Descendents of Henry George Grabenhorst

John Andrew Grabenhorst

1-John Andrew (Johann Heinrich Andreas) Grabenhorst, son of Henry George (Heinrich Georg) Grabenhorst and Johanne Rosine Henriette Waupke, was born on 10 May 1825 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany and died on 26 Mar 1904 in Hooppole, Henry Illinois.

Andrew married a young woman named Eliza around 1852. Eliza was born about 1830 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and died on 30 Oct 1853 in West Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania from typhoid fever at age 23. They had one son: William Henry.

2-William Henry Grabenhorst was born in March 1853 in Pennsylvania. Little is known about William. He lived with Andrew and Catherine until he joined the United States Marine Corp on 19 May 1876. He was assigned to the Naval Yards in Washington, DC for two months and then served on the USS Saratoga as a machinist 3rd rate until 9 Sept 1879 when he was listed as a deserter. In the 1880 census taken in June William is living with his parents and working on their farm. On 26 November 1880 he enlisted again, this time in the United States Army, but he deserted 11 March 1882. No further records of William have been found after that. He may have changed his name after he deserted and moved away to avoid military arrest. (note: William has the same name as his cousin, William Henry Grabenhorst, son of Andrew's brother, Henry Christian Grabenhorst).

Andrew next married Catherine Bertolet, daughter of Samuel Frey Bertolet and Hannah Crumbacher Frick, June 17th, 1856 in Trinity Church, Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania. Catherine was born on 17 Aug 1817 in East Coventry Twp, Chester, Pennsylvania and died on 31 Aug 1899 in Bricktown, Chester, Pennsylvania at age 82. They had no children.

Documents and Articles



Johann Heinrich Andreas (John Andrew) Grabenhorst was born two years before his parents’ marriage on 10 May 1825 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany. Although Andrew was the son of Henry George, it is probable his parents had to wait to marry for economic reasons given they were married only two weeks after Henry George became certified as a master tailor.

On 17 June 1831 Andrew's mother, Johanne Rosine Henriette Waupke, died at age 31 years, 6 months because of a rupture. Andrew was six years old and his brother, Henry Christian, was 19 months old. Andrew's father, Henry George,  needed to marry again quickly to have help caring for his two small sons. On 30 September 1831, 3 months after Johanne Rosine Henriette’s death, Henry George married Anna Marie Juliane Maseberg but in an extraordinary move for that time in Germany, they were divorced. Two weeks later Henry George married Anna Dorothea Elizabeth Neddemeier on 27 Apr 1832 in Wittmar, Braunschweig, Germany.

Andrew and his family stayed in the same general area of Brunswick where he had been born although they lived in several different villages. At the time of his wedding to Dorothea in 1832, Henry George, along with Andrew and Henry Christian, were living in Wittmar. In Wittmar Henry George worked as a tailor and baker.  In 1833 Andrew's sister, Dorothea Auguste Elizabeth, was born in Klein Vahlberg and in 1835 his brother, Heinrich Friedrich, was also born in Klein Vahlberg. In 1839 Andrew was confirmed in Wittmar. In 1847 Andrew's sister, Dorothea Auguste Elizabeth, was confirmed in  Klein Winnigstedt as was his brother, Heinrich Friedrich, in 1849. While living in Klein Winnigstedt, Henry George's occupations were recorded as a landlord and a baker and, shortly before the family immigrated to America in 1850, as the owner of a pub. 

Andrew, along with his father Henry George, his step-mother Dorothea, his sister Dorothea and his brother Frederick left Klein Winnigstedt and traveled to Bremen where they boarded the ship Europe. They landed in New York on 27 May 1850 and joined Andrew's brother, Henry Christian, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he had immigrated the year before. In the 1850 census twenty four year old Andrew and twenty year old Henry Christian were living in the household of Conrad Bode in East Vincent and working as laborers. Henry George and Dorothea were also living East Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania where he is working as a tailor. Seventeen year old Dorothea was living in the household of Joseph Ebner in East Vincent and working as a servant. Fifteen year old Frederick was also working as a laborer in East Vincent and is listed in the household of Samuel Whitby and also in the household of John Hause.

In 1852 Andrew married a young woman named Eliza. In March 1853 they had a son, William Henry Grabenhorst. On 30 Oct 1853 in West Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania, Eliza died from typhoid fever at age 23. It is not known who cared for William Henry after his mother's death but 17 June 1856 Andrew married Catherine Bertolet. Catherine was almost 40 when they married and she and Andrew had no children of their own.

Andrew and Catherine lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania until the summer of 1870 when they sold their farm to Andrew's brother, Henry Christian, for sixty-five hundred dollars. They then moved to Maryland where Andrew worked on the dairy farm owned by his brother Henry Christian  He and Catherine later moved to Westminster in Carroll County, Maryland where they also farmed.  In 1891 Andrew and Catherine moved back to Chester County, Pennsylvania about the time Henry Christian moved to Iowa where he bought property and farmed near their father, Henry George.

Catherine died 1 Aug 1899 in Bricktown, Chester, Pennsylvania of dropsy at age 82. In the 1900 census Andrew is working as a day laborer in South Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania. After the death of his wife, he moved to Hooppole, Henry, Illinois to live with his widowed sister, Dorothea Wolf. On 26 Mar 1904 he died from a morphine overdose. According to the coroner's inquest he had been in the habit of taking small doses of morphine for years for various physical ailments and on the day of his death he had taken a larger dose because of a severe headache.


