THE MOLL BROTHERS --OLD LUTHERAN IMMIGRANTS
(Alan Moll – written 2002, updated July 2004)
In the 1840s, five Moll families emigrated from the Pommern/Brandenburg region of Prussia and settled in the Town of Wheatfield, Niagara County, New York. They were "Old Lutherans" fleeing religious persecution from the State Church and seeking better economic opportunities for their families. The heads of these families were brothers – Johann, August, Carl, Ludwig, and Friedrich. August and Friedrich were influential in the emigration movement, persuading hundreds of Prussians to leave their church, home, and country.
Background. The Moll name is found in several European countries, but in Northern Prussia it likely had its origin in an old Germanic name meaning "intense desire, courage, anger" – a fitting description of the faith and pursuits of the Moll brothers. In records prior to 1750, the name is often recorded as Molle or Mollen.
In 1685, Jürgen Molle and his family settled in the village of Gorkow, possibly coming from Glasow. Jürgen was one of six farmers (Baumann). It is likely that the landlord moved him there because a Gorkow farmer had died the year before without an adult heir. The farms were quite large (more than 200 acres), but the soil was poor and sandy. About half was pasture and woods. In an average year, only 35 acres were cultivated.
Gorkow was located in the province of Pommern and was part of the Rothenklempenow estate and the Boock parish. The estate and parish included the villages of Boock, Gorkow, Mewegen, and Rothenklempenow (Clempenow). Each village had its own Lutheran church, served by the Boock pastor. The Clempenow estate was a self-contained world with few new families arriving prior to 1800. The von Eickstedt family was the landlord (Gutsherren). They had ruled from the Clempenow castle since the 13th century, running one of the largest estates in the area and largely controlling the lives of the villagers. Alexander Ernst von Eickstedt was the estate owner when Jürgen moved to Gorkow. His realm also included Glasow and other villages.
Ceiling of Gorkow Church
The area had been devastated by the Thirty Years War (1618-48). In 1630, Gorkow was burnt down by the Empire’s troops. Only the church and two houses remained. Soldiers and plunderers ravaged the villages for the next 12 years and many people fled the area. Sweden finally controlled the region, but rebuilding the villages took more than 50 years. Sweden maintained control over this part of Pommern until about 1713.
The Eickstedt landlord ruled the region like a little king. He had the right to appoint the pastor of Boock and the teachers of the village schools; had ownership and rights to the forests, meadows, farms, and lakes; had local jurisdiction; and had personal rights over the people. He was also a military leader, recruiting soldiers from the villages when needed. The villagers were not slaves, but as peasants or dependent people (Leibeigene) they were bound to the estate. They required the Landlord’s permission to marry, to learn a trade, or to move away.
The villagers included farmhands and day-laborers (the largest group), craftsmen (blacksmiths, carpenters, weavers, etc.), and farmers. Farmers like Jürgen enjoyed a relatively high social standing and quality of life. However, they had to perform compulsory labor on the Clempenow estate and deliver a portion of their crops to the landlord. The farms could not be divided or sold, and the land reverted to the Eickstedt estate when the farmer died or retired. Usually, the landlord assigned the farm to the oldest son. The other sons had to work as farmhands or day-laborers.
Early Moll Families. Jürgen and his wife Maria Wolleman had five children: Michael, Caspar, Catharina, Sophia, and Jacob. Jürgen died 9 September 1698 in the 53rd year of his life, and Michael received the Gorkow farm. There is ample evidence that the early Molls were ambitious and successful citizens. One notable item is that Michael was known as a "man with good knowledge" and was able to read. The ability to read was an unusual achievement for an early 18th century peasant.
Boock Church, built before 1600
Jürgen’s son Caspar (abt .1673-1721) married Engel Ellmann on 31 October 1701. Seven children were born to this union. The family moved to Boock about 1704, where Caspar was probably a farmhand for several years before receiving one of the Boock farms. These farms were also large and had poor soil. When Caspar died, his oldest son Joachim received the farm. His descendants still live in Boock today.
