So long story short, I found a bunch of new ancestors in the area around Sondershausen, Thüringen, Germany. And just on Friday, I found out that my 9th great grandfather on a connecting branch was the Schultheiss (magistrate) in a little town near Sondershausen called Berka in 1705.
Back to the featured ancestor ~ My 10th great grandfather Johann Andreas Köppels was born around 1639, possibly near Sondershausen, Germany. His father may have been named Hans Paul and could be the man with that name that worked at Sondershausen Palace as a smith. His mother’s name is unknown at the time of this writing.
Around 1662 Johann Andreas married my 10th great grandmother Susanna Margaretha. Her last name is unknown. Unfortunately, the marriage records for Sondershausen start on Ancestry after Johann Andreas and Susanna Margaretha started to baptize their children in the 1660s.
In early 1666, when Susanna Margaretha gave birth to my 9th great grandfather Hans Abraham, Johann Andreas was a harness-maker at Sondershausen Palace and a linen weaver. Harnesses require cowhide and linen comes from the flax plant. Both professions rely on nature, don’t they?
All in all, Johann Andreas had at least 15 children to at least 2 wives. I counted at least 12 of them to my 10th great grandmother Susanna Margaretha.
At the time of his death in 1726, while my 9th great grandfather Hans Abraham was working as a brewer at Sondershausen Palace, Johann Andreas was recorded in the church death records as being a Meister Leinenweber (master linenweaver.)
If you would like to read more about Sondershausen Palace in English, some history of the structure is featured by clicking here.
It has been enjoyable finding these revelations in Sondershausen in my ancestry. I look forward to digging deeper into these newly discovered branches and sharing more about them.
Do you have any comments, additions, or corrections? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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 (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) WilhemineJohanna 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 Ancestry.com
Schlotheimer Kurier, Amtsblatt der Verwaltungsgemeinschaft
Indexed Selected Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials from Thuringia via Ancestry.com
Uncle John and Frank Eckebrecht
New York Passenger Lists
Chicago City Directories
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.