There are at least five, and possibly more seemingly unrelated (but who knows) Kaesemeyer families that immigrated to America
from various parts of Germany.
Our Kaesemeyer family was first noted in late 1700s in Westgreußen, a very small Prussian village about 120 miles southeast of
Hannover. David Friederich Käsemeyer was born in 1784 to Rittergutsbesitzer Johann Christoph Käsemeyer and his wife Johanne
Sophie Christiane Käsemeyer, nee Zwiebar. The title “Rittersutsbesitzer” roughly translates to “Lord of the Manor”.
David Friedrich grew up, married, and raised his family in Westgreußen and became the Oberamtmann for the village. An
Oberamtmann is a mid-level administrative official and given the size of the village, he may have been the head administrator.
David Friederich and his wife Christiane Louise Caroline Charlotte (nee von Dachröden) had 10 children baptized in the St. Martins
Church of Westgreußen, nine daughters and one son. The son passed away unmarried at the age of 27 years.
The next place where documentation of the family was noted was in Wernigerode Prussia, a city about 60 miles north of
Westgreußen. There in 1797, Johann Christian , son of Johann Christoph Käsemeier of Nordhausen, married Johanne Marie
Magdalene Tacken. Johann Christian and Marie Magdalene had nine children, five daughters and four sons. Records for the St.
Johannis Evangelical Church in Wernigerode contain information on baptisms for 7 of the children, one of whom (a daughter)
passed away in infancy. The St. Johannis church records contain marriage records on four of the surviving children; the remaining
four apparently moved away before marrying or never married.
I consider it quite probable that Johann Christoph of Nordhausen and Johann Christoph of Westgreußen are one and the same;
however, I have not yet been able to find the proof.
One of the four who moved away was son Johann Christian Käsemeier (Junior), my 3rd Great Grandfather. Nothing is known of
him until 1835, by which time he had already married Margarethe Hermanns and had two sons: Edward William Frederich, born
May 1828, and Theodore F., born Feb 20, 1831. On Aug 23, 1835, Margarethe gave birth to Bertha Johanne Karoline in Gatersleben,
a village about 25 miles east of Wernigerode. Over the next seven years, Johann Christian and Margarethe would have four more
children, two of whom were stillborn or died after only one day. The two that lived were: Julius Christian Daniel, born Nov 5, 1840;
and Sophie Louise, born Mar 24, 1842.
Interestingly, there was another Käsemeier birth in Gatersleben only a couple of months before Bertha Johanne. Karoline
Friederike Käsemeier, daughter of Oberamtmann David Käsemeier of Westgreußen gave birth to Johann Friederich on the 9th of
June. There is no father notated in the on the baptismal record. The Godparents were the Oberamptmann (child's grandfather),
Kaufmann (grocer) Johann Christian (relationship unknown, but possibly the child's uncle and brother of the Oberamptmann), and
Widow Johanne Käsemeier of Westgreußen (probably the child's greatgrandmother). The theory is that the Oberamptmann sent
his unmarried pregnant daughter to his brother's in Gatersleben to have her baby. The irony is that the Oberamtmann's first child
was born about two weeks after his marriage. It's also interesting that the baby's mother Karoline got married back in
Westgreußen about 7 months later.
On Nov 23, 1847, Johann Christian (Senior) passed away in Gatersleben at the age of 76 years, 4 months, which makes his birthday
July 1771 . His occupation on the death record was listed a "Grocer and Butcher". At this time, his widow Marie Magdelene still
lived there. Three years later, Johann and Marie’s son Christoph Daniel (Junior’s brother) was married in the village of Liebenrode;
Christoph’s marriage records listed both his parents as deceased.
The next we know of the Johann Christian Käsemeyer (Junior) family is that they arrived in Detroit in 1851. However, I’ve searched
everywhere I can think of, and I’ve not been able to find any information about their departure, the ship, or the port of entry. I also
have no documentation that the parents came to America; it is possible that they remained Prussia and only the five living children
emigrated from Gatersleben.
According to one source, the Kaesemeyers left Detroit after a short time and went to Chicago, then came back to the Southeastern
Michigan area and settled in Port Huron. Its not clear whether the whole family went to Chicago, or just one of the older sons.
This is probably about the time that the spelling of their name was changed from Käsemeier to Kaesemeyer.
Bertha married Christian Harder in Wayne County in 1853. They moved for a while to Chatham, Ontario where they had two
children. They then moved to Port Huron sometime prior to 1867, where they had two more children.; Christian was listed in the
City Directory as the proprietor of the Opera House on Water Street and a Grist Mill on Quay Street. He died in Port Huron in 1876,
and Bertha died in Port Huron in 1881. Christian, Bertha and their three sons are all buried in the "Harder Plot" in Lakeside
Cemetery, in Port Huron.
