Ernst - Linked to Photographs and Descriptions
Albert and Theresia married March 29, 1849. Children:
Albert and Theresia married March 29, 1849. Children:
Albert Ernst (link to longer bio) (1) b. Nov. 16, 1818 in Hesse (a German-speaking principality); his parents were Johann Peter Ernst (c.1782-1832 in Hesse) and Catherine Bowman, died when Albert was young.1(a short description of Hesse is at the bottom of the page.)
Albert m. in 1849 Theresia Mueller (Miller) b. January 8, 1828 in Alsase, France, parents John Anton Mueller (sometimes Anglicized to Anthony Miller) (b. 1807) and Magdalena (?) (b. 1803 d. 1886). They were Catholic. Albert (died Jan. 5, 1903) and Theresia (died Sept. 11, 1897) are buried next to St. Mary's church, near Pesotum, Illinois (photos of their monument.)
There is a family story (from Bette Lou) that Albert came to New York with a brother; they were separated there and never saw each other again. Grammie (Bessie) wondered if the Ernst family that owned Lucky grocery store chain were descended from that brother.
The biography mentions that Albert's parents had another "son-- John --having come to America, married in New York, and died there when quite old." That's all we have about that story. John and Albert, then in the next generation John and Albert, then in the next generation John and Albert again, the identical twins.
"Albert came to this county from Hesse, Germany. His father was a silver miner and he was a woolen factory worker. He landed in NY on June 11, 1843 at the age of 24, he lived in NY for 18 months before moving to St. Louis, on to Springfield, IL.
In May of 1845 he enlisted in the Mounted Rifles, infantry Company G, and served for two years in the Mexican War2. He then received land for his service in Peoria County and married Theresa Mueller." (note from Joni Ernst Eaton)
Theresia Mueller (Miller) was born in Alsace, France (3 short history of Alsace at the end of the page) on Feb 8, 1828. She came with her parents and younger siblings to the US in 1847.
Theresia Muller's parents were John Anton Mueller (April 30, 1808) and Magdalena ? (1805-1886) and with them from Alsace, besides Theresia, came Anne Marie b. 1837; Wandelin b. 1838; Maga (Magdalena) b. 1840; and Joseph b. 1842. The journey took almost two months; reading about similar voyages I find they were quite awful and passengers frequently died. When they got there, where were they? I find it a lot easier to understand why an adventureous single young man (like Albert was) would emigrate; it's harder to understand middle-aged parents with their children setting off for the middle of nowhere. Joni Ernst has found their immigration record (name written as "Muiller") in the National Archives, Microcopy No. M272, Roll No. 4, Pages 0133 to 0146. They left from Le Havre ("La Porte Océane", still one of France's largest ports) in Normandy at the end of December, 1846, and arrived at New Orleans on February 22, 1847.
Their ship was the "Queen Victoria", carrying 135 passengers. According to "The Ships List (opens in a new window) The Queen Victoria was an American ship, 712 tons, 18 ft draft, built 1839; the master was Capt. Ranlett. She would have been a smallish ship (three masts) built at the very beginning of the age of steam ships. I've also read that she might have been one of the "coffin ships" that carried Irish immigrants during the potato famine, and she reportedly sunk in the Sargasso sea in 1911 (from mariners-L).
At any rate they went up the Mississpi, stopped in St. Louis, and continued on to Peoria and bought land in Medina Township, where they stayed. Their son Wandelin (Wendel) appears in the 1880 Peoria History, married to Bridget Mehan, with seven children - Anthony b. 1859, Mary b. 1861, Joseph b. 1862, James b. 1864, Valentine b. 1865, Martha b. 1867, and Bridget b. 1870. "W. Miller" is shown on the 1860 plat map next to N. Wilhelm.
In the 1860 census Anton Mueller is Anthony Miller, and he and his wife are living alone. I think the census listings are by address, and the farm next to them is that of Albert Ernst and the Miller/Mueller's daughter Theresia and their children (Mary is 10.) Also on the same page is a Valentin Miller, Bridget Miller (sister or wife?), and a child. In the 1880 census Anthony is listed as "retired farmer" and his son Joseph Miller and family are doing the farming. (Also down the road is a Schnoor family, see Meyer. There are also Williams along there too.)
