Reitz Genealogy | Johann Heinrich Reitz & Anna Margaretha Wolf | Johannes Heinrich Reitz & Marie Katharina Fischer | Adam Reitz & Margaretha Anna Michel | Olga (Ollie) Agusta Reitz & Edward Henry Geile |

Michel Genealogy | Jacob Michel & Johannen Marien Friederiken Ruhl | John Heinrich Michel & Katharina Nungesser | Johann Heinrich Michel & Maria Siebert (John & Mary Michel) | Margaretha Anna Michel & Adam Reitz | Olga (Ollie) Agusta Reitz & Edward Henry Geile |

John Bergman Research | Uncle Dan, John Michel's brother

THIS IS MY WORKING GENEALOGY BIOGRAPHIES, PLEASE DO NOT COPY AS FACT. Some photos are personal and should not be copied and republished; other images are okay. Documentation I collected as proof to support facts (i.e. dates, relationships, etc.) are available for your use. I share freely, but please do not abuse copyright or perpetuate any information without supporting facts that may or may not be in error. I try to mark in red my questions or documents I need to look for, so your assistance in making this a complete collection is always appreciated.



Michel Genealogy


3 Johann Heinrich Michel (John H. Michel; J.H. Michel)

b: Nov 18, 1822 in Babenhausen, Darmstadt-Dieburg, Hessen, Germany

d: Sep 19, 1887 in St Louis, Missouri


+ Maria Seibert

b: 1824 in Hessen, Darmstadt, Germany,

m: Mar 27, 1852 in St Louis, Missouri

d: Nov 10, 1895 in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, United States

Johann Heinrich Michel was born November 18, 1822 in Babenhausen, Darmstadt-Dieburg, Hessen, German to a father of the same name and Katharina Nungesser. He was baptized on November 29, 1822. His paternal grandfather's name is Jacob Michel, his maternal grandfather's name is Peter Nungesser, and is maternal grandmother's name is Elleonora Ranis. This is a copy of the research I found, however, I do want to try to obtain a copy of the documents referenced.


Maria Seibert was born about 1824, also in Semd, Hessen, Darmstadt, Germany as determined from the census information.

This is an image of The Great Fire of 1849 (May 17) in St. Louis. This is significant to the history of John and Mary because it gives us an idea of how St. Louis looked when they arrived. We are not sure of when John arrived, although I believe it to be in 1850, the same as Mary. Mary would have arrive just 18 months after this total destruction. I wonder how long it took for St. Louis to be built back up after this fire?

This image is significant because it shows that the St. Louis Courthouse and the Cathedral were spared. As read below, in 1866 Mary and John were living near the Old St. Louis Courthouse. I wondered if they were living in a new building because of the fire or an old building. It appears that it may not have been effected by the fire.

This image is really great as it is a Daguerreotype by Thomas Martin Easterly of the ruins after the fire. The Cathedral is in this photo which, from the above photo, can be seen to the left of the courthouse.


After the failure of the German revolution of 1848 (Revolutions of 1848), many German liberals either fled the country, were expelled, or emigrated voluntarily during the following decade. In the 1850s, St. Louis received a large number of German and Irish emigrants. By 1850, one third of the population living in St. Louis had been born in Germany. Germans who could afford the voyage came to St. Louis to escape political unrest in their country. Germans arriving after 1850 were usually ardent abolitionists and nationalists. Their political activism made them instrumental in keeping Missouri in the Union during the Civil War. By 1880, some 46 percent of public school children were German and, a year later, 20,000 of the young scholars in St. Louis still received their lessons in German every day. (Source) (Source) (Source) (Source)


Maria came to America on the Charles Hill ship (Passenger List/Full Passenger List), departing from the port in Antwerp, Belgium, arriving on November 27, 1850, at the age of 26 years. Maria is not with any family. The ship is 699 and 85/95 tons, Captain William Lambert guiding the ship for a voyage of 63 days. Calculating backwards, the ship would have left Belgium about Wednesday, September 25, 1850. Our genealogist John noted in his research that another ship from Breman arrived on January 23, 1851, at New Orleans after 85 days. There were 190 passengers on Charles Hill, after death of two at sea, 159 Germans, 17 Belgians, 14 French; 2 being tailors, one shoemaker, 6 laborers, all remainder (including women & children) listed as "farmers." She came alone, but surely would have made friends on that long voyage.