Caspar’s youngest son Michael (1719-1775) married Anna Christina Bröcker on 22 October 1749 during the harvest festival (Ernte-Collation). The Ernte-Collation was a thanksgiving holiday and celebration that the von Eickstedts held each year for their subjects. Weddings were performed during the festival, and in 1749 four couples were married. Michael spent much of his life as a farmhand, but was an innkeeper (Krüger) at the time of his death. This certainly was an advancement.
Michael’s son Joachim (1759-1834) married Christine Wittkopp in 1788 during the Ernte-Collation. Joachim was a carpenter and began the line of Moll craftsmen. They moved from Boock to Clempenow about 1797. Joachim and Christine were blessed with six sons:
Two other children died when they were very young.
The six brothers were village craftsmen. Johann was a blacksmith, Christian and August were weavers, and Friedrich was a carpenter. Carl and Ludwig began as weavers, but later became carpenters. Village craftsmen were often poor, but had a higher degree of freedom and mobility. Several of the brothers moved to other villages to learn their craft.
Rothenklempenow Church, built 1733
Time of Transition. In the early 1800s two events occurred that greatly affected the lives of Joachim’s sons.
Between 1807 and 1813 a series of reforms took place that provided personal freedom for the peasants and outlawed compulsory labor. They could now learn a craft, move, or get married without the landlord’s permission. There were also provisions for the peasants to own some of the land that had belonged to the estate.
These reforms gave peasants their freedom, but also produced many hardships. Employment was no longer guaranteed, and the landlord no longer provided for the poor, sick, and elderly. The lowest class were prevented from owning property and also lost the use of the "common land" for grazing, obtaining firewood, and gathering food. So many freed peasants became craftsmen that there was a surplus of these skills.
To compensate the von Eickstedts for the loss of mandatory services, the Boock farmers initially turned over half of their property to the estate. Later, they were able to reclaim the land by paying a large fee. Fifty years later, they still owed money to the Eickstedt family. Although they were now free to divide the land between their sons, this sometimes resulted in farms that were too small to support a family. The Moll farm in Boock was divided into four farms by the 1860s.
The other major event affecting the Moll brothers involved the Lutheran and Reformed churches. In 1817, King Friedrich Wilhelm III declared a merger of the two church bodies, forming The Evangelical Union Church. It became the official Prussian State Church. At first this union was only loosely enforced, but beginning in 1830, pastors and citizens were persecuted and imprisoned for refusing to join the Union Church. Those who continued to follow the Lutheran doctrines and practices were known as "Old Lutherans" and "Separatists."
In 1836, all religious gatherings other than Union Church services were prohibited. Many Old Lutherans began worshipping in secret – in homes, barns, or outdoors at night. They maintained that the Union church taught false doctrines. Children were forced to attend the state schools and could not obtain a work permit without a confirmation certificate from a Union pastor. Marriages performed by Separatist pastors were not recognized, and their children were considered illegitimate.
In the Boock Parish, a separate book was used to record Separatist births and deaths from 1837 to 1843. The birth records did not include a baptism date or child’s name. Since the children were not baptized in the Union church, according to Prussian law they had no official name. Ludwig, Carl, and Friedrich Moll each had a "no name" child recorded in the Separatist register.
Although Lutherans were allowed limited worship in 1841, emigration fever was growing. The welfare of the children was the main concern. Parents strongly objected to the requirement that their children attend the state schools. They also sought better economic opportunities for their children. Between 1843 and 1846, about 30 families emigrated from the Boock parish for religious reasons.
The Moll Brothers.
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Michael Caspar Jacob
Christian, Johann, August
Carl, Ludwig, Friedrich
Christian Moll (1789-1869). Christian was the only brother to stay in Prussia and seemed to be the least affected by these changes. Being the oldest, he was 51 years old, and probably secure in life, when his brothers began to emigrate. He was a master artist weaver (Kunstwebermeister) in the hamlet of Dorotheenwalde and later in Boock.
