Valentine (appropriate this weekend!) Matheis, a great-great-great-grandfather on my father's side, came to the United States from Bavaria, Germany, on the ship Harmonie, which sailed from Le Havre, France and arrived in New Orleans on November 7, 1848. The ship's manifest shows a Mathis [sic] family with Valentine, age 40, Catherine [Rheinhold], age 40, Leonard [aka John], 3, and Valentine, 1/4. The next family listed on the manifest was a Katzenmeyer family, Shely, 55, Levita or Sevita, 22, Wilhelm, 16, Joseph, 9, Barbera,8, Regine, 10, and Catherine, 3. Regine [Regina] and Catherine are actually Matheis kids, probably becoming friends with little Barbera Katzenmeyer on the 55-day voyage and being mistakenly listed as part of her family.
Unfortunately Valentine's wife Catherine died, apparently in 1849, as the 1850 census lists Valentine as a widower. He and the four children are living with fellow German cabinet-maker John Egly, his wife Anna, and their children Peter, Celia, and Detleff, in Centreville Township, St. Clair County, Illinois.
Sadly, Valentine passed away in 1854. St. Clair County records showed that, in Belleville on August 13, 1855, "Regina Matheis, Catherine Matheis, Leonard Matheis & Valentine Matheis, his minor heirs," were put under the guardianship of a Peter Diehl. Regina, my great-great-grandmother, born August 17, 1837 in Bavaria, would have been just about to turn 18.
Peter Diehl and his family are still living in St. Clair County on the 1860 census, but the Matheis kids are now gone. Where are they? Stay tuned to find out...
© Amanda Pape - 2010