Merck Family - Random Notes

Joseph John Merck, with his wife, Katherine Cecilia Eberle, brought his family from the Ukraine to the United States in 1912. This site will contain some random notes and comments about the family background, their experiences, the places they lived, and other subjects related to that topic. No particular organization of comments or articles should be expected.

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Location: Jacksonville, Arkansas, United States

Friday, December 22, 2006

My brother Leo

My brother Leo passed away this morning in Wilmington NC. His close family was with him. Leo's funeral will be at 11:00 AM Dec 26 at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Wilmington. It was on this date in 1964 that our Dad passed away during a visit to Leo and his family in Wilmington. They are together again today.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Illinois Mercks

JoAnn Merck Meyers initially contacted me about one year ago to find out if our families were connected. JoAnn was originally from Illinois. Her greatgrandfather and his brother emigrated from Schoenenbourg, Alsace, to Freeport, Illinois in the early 1870s. They left Alsace just after the Franco-German War which ended in 1871 causing Alsace to be ceded to the newly formed German Empire. Edmond had been a soldier in the French army during that conflict, and it is likely that his brother Edward was also involved.

It was this war, provoked by Otto von Bismarck (the Prussian chancellor), which led to the creation of a unified German Empire. The French desire for revenge after this defeat guided their policy for the next half-century. Other aftereffects were among the links that led to World War I.

In Freeport, Illinois, one of the new Merck immigrants operated a butcher shop and the other operated a saloon. After becoming a widower in Alsace, their father Francola Joseph Merck also became a resident of Freeport where he died and was buried in 1886.

No common ancestor has yet been found to link our families. However, it is highly likely that we are related because the village of Schoenenbourg, Alsace, is a small community. Ancestors of both Merck families resided there. JoAnn is recording the family history of her family, and I have been working on ours. It is only a matter of time until we find records that document our common ancestors. Both of us would welcome any input that would help us reach that goal.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

From Karlsruhe...

Although somewhat dated, you may find this translated German article about Karlsruhe ND interesting and colorful. It was Karlsruhe ND that welcomed the Joseph John Merck family when they arrived in the USA from Argentina in 1912. This small town is now a little bit smaller than when the article was written. The school is closed, there are fewer businesses alive, the average age of the residents is a bit older. But it is still there and it's still worth a small detour off the main highway to visit Karlsruhe when you're in the area. If you do, be sure to take a look at the handmade wooden altar and backaltar in the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.