John Anton Mueller (April 30, 1808) and Magdalena ? (1805-1886) immigrated 1847.
- Theresia b. January 8, 1828 d. Sept. 11, 1897 m. Albert Ernst
- Anne Marie b. 1837 d. ? m. Jacob Winter (d. before 1891)
- Wandelin (Wendel, Valentin?) b. 1838 d. ? m. Bridget Mehan
- Maga (Magdalena) b. 1840 d. ? m. Nicholaus Wilhelm
- Joseph b. 1842 d. ?
Albert and Theresia married March 29, 1849. They had 14 children, one of which was our ancestor John Mathew Ernst.
- (quotes on their location are from the 1890 biograpy. Other quotes are from Joni or rememberances from Betty Lou. Sometimes I use the grave marker information rather than census or other records as I figure that's what they knew about themselves! Many gravestone photos are on Findagrave.
- Mary Anne Ernst born January 8, 1850, died April 13, 1926. Married
Peter Wilhelm, 1841 - 1927, naturalized Sept 25, 1877. (Theresia's sister Magdalena, Mary Anne's aunt, also married a Wilhelm, Nicholas Wilhelm.) Peter Wilhelm was born Selbach, Rheinland Feb. 21, 1841 died Aug 6, 1927 in Urbana. Ten children (...found the Wilhelm connection!) Albert and Theresia spent their old age with Mary Anne's family in Pesotum and are buried there. In the 1880 biography, Albert is listed as owning 160 acres in Champaign County -- that's probably why Mary Anne and Peter Wilhelm were there.
- Marie Antoinette (Nettie) 1870-1961 m. Bernard Hausman
- John Mathias (Matt) 1872 - 1961 m. Elizabeth Pfeffer 1874 - 1945; buried St. Mary's, Pesotum (grave photo)
- Peter C. 1874-1944 m. 1908 Elizabeth Lawkitska
- Mary Magdalene (Lena) 1877 - 1934 m. 1896 Henry Pfeffer 1867 - 1952; buried St. Joseph's, Pesotum
- Louise Mary (Lucy) 1880 - 1939 m. 1905 Philip A. Cler 1874 - 1957
- Cecelia A. (Lillie) 1882 - 1947 m. 1903 Edward Mougeotte 1880 - 1970
- Theresia M. 1884 - 1955 m. 1907 Joseph Cler 1877 - 1943 (grave picture: two sided stone with the Mougeottes)
- Albert Anthony 1887 - 1938 buried in Paulding, Ohio m. 1. Lucy Zinzer 2. Mary Ann Koenn
- Joseph 1889 - 1962 m. 1917 Anna Buchheit
- Nickolas 1893 - 1970 m. 1922 Evaline Frazer
- Theresa (2) Ernst b. March 20, 1851 died March 24, 1942 m. John Backes 1842-1916 (Akron Township). They are buried in St. Clements Cemetery.
- Anna m. ? Hessling
- Katherine b. 1877 m. Frank Eichorst (married in Pesotum)
- Tillie m. ? Rogers
- Elizabeth (Lizzie) m. ? Stevens
- Mary m. ? Heinz
- Philomena (Mimie)
- I also found an Amelia Backes buried near them, Sept 16 1885 - Sept 19, 1980
- Albert Anthony (2) Ernst (listed in one census as a cigarmaker in Peoria) b. Nov. 9, 1853 died March 18, 1920, m. Eliabeth (Lizzie) Rath 1856 - 1936; they had 7 children. They are buried in St. Clements Catholic Cemetery (Dunlap) with other Ernsts. In the 1900 census they are farming in Akron Township next to the Meyers. Elizabeth was born in Canada of German parents, came to the US in 1858 when she was 2. (look at the Albert A. and John M. photos--they are wearing the same tie and tie pin, JM neatly tied, Albert A. looks like he forgot his tie & borrowed John's, putting it on sloppily...ha! He looks like a football player.)