In an excerpt of a writing by our pioneer genealogist John Bergman, we read that Maria left Semd, traveled to Mainz, then a steamer to Koeln (Cologne), then a train to Antwerp, the sea voyage to New Orleans, and a steamboat trip up the Mississippi from New Orleans which took 11 days, arriving at the St. Louis levee. She was taken to the residence of John Tempel because she had had a badly burned foot on the steamboat coming up from New Orleans.


John completed an application for citizenship on April 8, 1850. An applicant had to wait 5 years. The final decree of citizenship was March 24, 1855, Land Court, Volume #1, Page 330. Therefore he may have come to America in 1849-1850. Notation: obtain copy of decree of citizenship listed here. John has a brother living in St. Louis, Frederick Christian Daniel Michel in 1860, so the brothers most likely came to America together.

We can only wonder how John and Mary met in St. Louis.


John and Mary were married on March 27, 1852 in St Louis, Missouri. The marriage record is the third down on the right side of the document and lists their names as Heinrich Mickel (misspelled) and Maria Seipert (variation of Seibert). It is interesting to note the record was not recorded until November 4, 1852. I can imaging the church would physically go to the city recorder's office only every so often to submit records as all of the records on the page were recorded the same date by the same person, Franz Picker, Pastor. [1852 marriage date was between the two Holy Ghost church splits, "Holy Ghost survived two divisions. The first came in 1843, when Pastor George Wall left to form the German Evangelical Congregation of St. Louis, a single congregation with two locations that later became St. Marcus and St. Peter's Churches. The second came in 1856, when Pastor Fredrick (Franz) Picker founded the Independent German Evangelical Protestant Church (now known as Christ the King United Church of Christ)."] Link to Holy Ghost Church info. Link to Rootsweb page. [Quote from this page, " Frederick Picker began his ministry in October of 1843, and by the time he retired in January of 1855 he had accomplished many things. He averaged 420 baptisms and 225 weddings a year, and was instrumental in purchasing ground for a cemetery located on a 20-acre lot."] John and Mary stayed with the St. Marcus church.


The family church originated as the Holy Ghost Church, although I do not believe our family was in St. Louis 1832 when it originated. This church was the oldest German Protestant Church founded in St. Louis. It is interesting to note that in 1840, the church was located at a new building at the northwest corner of 7th and Clark, the present site of Busch Stadium. There are many splits of the church, but following only the line associated with our family to St. Marcus, in 1843, a pastor leaves to form the German Evangelical Congregation in St. Louis (Deutsch Evangelische Gemeinde). In 1845, the church built two identical buildings to better serve their members. The North Church (Obere Kirche) was at  15th (now 14th) and Carr. The South Church (Untere Kirche) was at Jackson (now 3rd) and Soulard (now Lafayette).

This is a drawing of the south location in 1845, which would become St. Marcus. This is where John and Mary would have been married in 1852.

We traveled to the location of 3rd and Lafayette in St. Louis, Missouri and this is the view looking towards the river. There are four parking lots at this location (2016).

What I learned in traveling to this location was the proximity to the Soulard Farmers Market. Today 7th Blvd is a main thouroughfare across the city and this takes one right by the Soulard Farmers Market which is only two blocks from the church. Soulard Farmers Market began in 1779, long before John and Mary came to St. Louis. I wonder if the market was open on Sundays and whether they would have stopped for some produce on their way home from church. It may have been closed on Sundays, but surely the would have come here to purchase produce.

