The Emigration Journey of Anna Maria Stephan

I've pursued some questions with Stefan Lindtner of Königheim, from where my great-grandmother Maria Anna Stephan (married name Deneke) emigrated in 1873.

First contact

From: tabs6469
To: tgkohn
Sent: Thu, May 5, 2011 3:51
Subject: Maria Anna Stephan
angeschlossen ein Auszug aus der Passagierliste des Schiffs Algeria. Die zweite Frau Maria Stephan kam ebenfalls aus Königheim und reiste zu ihrem Bruder. Das Schiff fuhr auf der Route Liverpool-New York und erreichte New York am 04.04.1873.
Wenn Sie weitere Informationen benötigen melden Sie sich bitte,
Stefan Lindtner
"attached is a portion of the passenger list of the ship Algeria. The second Frau Maria Stephan came from Königheim and was travelling to her brother. The ship took the route from Liverpool to New York and reached New York on 4 April 1873. If you need further information, please contact me.
"Stefan Lindtner"


Am 22.05.2012 04:27, schrieb Tom Kohn:
Guten tag Herr Lindtner!
Ich glaube daß ich noch nicht Ihren Brief geantwortet habe. Entschuldige für die lange Ziet dazwischen.
Seit einem Jahr, weiß ich gar nicht wie wir uns diese Familiengeschichte zusammen gebastelt haben. Ich muß unterallen ein herzvolles Danke sagen.
Da ich nicht weiß, wovon Sie schreiben, und wie Sie diesen Shiffszahl gefunden haben, stelle ich einige Fragen, obwohl Sie möglich gar nichts davon wissen.
1. Wie hat die Maria Anna Stephan von Königheim nach Liverpool gereist?
2. Gibt's vielleicht eine Auswangerungsverständniß dazu?
3. Wie ist die Quelle dieses Shiffszahls?
Trotzdem bin ich glücklich bei Ihrem guten Tat.
Mit schönsten Grüßen!
Thomas Kohn
"Good day Mr. Lindtner,
"I believe I haven't replied yet to your letter. Excuse me for the long time between our correspondence. A year later, I don't know what we did to build this family history. Nevertheless, I give you heartfelt thanks.
"Since I don't know where you're writing from, nor how you found the ship manifest, I have a few questions. Perhaps you also don't know the answers.
"1. How had Maria Anna Stephan travelled from Königheim to Liverpool?
"2. Is there perhaps a document that permits her emigration?
"3. What is the source of the ship manifest?
"Nevertheless, I'm lucky because of your good deed.
"With best wishes,"


From: Tabs6469
To: Tom Kohn
Sent: Sun, Sep 23, 2012 11:27 am
Subject: Re: Maria Anna Stephan
from other documents and books I know that the emigrants from Baden first made a trip to the river Rhein. There they they used a passenger ship to come to the coast. From the coast of the North Sea they used a ship to come to England and Liverpool. In Liverpool they entered the emigrant ships. In the 1850's more than 150 people from Koenigheim made this trip on one ship and the story was written down.
The emigrants needed a permission for the emigration. But a lot of of them left Baden without this permission. I don't know if Maria Anna Stephan had this permission.
I found the Passengerlist of the Algeria on ancestry.com during my research for the emigrants of my village Koenigheim to the USA.
That's it.
Stefan Lindtner

More information

The following information is not edited to a final form. It is primarily a list of resources to use for a final text.

Rhein ship travel
See 1911 Encyclopedia entry. If you have patience, look in this source to find possibly contemporary information about Rhein travel and Rotterdam.
The Rhine Gorge is a popular name for the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a 65 km section of the River Rhine between Koblenz and Bingen in Germany. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in June 2002 for a unique combination of geological, historical, cultural and industrial reasons.

The gorge produces its own microclimate and has acted as a corridor for species not otherwise found in the region. Its slopes have long been terraced for agriculture, in particular viticulture which has good conditions on south-facing slopes. Most of the vineyards belong to the wine region Mittelrhein, but the southernmost parts of the Rhine Gorge fall in Rheingau and Nahe.

