Ollerrich Kucks

What about the other Kucks? Ohlrich’s people.  Yes, his family came to America and settled in Iowa…after his 1870 arrival, 1873 desertion, and 1878 marriage.  While they share the same given name, I will differentiate them based on the spelling recorded on their respective death certificates or headstones.

Ollerrich (spelling on headstone) departed Bremen, Germany about October 1884 and arrived in New York on 10 or 19 November 1884 on the ship Donau with his wife Anna/Mata Schroeder, and two daughters Anna and Cath[erine].  Ollerrich is a shoemaker, aged 65.  Originally, I believed what other researchers have asserted, that Anna/Mata (or Maria) is his second wife.  But I am no longer convinced.  I’ll talk more about that later.

Donau passenger list for 2nd compartment families including Olrick and Meta with children Anna and Cath. Claus was enumerated in 2nd compartment also, but with other single adult males. Both are recorded as shoemakers. From Ancestry.com New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

Elsewhere on the same ship’s passenger list is a young man named Claus Kucks who is of an age to be a son of Ollerrich.  Claus is listed independently from the rest of the Kucks family as a 26-year-old shoemaker (the same occupation recorded for Ollerrich on the ships passenger list). Claus lived in Monroe, Harrison County, Iowa for the remainder of the 19th century and relocated to Monroe County, Missouri sometime between 1900 and 1910 where he died.

Claus and Ollerrich come together again in the Harrison County, Iowa 1900 Federal Census when Ollerrich and Meta are listed as parents of Claus and living in his household and have a recorded immigration year of 1884. Also in Claus’ household is his brother, Henry. Clause married Catherine Brandt.

Claus Kucks household in 1900, shortly after his marriage to Catherine (Katie) Brandt. Brother, Henry, and parents, Ollerrich and Meta, are living in his household. John Kucks and Augusta (Gusta) are next door. From Ancestry.com 1900 United States Federal Census.

In 1885, three men, Claus, John, and Louis, were all unmarried men living with Ohlrich and Margaretha Hinkel in Morgan, Harrison County, Iowa.  They shared the same surname, but the 1885 Iowa census doesn’t record household member relationships to heads of household. I had already tracked Claus, so I pulled the strings on the other two and found the following. 

John Kucks arrived in America sometime between 1880 and 1884.  He was not found on the Donau’s passenger list, so he must have arrived on a different ship.  He lived in Morgan, Harrison County, Iowa for the remainder of his life and had a family with Augusta (Gusta) Hermann.

Louis Kucks, arrived about 1881, no passenger list has been found, but he consistently reported his immigration year on the 1900, 1910, and 1920 Federal Census’.  He lived in Harrison County, Iowa for the remainder of his life. He was married twice, first to Frieda Hermann and second to Elizabeth Ambros.  This last marriage produced two known children.

While pulling those strings, I found John Henry (who went by Henry). He arrived in 1880 or 1881, no passenger list has been found for him either, but this is what he reported to Census in the same years as Louis.  Henry lived with his brother Claus and their parents (Ollerrich and Anna) in 1900 and co-owned property in Allen, Harrison County, Iowa with Claus, which also bordered property owned by Louis and John.  He lived his life in Harrison County and is buried near many of the other Kucks in Magnolia Cemetery. 

Now isn’t that interesting that Ohlrich had a brother (or relative) named Henry and an in-law (or relative by marriage) whose surname was Brandt?  Perhaps there is some truth to the claim he lived under an alias!

And now, back to Ollerrich’s marriages.  The first trace I found on him was through published research by a hobby genealogist in Germany who pointed me to a German family research website (hyperlink updated in 2021).  Sources are referenced for records located in Germany are not available electronically, AND the person who posted the information is unidentified and no contact information is provided.  Other researchers have accepted this source and the assertion that Ollerrich married first a Maria Schroeder (mother of Ohlrick the younger) who died in Prussia and then to Anna Meta/Mata Schroeder, presumably her younger sister.  However; Ollerrich and Anna marriage year was reported as 1853 in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  This is the only record found that provides evidence of a marriage year. More evidence can only be found through international records and I am just not there yet. 

