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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2017-07-06 06:30 am

EUREKA! I broke through two brick walls!

It's taken almost 7 years, but I finally found the parents of my great great grandmother, Catherine Mueller.

In 1832, Georg Jacob Mueller and Eva Elisabetha Hemberle moved their family from Blankenloch, Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany to the United States. They left Bremen aboard the ship Elisabeth and disembarked at New York on 5 Sep 1832. Georg Muller paid for his ticket - he was not sponsored. His destination when he left Germany was the United States of America. Accompanying Georg and Elisabetha were daughters Christine (age 11), Catherine (age 5), Elisabeth (age 2) and son, Jakob (age 6 months).

According to this website:
...For most German emigrants going to America during these years, Bremerhaven was the major port of departure. It would become port to 7 million emigrants leaving Europe between 1832 and 1874.

The first leg of an emigrant’s journey would have been the trip to Bremen itself by train or in a coach. Some poorer emigrants had to reach Bremen by foot. Many had never even set foot out of their small villages before, and just making this step was in itself a life-changing experience. Once in Bremen, most would stay at an inn and take in the sights...


From Blankenloch north to Bremen is 566.57 km, or 352.05 miles. That trip takes 5 and a half hours by car today. I have no idea how it took Georg and Elisabetha Mueller to get to Bremen in 1832, but my guess it that at least one overnight stay at an inn or making camp would have been required.

Once in Bremen (Bremerhaven), there was a three day journey on a river barge traveling down the Weser River to board their ship.
...The new harbor of Bremerhaven received its first customer in 1830, the American schooner Draper.

When Bremerhaven first opened, passengers would have to travel for miles down the Weser River from Bremen to Bremerhaven on crowded river barges, a journey taking three days, until they were brought to the side of their large sailing ship. The final stretch to the ship could only be taken during ebb tide, when water from the arm of the Weser flowed toward the North Sea...
Sourced to the website above.

Once the ship left the harbor, it was weeks before America appeared in the immigrants' sight. The ship sailed into the North Sea and on to the English Channel, then out into the Atlantic Ocean.I don't know where the family settled after arriving in New York. I couldn't find them in the 1850 census. I do know that Catherine Mueller married a man named Bashett or Baskett before she married my great great grandfather Jacob Williams on 1 Oct 1846 in Shelby Co., KY.

I found Georg and Elisabetha Mueller in 1860 in Jackson, Monroe Co., PA. Living with them were a son William and a granddaughter Amelia (shown as Emma in the 1870 and 1880 censuses), both born in Pennsylvania. William was 17 years old, so it seems that by 1843, the family must have been living in Pennsylvania.

The 1860 census also shows that the family had Anglicized their names. Georg Jacob Mueller became George J Miller. Eva Elisabetha Hemberle was now Elizabeth Miller.

Three of Georg and Elisabetha's children did not make the journey from Baden to America. Three small sons - Jacob Friendrich Mueller, Christian Mueller, and Johann Jacob Mueller - all died before the trip. The first two died in 1824, and Johann Jacob Mueller died in 1830. All of the infants died in Baden.

It was not uncommon in the 19th century for parents to "recycle" a child's name if an older sibling died very young. In this family, Johann Jakob Mueller had the same name as his brother born four years before he was.

The youngest of Georg and Elisabetha Mueller's children was Sarah A Miller, born in Monroe County, PA., on 23 Oct 1843. She married Henry H Marvin and they had two sons. Henry died in 1868. Sarah followed him in death in 1872. Her parents raised their sons, Ira and Steward, who were 7 and 8 years old at the time of their mother's death.

Eva Elisabetha Hemberle, daughter of Georg Martin Hemberle and Christina Zorn, died on 18 Sep 1870 in Monroe County. Georg Jacob Mueller died on 7 Sep 1885. They are buried in Saint John's Cemetery, Neola, Monroe Co., PA.

And at last I have found great great grandmother Catherine C Mueller Williams' parents.

Another brick in the wall is gone.
Then, in my everlasting quest to find all of the children of my great great grandfather James Littleton Burris' other family, I doubled down on Richard Hill, since he was the last remaining child I needed to find.

And I found him. And his children. (I already knew he was married to Annie P Moore, daughter of William Newton Moore and Delila Mexico Young.)

The Hill brothers always knew they were really Burrises. I already knew that James L Hill - whom I seriously believe was named James Littleton Burris, Jr at birth - used the Burris name until he was at least 40 years old, after which he gave up, moved to Oklahoma and gave his surname as Hill.

Ervin Burris used the Burris surname all his life.

So, I said to myself, what if Richard changed his surname from Hill to Burris?

I found that by the time of the 1910 census, that's exactly what he did.

The children - six of them I have been able to document - seem to have a mix of surnames, with the oldest three using Hill and the younger three using Burris. This information is found in census records, so I haven't been able to find out yet if they continued the use of their original surnames as adults. Except for son Marion Hill, who died at the age of 19 on 19 Dec 1915 when the family was living in Fort Smith.

Richard began using Richard H (for Hill, I think) Burris on census records. His gravestone in Holdenville Cemetery, Hughes Co., OK says Richard M. Burris. Annie's says Annie P Burris.

So there, great great granddaddy. Unless the universe throws out another of your secret children, I believe I found them all.

Persistence pays off.

The journey is good.

Congrats

(Anonymous) 2017-07-07 12:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Good work detective!