My great-great grandfather, Freidrich (Fredrick) Wilhelm Drewel had a lot of children!!
His first wife was Maria Louisa Dierking, whom he married in 1863.
Fredrich Ernst Drewel in 1864
Louisa Maria "Mary" Drewel in 1866
Emilie Dorothea Caroline "Lena" Drewel in 1868
Louis Henry Drewel in 1870 (my great grandfather)
Edward Drewel in 1872
Louise K. Drewel in 1875
Maria died in May, 1875, only 8 days after Louise was born, so it had to be from some sort of complications of childbirth. The 37-year-old widower, Freidrich, with 6 young children under the age of 10 must have looked around quickly for a new wife. He found a neighbor and fellow church member.
So on August 2nd, 1875, just 3 months after his wife's death, he married 19-year-old Catharina Wilhelmine "Mina" Rosendahl. Shortly after their marriage, in December of 1875, baby Louise died at the age of 7-months-old. Mina and Fred started having children less than a year after the baby's death.
Ida Wilhelmine Drewel in 1876
Heinrich Wilhelm "Billie" Drewel in 1879
Dorothea Henrietta Sophie "Dora" Drewel in 1884
Wilhelmine Caroline Hulda "Minnie" Drewel in 1887
Tragedy struck again.
Less than a month after baby Minnie's birth, his second wife died. Now he was a widower with 9 living children, though the oldest was 23. His wife Mina died in August, and by December 1887 he had found another neighbor and fellow church member. This time he married a widow who was only 4 years younger than him, Charlotte Cathrine Wilhelmine Hotmar Knehans.
However, she had 8 children of her own, plus at least 2 step-children from her now dead husband's first marriage!!
Her children were:
Maria Louisa Knehans born 1863
Heinrich Wilhelm "Henry Knehans born 1865
William Freidrich Knehans born 1867
Louisa Sophia Knehans born 1869
Wilhelmina Kathrine "Minnie" Knehans born 1871 (my great grandmother)
Elizabeth "Lizzy" Knehans born 1872
Caroline Elise Knehans born 1867
Franz Louis Knehans born 1880
I don't know how many of the 19 living children and step children that they had between them were combined into the same household. I assume perhaps some of the older ones had moved out. I'm also not sure about which house they moved into, if she got to keep her husband's house and farm. Who knows, maybe they maintained 2 households and had older kids living in one. If we had the 1890 Census (it was burned), it would help with sorting that out.
BUT ...... the plot thickens!
In 1891, just four years after Fred married Minnie, two of Fred's sons married two of Minnie's daughters:
Louis Henry Drewel married Wilhelmina Kathrine "Minnie" Knehans on June 11th.
Edward Drewel married Elizabeth "Lizzy" Knehans on February 6th.
Louis Drewel and Minnie Knehans eventually had 9 children, including my grandmother Ella Elisabeth Sophia "Eleanor" Drewel (Kleager Wiese).
Louis and Minnie's 9 children would have been "double cousins" to Edward and Lizzy's 8 children, and for any of them, visiting the grandparents would involve only going to one house!