IF the marriage year in this record is correct, AND Ohlrich was born in 1853 or 1854, THEN it suggests Anna is Ohlrich’s mother (I just can’t imagine Ollerrich would remarry the same year his first wife died, possibly in childbirth, but I guess it’s plausible). As I have mention before, census records don’t identify the informants. Since Ollerrich and Anna lived with two of their adult sons, I want to assume that one of the Kucks family members was the informant, giving me hope that the date is valid. 

This one piece of evidence (if accurate) would imply that Ollerrich was married only once and she had multiple names (not uncommon in Prussian/German naming patterns); Anna Meta/Mata OR Maria Schroeder.  What about the surname recorded on Ohlrich’s death certificate identifying his mother’s name as Unk Eckhoff?  Well, this is the only record naming Eckhoff as his mother, and the informant was his grandson, August Neidermeyer who was two generations removed from first-hand knowledge so this information is low confidence.

Tying Ohlrich to Ollerrich and the other Kucks men was indirect through clustering. 

  1. Ohlrich came to America 14 years prior to his father and siblings.  
  2. Claus, Louis, and John all lived with Ohlrich in 1885.
  3. Claus arrived in America on the same ship as Ollerrich in 1884 and is in the same household in 1900 with clear familial relationships.
  4. Death certificates for all the males identified in this article named variants of Ollerrich Kucks (Ulrick, Ohlrick, etc.) and Anna, Metta, or Marie Schroeder as parents (except Ohlrich which named Eckhoff as his mother).
  5. While John Henry Kucks is never directly tied to Ohlrich, Ohlrich does name a son John Henry Kucks, possibly after this relation.
  6. Claus is a witness for John’s marriage.
  7. Claus and Henry jointly own land in Harrison County bounded by two separate tracts owned by Louis and John.
  8. Everyone but Claus is buried in Magnolia, Iowa.

Genealogical Summary:

Ollerrich Kucks was born on 19 July 1819 (only evidence is headstone) in Prussia.  In 1853 he married Anna Meta Schroeder who may also be Maria Schroeder.  He worked as a shoemaker or cobbler.

Ollerrich and Anna arrived in the United States on the ship Donau in November 1884.  He brought with him two daughters, Anna and Catherine.

They came to Allen, Harrison County, Iowa and become farmers.  Ollerrich dies on 2 October 1904 in Iowa and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Harrison County, Iowa.

Ollerrich had the following children, possibly all with Anna.  All events occur in Harrison County, Iowa unless otherwise noted:

  1. Ohlrich Kucks is born 22 August 1853 in Prussia and marries Margaretha Hinkle in Iowa.
  2. John Henry Kucks is born 29 April 1855 in Prussia. He is naturalized in Iowa in 1884. He marries Maria Dierks on 24 April 1885.  She dies sometime before 1900 and he dies on 2 May 1929 and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery.
  3. Louis Kucks is born 31 December 1859.  His marriage records his place of birth as Sassenholtz (Prussia). He marries 1) Frieda Herman on 26 April 1894 and 2) Elizabeth Ambros on 9 June 1897.
  4. John Kucks is born 11 February 1862 in Prussia.  He marries Augusta Hermann on 21 October 1896 and Claus is recorded as a witness. He dies on 2 May 1934.
  5. Claus Kucks is born 12 October 1866 in Prussia.  He arrives in 1884 on the same ship as his parents in 1884.  He marries Catherine Brandt on 11 October 1899.  He relocates his family to Monroe County, Missouri by 1904 where he lives the remainder of his life.  He dies on 25 December 1935.
  6. Anna Meta Kucks is born October 1870 in Prussia.  She arrives in America in 1884 with her parents.  She marries Heinrich/Henry Dierks on 22 August 1887 and dies on 23 April 1913.  She is buried in Magnolia Cemetery.
  7. Catherine Kucks is born abt. 1874 in Prussia.
Image of Ollerrich’s headstone from Find-a-Grave.