Anton Buechel & Maria Anna Heimermann
My great, great, great-grandparents were Anton and Anna Büchel. Their surname is also spelled Buechel and Buchel.
Anton Büchel was born in 1809 probably in the village of Drees, in the Eifel region of Germany. He married Maria Anna "Anna" Heimermann, who was born about 1810 probably also in the Eifel region.
The couple, along with their two children John Peter, age 6, and Joseph, age 4, emigrated to America in the summer of 1841. They arrived at the Port of New York on August 24, 1841, having sailed from Le Havre, France aboard the ship Sylvie de Grasse. The journey by sea would have taken four to six weeks.
The Sylvie de Grasse was named after the daughter of the French admiral who enabled our victory at Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. Built in 1833, she was a packet ship that moved cargo, mail and passengers between New York and Le Havre. She measured a scant 140 feet long by 31 feet wide by 16 feet deep. In 1848 she was taken to California, but sank after running aground at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1849.
From New York City, the family probably traveled to Buffalo, then sailed by steamer across Lake Erie to Detroit, Michigan. They reached Westphalia Township, Clinton County, Michigan on September 14, 1841 and settled there in section 3. By 1864, their initial 40 acres of land had grown to 240 acres.
The 1864 Michigan agricultural census lists a prosperous Büchel farm. Anton had 240 acres, 44 acres of which was improved land. 9 acres were then sowed with wheat. During the preceding year (1863), they harvested 3.5 acres of corn (100 bushels), 10 acres of wheat (27 bushels), 100 bushels of potatoes, 70 bushels of other grain, and 10 tons of hay. During that same year they marketed 1,000 pounds of pork, made 250 pounds of butter and 32 pounds of wool. They had 2 horses, 8 cattle, 4 milk cows, 8 sheep, and 9 pigs.
It is interesting to trace the ownership of the Büchel farm as it changed through the nineteenth century. The 1864 Westphalia plat map shows the Anton Büchel farm split between 80 acres in section 3 and 160 acres in section 22:
By 1873, the farm was divided among Anton and his sons Bernard, Lorenzo and Joseph:
Anton died in 1875 and by 1895, portions of the farm were sold. Bernard and Joseph continued farming. Anton's daughter Appolonia married Gerhard Rademacher in 1870. Gerhard and Appolonia added Lorenzo Büchel's portion to the Rademacher farm:
Anton died February 17, 1875. His tombstone appears to be a partial stone that was repaired in the past. Anna's inscription may have been on the bottom portion of the stone, or more likely, her grave could be the one next to Anton's. Her date of death is unknown.
-- Mike Voisin
- Michigan State Archives, Census of Clinton County 1864 (LDS microfilm #915297).
- Westphalia [Michigan] Centennial 1836-1936.
- Weiland, Evelyn A. (ed.), Of Pilgrimage, Prayer and Promise: A Story of St. Mary's, Westphalia [Michigan] 1836-1986.
Contact: Mike Voisin