Sunday, July 17, 2005

Emigrants from Michelbach, Hessen: the Eckert Family

Our ancestor Margaretha Eckert, born August 7, 1848 in Michelbach, Hessen emigrated to America some time before April 1862, when she was confirmed at St. Paul's Evangelical Church in Columbia, Illinois. Five years later she married Daniel Krauss.

Several other Eckert emigrants also settled in the Columbia area. Emigration records from the Hessen archives help us sort out the relationships between these families.

Leonard Eckert and Family
The Hessen archives list the following family in their emigrant data:

Eckert, Leonhard, 54 years old, Ackerer (farmer), Lutheran
Herkunft (origin): Fränkisch-Crumbach.
Auswanderungsdatum (emigration date): 1856-02-22
Ziel(goal): Amerika, USA.
Ehepartner (wife): Margaretha, geb. Schäfer (44 years old)
Kinder (children): Johannes (17), Valtin (14), Margaretha (5)

A second set of records shows the family actually originated from Michelbach near Fränkisch-Crumbach. Map showing Michelbach just southeast of Fränkisch-Crumbach.

The family probably came from Hessen to America on the Ship "Saratoga" (Liverpool to New York, arriving May 2, 1856. (Germans to America Vol. 10).

Leonard Eckert and family have not yet been found in the 1860 Census. It is possible that they did not immediately settle in Illinois after arriving in America.

It appears that Leonard and Margaret had twin daughters Margaret and Elisabeth, born in 1856 and confirmed at St. Paul's Evangelical in Columbia in May 1870.

In 1870, Leonard Eckert, his wife Margaret, son Valentin and son John with his wife Julia (Bergman) Eckert and their children were living together in Columbia.

So, is this our Margaretha's family? Probably not.
- Leonard's daughter Margaret who came with the family from Hessen was born about 1850, about two years later than our Margaretha. No record of Margaret has been found in America, and it is possible she died as a child.

- Leonard's daughter Margaret, born in 1856, married Adam Harres.

- Most importantly, our Margaretha's confirmation record (1862) indicates that her parents were "J. Eckert and Johanna Dahmer".

Margaretha and Phillip Eckert

The Hessen archives list other Eckert emigrants from Michelbach:

Eckert, Marg.,
Herkunft: Michelbach
Auswanderungsdatum: 1854-10-07
Ziel: Amerika, USA
Bemerkungen: Route über Havre.
The source of these records was the Erbach district rather than Frankische Crumbach.
On the same date a "Ph. Eckert" also emigrated from Michelbach.
Unfortunately, no age is given for either "Marg." or "Ph."

We know that a Phillip Eckert, born March 29, 1828 in Michelbach married Julia Bergmann in about 1860, probably in Monroe County, Illinois. They had four children: Phillip, Margaret "Grettchen", Elisabetha, and Margaretha. Phillip died in 1868. Julia then married John Eckert, son of Leonard, described above. Julia and John had six children: Daniel, Valentin, George and two sons and a daughter who died young.

Margaretha Eckert was confirmed at St. Paul's Evangelical in Columbia in April 1862. She married Daniel Krauss at St. Paul's Evangelical in Columbia in November 1867.

Is our Margaretha the sister of Phillip? Probably.

- In 1854 she would have been 6 years old. It is unlikely that she could have travelled to America alone. However, if the Phillip listed is the one that settled in Monroe County, he would have been 26, certainly old enough to accompany her.

- Ida (Kraus) Schmidt, granddaughter of Margaretha (Eckert) Krauss wrote in a letter to Mrs. Viola (Wenkel) Meier and Mrs. Emma (Schroeder) Mann, that “Haberlah family, their father was a brother to Grandma Eckert Kraus”. Elisabeth "Lizzie" Eckert, daughter of Phillip Eckert and Julia Bergmann married William Haberleh in 1886.

Is our Margaretha the one the emigrated in 1854? unclear

- We have no hard information about Margaretha's immigration date. The 1900 census indicates that she immigrated in 1856. The 1910 Census indicates that she immigrated in 1863 (which is clearly wrong).

- We have no information at all about Phillip Eckert's immigration date, except that it was before 1860.

It looks like research in the original Michelbach records may be necessary to clear up the relationships between these Eckert families.

1848 Map of Hessen (Fränkisch-Crumbach is just northeast of Erbach in southeastern Hessen-Darmstadt).
Hessisches Archiv-Dokumentations- und Informations-System (Hessen archives - in German)

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