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Rankin Family History Project

Philip Doerr and Theresa Michaels

Early Life    Philip & Theresa's Family    Descendants of Philip & Theresa Michaels Doerr    Links    Contact us

Early Life

Philip Doerr, eldest son of Andrew and Christina Doerr, was born in Hesse-Nassau, Germany, in the Kingdom Prussia, on February 13, 1922 and was just twelve years old when his family boarded the ship that would take them to America through the port of New Orleans. The family settled on a farm in Perry County, Missouri. When his father died in March 1845, Philip inherited the farm and became the guardian of his younger brothers whose ages ranged from five to thirteen. He probably realized he was going to need some help.

Two months after his father’s death, Philip Doerr married Mary Theresa Michaels. Theresa, as she was known, was the eldest daughter of James Michael and Susannah Layton. Her father had emigrated to America in 1818, and became a citizen in 1823. He was one of only a handful of Belgians to settle in Perry County at that time. "Michael" or "Michaels" was the Americanized version of his name, which is also found spelled Michel, Michels, Michiel, and Michiels. James obtained a license to sell liquor and ran a hotel in Perryville. Theresa's mother had been born in Kentucky and was the daughter of John Layton, a prominent early Perry Countian who was elected to the Missouri State Legislature in 1836. In 1844, Theresa's uncle, James Layton, was involved in one of the most atrocious and notorious crimes in Perry County history.

Philip and Theresa were married in a Catholic ceremony, although Philip was not a member of that religion, on May 18, 1845.

"Philipp Henry Dor, not Catholic, married Mary Theresa Michaels, ? Catholic, James Michaels and Suzan Layton. Witnesses were Amatus Layton and Mary Moranville. Fr. T. B. Escoffier."
Marriages, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

Philip and Theresa's Family

The marriage of Philip and Theresa Doerr on 18 May 1845, was also recorded in the diary of Archibald Little Hager, "Felux Deor was married to James Amichaels daughter." The following February, he recorded the birth of Philip and Theresa‘s twin daughters, "Felux Deors wifes two daughters was borne."

In a household consisting of Philip and his four young brothers, the birth of twin girls was probably a pleasant surprise. The twins may have been born prematurely, making their chances of survival questionable. The parents baptized the babies at home, and everyone probably did a good deal of praying over the next few weeks. Each daughter was given the name of one of her grandmothers, and on February 21st, the baptisms of Christina and Susannah were officially recorded in the parish records. Less than two weeks after that, little Susannah died.

"Christina Doerr, born 09 Feb 1846, daughter of Philipp Doerr and Theresa Michael. Sponsor was James Michael. Baptized at home. Suzanna Doerr, born 09 Feb 1846. Sponsors were Suzanna Layton and James Michael. Fr. T.B. Escoffier."
21 Feb 1846, Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

"05 MAR 1846, Susanna Derr, daughter of Philip Derr and Theresa Michaels, 25 days old, died on the 5th of March. Fr. T. Rolando."
Deaths, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1872; FHC film #1940099, pg. 126

It was probably a very sad time for the family, until February 1847, when Philip and Theresa’s first son, Thomas was born. His baptism record suggests that they may have been expecting another set of twins, as he was christened "James Michael Thomas Frederick".

Just before the birth of a second son, William, in 1848, Philip Doerr opened a grocery. According to the Hager Diary, "Felux Deere set up grocery in Levy Blocks old store house." This was probably the first attempt at merchandising for Philip’s brothers, J. C., August and Lewis Doerr, who later became successful retailers in their own right.

In the 1850 census, Philip and Theresa Doerr’s family consisted of their four children, plus Philip’s four younger brothers, now ranging in age from 18 to 12. Over the next ten years, the family grew to include five more children. Two sons, Thomas and John Christian, died before 1860. Philip’s brothers married and started their own families. The 1860 census lists Philip, Theresa and their six surviving children. As in 1850, Philips’s occupation is "farmer".

Philip and Theresa’s last child was born in July 1861, just as the Civil War was beginning. Perhaps to demonstrate where their sympathies lay, they named their new son "Jefferson Davis".

In November 1861, Philip Doerr, age 39, must have been in poor health. He made his last will and testament, signing it with an "X". He died a few weeks later, as recorded in the parish records, "04 DEC 1861, Philip Doerr, age 40. Fr. John J. Quigley."

Philip Doerr was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery. His will was probated on December 30th. August Doerr was named executor. The bulk of his estate was left to his widow. To his brothers, August and Lewis, he bequeathed $75 each.

