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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Switzerland Breakthrough

I think I found the place in Switzerland that the Kleagers came from!!!

Benken, Canton Sankt Gallen, Switzerland.  It is a little town in the south west of Sankt Gallen in a valley between Lake Zurich and Walensee (another lake), near the towns of Kaltbrunn and Reichenburg.

I don't have is a baptism record for "our" Joseph Kleager (born 1816) that we know immigrated from Switzerland to MIssouri about 1845, but what I do have in the Benken Parish records is a Joseph Christian Klaeger born in Benken, Jan 11, 1797, son of Joseph Benedict Klaeger and Maria Elisabetha Zeller, married to Catharina Barbara Claus. 

From the State Archive Sankt Gallen, there is a Joseph Klaeger from Benken that applied for permission to emigrate to America in 1845 with his wife and daughter.  I assume that is the father (1797), as "our" Joseph (1816) married after he served in the War with Mexico in 1847-1848, so he wouldn't have immigrated with a wife.

In the Benken Catholic parish records the pastor has written next to Joseph Christian Klaeger's baptism record: "DIED IN 1857 IN WASHINGTON IN MISSOURI".  
That means: 
       1. These are the same Kleager's that were in Franklin County, Missouri!  
       2. They were writing back home to Benken after they were in Missouri - the pastor knew he had died in Missouri.

In the St. Borgia Catholic Church records in Washington, Franklin County, Missouri - there is a death record of Joseph Kleger, married to Catharina Barbara Glauss, 60 years old, died 16 Nov 1856.  SAME GUY!!  Born in Benken, died in Franklin County, Missouri.

I think, but do not yet have proof, that this Joseph Kleger (1797) and Catharina Barbara Glauss are the parents of "our" Joseph Kleager that we know immigrated to Franklin County in 1845.  

Of course, Joseph's father would be a Joseph, son of a Joseph.  

Oh, why couldn't these people use another male name now and then?  It really makes things confusing.

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