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Johann Friedrich "Fredrick" Benkelman

Johann Friedrich "Fredrick" Benkelman

Male 1822 - 1897  (75 years)

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  • Name Johann Friedrich "Fredrick" Benkelman  [1, 2, 3
    Nickname Fredrick 
    Born 6 Jan 1822  Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 Aug 1897  Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7, 8
    Buried 29 Aug 1897  Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • The family register for the family of Friedrich's maternal grandparents, Georg Friedrich Stähle and wife, Anna Maria Leins, shows that Maria Dorothea Stähle was the fifth of their 15 children. She was married at the Schneiderhof on 20 Nov 1822 to Leonhard Benkelmann. Dot Williams, a Benkelman descendant, visited with a specialist in the old German script at the LDS library at Salt Lake City, where they helped her translate the information on the scans of the actual Stähle family register. They indicated that the writing to the right of Maria Dorothea's name, as well as two of her sisters, said they each had an illegitimate child. Maria Dorothea's child was Johann Friedrich, "who was raised as the eldest of the Leonhard Benkelmann family." It was not indicated one way or the other if he was also Leonhard's biological son. Johann Friedrich was born on 6 Feb 1822, approximately 10 months prior to the marriage of Leonard Benkelmann and Dorothea Stähle.

      Freidrich apprenticed with Leonhard as a bricklayer and stonemason. (Jacobs, p. 73)

      The oldest of the Benkelman children, he was the last to emigrate to America. He was already established as a stone mason in Württemberg when his younger siblings began to emigrate. Over the years, he received many letters from members of the family in America, telling him of the opportunities in the new land. Thus he eventually decided to join them. When he left Germany early in 1873, he was travelling with his wife Christine Stadelmaier, daughter Catherine and son-in-law Friedrich Buerk, granddaughter Catherine Buerk, daughter Christine and her husband George Jaus, and daughters Rosine and Mary, along with Fred's mother, Christina Buerk. German Parish records show "Marz 1873 mit Familie nach Nordamerika."

      They sailed from Bremen, Germany on the steam ship "Ohio," and arrived in Baltimore on 5 April 1873, as the vessel was powered by steam, their entire journey took only 15 days. The earlier emigrants had traveled in sailing ships, and thus their journeys had been much longer. Friedrich and his family then traveled by train to Saginaw, Michigan where they were met by Adam, who took them by horse and wagon to Cass City.  Adam, helped by his brothers, had constructed a building for them on his land where they stayed. Through hard work and frugal living, Friedrich was later able to purchase land a few miles northeast of Cass City, upon which he built his own home and farm.

      At a Benkelman/Striffler reunion, Mary Striffler Benkelman recalled that "Uncle Fred was the oldest and Jolliest of the bunch, I can see him yet a large man of straight build, starting to town a distance of three and a half miles, with a basket of eggs perched on his head and a pail in one arm, marching straight as when he served in the German army but in after years when he became old and feeble he would say "When I think I am going to fall I am already lying on the ground." Later in life, Frederick became lame from rheumatism and used crutches to get about.

      (Jacobs, pp. 82, 83, 161, as well various correspondence from BonnieMargaretJacobs, and issues of the Striffler-Benkelman Broadcasts)

      These are the tombstone inscriptions of he and his wife:

      Benkelman, Christina,d. 18 Aug 1897, 74y 3m 25d
      Benkelman, Frederick,d. 28 Aug 1897, 75y 7m 22d

      http://www.interment.net/data/us/mi/tuscola/casscity/index.htm

      A brief mention of his funeral was on the front page of the September 2, 1897 Cass City Enterprise, in the "Home Happenings" column:

      "The funeral services of Frederick Benkelman were held at the Evangelical Church on Sunday afternoon, Rev. C.Y. Schneider officiating. As previously mentioned, Mr. Benkelman has been in poor health for some time. He was nearly seventy six years old and has resided in this vicinity for many years."

