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Andy's Kin -- Detailed Genealogy

Notes


Herman August Julius WEGNER

Also refer to notes for Herman's two wives, Ann Wilhelmina Sommerfeldt and Magdelena Riess and to his dad.

Herman Wegner's (also spelled Wegener) son Oscar remembered that his dad had said he was born in Pomerania, Germany, in a small cross-roads village between the cities of "Swiefelbein" and Labes, and that the county seat (haubt stad) was Stettin. The marriage certificate of his first marriage indicates his place of birth as "Schlangeritz" -- the certificate of his second marriage says "Schlanwitz". His marriage certificates for bothe marriages are in the foil-wrapped roll. An 1892 map of the German Empire (Source 3) shows the small village "Schlönwitz" or "Schloenwitz" halfway between Shivelbein and Labes on a direct line between the two (also see map in Source 2). An umlaut vowel is often Anglicized by adding an "e" after the vowel. It is likely all four spellings refer to the same village. Also, it should be noted, Shivelbein is now Swidwin, Koszalin, Poland. Labes is now Lobez, Szczecin, Poland, and Schlönwitz is now Slonowice, Poland.

Another significant connection to Schlönwitz is the MOEDE family <106, 108, 110> some of whose members came from that specific village and emigrated to Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin (in 1855 and also some time after 1864). Amelia MOEDE <107.1> whose father, August MOEDE <107>, emmigrated in 1855 married August WEGNER <10>. Also Bertha WEGNER <9> married August GROEHLER who was a brother to Amelia MOEDE's mother Caroline GROEHLER MOEDE <107>. It is clear that the connections between the families began well before their emmigration to the U.S., and that they were deeply associated with the Schlonwitz area of Pommerania.

At the age of 18 Herman emmigrated to the U.S.aboard the same ship as his mother and siblings, August and Auguste. The "Astronom", captained by Mr. Klapper, departed Bremen, and arrived in Baltimore on May 31, 1869. Herman recounted stories of the games the boys played on shipboard to pass time during the six week crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Reference 323, taken from the Internet: wysiwyg://67/http://www.fortunecity.com/littleitaly/amalfi/13/shipa.htm (also ..../shipc.htm), gives a description of the ship "Astronom" that Carloline and her younger children (Herman, August, Auguste) came over on; and also the ship "Columbus" that Caroline's stepson Gustave and his family (and also Gustavs brother Albert) came on. Quoting, in part: The previous entry said, "ASTRID: see ASTRONOM." [Astronom, by the way, means "Astronomer" in German] The next entry said, "ASTRONOM. The ASTRONOM was a 3-masted, square-rigged ship, built by J. H. Bosse of Burg (now Bremen-Burg), and launched on 4 March 1863. 394 Commerzlasten / 802 tons register; 43,1 x 8,7 x 5,9 meters (length x beam x depth of hold). Owner: 1863-1876 - Joh. Diedr. Koncke, Bremen; ........ In 1875, the ASTRONOM was re-rigged as a bark. In 1899, she was sold to S. M. Bjorkegren, of Simrishamn, Sweden, who renamed her ASTRID, and in 1909 re-rigged her as lighter. Her captains under the Swedish flag were ...... Her ultimate fate is not known ..... ". Here is excerpts from the ship COLUMBUS: "COLUMBUS (1): The bark COLUMBUS was built by Hermann Friedrich Ulrichs, Vegesack/Fahr, and launched in 1861. 265 Commerzlasten / 591 tons; 40,5 x 9,5 x 5,1 meters (length x breadth x depth of hold). .... The COLUMBUS was employed chiefly in the transportaion of petroleum from the United States to Europe, but also carried passengers. In June 1884, the vessel was sold..... Until the mid-1890's her master was .... In 1901/01, the COLUMBUS was sold to ....... The vessel was lost in April 1903 [Peter-Michael Pawlik, 'Von der Weser in die Welt; Die Geschichte der Segelschiffe von Weser und Lesum und ihrer Bauwerften 1770 bis 1893', Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, Bd. 33 (Hamburg: Kabel, c1993) p, 283, no. 54]. Pawlik's work contains a reproduction of a painting of the COLUMBUS, dated 1862, by Oltmann Jaburg. -- [Posted to the Emigration-Ships Mailing List by Michael Palmer - 13 August 1998]". Especially for descendants of Gustav, it might be interesting to obtain a copy of this painting!! There was also a ship COLUMBUS (2) that is listed under the name REPUBLIC (I did not get a printout of this), and a COLUMBUS (3), that was built in 1914.

Census records in 1870 indicate Herman was living and working on the Levi A. Colby farm (160 acres comprising the southeast one quarter of section 21 in Oakland Township, Jefferson County - see map in Source 34) as a farm hand, and that he had not attended school in the past year. His mother was living as a domestic worker on a farm about five miles to the southeast. Herman and Anna's first child, Lizzetta, was born in (near?) Whitewater, Wisconsin. By the 1880 census, Herman was listed as a farmer in Fulton Township of Rock County, and the family unit included his first wife, "Minnie", their three oldest children (Lizzetta, William, and Hannah, age 2), and his mother Caroline, now 61 years old. This was apparently known as the Dr. Borden farm, which was southwest of Milton Jct., Rock County, Wisconsin, because we have reference that this is where Herman and Anna's fourth child, Henry, was born in 1878. Not sure why Henry was not listed on the 1880 census. Their last child Art was born in Jefferson County in 1887 (not sure if they lived in Jefferson County then, or if Art may simply have been born in the nearby city of Ft. Atkinson, which is in Jefferson County. I think the 1887 plat map shows a Herman Wegner on 80 acres in section 23 (W1/2 of NE1/4 of NE1/4 plus W1/2 of SE1/4 of NE1/4 plus E1/2 of NW1/4 of NE1/4 plus E1/2 of SW1/4 of NE1/4) of Koshkonong township, Jefferson County, but this needs to be rechecked. In late 1893, Herman and his second wife Magdalena Riess, had their first child, Elsa, who was born in Koshkonong Township of Jefferson County.

