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Kasling/Kesling/Kiesling/Kießling-Bavaria to Texas
Posted by: Jim Skelton (ID *****2875) Date: February 16, 2006 at 20:25:13
  of 94

Ever so often I send a message to the Kesling clan in hopes that one of you is descended from the Kießling family from Quellenreuth, Bavaria, Germany, and that you will respond to me.


After reading other success stories, I decided to share the success story of
my search for the German roots of John Frederick Kasling, my maternal
Great-Grandfather. My search for my Mother’s Grandfather’s German roots
began some fifty years ago in 1949, when I wrote a family history report for
my high school history class. My Grandmother Kasling was 83 years old and
she told me what she could remember about her father-in-law, John Frederick
Kasling, and her mother-in-law, Elenor Quigley Kasling. She told me that he
was born about 1832 in Bavaria and had come to the U. S. A. when he was
about 19 years old and had lived with an aunt in Springfield, Sangamon Co.,
Illinois. He married Elenor Quigley, an Irish immigrant, and after their
children were born, they moved before 1880 to Linden, Cass County, Texas (my
birthplace in 1934). My Grandmother Kasling gave me no dates other than the
date of my Grandfather Edward Stephen Kasling's birth - 28 Aug 1857 in
Illinois. My Grandparents, Edward Stephen Kasling and Nancy Caroline
Givens, were married in 1885, so the only information that I had was what my
Grandmother Kasling knew about John Frederick Kasling and Elenor Quigley
Kasling from the early 1880's until Elenor died 10 Oct 1889 and John
Frederick died 15 October 1892, two weeks before my Mother was born.

In the 1960’s, after I was married and beginning my chosen profession and
our children had been born, I became interested again in tracing the Kasling
lineage. I found John Frederick Kasling and his family in the 1880 Texas
Census but could not find him in the 1870, 1860 or 1850 Census of Sangamon
Co., Illinois, where my Grandmother had told me the Kaslings were from.
Even though, John Frederick Kasling and Elenor Quigley Kasling were buried
in a Protestant cemetery in Linden, Texas, next to my Kasling Grandparents,
my Grandmother Kasling erroneously believed her Kasling in-laws were Roman
Catholic, and I was never able to find any church records for them in any
Roman Catholic Church in East Texas or Illinois. So, for the time, I gave
up my search for these Kasling Great-Grandparents.

As I neared retirement in 1996, I returned to my search for these elusive
Kaslings. I again checked census records for Springfield, Sangamon Co.,
Illinois and as a last resort, I checked the Chicago, Cook Co. census
records. Nothing. On a whim, it occurred to me that right next to Sangamon
County, Illinois, was Cass County, Illinois and since my Kaslings had come
to Cass County, Texas, why not look at Cass County, Illinois. I wrote to
the Genealogical Society of Cass Co., Illinois and got a quick response. No
Kaslings in Cass Co., Illinois, but in the neighboring Morgan County that
also bordered Sangamon County, the Genealogical Society found John
Frederick Kesling and Elenor Kesling and their children in the 1870 Census
of Morgan County in Jacksonville, Illinois. They also found the marriage
record in 1856 for John Frederick Kesling and Elenor Quigley. This was my
first realization that the spelling of the name Kasling or Kesling was
probably not the original spelling of the name. I quickly verified that the
Morgan County, Illinois, “Kesling family” was my “Kasling Family”. My
Grandfather and his sisters were all listed in the 1870 Census of Morgan
County, Illinois. I then began my search of all the books listing German
immigrants between 1850 and 1856. In the book “German Immigrants, List of
Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York”, I found my Great-grandfather,
Johann Friedrich Kiesling, from Quellenreuth, Bavaria, listed on the ship
manifest of the “Bark Constitution” sailing from Bremen, Germany, arriving
in New York on 16 April 1852, with a destination of Pittsburgh,

By 1997, I was on the Internet searching for Kasling,Kesling and Kiesling
descendants and ancestors for John Frederick Kasling/Kesling/Kiesling. I
found none other than my one Kasling cousin and his family who I knew. I
soon discovered that Kasling, Kesling and Kiesling were all Anglicized
versions of the German surname Kiessling/Kießling. It was then easy to
accept that John Frederick Kasling had three spellings of his last name from
the time he stepped aboard the “Bark Constitution” in Bremen in 1852 to the
time he arrived in Texas by 1880.

