauer

Louisa Anna Elisabetha, emigrated at age 15 (Louisa) m. Johann Schuttler – my ancestors

Dorothea Elisabetha Mathilde, emigrated at age 13 (Dorothea) m. John Schieferstein

Maria Ernestina, emigrated at age 6 (Maria) m. Louis Weick

Martha and Friedrich had a son in 1843 named Karl Wilhelm.  He only lived 7 days and was buried in Vieselbach.

I have been slowly tracing the lives of their children and trying to place the numerous descendants of all of Friedrich’s and Martha’s children so the siblings of my ancestress Louisa Gerbing can be memorialized here in the future.  I think Franz is my favorite so far.  There is no other person in my family tree mentioned in that many newspaper articles in Chicago.  He was a police sergeant and his grandson sat on the Colorado Supreme Court.  


Hamburg Passenger Lists

Vieselbach, Erfurt, Thuringia Lutheran Church Records at

“Zur Chronik der Kirchgemeinde Vieselbach” via Peter Heckert


1860 United States Federal Census

Records of St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church from Chicago via Newberry Public Library and Family Search

Johann Schuttler’s Graceland Cemetery File

KStockmar46 at (Christian Gerbing’s Graceland Cemetery File)

A Ravelry Knitting Genealogist (the genealogy angel)








Today’s Anniversary ~ 3rd Great Grandparents Nicola Antonia Giansante and Carlo Di Pentima ~

Penne – July 19, 1862 – On today’s date in 1862, my third great grandparents Nicola Antonia Giansante and Carlo Di Pentima were married in Penne, Italy.


Nicola Antonia Giansante was born in 1828 in Rione San Giovanni in Penne, Pescara to Giosaffatte Giansante and Maria Trignani.

Carlo Di Pentima was born in 1814 at Via Piana, Pianella, Pescara to Felice Di Pentima and Palma D’Agostino.

Nicola Antonia and Carlo were both widowed.  My third great grandmother’s first husband was Nicola Delle Monache.  He died in 1855.  They had one child.  Stefano.

My third great grandfather’s first wife was Anna Rosaria Marcella.  They lived at contrada Cupoli, Farindola.  She passed away on May 12, 1862.  She was the daughter of Nicolangelo Marcella and Anna Di Luca.*  They had four children.  Vincenzo, Filomena, Serafina, and Anna.  Only Filomena survived until adulthood.

Giansante – Di Pentima marriage documents via Antenati

A little more than two months after the death of Anna Rosaria, Carlo married my third great grandmother.  They had at least three children:  Anna, Vincenzo, and Marianna (m. Biagio Di Francesco.)  At least two of their grandchildren perished in World War II:  Giovanni Di Pendima died at Monte Santo at the 11th battle of the Isonzo in 1917, and Alfonso Di Francesco died in 1915 at Monte Cappuccio at the 2nd Battle of the Isonzo.  The surname was spelled Di Pendima in Farindola.

I have previously explained some of Carlo’s Pianella and Nicola Antonia’s Penne and Carpineto ancestry in this previous post: Today’s Wedding Anniversary: Biagio Di Francesco and Marianna Di Pendima

*I cannot connect Nicolangelo to the other Marcella ancestors at this time.

Sources: Antenati, Caduti nella Grande Guerra, Wikipedia (for information on WWI battles)






Immigrant Heritage Month and the ABCs of My Genealogy


Is it possible to believe this is Immigrant Heritage Month?

In 2014, the first Immigrant Heritage Month was celebrated in the United States.  In 2016 President Obama officially declared June as Immigrant Heritage Month citing that “one of the remarkable things about America is that nearly all of our families originally came from someplace else…It’s a source of our strength and something we all can take pride in. And this month – Immigrant Heritage Month – is a chance to share our American stories.”

Italian American and German American Heritage Months overlap.  I have not found the official month for Swiss Heritage month but it appears that some communities in America celebrate it in May.

