Washington County, Illinois

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The Wulfmann Family
by : Dr. David S. Wulfman
continued


Friederich Wulfmann's farm was near Plum Hill but we have yet to establish its exact location.       Schneider incorporated a map with his text and it reveals that there were Evangelical Churches at Okawville (about 3 mile NW of Plum Hill) by 1850 and at Plum Hill (1854), Nash- ville and Hoyleton (just N. of New Minden) by 1866. Two of these had a Johann Friederich Wilhem Hoffman(n) as a founder.

MIGRATION ROUTES       The first stage in the emigrations was getting from Wimmer or from Minden to the sea. Wimmer is located on the Hunte, which is a tributary of the Weser while Minden lies on the Weser. Barge traffic down the Weser was well developed and it appears that the Hoffmanns went from Rothenuffeln to Minden and then down the Weser to Bremen or it's port, Bremerhaven. Whether the Wulfs and Ankesheils went from Wimmer to Minden or simply descended the Hunte is unknown. In any event all the families sailed for the New World from Bremerhaven or Bremen. Until we are able to find a passenger list showing our ancestors names, or an arrival list in the United States, we are in the dark regarding what ships were involved and with one exception, the duration of the voyages. We know that the Ankesheils and the Wulfs entered at New Orleans and that for the Wulfs, it involved a respectible 73 days. The Wulf family is listed on the Passenger List of the Ship, Agnes which arrived in New Orleans on 27 November 1848. The name on the list was given as Wulft but church records in German give the spelling as Wulf. All four members are listed and both the names and ages match correctly. For the Ankesheils, who also left in September, it is clear from the oral histories that their voyage was much longer and also tragic. The Hoffmanns made two entries and as we discuss below, where they entered is somewhat up in the air. The problem of tracing shipping of passengers is complicated by the fact that passengers carried in steerage, were often not listed. If you had accommodations in a 'cabin' you would be on the list. The failure to find either the Ankesheils or our Wulf ancestors in the compilation of Passenger and Immigration Lists for the period 1820-1850 was a surprise, but, oral history for the Ankesheil trip in 1846 indicated that they traveled in steerage. The wealth of the Wulfs (by then Wulfmann) in the 1870 Census would indicate that they were well off financially and one would expect to find them on the passenger lists of one of the three boats which arrived in New Orleans from Bremen during November 1848. (The failure in the Wulf case was a result of the misspelling of the name which put them 2 pages beyond their rightful location. It was purely accidental that they were found) Oral history in this case had them arriving after a voyage of 73 days. The Ankesheils voyage must have lasted at least 130 days. The trips were not pleasant under the best of circumstances. Ships were required by Maritime Law to carry sufficient water for passengers. That was for drinking purposes only. Bathing was not allowed. The final Hoffmann voyage as well as the Ankesheil and Wulf trips occurred during the hurricane seasons of 1838, 1846 and 1848. It would appear that the Wulfs had the best trip, but 73 days between decks must have been trying. We do not know how many, if any children or other relatives parished during the trips, but that was a common occurrence under such shipboard conditions. The period in maritime history embraces the clipper ship era but it is doubtful that they rode such modern transports. Clippers were primarily in the fast freight business. The conditions on sailing vessels during the period of concern can be ascertained

