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Johann Heinrich Bruns Family Immigration

 
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roger.pape
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Johann Heinrich Bruns Family Immigration Reply with quote

An earlier posting in this forum traces some members of the various Bruns families and their arrival in Concordia, MO. However, it was never established when Johann Heinrich’s family immigrated to the U.S. In his book, Independent Immigrants, Robert Frizzell noted that it must have been early in 1840, shortly before he began purchasing land just north of present day Concordia. Some of us have tried without success to locate a ship’s passenger record that lists the family. However, I have recently uncovered what I consider to be conclusive evidence of the ship and time of arrival.

The clue came when scanning a National Archives publication entitled A Supplemental Index To Passenger Lists Of Vessels Arriving At Atlantic And Gulf Coast Ports (Excluding New York), 1820-1874 [NARA Microfilm M334] This was a WPA project during the mid 1930s sponsored by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It consists of a card index to passengers arriving at 70 ports (other than New York City) along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The cards are arranged in alphabetical order by the passengers’ last name. The information contained on each card includes the person’s sex, age, country of origin, the arrival port, ship name, and date of arrival along with other members in the family group. The records are now posted on the FamilySearch.org website. Roll 19 includes the Bruns (starting at image 419).

While paging through all of the Bruns names, I noticed one recurring set of names that appeared to match Johann Heinrich’s family. The group sailed on the ship Meridian that arrived in New Orleans, LA on March 17, 1840. Only the first initials of each family member were listed.

The corresponding microfilm for the original passenger list images, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902 [NARA M259, Roll 20, image 148] was then searched to see if they contained additional information. But at the date Mar. 17, 1840, there was only a header record for the ship and a note that the passenger list was missing. Apparently, the original records were indexed but misplaced before the ship records were microfilmed. This is why no one had been able to locate the family in the records.

Fortunately, however, by simply listing the initials of each member of the family and their age from the card index file, one can demonstrate that the family on this voyage was the Johann Heinrich Bruns family.
Code:
      
Initial  Sex  Age       Name                  Birth year
H.       M    43        Johann "Heinrich"     1796
D.       M?   39        Dorothea              1800
D.       F    16        Dorothea (daughter)   1824
H.       M    12        Heinrich Johann       1827
F.       M    10        Friedrich             1830
W.       M     8        Wilhelm               1832
C.       M     2        Conrad                1838
L.       F    10        (Louise?)

Note that J.H. Sr. and Jr. were both known as Heinrich or Henry at various times. One must typically allow for at least one year difference in the listed age, particularly depending on the time of year the list was made compared to the birth date. One inconsistency is the sex of the second adult. This is obviously Johann’s wife Dorothea. Either it was wrong in the original record or transcribed incorrectly. The eighth member of the group, i.e. the younger girl last in the listing, was probably Louise Scharnhorst, a niece who was raised by the family.

There was also one other Bruns couple on the same voyage. The husband had the initial H., 32 years old while the wife had the initial M., 24 years old.

Based on this information, one can conclude that the Johann Heinrich Bruns family immigrated to the U.S. on the Meridian arriving in New Orleans on Mar. 17, 1840.

What is interesting is how quickly the family settled in Concordia. Many of the other settlers spent some time in St. Louis before moving on. The St. Paul’s Church Sesquicentennial History Book, Descending Love, Ascending Praise, pg 149, includes a listing of land grants purchased by John Henry Bruns from May 20 to July 13, 1840. It also includes one plot purchased from Frederick Hahne with the date listed as Mar. 6, 1840, but this may be the original purchase date by Hahne. Johann Heinrich had relatives and friends in the Concordia area when he arrived which probably helped speed the process.


Last edited by roger.pape on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:38 pm; edited 2 times in total
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roger.pape
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Other Bruns Family on Meridian Voyage Reply with quote

As noted in the previous posting, there was another Bruns couple on the 1840 voyage of the Meridian. The husband’s initial H and age 32 and the wife’s initial M and age 24 closely match Heinrich David (H. D.) and Maria Stuenkel Bruns who also settled in Concordia. In the 1870 census, H.D. is listed as 63 years old and Maria as 55 years old. Loberta Runge’s history (see more below) lists H.D.’s birth date as Oct. 7, 1807 and Maria’s birth date as Dec. 13, 1815. Since the voyage was in March 1840, this would match the stated ages exactly.

One is tempted to make the association with this couple because of this match. The fact that they were on the same voyage might suggest the H. D. and Johann Heinrich were related. Unfortunately, the original passenger record images for that voyage are not available. If they were, one would be able to see if the two families were listed together.

