Thursday, March 23, 2017

Our Weiss Immigrant Family

Our First American Ancestors in the Weiss Family
Philip Jacob Weiss & Maria Barbara Maendle

Philip Jacob Weiss was born 14 December 1794 in Uhingen, Wurttemberg, Germany.  He was the third child of Michael Weiss and Catherine Traub Weiss.  On 18 June 1822, he married Maria Barbara Maendle.  Barbara, the daughter of Johann Michael Maendle and Susanna Kissling, was born 6 Apr 1802 in Uhingen, Wurttemberg, Germany.

Below is a copy of the Parish Family Record for the Philip Jacob Weiss family. It is from the Family Register of Uhingen, Vol II, page 426.
Family Register; Uhingen, Wuerttemberg, Germany
Philip Jacob Weiss and his family emigrated to America from their home in Uhingen, Wurttemberg, Germany.   The German people were tired of religious persecutions, wars, political oppression, and social unrest.  And, the Weiss family was looking for a better way of life and a place to raise their children.

The Weiss family sailed from Havre, France on the ship “Seth Sprague”, which was captained by Alexander Wadsworth.  
Ship Seth Sprague, Captained by Alexander Wadsworth

Passenger list of the ship Seth Sprague.  Weiss family starts on line 23.
After a three month voyage, the Weiss family arrived at New Orleans on June 17, 1848.    Soon after, the family started their travel up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri.  Jacob Weiss became ill and died of cholera in St Louis.  He was buried in a cemetery that was later destroyed by fire so no trace of his grave has ever been found.

After the death of Philip Jacob Weiss, the family continued by boat up the Mississippi River to Rock Island, Illinois.  There was a large German settlement in Coal Valley Township, Rock Island County and it was there that Maria Barbara Weiss and her family settled.  It is possible that they located in that particular area because neighbors or friends in Germany may have located there before the arrival of the Weiss family.  In a short time after their arrival Maria Barbara purchased a two hundred acre farm for which she paid $1,060.00.
It is not known where the Weiss family stayed when they arrived at their destination. After they settled in their new home, a log house, members of the family started getting the farm ready for crops.   While their log house was not very large it always had room for others.  Many people coming from Germany stayed at the Weiss home until they could locate a farm of their own.  As in all German families everyone worked, including the younger children.  They were sent to the store, a distance of about fourteen miles.  They carried butter which was wrapped in a shawl and this was exchanged for necessary supplies.

Pages from the Weiss Bible brought from Germany
Maria Barbara Weiss only lived ten years after coming to America, passing away in 1858. She was buried on the Weiss homestead, Rural Township, Rock Island County, Illinois.  The small cemetery, located north of the house of John Michael Weiss, is now abandoned and supposedly has three tombstones, and several more unmarked graves.  The cemetery is on private property and was posted with a "No Trespassing" sign in 1997.  Alta made the following chart of the cemetery.
Much of the above story came from the book, Weiss Family by Alta Sherrard Waugh.
Weiss Family Book:
Waugh, Alta S., Weiss Family 1600-1983.  Washington, District of Columbia: American Memoirs Publishing, 1983.  
See post about the book, click here.
Family Register: 
Evangelische Kirche Uhingen (OA. Göppingen), Parish Record; Uhingen, Donaukreis, Wuerttemberg, Germany; Uhingen Kirchenbuch, 1634-1900.
Ship Passenger List: New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA. Original data: New Orleans, Louisiana. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902. Micropublication M259. RG036. Rolls # 1-93. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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