February 20, 2013

Jacob Pflaumer, Great-Grandfather - Part One

Born in the village of Elsenz, southeast of Heidelberg in Baden, Germany, Jacob Pflaumer joined a large family of Pflaumers who lived in the region.  According to Evangelisch (Lutheran) church records, he was baptized on November 13, 1812.  Family records have his birthday as October 15, 1812.  Not much is known of his early years as the child of Jacob Pflaumer (Sr.) and wife Anna Maria Wolf until his marriage is recorded in 1835.  Jacob married Anna Maria Hokenberger on April 5, 1835.

Children came often to the couple, bringing both joy and sorrow.  The first child, Johann Georg, was born on March 28, 1836 and he did not survive the year.

Heinrich was born on August 22, 1837 and christened on August 27th.
The couple named a second baby Johann Georg in 1839, but that child did not survive.
On September 29, 1841, Johannes Pflaumer was born and christened on October 3rd.
Johann, Katharina, another Johann Georg (who did not survive) and Louise followed -
8 children in all.  It's my belief that all three sons named Johann Georg died young.

When the family immigrated in 1854, only five of the eight children were living.  The manifest for the ship, Hemisphere, that departed from LeHavre, France, named the following:
Pflaumer, Jacob, 41, farmer, from Baden
Pflaumer, Anna Mar., 42
Pflaumer, Hinr, 15  (Heinrich)
Pflaumer, Jacob, 13  (possibly Johann Jacob)
Pflaumer, Johannes, 9  (John)
Pflaumer, Cathe, 8  (Catherine/Katherine)
Pflaumer, Louise, 9/12  (only 9 months old)

The ship pulled into the port of New York City on May 8, 1854.

Jacob's obituary stated that the family first went to Stark County, Ohio, just south of Akron and arrived there by May 18, 1854, just two weeks after arriving in the United States. They didn't stay long because Jacob filed his first papers for naturalization in Dekalb County, Indiana on May 31, 1854.  On those, he stated that he emigrated from Baden at the port at Havre de Grasse.  It is possible that just Jacob went on to Indiana first to locate land to purchase and to build a home for his family.  This was a common practice in those early days of settlement.

The family had settled in Smithfield Township in Dekalb County when the census enumerator dropped by on July 9, 1860.  Jacob, 48, reported that he owned real estate valued at $700 and had personal goods worth $100.  With him were Henry (Heinrich) - 22, Jacob - 20, John - 16, and Catherine - 14.  He had three boys to help work the farm and Catherine to keep house.  Jacob's obituary stated that his wife, Anna, died in 1857 and Louise apparently also died, but I have not been able to find any record of this nor a tombstone.  Some early birth/death records of Dekalb County prior to 1882 were burned in a courthouse fire, so the facts of this may never be known. 

In 1863, Jacob Pflaumer became a United States citizen.  That record, found in Dekalb County, states:
"The State of Indiana, Dekalb County, sct:
To All To Whom These Presents Shall Come - Greeting:
Know Ye, that at the October Term, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty three of the Circuit Court of the County of Dekalb, aforesaid, Jacob Pflaumer, made the proof and took the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and the oath of Allegiance required by law, before said Court, and was then, that is to say, on the 27th day of October 1863, by said Court, duly admitted a Citizen of the United States.
In Witness of Which, I, Jno. Ralston, Clerk of Said Court, hereunto affix the Seal thereof, and subscribe my name at Auburn this 16th day of November, 1863.l
Signed, Jno. Ralston, Clerk"

Jacob was involved in selling real estate in Smithfield Township to John Cobaugh on July 13, 1866.
The family lore says that all of Henry's children by his first wife, except two, died of typhoid fever. In fact, one family record said that only one survived, but it is now known that two sons of the first marriage survived into old age.  I can find no record of the children  Jacob or first Catherine after 1860.  The only surviving sons of this first marriage were Henry and John.

The 1870 census - no Jacob Pflaumer to be found.  Henry and John had moved on by this time (more on that later), so Jacob was left alone.  His obituary and family stories stated that he went back to Germany in 1870 to find a wife from his village.  I have found no passenger records/ passport to support this, but I believe it to be true because there is a record of his future wife's immigration.

On October 6, 1870, the spinster, Catherina Hoffman, arrived on the ship, City of Limerick, into the port of New York City.  Soon after setting foot on U.S. soil and arriving in Indiana, she and Jacob Pflaumer were married on October 11, 1870 in Allen County, IN.

They obtained the license and married the same day.  She was 27 years old and he was 58. The couple would remain together for almost 40 years.

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