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in part by reading "Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana and "Flying Cloud", by David W. Shaw, William Morrow, New York, 2000. At the time there was little appreciation of the finer points in planning of routes. Becoming involved in storms and doldrums was a common occurrence. The North Atlantic was and is a rather unfriendly ocean. The Flying Cloud took 51 days to reach Cape Horn from New York and 38 to reach San Francisco from the Cape. The sailing distances are appreciably longer for the Pacific leg of the trip.       The Port of New Orleans was a busy place in the 1840's with a slackening during the winter months because of the influence of ice on traffic upon the Mississippi. One does not think of St. Louis as being a particularly cold location in winter, but prior to building Eads Bridge (1874) across the river, railroad tracks were laid on the ice in the winter and used until shortly before spring breakup. On the date 27 November 1848, the ships, Anna (from La Havre)' Agnes (from Bremen), Mayflower (from La Havre), Rainbow (from London), Talma (from Bordeaux) and Vesta (from La Havre) docked. There were German natives onboard each of these ships. There were 178 passengers on the Agnes and the list contains a number of individuals who possessed names similar to those of Wulf relatives. Comparable numbers of ships landed daily throughout the last week of November. Few ships were sailing to New Orleans from Bremerhaven and almost none from Hamburg but Liverpool and Antwerp were well represented. The Agnes was loaded far below capacity since in 1846 she had sailed from Bremen to New Orleans with 258 listed as passengers.       The routes of migration from the east coast to the plains of Southern Illinois and central Missouri are somewhat obscured in the eyes of modern man who flits from city to city on interstate highways or into the smaller towns on paved state roads. Long distances we currently cover in a few hours by plane required, weeks, months and even years to accomplish 150 years ago. The absence of telegraph and phones meant that the original trip to the USA by the Hoffmanns, father and sons and some of their future neighbors, left behind a number of family who could only worry and pray about their whereabouts and safety. Travel by sail was not rapid and not lacking in lost ships. One of the set of reminisces in BR records how awful the trip to the USA was in terms of storms, conditions and length. This may have been the first trip spy out the land. The time required for a visit and a round trip might well exceed a year. Duden's description of his voyages as what would be rated as a "first class" passenger, are enlightening. He describes in great detail sea sickness, being becalmed, etc. as well as the need for the poor to supply their food and beer. Steerage was the most common route for emigrants and it was not a pleasant accommodation. Sickness could and often did breakout and deaths at sea as well as births were common occurrences.       History books tell us that entry into the Illinois Territory and the Louisiana Territory was primarily by water routes; either up the Mississippi River and tributary rivers or down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh. However there obviously were trails which could be followed and some of these extended across the State of Ohio. German settlements in Ohio were and are numerous. The first Protestant sermon preached west of the Allegheny Mts. was delivered at what is now Newcomerstown OH (birthplace of the baseball great Cy Young). The Moravians had missionaries in that area at Gnadenhutten by 1772 and one can feel certain that German was employed extensively in the area. The Gnadenhutten Memorial is most impressive and has a number of reconstructed buildings. A trail allowed Crawford

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to travel from Mingo Bottom on the Ohio River to N. Central Ohio with a military expedition in 1782. This trail passed by or through Goschochgung (Coshocton). This would lend easy access to Zanesville where our ancestors Johann Friederich Wilhelm Hoffman [2] and Friedericke Wilhelmeine Caroline (née Böker)(a.k.a. Caroline) Hoffman [2] were married. Going from there to New Minden apparently took some time since their daughter Marie Elisabeth was the first child born at New Minden (1840). The route would appear to have been down towards Chillicothe and Cincinnati and then across Indiana and into the plains of Illinois via Carlyle where a child was born; the child of Johann Friederich Wilhelm Hoffman's sister, Elizabeth Kollmeier. The child lived and some of her descendants still live at New Minden. The road that was supposed to be there turned out to be little more than a riding trail and they were therefore forced to drive their own road. This would appear to have been the National Road which was supposed to be paved and extend from Baltimore to St.. Louis. In reality, the eastern terminus was Cumberland Maryland at the end of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, with the first section completed to Wheeling West Virginia by 1818. It followed the route now used by US 40 and I 68 (the National Freeway) and by I 70 and has several 'mountain' passes in excess of 2000 feet elevation. (When Helga and I drove it in mid-March 1997 we encountered snow and drove in the clouds for 20-30 miles) ( In NFLF one of the writers describes working on the National Highway in Ohio during the period 1833-1850). Prior to leaving Ohio they stayed at Lancaster (near Columbus) which was connected to the Ohio-Erie Canal by the Lancaster Lateral Canal in 1836. The original settlers had intended to stay in the Lancaster area but cheap farmland in large quantities was available in Illinois at $1.25/acre. The Hoffmanns bought large areas of land near present day New Minden and Nashville IL. (The exact extent of these holdings should be listed in the Agricultural Census beginning in 1850 and this information will be sought)       Duden's writings had a great influence on many German immigrants both from the standpoint of the route employed but also their destination. His route took him from Rotterdam (30 May 1824) to Baltimore (14 August 1824). He had described the climate and land along the lower Missouri River as being similar to the Rhineland upstream from Cologne (obviously he was there during a period of unusual mild weather). That is a slight exaggeration in the eyes of those who have spent summers in Missouri and in N. Europe. He left Baltimore on 20 September 1824 and arrived in St.. Louis on 26 October 1824. His route involved going overland on the 'highway' which had been constructed as a joint venture of all the states to join Baltimore via Frederick with Wheeling on the Ohio River (Essentially I 70 and I 68 and the old US 40). This is the shortest route from the east coast to reach the Ohio. He wanted to go down the Ohio to Cincinnati but because of very low water, he went overland via Zanesville (more US 40) and on to Lancaster. From Lancaster he proceeded to Chillicothe (Ohio 159) and thence to Cincinnati via Bainbridge (US 50), New Market (US 62, S of Hillsboro) and Williamsburg (Ohio 32). {Helga and I retraced this route from Cincinnati to Lancaster on 21 March 1997. It is gentle rolling country and far easier going than the route from Cumberland to Wheeling West Virginia} The trip from Wheeling to Cincinnati required 12 days during late September and early October. He had a wagon with two strong horses. From there he proceeded to Louisville by steamer. There was a falls in the Ohio R. there and passengers had to change boats. However he proceeded by land via what is now US 150 to Paoli and Washington and on to Vincennes. From there