In 1816, Christian married Philippine Herzfeld. They had four sons and two daughters. Unlike most families, all survived until at least age ten, but tragically, two sons and two daughters died when they were 10, 12, 17 and 25 years old. The two remaining brothers, Carl (b. 1825) and Gustav (b. 1832) took up the weaver trade and raised families in Boock. They later moved away.
August Moll (1795-1839). As a young man, August moved to the village of Wallmow, about 15 miles south of Rothenklempenow in the province of Brandenburg. There he served as a journeyman learning the yarn weaver (Garnweber) trade. In 1821 he married the master weaver’s daughter, Christine Hentsch. They raised five children: Christian, Wilhelmine, August, Elisabeth, and Friedrich. Wilhelmine died in 1830 at the age of 3.
In the 1830’s, Wallmow became the focal point of the Separatist movement in the Uckermark, and August Moll was their worship leader. At first he had few listeners to the sermons he gave in his weaving room, but soon the numbers increased. His weaving room became too small, so they met in barns and other large rooms.
In November 1836, August officially left the state church by notifying the civil court in Brüssow. As a result, the court banned him from any church activities. This document had an immediate effect on the community. Increasing numbers of people joined the Separatist movement. First it was only maids and servants, but later farmers and craftsmen. August expanded his preaching to neighboring villages and deep into Pommern. More and more people left the church. He explained to his listeners that they could not be saved in the Union Church, because its teachings were corrupt.
Most of the people in Wallmow left the state church. The Union minister went from house to house and tried to bring them back, but was unsuccessful. August administered communion to the Separatists and baptized their children. In October 1838, he and six others refused to pay their share of the annual tax to support the Union pastor and teacher, so an item of personal property was taken from them and auctioned off. In April 1839, August died and was buried by fellow Separatists. Although he was dead, the movement lived on.
August’s widow Christine applied to emigrate in 1843 along with her brother-in-laws, Friedrich and Ludwig Moll. Her oldest son Christian and eleven other young Separatists from Wallmow had a difficult time obtaining an exemption from military service. The local draft board refused to give them the necessary paperwork, even though the Commanding General of the Army Corps recommended their release. Permission was finally obtained, but only after the emigrants appealed directly to the King.
In addition to the problems with the military, the Wallmow emigrants were turned back as they traveled to the port of Hamburg, because their papers were not in order. Most of them were able to continue their journey later that year (1843), but Christine did not leave until the following year. Christine and her three youngest children (August, Elisabeth, and Friedrich) finally boarded the Ship Stephani in Hamburg and arrived in New York on 3 June 1844.
Tragedy quickly struck the family, for Christine died of consumption (Auszehrung) six days after arriving in America, leaving three orphaned and homeless children between the age of 9 and 14. Although her destination had undoubtedly been Bergholz or Wallmow in Niagara County, she was buried at Trinity Old Lutheran in Buffalo. Old Lutheran immigrants had started this church in 1839 and were likely aware of the work of her husband.
The children were taken in by members of the congregation and were confirmed at Trinity Old Lutheran. Nothing else is known of August (b. 1830). In 1850, Elisabeth (b. 1832) was living with the Pastor Grabau family, and Friedrich (b. 1835) was living with the Christian Jochmann family. In 1866 Friedrich married Dorothea Lange and raised a family in Buffalo.
Christian (b. 1825) apparently emigrated as soon as his military exemption came through and settled in Bergholz where his uncles Ludwig and Friedrich Moll were living. In 1848 he married Louisa Bröker. Little else is known about Christian, but much can be speculated. He was in Milwaukee when his first child was baptized in 1849. A second child was born in 1853, but an illegitimate child fathered by Christian was born the same month. 1855 and later census reports show Louisa and her children living with her parents.
Ludwig Moll (1799-1855). At first Ludwig learned the weaver trade, but later became a carpenter. Prior to December 1826, he married Christine Herzfeld outside of the Boock parish. He may have been a journeyman in the village where she lived. The family lived in Clempenow until about 1835 when they moved to Mewegen.
Their first child, Bernard was born in 1826, but died a year later of a throat illness. He was followed by Bertha, Augustine, Amos, and Johannes. Augustine (b. 1832) died at the age of eight. Her death and the birth of Johannes are recorded in the Boock Separatist register.