There are many other heritage months that relate to our origins and every month is Immigrant Heritage Month on this blog.

Today, not everyone wants to remember that a lot of us are here because of immigrants.

In March, for Women’s History Month, I made an alphabetical list of female ancestors in my tree.  It was especially important to make a list for Immigrant Heritage Month while the world watches the unimaginable humanitarian crisis that is being allowed to continue at our southern border.

It is not the first time the United State Government separated families.

I don’t live far from a cemetery for Native American children that died at an industrial school for Indian children.  The United States Government wanted to “kill the Indian and save the child” out of those children.  A couple of years ago, the United States Army finally agreed to disinter the remains back to their tribes and is trying to identify the remains in 4 graves just this week with data and records being preserved by Dickinson College.

Did you know some of the graves were moved twice?   Once because they weren’t allowed to be buried in the town’s “white cemetery.”  Twice because it was in the way of a road they were expanding.  Now graves are marked by the wrong headstone or contain more than one child.

You can read about the first unsuccessful disinternment here.

Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center

What about the remains of this child?

You can Google more about the plans to disinter the remains in the cemetery and be horrified about United States Industrial School history and I hope you are.

Check out Carlisle Indian School Cemetery Find a Grave to see images of the headstones  tribe of each Native American buried there.

Some of the Native American children died a few months after coming to live at the school, not having the same immunities.  Some children had the “Indian” beaten out of them.  There are stories of the Native American children who stayed in the area after their stay ended at the school.  One young man took his life on the local street corner.  But it was all okay because some were great athletes and made the town look good.

There are stories of the ghosts of sexually abused Native American girls haunting the old dorm building now on the Army Barracks.

The local schools stopped using the “Indians” name for their sports teams in the early 1990s.

But I am not Native American.  This is not the point.  This is what happened the last time children were separated from their families by the United States Government.

I can’t imagine the refugee and immigrant children in my tree, as they came here to a country that doesn’t speak their language, being separated from their families like this.  And in 100 years there will be digital resource center like the above link from Dickinson College used for the nearly 2,400+ displaced children at the Southern border.  The people accessing the records will wonder how this was possible.   

Maybe by the time you are reading this the number of displaced children will be 10,000+

Does Immigrant Heritage Month exist in this country right now?!  

The following list is the ABCs of some of the immigrants and their origins in my family tree:

A – Angelo Ferraro, my great great grandfather, Kingdom of Italy to Brooklyn

B – Emilia Bold, my great great grandmother, Prussia to Ohio

C – Cesidio Marcella, my great grandfather, Kingdom of Italy to Philadelphia

D – Dorothea Elisabetha Mathilde Gerbing, my 3rd great grandmother’s younger sister, Prussia to Chicago

E – Elisabetha Scheid Bold, my 3rd great grandmother, Prussia to Brooklyn

F – Filomena Napolitano, my great great grandmother, Kingdom of Italy to Brooklyn

G – Johann Friedrich Gerbing, my 4th great grandfather, Prussia to Chicago

H – Anne Marie Aloisia (Anna) Heinzen Kirsch, my great great grandmother, Switzerland to Chicago

I – Italy, the birthplace of my immigrant parent

J – Johann Leies, my great great grandfather, Prussia to Wooster, Ohio

K – Ludwig Fritz (Louis) Kirsch, my great great grandfather, Prussia to United States to Switzerland to Chicago

L – Louisa Anna Elisabetha Gerbing, my 3rd great grandmother, Prussia to Chicago

M – Marie Louise Koppel, my 3rd great grandmother, Prussia to Chicago

N – Nuenschweiler, the birthplace of my immigrant second great grandparents Emilia Bold and Johann Leies

O – Ocean, every immigrant in my tree had to cross an ocean

P – Paolo Massei, my great grandmother’s brother, Kingdom of Italy to Mercer, New Jersey

Q – Quirinus Eckebrecht, my 3rd great grandfather, Prussia to Chicago

R – Rodalben, Germany, the birthplace of my immigrant 3rd great grandmother Elisabetha Scheid Bold

S – Serafina Merlenghi, my great grandmother, Italy to Philadelphia

T – Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled massed yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.*

U – Unthinkable in 2018.  It is unthinkable in 2018 that those defending the separation of immigrant children from their parents sound like the slaveholders of the 1840s and 1850s.

