Three Generations of the Descendants of Johannes Keck of Dirmstein, Rheinbaiern, Germany in St. Clair County, Illinois

© 1997 by Bobbie (Altschuh) Verstraete

If you are researching any of these, contact Bobbie for further information.

NOTE: SCC 87/2/81 = St. Clair County Genealogy Society Quarterly, 1987, Issue 2, page 81. Numbers in () after a person's name refer to the number in my database.

Generation 1

1. Johannes/John KECK (26), the son of Friederich KECK (3996) and Elisabeth KRAUSS (3997), was born 4-Jun-1793 in Dirmstein, Rheinbaiern, Germany. He married Anna Marie BENGEL (27) in 1813, and they have six known children. Johannes died on 30-Mar-1846 (SCC 89/4/199) in St. Clair County. He was buried in Concordia Cemetery. According to the Zion Church Records (SCC 87/1/15), he left his native country the 3rd Nov. 1834, although no formal record has so far been located to document this further, and moved to St. Clair County. He is listed as being the son of Friedrich KECK, born and died in Dirmstein, and Elisabeth born KRAUSS, born in Dirmstein (SCC 87/1/15). On 30 July 1835, John purchased 40 acres of land in a Federal Sale in the sw corner of Section 21 Township 01N Range 09W, according to the Illinois Public Domain Land Sales Records. For this land he paid $1.25 per acre. In October of 1844, John applied for Naturalization with permit #3095 according to the Naturalization Records of St. Clair County. Anna Maria's obituary in 1866 in the Millstadt Enterprise stated that she had 4 sons and 2 daughters, 28 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.


  • + 2. i. Anna Elisabetha KECK (3861) was born 16-Jun-1815 (SCC 87/1/15).
  • + 3. ii. Heinrich KECK (3858) was born 16-Feb-1818 (SCC 87/1/15).
  • + 4. iii. Friederich KECK (3859) was born 5-Nov-1821 (SCC 87/1/15).
  • + 5. iv. Konrad KECK (3860) was born 28-Oct-1823 (SCC 87/1/15).
  • 6. v. Johannes KECK (63) was born 3-Jan-1828 in Dirmstein, DEU (SCC87/1/15)(SCC 89/2/82). Johannes died on 2-Aug-1852 in Belleville (SCC 89/2/82) (SCC 89/2/92). He was buried on 2-Aug-1852 in Concordia Cemetery, Millstadt.
  • + 7. vi. Anna Marie KECK (25) was born 9-Aug-1831 (SCC 87/1/15).
    Generation 2

    2. Anna Elisabetha KECK (3861), the daughter of Johannes KECK (26) and Anna Marie BENGEL (27), was born 16-Jun-1815 in Dirmstein, DEU (SCC 79/2/81). She married Jacob WEINGARDT (4032) on 10-May-1838 in Millstadt, Zion Church (SCC 82/2/68), and they have five known children. Anna died on 15-May-1900 in Millstadt. She was buried in Freivol Cemetery. Anna's listing in SCC 80/2/69 states that she was buried in Freivogel Cemetery next to her husband Jacob Weingardt. She is listed as having been born 16 Jun 1815 and dying 15 May 1900. Jacob is listed as having been born 12 Mar 1811(SCC 81/2/69) and dying 12 Aug 1855 (SCC 81/2/69). Jacob was killed according to the Millstadt Enterprise and survived by his wife and 8 children. No info has been found on the other children at this time.


  • 8. i. Jakob WEINGARDT (4092) born 17-Apr-1839 in Zion UCC rec. (SCC 78/2/67), Millstadt.
  • 9. ii. Elisabeth WEINGARDT (990) was born 18-Oct-1840 in Millstadt (SCC 78/2/67) and baptized 2 Apr 1843 (SCC 78/2/68).
  • 10. iii. Maria WEINGARDT (4093) was born 9-Nov-1842 in Zion UCC (SCC 78/2/67), Millstadt.
  • 11. iv. Friederich WEINGARDT (3355) was born 15-May-1844 in Zion UCC (SCC 78/2/67) and baptized at Zion UCC on 13 Oct 1844 (SCC 78/2/67).
  • 12. v. Catherine WEINGARDT was born 17 Jul 1844 per Zion UCC records (SCC 79/2/85). It is not known what happened to this child.
  • + 13. vi. Katherine WEINGARDT (4057) (did her sister die and she was named for her??) was born 17-Sep-1846 (SCC 79/2/85).

