Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Family Pioneer - #1 in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge

Johannes Jakob Stobener could accurately be known as our family pioneer as he arrived in the U.S. 
earlier than any of our other immigrant ancestors.  Jacob, as he was known, was born on the 8th of March in 1820.  He was from a large family who were living in Vordenweidenthal, Sudliche Weinstrasse, in the Rheinland-Pfalz of Germany.  He was the son of Johannes Jakob Stobner, born in 1776 and Maria Barbara Veiock, born in 1779.  The couple had six children; Johannes Heinrich born in 1803, Johannes Markus born in 1805, Elizabeth born in 1810, Katharina born in 1815, our Johannes Jakob and Johannes Michael born in 1824.
In those days, homes, farms and goods were willed to the eldest son in a family and the rest of the children were left without.  As a result, in many families, once parents had died, the younger children were virtually "cast out" on their own.  Jacob, not the eldest, immigrated to the United States, arriving in New York on the 2 of May in 1851.  He was 31 years of age.  
Jacob had already married Anna Marie Christoffel who had been born in Rheinpfalz, Germany on the 11th of March in 1819.  Anna Marie listed her occupation as "cook".  Not the first in the family and certainly, not the last.

Jacob applied for and received his Naturalization Papers on the 17th of February, 1855.  No Naturalization Papers were necessary for Anna Marie as wives became citizens simply by being married.   Jacob and his bride, Anna Marie, and their daughter, Elisabeth (born in Germany in 1846) established a home in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania where, according to the 1870 U.S. census, Jacob worked as a boiler maker and Anna Marie kept house in their little home on Fell Street.  The couple had two more children; another Elisabeth and Anna Marie later known as simply "Mary".

There is a record of Jacob having registered for the Civil War Draft between 1863 and 1865. Whether or not he fought in battle, I do not know.

Jacob died on the 5th of March, 1897 after having written a will leaving all of his earthly possessions to Anna Marie.  The obituary from the Wilkes-Barre Times referred to him as a "highly respected old citizen".

Jacob was 77 years of age when he died of "general debility".  Survived by Anna Marie and three daughters, he was buried in the City Cemetery.  He had been a member of the German Lutheran Kripplein Christi Church.

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