On August 16, 1894, Herman signed a mortgage agreement in which he purchased a 260 acre farm from Fredrick and Florence MORSE for $19,500. It was located a couple miles south of the city of Whitewater in Whitewater Township of Walworth County. It consisted of the SW 1/4 of NW 1/4 plus NW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of section 16 and the SE 1/4 of section 17 and 20 acres off the east side of the SW 1/4 of section 17, all in Town 4 North of Range 15 East.

In 1905 at the age of 55 Herman declared "he could not keep up with the hands, and that the boss should be able to lead", so he retired and moved to a house at 1012 Peck Street in Whitewater. The homestead farm stayed in the family for many years. His son, Art, lived there until 1922, then son, Hank, for seven years, followed by his daughter, Gert, and her husband, Irving HUTH. Herman spent his last few weeks there with his daughter, before dying in November of 1929 of "general peritonites, with contributory appendicitis". He was buried in Hillside Cemetery, Whitewater (lot 16-1096). He and his family was Lutheran.

His obituary lists his birthdate as April 7, 1850 and his death certificate indicates 9/17/1850.

Ref 402 is an article in the magazine "Journey", Nov/Dec 2001 issue, that uses a photo of Herman simply to illustrate the article which is about a Russian immigrant. Herman has no other connection to the article, which in fact is believed to be fictional. The only reason Herman's picture was used is that Herman's great grandson, Marvin, is Art and Design editor for the magazine, and he thought Herman's image, and perhaps life too, typified the fictional character in the story.


Sabina Magdalena RIESS

Also see the biographical note for her husband. Her nickname was "Lena". She was confirmed in St. Petri Lutheran church in Helenville, Wisconsin on March 27 of 1875(? on last digit of year). Her confirmation certificate is in the foil-wrapped roll, as is her marriage certificate for marriage to Herman Wegner. She comes from a family of six girls and one boy. Her son Oscar treasured a large framed photo of the seven siblings as a family heirloom. Oscar's oldest daughter, Vita now has the photo. Another heirloom belonging to Lena, this time handed down from Oscar to his youngest son, Andy, is a wall mounted,three shelf, curio cabinet made from cherrywood. An interesting note is that Lena's brother, Fred, married her step daughter, Lizzetta (oldest child of her second husband's first family). On the day of her death in 1929 she had walked downtown to buy material to make clothes for Oscar's baby son, Richard. One the way back, she became ill and stopped to rest at the home of Roy Cummings, where she died before a physician could be called. She is buried at Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater, Wisconsin, lot 16-1096.

Ref 381 is a letter Lena wrote to her son Oscar less than 4 months before her death: "October 30, 1928, Dear Children, receve your nice letters was glat to hear you got thrue tha roat alrite i shure hope you will do goot this winter and be goot togeter. Gertrude wend Home Monday. Lizzie is staying 2 weaks with her. Lilian Keller is sttill here she hasta stay 3 more weaks. Our cold is getting over with. We are going to see Gertrude Thrusday evning Martin is gone to take us out. last Sunday we was out to at[?] Arthur he came and got us and drove us home in the evning hat a goot time hat some Duck roasd Perty goot. Nothing pland for Danksgiving yet so i gess we stay at Home and have our evryday meal. excuse my riting hope you maket out alrite anser soon With love Mother Wegner [The above spelling is just as she wrote it. Note the German spelling/pronounciation on some of the words. The letter, written in dark black ink in smooth bold strokes, was -- despite her apologies -- easily readable]. On the back side, Oscar wrote, "Mrs. Herman Wegner to Oscar. Sent to Lily" (Oscar than crossed out "Lily" and wrote "DePere" in its place). This suggests that they MIGHT have lived in Lily after they were married (June 1927). Oscar's oldest child Richard was born in Whitewater May of 1928. I find it interesting that they would have been in DePere in October of 1928. Oscar may have been getting his dates mixed up too, I suppose.


Elsa WEGNER

Elsa, or "Elsie", was the first child of Herman WEGNER and Lena RIESS WOLHFEIL WEGNER. It is truly sad when what we mostly have to say about someone is how they died, but this is the case with Elsa. She died in the fall of 1905 while still in elementary school, not yet twelve. One day, she was not feeling well and her teacher thought she needed a laxative. This may have been what caused her already inflamed appendix to rupture. Even today a ruptured appendix is very serious, but in those days before the development of antibiotics, it was nearly hopeless.

She was buried at Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater Wisconsin (lot 16-1096). Elsa's birthdate is listed as February 1893 in the 1900 U.S. census, and as Dec 12, 1893 in the Hillside Cemetery records, Whitewater, Wisconsin.

The Glass Bootie: But yet, at least with some family members, her name has come to be associated with good luck. Elsa had a small glass painted bootie with holes in the tip with tiny ceramic toes sticking out. The three inch long shoe with an open top was designed to be used as a toothpick holder, but her younger brother, Oscar, remembered her playing with it as a toy. It was painted in earth tone browns and organges, most of which had chipped or rubbed off, probably from many hours spent in play, exposing a transluent white glass below. An accident caused by a person unknown (or unconfessed) is evidenced by glue lines, which themselves have turned a yellow brown, and which add character to the piece. Oscar was just shy of five, and Elsa only eleven, when she died. She must have made quite an impression however on the young boy because he talked of her often.

The glass bootie was given to young Oscar after her death, and 74 years later he wrote "I still have Elsie's toy....It has been my real talisman, a lucky piece for many years." Six years after writing this, Oscar must have thought it was time to pass on the luck, because in 1985, he gave his prized talisman to his youngest son, perhaps because he thought some luck was neeeded in what was a particulary hard part of his son's life.

The bootie must have saved some of its luck for itself because the fragile piece remained unbroken while being tossed carelessly from drawer, to drawer, to the top of a cabinet -- after all, it was just another piece of junk Dad tended to pick up (Oscar had failed to explain the significance of the piece; or more likely, the son wasn't listening). It was not until seven years later, late one evening while reading his dad's "The Tribe of the Sevens", that the son looked to the top of the cabinet just in front of him, and realized the true importance of the old bootie. A bridge to the past was strongly felt that night, almost as if built of planks and mortar -- a bridge to his heritage.