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his route was pretty much a straight line to St.. Louis (US 50). He commented very favorably on the quality of the land available in both Indiana and Illinois and noted that land could be obtained for $1.25 per morgen (in Prussia a morgen was ca. 2.1 acres) as compared with $25-30 per acre in Kentucky. The trip from Louisville required 12 days. Shortly after crossing the Wabash River they encountered the prairies. He commented that the local waters were all sulfurous and although the locals did not find it unhealthy, he would not recommend the area to Europeans. He commented, "we passed through plains 6, 10, 12 and 20 miles wide. Duden then proceeded into the Missouri River system. He notes that the Gasconade and the Meramec Rivers were lined with fir trees which were being harvested for local saw mills This was in 1825. {One wonders whether he meant red cedar. I strongly doubt that they were what we call fir. Fir trees and pines are not indigenous to that region although one variety of pine was native to any area about 125 miles to the south. This lumber sold for $12.50/thousand}.       There is no evidence that the Hoffmanns used any of the extensive canal systems in place by the time they immigrated. It would have been possible to travel from the east coast to the Ohio River with little difficulty. Selma Juergen's daughter left rough notes suggesting that the Wulfmanns landed in New Orleans in 1848. That would have been unusual since the North Germans normally sailed from Bremen or Hamburg and most shipping from there went to Baltimore, New York or Philadelphia. If they sailed from Hamburg, there are extensive passenger lists available at Staatarchiv Hamburg beginning 1840 if there were 25 or more passengers in steerage. The US National Archives also have microfilmed records of passengers arriving in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans. A second set of notes also lists New Orleans. The current concentration of Ankesheiln in the metropolitan New Orleans area is consistent with this as well. Eleanore Wulfmann was born Ankersheil and the variant is discussed above.       According to BR, the Hoffmanns sailed from Bremen to Philadelphia where they arrived after many weeks on the morning of Christmas Day 1838 (year my assignment) and then proceeded to Lancaster Ohio by wagon. Johann Friederich Wilhelm Hoffman [2], the younger, was already in Lancaster awaiting the arrival of his family and his hoped for, bride-to-be. The court records of Lancaster Ohio list his becoming a naturalized citizen on 8 September 1838. The records give his name as John which suggests that he had changed his name to the English form by then or the court clerk did it for him. According to Hugo Thal (4) Johann sr. and Johann jr. an another son apparently had settled in Newark New Jersey after the initial trip and it would appear that he moved on to New Minden with the group. This may have been his brother Johann Ernst Hoffman. BR believes that to be the case since she refers to our Johann as Fred. His daughter however referred to him as John. Furthermore, there were unrelated Hoffmanns living at Lancaster Ohio at the time and both Hoffmann and Johann are very common names. The document reproduced by BR is inadequate to resolve the question. {I wondered at first if Johann had not originally settled in New Jersey and then moved on the Ohio where he was joined by his relatives. That would agree with Elisabeth Wulfmann's rendition and be consistent with the thought that brothers would probably stick together in a new land; as they clearly did by settling New Minden} At a minimum it seems safe t o assume (if the naturalization involved a family member) that the first trip to N. America of Johann Friederich Wilhelm Hoffmann [1] and sons occurred no later than 1832, and perhaps in 1831 immediately after the failed revolt. If

