Chapter One

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 Philippe Pesch married to

Catherine Blauen

Philippe and Catherine have two children Dominique and John


Dominique Pesch married to

Barbara Nepter


John Baptiste Pesch born 11-10-18 Udange, Duche de Luxembourg, died 1880, married to

Maria/Mary Gabrian/Gebergen/Gubriyun born 03-14-1824 Germany, died 07-15-1890, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, buried Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Calvary Cemetery, lot 4A, row 70.

Mary/Maria was living with her daughter Theresa at 391 Brady St. in 1889 and 353 Brady St. in 1890 in Milwaukee, at the time of her death. She was listed as a widow of John Pesch and died of meningitis.  Maria's maiden name spelled as Gubrian was found on her death certificate in Madison, Wisconsin.  It would be the phonetic spelling of the Gubryun/Gadryun name.  The address she was living at, at the time of her death is the same as Mary Pesch, in the 1890 census.


This is what we have been able to discover about the life of the one that migrated to the United State and is the “patriarch” for the Pesch Family, which we are members of. This search has been intense and every lead or suggestion for new information has been investigated. These are the findings and sources from which they came. Document to document does not always match, but we have been unable to find any indication of two John Baptiste Pesches living in that area at the same time.  In the year of 2004, through another Pesch clan, I was able to find a J. B. Pesch as a passenger on the ship TALLARAND, departing from Antwerp, Belgium arriving in New York August 3, 1846.  This is exactly a month later than found in other records, also the age given in this document makes J.B. born in 1816 instead of 1818 as he declared on his Declaration of Intent to become an American citizen.  As mentioned above, other documents pertaining to John Baptiste do not always match.


It seems that the third generation knew very little about the life of John B. or his wife Maria (often referred to as Mary in official documents). If the third generation knew anything about them, they did not share it with the fourth generation. What we have discovered or uncovered about them has come from searching documents, books, film, and records found at the Historical Society in Grafton and County Clerk’s office in Port Washington of Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. In Milwaukee County we searched the Historical and Genealogy sections of the Goldia Meier Library, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Campus and the Public Library, downtown Milwaukee. We also visited the Historical and Genealogy Societies of Shelby County, Illinois (originally included a portion of what is now Bethany, Illinois and some surrounding areas of Moultrie County) and the County Clerks Office, Moultrie County, Sullivan, Illinois. We also have used the national and international genealogy web sites continuously.


The remainder of this chapter is of the information that has been collected over the past few years about John Baptiste Pesch.


John B. was born on November 10, 1818.  (Thanks to cousin Patricia Trinkner, a descendant of John Baptiste's nephew, Henry Pesch) we now have a legal date of John's birth.  He was born in The Duche de Luxembourg area that was later designated as a part of Belgium.  This clears up why some documents say he was born in Belgium and others say Luxembourg yet the area at one time was controlled by Germany so he claimed Germany as his birth place at times.


We found a copy of the census in both the Golda Meier Library and another copy in the Milwaukee Public Library but they contained a little different information. The first one gave his age as 41 the second one his age was 42 but his Declaration of Intent to become an American citizen, records he was born about the year of 1818, in Belgium. He arrived in New York in July 1846 and continued west to settle in Fredonia, Ozaukee, Wisconsin.  He was a farmer and owned his own land.


Some interesting notes about checking records. Names are not spelled the same way on every document or record. We have found PESCH spelled Pash, Pasch and Besch. Same husband, same children same locale just spelled different.


The 1860 census found at the Golda Meier Library reports the following:


John B. Pesch                    Age 42                   Farmer   Born Luxembourg

Mary                                         32                                           Holland

Jean Pierre                                11                                           Wisconsin

Eva                                             8                                           Wisconsin

Katherina                                    6                                           Wisconsin

Peter                                           5                                           Wisconsin

Anna                                           3                                           Wisconsin

Margaretha                                  2                                           Wisconsin


Value of Estate--$1,000.  Value of Personal Property--$200

Lived in the town of Fredonia, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin

Date of Census 13 July 1860


The 1860 Census index and census found at the Public Library reports the census a little differently:


Pesch, John B              Ozaukee, Fredonia       1860 Ref                    Father

           Anna                                                                                       Daughter