The ship manifest gave me new hope. I verified the ship manifest on NARA
microfilm at the local LDS Family History Center and everything began to fit
with what I knew. I now knew that John Frederick Kasling’s German name was
Johann Friedrich Kießling, that he was born in 1832 in Quellenreuth,
Bavaria, and in 1852, he had come to New York. He then went to Pittsburgh,
Pa., and by 1856, he was in Morgan County, Illinois. There, he married
Elenor Quigley on May 21, 1856, and with their children, they were in
Linden, Cass Co. Texas, just before the 1880 Census.

My next step was to find out where Quellenreuth was in Bavaria. By sheer
luck, I was given the name of a young man in Bavaria whose last name was
Kießling and we started an e-mail correspondence. He was not sure of a
family connection, but he told me the location of Quellenreuth: a small
village in Bavaria, Northeast of Munich, South of Hof, and close to the
Czech border. Future e-mails told me that the Evang. Lutheran parish Church
for the area was St. Gumbertus in the town of Schwarzenbach an der Saale and
that the village of Quellenreuth was only a mile or two away. St. Gumbertus
had a web site, and once I clicked on the web site, I quickly found the name
of a person who did genealogy research there at the Church. Unlike many
other Evang. Lutheran Churches in Germany, St. Gumbertus church records are
all intact and they are still there in the Church. The original church was
built after the early founding of the Evang. Lutheran Church by Martin
Luther in the 1500’s.

After an exchange of several e-mails, this researcher told me that there
were Kießling birth, baptism, marriage and death records there in the
Church. This researcher quickly found my Johann Friedrich Kießling’s
recorded birth, 24 July 1832, and a notation in the margin of the records
that Johann had gone to North American in 1852. Johann’s parent’s and
sibling’s names, dates of birth, etc. soon followed.

Today, I have 250 years of Kießling ancestors before my Great-grandfather
came to the U. S. in 1852. I now have some 13 generations spanning 400
years from just before 1600 to my Granddaughter who was born in 1993.

Fortunately, as a bonus, I am now in contact with a distant Schodel cousin
who lives in Quellenreuth, Bavaria. Even though the surname of this new
found German cousin is not Kießling nor Schodel, her family lives in house
No. 3 next to my Great-Great-Grandparents house No. 2 and her family farms
110 acres of the original farmland purchased in the early 1800’s. This
German cousin’s great-great-great-grandmother was a sister of my
Great-Great-Grandmother, Elizabetha Schodel Kießling, mother of John
Frederick Kasling.

In December of 2003, I was successful in my search for Elenor Quigley’s
immigration. For many years, I had searched U. S. ports passenger lists
from Ireland and was unscuccessful in finding anyone whose name was Elenor
Quigley. In December of 2003, I became aware that thru Ancestry.Com that
there were some Canadian passenger lists that had been indexed. Bingo!!
Suddenly, Elenor Quigley’s name appeared in the Canadian passenger list
sailing on the ship “Prudence” of Londonderry. Further searching led me to
the transcribed passenger list of the “Prudence”. The “Prudence” sailed
from Londonderry, Ireland on 23 May 1838 and arrived at St. John, New
Brunswick, Canada on 11 July 1838. Listed was Elenor Quigley, child, age
6, from County Donegal; Ann Quigley, spinster, age 22, from County Donegal;
William Quigley, labourer, age 17, from County Donegal. Elenor’s age on
leaving Ireland agreed with her known birthdate on her tombstone. By the
time the “Prudence” arrived in St. John, Elenor had had her 7th birthday.
This is the earliest known record of Elenor Quigley and it is assumed that
Ann and William were older siblings of Elenor. The names of their parents
are unknown. Possibly Elenor named her first son, Edward Stephen, for her
father and her first daughter, Mary A. (Ann), for her mother.

The following are the children of Elenor and John Frederick Kasling/Kesling:

1. Edward Stephen Kasling, b. 28 Aug. 1857, Morgan Co., Ill. d. 2 July
1941, Linden, Cass Co., Tex. Married Nancy Caroline (Jeffie) Givens 13 May,
1885 in Linden. (My grandparents)

2. Mary A. (Mollie) Kasling, b. ca. 1860, Morgan Co., Ill. Married George
Wesson ca 1879. 6 children but no known descendants.

3. Thomas Kesling, b. ca 1862, Morgan Co., Ill. No known descendants

4. Isabelle (Belle) Kasling, b. ca 1866, Morgan Co., Ill. Married Will
Graham. No known descendants.

5. Maggie Kasling, b. ca 1867, Morgan Co., Illinois. Married Andrew
Jackson Nelson ca. 1890. Only child was Andrew J. Nelson (no descendants).

6. Elner M, (Ella) Kasling, b. ca 1871, Morgan Co., Ill. Married William G.
(Bud) Kirkland. 10 children. No known descendants except for Cindy Blair.

Jim Skelton

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