dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, December 25th, 2010 03:52 pm
A little late posting this entry, since Saturday is winding down...

The Lensing family was headed by German Catholic immigrants to this country. Their arrival in the 1880s was likely due, at least in part, to a concerted "outreach" effort in 1877 by the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad to recuit families such as theirs to western Arkansas.

I also think - rightly or wrongly - a big part of their reason for coming was what we call the American dream.

Henry (Heinrich) Lensing was born on 12 Feb 1836 in Klaster, Burla, Westfalen, Germany. He came to Arkansas with his first wife, Maria Anna Roessing, who died in 1881 in Logan County. This information fits the responses to the United State census that Henry gave in 1900, when he said the year of his immigration was 1880. Henry and Maria Anna had at least one daughter about whom I have documentation. She was Anna Marie Christina E Lensing, born 2 Feb 1872 in Borken, Prussia. She married Henry Duelmer.

By the time Henry answered the 1900 census enumerator's questions, he had remarried to Christine Duelmer in 1884, and the couple had six children. (I have been able to document eight children total for Henry and Christine - if someone else has more, please let me know.)
Christine Duelmer was born on 20 Jun 1866 in Westphalia, Prussia.

Christine's family had also immigrated from Germany to Logan County. In the 1900 census, Christine Lensing's year of immigration was 1884. She came with her parents, Josef Duelmer and Maria Catherina Belker, on the ship Rhein on 13 Aug 1884. Port of departure was Bremen.

Children of Henry and Christine were:
  • Alois Lensing was born on 9 Oct 1885 in Logan Co., AR. He died on 18 Aug 1969 in Logan Co., AR. He was buried in Saint Scholastica Cemetery, New Blaine, Logan Co., AR.
  • Caspar Lensing was born on 6 Jan 1888 in Logan Co., AR. He died on 8 May 1936 in Logan Co., AR. He was buried in Saint Ignatius Cemetery, Scranton, Logan Co., AR. He married Anna C Heim, daughter of George Michal Heim and Elizabeth L "Lizzie" Raible on 5 Sep 1911 in Logan Co., AR. Anna was born on 4 Apr 1892 in Logan Co., AR. She died on 18 May 1984 in Logan Co., AR. She was buried in Saint Ignatius Cemetery, Scranton, Logan Co., AR.
  • Herman Benedict Lensing was born on 21 Mar 1890 in Logan Co., AR. He died on 4 Nov 1967 in New Blaine, Logan Co., AR. He was buried in Saint Scholastica Cemetery, New Blaine, Logan Co., AR. He married Anna Schulte. Anna was born on 4 Feb 1893. She died on 4 Jul 1959 in Logan Co., AR. She was buried in Saint Scholastica Cemetery, New Blaine, Logan Co., AR.
  • Henry Lensing was born on 30 Sep 1892 in Logan Co., AR. He died on 23 Apr 1973 in Logan Co., AR. He was buried in Saint Scholastica Cemetery, New Blaine, Logan Co., AR. He married Ida Engel on 15 Feb 1916. Ida was born on 11 Nov 1896. She died on 22 Jun 1961 in Logan Co., AR. She was buried in Saint Scholastica Cemetery, New Blaine, Logan Co., AR.
  • Tresia (Thressa) Lensing was born in Feb 1895 in Logan Co., AR.
  • Rosa Lensing was born in Feb 1898 in Logan Co., AR.
  • Joseph Lensing was was born on 10 Oct 1901 in Logan Co., AR. He died on 18 Jul 1977 in Logan Co., AR. He was buried in Saint Peter and Saint Paul Cemetery, Morrison Bluff, Logan Co., AR. He married Mary N Anhalt. Mary was born on 2 Apr 1903. She died on 30 Nov 1977 in Logan Co., AR. She was buried in Saint Peter and Saint Paul Cemetery, Morrison Bluff, Logan Co., AR.
  • Anna Lensing was born on 21 Feb 1905 in Logan Co., AR. She died on 29 Nov 1928 in Logan Co., AR. She was buried in Saint Peter and Saint Paul Cemetery, Morrison Bluff, Logan Co., AR. She married Henry Joseph Wewers, son of John Raesfeld Wewers and Theresa Raible. Henry was born on 21 Mar 1895. He died on 11 Oct 1951 in Logan Co., AR. He was buried in Saint Peter and Saint Paul Cemetery, Morrison Bluff, Logan Co., AR.
I'd be interested in finding out what happened to two of the Lensing sisters, Thressa and Rosa, after about 1920.  If other Lensing or Logan County researchers know, please comment.

