Friday, November 20, 2015

Ferdinand Cobabe Family Immigration 1830-1880


Copenhagen Denmark
Sometime around 1850-1860, Ferdinand Frederick Ludwick Cobabe moved his family from the ancestral home in Malchow Prussia to Copenhagen Denmark.  Ferdinand was born in 1828 in Malchow  (German pronunciation: [ˈmalço])  a municipality in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district, in Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaGermany.

I'm not certain how or why he travelled to Denmark.  It is possible to either cross through Hamburg and north, past Kiel, and into Denmark, or he may have crossed the Baltic in a ship or ferry.

Ferdinand raised his family for some years in Copenhagen Denmark until he came in contact with missionaries. apparently some time around 1860.  At some point in between 1828-1860, Ferdinand Cobabe moved from Malchow to Copenhagen. He was baptized 12 Oct 1862, and in 1864 the Ferdinand Cobabe family sailed to America with a company of Scandinavian converts on the sailing ship "Monarch of the Sea".

The infant daugther Caroline died en route to New York.

I note that the ships manifest for "Monarch of the Sea" lists "Ferdinand Cobabe        36     m   Weaver     Denmark".    If I recall correctly, the German language census that shows Ferdinand Cobabe residing in Malchow lists his occupation as "Tuchmacher" which translates a bit too literally into something like "Towel Maker".

Apparently the ships manifest indicates Ferdinand Cobabe's own declaration of his occupation, so it would seem that at least in his thinking, "Weaver" and "Towel Maker" are closely related, maybe even one and the same basic idea.

From a discussion of origins of Danish textile industries, primarily in and around Copenhagen...

The words dugmager and tøjmager can be confusing, since Dug and Tøj are both derivations from the German word Tuch, which originally had the broad meaning of tool, equipment or clothing.  In German, the combination Tuchmacher has the specific meaning of clothmaker, which has been transferred to Danish as Dugmager, designating a person who is producing fulled fabrics from wool. The word Tøj is also a derivation from Tuch, which originally had the same broad meaning (e.g. equipment), but has acquired the more specific meaning of clothing. Thus, Tøjmager means a weaver who is producing light, non-fulled fabrics from wool, flax or (later) cotton.
In the 1850s time frame, areas outlying Copenhagen became part of a growth industry mass producing textiles.

Presumably this new development was what attracted FF Cobabe there.  Prior to that time, generations of Cobabe ancestors in the area of Malchow, Prussia, were involved in the artisan trade of "Tuchmacher", working with raw wool in a process to create fabrics.  Up until that time, cotton fiber was not popular in Europe.  Everything fabric was either woven from wool or from flax fiber which was the basis for linen, or silk.  After this time the American Colonists began producing and exporting cotton, which marked the beginning of commercial production of cotton fabrics.

Copenhagen Watermill
The location around Copenhagen became popular in the 1850's because there was abundant watermill power available to automate cloth-making production.

Fabric fulling involves two processes, scouring and milling (thickening). Originally, fulling was carried out by pounding the woollen cloth with the fuller's feet, or hands, or a club.
These processes are followed by stretching the cloth on great frames known as tenters, to which it is attached by tenterhooks. It is from this process that the phrase "being on tenterhooks" is derived, as meaning to be held in suspense. The area where the tenters were erected was known as a tenterground. 
The second function of fulling was to thicken cloth by matting the fibres together to give it strength and increase waterproofing (felting). This was vital in the case of woollens, made from carding wool, but not for worsted materials made from combing wool. After this stage, water was used to rinse out the foul-smelling liquor used during cleansing.
Felting of wool occurs upon hammering or other mechanical agitation because the microscopic barbs on the surface of wool fibres hook together, somewhat like Velcro. 
From the medieval period, the fulling of cloth often was undertaken in a water mill, known as a fulling mill, a walk mill, or a tuck mill.  In these, the cloth was beaten with wooden hammers, known as fulling stocks or fulling hammers. Fulling stocks were of two kinds, falling stocks (operating vertically) that were used only for scouring, and driving or hanging stocks. In both cases the machinery was operated by cams on the shaft of a waterwheel or on a tappet wheel, which lifted the hammer. 
Driving stocks were pivoted so that the foot (the head of the hammer) struck the cloth almost horizontally. The stock had a tub holding the liquor and cloth. This was somewhat rounded on the side away from the hammer, so that the cloth gradually turned, ensuring that all parts of it were milled evenly. However, the cloth was taken out about every two hours to undo plaits and wrinkles. The 'foot' was approximately triangular in shape, with notches to assist the turning of the cloth.

I'm sure this is more about nineteenth century cloth making than anyone cares to know.  But I found it interesting to learn a bit about what my ancestors did.

In any case, Ferdinand did not pursue his trade of clothmaker after the family arrived in the US.

Maybe people just didn't use towels in Ogden Utah during those times.

Interesting to conjecture.

The company of 974 Saints sailed from Liverpool on 28 April 1864.  Elder John Smith, patriarch to the church, was in charge of the emigrants.  His counsellors were Elders John D. Chase, Johan P. R. Johansen, and Parley P. Pratt.  Jr. Master of the packet was Captain Robert Kirkaldy.

This company also represented many nations, particularly Scandinavia. Although the voyage of thirty-six days was quite pleasant, the death toll was unusually high -- forty-five according to George Q. Cannon and forty-one according to the passenger list. Most of those were apparently children who died in a ship-board measles outbreak. The ship arrived at New York on 3 June.

Sailing Ship-Monarch of the Sea

Liverpool, England to New York  3 June 1864


Excerpt from the list of all the passengers taken on board the Ship Monarch of the Sea where Kirkaldy is Master, from Liverpool, burthen 1979 tons.