Philip Doerr, Mt. Hope Cemetery, Perry County, Missouri. Photograph taken April 1998 by Shirley Ann Rankin. Click on the image for a larger view.

Photograph taken in April 1998 at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Perry County, Missouri by Shirley Ann Rankin.

Descendants of Philip Doerr and Theresa Michaels

Philip Henry DOERR, born February 13, 1822 in Hesse-Nassau, Germany in the Kingdom of Prussia; died December 4, 1861. He was the son of Andrew DOERR and Christina DOERR. He married Mary-Theresa MICHAELS on May 18, 1845 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri. She was the daughter of James MICHAEL and Susannah LAYTON; born August 8, 1826 in Perry County, Missouri; died September 25, 1894 in Carpenteria, Santa Barbara County, California. After Philip’s death, she married (2) Lawrence B. Baylard March 28, 1864 in Perryville, Missouri.

Children of Philip Doerr and Theresa Michaels are:

i. Christina DOERR, born February 09, 1846 in Perry County, Missouri; died July 27, 1929 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; married Ferdinand KLUMP August 29, 1865 in Perry County, Missouri. They were the parents of ten children: Louis, August, Mary-Laura, Mary-Theresa, unnamed infant, Cora, Emmett, Eva Mary, Joseph and Mary-Clara. Ferdinand and Christina Klump are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

ii. Susannah Doerr, born February 09, 1846 in Perry County, Missouri; died March 05, 1846 in Perry County, Missouri.

"Felux Deers daughter died."
06 Mar 1846, Diary of Archibald Little Hager from 1844-1887

iii. Thomas Doerr, born February 19, 1847 in Perry County, Missouri; died January 02, 1860 in Perry County, Missouri.

"28 MAR 1847, James Michael Thomas Frederick Duerr, born 19 FEB 1847, son of Philip Duerr and Theresa Layton, his wife. Sponsors were Michael and Susanna Layton. Fr. S. A. Bernier."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

iv. William Doerr, born September 25, 1848 in Perry County, Missouri; died July 10, 1875 in Perry County, Missouri; married Cecelia Anne Dormand December 26, 1869 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri. They were the parents of one child: John. William’s death was due to an accidental drowning.

"27 OCT 1848, William Derr, born 25 ? 1848, son of Phillippe Derr and Theresa Michael. Sponsors were N. Slehle and Matilda Michael. Fr. N. Slehle."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

v. James Doerr, born March 27, 1850 in Perry County, Missouri.

"01 APR 1850, James Doerr, born 27 MAR 1850, son of Philip Doerr and Theresa Michael. Sponsors were James Michael and Regina Moore, widow. Fr. N. Stehle."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

He married Margaret Young July 19, 1874 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri. Margaret was the daughter of James Brice Young and Lucretia Ann Winfield. They were the parents of six children (five names are known): Thomas, James Philip, Eudorra, Monetti, and Anna. In 1879 the family moved to Hamilton County, Nebraska. Margaret's parents also moved and were living next door in 1880. By 1910 they had moved to Crawford County, Arkansas.

vi. Matilda Ann Doerr, born August 27, 1851 in Perry County, Missouri; died May 21, 1869 in Perry County, Missouri.

"28 SEP 1851, Matilda A. Doerr, bor 27 AUG 1851, daughter of Philipp Doerr and Theresa Michael. Sponsors were James Michael and Matilda Michael. Fr. T. B. Escoffier."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

"21 May 1869, Matilda Ann Doerr, age 18 yrs. in August last. Fr. W. V. Moore."
Deaths, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1872;FHC film #1940099, pg. 314

vii. Philip Doerr, born March 12, 1853 in Perry County, Missouri.

"01 MAY 1853, Philip Doerr, born 12 Mar 1853, son of Philip Doerr and Teresa Michaels. Sponsors were Francis Redford and Matilda Redford. Fr. Secundus. Lavezeri."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

He married Alice Simpson May 07, 1876 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri.

"Alice Simpson could be identical with "Ala Eliza" Simpson, daughter of Benedict Joseph Simpson and Amanda Jane -----. Benedict Joseph Simpson (QV) was a descendant of John Layton, Sr. Both the Doerr and Simpson families were Southern sympathizers."
Source--Maryland Catholics on the Frontier: The Missouri and Texas Settlements by Timothy J. O'Rourke, Page 131

Alice gave birth to two children, but tragically they both died in infancy. Alice passed away on September 10, 1879, one day after the second infant died. Within the year, Philip moved to Santa Barbara County, California, where his mother, step-father, and youngest brother had moved a few years earlier. Philip kept in touch with friends and family back in Perryville by mail, and continued to subscribe to his old hometown newspaper for a few years.