V – Vincenzo Merlenghi, brother of my great grandmother, Kingdom of Italy to Philadelphia

W – Wachenheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, birthplace of my immigrant 3rd great grandfather Johann Schuttler

X – July IV MDCCLXXVI, etched on the tablet that Lady Liberty is holding

Y – New York Harbor, 80% of the immigrants in my tree arrived at New York Harbor


Z – Zopito Di Francesco, brother of my great grandfather who went to Canada because of the United States Immigration Quota Laws.  He came from the Kingdom of Italy and landed in Nova Scotia.

I cringed using Lady Liberty in a blog post this month.  My ancestors that cheered when they approached her symbolic refuge would be turned away because of their origins and I would not be American.  *Lady Liberty’s beacon has been turned off.  

Today’s 165th Wedding Anniversary ~ Angelo Merlenghi and Maria Carmina Cirone ~



Farindola – On today’s date in 1853, my third great grandparents Angelo Merlenghi and Maria Carmina Cirone were married in San Nicola di Bari in Farindola, Italy.  They were both contadini and were the grandparents of my great grandmother Serafina Merlenghi.

Maria Carmina Cirone was born in 1828 in Farindola to Bernardo Cirone and Maria Crocefissa Marzola.  Maria Carmina’s mother and grandmother Maria Donata Di Costanzo were both levatrici = midwives.  Bernardo Cirone’s Cirone ancestors were builders.

Angelo Merlenghi was born in 1820 in Farindola to Antonio Nicodemo Merlenghi and the fatherless Anna Paola Lucerini.  They were contadini.  Angelo Merlenghi’s great grandfather on his mother’s side was Artista Romoaldo Lucerini.  I still do not know what kind of artist Romoaldo was!


Maria Carmina Cirone and Angelo Merlenghi had four children:

Giuseppe Merlenghi m. Carmela Dell’Orso (parents of Soldato Domenico Quirico Merlenghi, disperso alla Zagora, Slovenia 12 Agosto 1915)

Francesca Merlenghi

Cesidio Merlenghi m. Maria Michela Cirone (parents of Serafina Merlenghi)

Maria Merlenghi

Maria Carmina Cirone had no more children and died in 1861 at the age of 33.

Angelo Merlenghi remarried in 1865 to Alba Maria Mergiotti.  She was the daughter of Donato Mergiotti and Maria Di Gregorio.

Angelo had two children with Alba Maria:

Antonio Merlenghi, died at age 17 in Contrada Macchie

Maria Loreta Merlenghi m. Alessandro Lombardi

Angelo passed away in 1876, at the age of 55 in Contrada Macchie.  Below is the 2012 view of Farindola from Macchie.

Contrada Macchie




Albo dei Caduti Della Grande Guerra


Today’s 150th Wedding Anniversary ~ Third Great Grandparents Donato Di Massimo and Anna Maria Domenica Cacciatore


On today’s date 150 years ago in Farindola, my third great grandparents Donato Di Massimo and Anna Maria Domenica Cacciatore were married in Farindola, Abruzzo.  They were both contadini and were the grandparents of Luigia Massei.

Donato was born in 1845 at Colle della Castagne near Farindola to Serafino Vincenzo Di Massimo and Anna Maria Cecelia Colangeli.  Serafino’s mother Maria Chiarella and grandmother Laura Marzola were levatrici or midwives..

Anna Maria Cecelia Colangeli was born in Montebello di Bertona.  However, her father Francesco Colangeli was from Penne.

