Friday, March 28, 2014

March ancestor: Anke "Anna" Margaretha Wessels/Wessenhoff Michels

This month's ancestor is from my mom's side. Anke Margaretha Wessels (or Wessenhoff) was born April 27, 1845 in Germany. I have she was born in Spekendorf, Germany, looking at a map that looks to be in northern Germany:

I have that she married Johann (John) Michels in Middels, Germany on August 27, 1864. It looks like now this is called Middels-Westerloog and is a ways south of Spekendorf.

John and Anna Michels had 8 children: Martin (1864), Charlotta (1867), Gerd (1870), John Harm (1875), Mary A. (1877), George Fredrich (1880), Anna (1883) and Minnie (1887). Minnie was the only one born in Nebraska; all the others were born in Germany. So the Michels family immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1886 (according to the 1920 and 1930 census for some of the children). They must have settled in Nebraska fairly quickly as Minnie Michels was born in Nebraska (probably Jefferson county) in March 1887. They lived in Jefferson County, Nebraska on a farm near Fairbury until about 1895. Then they moved with Martin and their younger children George, Anna and Minnie to Orleans, Harlan county, Nebraska. In the 1910 census John and Anna Michels were living in Harlan county, Nebraska with their oldest son Martin for whom I've never found a record of marriage. In 1910 John was listed as a retired farmer and Martin a farmer. Anna Michels passes away at her home from a complication due to the flu in Orleans, Harlan county, Nebraska on Saturday January 27, 1917. She was buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery northwest of Fairbury, Jefferson county, Nebraska.

Now you may wonder how I "know" or think I know all this. I have found Anna Michels in the 1910 census (as mentioned above); I also have her death certificate and a gravestone photo (above). I also have scans of pages documented by a distant relative that lists the children, and they are found in later censuses. I thought I had her obituary but I need to double check. I have record of a death notice from the Fairbury Journal in 1917 so that may be the only obituary I have found. I would like to find their immigration records, what ship did they come on and what port did they enter. Most immigration information has been digitized so hopefully it won't be hard to find. I also would like to find this family in the 1900 census as some of them seem to be missing; most of them should be in Harlan county then.

I do have more information on their children. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in more information.

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