Family Tree of My German Ancestors Who Came to Missouri to Found a New Rhine Valley – the Schatzes

During the 1800s a wave of Germans left their country in search of several things. In fact, I have read that there are as many reasons that the Germans immigrated as there are German immigrants. I admit that is an exaggeration, but I can say that the Schatz side of my family was among that herd.

Before the Germans migrated, several key figures had traveled to the USA, and they had picked out a region in the Missouri Ozarks to be the place that they wanted to move. Regardless of their reasons for leaving their homeland, one of their main goals was that of creating a new Rhine Valley in the USA.

Panorama Rhine Valley View Landscape Odenwald

Today, I have been looking at pictures of the Rhine Valley, and I must admit that it does look exactly like the area where I currently live in the Ozarks.

HDR aus neun Einzelbildern.

Jacki Kellum and the Ozark Mountains

My grandmother and her relatives moved from the Goslar region of Germany, which is in the area that once was Prussia.

“Goslar is situated in the middle of the upper half of Germany, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Brunswick and about 70 km (43 mi) southeast of the state capital, Hanover. The Schalke mountain is the highest elevation within the municipal boundaries at 762 metres (2,500 feet). The lowest point of 175 m (574 ft) is near the Oker river.” Wikipedia

The Ozarks are measured at a height of 2561 feet but in places, they taper down from that. All-in-all, the elevation of the area around Goslar is almost identical to that of the Ozark Mountains in the USA.

My Schatz family was a plain and hard-working people. They were not at all wealthy, and my great grandparents Wilhelm and Lena [Caroline] Schatz spoke very little English. Lena ran a boarding house for foresters in Van Duser, Missouri, which is not far from Cape Girardeau. The Missouri Rhine Valley effort is north of there, and west of St. Louis, but there are still several German settlements in the hills nearer to where I grew up in Southeast Missouri.

Although it is possible that my relatives trickled down from Philadelphia, I have been told that they probably entered through the port of New Orleans. Cape Girardeau is up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, and St. Louis is a bit farther up and on the Missouri River, which is a branch of the Mississippi River. Traveling up the river was a chore at that time.

Flatboats On the Ohio River - Deborah Heal

Unless the immigrants rode on a steamboat up the river, their journey was slow and tedious. That journey would have relied on poll barges, which made progress very slowly, but I doubt that my relatives had the money to buy passage on a steamboat. They had probably spent their last pfenning [penny] to buy passage from Germany.

Perhaps it is because of the language barrier or perhaps it is because my German ancestors were of very modest means, but I have had great difficulty tracing that part of my genealogy. But here is what I know so far:

I. Johan Heinrich Schatz
married Johanne Marie Elisabeth Magdalena Meier

II. Wilhelm Schatz
Born 1823
Died 1908
Married 1850 Mahlum, Goslar, Germany
Married Sophie Christine Hunze
Died 1916

III. Henry Schatz
Married September 21, 1879 in Cape Girardeau
Married Caronline [Lena] Sander

IV. Irene Rebecca Schatz [my grandmother]


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