Now almost a hundred years after her death, Elsa's little toy occupies an honored spot on the cherrywood curio shelf that belonged to her and Oscar's mother, Lena. It shares the shelf with a much more recent collection of colorfully painted ceramic birds, given to one whom the son can't help but believe the lucky talisman had something to do with bringing his way. May it always bring luck to the members of the Tribe of the Sevens!

Elsa's birthdate is listed as February 1893 in the 1900 U.S. census, and as Dec 12, 1893 in the Hillside Cemetery records, Whitewater, Wisconsin.


August Franz WEGNER

August Wegner (also spelled Wegener) was reportedly born in Albein (Allein?) Pomerania, and emigrated in 1869 at the age of 16 to the United States along with his mother Caroline, sister Augusta, and brother Herman (Ship Astronom from Bremen to Baltimore arriving May 3, 1969). The 1870 census indicates he was working as a farm laborer on the David W. Reed farm in section 21 of Oakland township, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, was 18 at the time, was born in Prussia, and that he had attended school within the past year. His future wife's family lived nearby in sections 34/35. He married Amelia Moede in 1879 in the Lutheran Church in the township of Oakland, Jefferson County, Wisconsin (The pastor was Daniel Huber, and the witnesses were Gustavus Mode, Fred (Fritz) Hubbard (Huppert), Augusta Wegner, and Bertha Groeler). He was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on September 6, 1886 in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. The 1887 plat map shows an Aug. Wagner having 60 acres in section 13 (SE1/4 of NE1/4 plus E1/2 of SW 1/4 of NE1/4) of Oakland township; but also lists an "Aug. F. Wegner, settled 1869, Koshkonong Township" in section 14, SE1/4 of SE1/4. At one point they lived in Albion, Wisconsin (SE corner of Dane County). The 1900 census indicates August and Amelia and their two children were living in Koskonong township, Jefferson County. He was a farmer. They moved to Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin in 1907. He died of stomach cancer in 1929 while living at 509 Whitewater Avenue in Ft. Atkinson. Both he and Amelia are buried at the Lakeview Cemetery in Ft. Atkinson.

His obituary (Ref 315) says (in addition to what we already know) he worked on a farm near Oakland and various places until his marrieage to Amelia Mode, on March 4, 1929, then the couple went to Albion Prairie (I would guess this is where the "birthplace" of Albein erroneously comes from -- also, I think there is an Albion township in Dane County Wisconsin) (wife's obit says they lived there for 2 years) and later purchased a farm in the town of Koshkonong where they lived 26 years. Poor health caused him to give up farming and they moved to Fort Atkinson 21 years before his death (wife's obit says they moved in 1907).

Amelia Moede's mother, Caroline Groehler, is a sister to August Groehler who married Amelia's husband's sister Bertha Wegner. The Moede family was from the same small village of Schlönwitz in Pommern as the Wegner family!

The family group photo given in Reference 318 gives a truely cross-sectional look at the Wegner and Moede families. In this one photo are represented several generations, four branches of the Wegner family, 3 branches of the Moede family, as well as the Henzel family (don't know where they fit) and other families, all apparently brought together for a confirmation. Some of these identifications are not for certain (see next note for discussion) Four Wegner branches: 1. Of the senior Wegner generation, August born 1852 is present as well as his wife Amelia Moede born 1859 (which is the tie between the Wegner and Moede families). 2. Carl Wegner born 1860 and his wife and two of their children are present. This Carl is the son of August's older half-brother, Gustav. 3. Anna Wegner born 1869 and her sister Mary born 1868 are present. Anna and Mary are daughters of August's older half-brother Karl (not to be confused with the Carl Wegner born 1860), and 4. Bertha Groehler born about 1863 is present. Bertha Groehler is the daughter of August Groehler and the step daughter of August Wegner's sister Bertha Wegner. The three branches of the Moede family are represented by three Moede siblings: August Wegner's wife Amelia (mentioned above), Mary Moede born 1866, and Gustav Moede born 1860.

