Anna Elisabeth Wittmann was born around 1863 in Grimm Russia. Her parents are unknown for now; see a discussion about who they may be in the Research Notes below. She married Johann Jakob Kaiser and the couple had at least seven documented children.
According to the 1897 Grimm census, Anna Elisabeth died before the census was taken leaving her husband Johann Jakob a widower. Her youngest child was 5 years old in 1897, so her death was between 1892 and 1897. Although her name is not specifically in the 1897 census, I am including it in brackets so an official connection to her children can be made.
She was the wife of Johann Jakob Kaiser, the head of the household.
Family # 183
Head of the Household Johann Jakob Kaiser, age 43, widower
Wife [Anna Elisabeth Wittman, deceased]
Child #1 Philipp Kaiser, age 12
Child #2 Johann Jakob Kaiser, age 11
Child #3 Karl Kaiser, age 9
Child #4 Alexander Kaiser, age 7
Child #5 Konrad Kaiser, age 5
Child #6 Margaretha Kaiser, age 15
Brother #1 Philipp Jakob Kaiser, age 38
Wife of Brother #1 Anna Elisabeth Kaiser, age 33
Child #7 Philipp Jakob Kaiser, age 7
Child #8 Amalia Kaiser, age 10
Child #9 Katharina Kaiser, age 9
Child #10 Katharina Elisabeth Kaiser, 8 months old
Brother #2 Heinrich Kaiser, age 36, resides in village of Dubovka, Tsaritsyn, Saratov province
Wife of Brother #2Julianna Kaiser, age 35, resides in village of Dubovka, Tsaritsyn, Saratov province
Child #11 Heinrich Kaiser, age 1, resides in village of Dubovka, Tsaritsyn, Saratov province
Child #12 Maria Kaiser, age 3, resides in village of Dubovka, Tsaritsyn, Saratov province
Brother #3 Georg Jakob Kaiser, age 34, residing in Omsk
Wife of Brother #3 Christina Margaretha Kaiser, age 27, residing in Omsk
Brother #4 Konrad Kaiser, age 27, single, residing in Omsk
Sister #1 Christina Elisabeth Kaiser, age 47, single, residing in Saratov
Child #13 Georg Heinrich Kaiser, single, residing in Omsk
Mother Katharina Margaretha [Weber] Kaiser, age 71, widow
There is an issue as to whether she was Jakob Kaiser's first or second wife. Here are the known facts:
There is no Anna Elisabeth Wittman who still lives with her Wittman family at the time of the 1897 census.
There is only one Anna Elisabeth Bürkheim, near 34 years old, living with a Bürkheim family in 1897: the wife of Philipp Birkheim in family #62, and there is a notation that this may have been a second marriage for her husband. She does, however, bring children into this marriage by the surname Kimpel, a misspelling of the name Kimbel. These children do not fit what is known by the family of Anna Elisabeth Wittman's descendants.
Her husband Johann Jakob Kaiser immigrated to the United States with a wife named Katharina. All the children attributed to them are listed as Kaisers, but that is probably an error. The two Bürkheim stepchildren were born in 1897 and 1902. If their father died and their mother remarried, they should have had the Bürkheim name attributed to them.
The only Katharina who was married to a Bürkheim and is a possible match for Johann Jakob Kaiser's wife is Katharina Margaretha, last name unknown for now. The problem is that unless there was a typo or transcribing error, she was 50 years old in 1897. This means that she had at least two more children when she was 51 and 54 years old.
The obituary for son Alexander Kaiser names his parents as Johann Jakob Kaiser and Anna Elisabeth Wittman, but his parents are listed in a way that makes it sound as if they were still living, intimating that Anna Elisabeth Wittman had actually immigrated to the United States and lived in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
According to a different obituary for son Alexander Kaiser:
"...Born Aug. 14, 1889, in Grimm, Russia, he was the son of Jacob and Anna Wittman Kaiser."
The makes it clear that his mother Anna Elisabeth Wittman was alive in 1889. If his father was a widow in 1897, then she is the wife who was deceased by that year.
The two Bürkheim stepchildren in this family were born after 1897. If her husband Jakob Kaiser was already a widower, then she must be the spouse who died and the Bürkheim children are from Jakob's second wife, the widow Katharina Margaretha Bürkheim. This also means Jakob could not have remarried until after 1902, unless there was a separate, very short marriage in between Anna Elisabeth and Katharina Margaretha. This also makes the Bürkheim siblings stepsliblings, not half siblings since they did not have any parent in common.
It is unknown who Ann Elisabeth Wittman's parents were, but there are 10 Wittmann males who were alive in 1857 who may be her father. All of them were direct descendants of Martin Wittman, the first Wittmann to immigrate to Grimm, Russia.
The next four were brothers, the sons of Johann Michael Wittmann who had passed away by 1857, so the men were living with their uncle Johannes Wittmann. The men are listed in the census as the sons of an unnamed brother of Johannes Wittmann. We know their father is Michael because brother Konrad Wittmann and his family are listed above these entries, and brother Johann Heinrich Wittmann died in 1824 at the age of 10. Brother Johann Michael Wittmann is the only one not listed in the 1857 census. He probably passed away before 1850 and his death was noted in the 1850 census.
While we may not yet be able to name Anna Elisabeth's father with certainty, we know who her grandparents were. The only line missing is that of her mother. If one of the older men were her father, we might be able to identify his wife, Anna's mother. If Anna's mother is not mentioned with either family in the 1857 census, her identity will probably remain unknown unless personal family records from a descendant reveal her full name or we gain access to Grimm church records.
According to the Obituary below, her son Alex Kaiser had a brother named Jacob Birkheim (spelled Bürkehim in Volga German records). He sounds like a step brother or half brother. Without ages it's difficult to determine more, but its possible that Anna Wittmann was married once before to a man with the surname Birkheim.
Fond Du Lac Commonwealth Reporter Obituary for Alex Kaiser
This is actually the obiturary for Anna Wittman Kaiser's son Alex Kaiser. It confirms the names of his parents and siblings.
Name Jacob Kaiser
Wife Anna Wittman Kaiser
Son Alex Kaiser
Son Conrad Kaiser
Son Jacob Birkheim [stepson?]
Other information in the record of Alex Kaiser from United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
Name Alex Kaiser
Event Type Obituary
Event Date 30 Nov 1966
Birth Date 14 Aug 1889
Birthplace Grimm, Russia
Newspaper Fond Du Lac Commonwealth Reporter
Spouse and Children
Anna Wittman Kaiser Wife Female
Conrad Kaiser Son Male
Jacob Birkheim Son Male [sic] step-son?
Others on Record
Katherine Kaiser Unknown Female [Alex Kaiser's wife]
↑1897 Grimm (Lesnoi Karamysh), Russia Census List, Translated by Richard Rye, Compiled and Edited by John Groh, Contributor Henry Schmick; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Published 2017; page 126-127, family #183, Johann Jakob Kaiser family.
"United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVSM-VRY6 : 1 July 2016), Jacob Kaiser in entry for Alex Kaiser, 30 Nov 1966; citing Obituary, in "Fond Du Lac Commonwealth Reporter"; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln.