Dietmar and Anna Catharina Siebert Damm immigrated from the village of Nieder-Vellmar in Hessen-Kassel, in what is now known simply as Germany. They left Bremen aboard the Friedrich on 13 August, 1846 and arrived at Galveston on 24 October. With them were their five children Anna Gertrude, Johann, Adam, Gertrude Anna, and Christofer.
Dietmar and Anna had one more child in America, Catharina Paulina Hester Damm, on 6 March, 1848. By summer, they and their eldest daughter, Anna Gertrude, were dead from one of the many epidemics that swept the country in those years. The rest of the children were taken in by neighbors. The 1850 Federal Census of Grimes County, Texas, gives a brief but telling account:
John, or Johann, no doubt a man at 17, was a live-in farm hand for G.R.A. Whiting from Virginia (Household #233).
Adam, age 14, lived with Henry Phal (Household #34), a German-born tailor, and his family. Henry had a son, also named Henry, who was twelve.
Ann, age 12, lived in the household of Henriette Bohne (Household #56), along with Paulina Bohne, age 13, probably a relative of Mrs. Bohne's and a friend of Ann's; also Joseph Streetmater, a rock mason; and A. Black, a carpenter.
Christofer, age 9, born in Germany, was listed with the family of farmer James R. Bennett (Household #235) who had a wife and six daughters ranging in age from 11 down to 1 (no sons).
Little Catharina Paulina,
age 2, the only one born in Texas, was only a few months old when
her mother died. She was taken in by Tany Ann Hanes, Mrs. Washington
and Mrs. Harrison in Household #232. Also in the household were
Cecilia Runnels, age 12, and B.S. Whiting, a male age 24, born
in Virginia--perhaps a younger brother of G.R.A. Whiting. The
census says B.S. Whiting has "no profession".
MAKING NEW LIVES IN A NEW LAND
On October 21, 1858, John Damm married another German immigrant, Augusta C. Bohnee (Bohne), and they had a baby daughter named Helen Paulina Damm on August 1, 1859. John worked as a blacksmith and gunsmith.
In 1860, brother Adam was working as a baker and living with barkeeper J.S. Black and his wife. He listed personal property worth $600.00.
When war broke out, Adam joined the 4th Texas Infantry, Co. H at its original organization on May 1861 in Walker County. Two months later, on July 19, brother Christofer "Frank" Damm signed up for the 4th Texas, Co. G.
Adam's military career was short: he was hospitalized in October of 1861 and again in spring of 1862, dying of disease in Richmond on April 25. He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Richmond, in grave AJ168. A letter from a kind man at Richmond National Battlefield Park says, "It is unlikely that he has his own headstone; more probably, he is buried with one or two other soldiers and they all share a numbered stone to mark the spot. The cemetery has more than 15,000 Confederate soldiers in it, of which about one-half are identified. So you are fortunate to have found him." Fortunate, and grateful for the help of a stranger.
Frank also spent much of the war sick and in hospital. He was captured at the battle of Sharpsburg on September 17, 1862 and exchanged as a P.O.W. on November 10 at Aikens Landing, VA. He was subsequently in and out of hospital again, but well enough to fight again and get wounded in battle.
From autumn of 1863 through at least August, 1864, Frank was at the hospital at Emory, Virginia, where from March on he was attached to the hospital as a cook, and listed as absent from his company.
Frank Damm surrendered on May 7, 1865 in Georgia, and signed
his X mark on the oath of allegiance on May 22.
According to his service record, "Franklin" H. Damm was 5'8" tall and had fair hair and blue eyes.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
In 1868, Frank and John Damm joined thousands of other displaced and disenchanted southerners in emigrating to Brazil to start over. For more on this story, go here.
At some point Frank returned to Texas. He married Mary Willenberg on March 23, 1880. Their baby Mary P. Damm was born April 19, 1881, in Fayette County. Mary Willenberg Damm died April 28, 1881, at the age of 22. Her baby lived until June 17, then also died. Frank passed away on March 4, 1889, at the age of 49. They are buried in LaGrange.
Gertrud Anna, or Ann, married Hermann Hüttel. They had 8 children and have many descendants. She died on December 15, 1899.
Hester, whose full name was Catharina Pauline Hester Damm, married Augustus Edward Willenberg on March 6, 1866 in LaGrange, Texas. They had five children and now have many descendants. Hester died March 3, 1931 and is buried in LaGrange.
New Homes in a New Land by Ethel and Chester Geue
Hessische Auswanderer, index for immigrants from Germany,1840-1850, by Inge Auerbach, Marburg1988.
U.S. Federal Census for Grimes County, Texas, 1850 and 1860.
Confederate service records for Adam and Frank Damm.
SCV #1653, Americana, Brazil, "Os Confederados"
DESCENDANTS OF DIETMAR DAMM
1 Dietmar Damm, m. Anna Catherina Siebert,
6 November 1827, d. 24 July 1847
Anna Catherina Siebert d. 1 July 1848
1 Anna Gertrude Damm, b. 29 August 1829, d. 29 November 1846
2 John Damm , b. 25 January 1834, m. Augusta C. Bohne, 21 October 1858, d. 6 August 1900
1 Helen Paulina Damm, b. 1 August 1859, m. Abram Whitaker Currie, 12 December 1878, d. 7 August 1940 ...
3 Adam Damm, b. 10 November 1835, d. 25 April 1862
4 Gertrude Anna Damm, b. 6 March 1837, m. Hermann Huettel, 8 September 1854, d. 15 December 1899
1 Heinrich Huettel, b. 15 May 1856, d. 1856 ...
2 Carl Julius Hermann Huettel, b. 1857
3 Anna Albertine Huettel, b. 1860, m. Moritz Carl Lueders ...
4 Julius Wilhelm Huettel, b. 1862
5 Richard Theodor Huettel, b. 1864, m. Christina Knigge ...
6 Friedrich Wilhelm Huettel, b. 1866
7 Henriette Huettel, b. 1866
8 Florentine Huettel, b. 1876
5 Christopher Franklin Damm, b. 28 December 1840, m. Mary Willenberg, 23 March 1880, d. 4 March 1889
1 Mary P. Damm, b. 19 April 1881, d. 17 June 1881 ...
6 Catharina Paulina Hester Damm, b. 4 March 1848, m. Augustus Edward Willenberg, 6 March 1866
1 Anna Dorothea Willenberg, b. 14 January 1867, m. Joseph Frank Kainer, 27 December 1905, d. 16 August 1929 ...
2 Augusta Pauline Willenberg, b. 21 August 1868, m. William Hermes, Jr., 18 October 1892, d. 18 February 1923 ...
3 Charles Robert Edward Willenberg, b. 25 May 1871, m. Mary Emma Boykin ...
4 Gustav Adolph Richard Willenberg, b. 9 November 1873, m. Marie Louisa Heissig, d. 30 March 1932 ...
5 Mary Adeline Willenberg, b. 26 August 1881, m. Christopher H. Steinmann, d. 14 May 1933 ...
Descendant report created by Gene 4.2.1, Sun, Jul 29, 2001
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