In 1843, Ludwig and his brother Friedrich prepared to emigrate. Christine was nearly 8 months pregnant when they left for the port of Hamburg. Ludwig’s family boarded the Barque Kammonham Roy on 20 June with four cases, plus bedding. On the 27th, all of the passengers except one became seasick and were in bed. On 3 July, an enormous wind sprung up and nearly capsized the boat. The passengers sang several hymns and prayed as the storm raged on. The 18th of July was a fair day with a light wind. At 1:45 p.m., while the daily sermon was being preached, Christine gave birth to Maria Theresia in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The passengers were happy and gave thanks for God’s grace.
The ship arrived in New York harbor on 16 August, and on the 19th they set foot on land after nearly two months at sea. On the 21st, they headed to Albany by tugboat. Most of the passengers were probably on barges towed behind. At Albany, some boarded a train for Buffalo, while most traveled by canal boat. The new immigrants stayed in Buffalo until land could be purchased for the new community. Pastor Grabau baptized Maria at Trinity Old Lutheran on 30 August.
Land was purchased in the Town of Wheatfield, Niagara County, and the village of New Bergholz was formed. Ludwig received lot 83 (one acre) in the northeast corner of the village on Washington Street. He also purchased farm property for about $9 an acre. Christine passed away in 1870 and Ludwig in 1885. Both are buried at Holy Ghost Lutheran cemetery in Bergholz.
Amos (1836-1917) married Justine Beccue in 1859 and lived in Bergholz as a carpenter. About 1862 they moved to Altamont, Illinois as part of a large migration from Wheatfield to Effingham County where land was available for $6 an acre. Amos owned a lumberyard in Altamont. The family attended Bethlehem Lutheran Church, which had been established by the Wheatfield settlers in 1861.
Johannes (1839-1862) served his new country at the outbreak of the Civil War. He enlisted in Company K, 28th New York Infantry in Lockport on 29 April 1861. He was one of 20 young men from the Niagara County Prussian settlements that lost their lives in the war. He was killed at the Battle of Cedar Mountain on 9 August 1862 near Culpeper, Virginia.
Bertha (b. 1828) married Johann (Wilhelm) Strassburg in 1847. They farmed in the Town of Wheatfield, first attending Holy Ghost and later joining St. Johnsburg.
Maria (b. 1843) married Johann Martin in 1863 and they also farmed in Wheatfield.
Friedrich Moll (1807-1879). Friedrich was the youngest son of Joachim. In 1833 he married Regine Ziehm, a shepherd’s daughter. Friedrich was a carpenter at the Vorwerk (a village extension) several years before moving to Mewegen. He had six children – Albertine, Bernard, Rudolph, Carl, August, and Ernestine. Albertine died of teething in 1835 at the age of 16 months. August’s birth was recorded in the Separatist register.
When Friedrich and Ludwig prepared to leave for America in June 1843, Regine was in her 7th month of pregnancy. For some reason, possibly a difficult pregnancy, Regine stayed behind with the two youngest sons Carl (age 3) and August (2). However, Friedrich and the two oldest, Bernhard (7) and Rudolph (5), left for America. He may have felt compelled to go as one of the emigration leaders. Regine gave birth to Ernestine Wilhelmine Emilie on August 19, the same day her husband set foot in America! Sadly, Ernestine died 30 March 1845, several months before Friedrich returned.
Friedrich, Bernhard, and Rudolph arrived in New York on the Kammonham Roy with two cases, plus bedding. (See Ludwig Moll section for details about the journey.) Once in Buffalo, a group of 100 newly arrived families from the Uckermark elected Friedrich and two other men to serve as trustees. The trustees examined six possible settlement sites in Erie, Cattaraugus, and Niagara Counties. After much discussion and prayer, the site in the Town of Wheatfield was chosen. The trustees acquired 2120 acres at $9 an acre, which would become Bergholz and the surrounding farmland. An additional 600 acres was purchased at a site that would later become St. Johnsburg. Friedrich received lot 88 (one acre) in Bergholz at the corner of Rohr and Cayuga Streets. He also purchased some farmland.
