Friday, January 3, 2014
Klar Origins in Platteville
One of the places this story can start is with Christian (Johann Christian) Klar and his wife, Mary Catherine Micka. They were born (both around 1797) and married in Dudweiler, Prussia (and presumably the family had its roots there for quite some time). Dudweiler is located very near Germany’s current border with France, just about 15 miles away. The borough is today part of the city of Saarbrücken, and I hear it has some background in mining. We’ll come back to that detail in a future entry.
Anyway, in winter of 1852, a group of relatives from Dudweiler headed to America! The passenger list of the ship Globe that departed from Le Havre, France and arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana on 19 Nov 1852 contained these people—Christ Klar, age 50; George Spies, age 39; Marg. Klar, age 37; two Spies children; and Jacob Holzer, age 53 with three children. These are important names! My current research points to these Dudweiler natives settling in Wisconsin:
*Christian and Mary Catherine (Micka) Klar and their children John, Margaret, and Christian
*Margaret Klar’s husband, George Spies
*Margaret Micka (Mary Catherine’s sister) and her husband Jacob (Johann Jacob) Holzer; and their children.
Why the other family members aren’t on the ship manifest is anybody’s guess. The handwriting is pretty fancy, so it’s possible they’re on the list and I’m overlooking them. Or maybe they didn’t write everybody down; it was probably pretty chaotic, getting people on and off a boat. In any case, one way or another, the next place these families show up is…
The 1860 Census for the Town of Platteville shows the families of John and Lena Clair, George and Margaret (Klar) Spear , Christian and Christina (Mary Micka) Clare, Christian and Susan (Quast) Clare, Jacob and Catherine Quest, and Margaret Holzer (Jacob died in 1859) all living in the neighborhood together. (Yes, spelling was all across the board. Dates, too.)
Check out this 1877 map of Platteville. Southwest of the town (in the yellow block) you’ll see the property of C. Klar Sr. Nearby are C. Klar Jr., J. Klar, and H. Holzer. You might recognize some other names, too, that we’ll touch on in the future!
This document was very useful because it lists the original home towns of both Christian and Susan!