This photo is looking down what is now 3rd Street (formerly Jackson) and the arch can be seen. Of course, the arch was not there in the 1800's, but this gives directionality and distance. John and Mary would have traveled by horse and buggy towards downtown where they turned left on Market to their home.

In 1848, the north church became St. Peters and the south church became St. Marcus. When I look at the map, it seems the north church is closer to 2026 Market home address than the south church; however, when John and Mary were married, they would have lived closer to the south church (in 1866 the lived at 576 Market). Therefore, after the family moved down the street, they continued attending the church John and Mary were married in, even though the distance was further to travel. I note they did not follow the Pastor who married them when another split occurred in 1856 (see above).

In 1867, St. Marcus a new church was built on the same site with seating for 800. This photo is St. Marcus's 1867 building as it appeared in 1904. Sixty percent of the St. Louis population in 1860 was German. Heavy damage from the 1896 tornado caused loss of the church's steeple. In 1896, the church was rebuilt after a tornado, but this would have been after John & Mary had passed (John in 1887 & Mary in 1895). The people spoke German until Rev. E.H. Eilts in 1894 introduced English which divided the congregation.


In the 1860 census dated June 4, John and Mary's name is misspelled as "Michael" which also helps us to pronounce the surname. It is interesting that the census is entitled "free inhabitants" because in 1821, Missouri was admitted as a slave state. They are living in Ward 5 of the City of St. Louis. John (age 37) is a blacksmith, owning real estate, born in Germany. Mary (age 32) is also listed being born in Germany, and her age seems off having been born in 1824 which would make her about age 36. There children are all born in Missouri, Margaret (age 7), Henry (age 5), Herman (age 3), and Edward (age 1).


The 1866 City Directory lists John Michel with a business name of (Michel & Seibke) at rear 576 Market Street. The business is listed on its own line as wagonmakers and John is in business with Henry Seibke. It would be interesting to know the relationship between the two men, whether relative or a friendship.

The location of 576 Market is of interest because it is close to the Old Courthouse. The year 1866 and the American Civil War was from 1861 to 1865, so we can imagine that the family was living and working right in the midst of the Civil War events in St. Louis.

This is what is at the location today (2016).

This street is busy so we had to take photos quickly as we drove by. We will have to go back and park somewhere and walk to take better photos, maybe when this construction is done. This photo is taken through our rearview mirror and shows the view of the courthouse from where they lived.

This is a photo taken in 1880 from the courthouse looking northwest. Although this is photo is taken 14 years after they lived and worked at this address, I imagine the buildings were the same. I imagine that the business would have been on the bottom under the awning and they lived above. The streets are not paved, although the sidewalks are paved. I have seen earlier photos of St. Louis and the sidewalks are brick within a curb.

The last slave auction was in 1861 held at the east door of Old Courthouse, so it would not have been easily viewable from 527 Market, but an easy walk to watch. Did the family see slave auctions? Surely they followed the news of the Dred Scott case in 1857



A list of all St. Louis directories with multiple reading links.


In the 1870 census dated June 3, 1870, John and Mary's name is against misspelled as "Michael." They are living in Ward 6 of the City of St. Louis (moved from Ward 5). John (age 41) is a blacksmith, owning real estate valued at $3,750 and personal estate valued at $500, born in Hesse Darmstadt. He is a male citizen of the United States. Mary (age 40) keeps house, also born in Hesse Darmstadt. Margaret (age 17) is "at home," Henry (15) "works at black smithing," Hermon (age 13) "works at black smithing," Edward (age 11) is "at school," Theodore (age 7) is "at school," and Julies (age 6) is "at school.)

At this time we observe the maps of the wards in St. Louis because Mary and John moved from Ward 5 to Ward 6 in the 1870 census. The dividing lines are all veritcal. This is a map in 1844, well before John and Mary arrived in St. Louis and well before the 1860 census address above.