      A copy of his actual Michigan Death Certificate can be viewed here:

      http://seekingmichigan.org/

      Indexed as Fredrick Benkelman

      It was noted under this cause of death that a contributory factor was the death of his wife one week previously. He was shown as 75 years, 7 months, and 22 days of age at the time of his death.
    • (Research):Census Place:Elkland, Tuscola, Michigan
      Source:FHL Film 1254607  National Archives Film T9-0607
      Page 96C
      RelationSexMarrRaceAgeBirthplace
      Fredrick BENKELMAN Self M M W 58 WERTENBERG Occ: Stone Mason Fa: WERTENBURG Mo: WERTENBURG
      Christina BENKELMAN Wife F M W 57 WERTENBERG Occ:Keeping House Fa: WERTENBURG Mo: WERTENBURG
    Person ID I11977  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2014 

    Father Johann Leonhard Benkelmann,   b. 6 Feb 1796, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Feb 1848, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years) 
    Mother Maria Dorothea Stähle,   b. 5 Jan 1800, Börtlingen, Göppingen, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 1853, Transit to America, Lost At Sea Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 20 Nov 1822  Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 9
    • BonnieMargaret and her husband Bruce visited Germany in September, 1980. In a letter to Ben and Avis dated October 13, 1980, she shared the following information "Then we were on to Börtlingen, where Adam and Catherine were married. The church there was built in 1484 and is one of the most beautiful we saw anywhere. I decided to see the village of Breech--for no particular reason except I that I'd heard Elsie Anthes speak of it and it had turned up in various records. WE had no real family association there--but it was nearby. What a stroke of dumb luck! Without that decision we might never have found the Schneiderhof, where Adam and his siblings were born and lived until they emigrated. The Schneiderhof is not a town and is not on any map. It's just a cluster of about 4 houses and supporting buildings, just down and across the road from Breech, and if you were looking away for just a second, you'd miss the sign to it.

      I cannot tell you my excitement! ...There is nothing new there. Adam would recognize it as if he had never left.  The tools and equipment are there as they have been for who knows how long. It is surrounded by orchards (apples) and small plots of vegetables. Börtlingen is on a hill and is lovely with good views. The Schneiderhof is on top of the world, looking out on miles of hills and valleys and villages. It is incrediably beautiful. Again I found myself out in some cabbage patch, trying to explain to some farmer that this was my family heimat (home)...Clearly Americans are accepted as eccentric and harmless!...Vocabulary doesn't reach the beauty of that hilltop and its vistas out over hazy valleys, looking at other hills where red tiled houses form little villages. I can just imagine it at night--looking out over perhaps two dozen sparkling little villages on other hills around. One climbs from Börtlingen to the Schneiderhof. But going down the back side of the mountain, through dense forest, the trail winds back and forth across the mountain into Waldhausen--which the Schneiderhof also looks down upon. This is the trip the family took to get to church, and probably to work."

      In her 1981 unpublished manuscript, BonnieMargaret noted that only the top floor of the Benkelmann home shows from the road leading in. The house is three stories high on the back side, two stories high in the front. It was built in 1733, by the state, to provide housing for state licensed artisans who were not allowed in the town as guild craftsmen. Apparently it gained its name from its first inhabitants, since the name literally means "the place of tailors." The official state description of the Schneiderhof in 1845 states that it was a place with 22 Evangelical residents, lying on the mountain top about one-half an hours walk from Waldhausen. The rents were paid to the city of  Göppingen, in 1845 twelve of those residents would have been Leonhard and Dorothea and their 10 living children, others would have included Leonhard's widowed mother and some of her children by Herr Heller, and likely their families. The land was described as rocky and and lying on a mountainside, "even today it is impossible to use machinery to work the land" and that the "people who lived there would have to have outside work." The house itself lies on the very crest of the mountain, with the house built on the downside of the mountain, overlooking Waldhausen. A very small patch of is on the level crest at the top of the mountain. When BonnieMargaret visited the home in 1981, she said it had four or five dwellings in all, and barns and sheds nearby the house and in the orchards. Just west of the house stands the old Bauernhaus, perhaps the homestead of Leonhard's maternal grandparents. The fields to the south were planted in potatoes and turnips, the high production crops that all of southern Germany turned to in the early 1800's. Beyond the westernmost buildings were apple orchards, beautiful and well tended. (pp. 68, 69 and accompanying photos).

      BonnieMargaret also noted that German life centered in the family. Even today we're told that day to day life included few close relationships with people outside the family. Certainly they were cordial and friendly with neighbors and cooperating artisans, but the joy of living was carefully protected within the walls of the home. Country people had no protection but each other, and the trusted "other" were kinsmen. Unlike the towns that were structured to protect the citizens from difficult times, the country folk were on their own, in good and bad times. Parents carefully nutured the bonds of affection and caring, and though they may have experienced the sibling rivalry that modern children do, it was not expressed  in the German home, where only mutual caring and consideration were approved and encouraged.