ETA on 4 Nov 2013: 
A comment submitted to me via email by Simone Steiner said: As to Henry Lensing you mentioned in your article that he was born in "Klaster, Burla". I assume that this is "Kloster Burlo" (Burlo monastery), which is part of the village of Burlo, which again belongs to the city of Borken. In the past, there was a Gross Burlo (big Burlo) and Klein Burlo (small Burlo).

Some quick search on Google showed that from 1724 the Burlo monastery was the liege of the Lensing farm. Lensing might also be spelled Lensingh or Lensink. To find more information about the family you might also search for "lensing borkenwirthe". Borkenwirthe is the name of the neighborhood.

Also the surname Roessing (Rößing) already existed in Borken in 1498 spelled Rosinck.


Some good information to have...
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, November 8th, 2010 02:11 pm
One of my uncles came from a large Catholic family of German descent. His grandparents and great grandparents settled in Shoal Creek, Arkansas in a German Catholic "colony" promoted by the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad to increase settlements in western Arkansas. In addition to the Benedictine Convent a Benedictine monastery was located in Subiaco.

As I began researching Uncle Tommy's German roots, he asked me more than once if I could find out what happened to Happy Heim, who was adopted by Uncle Tommy's maternal grandparents, and who left Logan County as a very young man for Chicago. Aside from one visit Happy made as an adult, Uncle Tommy did not know what happened to him.

I knew Happy had been a young rider on an orphan train. Between 1854 and 1929, an estimated 200,000 or more homeless and orphaned children were sent west from eastern cities, accompanied by agents. The purpose was to find families that would take in children in a "free-home-placing-out" program instituted by the Children's Aid Society of New York City, NY. The children were sent in groups of twenty-five to 100 on trains, making stops along the way where they might be chosen by some family who wanted a child or needed extra help.

The Sisters of Charity from the New York Foundling Hospital indentured Catholic children and arranged placements for them; several hundred arrived in Arkansas under the guidance of priests in the state. These children were indentured only to Catholic families. Arrangements were made in advance through correspondence among various priests (mostly at Subiaco Abbey), their parishioners, and the Sisters of Charity. Families could request a particular type of child; skin, hair, and eye color; and the sex of the child. Source: Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

George Kasper Nelson was born on 13 Oct 1901 in New York City, NY and placed in the New York Foundling Hospital as an infant. On 27 Jan 1904, he was placed by the New York Foundling Hospital with the family of George Michal and Elizabeth (Raible) Heim, and rode to Arkansas on an Orphan Train. While living with his adoptive family, George was known as "Happy" Heim.

I lucked out on a visit to the Arkansas History Commission, where I found several of the books published by the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc. (OTHSAA), originally founded in Springdale, AR.

In the pages of one of the books that transcribed interviews with Orphan Train riders, I found that as a young adult, George moved to Chicago, where he owned and operated 7 taverns and speakeasies during Prohibition in the Chicago area. Among his patrons were Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson, and Clark Gable.

Photobucket
George Kasper Nelson, behind the bar


After selling his taverns, George relocated to Illinois, and from there, moved to Indiana with a very special family. When that family moved to Texas in 1976, George chose to stay in Indiana. He was using his birth surname of Nelson.

The article about George said that he had gotten his records from the New York Foundling Hospital, but had lost them in a fire, which severely damaged his home and injured him.

George Kasper Nelson died on 8 May 1988 in New Washington, Clark Co., IN, and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

I was finally able to answer Uncle Tommy's questions about what happened to Happy Heim, just a few months before Tommy died on 19 Aug 2010.

This one is for you, Uncle Tommy. See you on the other side.