- Nicholas G. b. March, 1878 d. 1933 (St. Clement's)
- Mary Elizabeth "Mamie" m. Bernard Gast in 1907 (see newspaper announcement)
- Edith A. 1885 - 1984 (St. Clement's)
- Theresa C. b. July 30 1888 (buried in Prospect) m. 1. Walter Holtke (whose mother Fredericka was a Schnoor, sister of John Matthew Ernst's mother-in-law Maggie, see her page for photos) 2. ? Geef
- Philomene "Aunt Phil" 1890 - 1993 married William Ernst 1893-1962, her first cousin. Buried at St. Clement's. One child, Francis. Philomene died in a nursing home in Missouri, near where her daughter was living; there was some kind of lawsuit over Philomene's custody between Philomene's daughter and granddaughter (Philomene had raised the granddaughter.) I haven't found the newspaper articles, but relatives say it was "national news".
- Joseph F. b. Feb., 1893 d. 1940 m. Emmas S. 1900 - 1985.
- James A. b. April, 1897 d. 1980 m. Alice C. 1904 - 1991
- Cecilia Martha Ernst b. Feb., 1899 d. 1990
- Children at home in 1900:
- Nicholas (age 22)
- Teresa (age 11)
- Joseph (age 7); in 1920 Joseph is with Emma ? and they have a two month old, Francis.
- James A. (age 3)
- Martha C. "Celia" (age 1; mother is 44!)
- Albert Ernst Knobloch m. (1897) Elizabeth Huber
- Elizabeth m. John Nelius
- Otilda m. William Sperber
- Effie b. 1881 m. Clarence C. Saunders
- Roberta "Birdie" m. ? Sturm
- Lenore "Lulu" 1887-1955 m. John Yerby 1874-1961 child Barbara Yerby m. Clarence Dunne, son Richard in Baton Rouge knows Joni.
- John (from mom- he had polio, other health problems. Mom remembers his German wife, Freida, and her stories of escaping Nazi Germany.) Children were Wallace, Robert, and William (Billy.)
- J. E. Perry 1895-1916, died in WWI at 21.
- Leona b. 1900, died as a baby
- Jacob (Jake)
He's the one in 1890 "who resides with his parents and runs a threshing machine". In the 1910 census they are in Hallock Township (on Division Road; "farm laborer"), in 1920 they are in Polk County, Minnesota. Robert is mentioned in Katie's obituary as living in Winnebago, MN in 1932.
- Robert Ernst and Jessie in the 1910 have four girls:
- Inez b. Mar 1892
- Irene b. July 1894
- Ida b. July 1896
- Hazel b. June 1899
- George Alvin, who had one child, Evelyn, d. 2009
- Mary Rose
- Josephine Regina
- Lillian Oliva
- Elanor Elizabeth m. Tony Thommes
- Florence Marie 1905-1930 m. John Knobloch
- Joseph Stephen
John Matthew Ernst
John Matthew (2) Ernst "who carries on the home farm" (our ancestor)
b.Oct 18, 1865 d. Nov. 22, 1954 (89yrs) married (wedding photo) in 1891 Anne Sophia Meyer b. Feb. 11, 1873 d. Dec. 26, 1935 (see Meyer for more.) John Matthew was called "Jack" by his friends, as I learned when I met in Chillicothe a man who had known him. I was about nineteen; when I told him I was "Jack Ernst's grandaughter" he looked at me and said "That's not possible!" Wrong generation!
They are in farming Dunlap in the 1900 census, misspelled as "Earnst". Both JM and Anna Sophia are in Prospect Cemetery (photo of headstone). The cemetery records show in plot 462: Mrs John Ernst, William Lee Danielson, John M Ernst. ?
Mom (John Matthew Ernst's granddaughter) has written a wonderful recollection of their farm.
Children of John M. (2) and Anne Sophia:
- William (3) Ernst b. Aug. 1893, married in 1917 to Philomena (3) Ernst (first cousin, child of Albert 2.) Their parents did not want them to marry and sent them off to boarding schools in different places. It didn't work, they ran away and got married anyway. Bill and Philomene inherited the Edelstein farm from John Matthew Ernst; it was accounted the best farmland. Bill and Philomena had one child -- Francis, who was very short. She was so tiny when she was born that, as I have heard many times, her head fit in a milk-bottle. Francis had a daughter by a first (marriage?Stanley?; Philomene did not like him) called Peggy (Margaret); Steve says she was brilliant. Also very tall. She was raised by Philomene. Francis later married Richard Stoller ("who was always ill") and had two sons, lived in Missouri. Francis and Peggy sued each other over Philomene's custody in 1989 or 90. We were told the suit 'made national news.' Steve is searching the Peoria paper back issues but has not found the story yet (1990 - Stever remembers the year because Phil was 100 years old.)