    3. Heinrich KECK (3858), the son of Johannes KECK (26) and Anna Marie BENGEL (27), was born 16-Feb-1818 in Dirmstein, DEU (SCC 87/2/15). He married Catherine MILLER (4041), born 11 May 1811 (SCC 89/4/198), on 4-Mar-1841 in Millstadt, and they have six known children. Heinrich died on 21-Jul-1903 in St. Clair. He was buried on 24-Jul-1903 in Concordia Church Cemetery, St. Clair County. At his death, he had one son who died in 1865, his wife died in 1876, he was survived by 2 sons, 3 daughters, 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, per Concordia UCC records (SCC 89/3/127). His obituary in the Millstadt Enterprise dated 21 July 1903 states: Henry Keck, one of St. Clair County's oldest and most respected citizens passed quietly away at the good old age of 85 years, last Tuesday evening at the home of his son John H. Keck, four miles north of this place. Mr. Keck was born in Dermstein, Reinpals, Beiern, in 1818 and together with his father's family came to America in 1834 and settled in St. Clair County, where he has since resided. In 1840 he was married to Miss Katherina Miller. Six children were born to them, five who are living: they are: John H. and Christian Keck, Miss Katie Keck, Mrs. Christian Hess and Mrs. John F. Keck. There are 13 grand children and 3 great grand children. Mr. Keck was a consistent member of the Evangelical Church and the funeral will occur at 2 o'clock today from the residence to the Concordia Cemetery where the interment will take place.


  • 14. i. Heinrich KECK (4042) was born in 1845 in St. Clair , Illinois. Heinrich died on 14-Sep-1865 in St. Clair County. He was buried on 15-Sep-1865 in Concordia Cemetery.
  • 15. ii. The date of birth for John H KECK (4043) is not known. John died after 1903 per his father's obituary.
  • 16. iii. The date of birth for Christian KECK (4044) is not known. Christian died after 1903 per his father's obituary.
  • 17. iv. The date of birth for Katherine (Katie) KECK (4045) was 11 May 1843 and she was baptized on 17 Feb 1845 (SCC 78/2/58). Katie died Jan 1920 per obit in Millstadt Enterprise.
  • 18. v. Elizabeth KECK (4046) was born 26-Apr-1841 in St. Clair County (SCC 79/2/86). She married Christian HESS (4048). Elizabeth died after 1903 per her father's obituary.
  • 19. vi. The date of birth for Mary KECK (4047) is not known. She married John F. KECK (4049) born 1847 and died Dec 1920 per Millstadt Enterprise. She died after 1903 per her father's obituary.

    4. Friederich KECK (3859), the son of Johannes KECK (26) and Anna Marie BENGEL (27), was born 5-Nov-1821 in Dirmstein, DEU (SCC 87/2/15). He married Phillippine YEAKEL/JAECKEL (4033) on 12-Dec-1845 (per his obit in the Millstadt Enterprise), and they have five children. Friederich died on 2-Jul-1900 in Millstadt. He was buried in Concordia Cemetery (SCC 89/4/198). Phillippine was born 14 Nov 1828 and died on 11 Jan 1903 (SCC 89/4/198). Friederich's obituary in the Millstadt Enterprise, dated 6 Jul 1900 stated: Last Monday the tolling of the church bell announced the death of one of our old an esteemed residents, Mr. Fredrick Keck, Sr. Mr. Keck was born in Dermstein, Beiern, Germany, November 5, 1821. He emigrated with his parents to St. Clair County in 1834 where he has resided ever since. He was married December 12, 1845 to Miss Phillippine Yeakel, who now survives him. To this union five children were born: John F., Fred, and Philip, Caroline, wife of Philip Mueller, and Mary the deceased wife of Christian Peter. The funeral took place at the family residence at 2 o'clock July 4th and the remains were laid to rest in the Concordia Cemetery, followed by a large concourse of relatives.


