30 July 2011

Wilhelmine Florentine Charlotte Wehrmann

1834 — 1903

Birth & Baptism

letter from church in Almana, Germany reporting Wilhelmine Florentine Charlotte Wehrmann's birth and baptism
Almena, Principality of Lippe; 1849.  Photocopy of original courtesy of Jane (Fiegenbaum) Padget.

This is a letter from the pastor of the church in Almena, Principality of Lippe, attesting to Wilhelmine Florentine Charlotte Wehrmann's birth, baptism and parentage. A transcription of the letter and a translation into English follow.

Wilhelmine Florentine Charlotta Wehrmann

eheliche Tochter [von?] Colon Adolph Wehrmann nr 13 zu

Almana und dessen Ehefrau Wilhelmine Kater

deselbst, ist zu Almana geboren d. 7t (siebten)

October 1834 achtzehnhundert vier und dreißig und d.

19t desselben Monate und Jahre getauft.

[------] aus dem Kirchenbuch[-] zu Almana.

Almana d. 7t April 1849

Pastor [-----]

Wilhelmine Florentine Charlotta Wehrmann

legitimate daughter [of?] Colon Adolph 1  Wehrmann of number 13

Almana and his wife Wilhelmine Kater

of the same place, was born in Almana on the 7th (seventh) of

October 1834 eighteen-hundred thirty-four and

baptized on the 19th of the same month and year.

[------] 2  from the Church-book 3  at Almana

Almana, the 7th of April 1849

[seal] 4 
Pastor [-----] 5 

Transcription of the pastor's letter and translation into English by J. Mark Fiegenbaum.

The letter by Pastor Rainart, of the church at Almana, is quite specific on a number of facts.

It records Florentine's full name (as an adult, she appears to have been commonly known by her second given name). It is not as complete with the name of her father, but does give the maiden name or birth surname of her mother.

The letter attests to the date and place of the birth and its legitimacy. In fact, Rev. Rainart took the time to spell out the day and the year of the birth even though his numbers are very legible. Perhaps this affidavit was intended to serve in some official capacity and he wished there to be no doubt. Hence the seal.

Adolph's social standing, on the basis of his landholdings, is mentioned, as is the farmstead (number 13) with which he was connected. A Colon was a class of farmer who typically lived on a middle-sized piece of property owned by a nobleman, or at least someone of higher social and economic rank. In the early 19th century at the not-too-distant village of Ladbergen (in Kreis Tecklenburg, Regierungsbezirk Münster, Provinz Westfalen, Königreich Prueßen; the birth place of Florentine's future husband), a Colon might be responsible for between 60 to 100 acres, composed of up to a dozen plots scattered throughout a township.

The letter records that Florentine was baptized in the evangelical church in Almana, about two weeks after her birth.

The reason for such a detailed letter is a matter of speculation. Florentine's mother, Wilhelmine Kater had passed away in 1839. By at least 1845, Adolph had remarried (to another woman named Wilhelmine) and had another daughter (also named Wilhelmine) with this new wife. In 1851, the family emigrated to the USA.

Perhaps in 1849 Adolph was anticipating his departure for Missouri and being a thorough man who attended to details he made sure that his family had certain documents that might make the trip go smoothly.

It is a characteristic that he may have passed on the his daughter, Florentine. She (or her husband?) recorded the names and birth dates of all her children. That document is still in the possession of the family and copies of it are included elsewhere in this web site.

Mary Ann (Held) Mock has discovered the Wehrmanns listed as passengers of the ship Rebecca, sailing from Bremen, Germany and arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana on 4 November 1851.6  The ship's manifest lists the Wehrmanns as passengers number 13 through 18 in "sterage."

# Name Age Sex Occupation Place of Origin Destination
13 Wehrmann Adlf. 63 male farmer Lippe Misouri [sic]
14 Wehrmann Wilhelmine 44 female Lippe Misouri [sic]
15 Wehrmann Adlf. 26 male Lippe Misouri [sic]
16 Wehrmann Friedericke 19 female Lippe Misouri [sic]
17 Wehrmann Charlotte 16 female Lippe Misouri [sic]
18 Wehrmann Wilhelmine 6 female Lippe Misouri [sic]


  1. While the letter 'p' in the manuscript is not clear to my inexperienced eye, the last letter is an 'h'. For this reason I have spelled the name as 'Adolph.'

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  2. I could not decipher some of the letters in this word. I have no translation.

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  3. I could not make out one or two letters that appear to be at the end of this word. Perhaps they are the necessary grammatical ending required by the case of the noun Kirchenbuch.

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  4. This appears to be the seal of the Pfarramt, or parish office, in Almana. The photocopy of the original document contains very little detail. I believe more would be discernible in the original.

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  5. I can not decipher or translate this small word. It may be an abbreviation.

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  6. See the entire passenger list for the Rebecca at the current (May 2007) Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild web site.

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Brief Genealogy

Wilhelmine Florentine Charlotte Wehrmann's family

Her father's 1st marriage

Her father's 2nd marriage

Hermann Heinrich Fiegenbaum's family

Fiegenbaum - Wehrmann family

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