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the "John" is some other Hoffman we can only surmise that the earliest emigration occurred around 1836. Some of the 'history' recorded by Hugo Thal (4)[5] is obviously in error but much of it seems to fit nicely including the Hoffmanns being in Newark rather than New York as written down by Selma Juergens. Phonetically they are similar and she might well as though New York when Elisabeth Hoffman Wulfman (2)[3] said Newark. Newark New Jersey was the shipping port for New York for two of the German shipping lines and thus at first glance that appears reasonable. Caroline and her husband may well have set off with a compass and an ax to Illinois but it had to be from Lancaster Ohio since that was where they were married, not Newark. A young godly maid would not have started off into the wilderness before her marriage. However, that leads to another problem. She would not have reached Lancaster without her father and mother-in-law to be. I suspect that the Newark she and John left was Newark Ohio which is on the road from Columbus to Coshocton in Licking County which just happens to share a E-W boundary with Lancaster County and Lancaster is the nearest city. It was a center of the German settlements in the 1830's. Consequently I will go with Bernice Reinhardt's statement and those in "Our God, Our Help in Ages Past" and merge in Newark OH where it can well fit. That gives landing in Philadelphia, original settling near Newark Ohio and marriage in Lancaster Ohio with a compass trip to discover North Prairie Illinois as, perhaps, a wild honeymoon.       I have little information regarding the Wimmerites route. Katherine Lewis's mother's notes suggest that the point of entry was New Orleans. Handwritten notes which appear to be those of Johann Cristoph Heinrich Wulfman (2) state that the route was via New Orleans. He was a teenager at the time so his memory would be accurate. New Orleans surprising. However, the only area the name Ankesheil occurs in N. America, with one exception is Louisiana and E. Texas. The exception is Tulsa. I wrote to each of them and obtained one response which stated that they had no idea of what were the family's origins. In Louisiana and East Texas the name occurs as Ankesheiln which is a logical variant of Ankesheyelen. (The New Orleans City Directories for the times bracketing 1848 may be revealing. Unfortunately the Ankesheiln do not know anything regarding their origins. In 2004 the author made contact with a member of the New Orleans Ankesheiln who said he had evidence regarding where in Germany the family had lived. Unfortunately he has never sent along the info, but he did send along a history of the Plum Hill Church which was amongst his papers. That is highly suggestive that he is one of us.) In records at various churches of the now UCC we find Marie Eleanor Ankesheil Wulfmann entered with all of the various spellings.) It occurs as Ankersheil in Dallas and near Shreveport Louisiana (brother and sister).       We do know from the subsequent pastoral history of Johann Cristoph Heinrich Wulfmann (2) that by the late 1880's there was some form of road along what is now US 50. Piracy along the lower reaches of the Ohio River may well have discouraged early immigrants from employing the river below Cincinnati, but that was ended well before 1848. At the time of the settlement of New Minden (1837), the Blackhawk Wars had only been over a short time (1831). The canal systems were relatively new (Erie Canal 1827) and were extended to reach Lake Erie at Cleveland. Ernst F. Heusemann was in seminary at Fort Wayne IN by 1850. The route is unknown to me but may be in the archives of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod at Concordia Seminary in St.. Louis. By the mid-1800's canal systems existed in Ohio to the extent of 800 miles and there was a canal in Indiana of

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374 miles connecting the Wabash River to Lake Erie. We know from early accounts that the New Minden settlers had traveled by wagon, cart, horseback and on foot when they reached Zanesville. Whether canal boats were involved is not stated but it would be surprising if they did not avail themselves of boats. However, the summer of 1838 was very dry and there was a shortage of water in the canals. The settlement of St.. Louis occurred by the river systems (from north and south) and overland.