      Names and birthdates for this family were from the Waldhausen Parish Kirchlichen Familienregister Band I, Blatt 244, Dekanat Welzheim, Schwäbisch Gmünd.  BonnieMargaret noted that all the family information shown on pages 95 and 96 of her book were certified by Pastor Rau of the Ev. Pfarramt Waldhausen to be the complete record of the family of Johann Leonhard Benkelmann, with the exceptions of the dates of death, which were included by BonnieMargaret from other sources. They had one stillborn child, neither name or sex listed, on 4 July 1838. She also noted that they were married on November 20, but the year was illegible.

      The family register for the family of Georg Friedrich Stähle and wife, Anna Maria Leins shows that Maria Dorothea was the fifth of their 15 children. She was married at the Schneiderhof on 20 Nov 1822, approximately 10 months after the birth of eldest son Friedrich.
    Documents
    Benkelmann, Johann Leonhard and Dorothea (Stähle), Church Family Registry (German), page two
    Benkelmann, Johann Leonhard and Dorothea (Stähle), Church Family Registry (German), page two
    German Church Family registry, second page, which lists the fifteen children born to Leonhard and Dorothea. Four of these children died young, the twelfth child was stillborn ("todgeborenes"), and the remaining 10 children all emigrated to the United States between 1849 and 1873.
    Striffler-Benkelman Annual Labor Day Family Reunion, 1936 Newspaper article
    Striffler-Benkelman Annual Labor Day Family Reunion, 1936 Newspaper article
    In the mid 1850's, in Erie County, New York, two sons of Jacob & Otilla Striffler married two Benkelman sisters. Shortly after their marriages, the couples moved to the Michigan frontier, many of their brothers and sisters following them. The two families remained intertwined for subsequent generations. At a reunion of the Henry Striffler family in 1930 it was decided to enlarge the scope of the reunion to include descendants of Henry, Jacob, Joseph, Christian, John and Susan Striffler. Members and "in laws" of these families first gathered at the Assembly grounds in Sebewaing for a reunion in 1932. As the Benkelman-Striffler family had remained very close over the years, all branches of the Benkelman family were invited to their Sixth Reunion, and since that time it remained a joint event. This articles from the 1936 "Cass City Chronicle" details one of the earliest joint reunions. Attended by over 170 family members, the reunion was held on the John Striffler homestead northeast of Cass City, with attendees travelling from Ontario, Ohio and many places in Michigan. President W.D. STRIFFLER presided at a business meeting in 1936, and Harry HUNT, Mrs. S.G BENKELMAN (the former Mary Striffler), and Mrs. Ben SCHWEGLER (the former Joanna Mark) were elected officers for the ensuing year. The first volume of the STRIFFLER-BENKELMAN BROADCAST was published for the September 1936 reunion.
    Striffler-Benkelman Reunion 1954 Handbill
    Striffler-Benkelman Reunion 1954 Handbill
    Handbill advertising the annual Striffler-Benkelman Reunion, 1954, featuring Cass City's Main Street. At the fiftieth Striffler-Benkelman Reunion in 1981, Ruth Schenck Esau recalled a time when on Main Street, the owners of the newspaper, a farm implement store, both meat markets, the grocery store, paint store, insurance agency, funeral home, and photography studio were all members of the Striffler-Benkelman clan; not to mention a bank teller, many clerks, the music teacher, and many of the town's farmers.
    Striffler-Benkelman Reunion Photo, 1961
    Striffler-Benkelman Reunion Photo, 1961
    Group Photo fromthe 30th Striffler-Benkelman Reunion, held September 4, 1961 at the Cass City Evangelical Church, founded by members of the Striffler and Benkelman families
    Börtlingen, Germany
    Börtlingen, Germany
    Börtlingen 1683/1685 im Kieserschen Forstlagerbuch
    Family ID F35  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Rosine Müller,   b. 18 Aug 1821, Bartenbach, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Oct 1858, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 37 years) 
    Married 26 Nov 1850  Bartenbach, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 6, 10
    Children 
     1. Anna Catharina Benkelman,   b. 6 Aug 1843, Bartenbach, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1917, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     2. Christina Benkelman,   b. 24 Mar 1852, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Mar 1929, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     3. Rosine Benkelman,   b. 31 Dec 1853, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Oct 1854, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     4. Rosine "Rosina" Benkelman,   b. 17 Mar 1855, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1953, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 98 years)
     5. Anna Maria Benkelman,   b. 2 Mar 1856, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Mar 1856, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     6. Maria "Mary" Dorothea Benkelman,   b. 23 Feb 1857, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1952, Saginaw County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 95 years)
     7. Johann Georg Benkelmann,   b. 16 Oct 1858, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Oct 1858, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 23 Jun 2013 
    Family ID F5018  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Christina Catharina Stadelmaier,   b. 2 Apr 1823, Börtlingen, Göppingen, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Aug 1897, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Married 17 Jul 1859  Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Headstones
    Benkelman, Friedrich and Christina Catharina (Stadelmaier)
    Benkelman, Friedrich and Christina Catharina (Stadelmaier)
    Frederick and his second wife were buried together in Elkland cemetery. His first wife died before he has left Germany.
    Last Modified 19 Jul 2013 
    Family ID F5019  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 6 Jan 1822 - Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 26 Nov 1850 - Bartenbach, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 17 Jul 1859 - Württemberg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Aug 1897 - Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 29 Aug 1897 - Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Benkelman Immigrants, ca 1890's: Six of the Ten Benkelmann Children who emigrated from  Württemberg, Germany to the United States
    Benkelman Immigrants, ca 1890's: Six of the Ten Benkelmann Children who emigrated from Württemberg, Germany to the United States
    Top Row, l to r, Lena Benkelman Schwegler, Maria Benkelman Striffler , Georg Benkelman, Louisa Benkelman Striffler

