Germany and Italy in 1803
population in Europe almost doubled from the mid-18th to the mid-19th
Centuries. In Germany the growth was mostly in the rural areas and proved
to be too vast for the available food supply. Food riots, unemployment
and migration to the growing cities were common. Acute poverty was widespread
and existed alongside "the self-satisfied bourgeois society of Biedermeier
Germany". The potato blight in 1846-47 added to starvation, and thousands
of deaths occurred from poverty-related diseases.
This was the climate existing in Germany in the 19th century that gave
rise to large numbers of emigrants.
the 19th Century, hundreds of thousands of Germans entered the northern
United States and settled mainly in cities and farming communities in
the Midwest. Social and economic improvement, and political idealism
were the primary reasons for the immigrants of this period. Wisconsin
with its climate and topography similar to areas of Germany, was attractive
to the immigrants, making it easier to adapt to the new country.
Phillipp Rothenbach (senior), had a small farm, a drugstore and oil
mill in Heddesheim, Kreuz-nach, Rheinhessen (Germany), where he and
his wife Margaret Fabell raised their family. He and his wife were probably
born around 1770. There is no additional information about them, but
most likely as was the custom, the land was divided among the heirs.
1797 - 1814, the province of Rheinhessen, which laid left of the Rhine
River was under French rule. It was ceded to Hesse in 1816.
Phillipp Rothenbach (junior), was born in 1800 in Hessen Darmstadt.
He married Katherine Schmidt who was born in Prussia in 1798. With their
son, Jacob, age 22, the Rothenbach family emigrated from Hessen-Darmstadt
in 1857 and settled in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where a large German community
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was born in 1835 in Heddesheim, Kreutz-nach, Rheinhessen, Germany. He
married Katherine Endlich in 1863. She was born in 1843, in Chimnisen,
Germany. Her family emigrated shortly after her birth and settled on
a farm in Germantown, Washington County, Wisconsin. Jacob and Katherine
had 10 children named: George (b.1864 - died in infancy), Elizabeth (b.1866), Charles (b.1868), Jacob (b.1870),
Mary (b.1872), John (b.1874), Philipp (b.1877), Katherine (b.1879),
Louise (b.1881), and Ella (b.1886).
1874, Jacob purchased 2 parcels of land in Washington County from Mrs.
Judith Brenman. One parcel was 77 acres and another 37 acres of which
a strip of land was deeded to the Milwaukee and Lacross Railroad Company.
son of Jacob was born on May 5, 1868 in Washington County, Wisconsin.
He married Helene Louise Nix in 1892. Helene was born in Hessen- Darmstadt,
Germany on May 22, 1869 and immigrated to America in 1870 with her parents,
William and Caroline (Berg) Nix, and her sister Amelia. They settled
in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
siblings were: Amelia W. Nix-Rickert (b. 1864), Henry F. Nix (b. 1872),
Elizabeth L. Nix-Poppenheimer (b.1874), Emma M. Nix-Jorgensen (b. 1876),
William F. Nix (b. 1877) and Josephine M. Nix-Portz (b. 1879).
and Helene had 4 children: Pearl Louise (b.1892), Earl John (b.1894),
Victor Clarence (b.1895), and Josephine Enid (b.1899). The family lived
in a number of places in Wisconsin and Missouri. Charles and Helene
divorced. She remained in Wisconsin, until her death in 1950. Charles
moved to Texas in the 1930s, living in Helotes and in San Antonio. He
died in 1951 in San Antonio and was buried in Helotes, Texas.
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Earl Rothenbach, son of Charles was born February 24, 1894 in Waukesha,
Wisconsin. He married Pearl Patterson (b.1897) of Shannon County, Missouri
in 1915. They had 5 children: John Andrew (b.1916), William Charles
(b.1918), Nona Mae (b.1920; m. Luallin), Fannie Constance (b.1922; m.
Holder), and Dorothy Luicille (b.1923; m. McGill). The family lived
in Missouri, Wisconsin and Virginia. They were divorced in 1926. To
support his young family, John worked as a boiler-maker for US Navy
ships in the shipbuilding yard in Norfolk, Virginia. His brother Victor
lived with his wife, Elsie in Richmond.
In 1943, John moved to Texas where he met and married Maria de Jesus
Rodriguez in Monterrey, Mexico. Initially they lived in Galveston, Texas
where John again worked as a boilermaker on the US Navy ships in the
Galveston shipyard. A few years later, they moved to San Antonio where
they raised 5 daughters: Helia Benderanda, Helena de Jesus, Maria Teresa,
Isabel Alejandra and Ana Margarita.
worked as a carpenter and small project contractor. Maria was a seamstress.
The family lived on a small farm on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas.
The six acres of land provided ample room for a large, lush grassy garden,
which Maria filled with all sorts of colorful flowers, as well as banana
trees, fig and persimmon. Additionally the family grew their own vegetables,
including corn, and they had a small orchard of peach and plum trees
and several type of pecan trees. They had fresh milk and made homemade
butter and cheese. There were fresh eggs and the chickens, turkeys and
ducks provided food for the table.
skills and talents provided her family with beautiful homemade clothes,
delightful and flavorful cuisine, and a rich and colorful heritage.
skills extended to housebuilding, repairs, farming and assisting the
children with homework. John was self-educated and took correspondence courses through the University of Wisconsin. John had a curious mind,
with a wide range of interests. He was a mathematician, and an artist,
using oil as his medium. In his youth, he rode the trains between Wisconsin
and Missouri, selling fruit and newspapers.
John with his wife Maria, boarded an orange Braniff airplane (B747),
"Fat Albert" from Texas to Hawaii. This was their first time
on an airplane.
the girls married, John and Maria moved from the farm into the King
Williams historical area of San Antonio. This area was originally built
by the German merchants during the early development of San Antonio.
The area experienced a renaissance in the late 20th century.
died in 1977 at the age of 83. He is buried in Mission Memorial Park
in San Antonio.
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and Maria's daughters are Helia, Helena, Mary Teresa, Isabel, and Ana.
and Maria have 11 grandchildren: Maria,
Michael, and Earl Moore (Helia); Sean White (Helena). Helen and Sean
Wood (Teresa); Corrine and Jason Powell ( Isabel); Gator, Donna and
Justin Dodson (Ana).
Great-grandchildren of John and Maria now number 19 (as of 2010).
a brief history of:
Prussia and Hessen-Darmstadt.
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