Including Descendants of August Kobernuss
Fahrenholz Mecklenburg, Hasseldorf Pomerania & Chicago Illinois

Joachim Friederich Kobernuss was probably born in one of the villages that compose the Parishes of Ivenack or Borgfeld Mecklenburg, or in a unknown parish a few miles inside the Pomeranian border. We know he lived in Basepohl, Ivenack parish and the village of Neu-Kentzlin a few miles inside Pomerania. Joachim married Margaretha Elisabeth Jagenwortz (Sp?) about 1785 in an unknown village. We have not found Margaretha's birth record yet, but we believe she was born in or around Basepohl.

Joachim and Margaretha's son, Johann Carl Kobernuss, were probably born in Basepohl. He first married Maria Dorothea Wolter about 1825. The couple moved from Basepohl, Ivenack parish to Fahrenholz, Borgfeld parish sometime before their first child was born in 1826. Johann Carl Kobernuss had 14 children before his death in 1851; 12 by his first wife Maria Dorothea Wolter who died January 1842, and 2 by his second wife Regina Frederica Ermuth Schroeder who he married in July of 1842. Johann Carl died in Borgfeld in 1851.

August Friederich Theodor Kobernuss, the youngest child of Johann Kobernuss and Maria Wolter was born 9 Sept. 1837 in Fahrenholz. Several of his siblings died as infants; August and his brothers and sisters probably lived until adulthood in Fahrenholz, Borgfeld parish. The villages in Borgfeld parish are Borgfeld, Fahrenholz, Kriesow, Markmuehle, Markow & Tuezen. 

August was confirmed in the parish church in Borgfeld in 1852, and married Helmina (Minnie) Frederica Dorothea Lankow there on 20 October 1871. 

Daughter Caroline Sophie Johanne was born to the couple in May 1871. The Borgfeld church records do not indicate any more children born in this village, so it appears they moved to Hasseldorf Pomerania sometime between 1871 and 1873. Hasseldorf is a village only 1 Km northeast of Fahrenholz, Mecklenburg. These two villages are split by a small tributary that marks the border of Mecklenburg and Pomerania. The Hasseldorf parish records indicate August was the father of two more children; Lisette Wilhelmina Caroline in 1873, and Anna Marie Mathilde, born in 1876. The eldest child  Carolina died in 1876 in Hasseldorf at the age of 2 years, 6 month, 5 days. There might be other children but we don't have firm evidence of that. 

The graphic below shows the villages where the August Kobernus family lived in Mecklenburg.

pomerania_border_WEB.jpg (41546 bytes)

Click to see full size

The Kobernuss family apparently had relatives living in Neu-Kentzlin, Pomerania which is only 5 Km from Fahrenholz and Hasseldorf. A Joachim Friederich Kobernuss of  that village was listed as a godparent at August Kobernus' christening. This is almost certainly August's grandfather.  Unfortunately, this village is in Pomerania and far as we know, few of the church records for this region have been filmed. Pomerania records are usually in possession of local church officials or have been transferred to another church for safekeeping. German laws are very strict regarding access to these type of records, but if you can prove a relationship, they are usually very cooperative. We have been successful in getting additional information by directly contacting parish officials in Hohenbollentin where the records for Hasseldorf are kept. 

On April 19, 1882,  August and Minnie, with their three children Minnie, Anna and Bertha departed Hamburg on the vessel "Wieland".  The "Wieland" was built in 1874 by A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow for the Adler Line of Hamburg but didn't sail for them. She was a 3,507 gross ton vessel, length 375.3ft x beam 39.9ft, one funnel, two masts (rigged for sail), iron construction, single screw and a speed of 13 knots. There was accommodation for 90-1st, 100-2nd and 800-3rd class passengers. It is possible to obtain a picture of this vessel by contacting one of several archives listed on our ships list

Hasseldorf_WEB.jpg (20724 bytes)
Click on image to see full size

The Kobernuss family arrived in New York Harbor on May 4, 1882 and processed through the immigration receiving facility at Castle Garden. Over 8 million immigrants processed through Castle Garden over a 34 year period before it was closed 1890. For 2 years, a temporary processing center was set up in the old Barge Office near the Customhouse on the southeast foot of Manhattan. On January 1, 1892  Ellis Island opened became the primary processing point for immigrants. To learn more about Castle Garden, check these links.

We don't know much about what happened to the family after arriving in New York; however, the Chicago directory reflects August and Minnie living at these addresses in the years indicated:

1890 1263 Clybourne (Now 2830 W. Clybourne)
1893 229 Fletcher (between Hoyne(2100W) and Leavit (2200W) on Fletcher
1894 1791 N. Hoyne Ave. (Now 3318 N. Hoyne)
1899 212 Wellington (Now 2148 W. Wellington)

It's not known when August died, but it was sometime between 1899 and 1910. The Census for that latter year indicates Minna Kobernuss living with her grandson Frank Voss age 26 on North Hoyne Ave. The record reflects that she was a widow with three children living, spoke no English but was literate in the German language. The 1910-12 directories reflect that she was living at 3065 N. Hoyne Ave. Minne died at age 71 in Evanston, Cook, IL on Feb 8, 1916. Click on the photos to see them full size.