    Bottom Row, l to r, Frederick Benkelman, Adam Benkelman

    Children of Johann Leonhard Benkelmann and Maria Dorothea Stähle

    Must have been taken while George was visiting Cass City from Denver, and sometime prior to 1897, when Frederick died

    _Benkelman, Freidrich
    _Benkelman, Freidrich
    Husband of (1) Rosina Müller and (2) Christina Stadelmaier
    B. 1822 Württemberg D. 1897 Michigan

  • Sources 
    1. [S469] Williams, Dorothy Ball--Family Researcher (dotwfl@comcast.net) 3331 Southwest Villa Place, Palm City, FL 34990 ; based in part on BonnieMargaret Benkelman Jacob's unpublished typescript, THE FAMILY BENKELMAN.

    2. [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 71, 95, 97, 158 (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S311] Bonnell, Kathy Brandt (kbonnell@byu.edu) "Göppingen, Württemberg, Germany and surrounding villages" http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=kbonnell, (RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Göppingen, Württemberg, Germany and surrounding villages. This database is one large family tree; everyone is connected by birth or marriage. Many of the families were inputted from the family books which were compiled by the pastors of each village beginning in 1808. Villages include Heiningen, Bartenbach, Gruibingen, Faurdau, Schlat, Hattenhofen, Eislingen, Holzheim, Auendorf , Dürnau, Bezgenriet, Ebersbach , Maitis, Gammelshausen, Börtlingen, Boll, and others. Kathy Brandt Bonnell work directly from German records to the computer.).

    4. [S469] Williams, Dorothy Ball--Family Researcher (dotwfl@comcast.net) 3331 Southwest Villa Place, Palm City, FL 34990 ; based in part on BonnieMargaret Benkelman Jacob's unpublished typescript, THE FAMILY BENKELMAN, shows his dob as 6 Feb 1822 (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 70, 95, 97, 158 (shows 6 Jan 1822 in each case) (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S492] Peck, Edward Arthur THE TEN BENKELMANS WHO EMIGRATED TO AMERICA Ca. 1850s AND CERTAIN OF THEIR DESCENDANTS, 1982.

    7. [S654] Cass City Enterprise, no longer in publication. Issues from 1881, 1882, and 1888-1906 are archived online at: http://newspapers.rawson.lib.mi.us/enterprise/.

    8. [S29] State of Michigan, Department of State, Division of Vital Records, Death Certificate.

    9. [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 95 (Reliability: 3).

    10. [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 95, 97 (Reliability: 3).

    11. [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 91, 160 (Reliability: 3).