Perhaps the main reason for not jumping to conclusions is an account in Loberta Runge’s The Story of Johann Albert and Mathilda Bruns Runge. (Mathilde was H. D. and Maria’s youngest child.) [This booklet contains a wealth of information about, not only the Runge families, but also the Bruns and Stuenkel families.] In this account, Loberta states that H. D. was a witness at the Conrad Stuenkel and Marie Gerberding wedding. This sounds plausible because H. D.’s wife Maria was Conrad’s younger sister. The problem is that the Stuenkel/Gerberding wedding was a month before the Meridian landed in New Orleans.

Loberta’s account includes a copy of the marriage entry in the Holy Ghost German Protestant Church records. (See the image below.) This record clearly lists two Heinrich Bruns as witnesses. Heinrich was a very popular given name in the Bruns families at that time.

There are other points in Loberta’s account that are not clear. Maria’s obituary indicates that she and H.D. were married in Germany Sep. 8, 1839 and two months later emigrated to the United States. “The first four years they lived in St. Louis, Mo.” Son August Friedrich was born in St. Louis in 1842 and son Louis Heinrich was born in 1844. It also notes that they moved from St. Louis to Concordia during the summer of 1845. [H.D. did make a trip to Concordia to purchase property in 1842.] This chronology suggests that 1840 was the first year that the family was in St. Louis.

It should be kept in mind that most of the information cited above is from secondary sources and must be used with caution. If and when the church records from Büren, Germany become available, one may be able to track down the relationships between the various Bruns families. My best guess at this point is that Johann Heinrich and Heinrich David were cousins. While Johann’s parents are not known to me, H.D. parents are listed in his birth record as Jürgen Heinrich and Maria Kuhls Bruns.



StuenkelGerberdingMarriage(HG).jpg
 Description:
Conrad Stuenkel and Marie Gerberding marriage entry in the Holy Ghost German Protestant Church (St. Louis) records.
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StuenkelGerberdingMarriage(HG).jpg


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roger.pape
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: More Bruns Immigration Information Reply with quote

Although the original passenger list for the 1840 Meridian voyage is missing, there is another source of information available. Ship arrival data, including the names of the passengers on each ship were recorded in the “Quarterly abstracts of passenger lists of vessels arriving at New Orleans”. These abstracts were compiled by the staff in the New Orleans customhouse by simply copying the information from all of the ship manifests. It is a running list of all ships and their passengers as they arrived at the port. The passenger compilation is in the same order as listed on the passenger lists filed by the ship captains. At the end of a quarter, a count of the number of immigrants for that period, subtotaled by country of origin, gender, etc., was added and the compilation was then sent to Washington.

These records were microfilmed by the National Archives but are not available online. Family History Library film number FHL200236 covers the time period during which the Meridian arrived in New Orleans. Fortunately, the Meridian can be found in this listing. The date of arrival is listed as March 17, 1840. The section of the listing that includes the Bruns family is shown below.

Several conclusions might be drawn from the grouping of names in the list. Note that ten-year-old female ‘L. Bruns’ is listed at the end of Heinrich and Dorothea Bruns family group. This supports the assumption that she was not a daughter, but most likely the niece Louise Scharnhorst who lived with the family. The other Bruns couple, H. and M. Bruns, are listed just above this family. Since people from the same area generally traveled together, their names are typically found close together in a listing. So one might assume that H. and M. Bruns could be related to Johann “Heinrich” Bruns and might well be Heinrich David and Marie Stuenkel Bruns since the listed ages match theirs. Several other familiar surnames are seen in the listing, such as Dankenbrink and Duensing.



1840Meridian.jpg
 Description:
Portion of passenger listing for the 1840 Meridian voyage. Extracted from the “Quarterly abstracts of passenger lists of vessels arriving at New Orleans” [FHL200236].
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1840Meridian.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Meridian Arrival Date Reply with quote

Based on records compiled by the New Orleans customhouse in the Quarterly abstracts of passenger lists of vessels arriving at New Orleans [NARA Microfilm M272/Family History Library film number FHL200236], the Johann “Heinrich” Bruns family and another H. and M. Bruns couple arrived from Bremen onboard the ship Meridian on March 17, 1840. This arrival date was a month after several Heinrich Bruns names are listed as witnesses of the Conrad Stuenkel / Marie Gerberding marriage in St. Louis on Feb. 15, 1840. Travel up the Mississipi River would add about another week of time to arrive in St. Louis. This raises the question as to whether either or both of these Heinrichs were witnesses to the wedding or whether the arrival date is accurate.