Family Group Picture of the Wegner's, Moede's, and others. Judging from the ages of the known people, I would guess this was taken about 1895. The event that brought these families together is not known. John MODE and his wife Mary Jean of Fort Atkinson Wisconsin currently have an original of this photo, from which these copies were made. Apparently on the back of the photo, was a list of names. A scanned image of this list is enclosed. The list apparently starts in the front right corner of the picture and goes around in a clockwise direction, and ends with the girl sitting on the floor in front of the table. I'll use this same convention in describing the pictures: **** "Mr & Mrs Carl Wegner & Baby" (sitting in front on right): There are a number of Carl's in the family, but based on ages, I think this one must be Carl WEGNER born July 3, 1860 the son of Gustav R. L. WEGNER and Wilhelmina PUTZER. Carl's wife was Bertha Pauline LENZ born June 16, 1863, the daughter of Fred LENZ and Maria ALBRECHT. I was previously not aware of any of Carl and Bertha's children, but I assume the baby they are holding, and the person sitting on the floor in front of the table (identified on the list as "Clara Wegner, Carl's daughter") are both their children. Just for completeness, Gustav R. L. was the oldest (known) son of Wilhelm WEGNER and Wilhelm's first wife Hanna Marie ZENKE. **** "Mrs & Mrs Aug. F. Wegner" (sitting next to above): Based on comparisons to other know photos, this is August Frank WEGNER born Dec 15, 1852 the son of the above mentioned Wilhelm WEGNER and his second wife Caroline ROMIG. August's wife was Amelia MOEDE born July 20, 1859 the daughter of August MOEDE and Caroline GROEHLER. Again, just for completeness, August MOEDE was the son of Johan Jakob MOEDE born 1794 (in Schivelbein Pomerania! Johan Jakob had a daughter-in-law who died in Schlönwitz Pomerania !! and also a grandson who was born in Schlönwitz!) and Dorothea Louise NICKEL born 1799 in Rutzenhagen Pomerania. Caroline Groehler is the brother to the August GROEHLER that married Bertha C. H. WEGNER (daughter of Wilhelm and his second wife Caroline ROMIG). Whew! **** "Mary MODE OETTMEYER" (seated behind the table): Note the change in spelling of MOEDE. In German records, this family name is usually written without the first "E" but with an umlaut "O" (Ö). Mary MOEDE born August 24, 1866 is the sister to the Amelia mentioned above. She married John OETTMEYER. **** "Gust MODE", "Mary Ehlers MODE" (sitting together on the left): Gustav Christopher Albert MODE born September 17, 1860 is a brother to Amelia and Mary. Gustav married Anna Maria Christiane ("Mary") EHLERS. In this photo, Gust looks to be too old for someone that was born in 1860, so maybe we don't have them assigned properly. **** "Louise Gums Koester" (standing left): Louise GUMS was born Oct 7, 1867, married John KOESTER Feb 15, 1894, and she died April 12, 1940. Not sure at this point where she fits, but I don't think it would be very hard to track down. She was survived by a son Carl, three daughters: Helen, Mrs. William Thompson, and Katherine, a brother, William Gums, and two sisters: Mrs. Frederick Winters and Mrs. Clarence Leschinsky. **** "Emile Henzel Dallman" and "William Henzel" (standing 2nd and 3rd from left): Don't know who they are. **** "Anna Wegner Zechel" (standing 4th from left): Anna WEGNER born Sep 10, 1869 the daughter of Carl F. W. WEGNER (this is not the Carl Wegner mentioned earlier) and Frederiche BULGERIN. Carl F. W. was the son of Wilhelm WEGNER and Wilhelm's first wife Hanna Marie ZENKE. Anna married August F. ZECHEL. **** "Mary Wegner R??del" (standing 5th from left): I believe this is Anna's sister Marie (who went by Mary) WEGNER, who was born June 25 1868, the oldest child (except for "Bertha #1" who died on shipboard during emigration in 1867) of Carl F.W. WEGNER and Frederiche BULGERIN. Mary married George RAITHEL, and died at age 37, leaving two young daughters, Hattie and Ruth. **** "Mr & Mrs Henzel" (standing 3rd and 4th from right): Don't know who they are. **** This would likely make the person standing 2nd from the right the one the name list gave as "One man unknown"). **** "Bertha Groeler Wittlief" (standing on right): Bertha GROEHLER born 1863 in Germany the oldest child of August GROEHLER and his apparent first wife. August GROEHLER later married in Wisconsin Bertha C. H. WEGNER, born 1848 the daughter of Wilhelm WEGNER and Wilhelm's second wife Caroline ROMIG. August GROEHLER was a brother to Caroline GROEHLER, who married August MOEDE. Caroline and August were of course the parents of the Amelia, Mary, and Gustav MODE's mentioned earlier (You follow the strands of tangled yarn). Bertha GROEHLER, born 1863, married Nov 8, 1894 August WITTLIEF (born 1859). **** "Clara Wegner, Carl's daughter" (sitting on floor in front of table): As mentioned before, this is likely the baby's sister. Her sitting front and center might suggest it is "her day" being celebrated (birthday? confirmation??). Based on the apparent ages of the people in the photo, the above seating may have Gustav Mode and his wife mixed up with Mr. and Mrs. Henzel. Gustav and his wife look too old.


Emilie Marie Babette MOEDE

See notes for her husband, August Wegner. Lived in Fort Atkinson in 1918. Baptism sponsors were Georg Adam Hahn, Marie Babette, Anna Bebette Regelein, and S. Knauss. Suggests she may have been born in Jefferson (village?).

In Ref 318 is a plain photocopied sheet of 4 photos taken August 18, 1935, and a list of whom is on them. I never had good copies or digital images, but these photos may be fairly signicant as they are mostly of the older Mode generation. I think Mary Jean Mode must have the photos. I will describe them as follows: One is of the five surviving Moede siblings (Charlotte , Gustav, Amelia , Charles, and Mary), children of August Moede (1831-1920) and Fried. Caroline Groehler (1831-1918). Another is a photo of the three remaing spouses of these siblings: Charlotte's husband George Kunz; Gustav's wife, born Marie (Mary) C. Ehlers; and Mary Moede's husband John Oettmeier. Two of the photos contain the same exact people in each. They contain only women, including all those women mentioned above, plus daughter's of the the above sibling's or the wives of the sons of the above siblings. There were eight such 'second generation' women, which were all of them except for two: 1. Amelia Moede's son Clarence Wegner's second wife Eleanore Hassan, and 2. Gustav's daughter Lela Moede Stark.

Ref 361 gives the confirmation of an Emilie Moede on March 24, 1872.


Augusta WEGNER

Ship logs indicate that Augusta ("Gustie") Wegner (also spelled Wegener) emigrated in 1869 from Germany to the United States at the age of seven. This would have made her birthdate early 1862 or late 1861. Her obituary says she was born September 3, 1859, and that she came to this country at age nine. In any case she came on the same ship as her mother Caroline, and brothers August and Herman (the ship Astronom, from Bremen to Baltimore arriving May 31, 1869). One year later, her mother was listed on a census record as working in someones home as a domestic in Oakland Township, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, but Augusta was not listed as part of that household. Brothers Herman and August were working as farm hands on two other farms about five miles away. She may have been living with her half-brother Carl and his wife, or with her sister Bertha and her husband, or possibly with her brother Edward who was married in Oakland Township in November of 1869 -- or the census records may just have been incomplete.

Ref 361 gives the confirmation of an Augusta Wegner on April 2, 1871.

Ten years later (in 1879) she married Henry Holtz who had emmigrated from Germany in about 1872 (and had originally settled Oconomowoc, Wisconsin). Their early married life was spent on a farm in the town of Fulton. Later they lived in the town of Harmony (were there in 1900), then to the Holliday farm just east of Milton, and in about 1916 they moved to Milton (Park Street). All of these places are north of Janesville in Rock County, Wisconsin. They were members of the Lutheran church in Milton.

Their oldest son Edward, a carpenter (Harmony township, Rock county), died in 1903 at the age of about 22 of pnuemonia and a pulmonary hemmoraghe. Augusta died of pneumonia and bronchial asthma in 1935. Henry died at his son George's house a year later after a weeks illness. Both they and their son were buried in the Milton, Wisconsin cemetery.