August & Minnie had Kobernus had three surviving daughters; Minnie, Anna and Bertha. Minnie married Charles Behrendt and the couple had 9 children. Anna married Henry John Phillips and gave birth to four children. Bertha married John Voss and the couple had four children. We continue to collect information on these families. Click on this link to see these family trees. If you have additional information or want to make corrections contact us at gkobernus   

Click on any photo to enlarge
lankow_helmina_WEB.jpg (20989 bytes)
Minnie Lankow wife
of August Kobernuss
kobernuss_behrendt_minnie_WEB.jpg (10583 bytes)
Minnie Kobernuss-Behrendt
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Bertha Kobernuss-Voss
kobernuss_anna_WEB.jpg (6085 bytes) 
Anna Kobernuss-Phillips

Behrend_children_WEB.jpg (35720 bytes)
Children of Henry
Behrendt & Minnie

Up to this point the record is fairly clear. But some unresolved questions remain. 

1. Was August Kobernuss married more than once? There is some question regarding the name of August's wife  August's wife Helmina (Minnie) Lankow. The Borgfeld parish records list the birth of Helmina Friederike Dorothea Lankow in Borgfeld on 25 Nov 1844 and indicates she was christened on 18 Dec 1844. The same woman married August Kobernus in 1871,  and gave birth to a child in Borgfeld. However, the church records  in Hasseldorf list the wife of August Kobernuss and mother of his two children as Wilhelmina Marie Sophie Lankow. We believe this is the same woman because the death certificate for "Minnie" Kobernuss wife of August Kobernuss who died in Evanston Illinois in Feb 1916 indicates she was born 19 Dec 1844. Women often died in childbirth in 1871 and it's possible August remarried a sister or cousin of his first wife; a not uncommon event in those days. However, what's more likely is that that "Minnie" began using a different middle names when she moved to Hasseldorf. We have no knowledge that August was married more than once, and the Borgfeld and Hasseldorf records reflect no other marriages for him. The fact that the death record in Cook county gives a different birth day than the one in Borgfeld can be explained by the custom that people of the time celebrated their birth anniversary on their baptism day.

2. What were the Identity and age of August and Minnie/Helmina's children?  The immigration record of the vessel Wieland in 1882, reflects three children accompanied them; "Wilh." age 9 (born Abt. 1873), Anna age 8 (born Abt. 1874), and Bertha age 6 (born Abt. 1876). We've found the ages of people in passenger records often to be off by 5 or more years but these are close enough to allow us to arrive at some conclusions. We believe the child "Wilh" is the eldest living child Lisette Wilhelmina Caroline born 17 Mar 1873. The age on the passenger list for "Anna" is off a couple of years, but it's pretty clear this child is Anna Marie Mathilde born 22 Jul 1876.  The April 1866 Borgfeld parish records indicate Helmina (Minnie) Frederica Dorothea Lankow gave birth to a child Bertha Carolina Frederica Marie Lankow. The record indicates the birth was "Unehelich" (Illegimate) and took place some five years before the marriage of August Kobernuss and Minnie/Helmina Lankow. As a result, it's pretty clear that Bertha was actually 16 years old at the time of her immigration. it is also possible Minnie/Helmina had other children we don't know about. 

3. Where and when did August Kobernuss die? The 1899 Chicago indicates August and Minnie were living at 212 Wellington in Chicago. The 1910 US census and subsequent directories indicates Minnie was living alone. As a result it's likely we'll find his death occurred sometime between 1899 and 1910. 

4. Did other members of August Kobernuss' family immigrate to the US? We know of two other immigrants that might be related to August Kobernuss.

Friederich Carl Johann Kobernuss was born the same year as August Kobernuss in Ivenack, a village just five miles from Borgfield. Friederich, his wife Sophia and son Wilhelm immigrated to Chicago from Ivenack in October 1882 on the vessel India. He lived in Chicago from 1882 until his death in 1915. 

Johann Friederich Kobernus' family immigrated from Jarmen/Kadow in Pomerania in 1872. Kadow is about fifteen miles from Hasseldorf. 

It is likely these families were related but we have not yet determined a link between them.  

5. Is it possible there are Kobernuss relatives in Germany Today? We have been in touch with the descendants of Johann Karl Christian Cobernuss a family in Germany who had ancestors in Tuesin, a village about 10 miles northeast of Borgfield & Hasseldorf. A member of this family group was born in Jarmen, so it's possible they are also related in some way to the other families mentioned above.

So ends the story (for now) of the August Kobernuss family. However, his descendants continue to research the history of his family in the years since August died. If you are related to this family and want to add to the history with personal stories or photos, please contact the editor of this page at gkobernus, or direct descendants, Dolly Hauf at molly or Dave Phillips at dgphilli

Click here to view a list of the descendants of  Joachim Friederich Kobernuss. Contact us to make corrections or additions. 
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A/O: 29 Dec 2002