Name: Johann Herman GÄDE
Birth: 13 JUN 1784 in Thorn, West Prussia
Death: 11 MAR 1864 in Liebenau, Molotschna, So Russia
Note: Left Prussia and went to Russia
Note: According to the Census - lived at Liebenau #15
From "The Abraham B. Gaede Family", Fresno, CA., 1977 - Taken from Chapter 1 - The Ancestry of Abraham B. Gaede, pp 12-13.
The family story begins with Johan Gade. Little information is available about his life in Prussia. We know he married Kathrina Nikkel and that he apparently owned a tavern. Beer drinking was an accepted part of German life and was not looked upon as intemperance. As the story goes, one day while Johann ws trying to break up a brawl in the tavern, he stumbled and fell because of his crippled foot. In his anger he cursed his foot. Shortly after this incident, a son, Heinrich was born into the family. When he saw that his newborn son had two club feet, Johann felt this was a punishment from God for cursing his foot in anger. He warned his son never to curse his feet or to be angry with God for them. (This story is foot noted with D.P. Gaede's "History of the Gaede Family", page 7 - as the source)
In the early 1800's economic conditions in Germany and Prussia were in decay due to Napoleon's campaigns in central Europe, and because the Mennonites in Prussia came under pressure to join the military forces, they looked for another home. Catherine the Great of Russia had heard that the Mennonites were good farmers, so she invited them to help develop the vast territory in Southern Russia which had recently been taken from Turkey in a war. She offered them free land, permission to speak German, set their own laws, operate their own schools, and freedom from military service for a hundred years.
There were already sixty German colonies in South Russia and Johann and his family made the long pilgrimage in 1823. Johann had to push a cart most of the way over rough and often rain-soaked roads. During those months of travel they were in danger of wild animals, thieves, and storms.
The family settled in Liebenau (love-meadow) in the Molotschna district of South Russia. Each homestead here consisted of a house, a nearby stable and five acres of land next to it for a garden and orchard. For protection, the dwellings were quite close to each other on both sides of the village street. Additional land belonging to each famer often lay far removed from the village itself. The village government was comprised of a mayor, a secretary (or scribe), and a council of ten farmers, all elected by majority vote. They had full governmental control. Only the execution of the death sentence remained the prerogative of the Russian government.
According to the records, Johann and Kathrina had five children, three boys and two girls.
Father: Herman GÄDE b: ABT. 1737 in Klein Lunau, West Prussia
- Heinrich GAEDE b: 15 JUN 1815 in Thorn, West Prussia
- Peter GAEDE b: ABT. 1817
- Sarah GAEDE b: 1 APR 1820
- Aganetha GAEDE b: 2 APR 1828
- Gerhard GAEDE b: 24 DEC 1830
- Jacob GAEDE