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Piopolis, Illinois

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Surname/tag: Illinois
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First Emigration from Ersingen, Baden (1841)

Cajetan Aydt came to the United States from Ersingen initially in 1939 looking for an area to settle. He returned to the Ersingen area to recruit other families to join him.

A group of 11 families came to the United States in the spring of 1941. Nine of the families arrived in Hamilton County. They were:

  • Urban Anselment
    • Elenore (Schuster) – wife
    • Josephine Schuster – born out of wedlock?
    • Alexandra Anselment – daughter
  • Cajetan Aydt (or Cajent or John Kaietan)
  • John Leonard Aydt
  • Charles William Aydt (known as William)
    • Regina Huth - wife
  • Albert Esswine (Esswein)
    • Christine (Kaercher) - wife
    • Anastasia - daughter
  • Joseph Haller
    • Vincentia (Voegele) – wife
    • Charles - son
    • Joseph Salomon - son
  • Mathew Kaufmann (Mathias)
    • Elizabeth Ruebenacker – wife
    • Felix - son
    • Agatha - daughter
  • Anton Kaufmann (Anthony)
    • Christine Schuster - wife
  • Marzell Zachmann (Marcell)
    • Vincentia Frey – wife
    • Mary Eva - daughter
    • Lawrence - son
    • Phillip James – son
    • Mary Elizabeth – daughter

Albert Esswine’s brothers, John and Stephen, also came with the group from Baden, but decided to settle in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Albert came to the United States with his wife, Christine, and daughter Anastasia. His first wife died in 1848. He remarried Louise Schuster shortly after.

Urban Anselment married Elenore Schuster on April 15, 1841 just before they left for the new world.

Illinois land records show Marcell Zachmann, John Leonard Aydt, Christine Aydt, John Kaieton Aydt, Urban Anselment, Joseph Haller, and Anthony Kaufman purchasing land in the fall of 1941 in the northern portion of Hamilton County near what was to later to be Piopolis.

The three Aydt’s from Ersingen were also related. John and Charles William Aydt were brothers, the sons of Charles Louis Aydt (1781-1852) and Barbara Ochs (1782-1820). Cajetan was their cousin, the son of Leonard Aydt (1770-?). John Leonard Aydt and Agatha Brink (or Brenk) were their paternal grandparents.

Piopolis area in the 1840’s

Land was still plentiful and cheap in this part of Illinois. Many others from Ersingen, Bilfingen, and Spessart, came to this area. The 1850 census shows over 80 people that emigrated from Germany living in Hamilton County. Nearly all of these were from the Ersingen area in Baden.

Anthony Kaufmann died just three years after immigrating on December 14, 1946, leaving his wife, Christine, a widow.

Additional Aydt brothers followed. By 1943 John Jacob Aydt owned land in the same area. Alexander Aydt owned land in the area in by 1953. He received his land through a warrant rather than outright purchase.

Tobias Brunner arrived from Ersingen in 1942. In April 1943 Solomon Karcher and Ignatz Karcher arrived in the United States. Freys, Reylings, Ripplingers, and Schusters were also among early settlers that trace their roots to Karlsruhe area of Baden.


There are a number of good sources of genealogical information about these Piopolis (and Hamilton County). One of the best is Piopolis Families by August Reyling. This book is available at Family Search at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Hamilton_County,_Illinois#Church_Records. It includes over 700 pages of family sheets constructed primarily from the church records of St. John's church in Piopolis, IL.

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Categories: Piopolis, Illinois