Up until now, most of what I have posted about the Rademacher family has been based on research that I have either done myself or independently confirmed (if it was done by others). Going back this far on the Kreifels family tree, however, I will only be passing along information that others have collected. Some of it is no more than hearsay and chances are some of it will turn out to be quite wrong!
Digging into these families is something that will occupy many hours over a period of many years. If I were to wait until everything checked out, I might never get this information out there. So with that fair warning, let’s move ahead.
Elizabeth Kreifel’s great-grandfather Mathias Blommer was born on September 9, 1800 in the town of Giesenend, Germany and was a brick layer and farmer. I have heard that the German spelling of the name may have been “Blömmer” and the German pronunciation might sound more like “Bloomer” to our ears. After his father died, he decided to take his mother, wife and children to America. They started making their plans in 1839. In the middle of their planning, Mathias and Elisabeth were probably surprised to find out that another baby was on the way. Little Melchior was born in January 1840 to a family that already included five sisters and two brothers. That summer, a terrible potato famine came through Germany. I’m sure the Blommers were glad their plans were made for it was probably uncertain how many families were going to survive the coming winter with such a widespread crop failure.
They left Osterath in September of 1840 and sailed out of the port of Le Havre in France on the ship Edmund Perkins. They arrived in the port of New Orleans on November 7, 1840. The oldest daughter Magdalena was 19 years old and the youngest son Melchior was less than a year old. An extended family left Osterath, and there were 31 emigrants in their group.
Their ultimate destination was Lisle Town on the Osage River in Missouri. This no longer exists today. After a few years, they moved to Loose Creek, Missouri where there was a large and growing community of Rheinlander Germans. There is a really neat documentary available on DVD about the Loose Creek Germans. You can watch the introductory portion of it below. The experiences of the families shown in the DVD are probably nearly identical to what the Blommer family experienced. Dale and I have this DVD, well worth watching.
The DVD is sometimes used in social studies classes for middle school students. There is a curriculum and study guide here – kind of interesting to browse through.
Next time we’ll talk about the Blommer family’s experiences in Loose Creek, and the trip that Dale and I made to Loose Creek in 1996.
*by the way, you will hear mention of the German town of “Krefeld” in the video. The family name Kreifels is associated with the town of Krefeld.