Anna Maria Domenica Cacciatore was born in Rione di San Giovanni, Penne in 1845 to Sabatino Cacciatore and Antonia Oriani.  They too were contadini.  Sabatino’s grandparents were featured in the previous “anniversary” post Today’s Anniversary: Bartolomeo Massimo Antonio Desiati “Cacciatore” and Angela Emmanuela Sacchetti Muffitti.

Antonia Oriani’s grandfather had his name spelled “Auriano” in the Penne records before 1820.  I found a baptismal record in marriage processetti reflecting the name as “D’Auriano.”  The oldest I found was written for my 7th great grandfather Massimo as “Di Auriano” which just looks wrong.  In Farindola, her surname was recorded as Uriani.

My third great grandparents had three daughters and three sons.

Lucia Di Massimo

Angela Maria Di Massimo m. twin Antonio Massei

Maria Carmina Di Massimo

Quirico Di Massimo

Stefano Di Massimo

Serafino Di Massimo

These Di Massimos are the only part of my Farindolesi family I have ever seen living in and having children at a place called Colle della Castagne near Farindola.  By the 1880s, these Di Massimos were living in Contrada Macchie.

Anna Maria Domenica Cacciatore died at #57 Contrada Macchie in 1907.

Donato Di Massimo died at #19 Contrada Macchie in 1921.


Source: Antenati





Immigrants #38 – #40 ~ Marie Louise Koppel Eckebrecht (mill owner’s daughter), Johann Quirinus Eckebrecht (baker), and Wilhelm Carl Eckebrecht (saloon keeper) ~

My 3rd great grandmother Marie Louise Koppel was born in Koerner, Thüringen, Germany in 1817 and came to the United States in 1866 with my third great grandfather  Quirinus Eckebrecht and 5 of their 6 children.  Wilhelm Carl Eckebrecht was one of these children.

Great Uncle John and his first cousin Frank Eckebrecht researched the Eckebrecht roots for decades.  Some of the information contained in this post comes from their research.  They did the hardest stuff before the internet was born.

Marie Louise Koppel

Marie Louise Koppel was born at 1:00 a.m. on August 2, 1817 in Koerner to miller Johann Christoph Koppel and Anna Dorothea Maria Grabe.  According to the good folks in the Thüringen Ancestry group on facebook, Grabe is a common surname in the areas surrounding Koerner.

I spent some time examining the microfilms for Koerner that were available from Family Search before the Latter Day Saints discontinued microfilm ordering.  I was able to locate the marriage of Marie Louise’s parents in 1816.  Anna Dorothea Maria Grabe was the daughter of Johann Christoph Grabe.  Her mother was unnamed in the available records, although an indexed record on Ancestry, transcribed by volunteers, says that her mother may have been Sophia Maria Schuts.

*I don’t have faith in indexed records on Ancestry or Family Search in which I cannot see the original document.  In this case, as with many of this line of Germans, the original record is not available to American researchers without being a member of the Latter Days Saints or at one of their computers.*

The microfilms contained the first marriage of Marie Louise’s father Johann Chrisoph Koppel and revealed that he was from Rothenberg bei Neustadt, Germany.  Which no longers exists on a map.  There is a Neustadt about 30 miles away from Koerner.

Johann Christoph Koppel owned at least two mills in 1812 Koerner when he married his first wife Anna Elisabeth Schaefer.  One was the Mahlmuhle which was a corn mill.  The second mill he owned at that time was called Lochmuhle.

In 1816 Marie Louise’s father married her mother Anna Dorothea Maria Grabe.   On that record and on the baptismal records of Marie Louise in 1817 and her siblings, he was noted as the owner of the Reithmuhle.  

There is a beautiful genealogy group on Facebook called Genealogy Translations.  A translator kindly translated Marie Louise’s baptism for me and then scanned for me a book about the history of Sondershausen area mills!

The genealogy angel in the translations group proceeded to translate the portion of the book for me on the Reithmuhle!