  • 20. i. John F KECK (4034) was born in 1847 and died in Jan 1920 per Millstadt Enterprise.
  • 21. ii. Mary KECK (4038) was born 10-Oct-1849 in St. Clair County (SCC 79/2/87). She married Christian PETER (4039) on 31 Jan 1871 (SCC 79/2/87). Mary died in Feb 1934 (Millstadt Enterprise).
  • 22. iii. Frederich KECK (4035) was born 26-Jun-1854 in St. Clair County (SCC 90/4/192) and baptized 8 Apr 1855 (SCC 90/4/192).
  • + 23. iv. Jacob Philip KECK (4036) was born 27-Nov-1857, baptized 26 Apr 1857 and confirmed 1972 (SCC 91/4/198).
  • 24. v. Caroline KECK (4037) was born in 17 Mar 1860 and baptized 26 Apr 1860 (SCC 90/4/200). She married Philip MUELLER (4040), born in 1852, on 9 Apr 1882 (SCC 79/2/91).

    5. Konrad KECK (3860), the son of Johannes KECK (26) and Anna Marie BENGEL (27), was born 28-Oct-1823 in Dirmstein, DEU (SCC 87/2/15). He married Marie BAUER (4050) on 19-Jan-1857 in Concordia UCC - SCC79/2/82, Millstadt, License #5166, and they have four known children. Konrad died on 1-Mar-1898 in Millstadt. He was buried in Millstadt Cemetery. Old Millstadt Cemetery shows Conrad Keck, b 28 Oct 1823 d 1 Mar 1898, buried next to Maria Keck b 24 Aug 1829. 11S. SCC 87/2/71.

    1860 census: name, age, birthplace
    Conrad 36 BAV
    Mary 31 BA
    Conrad 10 IL
    Jacob 8 IL
    Helena 6 IL
    Emily 3 IL
    1880 census: name, age
    Conrad 56
    Mary 50
    Emma 1 (listed as niece)


  • 25. i. Conrad KECK (4051) was born in 1850.
  • 26. ii. Jacob Phillip KECK (4052) was born in 1852.
  • 27. iii. Helena KECK (4053) was born 14-Jun-1853 (SCC 89/2/86). Helena died on 12-Aug-1860 (SCC89/2/86).
  • 28. iv. Emily KECK (4054) was born 14-Mar-1857 (SCC 79/2/89) and married Georg Heinrich GERKEN (4084), born 1857, on 28-Feb-1878 (SCC 79/2/89).
  • 7. Anna Marie KECK (25), the daughter of Johannes KECK (26) and Anna Marie BENGEL (27), was born 9-Aug-1831 in Dirmstein, Rheinbaiern, Germany (SCC 87/2/15). She married Jacob ALTSCHUH (24) on 21-Dec-1852 in Millstadt (SCC 79/2/81), and they have five known children. Anna died on 8-Sep-1912 in Millstadt (per copy death certificate in possession of author). Jacob Altschuh was born in Ilbesheim, Rheinbaiern, Bavaria, Germany, to Johannes Georg Altschuh, a miller, and Anna Marie Dreissigacker from the neighboring town of Albersweiler. Jacob was the oldest of five children; Heinrich, born 10 May 1834, Eva Katharina was born 10 Oct 1836, Georg was born 22 Feb 1839, Katharina was born in July 1841 and Johann was born in Nov 1843. His parent's marriage took place 1 Sep 1833 and his father claimed him in the marriage record as his natural child. His birthdate is in question; the church records at the time of his marriage show his birthdate to be 31 Mar 1830, his obituary in the Millstadt, IL, Enterprise give his birthdate as 9 Apr 1832, and the records in Albersweiler say he was born 9 Apr 1831. Suffice it to say that he was, by all accounts, born in Ilbesheim, north of Karlsruhe and a bit southwest of Mannheim and Heidelberg in the Palatine area of Germany prior to his parent's marriage on 1 Sep 1833 (sources = Ilbesheim church records). His obituary in the Millstadt Enterprise states that at the age of 15, Jacob decided to come to America. He traveled to Havre and emigrated to New Orleans on the ship Caglioni with Mr. Rogers as it's Master on 19 Apr 1847 (per microfilmed ship records - LDS #0200156). Supposedly he traveled with family friends, although no St. Clair county names are discernible on the ship's registry. The ship's registry lists his age as 16. He apparently settled in New Orleans for a time and was employed in a hotel. About one year later, he moved to St. Louis, MO, and learned the trade of cooper, or maker and repairer of casks, barrels, etc. He then followed this trade in St. Louis, MO, and Belleville, IL, and later at Ogle Station. Naturalization records show that he applied Sep. 1858, application #17. The records are not available today to show whether he completed the process or just the application. In Millstadt, he met and married Anna Marie Keck on 12 Dec 1852. The young couple lived with her parents on their farm for about eight years. In 1863, they moved to Millstadt, where he again became a cooper and spent the rest of his life at that work. According to the Millstadt Enterprise, he attended the conference of the Evangelische Synode of the West with a Mr. Henry Kern. It was held in Waterloo, IL. They were delegates representing the Zion's Gemeinde of Millstadt. The meeting which was reportedly interesting, remained in session from the 22nd to the 27th of April 1885.


