Prior Research

2 What is Known about Julius Kirmse?

From prior research, we know the following about our Julius Kirmse, his life in Germany and his immigration to the USA:

Julius was born 6 February 1835, in Fichtenhainichen. Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg (now Altenburger Land, Thuringen, Germany). According to the records of the Protestant Evangelical Church, Rositz, Sachsen-Altenburg, Julius was the legitimate son of Christoph Kirmse, native farmer of Fichtenhainichen, and his wife Justine nee Kratsch who was a native of Großröda. He was the 3rd child and 1st son of his mother. He was baptized 15 February 1835. His sponsors were Gottlieb Dietze, house owner and carpenter of Rositz; Marie Meuschke, housewife of Michael Meuschke of Kriebitzsch and Melchior Kratsch, neighbor and gardener of Großröda ,

Julius spent his youth at home and family lore has it that at the age of 5 he herded family geese. Julius had two older sisters (Eva, born 5 April 1830 and Maria, born 8 March 1832) as well as half-brothers and half-sisters. When Julius was 7, his mother passed away (21 October 1842).

Julius’s father had previously been married to Maria Findeisen (a native of Zipsendorf) with whom he had six children (Christine, born 21 February 1820, Hermann, born 23 January 1822; Melchior, born 9 August 1824; Maria, born 26 January 1826-died 14 July 1827; Jacob, born 5 April 1827-died 22 April 1827; and Christoph, born 13 October 1828). Shortly after the birth of Christoph, the mother Maria died (24 November 1828).

After Julius’s mother died, his father married Sophie Wiegner and they had a son (Bernard, born 16 April 1845).  Julius’s step-mother Sophie died 4 August 1854 and his father died 2 February 1863.

On February 3, 1853, Kirmse was granted an emigration certificate from the Saxe-Altenburg authorities for permission to immigrate to America and was released from all duties of a subject of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. Before leaving home, Julius supposedly was befriended by a medical doctor who was returning to America and who paid Julius’s ship fare. The passenger list of the Bark Kosmos, Bremen arriving in the Port of New York City on 22 April 1853 includes Julius as traveling in steerage. The voyage from Bremen, Germany took 42 days during which time the drinking water ran out and everyone on board got seasick.

According to the Bark Kosmos ship passenger manifest, when Julius debarked at New York’s port of entry, his final destination was Buffalo, New York. To work off his obligation to the doctor for payment of his ship fare, he took care of the doctor’s horses and kept one ready day and night in case the doctor should have to ride on a case. He also worked in a dry goods store where he learned English. He heard of a Lutheran community in southeastern Missouri and decided to seek out this group. After completing his year obligation, Julius supposedly worked on the Illinois Central Railroad laying tracks.

The objective of the current research is to review and document the above history of Julius Kirmse as well as extend the Kirmse family genealogy.



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