Lorenz and Catherine Rueb Stiebeling

Catherine Henriette Rueb

(Henrich) Lorenz Stiebeling

Parents: Sophie Henriette Guth & Johann Conrad Rueb

Parents: Margarethe Deckenbach & Georg Christian Stiebeling

Born: December 9, 1820 Gedern, Oberhessen, Hesse, Germany (church record)

Born: September 19 (or 13?), 1819 Gedern, Hesse, Germany (church record)

Married: October 12, 1840 Lorenz Stiebeling, in Gedern (church record)

Married: October 12, 1840 Catherine Rueb, in Gedern (church record)

Emigrated: 1869 on the SS Hermann (list)

Naturalization: NY October 27, 1876 (card)

Died: December 6, 1864 Gedern, Germany--stroke (church record)

Died: March 30, 1890, Washington, DC--peritonitis (death certificate, church record)

Interred: Gedern, Germany

Interred: Prospect Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC (picture)

Occupation: laborer, leather, collector, insurance, hostler

Catherine married Lorenz four months after the birth of their first child, which was not uncommon in Germany in these days. How hard it must have been for Catherine to let her oldest son emigrate with her brother (Conrad Rueb) and his family in 1854 when Hermann was only 14 -- never to see him again! Perhaps the rest of the family had planned to join up soon thereafter, but plans were delayed during the Civil War (Hermann fought for the Union in DC—not a popular position!), or perhaps Catherine or daughter Emma was ill. The rest of the family waited until after Catherine died—Edward, Maria and William emigrated in 1865, and Lorenz followed in 1869 with Riecke, Sophia and Elizabeth. Son Hermann and his wife Anna, childless, treated especially Elizabeth like a daughter -- Elizabeth had been four when Catherine died. All of Catherine's 21 grandchildren were born in America, after Catherine's death.

I wonder why, with all these young children (six aged 4-20 upon Catherine’s death), Lorenz did not remarry in Germany or America. After emigrating in 1869, Lorenz first lived in the West Farms area of the Bronx where he was working in the “skin factory.” He stayed in NY as Lorenz' younger brother Georg, a doctor, had been living there since the mid-1850s. The family must have had a grand reunion in NY: the children moved up from DC and Baltimore probably most of them to meet the ship, and then lived together in the Bronx. Lorenz had not seen son Hermann for 15 years, and Hermann is now 29! Hermann is the first to move back to DC, in 1874 with 14 year old Elizabeth. William follows in 1878, then Sophia 1880-1885. After Edward and Riecke died, Lorenz too moves to DC in 1887. Lorenz was a hostler in DC (although this could mean caretaker of horses or large engines, in DC this was more likely an innkeeper) before moving in with Charles and Elizabeth prior to his death.

Census data: 1870, 1880, 1890



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. (Carl Ludwig) Hermann

6/2/1840 Gedern

10/20/1889 Wash., DC (obit)

7/3/1864 Anna Martha Damm


2. unknown

1842? Gedern




3. Edwin “Edward”

5/10/1844 Gedern

4/23/1878 Hoboken, NJ

~1867 Elizabeth Henning


4. Maria

12/12/1846 Gedern

1/9/1915 Bronx, NY

10/7/1871 Reinhardt Bechthold


5. Emma

12/1849 Gedern

1/25/1864 Gedern



6. Elizabeth

10/19/1851 Gedern

12/25/1851 Gedern



7. (Johann) William

10/31/1852 Gedern

7/12/1924 Wash., DC

~1907 Annie E. Taylor


8. Friedericke “Riecke”

9/3/1855 Gedern

5/31/1886 Amityville, LI NY (TB)

~1875 Georg Christian Stiebeling


9. Sophia

7/7/1857 Gedern

2/10/1891 Wash., DC (obit)

5/24/1885 Phillip Stiebeling


10. (Christiane) Elizabethe

1/1860 Gedern

6/7/1928 Wash., DC

7/16/1882 Charles Bischoff



Notes: The unknown seventh child is included here because on Riecke's birth record it states she is the 8th child -- but no German record has been found for this 7th child -- it might have been stillborn, or it might have been miscounted. And this child may have been born 7th in 1854 or 2nd in 1842 -- placement is unknown. Hermann emigrated with Rueb cousins in 1854 (on the SS Palatine (list), London to NY, landing 12/1/1854); Edwin, Maria and William emigrated together in 1865 (on the SS Emilie (list), Bremen to NY, landing 7/15/1865). Lorenz emigrated with the three remaining youngest children in 1869 (list).

Lorenz’ church death record of 1890 states he has 4 children [Maria, William, Sophia and Elizabeth] and 7 grandchildren [but it should be 13: Edward's three: Emma-Theodore-Sophia, Marie's four: Tilly-Gussie-Antonia-Frieda, Riecke's two: George-Paul, Sophie's two: Edwin-Lottie, and Elizabeth's two: Alma-Hermann; plus Elizabeth has a step-son Paul from Charles' first marriage]. Sophia’s husband, Phillip Stiebeling, was a cousin from Gedern. Riecke's husband was her uncle -- Lorenz' younger brother -- they probably did not formally marry, as it was illegal in NY. Furthermore, it is unknown if this union was popular in the Stiebeling family, as Georg left his wife and four children for Riecke. Curiously, Anna Damm Stiebeling's 1906 will (p1,p2,p3) omitted reference to Riecke's children; perhaps she disapproved of the union. Edward died of "endocarditis" -- heart disease, specifically an inflammation usually from bacterial infection; Riecke tied of tuberculosis (sick 15 months, died in a TB sanitorium); Hermann died of a sudden heart attack; and Sophia died of gastritis, a suicide (rat poison) at home.

Herman Stiebeling was naturalized in NY in 1868 (naturalization and additional facts), after having served in the civil war out of Washington, DC (see card and pension). Hermann worked for the government (a clerk in the War Department, treasury department), but also owned a summer garden restaurant/bar (where cousin/brother-in-law Philip Stiebeling worked); it was probably in this latter endeavor that he held half-rights to an 1879 patent for a device to measure liquids (useful in measuring beer) (page1, page2, page3).

Stiebelings buried at Prospect Hill: Sophie's baby Minnie in 1888, Hermann in 1889, Lorenz in 1890, Sophie in 1891, Hermann's wife Anna in 1909, William in 1924, William's wife Annie in 1946. Bischoffs buried nearby at Prospect Hill: baby Alma in 1879, Justine in 1882, baby Walter in 1885, Charles in 1925, Elizabeth in 1929 and Anna in 1979.

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