            Eva                                                                                         Daughter

            Jean Pierre                                                                              Son

            Katherina                                                                                Daughter

            Margaretha                                                                             Daughter

            Maria                                                                                      Mother

            Peter                                                                                       Son     


1860 Census:

Pesch,  John B.            41                    Farmer                         Born      Luxembourg

            Maria               36                                                                     Holland

            Jean Pierre       11                                                                     Wisconsin

            Eva                    8                                                                     Wisconsin

            Katherina           6                                                                     Wisconsin

            Peter                  5                                                                     Wisconsin

            Anna                  3                                                                     Wisconsin

            Margaretha         2                                                                     Wisconsin


1865 Census contained the following information:


Pesch, John B. (5) five males, (7) seven females, (2) foreign born.  The increase in the number of male in the family can be contributed to the birth of Nickles Lus in 1862, Frank in 1864 and Theresa in 1865, but we do not know who the one extra female is, no name or relationships were given on the census.


John and Maria next appeared in the 1880 census but not as husband and wife or in the same states census.


Pesch, Maria was listed in the Census of Port Washington, Ozawkie, Wisconsin. She was listed as a widow, born in Luxembourg as both her parents were. She was reported as, keeping house and work.


Pesch, John B. appeared on the Moultrie County, Illinois census for 1880 as a male, age 62, a servant, born in Germany. A footnote at the bottom of the page stated he was born in Belgium, as were both his parents. This was found at the Historical and Genealogy Society of Shelby County, Illinois. This might account for the small picture album that Lula Pesch Shipman has that contain the words to the effect “ I bought this book for $1 in Sullivan, Illinois, 17, February, 1873."


No further census records on John B. and Maria Pesch were found. We did not find any birth, death or burial records for them (a death record for Mary was found later as indicted at the beginning of this chapter).  At the Ozaukee County Courthouse were some records of purchase of property bought but none for selling any of it. This will be cleared later in later documents as to why there were no sales.


We found (2) two copies of a Certificate of Intent (first papers) to become an American citizen. Both certificates record the same information, although one is larger than the other. On the Index of Certificates, Certificate number 2016 was listed as for an “ADAM B. PESCH”.  In the Index of Certificates number 2312 was listed as a “JOHN B. PESCH”. Being inquisitive about the two Pesches making application on the same date we checked the records for the certificates and found that both certificates were issued to John Baptiste Pesch. Submitted on the same date, same information, by the same clerk and both contained John B.’s mark or signature. Question—Did John register for another member of his family??? If so, who?? We did not find a certificate in the entire book for Adam B. Pesch. In all our research we did not come across the name of Adam on any records.


Lula Pesch Shipman, Great Grand daughter of John B. Pesch told us at one of the reunions that she had been told that John B.’s father was once a member of Napoleon’s Army had had fought with the Russian’s and had received an eye injury. Also that he met and married a Russian woman.


Now for the Skeletons in the closet!!!


At the Archives Office in the town of Grafton, Ozaukee, Wisconsin, we found copies of exerts from the “Luxembourg Society of Wisconsin, News Letter”, in volume 1, No. 10/11, November 1979 and discovered this article. “J. Baptiste Pesch, left his wife and children and took all his money”. Later at the Ozaukee County Courthouse in Port Washington, Wisconsin we found a “Warrant of Seizure” for the property (reason for no sale of property) of an alleged absconded person dated July 3, 1865. There was some action prior to the issue of the warrant whereby the Supervisor of the Town of Fredonia, Wisconsin seized the personal and real property of John B. Pesch, because it was believed that the wife and children would become chargeable upon the public for support. (Copies are printed in this documents chapter).


Nickles Lus Pesch was admitted to the Northern Hospital for Insane on April 23, 1880.  His mother, Maria Pesch, through the Sheriff’s Department of Ozaukee County, Port Washington, Wisconsin, committed him. He eloped (left without discharge) June 29,1884. (See the record of the event in document chapter).                            


From all this we know that at least  (9) children were born to John and Maria /Mary Pesch, Jean Pierre (John Peter), Eva (Effie), Katherina (Catherine), Peter, Anna (Theresa),  Margaretha (Magarete), Nickles Lus (Nick), Frank and Theresa.