Edward HOLTZ

For a little information on Edward see notes on his parents.


Johann Gottlieb SOMMERFELDT

Gottlieb Sommerfeldt was born in 1827 in Kunkolewo, which is located 8 miles south of the city of Kolmar, Posen, Prussia, now Chodziez, Poland. He and Anna Justina FENSKE (or VENZKE) were married in 1849. Anna was born in 1821 in Bracknitz Hauland, Posen, Prussia. Bracknitz is about 12 miles S/SE of the city of Kolmar. They emmigrated to the United States in 1868 (Gottlieb's obit says 1858, but all other records including ship logs agree on 1868), stayed one year at Elm Grove near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then settled on a 20 acre farm about 2 miles east of Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin on South Hebron Road not far from the Bark River in Section 1 of Koshkonong Township, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.

The family, or at least most of it, arrived May 25, 1868, in New York aboard the ship Anton from Bremer. The log listed: G. 40 male farmer; A. 46 female; W. 16 female servant; A. 6 male; J. 2 male child; Fr. 0.09 male infant. These ages compare quite well for Gottlieb (G.), Anna (A.), and Wilhelmina (W.), less well for August (A.), and not well at all if the J. means Julius and the Fr. means Friedrich. It is possible the Friedrich baptised November 12, 1865 died very young and that another son born a couple years later was also named Fr.____ . If so, this child may also have died young, as no mention is made of him in the 1870 census. It should also be noted that the oldest child John William is not on the ship log. He would have been 18 in 1868 and may have come over separately, perhaps even with one or more siblings.

They had six children, but only five are know of today. The sixth was not alive at the time of Anna's death in 1904. I speculate he/she may have been born between 1852 and 1859, a gap of years between their children Anna Wilhelmina and August.

Gottlieb and Anna attended St Pauls Lutheran church. He died of organic heart disease at the home of Charles Krekow, a relative, in Hebron Township, Jefferson County, and she in Koshkonong Township of vascular disease of the heart, also described as "dropsy". Both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Atkinson (grave 2-S, lot S 1/2 69, section 13).

Johann Gottlieb and Anna Justina are apparently their correct names, although various other names are listed for them: Gottlieb and Auguste in the church marriage record of their daughter Anna Wilhelmina; John Gottlieb and Anna Justina in that same daughter's baptism record; the 1870 Census says August and Justina; and the 1880 Census say Gottlieb and Augusta (good grief!).

One explanation for some of the above name confusion is that baptism records show Gottlieb's brothers all had the name Johann added to their given names (Johann Gottlieb, Johann Michael, Johann Lugwig, etc). This was perhaps either a church-added name at baptism, or a communal family given name. Bob Sommerfeldt says (e-mail note of Feb 7, 1999) he went used Johann Gottlieb when in Germany, but Gottlieb Johann after he emigrated to this county, apparently to Americanize the name.

Anna's name is alternately listed as FENSKE (LDS data on her daughter's baptism and her own death certificate) and as VENZKE (in her and her husband's obituaries and in family charts). The VENZKE may have been a German spelling. In searching further records, I suggest we check both spellings.

With respect to their birthdates, cemetery records indicate Anna was born December 27, 1820, and Gottlieb about 1824. Anna's death certificate says Dec 27 (no year) and her obituary September 27, 1821. Gottlieb's obit says he was born May 27, 1827. 1870 census record indicate about 1821 for Anna and 1813 for Gottlieb, while 1880 census indicates about 1821 and 1827, respectively. I lean toward December 27, 1820 for Anna, and May 27, 1827 for Gottlieb as being the more reliable dates, but the others should be kept in mind when searching records.


SOMMERFELDT

Do not know the birthdate or birth place of this unknown child of Gottlieb and Anna. I am speculating he may have been born during the gap between their children Anna Wilhelmina (born 1852) and August (born 1859). He was apparently not alive in 1904 however, when his mother died.


John Gottlieb Herman WOHLFEIL

Ref 325 (Imman. Luth Church, Farmington records) gives his birthdate as March 29, 1861 (not 1862 as indicated in next note). This reference also gives info on his ancestors and on his death etc. Note that his mother was one month shy of 50 years old when he was born.

According to his confirmation certificate, John was born (baptised?) in Germany March 31, 1862 (some uncertainty on the "2" in the year), and was confirmed on April 4, 1875 in Farmington, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. He married Madalena Riess on January 20, 1883, in Ev. Lutheran Church, Helenville, Jefferson County (John Koerner pastor). They lived in Farmington at the time of their marriage. He was a farmer. His marriage certificate is in the foil wrapped roll. We know of only one child, Alma, born October 5, 1886. John Gottleib commited suicide ("selbstmörder") March 12, 1891. His wife remarried on May 3,1892 (Herman Wegner). Also refer to notes on John's wife.

The following information is from Barbara Klein (source 125): "1993 Jennifer Vogt granddaughter of Gerhard and Loraine Wohlfeil, Oconomowoc, received US achievement Academy National award winner. Possible HS senior". Do not know if there is any connection, or if this was recorded as something to check out.


Sabina Magdalena RIESS

Also see the biographical note for her husband. Her nickname was "Lena". She was confirmed in St. Petri Lutheran church in Helenville, Wisconsin on March 27 of 1875(? on last digit of year). Her confirmation certificate is in the foil-wrapped roll, as is her marriage certificate for marriage to Herman Wegner. She comes from a family of six girls and one boy. Her son Oscar treasured a large framed photo of the seven siblings as a family heirloom. Oscar's oldest daughter, Vita now has the photo. Another heirloom belonging to Lena, this time handed down from Oscar to his youngest son, Andy, is a wall mounted,three shelf, curio cabinet made from cherrywood. An interesting note is that Lena's brother, Fred, married her step daughter, Lizzetta (oldest child of her second husband's first family). On the day of her death in 1929 she had walked downtown to buy material to make clothes for Oscar's baby son, Richard. One the way back, she became ill and stopped to rest at the home of Roy Cummings, where she died before a physician could be called. She is buried at Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater, Wisconsin, lot 16-1096.

