Casefile Clues

18 February 2014

A Quick "When to Quit" Update on Altje

I've had several private emails specifically about Altje in response to the "When to Quit" post so I thought I'd quickly provide a little more detail about her. 

Altje was born in Wrisse, Ostfriesland, Germany, in March of 1848, the daughter of Johann Luken Jurgens Ehmen Goldenstein and his wife Tjode Anna Focken Tammen, per church records. Aurich is the nearby "county seat" and while many online posts indicate she and her siblings were born in Aurich they were not. The place of birth is really not germane to the immigration question. 

Altje married Hinrich Wilhelm Schuster in Adams County, Illinois, in August of 1870 as indicated by the marriage records of Adams County, Illinois. The marriage date provides a "drop dead" date for her immigration to the United States. She may have known of Hinrich before her arrival in the United States as she already had relatives and extended family living in Adams County at the time. Altje may have traveled alone or with others--particularly since she knew where she was going (it's stamped on her trunk) and already had family in the area.

Altje died in Hancock County, Illinois, in 1907. She and Hinrich are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in rural Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. It is not known if she returned to visit Germany.

Based upon the marriage, the end of Altje's immigration time frame is August of 1870.

Many Ostfriesen immigrants during the time period in question arrived in New York. That does not mean Altje did. Given where she was settling, she could very well have landed in New Orleans and taken transportation up the Mississippi. She would have stopped at Quincy and taken the train from there to Keokuk Junction.

As for her name...

Altje's father's surname for most of his life was Goldenstein. Her father's surname at birth (based upon patronymics was Jurgens). Her father had brothers who used the surname of Ehmen (another ancestral name). It is also possible that Altje is listed on a manifest with one of these surnames instead of Goldenstein. Altje's patronymic surname would have been Johannsen (generally rendered as Janssen), but patronyms were not really being used when she was born and all of her siblings used the surname of Goldenstein. 

I've not searched for the other possible surnames and I've not searched the manifests manually. Whether or not I decide these things are "worth my time" was part of the subject of my original post

Note: Altje's parents are my ggg-grandparents.




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