Reithmuhle was the new name of the Lochmuhle in Koerner. Koerner is on the River Unstrut.  The Reithmuhle is at the west end of the village on the Heuberg Hill, on Notter Creek and the mill was still there in 1900.

Remember the mills because they come up later.

I found at least 5 other Marie Louise Koppel siblings in the records for Koerner and Clingen.  I traced the Koppel line back to my 6th great grandfather Jeremias Koppel alive around 1740 in the Sondershausen area of Thüringen.  Of that information, I only know his name and estimated birth year.  I know nothing of the life of Marie Louise Koppel’s mother and her parents beyond their names as well.

Johann Quirinus Eckebrecht

Marie Louise Koppel married my third great grandfather Quirinus Eckebrecht on December 27, 1843.

Frank Eckebrecht had this data.  It was in my tree on Ancestry.  On Ancestry I kept getting a hint for a man named Johann Auerinus Erbeborn marrying on that same date in the same area of Germany to a lady with the same name of my third great grandmother.  These transcription indexes are done by volunteers and reviewed by two other volunteers before they are published on Ancestry.

Auerinus Erbeborn comes in second to the volunteer transcription of the ship manifest for his son Grity Eckebrecht for Fritz.  Another oldie but goodie was the transcription error from the ship manifest for Augelo Ferarco (Angelo Ferraro.)  This is why I do not trust the indexes on Ancestry, ESPECIALLY WHEN I CANNOT SEE THE ORIGINAL RECORD!  

I ordered the films the original marriage record was to be on.  I never found it.  I tried to find the baptism of their oldest child Auguste Eckebrecht to gain information on Quirinus.  I think I found it.  If I did, it was illegible.  There are no baptisms of their other children available through the Latter Day Saints.

According to Frank Eckebrecht’s research, Quirinus was born in 1816 in Grossmehlra, Schwarzburg – Sondershausen, Thüringen to Johann Heinrich Eckebrecht and Anna Elisabetha Dorre.  He had at least 5 siblings.


As you can see, Koerner and Grossmehlra are not far apart and are at the dead center of current day Germany


Frank traced this Eckebrecht line back to Wollersleben, Nordhausen, Thüringen and a Christian Eckebrecht, my 7th great grandfather, born in 1660.  He was a commoner.  Through volunteer transcribed indexed records on Ancestry, again, if they are accurate, I traced Anna Elisabetha Dorre’s line back to my sixth great grandfather named Heinrich Christoph Dorre.  Because these are only indexes, I know nothing of this line except names and dates.  Where are these original records that are only indexed?  I don’t know. They don’t seem to be microfilmed.  When will the originals appear on Ancestry for us subscribers?  Good question.

On May 25, 1866, Quirinus, Marie Louise,  and 5 of their 6 children arrived at the Port of New York on the ship the Jenny.  Here the index transcribers have Quirinus named as Oerenuos.  They sailed from Bremen on a trip that would have taken 2 and 1/2 to 3 months to sail.  The occupation of Quirinus was listed as baker.  Uncle John said they left to escape the growing power of the Kaiser.


The family’s destination was Chicago where the oldest son, Immigrant #8 ~ Carl Johann Eckebrecht, Grocery Company Owner, Saddle-Maker, Carpenter, and Foreman had already arrived.

These are the children that came in 1866 with Quirinus and Marie Louise:

Immigrant 6 Auguste Eckebrecht, domestic servant

Immigrants 21 and 22 ~ Eduard Eckebrecht of the 4th Cavalry Regiment and Heinrich Ferdinand Christoph Eckebrecht a Druggist

Immigrant #28 ~ 2nd Great Grandfather Frederick “Fritz” Eckebrecht, Carpenter and Butcher (the one that spent time with the Comanches)

Wilhelm Carl (William)

On the 1870 Census, Quirinus, Marie Louise, sons Carl Wilhelm, Henry, and Edward were living in Chicago’s 17th Ward.  Quirinus was listed as a laborer, while Marie was listed as keeping house.  Carl Wilhelm was a carpenter, Henry was a laborer, and the youngest Edward was still at school.