In the fall of 1845, Friedrich returned to Prussia to get his wife and children. Although the Prussia government had eased restrictions on Old Lutherans religious activities to quell the emigration fever, smoldering discontent remained. Friedrich began to stir up the flames of emigration. His activities were reported by Pastor Harnisch of Boock and Superintendent Oelgarte in Löcknitz. The following is a portion of the superintendent’s report of 2 January 1846:
"Several weeks ago, journeyman carpenter – Moll, a Lutheran Separatist of Boock Parish, Mewegen, returned from North America, where he had emigrated three years ago. He stated that he had come for the purpose of getting his family to return with him to America. His visit to Mewegen, his tales of conditions in America, the letters he brought with him from overseas, his oral and written arguments against the State Church, were all meant to reach the attention of dissidents living in the neighborhood. It must be that this man intentionally is trying to stir people up once again. He goes around to all the villages on Sundays and holidays calling forth the people of his persuasion to gather round him, and seeks to incite persons of means to emigrate, thereby causing divisions within families. His efforts apparently are not without some success, for he has persuaded some dissidents to go. A particular theater for his activities appears to be in my two branch congregations in Plöwen and Bergholz. Since he came, the Lutheran dissidents have moved to Mewegen or to one of the branches in order to make their defiance known, arm in arm…"
Pastor Harnisch reported that the meetings held by Friedrich Moll were attended not only by long-time Separatists, but also by 17 to 20 new families, and that all intended to emigrate to America. He said that the people gave great credence to Friedrich, who preached that the State Church was wrong, and that no one would go to Heaven who remained in it.
These reports were sent to the church leadership who forwarded them to the government. District Magistrate Puttkamer gave orders that Moll be warned regarding illegal incitement to emigration and forbidden religious services. However, Puttkamer advised that action against Moll be cautious, because he had a United States passport, and that any action against him might have international repercussions. Later the government officials in Stettin banned him from ever returning to the district and his home in Mewegen.
The emigration movement spread from Wallmow and Bergholz in the south to Althagen and Warlang in the north where his brother Johann lived. As a result of Friedrich’s activities, about 400 people in Pommern and Brandenburg emigrated because of religious convictions.
Near the end of April, Friedrich, his wife and two youngest sons (Carl and August), along with his brother Johann and his family, boarded the Ship Skjold in Hamburg. They arrived in New York, 16 June 1846 and continued their journey to Niagara County.
Friedrich returned to Bergholz where he farmed and continued his carpenter trade. Regine died in 1852. In 1853, Friedrich married Dorothea Damerow nee Strassburg. Also in that year, he and his brother Carl were two of the trustees that acquired land for the new Prussian settlement of Wolcottsville in the Town of Royalton.
In 1867, the Holy Ghost church split on doctrinal issues and a debate on the authority of the pastor. The majority decided to join the Missouri Synod, while others, including Friedrich, maintained their loyalty to the Buffalo Synod. This minority group formed Trinity Lutheran and built a church two blocks away from Holy Ghost. Friedrich died in 1879 and was buried at Trinity.
Bernard (1835-1914) married Louisa Dubois in 1860. He was a carpenter apprentice in Wheatfield and later moved to Wolcottsville. About 1870, the family moved to Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan.
Rudolph (1837-1911) married Karoline Beccue in 1861. About 1862 they moved to Altamont, Illinois with his cousin Amos (Ludwig’s son). Amos’ wife Justine and Karoline were sisters.
August (1841-1930) married Wilhelmine Wolf in 1864. They farmed in the Town of Wheatfield.
Carl (b. 1839) probably died as a youth.
Johann Wilhelm Moll (1792-1881). As a young man, Johann left his family and moved to the village of Althagen, about 20 miles northeast of Clempenow. Althagen (today Brzozki, Poland) was a relatively new village, formed in 1777. Johann apparently moved there to learn the blacksmith trade, for he was already a master smith (Schmidemeister) in 1818.
