Coming to America
My direct lineage to America is:
Catherine Margaretha Molan Ehlmann (1786-1852) to Herman Gerhard (1819-1864) to Herman Dietrich (1856-1930) to Martin Louis (1896-1970) to Jeanette Adele (1929-1987) to me.
Family researchers have listed the patriarch of my family from Germany to America as Gerhard Hermann Eilmann. The name Eilmann apparently became Ehlmann once on American soil. Gerhard Hermann was born in 1779 in Lanigen, Hannover Germany, and died August 18, 1827, in Germany. He married Catharina Margaretha Molan on April 23, 1823, in Germany. She was born in 1786 in Germany and died September 28, 1852, in St. Charles. Gerhard Hermann died before the family began immigrating to America but between 1845 and 1860, all the children of Gerhard and Catharina had traveled to America.
According to ushistory.org
In the decade from 1845 to 1855, more than a million Germans fled to the United States to escape economic hardship. They also sought to escape the political unrest caused by riots, rebellion, and eventually a revolution in 1848. The Germans had little choice — few other places besides the United States allowed German immigration. Unlike the Irish, many Germans had enough money to journey to the Midwest in search of farmland and work. The largest settlements of Germans were in New York City, Baltimore, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee.
Gerhard Hermann and Catherina Margretha Molan Ehlmann’s children are:’
- Hermann Heinrich, born 1816, married Anna Maria Barklage
- Hermann Gerhard, born 1819, married Anna Catharina Bekebrede Moehlenkamp (second wife)
- Catherina Adelheid, born 1822, married James Rasmussen (Robertson), Alabama
- Hermann Wilhelm Bernard, born 1824
- Hermann Diedrich, born 1827, married Anna Maria Bekebrede
Many of the genealogy records for our family omit Catherina Adelheid. I believe this is because she did not come to Missouri as did all her siblings but chose to remain in Alabama where she raised her family.
Germany in the years before the Eilmanns began to immigrate was rife with political unrest and economic hardships. America held the promise of a new future and the hope for prosperity.
The first Ehlmann (Eilmann) I found on the Passenger Records for immigration to New Orleans was H. D. Eilmann, born circa 1822, leaving from Bremen and arriving in New Orleans on October 6, 1843, aboard the Ship J. H. Adams. This would seem to be our Hermann Dietrich who was born in 1827, however, the year of birth is off by five years. It is not unusual to find in old records discrepancies in names and ages. This most likely occurred because questions may have been answered by any family member, language barriers, and literacy.
*I’ve decided to add the year of birth after the name, in an attempt to keep the ancestor straight in my mind.
Hermann Dietrich Ehlmann (1827) (brother to our direct ancestor, Hermann Gerhard, 1819) married Anna Maria Bekebrede on September 20, 1850, in Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Charles. She was born in 1830 in Germany.
Their children were:
- Anna Marie b. Sept. 4, 1853
- Anna Elisa born Oct. 17, 1854
- Anna Louise Sophie, born Oct. 26, 1857
- Maria Caroline born Mar. 16, 1861, married Heinrich Friedrich Jungerman, circa 1880.
- Maria Catharine born Aug 7, 1864
- Anna Catharina Wilhelmine b. Apr. 23, 1863
- Friedrich Hermann born Sept. 22, 1866
- Herman Heinrich Theodore, born Aug 28, 1872
- Ludwig Hermann born Jan 1, 1870
I attempted to find the spouses of Hermann Dietrich’s (1827) daughters, but not enough information is provided in the marriage records to know which Anna was which.
An additional New Orleans Passenger and Immigration list shows that on December 28, 1846, three years after Dietrich arrived in the United States, a Beckebrede (listed as Beckebreder) family consisting of father, Wilhelm, and mother Margetta and their eight children arrived in New Orleans. Listed among their children are daughters Adelaide (22, b. 1824), Anna (16, b. 1830), Margaretta (28, b. 1828), two Marias (10, b. 1836 and 18, b. 1828), one Maria Adelaide (6, b. 1840). This may be the family of Herman Dietrich’s (1827) wife, Anna Maria Bekebrede (1830).
The following other Eilmanns integrated in the 1840s:
- November 12, 1844, Ann A., age 18 (1826) and Henry Eilmann, age 15 (b. 1829) arrived on the Ship United States
- January 7, 1845, Catherine, age 25 (b. 1820) and Henry Did Eilmann, age 29, (b. 1816) arrived on the Ship Westphalia
- December 2, 1845, Mary Margaretta, age 22 ( b. 1823) and G. Eilmann, age, 34 (b. 1811) arrived on the Ship Friedrich Leo
- November 18, 1847, Cath, age 60 and Ann Eilmann, age 5, (b. 1842) Ann, age 23, (b. 1824), Herm. age 21 b. 1826), Died. (Diedrich) age 23 (1824) and Heinrich, age 31 (b.1816) arrived on the Ship Kepler. This was Gerhard and Catherina Molen Eilmann’s family, our family. The ship Kepler is described as a “bark” or “barque” which according to Wikipedia is a type of with three or more masts having the fore- and mainmasts rigged square and only the mizzen (the aftmost mast) rigged fore and aft.
1848 Diedrich Helps found Immanuel Lutheran Church
From History of St. Charles County:
The Lutherans severed their connection with the old stone church on the Boone’s Lick road, and, uniting with a few Lutherans who had settled in the city and below St. Charles, laid the foundation to what is now the large and flourishing Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Congregation.
With the assistance of the Rev. H. Fisk, who was at the time minister of a Lutheran Church at New Melle, a Lutheran congregation was organized in the year A.D. 1848. The following members inscribed their names in the church record:
J. Herm. Moehlenkamp, J. Henry Stumberg, J. Ch. Khlhoff, J. Herm Laging, Dietrich Moehlenkamp, William Beckebrede, J. D. Holrah, Wm. Bruns, Herm. Wilke, Rudolph Monetmann, Dietrich Tumbehl, Herm. d. Sandfort, Henry Ehlmann, Dietrich Thoele, Henry Moehlenkamp, C. N. Dahmann, Friedrick Droste, Ernest Plackemeyer, Wm. Hagemann, H. D Ehlmann–20 voting members”.