Gaining Citizenship       Duden describes the residence conditions required to gain citizenship. "In order to become a citizen written evidence that the individual has lived in the United States for three years without interruption and must declare his intention under oath before court and afterwards continue to live in the territory of the Union for two more years. When the latter condition has been met and certified, he receives his citizenship papers."
  Who were they?       We have very little information as to what social class and what level of wealth to which our Hoffmann and Wulfmann ancestors belonged. We can make a number of surmises from Kamphoefner's "The Westfalians, From Germany to Missouri". He has examined the economic and social situation in Westfalia over the period of interest and the various forces which made the Minden district so susceptible to emigration. Society at the time was highly stratified with the wealthy landowners having late marriages and small families and the poor tenant farmers marrying young and having large families. The reason for having small families was that the oldest son was the principle heir under existing rules of inheritance, Anerbenrecht in much of Prussia and North Germany which contrasted with South Germany where Realteilung was the rule and land was divided amongst the heirs. However in the Prussian district of Tecklenburg, immediately next to Minden and Ösnabruck, the youngest son inherited. Thus if there were several male heirs the estate would become much smaller and would after a few generations cause the families to be little better off than the Heurleute. The Hoffmann family had 3 living sons and a daughter at the time of emigration and four other children had died in infancy. There were two living Wulfmann children at the time of emigration. Surprisingly, Johann Cristoph Heinrich Wulfmann does not mention his sister nor do any of the family notes. She only is mentioned in passing in his obituary in Der Friedensbote. One might be tempted to conclude that the Wulfmanns were from a higher class than the Hoffmanns since Johann Friedrich and Eleanore were about 25 when Johann Cristoph Heinrich Wulfmann was born whereas the Hoffmann children started coming along when the parents were only 20 or 21 with marriage in their late teens. The problem with such an argument is we do not know when the Friedrich Wulfmanns were married nor whether she had lost children, which was very common at that time. To surmise social class from family size is obviously risky, since there are other determinants than class. The cost of emigrating is perhaps a better determinant since the money required for a family of four to emigrate, even in steerage was far greater than most of the Heuerleute could pay. Typically one would emigrate and then send for the rest after he had earned enough money to pay the fares. The Hoffmanns used this approach, however, the initial exploratory trip involved the father and two sons and perhaps some neighbors. Thus, it would appear that both the Wulfmann families and the Hoffmann families had sufficient capital to finance sending 3 or 4 to North America at one

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time. This would seem to place them into the Kolon class as landowners or successful land owning peasants. The mean wealth of emigrants from Westfalia during the period 1846-50 was only 50 taler. On a per capita basis Heuerling were worth about one third as much as Kolons and on a family basis about one fourth. We do know that Hoffmann senior bought considerable land from the government in Illinois at $1.25/acre and that the purchase was cash on delivery. That suggests that he and his two sons had either earned considerable money in the US before the elder Hoffmann returned for his wife and remaining son and daughter and Caroline Böker or had considerable money in Germany. Clearly these issues need to be sorted out in Germany, if the records are still in existence. Fortunately, we now know where to look. (We can also gain considerable insight by examining the US Census reports for Washington County Illinois for 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870.) NFLF states that the 1840 Manuscript Census included the name of the head of the household and general information about other members. In 1850 every person was listed by name, age, sex, relationship to the head of the household, occupation, country of birth, year of immigration. Thus we see that the census data contains the answers to a number of questions of interest to us. The elder Hoffmann and two of his sons appear to have initially settled near Newark Ohio and then when the father returned with the rest of the clan, pulled up stakes and went to North Prairie. Land around Newark was considerably more expensive than the cheap government land in Illinois. Selling out would have yielded at a minimum, enough to buy 3 or 4 acres for every one they held in Ohio, perhaps 8 to 10. This is based upon Duden's observation on the value of land in Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky at the time of his trip to Missouri (just prior to the time of the Hoffmanns). (A search of the land records in the appropriate counties in Ohio and Illinois would shed some light here.)       The tenant farmers (Heureleute or Huerelingen) were somewhat comparably to share croppers in the southern USA during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They farmed extremely small plots of land which they rented without any guarantee of tenure. The plots often were less than 3 acres. To make ends meet, they were engaged in cottage industries related to the spinning and weaving of linen. Such work was labor intensive and children could become active workers at an early age. Thus a large family provided income. They rarely owned a horse (there were 12,692 Heuerleute in 1849 in the Ösnabruck area and between them they owned 436 horses) and the amount of meat they partook in a year was often a single hog. There were common lands but their use was not a right and thus if the lord of the manor decided to reclaim that land there was no recourse. The common lands were used for grazing of cattle, perhaps a cow and her calf, and as a source of wood for fuel. The habitations of the Heurlingen were often little more than sheds. In addition to the linen trade, a number of peasants were migratory workers, or Hollandgängerei, since they worked as laborers in Holland.       During the period 1830 to 1860, 62% of the emigrants from the Minden district were tenant farmers and laborers. Another 8 % were cottagers (Kotter) and small land holders while 7 % fell into the class of middle and large peasant farmers (Kolon), 6 % were apprentices and journeymen and 13 % were independent artisans.

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