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  • ID: I1274
  • Name: Agatha CORNELSEN
  • Sex: F
  • ALIA: Agata /Knelsen/
  • Birth: 17 APR 1815 in Usnitz, West Prussia
  • Death: 5 AUG 1908 in Marion County, Kansas/Wednesday night @ 7pm
  • Burial: Ebenfeld MB Church Cemetery, Marion County Kansas

    Marriage 1 Heinrich GAEDE b: 15 JUN 1815 in Thorn, West Prussia
    • Married: 14 DEC 1836 in Liebenau, Molotschna, South Russia
    • Note:
      Between 1836-1872, Lived in Liebenau, Molotschna, So Russia
      Between 1872-1878, Lived in the Taurin Region of Kuban, So Russia
      1878 - Emigrated on the S.S. Leipzig, arriving America 9-12-1878
      1880 - Liberty Township, Marion Co., Kansas/ED-246/S-10/L-33
      1885 - Same/P-11/L-20

      From "The Abraham B. Gaede Family", Fresno, CA., 1977; Chapter 1 - The Ancestory of Abraham B. Gaede, Page 13:

      ...Heinrich was born near Thorn, Prussia, in 1815. In his youth Heinrich learned the trade of cobbling shoes. Since he was born crippled on both feet, it was necessary for him to make his own boots. Under his boots he wore two pair of homemade woolen socks wrapped around each foot. He had to wear these wrappings summer and winter, otherwise he could not walk. His father admonished him again and again never to curse his afflicted feet and he took counsel to heart and never did so. He was thankful to God that none of his twelve children were born with crippled feet.

      On December 14, 1836, Heinrich married Agatha Knelsen, born in Grossweide, South Russia, in 1815. Her brother Abraham Knelsen (Cornelsen) was one of the founders of the Mennonite Brethren Church and was married to Heinrich's sister Agneta. Heinrich's other siblings were Peter Gade, Agneta Gade Cornelsen, Sara Gade Quiring and Gerhard Gade.

      In the early years of their marriage Heinrich and Agatha were very poor. Heinrich also was frequently ill. One time he was bedfast for a whole year and there was no one to provide food for his family. The mayor gave Agatha a written permit and a horse and wagon so that she could go from village to village to beg for grain to make bread. With a heavy heart and great difficulty she did this. Times became better. With God's blessings and with German industry and dilligence the colonies began to acquire wealth.

      Johann, Heinrich's eldest son, died in Russia in 1870. Heinrich and Agatha and family moved to Kuban in the Taurin region in 1872. However, 24 year old Marie died before the move, and Heinrich Jr. who had married in the "old colony" stayed behind.

      They lived in Kuban for only six years when the Russian government decided that the Mennonites should be like other Russians. They should speak Russian, young men should do some kind of forestry or hospital service, or go into the military service. Many of the Mennonites did not want to do this, so they decided to migrate to America. Heinrich and Agatha also decided to leave Russia in 1878. It was a big job to sell the land and pack the things they would need to take with them. The ocean voyage on the S.S. Leipzig was long and difficult for the parents and four of their children.

      They settled near Hillsboro, Kansas and joined the Ebenfeld M.B. Church. In their later years they lived at their son Abraham's house. They had their own little stove for cooking. Agatha liked to sit on her comfortable, well-built rocker with a fly swatter on her lap. Usually she had a sack of candy unter the rocker which son Abraham kept well supplied. Her little grandchildren dearly wanted that candy, so one of them would try to get a piece before grandmother could swat them with her fly swatter. They knew she enjoyed playing this game also, especially with little grandson, Menno.

      In 1886, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and lived to enjoy 14 more years of wedded life. Heinrich suffered considerably the last ten years, especially with headaches.

      On Tuesday, July 3, he said a prayer with Agatha for the breakfast blessing. After having finished a cup of coffee, he said, "I feel ill, I am sick at the stomach." He went to bed. In the afternoon when Agatha awoke from her nap, all seemed still. She observed Heinrich's slow breathing, signifying that the end was near. He passed into eternity without stirring even a hand. He died at the age of 85 years. The church funeral was held on July 5, 1900, but the next morning at 8 o'clock as all the children gathered about the grave, they held a brief religious service after which his grandchildren tucked him to bed in the earth where he rests until the resurrection morning.

      Agatha outlived her husband by eight years, reaching the good age of 93 years. They are both buried in the Ebenfeld cemetery near the grave marker of Agatha's brother, Abraham Cornelsen.

      Notes: Recent findings proved that Agatha Knelsen was born in Prussia, not Russia. Also records seem to indicate that she was not the sister of Abraham Cornelsen.
    1. Has Children Johann GAEDE b: 1836
    2. Has No Children Heinrich GAEDE b: 31 OCT 1840
    3. Has No Children Peter GAEDE b: 6 AUG 1842
    4. Has No Children Gerhard GAEDE b: 22 MAY 1846
    5. Has No Children Maria GAEDE b: ABT. 1848
    6. Has No Children Sara GAEDE b: 22 OCT 1849 in Russia
    7. Has Children Abraham B. GAEDE b: 19 SEP 1851 in Liebenau, Molotschna, So Russia
    8. Has Children Agatha GAEDE b: 16 NOV 1854
    9. Has No Children Jacob GAEDE b: 4 NOV 1856 in Liebenau, Molotschna, So Russia
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