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notes on Anna Maria Bruck

Born 1795 in Roderbach, Germany
Maria Bruck's birth date is given by Helmut Zender of Detmold, Germany, as 1795. (August 15, 2007)
Jeanine Scholtz gives Maria Bruck's birth date as abt, 1792

Died 5 November, 1879, 6836 N Ridge (Ridgeville), Evanston (Chicago), Illinois USA

Burial expenses as recorded in family accounting ledger of 11 Nov. 1879

cash paid to Mr. Birren., one coffin

Hearse, Carriages, Shroud, (Mother Maria) $54.10

to Rev. Thhlen Burial........................7.50

Six Masses...................................6.00

carriage drivers drinks for Zenders..........2.00


  • 1840...Anna Maria sails from LeHavre, France aboard the Clipper Ship "France", with her family to Castle Garden New York, landing 27 Jul 1840.

    1841...Anna Maria and her family reside in the German community of New York City for about 1 year as their daughter Maria Anna delivers her 1st born, Jacob Zender, on 15 Feb 1841, 7 months after landing. The father Johann (John Senter on the "France's" Passenger manifest) apparently sailed with the Schmidt's. 

    About May of 1842...Anna Maria (age 50, her husband Peter Schmidt) (age 54) and their children, Peter (age 18) Maria Annna (age 23) arrive in Chicago after traversing the Erie Canal from New York to Buffalo and thence sailing the Great Lakes to Chicago. Sailing time was 3 or 4 days and cost $10.00 per person. Twin brother Jacob (age 18) remains in New York according to the account of Louisa Schmidt Fortman,(Peter Jr.'s daughter.)

    On May 10, 1842 Peter and Maria purchase, as the 4th owners, after the Potowanomi Indians, then the United States under the "Treaty of Portage Des Sioux" with the Potowanomi, Sioux, and Ottowa Tribes in August 1816 signed at St. Louis, and Henry C. West (1st purchaser from US Government in 1841), 45.63 acres of sandy, meadowed land for $100.00.

    This land is 9 miles north of Chicago on the Ridge Trail. (currently Ridge Blvd from Pratt Ave north to Morse Ave and west toward Western Ave.)They build a log cabin in the grasslands on a 24 foot gently sloping bluff (created by glaciers 24,000 years earlier) overlooking marshes leading into Lake Michigan. There are few trees making plowing simpler but the soil has a grass root mass that is incredibly thick. With a lack of trees they must lease a wood-lot further north near today's Gross Point Road to provide firewood. The spring and pond on their farm will provide ice for the earth-covered ice-house. The ice harvest will last until the end of August.

    1850 Census: Ridgeville, Cook County, Illinois
    Maria (age 58) and Peter (Sr) (aged 62) reside in the log cabin with son Jacob (Schmidt) Bruck aka Jacob Smith next door to son and fraternal twin brother Peter(Jr) who has built a two-story frame house for himself, his wife Elizabeth Phillip(s), and their first-born son Peter K, aged 3 months. (It is this baby son who will later found as a co-partner the Opera House in Aspen, Colorado (still there today) and also arrive, to late, at the site of the accidental shooting and death of his Uncle Jacob.)

    1860 Census: Dubuque Co., Iowa
    Maria and husband Peter are living with their son Jacob Bruck, aka Jacob Smith, born Jacob Schmidt. (This son shall own a ranch outside of Aspen in the 1880's and accidently shoot and kill himself at a stream on the way home to his ranch.

    1870 US Census: Evanston, Illinois
    Anna Maria (age 78) and husband Johann Peter Schmidt (Sr) (age 82) are back in Ridgeville living in the two-story wooden house (6815 N. Ridge) with their married son Peter Schmidt Smith (Jr) (age 46) and his wife Elizabeth Phillip(s) (age 38).

    Daughter-In-Law Elizabeth and son Peter have had 13 childen in this house and the original log cabin just south of the house has been abandoned. 

    During the Cholera Epidenic of the 1850's brought by the immigrant boat JOHN DREW on 29 Apr 1849) Elizabeth and Peter lose Mary, (1857, age 5), Catherine, (1855, age 2) Eizabeth (1857 age 2), and Frank (1864 age 1.) 

    The baby is Charles (age 8 months) and Elizabeth
    is 3 months from conceiving daughter Louisa who will be born in the new marble-fireplaced Victorian house at 6836 N. Ridge.

    This new house was completed in 1871, the year of the October, Great Chicago Fire. The fire raged north to within 3 miles of the house and her father Peter(Jr) "took the buckboard and beat up the horses to go into the city to evacuate relatives." (Louisa Schmidt Fortman, 1946)

  • Anna Maria is the daughter of Johannes Bruck and Maria Magdalena Philipp...from marriage certificate showing Anna's marriage to Peter Schmidt. (aka Johann Peter Schmidt, aka Peter Schmidt(Sr).

    The Philipp family is from Roderbach.

    (The records of Maria's son Peter "Jr" record that he married, in Chicago, Elizabeth Philipp, daughter of Jacob Philipp (b. 2 Nov 1807, Damflos, Germany and d. 11 Sep 1891 in Chicago) and Katarina Kohlhaas.

    Johan Jakob Bruck, who seems to be Anna Maria's brother, was the sponsor for her first born- child, Elizabeth Barbara Schmidt, b. 20 Nov 1812.

    Both Anna Maria and Johan Jakob Bruck are from Roderbach rather than Damflos, Germany.

    There are no other Bruck families in the Roderbach, Malborn area at this time and so Anna Maria must belong to this family.
source: David Fortman