Ref 381 is a letter Lena wrote to her son Oscar less than 4 months before her death: "October 30, 1928, Dear Children, receve your nice letters was glat to hear you got thrue tha roat alrite i shure hope you will do goot this winter and be goot togeter. Gertrude wend Home Monday. Lizzie is staying 2 weaks with her. Lilian Keller is sttill here she hasta stay 3 more weaks. Our cold is getting over with. We are going to see Gertrude Thrusday evning Martin is gone to take us out. last Sunday we was out to at[?] Arthur he came and got us and drove us home in the evning hat a goot time hat some Duck roasd Perty goot. Nothing pland for Danksgiving yet so i gess we stay at Home and have our evryday meal. excuse my riting hope you maket out alrite anser soon With love Mother Wegner [The above spelling is just as she wrote it. Note the German spelling/pronounciation on some of the words. The letter, written in dark black ink in smooth bold strokes, was -- despite her apologies -- easily readable]. On the back side, Oscar wrote, "Mrs. Herman Wegner to Oscar. Sent to Lily" (Oscar than crossed out "Lily" and wrote "DePere" in its place). This suggests that they MIGHT have lived in Lily after they were married (June 1927). Oscar's oldest child Richard was born in Whitewater May of 1928. I find it interesting that they would have been in DePere in October of 1928. Oscar may have been getting his dates mixed up too, I suppose.


Johann W. RIESS

Jefferson Co, WI 6-225 old deaths # 148(182329) JOHN RIESS 66-7-1 spouse Elizabeth Rausch. d. Apr 1901, Town Farmington; specific date NL; Burial permit 9 May 1901, date of death certificate, 13 April 1901. COD cardiac failure, CA stomach, 4 mos duration. b. (error here is that birth listed is that of his spouse, 31 Oct 1840). b. Grafenreit, s/o George Riess, bp Bavaria & Marquerite Jahn, bp Bavaria. NOTE- at bottom of the certificate- difficult to read- Lundaericht Munses del Kr Oberbranken in Bavaria (probable spelling errors). (this information is from BKlein)

DEATH- St Peter's Lutheran Church records, Helenville, Jefferson Co, WI Johann Riess, d 12 April 1901, Town Farmington, WI and buried 15 April 1901; 66 years, 7 months and 1 day; Date of birth from this age 11 Sep 1834, Grafenrich, Bayern; COD mugankanbo?? (note from B.Klein). Ref 364 (Larry Jaeger data) lists his birthdate as Sep 11, 1835, apparently from his death record at St. Peter Luth, Helenville.

OBIT- not found Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, Wis. Not found Watertown Republican, Watertown. Not found Jefferson Banner, Jefferson, WI (note from BKlein)

OBIT- 19 Apr 1901 JEFFERSON COUNTY UNION, Jefferson, Jefferson Co, WI HELENVILLE BRIEFLET- Jacob Werking and wife, of Milwaukee, came to attend the funeral of Mrs Werking's father. Died- John Reese at his home Saturday morning at the age of 68 years. He leaves a wife, 7 daughters and a son. The funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the Lutheran church, Rev Himuler officiating. (note from BKlein)

IMMIGRATION- Ship: Beta, from the port of Bremen to New York. Arrived 4 Oct 1852 from Bavaria
Riess, Johan, 36, male, weaver from Bavaria to WI
Wolf. 40, male econ from Bavaria to WI
An. Mary 35, female " " " "
* John 18, male " " "
An.Marg. 13, female " " "
Cath. 11, female " " "
Chat.Marg 10, female " " "
John 7, male " " "
Andr. 4, male " " "
Wilh. 2, male " " "
Fritz .06 male infant " " "

Riess, Anna 19 female occupation unknown " " "
(ship infor from B.Klein)

homestead in Helenville, Bertha Riess lived there till after she was married last known owner of homestead was Harold Heine (note from BKlein)

CENSUS- 1900 WISCONSIN, Farmington, Jefferson Co. immigrated 1852 (note from BKlein)

CENSUS- 1870 WISCONSIN Federal, Farmington Township, Jefferson Co. dwelling 316 family # 318 pg 137
John Reise 35 farmer value of land $2000/ 450 bp Bavaria
Elizabeth 29 keeping house """
Margarett 11 Wisconsin
Lena 8 " "
Fred 5 " "
Bertha 4 " "
Henrietta 6/12 (note from BKlein)

CENSUS- 1870 Federal Agricultural, Farmington, Jefferson Co, WI pg 377 line 7: John Reise 50 improved acres 20 wooded 10 other unimproved acres with value of $1800. Value of farm implements $75. $50 paid to hired hands. 2 horses, 3 milch cows, 2 sheep, and 4 swine. Value of livestock $340. 100 bushels spring wheat, 20 bushels rye, 100 bushels Indian corn, 100 bushels oats, 10 # wool, 40. bushels Irish potatoes, 200 # butter, 100 #hops, and 10 tons hay. value of animals slaughtered $160. total value of all farm products $524 (note from BKlein)

CENSUS- 1875 WISCONSIN State, Farmington, Jefferson Co. John Reese 2 males 7 females (note from BKlein)

CENSUS- 1900 WISCONSIN Federal, Farmington, Jefferson Co #317\334. John Riess, head of Household, b Sept 1834 Ger, age 62, married 40 years, bp. father & mother Germany, immigrated 1852, 48 years in US, farmer, can read & write, speaks English, owns farm, agricul # 247. Elizabeth, wife, b Oct 1840 Ger, age 59, married 40 years, 8 children 7 alive, immigrated 1847, years in US 53, bp of father & mother Germany, can read & write, can't speak English. Bertha, dau, b Apr 1867 Wis, 33 single, bp father & mother Germany, can read, write and speak English. Groennert, Jennie, dau, b Jan 1875 Wis, 25 year old widow, "" "" "" , mother of 1 child and 1 child living. Martha, dau, b Jan 1878 Wis, age 22 single. "" "" "". Gruennert, Lillian, granddaughter, b Aug 1896 Wis, age 3, bp father and mother Germany (error- only father born Germany) (note from BKlein)