- John Christof Ertman (3) Ernst (identical twin of Albert Ernst) b. Aug. 22, 1898 d. Feb. 2, 1974 married in 1921 Bessie Sturm b. 1899 d. Feb. 2, 1978. He was called "Jack" by everyone but his mother, he told me. Also in Prospect Cemetery. His great-grandson Jack is a namesake.
child of JC Ernst and Bessie Sturm Ernst:
- Albert Dewey (3) Ernst (identical twin of Jack Ernst) b. Aug. 22, 1898 d.1970; married Edna Pierson. Albert also buried at Prospect.
Marvin (4) Ernst 1925 - 2005 b.1925 married in 1947 Betty J. Livingston (also an RN) 1925-1997.
- Marvin A. (5) Ernst, Jr
- Joan Ellen (5) Ernst
- Thomas Edward (5) Ernst
- Deborah Kay (5) Ernst
- One other child of John M. and Anna S. is an unnamed infant daughter, buried next to the Meyers. It is a lovely little monument. Mom says it was a lifelong sorrow for her grandmother. (See photo link on the Meyer page.)
We have many pictures of the twins, Jack and Albert, including two very large studio portraits taken when they were perhaps three. They were almost shockingly identical, something I'm sure they exploited from time to time, as they also had an identical sense of humor. Jack had a more phlegmatic personality; nothing really ruffled him. You can see in the photos that Albert was the livelier one!
Their parents allowed them to leave school early, and according to my grandfather, bought them each a car when they were fifteen (think of when this was and you will realize that it was pretty unique.) There is also a story that a movie agent (pre WWI!) saw the twins and wanted them for a movie, but their mother was horrified. Jack was fascinated by mechanical things and became a mechanic and eventually a truck driver; he always had good quality dogs as well. Driving through the south, he had many contacts among hunters and breeders, and would often return from a trip with a new dog. Albert went into in construction. They would probably have liked to farm, but the 1920s was a long period of serious depression in farm country. The affluent "Roaring Twenties" of popular culture happened in the cities.
I remember visiting the old Ernst farm near Dunlap (that mom remembers, seen in the "four generations" photos with JM and Jack and Albert and from the air in 1955), it had been let to the sharecroppers, who eventually bought it. My memories are just of a white house, fields of green corn, and a burning "peach wine" that everyone drank, including the children. When Jack and Bessie first married, they lived in the "yellow house" across the road from the Ernst house. Visiting in 2004, we find a new house on the site of the yellow house, but the Ernst house is gone. Just down the road, though, is another farm house, still lived in by a relative (Wallace Meyer.) Up the road the other way was a place mom remembers being taken when small, to visit a woman, 'some kind of relative' named Aunt Bertha (probably her grandfather John M. Ernst's sister) who had a large collection of dolls.
Jack's wife Bessie always found work during the depression, while Jack found the family (including his siter-in-law Ruby and various homeless young men that they took in) a place to live in return for doing maintenance. Bessie was good with what money they had, and she bought and traded property until they were able to purchase a house in Chillicothe, a wood lot, and eventually a farm outside of Henry. Situated in the river bluffs, it was a hobby farm, picked out for the lovelyness of the scenery rather than for any hope of making money farming it. They kept horses, geese, and sheep, and farmed a few acres. As children we found morels in the woods and arrowheads in the creek; rode the horses and were chased by the geese. They also kept their house in town.
Today, Steve regularly visits with his children; they have found more 'Indian' artifacts, including an ancient 'celt' (where did I put that photo?) Frank visited a few years ago and wrote an article about the state of the farm and area - "The Farm" (opens in a new window.) Grammie would never let dogs in the house, but now it is collapsing, and Frank found a coyote den in an upstairs room. The preacher and his destructive "hunt club" have been expelled. Steve put in a wood stove in his home and now goes regularly to the farm for firewood, his son Joel has lots of good photos.
