|Jacob Klarman on the front porch of his farm house in rural Shumway, Illinois|
I am going to start with the ancestor that sparked the genealogy bug in my grandmother and myself. Jacob Klarman is my third great-grandfather and a German immigrant. He traveled to America around 1859 with his wife and small children. The story that has been passed around the family is that he traveled to America to save his son(s) from having to serve in the Bavarian army. Whether that is true or not I do not know. I have found indexes from German collections on the Family Search website that are helpful in documenting his life in Germany. An entry in the Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 collection indicate he married Phillipina Boehmer on 20th of June in 1856 in the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche in Rockenhausen, Germany. The record details that his parents are Jacob Klarmann and Margaretha Zubiller. I question the marriage year because of conflicting information on their oldest daughter's birth year. I don't know much about his time in Germany and this is where I need to do more research.
His life in America is more easily documented although I never found any passenger lists or other records that indicate what port he left from and arrived to when coming to America. According to Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 index on the Family Search website, Jacob and Phillipina had at least three children in Germany: Maria in 1856, Eliza in 1857, and Jacob in 1858. Jacob first appears in the 1860 U.S Federal census in Monroe Township in Coshocton county, Ohio. Jacob is listed as Jacob Clarman and is 28 years old. He is a farmer with real estate valued at $800 and a personal estate valued at $250 dollars. His wife is listed as Tenah and is 30 years old. Their two young daughters, Mary is listed as age 5 and Eliza as age 4. The son, Jacob, is missing in the record. Family stories indicate that Jacob and Phillipina's son died on the long trip to America. My grandmother did much research which consisted of her writing her older siblings for information about their grandfather. My grandmother's older sister Beulah told her that the son had died of "bowel troubles". After arriving and settling in Coshocton county, Jacob and Phillipina had three more children, Phebe Anna in 1861; Augusta B born on in 1862 and William Frederick Klarmann (my grandmother's father) in 1869.
The 1860 decade was most likely hard on Jacob. Storm clouds of war were brewing as he made his way to America for a better life for his family. Little did he know when he made the trip to America that he would be drawn into a Civil war in his new country. He enlisted in the Union army as a Private on 25th of February 1864 at the age of 33 in Company C of the 67th Infantry Regiment of Ohio. Records of the 67th Infantry Regiment state they traveled to Whitmarsh Island, Georgia on 22 February 1864. It is unlikely Jacob was with the regiment on the trip to Georgia, but more likely he and other new recruits met up with the regiment in Yorktown, Virginia in April of 1864. Jacob spent a year and half with the regiment in Virginia and mustered out on 7 December 1865 at City Point, Virginia.
The 1870 U.S. Federal census record still finds Jacob and his family living in Monroe Township in Coshocton, Ohio. Jacob is listed as 40 years old and a farmer with 1500 dollars worth of real estate with 500 dollars of personal estate worth. His wife is listed as Phebe and is 42 years old. The children are listed as Mary, 15; Elizabeth, 13; Anna, 10; Augusta, 8; and William, 1. Another child named Sonnels Harrison, 4, is listed with the family. It is unclear who this child is or what became of him.
Many of Jacob's friends were getting the itch to move west. In 1865 one of Jacob's friends, the Dappert family, moved west and settled in Prairie Township in Shelby county, Illinois. Some time between 1870 and 1880 Jacob and his family made the move to Effingham county, Illinois. On 1st of January in 1867 Jacob Klarman was naturalized at the courthouse in Coshocton county, Ohio so Jacob's migration likely occurred sometime after that event. In the 1880 U.S. Federal census the family can be found in Banner township in Effingham county. Banner township is close to Shumway in Effingham county, Illinois and is just south of where the Dappert family settled in Prairie Township in Shelby County. Jacob is listed as 50 years old and his wife “Phebe” is listed as 57 years old. The children listed are Anna, 19; Augusta, 17; and Willie, 11.