15 January 2017

Franz Friedrich Wilhlem Nolte

1836 — 1914

At the time this photograph was made, the man here would have been known to friends and family in Lafayette County, Missouri, as Wilhelm Franz Nolte or perhaps just William.

According to church records in Barver, Lower Saxony, Germany, this son of Friedrich Franz Nolte and Anna Margarethe, née Diekmann, was born at 7 o'clock in the morning on 3 September 1836 at Barver, Kingdom of Hannover. On the 11th of that month he was baptized as Franz Friedrich Wilhlem Nolte. The sponsors at this event were Franz Heinrich Diekmann (probably his maternal grandfather), Friedrich Heinrich Bulker, and Louise Caroline Nolte (perhaps his paternal grandmother?).

photo of Franz Friedrich Wilhlem Nolte
Lafayette County, Missouri.  Permission of Byron H. Nolte; all rights reserved.

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Franz Friedrich Wilhlem Nolte

On 3 April 1866 in the parish of St. Jacobi, in Drebber, Kingdom of Hannover, Franz Friedrich Wilhlem Nolte was married to Sophie Marie Feldman.

According to family tradition, a short time later an extended group of the Nolte family undertook to immigrate to the USA. To date, research has not been able to determine exactly when this happened, but it seems that this move likely took place between 1868 and 1870.

It is reported that the group included Franz Friedrich Wilhlem and Sophie Marie (Feldman) Nolte and their first two children, the youngest of whom was born in the Kingdom of Hannover in March 1868. Their third child was born in Missouri in April 1871.

Travelling with the young family were Franz Friedrich Wilhlem's father, Friedrich Franz Nolte, and an older, unmarried, brother, Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Nolte.

According to family tradition, the Noltes were accompanied by Franz Friedrich Wilhlem's youngest sister, Dorothea Friederike Henriette (Nolte) Rabius, her husband, Heinrich August Wilhelm Rabius, and her husband's single brother, Hermann Friedrich Wilhelm Rabius.

A death certificate, several U.S. census returns, and two published biographical sketches report that Heinrich August Wilhelm and Dorothea Friederike Henriette (Nolte) Rabius' first child, Gustav H. Rabius, was born in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky on 31 May 1868.

If it is true that the Rabius and Nolte families traveled together from Germany to the USA, then the birth of the youngest Nolte child in Germany in March 1868 and Gustav's birth a few months later in Kentucky would appear to pinpoint the time of this significant event.

A brief sojourn in Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ohio River, during a voyage from the Kingdom of Hannover to the state of Missouri might also indicate that the families very well may have landed on the east coast of the USA rather than at New Orleans.

However, the circumstances of Anne Margarethe (Diekmann) Nolte raise a large question about this possible scenario. According to church records, this woman, the wife of Friedrich Franz Nolte and Franz Friedrich Wilhlem Nolte's mother, died in Barver, Kingdom of Hannover on 10 July 1869, more than a year after Gustav's birth in Kentucky.

If everyone in the extended family migrated together in 1868, then it seems that Anne was left behind in Germany. Or, it may be that two groups migrated, one shortly after the other and the time difference has become obscured in the oral tradition.

This is clearly a matter with needs further research.

Brief Genealogy

Franz Friedrich Wilhlem Nolte's family

Sophie Marie Feldman's family

Details of the birth family of Sophie Marie Feldman (1841-1901) are not known at this time.

Nolte - Feldman family

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