Our Weisel Origins

Johann Heinrich Weisel was born Sept 2nd, 1757 and passed away Nov. 15, 1841 in Muschenheim, Lich, Hessen, Germany. He was a great-great grandson of Johann Daniel and was the father and grandfather of the Weisels who immigrated to Wisconsin and Iowa in the years 1850-1880.  Johann Heinrich was a craftsman and earned his living as a dreschler or wood lathe operator.  He likely learned the trade from his father. Johann Heinrich also held prominent positions in the community. He was the Kirchenaltesten or church eldest of the village church, and a Gerichtsshoeffen or village council member and the school principal. A Gerichtshoeffen was a member of the local court / village council. The council handled such matters as succession and inheritance, discipline, enforcement of regulations, and other aspects of a village government.  Joh. Heinrich and his wife Anna Elisabetha Becker (1766-1843) were the parents of 13 children, 8 sons and 5 daughters born in Muschenheim.  An unusually large family for the times. 

In 1850 and 1854 two Weisel brothers, sons of Johann Heinrich and Anna Elisabetha Becker, immigrated to the “German Settlement” located in central Wisconsin. Conrad (1802-1866) and his family arrived first.  His descendants today are known as the “Red” Weisels because Conrad had red hair.  In 1854 Conrad’s brother Johann Georg (1805-1893) and his family arrived at the settlement.   Johann Georg had black hair and his descendants are known as the “Black” Weisels

The two brothers were followed by an older brother Joh. Heinrich (1798-?) in 1868, an older sister Anna Margaretha (1801-?) in 1849, 5 or 6 grandchildren and 3 greatgrandchildren of Johann Heinrich:

  1. Anna Margaretha Weisel (1801-?) married to Ludwig Eller(1801-?) of Birklar.  Ludwig Eller is documented as having emigrated from Muschenheim in 1849 with 3 persons.  The 3 most likely would be his wife, Anna Margaretha, their daughter Anna Margaretha (1838-?) and Magdalena Weisel (1839-1907).  No further information has been found for Ludwig Eller, his wife and daughter in the United States.
  2. Conrad Weisel (1827-1903), son of Wilhelm Weisel (1789-1870) , immigrated in 1860 to the German Settlement.  He remained in the settlement and married Anna Margaretha Weisel (1842-1909), daughter of 1850 immigrant Conrad.
  3. Magdalena Weisel (1839-1907), daughter of Heinrich Weisel (1798-?) arrived in 1849/1850. In 1861 she married Heinrich Kaus in the German Settlement and subsequently they reloacted to Franklin Co., Iowa.
  4. Gilbert Weisel (1847-?), son of Heinrich Weisel (1798-?) arrived in 1866.  No further records have been found for Gilbert in the U.S.
  5. Magdalena was followed by her father, Heinrich Weisel (1798-?) and her older, unmarried brother Karl (1829-?), in 1868.  While Heinrich and Karl emigrated in March 1868 to America, no further records have been found to verify their arrival to the United States.
  6. Hans Georg Weisel (1828-1901), son of Nicolaus Weisel (1795-1844) immigrated in 1880 to Franklin Co., Iowa with his 3 surviving children.  1) Johann Jacob (1857-1950)    2) Catherine (1861-1938) and 3) Heinrich (1864-1934)

The “settlement” was located at the junction of Green Lake, Columbia and Dodge Counties. The four townships are Scott T. of Columbia Co., Randolph T. of Dodge Co., and Kingston and Machester T. of Green Lake County. No town or village ever developed in this community, but for a time there was a post office called Salemville. This area was settled between 1847-1857 primarily by German immigrants. There were no schools, roads, churches, or towns when the brothers arrived. The land was prairie and oak savanna (burr oaks with a prairie understory). Farming methods with the exception of the John Deere plow which was being mass produced in the 1850s, were biblical. Grains were sown and reaped by hand. By the early 1860s, the settlement was served by two churches, St. Paul’s church (Lutheran) on Inglehart Road of Scott T., and St. John’s church (Reformed Evangelical Calvinist ) on County M, Manchester T. of Green Lake Co. Each church had an adjacent cemetery.

Conrad Weisel was the first to emigrate in 1850 with his wife, one son, and three daughters. In Germany Conrad was a dreschler (wood lathe operator) and a church deacon. He married Anna Margareth Eller, daughter of a Muschenheim linen weaver. Conrad homesteaded 120 acres of farmland in Manchester Township. Conrad was mentioned in the history of St. John’s Church, Manchester Township, as a founder. He died in 1866 and is buried in the cemetery next to the church. Review a report listing descendants of Conrad by name or report documenting 4 generations of Conrad’s descendants with sources.

Tombstones of Konrad Weisel (1802-1866) and his wife Anna Margaretha Eller (1810-1900) in the Salemville Cemetery, adjacent to Saint John’s Ev Lutheran Church.  Photo taken 2007.

Johann Georg Weisel followed his brother to the German Settlement in 1854.  Johann Georg left from Gambach, Hessen, Germany in February of 1854 with his family.  Joh. Georg was also a dreschler (wood lathe operator).  Joh. Georg first married Maria Elisabeth Ohlÿ (1811-1844) in 1835.  One son, Jacob (1839-1917), survived his first marriage.  Joh. Georg married Katharina Elisabetha Grieb in 1846.  From this marriage were born 3 sons and one daughter, who all survived and left descendants.  In his old age, Georg lived with his son Jacob in Austin, Minnesota.  Georg died in Austin and his sons Jacob and Conrad transported the remains to the German Settlement in Wisconsin for burial.  Joh. Georg was a founder and member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Church on Inglehart Road.  He was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, adjacent to the church.

Review a report listing descendants of Johann Georg by name or a report documenting 4 generations of Joh. Georg’s descendants with sources

Closest to St. Paul’s Evangelical (Inglehart) church is the tombstone of Conrad Weisel (1827-1903) and his wife Anna Margaretha Weisel (1842-1909).  Behind them is the grave of their son Wilhelm (1862-1876) who died of typhus.   In the foreground is the tombstone of Johann Georg Weisel (1805-1893) and Katharina Elisabetha Grieb (1817-1892).  Photo taken October 2002.