Gottlieb Raebel

The first Raebel from my line to come over to America, Gottlieb was born in Prussia (now is Germany), whereabouts still unknown, about 1797.   On US census records, he states his birthplace as Germany on the 1860, but goes back to stating Prussia on the next two decades as his birthplace.

I’m not sure where I got this information, (I think from another family tree?), so I’m not sure if these birth locations are true – His first son was born in Berlin, Frankfurth, Prussia, and the last three were born in Frankfurt am Main, Hessen, Germany (Prussia).  I believe he was a farmer.

He was born the same year that Prussia had a new King – Frederick William III – who tried to get all the various churches to join into one church.  Also at this time, Prussia played along with the French Revolutionary Wars and suffered a defeat against Napolean’s army, and lost quite a bit of land around 1807. The Kingdom became a French satellite, when Gottlieb was a young boy.  Army reform happened, with compulsatory military service in 1813, right before Gottlieb was coming into prime military age.  In 1815, Prussia became part of the German Confederation.    Some embraced this, others did not – which side did Gottlieb choose?

See the source image


Gottlieb married Sophie Henschel and had four children in Prussia – Ernest b 1822, Julius, b 1825, Louisa b 1828, and my guy Gustav, b 1838 – kind of suspicious, that 10-year gap….

However, I do match on Ancestry DNA with several people who descend from either Ernest or Louisa, so I don’t think that Gustav was a NPE.

In 1854, Gottlieb and his family (except the oldest, Ernest – he came a year later) are found on the ship Norma, coming to America with his family.  He may have been fleeing war – the German wars of unification were being fought, from 1848-1871.  There was also a war with Denmark happening at this time – Denmark won.  They left Bremen, Germany, to arrive in New York May 20, 1854.   Gottlieb was about 56 years old when he made this trip.

Harbor of new york, 1854 (from the southeast) (bireseye view)

(Harbor of New York, 1854;   online from the Museum of the City of New York.  Prior to 31 July 1855 ship passengers were not processed upon their arrival in the United States – they simply walked off the ship!)

We find him settled in Granville, Wisconsin in 1855.  Granville was settled by German Lutherans, so there is a good chance he was meeting friends or family there.  It later became part of Milwaukee.

Five years later, he is farming in Menomonee – not to be confused with Menomonie!  This used to be a town in Waukesha County and was annexed into the village of Menomonee Falls, which is part of the greater Milwaukee area.  He lived next door to another Rebel (how they spelled it in this census) – an A. Rebel from Germany, who appeared to own the farm (.  Gottlieb’s does not have a value assigned.   All of his kids, including my guy, were living with them at this point.

He is still in Menomonee in 1870, but now his wife is gone.  He lives with his son Julius, who is farming, and his daughter and her husband live next door. Julius states he was born in Frankfurt, and then there is a note that says “Prussia” to clarify this.

Ten years later, he’s still hanging in there, living with Julius in Menomonee.  He lists himself as a carpenter, and states that he has rheumatism.  Julius is now a brick layer, not a farmer, but his brother Ernest lives next door and is listed as a farmer.   Here, we learn that his parents were also from Prussia.


I wish I knew how to highlight or draw on this map, but down on the right hand corner, by the Menomonee River, there is land owned by E Raebel, and bordering Julius Raebel, 1891.   In the 1914 land ownership map, Julius Raebel is listed as the owner that belonged to E Raebel in 1891, and Julius’ land belonged to Wisconsin

Gottlieb died on Jun 1, 1885 and he is buried in the West Granville Cemetery.  The death certificate notes “inflammation of the bowel?” as the cause of death.  He was 87.

He is buried in the West Granville Cemetery in Milwaukee.  Oddly, his son Julius is also buried there, with Julius’ children, but they spell the last name Roebel.  Here is Julius’ son Herman’s tombstone:

There is a book that is not online called Granville Township Settlers that may have more information about the Raebels.  It is at the Wisconsin Historical Society.