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Carroll County Biographies


In the present day German state of Hesse, and the county of Vogelsberg, is a village called Feldkrücken. The “kreis”, is named for an extinct volcano. "Vogelsberg", in English means; “Bird Mountain”. Feldkrücken sits about midway east to west between the towns of Giesen and Fulda on the SW slopes of this volcano.

Our story begins in the year 1842, the time is 4:00 PM, “this day, December 19th, Johannes Schreiner is born to Johann Heinrich Schreiner, citizen tailor, and his second wife, Anna Margaretha, (Bernhard) Schreiner, of Meiches. Johannes is Heinrich’s fourth child, third son, and second child born into this union. Later on January 8th, 1843 Johannes is baptized by Pastor Ludwig Rumfeld. Sponsors were his Uncle Johannes Bernhard and Grandfather Heinrich Schreiner also a resident tailor, of Feldkrücken”. During Johannes’ fifth year is born a sister named Louise. She will only survive four months and 24 days, a testament to the conditions and difficulties of life in 1848. Later in October, 25th, 1849 is born another sister, Anna Maria, then in 1850 a brother, or a cousin, Conrad is born.

Four years later, on December 27th, 1854, the Schreiner family; Heinrich, 50, and wife Margaretha, 40, sister-in law, Veronica, 54, Elisa, 25, (Henrich’s eldest daughter), Lewis, 13, (second eldest son), Johannes, 9 yr. & 6 mo., Anna, 5, and Conrad, 4, step on U.S. soil at the port of New Orleans. They have sailed aboard, “The Old Bark Jeverland” The ‘Jeverland left Bremen commanded by Captain B. A. Müller with 318 passengers aboard. Seven of whom will die on the trip. On board is a 23 year old Casper Schreiner, a potter. I am uncertain if he is related to our Schreiner family.

Also, appearing on the manifest as the “Scheiners” {sic} are; Johann G. 44, a farmer, Marie Ch., his wife, Christine 22, Heinrich 19, Friedrich 15, Caroline 8, Carl, 19, and Wilhelm 9. All the young are indicated as being the children of Johann and Marie. I assume that Heinrich and Carl are twins. Again, I know of no relationship of this family and ours. I found two other familiar names on the ship’s manifest, such as Schleining , and Rahn.

It wasn’t unusual for several folks from the same extended family or community to travel together. Also, it is likely that they were encouraged to travel to the U.S. by their relatives already living here.

At present I can only speculate on how, our Schreiners’ got from New Orleans to Carroll county. There is the possibility they came by river on a paddle wheeler. I like this idea for its romantic appeal. Also possible is, they came to Carroll Co., by wagon with the aid of other family or friends.

I believe, eldest son Heinrich, made land fall in N.Y. in 1851 aboard the Bark,“Adelheid”. With 24 yr. old Heinrich, is a 27 yr. old Balthaser Schreiner, both men are listed as being from Feldkrücken. I don’t know how or if, Balthaser, is connected with our Schreiner family. But I believe he appears in Carroll county census as a shoemaker, and as the husband of a lady named Lena born in Baden.

By 1848, ggg-grandfather Heinrich’s younger brother, George Heinrich and his family are already living in Carroll County, Lima Township. I know this because some of his children were born in Carroll Co. prior to Heinrich’s family’s crossing. So it looks to me that Heinrich’s brother George, and Heinrich’s son, Heinrich, were already in America by 1854.

December was a difficult month to sail. Consider also, the walk across country, in the winter, with small children. So I feel that they had transport to Carroll Co. from New Orleans, by wagon, train, stage coach or as mentioned above, by paddle wheeler.

In the 1860 Federal Census for Carroll County, Illinois I found Henry 52, head of the household, with daughter Eliz.44, Henry, 30, Lewis 19, John 17, Mary 11.

I guess Margaret and Conrad were away when the census taker came by.

Then in the 1870 census we will find an aged Henry and Margaret living with Lewis and Caroline Schreiner, and children Emma, Henry, Lewis, and Adolph.