Jefferson Co, WI Mortgages, Volume 29 pg 626 (Note from BKlein). This indenture made the third day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty between John Riess and Elizabeth Riess his wife parties of the first part and John George Rausch party of the second part all of the town of Farmington, county of Jefferson, State of Wisconsin. Witnesseth that the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of nine hundred dollars to them in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have granted, bargained, and sold and by these presents do grant, bargain and sell unto the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever all the following described pc or parcel of land lying and being in the Town of Farmington, county of Jefferson and State of Wisconsin viz: The East half of the SW quarter of section N: 27 in township N: seven (North of range N: fifteen east containing eighty acres of land according to government survey. Satisfied and Satisfaction recorded in Volume 47 page 48. Satisfied and Satisfaction recorded in Volume 85. 589

1991 Elizabeth Gruennert Linde, said when she was very young her mother used to stop at the Jahn home when they went to Jefferson. Elizabeth said that her mother called Otto's mother "Tanta Jahn". She believes that Mrs Jahn was her mothers aunt. (related to John Riess) (note from BKlein)

Otto Jahn was cousin to Fred Riess (note from BKlein)


Elisabeth RAUSCH

Also see notes and sources for her husband, John Riess.

US records indicate Elisabeth was born Oct 31, 1840 in Thuerstein, Bavaria, and emigrated to the USA as a child with her parents. An e-mail from Merry Ann Roth on Feb 3, 2001 says that the ship's record is the EMIGRANT, port of departure was Bremen to New York arriving Sept 20, 1847, family number 737885, CD 273 Passenger Lists, New York, 1820-1850, Sabine age 19, Elizabeth 7, Magda 42, J.G.Rausch age 47, country of origin: Deutschland, National Archive Series No: M237, Microfilm No. 69.

Records from the Evang. Luth. church in Thierstein, Wunsiedel, Bavaria indicate she was born Oct 31, 1839, a female within wedlock, and that her godmother was Elisabetha, wife of Ehrhardt Rausch, bricklayer, Thierstein.

Jefferson Co, WI 7-300 old deaths (205591) ELIZABETH RIESS (nee RAUSCH) 65-6-28. d. 29 May 1906, Jefferson, WI; bur Helenville. COD myocardial hypertrophy, heart failure 3 mos. b. 31 Oct 1840, Ger, s/o George Rausch, bp Ger & Elizabeth, bp Ger, widow John Riess (note from BKlein)

DEATH- St Peter's Lutheran Church records, Helenville, Jefferson Co, WI. Elisabeth Riess, d 29 May 1906 and buried 1 June 1906; 65 year, 7 months, and 2 days. Date of birth from this age would be 27 Oct 1840.

TOMBSTONE- b. 31 Oct 1840 d. 29 May 1906.

BIRTHPLACE- name Thuerstein from Newspaper Obit of sister (note from BKlein). Elisabeth's Obit also says Thuerstein. Note sure basis of BKlein listing Thierstein, although it is plausable since Grafenreuth is only 6 km SSE of Thierstein.

1991 Elizabeth said when she was very young her mother used to stop at the the Yahn home when they went to Jefferson. Elizabeth said that her mother called Otto's mother Tanta Yahn. She believes that Mrs Yahn was her mothers aunt. (related to John Riess).

From reference 128, 1850 census: John Walthers and "Sabine" Rausch were living in the town of Farmington, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, dwelling 1567, family 1582: John Walthers, 24, farmer, $500 realestate value; "Lawina", age 23; Barbary, 9 months, born Wisconsin . Also living with the same family grouping was John. Elzop (spelling?), age 58, farmer, $200 realestate, born Germany, and John Elzop, 11, born Germany. In the 1850 Farmington Twnshp entry for dwelling 1554/1569 is listed John Ross, 51, Farming, and Elizabeth Ross, age 11, both born in Germany. Despite the distorted spelling, I believe this refers to "Sabine's" father and sister, perhaps with an Americanized spelling, perhaps just the result of a sloppy census taker. In the 1855 State of Wisconsin census was listed a John G. Rouse in Farmington Twnshp with 1 male and 1 female, both foriegn born -- again referring to "Sabine's" dad and sister. By the 1860 census, "Michael Walthers, 33, and wife "Cabena", 32 and five children were living in dwelling # 1423 and John Riese, 29 (or 24?) and Elisabeth, 20, and their child Martha, age 1 in dwelling 1424. Thus in 1860 the sisters were close to each other, but the father was with neither of them. There was in Farmington Twnshp, a Henry Rusch (sp?), 59, farmer, German born, and Mina Rusch, 63, German born, along with a Maria Sulick, 26, and Sara Sulick, 2. I suppose it is possible that the father is now going by the name Henry and had remarried, but have nothing to support this.


Emma Henriette RIESS

Deceased child noted in 1900 census. In obit of Bertha Riess Altwies listed as being survived by 2 sis, and preceded in death by 4 sis and one brother.

DEATH- St Peter's Lutheran Church records, Helenville, Jefferson Co, WI. Emma Henriette Ries, d 23 Sep 1885 and buried 26 Sep 1885; b 12 April 1872 d/o John W Ries & Elisabeth Rausch; COD- Schleichende? Nervenfieber (typhus) & Krampfe (info by BKlein)


Johann Fredrick Christian Or Fred RIESS

Jefferson Co, WI 6-136 old marriages RIESS-WAGNER farmer resident of Farmington, married by Rev Julius Haase. witnesses John Gruennert and Jennie Riess.

Jefferson Co, WI 16-210 deaths FREDERICK RIESS 71-8-28 d. 26 Sep 1936, Fort Atkinson; bur 29 Sep, Fort Atkinson. b. 28 Dec 1864, Town Farmington, s/o John Riess, bp Germ & Walters bp Germ inform Mrs Lisette Riess, residence 412 Milwaukee Ave, town NL (note by BKlein)


Lizzetta Auguste Caroline WEGNER

Lizzeta was the oldest child of Herman Wegner's first marriage (to Anna Sommerfeldt). When she was 18 years old, she married Johann Fredrick (Fred) Riess, her stepmother's brother. Lizzeta's dad and Fred's sister Magdalena had married about a year earlier. Lizzeta and Fred were married "at the home of the bride's parents. Misses Lena Groehler and Jenny Riehss were bridesmaids and Messrs. Wm. Wegner and John Gruennert groomsmen." They had two daughters, Estella and Frieda. In 1903 they came to Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin, and lived their until at least 1936. Lizzeta was an active member of St. Pauls Lutheran church.