In 1818, he married Anna Sophia Werth, daughter of one of the 13 landowners in Boock. Returning to Althagen, they raised five sons: Carl, Ludwig, August, Wilhelm, and Ferdinand. Their only daughter, Johanne, was born in 1820, but likely died prior to confirmation age.
Painting of the Ship Howard, built 1846
Johann Moll’s family joined the 1846 emigration inspired by his brother Friedrich and boarded the Ship Skjold in Hamburg about 28 April. They arrived in New York on 16 June and completed their journey to Buffalo on 24 June 1846. The oldest son, Carl, traveled separately on the newly built Ship Howard and arrived a day earlier on 15 June.
Johann became a property owner (Eigenthümer) in Bergholz and the family attended Holy Ghost. He apparently did not continue the blacksmith trade, but likely helped his sons in farming. Anna Sophia died in September, three months after their arrival in America.
Ludwig (1823-1848) had started to learn the blacksmith trade in Althagen and finished his apprenticeship with a Master Buckley in Buffalo. The records of Trinity Old Lutheran record the following details about his death at the age of 25. On Thursday, 21 Sept.  he became ill, but still went to church on Sunday, 24 Sept. He returned home more ill and became bedridden. Despite all the medicines his weakness increased. On 7 October he received the Lord's supper and recovered a bit after that… then the weakness increased until the merciful God redeemed him on the morning of Saturday, 14 Oct.… In the face of death he prayed the Lord's Prayer and passed away, partly in the arms of his old father and at last in the presence of his Brother and Master.
In 1853/54, Johann and his four remaining sons (two now married) joined a group of about 75 Prussian families who moved to the Town of Royalton and formed the village of Wolcottsville and Trinity Lutheran church. Johann’s brothers Friedrich and Carl were two of the trustees who acquired 1,666 acres of land for about $25 an acre. They divided it into small lots and each settler received his portion by chance.
Johann’s four sons each received about 15 acres on which they farmed. The 1865 agriculture census shows that Ferdinand’s farm consisted of 2 acres of winter wheat, 2 of corn, 1 each of oats, rye, buckwheat and peas, ½ of potatoes, and 4 acres of meadow/hay. He also had 2 milk cows, 2 beef cattle, 2 pigs, 2 horses, 6 sheep, and chickens.
A split occurred at Trinity Lutheran in the late 1850s. This resulted in St. Michael Lutheran being built next door to Trinity. Carl, August, and Ferdinand joined the new church, while Wilhelm remained at Trinity.
Carl (1819-1896) married Wilhelmine Boll in 1846. She died in 1849, and he married Louise Glöde in 1850. Carl remained in Wolcottsville where he farmed and worked as a carpenter. By 1869 he had built up the farm to 116 acres. He is buried at St. Michaels.
August (1825-1903) married Sophia Kreimann in 1857 and Ferdinand (1831-1912) married Christine Brandenburg in 1858. Both famlies moved to Minnesota in 1865, settling in Afton Township of Washington County. They were early members of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church that had been formed in 1863 by Prussians from Martinsville, New York. Later, Ferdinand attended St. Lucas in Lake Elmo.
Wilhelm (1828-1891) married Catherine Fettinger in 1853. She was an orphan from Buffalo who was living with the Pastor von Rohr family in Bergholz. Wilhelm’s family, along with his father Johann, moved to Harrison Township near Atwater, Minnesota in the spring of 1871. There he homesteaded 80 acres of land and built a log cabin – "16 by 18 feet square, shingle roof, one story high, two floors, two doors, three windows, a comfortable house to live in." This tiny "comfortable" house was home to 3 adults and 5 children! In December of that year, a meeting to organize St. John Lutheran Church was held in the Wilhelm Moll home.
Johann died in 1881 and was buried at St. John.
Carl Friedrich Moll (1797-1881). Carl was a master weaver in Boock and Mewegen, and later became a small farmer (Büdner) and a carpenter. He married Friederike Ellmann about 1820. His marriage and the birth of his first two children are not recorded in the Boock parish, so it is likely that they were in another village, possibly when he was a journeyman weaver.
