"Let me see generation times, will we hear children singing rhymes? Sweet memories gone by..."

12 December 2014

Johann Campen

Ach siùbhlaidh mi uat But I shall go away
Cha ghluais mi tuilleadh nad dhàil Never to return to you
Tha m'aois is mo shnuadh My age and my appearance
Toirt luaidh air giorrad mo là Presage the shortness of my days
An àm dhomh bhith suainnt' When it's time for me to be laid out
Am fuachd 's an cadal a' bhàis In the cold slumber of death
Mo leabaidh dèan suas Make up my bed
Ri fuaim na h-ataireachd àird Where I can hear the surge of the sea
--"An Ataireachd Àrd" by Donald MacIver

For years now, I've been using Chronicling America to research my family in Richmond, Virginia.  The newspapers on the site have been a goldmine of information about my ancestors' day-to-day lives.  But not long ago, Chronicling America added a new collection - issues from Der Deutsche Correspondent in Baltimore, Maryland.  And it was here that I found an obituary for my 3rd-great-grandfather John Campen, much more complete than the brief notice that appeared in the Baltimore Sun.

John Campen died on December 10, 1888, and this obituary appeared in Der Deutsche Correspondent two days later, 126 years ago today.  My German's rather rusty, but here's a rough translation:

Ableben. – Am Montag Abend 1/2 12 Uhr entschlief Hr. Johann Campen für ein besseres Jenseits.  Der Verstorbene, welcher im 67. Lebensjahre stand, war seit 40 Jahren in Baltimore ansässig;  er war zuerst als Maschinist thätig und betrieb seit 1862 eine Blechbüchsenfabrik.  Er wanderte aus Emden, Hannover, hier ein und war zwei Mal verheirathet.  Der Verstorbene, welcher vielen Vereinen angehörte, hinterläßt zwei erwachsene Kinder ans erster Ehe.  Die Beerdigung findet morgen Nachmittag 2 Uhr vom Trauerhause Nr. 812 Lightstraße, aus statt.
Demise. – On Monday evening 1/2 12 o'clock passed away Mr. John Campen for a better afterlife.  The deceased, who was 67 years of age, was a resident for 40 years in Baltimore;  he first worked as a machinist and operated since 1862 a tin can factory.  He emigrated here from Emden, Hanover, and was married twice.  The deceased, who belonged to many clubs, leaves behind two adult children to the first marriage.  The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock from the house of mourning No. 812 Light Street.

John Campen and his second wife, Charlotte

It doesn't help to track down his first wife, but it at least does confirm that she existed!  So, the hunt continues for elusive Caroline Fredrick Campen!

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