It was thought that the other Bruns couple on the ship might be Heinrich David and Marie Stuenkel Bruns since the ages match theirs. They were known to have emigrated to the U. S. shortly after their marriage on September 8, 1839 back in Germany. No other Heinrich (or H.) Bruns has been found in any other passenger records from the latter part of 1839 through early 1840. However, Loberta Runge states in her family history (which includes H.D. and Marie Bruns) that Heinrich David was one of the witnesses to the Stuenkel/Gerberding wedding. It is not clear whether this was based solely on the name listed in the marriage record or whether there was some family oral history to back this up. It is quite plausible that he might have been a witness since he was Conrad’s brother-in-law. On the other hand, Marie Gerberding’s mother was a Bruns and the Gerberdings lived in Evensen, Germany which is less than two miles from the Johann Heinrich Bruns family home in Büren, Germany. So it is also possible that Johann Heinrich was a cousin of Marie Gerberding. Could it be that both of these Heinrichs were witnesses?

The typically sailing time between Bremen and New Orleans at that time was about eight to ten weeks. While the actual passage time depended on the ship and weather conditions, this would suggest that the Meridian left Bremen during January 1840. Early spring arrivals from Bremen were rare because the ship would have had to leave Bremen and travel through the North Sea in the middle of the winter. In addition, the port was quite shallow at that time and subject to freezing over during the winter. The website Die Maus lists days of departure for some ships leaving Bremen during the 1800s. While this is only a partial listing, what is noticeable is that there are no departures listed during December or January until 1855.

The original passenger list for this voyage of the Meridian is missing; so one cannot validate the arrival date from that source. The other problem is that many of the passenger lists filed for ships arriving from Bremen were compiled at departure time and did not include the date of arrival on the record. The Supplemental Index To Passenger Lists Of Vessels Arriving At Atlantic And Gulf Coast Ports (Excluding New York), 1820-1874 [NARA Microfilm M334] that was cited in the earlier posting has the same arrival date. However, it should be noted that this information was extracted from the Quarterly Abstract and is not an independent source of data. The fact that the original list is missing suggests that it was probably misplaced by the customhouse workers after being abstracted.

The only surviving information for the Meridian voyage is that found in the Quarterly Abstract so one needs to understand the process used to compile this list. Ship masters were required to provide a list of passengers to customs officials on arrival. These lists were collected at the customhouse and a clerk would copy the information from the original lists into a ledger that was submitted quarterly to Washington. One would assume that the passenger lists were kept in the order in which they were received, although there is no assurance that they were in exact chronological order. If the precise arrival date was not include on the list, the clerk would have to estimate the date of arrival. (Perhaps an additional cover sheet was included.)

Information compiled in the Quarterly Abstract during this time period was compared to the ships’ passenger lists for New Orleans that were preserved. Several things were observed. If the original passenger list included the full day, month and year of arrival, the date listed in the abstract matched that on the passenger list in all but one case where it differed by two weeks. Not all ships and passengers are listed in chronological order, occasionally a week or more out of order. Some passenger lists contained only the month and year of arrival. These ships were listed at the end of a given month in the abstract. Several ships with dated passenger lists indicating that they arrived in that time frame were not found in the abstract, so the abstract is not completely accurate.

Passenger lists exist for two other ships from Bremen that arrived in New Orleans during the first quarter of 1840, namely the Louise Friedericke and the Alexander. The Louise Friedericke list only gave the date of departure (Nov. 5, 1839). It was compiled in the abstract between a ship arriving on Jan. 23 and another on Jan 27. This could have well been the actual arrival time based on the approximate length of time for the voyage. The Alexander was not found in the abstract. It left Bremen on Nov. 27, 1839 (again, only the departure date was listed) and should have arrived in New Orleans sometime in February 1840.

Given the various inconsistencies in the abstract, it is possible that the Meridian passenger list was entered and dated in the Quarterly Abstract records sometime after it had arrived.

As noted in another posting, an online index of the Hanover state archives includes the following entry.

Bestellnummer: Hann. 74 Neustadt/Rbg. Nr. 4853

Titel: 1. Bruns, Heinrich, Bühren 3. Vollmeier 5. Bruns, Dorothee, geb. Mahler; Bruns,
Johann Heinrich (geb. 31. 10. 1827) 7. Amerika 8. 1839


In these index entries, other members of the emigrating party (entry 5.) are usually limited but note that the date of birth for son Johann Heinrich matches that of John Henry, Jr. So this must be the Heinrich “Johann” family. While the date of emigration (entry 8.) is only approximate, it suggests that Heinrich Johann had already filed his intentions to emigrate in 1839.

Given these clues, one can assume that the Bruns families arrived in New Orleans in early 1840 but probably before March.
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