Descendants of Johann Frederick Kobernuss
Jarmen/Kadow West Pomerania, Manly IA & Spencer SD
The Johann Friederich Kobernuss family lived in Jarmen, Jagetzow and Cadow Pomerania before they emigrated to the US. These villages are very close to the Pomerania/Mecklenburg border. It is apparent that many families who lived in the border area moved back and forth between the two countries. Pomerania ceased to exist in 1945 and is now part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. So far, August Kobernuss is the only other immigrant we know about that immigrated to the US from Pomerania.
There is a great deal of information about Mecklenburg and Pomerania available. To learn more about these two regions, check the excellent page by Carol Bowen. We've also collected some background information on the likely origins and history of the Kobernuss and Kubbernuss families. Click on this link to read more about the history of these families.
The Johann Friederich Kobernuss family immigrated to the US in two increments; Eldest son Fritz departed on the ship Saxonia from Hamburg Germany stopping at La Havre France and arriving in New York Sept. 25,1871. His father and mother and three siblings sailed from Hamburg on March 3, 1872 and arrived in New York on April 18, 1872 aboard the Westphalia. This was before Ellis Island was established; as a result, the Kobernuss family processed through immigration Castle Garden which was in operation from 1855 to 1890. A temporary center was set up in the old Barge Office near the Customhouse on the southeast foot of Manhattan and used until January 1, 1892 when Ellis Island opened.
We don't know where Friederich Kobernuss family lived in the US initially, but according to one descendant, the reunited family first settled in Chicago where the they found work rolling cigars. Like many immigrants, they were farmers so they homesteaded first in Gutenburg, Clayton County, Iowa, and in 1904 moved to Manly, Worth Iowa where they also farmed.
Eldest son Fritz married in 1877 in Clayton county, had a son there, and moved to Spencer South Dakota about 1884 where two more children were born. Life was difficult in South Dakota. One elderly descendant says of Fritz:
"...he got through the '88 blizzard, the roaring '20s and dirty 30's, grasshoppers and Russian Thistle. Bridgewater South Dakota [the] only railroad town at that time."
The homestead document for this farm was signed by President Benjamin Harrison and is still worked by descendants of Fritz Kobernusz.
During a visit to East Germany in 1985 Melvin Kobernusz uncovered the records of his family in the Gramzow parish records. If you want to read the fascinating story of his journey, click here.
[Ed Note: this was prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall four years later, and many things have changed in East Germany since then. After reading Melvin's account, you might want to visit the German Reunification links listed at the bottom of his report to compare what has occurred in that nation since the reunification of East and West Germany.]
Even though they are now scattered around the US, the Iowa and South Dakota branches of this family can be readily identified. They are the only family we know of in the US that converted from the original form of KOBERNUß or KOBERNUSS and now use the variation KOBERNUSZ . If you want to see the entire Kobernusz family tree to go: http://www.rootsweb.com or use the search engine below.
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