Sometime shortly after their arrival, the Kaesemeyer family obviously had met the Gotleib Meisel family as a double wedding was
held on December 4, 1854 when Edward married Barbara and Theodore married Catherine. Drawing on their family heritage from
Prussia, the brothers operated a Meat Market on Huron Ave up through at least 1864.
Sometime prior to 1868, Theodore apparently decided to strike out on his own
and moved to the Bay City area. He and his family remained there until at least
1874, when they moved to Unionville where he purchased a hotel. Theodore and
Catherine had ten children, the first three of whom died at early ages. Two of
the Kaesemeyer sons, Theodore Gotleib and Otto Gotleib left Michigan in their
teen years and moved to Idaho, where Theodore was allegedly, although not
documented, the founder of the mining town of Coeur d’ Alene. The majority of the
descendants of Theodore and Otto currently reside in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.
Edward and his family remained in Port Huron. He and Barbara had eight children,
two of which died before reaching 3 years of age. Edward continued in the meat
business, ultimately turning his market over in 1881 to his sons Theodore Christian
and Edward G. Kaesemeyer. In about 1893, the brothers closed their market on Huron Ave
German girl available in Port Huron and he came there to find a wife. Sophie and Gottfried married on Oct 8, 1860 in Port Huron.
The couple moved back to Bay City in 1862 and then to Ludington in 1881. The Arnolds had 12 children. An article appeared in the
Oct 12, 1910 issue of the Ludington Chronicle describing the Arnold’s 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration.
There is also a mystery about Sophie. Her name on her baptismal record was Sophie Luise, but somehow in later life, she became
know as Louise Friedriche. How or why this happened is unknown, but I understand that it was not terribly unusual.
Julius apparently wasn't interested in staying in Michigan and by the early 1860s had made his way to New York City. There on Sep
22, 1863, he enlisted in the 23rd New York Independent Light Artillery. He was mustered out on Jul 14, 1865 at Ft Porter, Buffalo, NY
and apparently returned to the big city, where he died on Nov 14, 1892. I haven't been able to find any marriage record, but his
Austrian born wife's name was Franziska, or Frances. They had at least two children: Edward, born 1867, and Julius, born 1873.
One of the more bazaar stories about a Kaesemeyer appeared on page one of the February 24, 1899 “Port Huron Daily Times”
newspaper; the byline reads:
DIVORCED AND MARRIED
T. C. Kaesemeyer Remarries the Same Day
His Wife Obtains a Divorce
In the circuit court on Monday, Mrs.
Kate Kaesemeyer was granted a divorce
from her husband, T. C. Kaesemeyer. In
The evening of the same day, Kaesemeyer
and Miss Jennie Hayward, sister of the
divorced wife, were married.
The following marriage licenses were
issued by the county clerk on Thursday:
T. C. Kaesemeyer, age 38, of Port Hu-
ron and Jennie Hayward, age 24, same.
My Great-Grandmother Augusta Margaret Kaesemeyer, who
was the fifth born of Edward Kaesemeyer Sr, the oldest
of the five Kaesemeyer children who immigrated to Port Huron.
She married George Louis Ernst in 1885. Most of the pictures
on the Kaesemeyer and Ernst pages of this website are from
Augusta's photo albums. My mother often spoke lovingly of her
Grandma. When George and Augusta were celebrating their
50th wedding anniversary, my mother had her picture taken with them
(on the left) wearing the top to her Grandma's original wedding dress.
|My Mother's Paternal
Augusta Margaret Kaesemeyer
|Theodore "T.C." Kaesemeyer
and opened two more markets, one at 932 Military and the
second at 2337 Gratiot Ave. By 1902, the two meat markets
were closed. Edward opened another market at 1204 Military,
and Theodore became the manager at the "Meisel, Brownell
Fish Co". At some point after the turn of the century, Edward
decided to join his cousins out west and moved first to Idaho
and then to the Seattle area, where he passed away in 1933.
Today, there are a few descendents of Edward and Barbara
living in the Port Huron area, and at least one in California.
Sophie met Gottfried Adam Arnold who had moved to Port
Huron from Bay City in 1859 and opened a bakery (see
recently, I had no reason to question how it happened that
Gottfried came to Port Huron. However, I recently learned that
the Arnold family and the Meisel family (Sophie's sisters-in-
law) were both from Ortenburg, Bavaria. My assumption now
is that the Meisels let Gottfried know that there was a nice
|Edward Kaesemeyer Jr (left) in front of Military Street Market