Facts and Events
||Catharina Sophia Dorothea Kölling
||28 May 1834
||Mesmerode #18, Germany
||8 Jun 1834
||Idensen, GermanyLutheran Church
||Ship Ella from Bremen to New York
||Crete, Will County, IllinoisTrinity Lutheran Church
to Conrad Seegers
||Husband: Age: 35 WIFE: Age: 25
||7 Sep 1865
||Dyer, Lake County, IndianaZion Evangelical Lutheran Church
to Christoph Seegers
||with Christoph Seegers
||with Christoph Seegers
||4 Sep 1884
||Dyer, IndianaZion Evangelical Lutheran Church
to Friedrich Battermann
||8 Nov 1924
||Hammond, Lake County, Indiana
||12 Nov 1924
||Dyer, IndianaZion Cemetery
| Exemplary WeRelate page with a well-written narrative, or comprehensive information.
Dorothea (Dora) Kölling was born in the village of Mesmerode in the German kingdom of Hannover. She was baptized at the Lutheran church in nearby Idensen, and was named Catharine Sophie Dorothee after her three godmothers. Along with others from her home village, she emigrated to America in 1853, traveling on the ship Ella from Bremen to New York, then cross-country to the Indiana/Illinois state line. In 1854 she married Conrad Seegers, a shoemaker from Mesmerode, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete, Illinois. She was twenty years old, and he thirty. Soon they were living near Dyer, Indiana, and when a new church was built there in 1859 (Zion Evangelical), they became founding members.
Dora had six children with Conrad, who died in 1865 at age 40. A few months later Dora married her brother-in-law Christoph Seegers, whose wife Caroline had also died that year. They joined their families and had additional children. Christoph died in 1880 at age 58. Dora married once again, to neighbor Fred Battermann, who died in 1885. Dora herself lived to age 90, dying in 1924.
Through her three marriages she became mother or step-mother to a remarkable number of children, though only eight of them lived to adulthood. The table below (pieced together from church and census records) summarizes these children.
| Children with Conrad
|| Step-children from Christoph
|| Children with Christoph
|| Step-children from Fred
| Friedrich (1855-1855), |
Christoph [Conrad] (1857-1893),
Dorothea Maria (1864-1865)
| Christoph (1853-1924), |
Sophia [Caroline] (1855-?),
Heinrich W. G. (1861-1863),
| Anna (1866-1949), |
| Dorothea (1848-1849), |
When Dora married Christoph, two of the daughters in the merged family had the name Sophia, so apparently one changed her name to Caroline, which had been her mother's name. After the remaining Sophia died, a new baby girl born a few years later was named Sophia. One of the Christophs was called Conrad in an early census; it isn't clear how he resolved the name conflict with the other Christoph when the families merged, since the name Conrad was taken by a third child. Nor is it clear how the two Heinrichs were differentiated. (This sort of thing makes it a challenge to investigate this family!)
Dora with her daughters Anna, Mary, and Sophia (late 1880's).
- Karen Rowe. Genealogy: Buchmeier.
- Gaby Fricke. Gaby Fricke, researcher in Wunstorf, Germany (e-mail correspondence).
- Donna Graves and Ronna Lounsbery. Graves/Lounsbery Genealogy (Hitzemann and Seegers). (unpublished).
- Rev. David McDonald. 1996. Book: So Great a Cloud of Witnesses - The People of Zion Church, Hanover Twp., Lake County, Indiana.
- Ted Cash. Genealogy: Bremer/Cash.
- ↑ Baptised as Catharine Sophie Dorothee Kölling of Mesmerode 18. Godparents: Sophie Weide, Catharine Schlie, Dorothea Kölling.
- In the 1900 census she reports being mother of 13 children, 3 of whom were still alive at the time. This suggests that one of the children listed (6 from first marriage, 8 from second) is bogus.