Journaling:
What was the key to Adelbert Constantine Jessen and how to unlock the secrets of his life? He was an ancestor that no one in the immediate family spoke about (perhaps because of the divorce from Ottilie). So the search turned to the Internet and to the official family genealogy. His story as teased out from these sources is set out below. But there are still many areas of mystery and questions. Adelbert Constantine Jessen was born 5 Apr 1842 in Eckernforde, Germany. Unlike so many of our German family, he did not come to the United States through either the port in Galveston or New Orleans. Instead, he arrived in New York City on 29 Nov 1864, on the ship Deutschland that had sailed from Hamburg. And here is the first mystery: In less than two months - on 18 Jan 1865 - he had enlisted in F Company of the 45th Wisconsin Infantry and was fighting for the Union cause in the American Civil War. How did he get to Wisconsin from New York and why? And why enlist in an army for a country for who m he could have little allegiance Adelbert mustered out on 18 Jul 1865, with the rank of Sergeant, in Nashville, TN. And here is the second mystery: How and why did he go to Texas? Certainly, there were large German communities there but then the same could be said for many other US cities? However it happened he appears in the 1870 census in Texas and married Ottilie in 1872, in Austin. One historic document lists Adelbert as a music teacher and all documents list him as a teacher. Could that have been the draw? Was there a demand for music teachers among the German settlers? All historic documents except one show that he lived in Texas from that point on until his death 24 Feb 1924 in New Braunfels, Comal, Texas. And the one document presents the third mystery: There is one record that shows Adelbert, Ottilie, Elfriede, and Wolfgang living in Bywell St. Peter, Northumberland, England in 1878 and daughter Emmy being born there. All other historic records , including the family genealogy, show Emmy born in Brenham, Texas. And there are no corroborating documents to indicate that the family went to England in the years around 1875 to 1800. And the 1880 census shows the family in Brenham. As noted on previous pages, we do not know exactly when Ottilie and Adelbert divorced nor do we know what precipitated the dissolving of their marriage. From the listing of cities directories, it appears he and Ottilie were still together in 1895 at the address on 1302 Sabine Street in Austin. In 1896, he married Mathilde Deirks (as noted in the 1900 census). In 1900 the couple was living in New Braunfels. Interestingly, when checking Ottilie in the city directories, she lists herself as the widow of Adelbert C Jessen during these years, although he was still living. The 1900 census holds the final mystery: It shows that Mathilde was the mother of one child. This child is not listed as a household member. Is this a child from a previous marriage? IS this a child of Adelbert and Mathilde who died in infancy? It is a mystery that will remain unsolved.


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