George Hohmann Sr. and Kunigunda (Müller) Hohmann

Isabelle (Hohmann) Parikh

George Hohmann Sr. left Germany and came to America with his parents, Johann and Eva Elizabeth, with his sister Anna Katherine and one brother, John Peter. Another brother Conrad came some years later.

They left their small village of Weiperz in Hessen, Prussia (GERMANY) when George was seventeen years old and he celebrated his eighteenth birthday on December 15, 1847 here in their new homeland, America.

At the time of the family's departure from the fatherland most of the European continent was in a period of great economic strife and political turmoil. There were many on-going wars for power and land acquisitions among the numerous small kingdoms, provinces, and cities. Their own state of Hessen (Prussia) had mandatory military conscription for all males who reached the age of eighteen.

George's brother, Conrad, eight years older than he, was unable to travel to America with the rest of the family because he had enlisted into the military and was serving in the French Army at the time the family left Europe.

The family left a place that we know today as being the country of Germany. In 1847 it had not yet been organized into the country of Germany and was not consolidated as a cohesive political entity. There was no defined country of Germany until after 1871. For thousands of years the word "GERMANY'' was simply a 'GEOGRAPHIC TERM'' used to identify all of the central land portion of Europe. The area was composed of hundreds of small and large principalities. The "Germans" who emigrated from "Germany" prior to 1871 did not actually emigrate from that exact specific place which we now know (1997) as "Germany". They emigrated from the various states and areas in western and central Europe of which later many of the states collectively became known as the country of GERMANY. The names of some of those states in central Europe were PRUSSIA, BRUNSWICK, SAXONY, POMERANIA, HESSEN, WEIMAR, BAVARIA, and WURTTENBERG.

In the year of 1847 when the family came to America James Knox Polk was serving as the eleventh (11th) president of the United States of America. Polk had also served in Congress representing Tennessee and had been the Governor of that state.

In 1848 gold was discovered at Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, California and in 1849 more than eighty thousand (80,000) prospectors ("the forty-niners") went West seeking that gold.

Our Hohmann Family's journey across the sea was by a boat powered only by sails and probably took more than four (4) weeks. At the time they came, the steamship had just barely been invented in 1846, and no steamships were in use or operation from continental Europe until ten years later in 1856.

Their first destination in America was Buffalo, New York and from there they continued travel by waterway via the Ohio River to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) and on to Proctor, Virginia (now West Virginia). From Proctor they went East by land to their final destination in a "German Settlement" (now known as "St. Joseph's Settlement") in the state of Virginia, (now West Virginia).

They brought with them only some wooden steel-strapped trunks containing merely their most personal items, clothes, some simple tools, keepsakes, and blankets along with religious articles of prayer books, rosaries, and crucifixes. They also carried with them root stems for planting grape vines. Every "Hohmann Family Farm" in St. Joseph's Settlement today has or did have a grape arbor from the original grape vines which the first Hohmann Family brought with them in 1847 from the grape vines which grew and are still growing along the Rhine River in present day Germany.

The family settled on land they bought at Whetstone Creek in St. Joseph's Settlement, Virginia, (now West Virginia). St. Joseph's Settlement is located in both Wetzel County and in Marshall County, West Virginia. They cleared the land, build a log cabin home, and farmed the land.

On June 27, 1855 George Hohmann Sr. married Kunigunda Mary Müller (Miller) in the newly built log cabin church at the parish of St. Joseph's. They were the first couple to be married in the new church in the new parish. At the time of their marriage he was 26 years old and she was 28 years old.

Kunigunda Mary Müller (Miller) was born in 1827 in the village of Mittelkalbach, state of Hessen, Prussia (GERMANY). She had come to America only to visit her cousins, The Herrick Family, living in St. Joseph's Settlement. However, her visit became permanent because she refused to return home—with good reason. On the way over the boat (powered by sails) became stuck in an iceberg for more than three (3) months. She said that all the passengers were rationed down to eating only one potato each day and they all had a constant fear of death by starvation as the boat remained stuck and the food supply became depleted. They were saved by the change of season to summer and the warmth of the sun eventually melting the iceberg enough for the boat to become dislodged and to sail forth.

George and Kunigunda Hohmann became the parents of nine (9) sons. All born at Whetstone, St. Joseph's Settlement, West Virginia.

The nine sons:
John Hohmann1856 – 1935Wheeling, West Virginia
George Hohmann1857 – ?Cleveland, Ohio
Joseph Hohmann1860 – 1952St. Joseph's Settlement
Cemetery West Virginia
Adam Hohmann1861 – 1951St. Joseph's Settlement
Cemetery West Virginia
Conrad Hohmann1863 – 1943Martins Ferry, Ohio
St. Mary's Cemetery
Peter Hohmann1865 – 1951Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
William Hohmann1867 – 1942St. Joseph's Settlement
Cemetery West Virginia
Henry Hohmann1869 – 1958St. Joseph's Settlement
Cemetery West Virginia
Frederick Hohmann1872 – 1943St. Joseph's Settlement
Cemetery West Virginia

Kunigunda (MÜLLER) HOHMANN gave birth to their first son John in 1856 when she was 29 years of age and gave birth to their 9th son Frederick when she was 45 years old.

After the birth of their third son, Joseph Hohmann, George Hohmann Sr. became a soldier in the Union Army of the Civil War serving in the "7th West Virginia Infantry". He was wounded with loss of vision in his left eye and he said that he was in the march from Washington D.C. to Gettysburg, PA. He said that the "Battle of Gettysburg" was over when his division reached Gettysburg and they were commanded to bury the dead and clean up the battlefield. He was proud of his military service and received a pension for his eye injury.

George and Kunigunda lived out their lives at and are buried at St. Joseph's Church Cemetery in St. Joseph’s Settlement, West Virginia.

© 1995 Isabelle (Hohmann) Parikh