Albert lived there on the farm too for a while, buying the trailer Aunt Ruby had purchased for some Aunt Rubyish reason. Or maybe it was the other way around. Albert would tease me by pretending to be his twin brother; even in old age they were hard to tell apart.
1Ernsts in Europe (at least, our Ernsts.) They were from Geismar and Dainrode in Hesse, north of Frankfurt. Dainrode is considered a center of the town of Frankenau. The nearest "big city" is Frankenberg. Here's the Frankenau website; click on "Bildergalerie" (picture gallery) for some nice views. Dainrode's album is at the bottom.
In Albert's (and his parent's) time, Hesse was still allied with the French against the Prussians. There has only been something called "Germany" since 1871; usually earlier US immigration records would specify which of the 40 or 50 different German-speaking states the immigrants were from, but sometimes just lumped everyone who spoke some German dialect together, calling them "German." (Albert identified himself as Hessian.) The biography says his father was a silver miner; but by 1819 most of the mines in the area were done. Albert, from the biography, started as a weaver, which continued as a good industry until the 1870s, long after he was gone (1843). Today, seen in the google satellite photos, the area is farm fields interspersed every few miles with small towns (or clusters of houses, anyway.) The Waldeck-Frankenberg district also has part of the hilly and forested Sauerland, and the Eder River, now dammed to make a 16 mile long recreational resevoir, the Edersee.
Albert's parents and ancestors: father Johann Peter Ernst 1783-1835; grandfather Johann Daniel Ernst 1749/50 - 1813; gg-Johann Conrad Ernst 1711 - 1759, then Johann Michael Ernst 1680 - 1733, Johannes Ernst 1642 - 1704, Albert Ernst 1602 - 1681/82... ["Judy (Scholler) was able to obtain a lot of her research because she hired someone in Germany. Some of the pictures she has because her son was stationed over there while he was in the service and brought back pictures and information."--Joni]
3A short history of Alsace: Alsace is a French Province where a Germanic dialect, Alsatian, is still spoken. Frederick I Barbarossa (1122-1190), Holy Roman Emperor, created Alsace as an area to be ruled by non-nobles, for various political reasons. Strasbourg, the most important city in Alsace, became a "free city" in 1262 -- free of local nobles and answering only to the Emperor. In 1523 Strassbourg became Protestant (France stayed Catholic) while other parts of Alsace remained Catholic and allied to France. In 1639 Alsace was taken by France as part of the Thirty Years War against the Spanish Habsburgs in the Netherlands. The 1648 treaty of Wesphalia, that ended the war, was set up to be so confusing that neither French nor German princes could claim complete control of Alsace.
The period after the Thirty Years War is the era of the population shifts that moved our Hartzell ancestors from Switzerland to the Palentate (see the narrative.) So many men were lost during the wars that the various princes induced families to come from Switzerland with promises of land. Many Swiss also moved to Alsace at this time, resulting in the population becoming more Germanic in culture. And Strassborg also became an early Protestant stronghold, especially of Swiss Anabaptists.
This resulted in the French occupying the territory, although compared to the rest of France, the Protestants were tolerated and not legally suppressed (they needed those Swiss farmers!)
During the French Revolution, the sympathies of the Alsatians were with the Prussians and Austrians who invaded to try to end the Revolution; the Prussians were driven out by the French army and many thousands of Alsatians went with them. When the Alsatians tried to return home later, they found their lands had been confiscated; many went to Russia (and later to Kansas.)
Alsace was occupied by a quarter-million men of Napoleon's army in 1814, straining the economy. At the same time, the most profitable trade was going to other routes, and the population was also growing tremendously, to over a million by 1846. These combined pressures caused Alsatians, our ancestors included, to begin emigrating in great numbers to defeated parts of the Ottoman Empire and to the United States.
Another contributing factor may have been that 1846 was a very bad year for farmers. The Muellers arrived in New Orleans in 1847.
--A note to those printing this; it's a website, not a book, and changes constantly as I find new information. Boldface type usually means a link to click that goes to a photograph or other information. Drop by again! http://hartzell.mymcn.org/family