Carl and Friederike had nine children, and seven reached adulthood: Ferdinand, August, Caroline, Philippine, Albert, Heinrich, and Carl. Their 6th child, Carl (b. 1834) died of teething at the age of 8 months. Their last child Rudolph (b. 1843) was also 8 months old when he died a tragic death of scalding.
Carl, his wife Friederike, and four youngest children (Philippine, Albert, Heinrich, and Carl) applied to emigrate in 1846, but did not leave until the following year. They traveled on the Brig Danai, arriving in New York on 1 July 1847. August came to America about 1846. Caroline married Friedrich Seelipp and they emigrated about 1850. Ferdinand married Friederike Behm and they applied to emigrate in 1847. However, their 8-month old son died of chicken pox in May and they postponed their trip. Finally, in 1856 Ferdinand, Friederike, and a son (Albert) traveled on the Ship Deutschland, arriving in New York on 23 June.
In 1853/54, Carl and several of his children joined a group of about 75 Prussian families who moved to the Town of Royalton and formed the village of Wolcottsville and Trinity Lutheran church. Carl and his brother Friedrich were two of the trustees who acquired 1,666 acres of land for about $25 an acre. They divided it into small lots and each settler received his portion by chance. Carl’s property was in the southwest corner of the settlement, along Wolcottsville Road.
Friederike died in 1864 and was buried at Trinity Lutheran in Wolcottsville. In 1865, Carl married Christine Walter nee Kantz. Carl died in 1881 and was also buried in the Trinity cemetery.
Ferdinand (1821-1910) married Friederike Behm in 1845 in Mewegen. They farmed in Wolcottsville for many years, but later moved to a farm in the Town of Pendleton.
August (1824-1909) married Wilhelmine Roggow in 1848 in Bergholz. August is listed as a Cooper in Wheatfield in 1850, a merchant in Wolcottsville in 1855 and 1860, a farmer in 1870, and later as a farmer in Wheatfield.
Caroline (b. 1826) married Friedrich Seelipp. He died in Wolcottsville in 1873. Later that year Caroline married Christian Krull of Martinsville and moved there.
Philippine (1829-1893) married Carl Krüger in 1849 in Bergholz. He died in 1861. In 1862 she married Johann Kuhlmann in Bergholz.
Albert (1831-1903) married Karoline Charlotte Stolzenburg in 1853 in Bergholz. He farmed in Wheatfield.
Heinrich (1836-1916) married Bertha Nemöde in 1857 in Wolcottsville. He farmed there for a number of years before heading west about 1868 to Sebewaing, Huron County, Michigan. There he farmed for a few years, but by 1875 he had brought his family back to Wolcottsville.
Carl (1839-1908) married Sophia Marks in 1861 in Wolcottsville. He was a shoemaker and later a farmer. For several years there were three Carl Moll farmers in the tiny village of Wolcottsville. Later he moved to a farm in Wheatfield.
Summary. During their lifetime, the world the Moll brothers knew had completely changed. Born into an isolated, feudal-like society, they ended up in a land thousands of miles away where there was personal and religious freedom and a wealth of opportunities for their families. The brothers, their wives, and 24 children came to this country and settled in a small area in Western New York, but the families were not done moving. Within 30 years, they were spread throughout Niagara County and at least four states. Born into the Boock parish where people seldom moved, it is ironic that all six brothers were buried in different cemeteries. The second generation of the immigrant brothers numbered more than 100. Today, their descendants are many thousands throughout the entire country. I am proud that many of them still possess the family values, determination, resourcefulness, and religious convictions instilled by their Moll ancestors.
I am a descendant of Johann Moll through his son Wilhelm. You can contact me at Alan Moll, 10300
Butternut Circle, Manassas, VA 20110 or at
firstname.lastname@example.org. This story could not have been told without the extensive information I obtained from Eugene Camann through conversation and his writings. I am also indebted to the excellent research of Jens Mueller-Koppe, a historical researcher in Germany. Finally, little of this information would be available without the meticulous records kept by the Lutheran ministers throughout the years.