John Henry Eggers was born on July 5, 1880 in Meramec, Jefferson County, Missouri. He was the oldest of six children born to parents, Heinrich Christoph Friedrich Eggers and Wilhelmina “Mina” Springmeyer.
John barely missed being on the 1880 census as he was born only five days after his family was surveyed.
We first find records of John in 1900. He is living at home with the family and lists his occupation as farmer, as does one of his brothers and his father.
In 1910, John is the head of the house, his father having died in 1905. He is still listed as a farmer on his own farm. (John is on page 1 here and the family continues onto page 2)
In 1912, John married Sophia “Sophie” I. Faehnle. The story goes that since Sophie was pregnant, the couple went to St Louis and were married in a pastor’s parish to avoid a wedding in their home town. The couple went on to have three children together:
On his World War I Draft Registration Card, John lists his occupation as a machine operator at the Medart Pat. Pulley Co. The family was living at 3520 Ohio Avenue in St Louis, Missouri, near the present day intersection of Ohio Avenue and Potomac Street.
In 1920, John and family are living on the Faehnle family farm at 216 Dittmer Road in Jefferson County, along with Sophie’s mother, Caroline Kraemer Faehnle. John’s occupation is listed as a farmer and he states that he is temporarily out of work. It also tells us that he was not a veteran and therefore did not actually serve in World War I.
In 1930, the family is living at 137 Catawissa Rd in Meramec, Jefferson County, Missouri. John lists his occupation as a farmer on a general farm, as does his son Harry.
On October 16, 1973, John died and is buried with his wife, Sophie, at the St. Martin’s church cemetery in Dittmer, Missouri.
Heinrich Christoph “Christian” Friedrich Eggers was born on September 13, 1833 in Gadebusch Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany. Geadebusch is about fifty miles southwest of Dummerstorf. His parents were Juaquim Eggers and Sophia Strohkirch. Though he goes by different versions of his name throughout his life, he seems to prefer Christoff, Christ or Christian as an Americanized version.
By 1855, Christian was living in Fallingbostel, about forty-five minutes north of Hanover, Germany. In October of 1856, he traveled to Bremen to board the ship, The Mississippi. On November 3, 1856, the ship reached its destination in New Orleans. On his immigration records, Christian lists his occupation as a farmer, his last place of residence was Fallingbostel, and he claimed nativity to “Hanover”. Until the German unification as a nation in 1871, Germans claimed citizenship to the closest province to their home towns. He also said that he was specifically heading straight for St Louis, along with many of the other Germans on his ship.
1856 New Orleans Immigration Records – SS Mississippi – Christ Eggers – pg 1 (First page of the manifest giving the information of voyage.)
1856 New Orleans Immigration Records – SS Mississippi – Christ Eggers – pg 3 (Christ Eggers is listed as immigrant number 106.)
This 1852 painting by David William Moody depicts the New Orleans port of arrival which Christian arrived in.
He would have then boarded a steamship to head up the Mississippi River towards St Louis, arriving at the St Louis Landing in as little as days from his arrival in America. In the 1850′s, the St Louis Landing, as created by James Eads, was the second largest port in America, as only New York was larger. This 1857 illustration of the St Louis Landing would have been the first view of St Louis that Christian saw.
Why Christian came to St Louis, we will never know, however there were quite a few Germans who immigrated with him on the Mississippi who were also heading towards St Louis.
In August of 1861, Christian volunteered as a Union soldier in the American Civil War. His military records show that he was a private in Company F, in the 12th Regiment Missouri Infantry. They also show that he was wounded at the battle of Vicksburg, the date shown is May 22, 1863. He mustered out on September 19, 1864.
A summary of the 12th Regiments military actions tells us that based on the date on his military records (May 22, 1863), he was wounded during the second advance at Vicksburg.
He went on to become a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (“G.A.R.”) Post # 14 in Cedar Hill, Missouri. The Grand Army of the Republic, a patriotic organization, was established in 1866. Membership was open to all veterans who fought for the Union. The objective of the G.A.R. was to provide fraternity, commemoration, and assistance to its members. It promoted the establishment of soldier’s homes, as well as care and education of war orphans. It is also responsible for the establishment of Memorial Day. By 1888, there were 382 posts in Missouri and by 1893, over 500 located in nearly every part of the state.
After his discharge, he moved to the town of Oermann, now called Dittmer, Missouri, and married Lizette Dittmer on May 3, 1867 at “German Greek” in Jefferson County, Missouri. Over the next ten years, they had at five children:
By 1870, they are found in census records living in Meramec, Jefferson County. Their home is surrounded by Dittmer relatives of Lizette’s and on the other side by the Springmeyer family. Christian is listed as a farmer and also lists that he has become a US citizen.
Lizette died giving birth to son Ernest, on May 26, 1877, leaving Christian alone with all the children. Within the next year, Christian married Wilhelmina “Mina” Springmeyer. Mina was a child of the Springmeyer family that is shown living next door to Christian and Lizette in the 1870 census. They first show up in the 1880 census together listing Christian as being forty years old and Mina as only 22.
Christian and Mina have six more children together:
US Federal Census Records
Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 for Heinrich Christoph Friedrich Eggers
The Levee or Landing, St. Louis, Missouri, an 1857 illustration from Ballou’s Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, Boston, Massachusetts
Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 Record for Christoph Eggers
Grand Army of the Republic - Missouri Division – Index to Death Rolls 1882-1940, State Historical Society of Missouri
The St Louis Walk of Fame was founded in 1989 to acknowledge and memorialize the best, brightest and most influential citizens of St. Louis, Missouri. It honors well-known St. Louisans who have made great national contributions to the cultural heritage of St. Louis. Located on Delmar Avenue in the University City area of St Louis, the walk currently includes 128 inductees who were either born in the greater St. Louis area or it is where they spent many of their influential years making a difference. The inductees range in dates of birth from as early as 1739 to 1931, showing St. Louis’ historical and cultural heritage in ways that can only make locals of St Louis proud of their hometown. Each inductee has a gold star and an accompanying bronze plaque giving a brief biography of each star holder. Below you will find a list of the inductees and links to sites where you can learn more about each of these influential St Louis citizens. Perhaps you have come across one of these great St. Louisans during your family tree research? (more…)
A current news story involves the use of DNA collected and analyzed for genealogical use, being utilized to track down a suspect from a 1991 Seattle murder case. In December of 1991, 16-year-old Sarah Yarborough was killed at her high school in Washington state. The suspect in the case has remained nothing other than a police sketch to this point and the case has been cold for twenty years now. Last month however, forensic scientists ran the suspects DNA against those in genealogy databases and found that the suspect is a descendant of Robert Fuller, a 1630 settler in Salem, Massachusetts. While this doesn’t track down the actual suspect, the DNA profile does limit the suspect pool for investigators. They say that they can also narrow it down in other ways. They can focus on the last name Fuller and follow geographic location trends for that last name in an effort to track the suspect. (more…)
Finding marriage records when your ancestor has been married multiple times can be a difficult task, specifically on the bride’s side. A woman who is married many times may very well go by many different last names over her lifespan. Every time she gets remarried, she is then married under her previous marriage’s last name. This can make it seem impossible to trace your ancestor back to find her maiden name! Here are a few hints to help you to trace your family tree back through marriage records.
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