In the 13 years Marie Louise was alive here in the United States, she suffered from asthma, according to her death record.  She passed away in 1879 and was buried in Wunders Cemetery in Chicago.

Frank’s research data relates that she was the owner of the Rottermuhle in Germany when she passed.  My first theory is thus:  there was an American misspelling on the estate document and she may have been the owner of the Reithmuhle.  Would this mean her parents and siblings were deceased?  I cannot locate any records about them in Germany on Ancestry.

My second theory involves Quirinus.  Since he was a baker when he came here, he may have worked at a mill, maybe even Marie Louise’s father’s mill, or his father owned a mill as we have seen in Grandma’s other German mill owning ancestors, that sons and daughters of mill owners often marry each other.

The Chicago City Directories listed Quirinus as a laborer in the years leading up to the 1880 Census and in the year’s after it.  In 1880, when I found him on the census indexed by an Ancestry volunteer as Kareneus, he was listed as a widower, living with his oldest son Charles (Carl), and again was listed as a laborer.  He died in 1884 and is also buried in Wunders Cemetery.

William Eckebrecht

William (Wilhelm Carl) Eckebrecht, as mentioned before, arrived here in 1866.  He was born in 1851 in Schwarzburg, Thüringen.  In 1870, as stated before, he lived with his parents and was a carpenter.

In 1874 he married another German immigrant named Maria (Mary) Wilhemine Johanna Kohlmorgen from Mecklenburg – Vorpommern.  She was the daughter of Christian Theodor Kaspar Kohlmorgen and Julie Marie Sophie Hill.

On the 1880 Census, he was working as a harness-maker.

By the mid-1890s, William was a saloon-keeper.  I found a newspaper clipping suggesting that William was in the saloon business with his brother Edward.  Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the saloon.  William passed away young in 1899 leaving behind his wife and three children:

Otto Eckebrecht, owned an engraving business m. Viola Legare

Hugo Charles Eckebrecht m. Ottilia Fischer, a Pomeranian German immigrant

Martha Eckebrecht m. Paul Emil Schultz, a Pomeranian German immigrant


Were other Eckebrechts already here before the oldest son Carl Johann Eckebrecht got here?  Were there other Koppels already here?  The Eckebrechts followed their oldest son to America, making that classic chain migration as I have seen with my other German ancestors.  Who did he follow?

I would like to research Marie Louise’s family further.  Because her father owned mills, there should be land transfer records there.  Also, to be explored is the family of the mother of Quirinus – the Dorres.  Cross your fingers records become available!

I have at least three Eckebrecht photos.  Two are from the 19th Century and one is from the 1960s.  Please email me for copies.  

Thank you to those distant Eckebrecht cousins that have sent me messages and encouraged me to keep swapping and sharing data!  I have finished posting about all of the immigrant Eckebrechts that we could find.  If I find more, I will post about them here!  For the descendants of Fritz, there will be one more post about the Multi-Faceted Man.


Koerner baptisms and marriages via the LDS

Indexed Clingen District baptisms via

Schlotheimer Kurier, Amtsblatt der Verwaltungsgemeinschaft

Indexed Selected Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials from Thuringia via

Uncle John and Frank Eckebrecht

New York Passenger Lists

Chicago City Directories

Federal Censuses

Cook County Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes


The immigrants left in this family history challenge are: some of the Italians on my paternal side, more on Louis Kirsch, all of the Gerbings (Eeeeeeee!), Martha Nicolai, and my mystery wagon-guy Johann Schuttler.











Today’s Anniversary ~ Third Great Grandparents Carmine Napolitano and Maria Michela Sabatino ~

On today’s date in 1842, my third great grandparents Carmine Napolitano and Maria Michela Sabatino were married in the Cattedrale di Nola, Italy.  They were the parents of  my Great Great Grandmother Filomena Napolitano Ferraro.