Zoomed in, here are the dividing lines between wards 5 and 6. I could not find market street, but Morgan Street runs down the middle of the purple and on today's map, Market is just to the right of Morgan, which shows Cherry on this map. It seems to me many streets were renamed and that would take more research. It looks like the location is on the border between ward 5 and 6. I am wondering if this Cherry street is not where the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park is located because I see no Cherry on today's map.


In the 1850 directory, the ward descriptions are as follows:

Fourth Ward: All the territory lying north of the Third Ward, and south of a line commencing at the foot of Cherry street, thence running westwardly to Broadway, thence southwardly to Morgan, thence westwardly with Morgan to the western limits of the city.

Fifth Ward: All the territory lying north of the Fourth Ward, and south of a line commencing at the foot of Biddle street, thence running westwardly to Broadway, thence southwardly to Carr, and thence westwardly with Carr to the
western limits of the city.
Sixth Ward: All the territory lying north of the Fifth Ward, and within the city limits, constitutes the Sixth Ward.

In other words, everything north of Biddle was the new division between the ward 5 and 6 wards. It seems the division lines from the 1844 map have moved two blocks north. (note: this seems to put 527 Market in ward 4)

[note: there is today a North Market Street, but I do not see it on these maps either. In addition, everything I read indicates the courthouse on Market Street. The building of the Old St. Louis Courthouse was completed in 1828, so where is it on this map of 1844?]

It seems the city was growing quickly because in 1855 the wards were much different and expanded.

If this map were stilll in use in 1860, is 527 Market in Ward 5 or 6? (still looking to see if the wards changed yet again by 1870.)


The 1876 City Directory lists John H. Michel as a blacksmith living at 2028 Market. Sons Henry and Herman are listed as a blacksmith at rear 2024 Market. On a separate page, the business is listed at 2028 Market under the blacksmith category. (see full 1876 Gould's City Directory)


The 1878 City Directory lists John H. Michel at 2024 Market under the category for blacksmiths, in parenthesis see also wagon makers. It is interesting to see how many with this occupation are listed. (See full 1878 Gould's City Directory)


In the June 1880 census, There is a stamp indicating it is rejected. A second November 1880 census was completed. The surname is spelled correctly as "Michel." The family is living at 2026 Market Street, (independent city) St. Louis, Missouri. John (58) is a blacksmith from Hesse Darmstadt; Mary (53) is keeping house; Henry (26) is a blacksmith; Herman (24) is a blacksmith; Edward (21) is a clerk in store; Theodore (19) is a clerk in store; and Julius (17) is a clerk in store. I wonder if the three brothers all worked in the same store and if that store was the family blacksmith shop or another shop. Daughter Margareth (32) is living at the same address, but as a separate household, with her husband and twin daughters, Lillie and Kate (3). Margareth's husband, Adam Reitz (32), is a stone cutter. In the June census, there is another family listed at the same residence, The Fuchs, between Margaret and her parents, but I am not sure if they are related. In the November census, Adam and Margaret are listed before the Michels and are living next door at 2028 Market, St. Louis, Missouri, with John & Lena Fuchs. Lillie's name changes to "Lizy," Margaeth's age changes to 28, a son Henry born April is added, Mary is now 54, and Edward is missing (did he move in the last 6 months?).


The 1881 City Directory lists John H. Michel as a blacksmith at rear 2026 Market. Sons Henry and Herman have their own lines listed at the same address with a business name of "Michel & Bro."