  • 29. i. Catherina ALTSCHUH (28) was born 9-Feb-1854 in Stookey Township. Catherina died on 5-Aug-1929 in Millstadt. Her obituary in the Millstadt Enterprise, dated 9 AUG 1929 states: She died quite suddenly at her home here on Monday morning at 9 o'clock. She had been ailing for several months and for a week prior to her death had been in bed but on Monday morning she came to the kitchen for breakfast, when she fell over and passed away. She had suffered with heart weakness and had been treated for this. She was born in Stookey Township and, when child, her parents moved to Millstadt and she resided here ever since. She was never married and kept house for her brother Jacob, in the family home in the east end. She was a faithful member of Zion's Evang. Church and a member of the Benevolent Society of the church. She reached the age of 75 years, 5 months and 26 days. Funeral took place from the home to Zion's church where services were conducted by Rev. Heithaus, thence to Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
  • 30. ii. George ALTSCHUH (29) was born 15-Mar-1856.
  • 31. iii. Johannes ALTSCHUH (31) was born 7-Aug-1859. Johannes died on 24-May-1866.
  • 32. iv. Jacob G ALTSCHUH (32) was born 27-Jun-1861. Jacob died in 1946. From the Millstadt Enterprise of 24 JAN 1946: He died at the Alton State Hospital at the age of 84 years. He had been ill for about a year, having been taken to the hospital at that time after living alone here for a number of years. He w as a painter who had been one of the Altschuh Brothers who painted wagons and buggies in the days when those vehicles required high artistry. Their shop was in what is now the Weygandt barber shop building. He was born in Millstadt, never married. He was buried at the Mt. Evergreen Cemetery, Rev. Limper officiating.
  • 33. v. John ALTSCHUH (33) was born 2-Aug-1864 in Millstadt. John died on 5-Jan-1908 in Millstadt. He was buried in Village Cemetery, Millstadt. In the Millstadt Enterprise, dated 10 JAN 1908: He died at the home of his parents here at 10 o'clock on Sunday morning, aged 43 years, 5 months, and 3 days. He was born in Millstadt, attending the public schools and being confirmed in the Evang. Church. After leaving school, he worked with his brothers. For the past twenty three years he has been sick and lived a retired life at home. He was laid in the Village Cemetery, Rev. Wendt, officiating.
    Generation 3

