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Johann Peter Schmidts father

Born: 24 September 1755
Died: 5 August, 1827


4:30 PM August 6, 1827
The Catholic Church in Zuesch, Prussia, Germany

The old wooden Church is dank and steamy hot from the late summer heat. It has been a very dry summer and the crops and farmers have suffered. This is not rich wealthy farm land scattered among the great forests of western Germany. It is subsistance living on these small plots.

There is nary a breeze through the oaken wood Church doors opening to a view of the bubbling brook that merrily cascades down the mountainside and then slids silently under the little foot bridge leading to this lonely Catholic Church of Zuesch.

Sun filters through the stained glass windows, its late afternoon rays illuminating a small German family from Damflos, a mile north of here. They are gathered in grief. 

Johann Peter Schmidt, age 39, gazes down upon the prostrate form of his 72 year old father, also called Johann Peter, resting upon a wooden burial plank in their small Catholic Church. 
His Mother Anna Barbara Longfils, 66, quietly sobs at the loss of her beloved Peter of 46 years. 

Peter's father has just died in the family thatched hut in Damflos on the edge of the great Medieval forests just north of Saarland from whence his grandfather, Johann George Schmidt, and great grandfather, Simon Schmidt had scraped a living as woodsmen. The small steel smelting plants of Saarland are voracious wood burners.

His father, Johann, had improved the family's lot by become a farmer and cultivating a small plot of land around Damflos. So much better than tramping the great forests west of the southern Rhine River and north of Saarbruken as a woodsman.

Standing behind Peter is his 35 year old wife Anna Maria Bruck holding the hands of his 3 year old fraternal twin Sons, Peter Jr. and Jacob. His 15 year old eldest daughter Elizabeth Barbara is holding the hands of her younger sisters, Anna Maria, age 10 and Maria Anna age 8. Son Johannes, age 10 months and who will die in these next few years, has been left in Damflos in the care of his Maternal Grandmother Maria Magdelena Bruck.

Tomorrow this family shall lay to rest their revered Father in the Church yard Cemetary next to his Grandson Johannes Peter who died in his 1st year in 1815.

Twelve years from now on July 15, 1839 Johann Peter (Sr) shall again gather his family here for the burial of his Mother Anna Barbara Longfils.

Ten months later, on May 2, 1840, after his Mother's passing, Johann Peter shall obtain a Prussian passport in Trier and journey to Reims, north of Paris and on to Le Havre to await passage. In late May or early May 1840 the family of five shall depart LeHavre for the United States via the Clipper Ship, "France" landing at New York City on July 27th, 1840. 

Two years later, on May 10th, 1842, Johann Peter shall pay $100 for 45.63 acres of prairie-land 9 miles north of Chicago, a mile south of Indian Boundary Trail on Ridge Trail bordering Lake Michigan. 

From the log cabin on Ridge Trail shall grow the Schmidt, Smith, and Fortmann, Fortman Lineage.

source: David Fortman
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