The river has been an important trade route into central Europe since prehistoric times and a string of small settlements has grown up along the banks. Constrained in size, many of these old towns retain a historic feel today. With increasing wealth, many castles appeared and the valley became a core region of the Holy Roman Empire. It was at the centre of the Thirty Years' War, which left many of the castles in ruins, a particular attraction for today's cruise ships which follow the river. At one time forming a border of France, in the 19th Century the valley became part of Prussia and its landscape became the quintessential image of Germany.Rotterdam, NL port
An excellent contemporary map of lower Holland. Use these selections to the left of the map: Nederland, Zuid-Holland, Rotterdam.
Potentially, another contemporary map is at http://www.rat.de/kuijsten/atlas/zh/. However, the specific page results in an error. The home page http://www.rat.de connects to an active weblog.
This website is the Rotterdam municipal archive's image library. Use the product names provided on this webpage.

Liverpool, UK
This source includes a small amount of information for both Rotterdam and Liverpool. I found an isolated statement that Liverpool emigration records before 1890 are not available.

The embarcation and sea travel.
An abundant assemblage of detail at Maggie Blanck is not well documented.

Arrival at New York
Castle Garden, about 1888
Castle Garden, today known as Castle Clinton National Monument, is part of Battery Park, a 25-acre waterfront at the southern tip of Manhattan. From 1855 to 1890, Castle Garden was America's first official immigration center, a pioneering collaboration of New York State and New York City. Unlike Ellis Island, which was to be operated by the United States Bureau of Immigration, the New York State Board of Emigration commissioners were in charge of Castle Garden. The national monument of today includes an educational website that offers a database on 11 million immigrants who were received at Castle Garden from 1820 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. The park also served the citizens of New York as a concert hall and park until the early 20th Century. Other images of Castle Garden. Thanks also to Lynda Jean Reyst Klema and her excellent summary.

This source refers to other websites that may list immigrant arrivals.

Finally, the travel inland has spotty documentation in this source.

© Thomas G. Kohn, 2013.


Information about Mathias Kohn 1829-1888

One of my great grand-uncles led two brothers in emigrating from Waaerliesch, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. He settled in La Crosse WI as that town was first developing, and he became a notable businessman in the community. His success attracted his two brothers who emigrated in 1865 (John M. Kohn, my great-grandfather) and 1871 (Michael). Both John M. and Michael lived some time in La Crosse, but both also resettled to Kansas