"Philip Doerr, formerly a citizen of this county, is now a resident of Carpenteria, San[ta] Barbara county, California. He informs that Lawrence Baylard who, several years ago left us for that section, has seventy acres in beans the present season, and expects to make money out of the same."
06 Aug 1880, Weekly Perryville Union

Philip settled down in California and married Elizabeth Branch Gay on May 30, 1885, in Ventura County. Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry Pickney Gay and Ella Augusta McPherson, was born January 23, 1869, in Iowa. She had one brother, Pearl Henry Gay. Philip and Elizabeth Doerr ran a boarding house and dining room for the workers of the Alcatraz Asphalt mine in Carpinteria in the 1880s. Philip also worked as a carpenter in Santa Barbara, and ran a grocery, livery stable and billiard hall in Carpinteria. Philip and Elizabeth had two sons, Louis Henry and Lawrence Ray. Philip Doerr died on April 14, 1934 at the age of 79. Elizabeth Gay Doerr lived to be 81, and died on October 16, 1950. Philip, Elizabeth and both their sons are buried in Carpinteria Cemetery near Philip's mother, Theresa Baylard.

Phillip Doerr  Elizabeth Gay Doerr
Photos by S. A. Rankin

viii. John-Christian Doerr, born July 04, 1856 in Perry County, Missouri; died September 20, 1858 in Perry County, Missouri.

"20 SEP 1858, Johann Ch. Doerr, age 2 yrs., son of Philippe Doerr and Theresa Michael. Fr. F. M. Barbier."
Deaths, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1872;FHC film #1940099, pg. 314

ix. John Ruben Doerr, born June 21, 1859 in Perry County, Missouri.

"Baptized on 24 Jul 1859, John Ruben Duerr, born 21 Jun 1859, son of Philip Duerr and Mary Theresa Michaels. Sponsors: William Michaels and Mary Theresa Billett. Priest: J. Smith, C.M."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

When he was barely eighteen, he moved to California with his mother and step-father. In September 1880, he sold the property in Missouri that he had inherited from his father, to his sister and brother-in-law, Christina and Ferdinand Klump. He married Emma Moncton January 29, 1882 in Santa Barbara County, California.

"By last Monday evening's mail we received a letter from our young friend, Philip Doerr, of Carpenteria, San[ta] Barbara county, California, ordering the Union sent to him. Also give us the following new item: Married, on Sunday, January 29th, 1882, at the above city, by Rev. Pratt Mr. John Doerr to Miss Emma Moncton. John is the youngest brother of Philip, and has been residing in California since 1874."
17 Feb 1882, Weekly Perryville Union

Emma was born on August 26, 1864 in Vermont. She was the daughter of Henry Muncton, who was born in England, and Jane Day who was from Wales. Henry was a blacksmith, as was Emma's brother, Charles. John and Emma had three children: Cora, Violet Ruby, and Harold. (Harold Doerr eventually moved to Los Angeles, married, and became the father of three children, including Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Fame second-baseman, Bobby Doerr.) John Doerr worked mainly with his brother Philip on various enterprises, including running a boarding house, livery stable, grocery and billiard parlor. John and Emma were apparently divorced around 1900 (the family is missing from the census that year; only daughter Cora is found living with her aunt and uncle, Ella Jane Munction and Lowell Francis Shanklin).

Sometime later, Emma married James B. Smith, remaining with him until her death on October 28, 1958. John married again in 1901 to Addie Louise Hull, born in 1875 and the daughter of Thomas C. and Emma (Kell) Hull. John and Addie had three children: Thomas Philip, Stanislaus Lionel and Dorothy. Addie died on September 02, 1922, followed by John on October 11, 1930.

x. Jefferson Davis Joseph Doerr, born July 03, 1861 in Perry County, Missouri; died April 07, 1862.

Doerr Family Links

Philip Doerr's Will    Doerr Surname    Generation 1:  Andrew and Christina Doerr    Generation 2:  John C. Doerr    Generation 2:  Louis Doerr    Generation 3:  Christina Doerr and Ferdinand Klump    John Doerr, Deed to Ferdinand Klump, 1880    James Michael and Susannah Layton   

Thanks to Clementine Stack and Esther Lambattus for their assistance with the Doerr family.
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