168 Ferdinand Cobabe 36 m Weaver Denmark
169 Ane Christine Cobabe 34 f Denmark
170 Ferdinand Cobabe 4 m Denmark
171 Caroline C. Cobabe 3 f Denmark died May 28th
172 Anne M. Cobabe 2 f Denmark

It would appear that the young daughter of Ferdinand Frederick Ludwick Cobabe, Caroline C. Cobabe, probably died in a measles outbreak that spread through the more than 900 passengers of the ship "Monarch of the Sea".

Castle Garden

In the morning of June 3rd the 'Monarch of the Sea' arrived at New York.  Landing of the emigrants at the Castle Garden at once took place.  Castle Garden, today known as Castle Clinton National Monument, is the major landmark within The Battery, the 25 acre waterfront park at the tip of Manhattan.  From 1855 to 1890, the Castle was America's first official immigration center, a pioneering collaboration of New York State and New York City.

In the evening they boarded a steamer for Albany, New York, and from there they travelled by train to St. Joseph, Missouri, then by steamer up the Missouri River to Wyoming, Nebraska.   From there, most of the Scandinavian Saints were taken to the Salt Lake Valley by Church teams, of which 170 were sent out by the Church that season. Thus about four hundred Scandinavian emigrating Saints crossed the plains in Captain William B. Preston's company of about 50 Church teams, that left Wyoming, Nebraska, in the beginning of June, and arrived in Salt Lake City, Sept. 15, 1864.

The journal of Charles C. Bihler chronicles personal experiences during the travels of the Scandanavian Company across the plains and mountains.

I'm not sure how the Cobabe family ended up in Ogden, but eventually they did.

It's clear from historical accounts that the family traveled from New York to Nebraska by the means of modern transportation systems - steamship and trains.  When they arrived in Nebraska the Scandinavian group joined one of the immigrant covered wagon trains, and the Cobabe family traveled the rest of the way to Salt Lake City with one of the immigrant companies.

The 1864 journal account of Nils C. Flygare probably describes the same immigration route taken by Ferdinand Cobabe and family to reach Salt Lake.

Most of the pioneer immigrants crossed over to Salt Lake from Nebraska in wagon trains and handcart companies that had a well kept roster of names of all those in the company.  The Mormon immigrant companies were typically named after the Captain of the company who led them.   A Church web site on immigrants lists Ferdinand and family as members of the William B. Preston company of 1864.

Some of the immigrants who flooded in to the Winter Quarters area seem to have stayed in that neighborhood for quite some time.  I could not find any immigrant journal records or notes that chronicle the specific details of the Cobabe family journey, so I don't know exactly what may have taken place in that part of their travels.  Maybe they kept their distance when they camped, perhaps they just got tired of hanging around with all the Danish and Swedish guys, after a decade or so of living with them in Denmark.

Most of the Scandinavian immigrants seem to have settled in Sanpete County.  Maybe Ferdinand was tired of living with Danes, and just headed in the opposite direction.  If anyone has other ideas it would be fun to hear.

Then, a big surprise...

After he settled in Ogden, it appears that Ferdinand Frederick Ludwick Cobabe established himself as a "Saloon Keeper".  The 1880 Census lists F F and his household with this occupation.  I was indeed surprised to learn this, but it was also confirmed by several articles published in newspapers of the time.  I have no idea what was the preferred beverage in his establishment, but I suspect they didn't serve much lemonade.

The census further surprised me with the information that his household also included two wives, something I had not realized.

Trying to get some feeling for time and place, I looked more closely at the information for these two women.

Anna was born in 1830, and Caroline in 1831, so they were near the same age.

The first wife, Anna Frederika Dorthea Ochs, is identified as originating in Lütjenburg ("Lutzinburg" in FamilySearch records), Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, about 20 miles east of Kiel in Germany, right on the road to Denmark.


Lütjenburg is more than 100 miles northeast from Malchow, so it seems difficult to imagine exactly how the two met.  Ferdinand and Anna were married on 17 Mar 1854.  Ferdinand was 26 and Anna was 24.  Anna was baptized into the Church on the same day as Ferdinand, 12 Oct 1862, so they met some time prior to converting to the Mormon Church.

The other woman, Caroline Juliette Christensen, declares her origin to the census as Copenhagen Denmark, and her parents show in Family Search as Danish as well.   Caroline was baptized into the Church 22 Apr 1858, so presumably some time before she met Ferdinand.  Caroline and Ferdinand were married on 17 Mar 1866, the same day on record as when Ferdinand and Anna were sealed in the Endowment House, a few years after his joining the Church in 1862.  Ferdinand was then 38 and Caroline was 35.

Also interesting to note that the indexing of the 1880 Census pages with his household incorrectly tranliterated Cobabe into "Cobage" in the process.  Apparently the glasses of their Urim and Thummim were a bit smeared that day.

Ferdinand Frederick Ludwick Cobabe apparently became active in the Ogden Volunteer Fire Department during the 1865-1880 years.  I found several newspaper articles that mention his name, in the archived Ogden Herald-Examiner.  He is identified as the Secretary for the Fire Department, and though I found no evidence mentioning his part in putting out a single fire, it does seem to indicate that he was active in organizing an calling for occasional Fire Department Brass Band practices.

If you or anyone else finds some use for this stuff, go for it. Please.  It's all collected from public sources.  :)


Unknown said...

With your permission I would like to submit this to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers for their archives. They are dying for some new stories. Becky

Jim Cobabe said...

Becky, sorry so slow getting back to you.

Please use whatever is useful. I didn't invent any of this stuff, it was copied from public sources