On the 20th of December 1860, the state of South Carolina declared its dissolution with the union of the United States of America. Ten other southern states will soon also do so, in the unpleasant days to follow.

Our ancestor, Johannes, when 18 and going by the name of John Schriner, enrolled into, Company I, 92nd Regiment of the Illinois Volunteers, on the 11 of August 1862, at Mt. Carroll. He musters out as being present until October 31st, 1862, when he is admitted to the military hospital at Lexington Kentucky.

He is diagnosed with chronic disease and an enlarged liver and dilation of the ventricles of the heart, and dropsy, (edema), of the belly. He is reported to have spent 150 days in the hospital, later to be discharged for disability on April 13th, 1863.

On August 29th, 1864, John enlists as a private into Company A 146th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, at Dixon for an additional year. He was assigned to the Detention Service with the Provost Marshall’s Office in Springfield IL. On December, 1864, guarding draftees till his discharge with the rest of his company in July 6th, 1865.

During this assignment President Abe Lincoln was assassinated on the 14th of April 1865, at Ford’s Theater. John and other members of Company A were on duty when Abe’s remains were placed in the burial vault, at Springfield. It was reported to have been a very hot day, causing John and four or five other soldiers to fall out from the heat, while standing guard over the President’s remains.

John returned to Carroll County Illinois sometime after July 6th 1865, then on the 31st. Of August, 1866, he and “Lizzie”, Merboltz were married in Mt. Carroll Illinois. On the 3rd Of October 1866, our next ancestor, Franz Heinrich Schreiner aka.. Frank Henry Schreiner is born.

Then on the 23rd of July 1868 Mary Lena, (Mrs John Wagner) is born in Chadwick, Illinois.

Next on the 28th of September, 1870, a girl named Anne is born, later to die in August of 1871.

Then on the 3rd of September 1872 Catherine, ( Mrs Adam Kness) is born.

Then, on February 7th, 1875 a son named Johnnie is born and lives but a couple of hours, seven days before his mother’s demise at Elkhorn Grove Illinois.

Some pieces of information that I haven’t been able to shake loose from the Schreiner limbs involve Lizzie, Anne, and Johnnie. The only references to be found are those in John’s civil war pension requests, and a copy of the marriage license from March of 1866. Record of the deaths and the burial locations of these infants and their mother, Lizzie, are said to reside in the Pastor’s books, at the Black Oak Lutheran church in Carroll Co.

Was great-greatgrandmother named Lizzie or Elizabeth, is her maiden name Merboltz, Merboth, or Merbot? Where in Hesse - Darmstadt, Germany is she from, when did she come to America, what port did she land at, where did she meet John? Who were her parents and ancestors?

Family tradition regarding John and his family states that, they moved around a lot after the war. One daughter recalled that there were dirt floors in a sod house school. She remembers Indian children in their class and an occasional snake would crawl across the dirt floor. The states mentioned were Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, and Dakota.

On June 13th, 1875, John and Anna Eaton were married in Mt. Carroll.

From this union are born; Anna, Emma, John, twins Ed & Fred, Ella, Charles, Harry, Harve, Cora, Dora, and (Mamie? ).

Johannes Schreiner was born December 19, 1842 in Feldkrucken,Oberhessen, Germany, and died October 03, 1921 in Chadwick, Carroll Co. IL.. He married (1) ANNA ELIZABETH (LIZZIE) MERBOLTZ March 31, 1866 in Mt.Carroll, Carroll Co. IL. She was born September 24, 1843 in Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany, and died February 14, 1875 in Elkhorn Grove, Carroll Co. IL.. He married (2) ANNA EATON June 13, 1875 in Mt.Carroll, Mt.Carroll,Carroll Co. Illinois. She was born February 03, 1852 in Harrisburg, Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania, and died March 20, 1937 in Milledgeville,Carroll Co. IL.

Contributed by Jim Schreiner

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