The 1882 City Directory lists John H. Michel at 2028 Market as a business address, with an occupation as blacksmith, and rear 2026 Market as a home address. His son Henry is also a blacksmith. His younger 3 sons are not listed. On a separate page for the business listing under the blacksmith category, with see also wagon makers in parenthesis, the address is at 2028 Market. (See full 1882 Gould's directory)


The 1883 City Directory lists John H. Michel at 2028 Market as a business address, with an occupation of blacksmith, and rear 2026 Market as a home address. Also his sons, Henry, Julius, Edward J., and Theodore are listed with the same home address. Herman is listed with a business address of 2030 Market with an occupation of wagons. Theodore is on the next page with with an occupation of woodworker. Herman Michel, Jr. is listed at the same address as a blacksmith. On a separate page for the business listing under the blacksmith category, with see also wagon makers in parenthesis, the address is at 2028 Market. (See full 1883 Gould's directory)


The 1885 City Directory lists "John H. Michel & Sons" at rear 2026 Market and John H is now listed with an occupation of wagons. His son Henry's listings is similar indicating "John H. Michel & sons." Henry is now living at 2024 rear Market. There is a separte line for the business which lists John H, Henry, and Herman in parenthesis. Julius is listed as a blacksmith. Edward J is listed as an occupation of "bkpr" which I believe stands for bookkeeper. Theodore is not listed on this page. On a different page, the business is listed under the wagon maker category. (see full 1885 Gould's directory)


The 1887 City Directory changes the business name to "J. H. Michel & Sons" at rear 2024 Market for John H. Michel and his son Henry, with the business having a separate line listed as "wagons." Son Theodore is listed with an occupation of "wagon" at rear 1109 Ohio Avenue. (see full 1887 Gould's directory)


John H. Michel died on September 19, 1887. The city's death record indicates he is married and age 65 years, being a native of Germany, a residence of 2026 Market, ward 19, wagonmaker, cause of death O edema Pulm, physician John V. Frank, cemetery St. Markus, and the undertaker John Clark. His Burial Certificate indicates he is a wagonmaker (not a blacksmith), at the age of 65 years (actually, he is 2 months short of age 65), his address is 2026 Market, St. Louis, Missouri, a cause of death of O edema Pulum, and buried at St. Marks. Old St. Marcus Cemetery is located at 6638 Gravois near Loughborough, near Kinghsighway Blvd., was established in 1856 and closed in 1960. The New St. Marcus is located at 7901 Gravois established in 1848 and continues to be open. Since both cemeteries were open at the time of John's death, I am unsure which cemetery he is buried. Old St. Marcus is now a walking park established in 1977, but the graves under perpetual care were moved to New St. Marcus. If John were buried at the old cemetery, I would think the family had enough money to purchase a perpetual care plot.


John H. Michel's Will was admitted into probate estate #19183. The Will was handwritten and signed by John H. Michel on August 12, 1871. Witnesses were John S. Casperi (maybe lawyer) and Anton J. Michel (early Justice of the Peace in St. Louis and attorney, whose descendants were prominent in those fields even in 1930; it would be enticing to see if a relative connection can be made; listed in 1883 City Directory at 521 Market). Final settlement of J.H. Michel Will was December 12, 1894, which was a very late date. . . . .


Maria Seibert Michel died November 10, 1895. Maria's Burial Certificate indicates she died at home, 2026 Market, at the age of 71 years, cause of death La Grippe (the influenza or epidemic catarrh), physician John R. Frank, undertaker J.P. Murrell's Sons, and buried at St. Marks. Maria's Death Record indicates the same information, but adds that the Market address is in the 19th ward.


Will of Maria Seibert Michel made out May 16, 1890. She appoints her son-in-law, Adam Reitz of 1109 Ohio, as executor without bond. . . . .

Posted December 4, 1895. First publication.

Posted December 11, 1885. Claims are allowed two years to be submitted.

Posted December 25, 1895. Third publication.


This Johann Heinrich Michel could be our ancestor (except it is after the April 8, 1850 application date), who came to America on the Bark Favorite ship (Passenger List/Full Passenger List), departing from the port in Breman, Germany, arriving September 1850 at the port in Baltimore, Maryland, at the age of 27 years (soon 28 years old in November). There are some other Michels on the ship passenger list, but they are listed together as family and John is listed alone. Notation: most John Michel's on passenger lists came after the marriage date of 1852, and only this one has the correct age and exact name.