Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is there a Hallmark card for 165 years?

I forgot to post yesterday that it was the 165th anniversary of my family coming to America. By "my family," I mean those whose surname I share.

It's hard to imagine being so desperate to leave northwestern Germany that they left in October and didn't disembark until January. Late fall and early winter at sea must be brutal. (I would guess they waited to leave after the harvest, but then why did several of my other farming ancestors leave in the summer when the weather was surely more pleasant?) Oh, and they had a small child with them. That had to be fun. (Let's be real, folks.)

After arriving at New Orleans, the family is reported to have taken a boat up the Mississippi River to the St. Louis/St. Charles area. One account mentions the father, Johann Friedrich BENNE, having less than fifty cents in his pocket at the time. Things would get better. Within ten years, he had his own farm, was a church's founding member, and was able to buy a portion of a city block where he had his retirement home built.

1 comment:

Lee said...

No, but dagnabbit, there should be.