I know these facts about Mathias Kohn.
  • 1829.08.16, he was baptized at St. Aper Catholic Church, Wasserlisch, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. The godparents were Mathias Hoffman of Wasserliesch and Christina Sturm-Kohn of the upper mill (about 2km west of Wasserliesch).
  • 1849.04.25, he was confirmed at St. Aper Catholic Church, Wasserlisch, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. No sponsor is identified.
  • Before 1855, he emigrated from Germany to the U.S. No information is available on the exact date or ship.
  • 1856.05.18, he purchased patent land identified as Section 23, Town 15, Range 5, documented in volume 89. The full description is SW 1/4 NE 1/4 S 23 T 15N R 5W and NE 1/4 NW 1/4 S 23 T 15N R 5W in the actual patent, dated 10 August 1858. The payment certificate for the same 80 acres was issued on 15 May 1856. The parcels are located in the extreme southeast corner of La Crosse county.
  • 1859.11.14, he sold land by warranty deed to Martin Voegele—the same 80 acres at SW 1/4 NE 1/4 S23 T15N R5W and NE 1/4 NW 1/4 S23 T15N R5W for payment of $200. Recorded 1862.09.25.11:00.
  • 1860.06.08, he was recorded in the U.S. Federal Census.
  • 1862.09.25, the deed transfer was recorded, in which Mathias sold 80 acres at SW 1/4 NE 1/4 S23 T15N R5W and NE 1/4 NW 1/4 S 23 T 15N R 5W . Certificates 13274 and 13276 United States for the certified register deposited in the General Land Office by Matthias Kohn. Recorded 1862.09.25.11:00.
  • 1865.09.18, he married Josephine Becker at St. Mary Catholic Church, La Crosse WI.
  • 1866, he was a saloon keeper and restaurateur, beginning before or in 1866. The saloon and restaurant had several locations, the first of which was on Pearl Street between Second and Third Streets. (Articles from The La Crosse Tribune and Nord Stern for the following news items: - "Matth Kohn & Jak. Ricker ...  Bier-Saloon ... [Pearl Street]" 30 Dec 1865. - "Neue Salon-Firma -- Hr. John Walter ... u. Kohn werden jetzt den Salon an der Pearl Straße" 20 Jan 1866.
  • 1866, he resided at the same address as his saloon and restaurant, on the north side of Pearl between Second and Third.
  • 1866.08.01, he owned land N 20 feet Lot 7 Block 19 in the city of La Crosse WI. (Agreement on 1868.08.01 between Philipp Koth and Mathias Kohn. Owner P.K. of middle 20 feet Lot 7 Block 19 of original plat of La Crosse and owner M.K. of N 20 feet Lot 7 Block 19 have built in equal share a wall on the line between the two parcels. P.K. desires to raise the wall of a two-story structure on that line, and M.K. agrees to pay 1/2 of the cost of that wall when he desires to build a structure using the same line. Recorded 1869.04.16.)
  • 1870, he was a saloon keeper, and was noted as sole owner beginning this year.
  • 1870, he and his family should be in the U.S. Federal Census.
  • 1875.06.01, he was recorded in the Wisconsin State Census. The entry at the bottom of page 21 reads "Mat. Kohn 4 white males, 3 white females." The members of the household that are accounted for: Mathias, Josephine, Ferdinand, Katherine, Frank J., Matt (Jr), and Clara Elizabeth. The five heads of household before and after his listing are John Bauer (4, 2), John Willing (4, 4), Ole Wanger (5, 0), Mrs. A.B. Osborn (0, 2), Phill Knoth (1, 4); Mat. Kohn; [page 22] Ryland Partier (7, 3), J.C. Durbough (2,5), T.J. Gile (1, 0), Sivace Wilson (7, 3), George Feathirter (1, 0).
  • 1880, he and his family were recorded in the U.S. Federal Census.
  • 1881.01.30, he was godfather for the baptism of Catherine Josephine Kohn, daughter of John M. Kohn and Susanna Reinert.
  • 1883, his business was included in city directories for several years through 1888 with Mathias the proprietor and statements that his residence was the same address, 111 North Third Street.
  • 1885.06.20, he and his family were recorded in the Wisconsin State Census.
  • 1888.10.15, he died within one day of a probable stroke that caused paralysis.
  • 1888.10.18, he was buried in La Crosse, Catholic Cemetery.
His children were
  • Katherine (1866-1949), not married, no known children.
  • Frank J. (1868-1920), not married, no  known children .
  • Matt (1870-1899), not married, no  known children .
  • John (1872-1940), not married, no  known children .
  • Clara Elizabeth (1874-1932), not married, no  known children.
  • Helen (1876-1929), married George Johnson, no known children.
  • Josephine M. (1877-1962), not married, no  known children. 
  • Herman J. (1879-1922), married Della Petrick before 1908, three known children (Charlotte, Archie, Bernice).
  • Charlotte (1881-1958), not married, no  known children 
  • Ferdinand (1883-1940), married Julia Louise Euler, one known child (Georgia L.). Ferdinand died in Los Angeles CA in November 1940. His daughter married John Lewis Harley (1910-1996), and they had one daughter.
  • George (1885-1940), married, childen may be Richard Walrath and an unnamed daughter.
  • Helen V. DeFrance (1889-1960?) (by adoption).
  • Carl DeFrance (1893-1940?) (by adoption).
The descendants who I know are from the children of Herman J. Kohn and Della Petrick-Kohn, Charlotte and Archie. Charlotte married Vincent Troyanek in Winona WI, and they had four known children. I am in contact with their grand-daughter. Archie married Leona [family name unknown], and they had three known children. However, I have not made contact with this family.

Helen Kohn married George Johnson (about 1870-1930), but any children are unknown.

Ferdinand Kohn married Julia Euler, and they had at least one daughter Georgia, who married John Lewis Harley. The family of Ferdinand lived in Los Angeles CA, and the Harley family lived in Union City CA. Any later descendants are unknown.

George Kohn married Matilda [family name unknown], and a stepson Richard Walrath came from another marriage and an unnamed daughter married Merlin P. VanDyke.

Any corrections or additions are welcome. Please write a comment!

© Thomas G. Kohn, 2013.