Nola Cathedral
Nola’s Cathedral

Last year, the following post was published on this day:  On this day in 1842…

If you have are visiting because you too are a Napolitano from Nola, my ancestry has been traced to Silvestro Napolitano born about 1710 in Nola and his wife Teresa Trocciola.

Other Nola surnames in this tree include Criscuolo, Sepe, Marotta, Notaro, Tortora, and Feo.


My Anabaptist/Mennonite/Canton Bern, Switzerland Surname List


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I was recently asked by another researcher what Swiss surnames in my tree I was researching in Canton Bern, Switzerland that belonged to the early Anabaptist followers there.  Below is an updated list of surnames and place names:


Gungerich/Gungery*, Schindler, Vogel, Muller, Rubeli*.  See GAMEOChristian Gungerich was an Anabaptist preacher that was imprisoned in Schwarzenegg prison when he escaped in 1669.  He was re-captured and imprisoned in Waisenhaus Prison in the Canton’s capital Bern.  He died there in 1671.  He is my 10th great grand uncle See Der Tauferlehrer Christian Gungerich (1591-1671) und der Streit um Seinen Nachlass for more on his relations.  Also see Oberdiessbach Kirchenbuchen via Canton Bern archives, and the book Bernese Anabaptists and their American Descendants.  



Vogt, Strubel known as Rubeli* in Oberdiessbach.  See Langnau Kirchenbuchen via Canton Bern archives.  Part of the Rubeli family emigrated to the German Palatinate in 1672 as religious refugees. See


Related links:

Link to Christian Gungerich on

My German Palatinate, Saarland, Lorraine, France, and Swiss Anabaptist Surname and Place Lists

Immigrants #11 to 20 ~ The Anabaptist Strubel/Rubeli of Aeschlen bei Oberdiessbach, Switzerland

*Gungerich and Rubeli are known Anabaptist surnames.  Christian Gungerich is believed to be the first of the Anabaptist faith in his family.

Today’s Anniversary ~ Third Great Grandparents Francesco Antonio Ferraro and Angela Maria Delle Cave

On today’s date in 1823, my third great grandparents Francesco Antonio Ferraro and Angela Maria Delle Cave were married in San Pietro Apostolo in Talanico, Sei Casali d’Arienzo (present-day San Felice a Cancello), Caserta in the Kingdom of Naples. They were the parents of Angelo Ferraro.


Francesco Antonio was born in 1798 in Talanico to Filippo Ferraro and Giuseppa Fruggieri. Angela Maria Delle Cave was born in 1800 in Talanico to Luca Delle Cave and Olimpia Librera. They were all contadini.

Filippo had not yet become a soldier in the Terzo Cacciatori. Since Italy was not yet a unified nation, the Kingdom of Naples was half of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Terzo Cacciatori were a branch of the army of the Bourbon King Ferdinand.

Five months after their marriage their first child was born. In order from oldest to youngest, these are the children of their union whose births I have located in San Felice a Cancello, Marcianise, and San Prisco:

Clemente (died in infancy) – born in San Felice a Cancello

Filippo – born in Marcianise

Clemente – born in San Felice a Cancello

Carmine – born in San Felice a Cancello

Maria Giuseppa – born in San Prisco

Luigi – born in San Felice a Cancello

Angelo – born in San Prisco (our ancestor)

In 1824, Francesco Antonio was listed as a soldier in the Terzo Cacciatori on Filippo’s birth record in Marcianise. In 1827, when the second Clemente was born, Filippo was listed as a contadino.

There are six years between the birth of Luigi and Angelo. I do not know where Francesco Antonio and Angela Maria were living between 1836 and 1842 (the birth year of Angelo.)


Diocese of Acerra church records at Family Search

Santa Maria Capua Vetere Tribunale records at Family Search