We have an excellent portrait photo of Fred and his siblings. Raymond Wegner<50>, talking about Fred, said: "He was a very nice old gentleman. Used to come down to Ft. Atkinson. He had a Model T Ford SEDAN. Most had open tops you know. Worked for Jones Packing Plant."

Fred died in 1936 after a two week illness. Both he and Lizzeta were buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Ft. Atkinson.no record of marriage found in Wis Vital Statistics records before 1907

Jefferson Co, WI 19-567 deaths LISSETTE RIESS 67-7-28. d 5 Nov 1942, St Mary's Hosp, Watertown, WI, bur Evergreen Cemetery, 7 Nov 1942. b. 7 Mar 1875, Whitewater, WI, d/o Herman Wegner, bp Germany, mother unknown, bp Germany, informant Mrs C Buckingham. COD CVA, essential hypertension, and CA Breast (note from BKlein). Note the alternate spelling of Lissette. Also BKlein has her middle name as Minnie and her marriage date as May 3,1893 in Koshkonong Twnshp.


William WEGNER

William (Will) was the second oldest of his father's first family. He married Emma Baumgartner in 1898 at the age of 22. Emma was a sister to Bernard Wiedenhoft's mother. William was baptised at St. Pauls Lutheran church in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin. They joined St. Johns Ev. Lutheran church in Whitewater, Wisconsin in 1899 (the same church in which they had been married), and left the parish in 1900 to go to Edgerton, Wisconsin. In 1921, at the time of William's death of apoplexy (stroke), they had a farm by Palmyra, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. It was known as the Dymond farm, apparently the family name of the original settlers of the land. William's nephew Raymond Wegner, now of Merrill Wisconsin, who was about five at the time, remembers the death of his Uncle Will at the farm: "He was laid out on a slab of wood, still in his long underwear. They pulled back the sheet, and there he was." Raymond's sister Minnie, several years older than Raymond, remembers much the same thing. Both Will and Emma were buried at Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater (lot 16-1097).


Henry August or Hank WEGNER

Henry, known as Hank, was born in 1878 in Rock County, Wisconsin near Milton Junction. He was baptised in Janesville, Wisconsin, and was confirmed in Ft. Atkinson by Pastor Hasse. For some unknown reason he was not listed in the 1880 census. He went to school at teh Star School, which was half way between Whitewater and Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin. Henry was in the military (National Guard?) during the Spanish/American war (Social Security # 399-18-8551A). He was on his way to Cuba but became sick with yellow fever while in Florida. His sister Lizzie traveled there to help care for him and bring him back home.

Sara Hanson was born in 1885 in Olso, Norway (Chritiana), came to America in about 1901, and at first stayed with her Aunt Kari in Edgerton, Rock County, Wisconsin. She married Henry in 1905. Her social security number was 398-24-8022.

They worked on a farm at Johnstown, Rock County where their first two children, Norman and Minnie, were born. Their next two children, Lucille and Raymond (from whom much of this information comes), were born at Red Lake Fall, Minnesota, where they lived on a farm. Henry ran a pool hall in town until the building burned down. They returned to Whitewater, Wisconsin in about 1917 for a short time then moved to Janesville where they lived in town and he worked with a carpenter that built the original buildings where the General Motors plant is now. They were to make the Samson tractors there. In about 1919, they moved to a farm near Turtle Valley near Delavan Wisconsin, and after a short while to another farm about four miles away. In the fall of 1922, they moved to the family farm (his dad's) on Highway 89 south of Whitewater (where their last child, Richard, was born in 1927), then in March of 1929 to a farm near Janesville on a road that was then known as Highway 20. They did not own this farm, but paid cash rent. In March of 1934, they had an auction in which they sold the equipment, feed, and animals., then bought a house in Whitewater, where Henry did some carpentry, farm work, and worked with a contractor that laid farm field drainage tiles.

Hank died in June of 1964 (one account says on the 4th, one the 9th, and one the 12th) in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin and was buried in Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater (lot K-227). Sarah died about a year later in Elkhorn, Walworth County, Wisconsin and was buried in the same lot. She was survived by 8 gc and several ggc.


Lucille Irene WEGNER

Lucille never married. She lived in Madison, Wisconsin in 1965. She worked at the Wisconsin Electric Company. Her Social Security number is 393-09-6447. She is buried in Hillside Cemetery, Whitewater, Wisconsin in lot K-227.


Herman August Albert WEGNER Jr

Herman's birthdate is variously listed as July 30, 1881, July 23, 1881, and July 1880, and his birthplace as "Barkwoods (?)", Jefferson County, Wisconsin and as Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin. The 1900 census indicates he was working as a laborer on his dad's farm. He and Clara Wiedenhoeft married in about 1901. They joined St. Johns Ev. Lutheran church, Whitewater, Wisconsin, in 1905 and left on April 3, 1921. In 1929, they were living in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Herman died in 1937, and in about 1940 (when daughter Florence was married), Clara was living at 117 Cook Street in Waukesha. Clara's brother Henry was Bernard Wiedenhoeft's father. Bernard married Minnie Wegner, Herman's niece.


Clara Bertha WIEDENHOEFT

For a photo of Clara, see the electronic "Scrapbook" Images for Oscar John Wegner, born 1900 (her half brother-in-law).

Also see notes and sources for her husband Herman A. A. Wegner <16>.

The birth order of Clara's siblings is not known.


Lawrence or Lorenz WEGNER

For a photo of Lawrence, see the electronic "Scrapbook" Images for Oscar John Wegner, born 1900 (his mother's half brother-in-law).

His name was listed as Lorenz in one reference. He never married. In 1988, he was in a nursing home, where his sister Florence visited every day to help take care of him.


Fredricks WEGNER

Actually, don't have any idea when Fredicks was born, or his birth order. He reportedly died at birth.


Andy & Mary's Genealogy