William Henry Grabenhorst
Son of Andrew Grabenhorst
Taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1870s

Documents and Articles

        Death Inquest Article

Geneseo Republic

On last Friday afternoon about four o'clock Mrs. Dorothea Wolf, who with her brother J. Grabenhorst has for some years resided at her home near the southwest corner of Yorktown came to the home of her son Ben Wolf in great alarm saying that her brother had taken a dose of morphine and she could not arouse him. Doctors were hastily summoned but owing to high water and heavy rain falling considerable time elapsed ere Dr. Bohnett, of Yorktown arrived, who found life nearly extinct and pronounced the cause of death poisoning by morphine. Coroner McArthur, of Geneseo, was unable to hold an inquest and deputized Geo. Mathis, of Hooppole to do so. At the inquest the jury composed of A. Wiederhold foreman, Geo Wolf, Chas Smith, F. Goembel, Ed. Buechel, Wm. Landwehr, returned a verdict of death by accidently taking aan overdose of morphine poisoning.The verdict was in effect that according to the testimony of Mrs. Dorathea Wolf, Mr. Ben Wolf and Mr. Ben Boersti the deceased was for years in the habit of using morphine pills to allay any kind of pain to whih he was subjet and that recently the ordinary doses failed to relieve him, and that while on a visit to Geneseo some time previously he had obtained a box of pure morphine and that on the days preceding the poisoning the deceased had informed his sister that he had neuralgia in his head and the morphine pills failed to benfit him, and that on Friday afternoon he had told her he coul bear the pain no longer and would take a larger dose; he had then taken the box of powder and asked for a table knife, putting all on the point of the knife that it would hold of the morphine, and a little later had taken another dose. His sister says she cautioned him about taking too much but he had been using it so long that she supposed it was all right but she soon found him sitting in his chair rigid, having tried without success to awaken him she ran through the rain to her son's house. Ben Boersti swore that the deceased had tried to persuade him to take the morphine for some ailment and told him it would not hurt him as he had taken it for years.


July 27, 1870
Chester County Pennsylvania Records Office
Deed: Andrew Grabenhorst & Wife to Henry C Grabenhorst


Immigration Records

Andrew Grabenhorst immigrated to America in 1950 on the Europe along with his father, Henry George, his step-mother Dorothea, his sister Dorothea and his brother Frederick. His brother, Henry Christian, immigrated in 1849.

Passenger Manifest


Grabenhorst, A

Date of Arrival:

27 May, 1850

Port of Arrival: New York, New York





Marital Status:


Ship of Travel:


Port of Departure:

Bremen, Germany

Census Records

1850 census  
Andrew Grabenhorst age 24 born in Germany laborer
Henry Grabenhorst age 20 born in Germany laborer
both living in household of Conrad Bode
East Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania Page: 73 Roll: M432_765
1860 census  
Andrew Graveshost age 34 born in Germany
Catharine age 40 born in Pennsylvania
William Henry age 7 born in Pennsylvania
South Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania Post Office: Pottstown Roll: M653_1093 Page: 372
1870 census  
Andrew Grabenhorst age 44 born in Brunswick farmer
Catherine age 49 born in Pennsylvania
Henry W age 17 born in Pennsylvania
District 9, Baltimore, Maryland Post Office: Towson Town Roll: M593_570 Page: 551 Image: 210
1880 census  
J. A. Grabenhorst age 55 born in Brunswick Farmer Brunswick Brunswick
Catharine Grabenhorst age 60 born in PA Keeps House PA PA
William H. Grabenhorst Son Single age 27 PA Works Farm Brunswick PA
Westminster, Carroll, Maryland Family History Library Film 1254506 NA Film Number T9-0506 Page Number 485A
1900 census  
Andrew Grabenhorst, widower, 75, born 5/1825 in Germany, occupation day laborer
South Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1393; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm: 1241393.

Military Records

There are over thirty three entries on the United States Marine Core Muster Rolls ( database) for Andrew's son, William Henry. These span the period from his enlistment on 9 May 1876 to his desertion on 9 Sept 1879 and show station changes or disciplinary actions for being absence without leave. According to these records William seems to have been based at the navy yards near Washington, DC.

There is also one entry in the United States Army Enlistment of Records (also an database) for William which lists him as enlisting 11 March 1882 and deserting 11 March, 1882.

The two key entries showing his dates of enlistment and desertion are shown below:

United States Marine Core Muster Roll: September 1879

Name: Grabenhorst Wm H
Enlisted: May 19 1876

Rank: Private
Age: age 27 years 8 months
Station:  USS Saratoga

Occupation: Machinist 3rd Rate
Remarks: Deserted September 9, 1879 while on shore

United States Army Register of Enlistments 1880

Name: Grabenhorst Wm H
Enlisted: November 26, 1880 in Baltimore, Maryland by Capt. Powell Jr.
Occupation: Machinist in Chester County, Pennsylvania
Age: age 27 years 8 months
Description: 5'9" blue eyes and auburn hair
Regiment: 20th infantry company G
Remarks: Deserted March 11, 1882

Vital Records

Death Records

Chester County Pennsylvania Death Records 1852-1855
     Eliza Grabenhorst, wife of Andrew, died 30 October 1853 in Montgomery County of typhoid fever

Chester County Pennsylvania Death Records 1893-1906
     C B Grabenhorst, age 82, married, died 31 August 1899 in Bricktown of dropsy
     Volume 1, Page 90

Death Notice

Dixon Illinois Evening Telegraph: 29 March 1904 (Tues)

Andrew J. Grabenhorst, a retired farmer of 70 years, living with his sister near Hooppole, Henry County, addicted to the
use of morphine, took an overdose last Saturday, which resulted in his death.


Andrew John Grabenhorst
Hooppole Cemetery

Hooppole, Henry, Illinois


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