    12. Katherine WEINGARDT (4057), the daughter of Jacob WEINGARDT (4032) and Anna Elisabetha KECK (3861), was born 17-Sep-1846 in IL. She married Carl PFINGSTEN (4058) on 20-Sep-1866 (SCC 79/2/85) in St. Clair County. SCC 84/3/142 states at Zion UCC: [13] 20 Sep 1866 by Albert Zeller: Pfingsten, Carl - born 17 March 1840, son of Friedrich Pfingsten and Caroline [from] Preuss Minden; Weingart, Catherine - b. 17 Sept. 1846, daughter of the deceased Jacob Weingart and Elisabeth, born Keck. SCC 79/2/85 states at Concordia UCC: 20 September 1866 Pfingsten, Carl - born 1840 Preuss [Prussia] Minden; parents: deceased Friedrich Pfingsten and deceased Caroline Weingart, Katherine - born 17 Sept. 1846 here; parents: deceased Jacob Weingart and Elisabeth Keck. No explanation is made concerning the double wedding.


  • 34. i. Carl PFINGSTEN (4075) was born 30-Jul-1867 in St. Clair County (SCC 90/4/212)(SCC 89/3/121). Carl died on 14-Mar-1894 in St. Clair County (SCC 89/3/121). He was buried in UCC Cemetery.
  • 35. ii. Elizabeth PFINGSTEN (4076) was born 11-Oct-1869 in St. Clair County and baptized at Concordia Church on 19 Jun 1870 (SCC 91/1/19). She married Carl HAAS (4077) on 25-Jan-1891 in UCC, St. Clair County (SCC 79/2/94).
  • 36. iii. Emilie Amalia PFINGSTEN (4072) was born 19-Jan-1872 in St. Clair County and baptized on 16 Jun 1872 (SCC 91/4/204) (SCC 91/1/24).
  • 37. iv. Louise PFINGSTEN (4073) was born 30-Sep-1873 (SCC 91/4/205) in St. Clair County.
  • 38. viii. Katherine PFINGSTEN (4087) was born 11-Nov-1875 and baptized on 13 Jul 1876 in St. Clair County (SCC 89/2/100) (SCC 91/1/31). Katherine died on 14-Aug-1876 in St. Clair County.
  • 39. vi. Fred W PFINGSTEN (4085) was born 22-Mar-1878 (SCC 91/4/207) in St. Clair County. Fred died on 9-Jun-1914 in St. Clair County. He was buried in UCC cemetery (SCC 89/3/132).
  • 40. v. John Louis PFINGSTEN (4074) was born 16-Sep-1880 in St. Clair County (SCC 91/1/38).
  • 41. vii. Albert Arthur PFINGSTEN (4086) was born 21-May-1884 (SCC 91/1/45) in St. Clair County. Albert died on 29-Mar-1886 in St. Clair County. He was buried in UCC cemetery (SCC 89/3/117).
  • 42. ix. Ida Marie PFINGSTEN (4088) was born on 11 Mar 1888 and baptized 22 Apr 1888 (SCC 91/2//8) in St. Clair County.

    23. Jacob Philip KECK (4036), the son of Friederich KECK (3859) and Phillippine YEAKEL/JAECKEL (4033), was born 27-Nov-1857 in Millstadt. He married Elizabeth KECK (4059) on 10-Apr-1883 in UCC, St. Clair, and they have one known child. Jacob died in May-1932 in Millstadt. Born 26 Nov 1857, Baptized 26 Apr 1857, Confirmed 1872, all at Concordia United Church Of Christ, per SCCGS Quarterly 1991/#4/pg.198. Baptized 26 Apr 1860 per SCCGS Quarterly 1990/#4/pg.200.


  • 43. i. Wilhelm Frederick KECK (4090) was born 4-Feb-1885 in St. Clair County.

    30. George ALTSCHUH (29), the son of Jacob ALTSCHUH (24) and Anna Marie KECK (25), was born 15-Mar-1856 in Millstadt. He married Catherina RICHMAN (30) on 11-Jun-1886, and they have five known children. George died on 9-Mar-1951 in St. Louis, MO. George is well remembered for his hand carved figures which moved. None appear to be in existence at this time. George apprenticed in the blacksmith shop owned by Peter Ohldendorph which later was torn down and rebuilt in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The author was privileged to view the exhibit in the 1950's. Later George owned and operated the Altschuh Photographic Studio which he sold twice according to the records in the Millstadt Enterprise: on 1 Sep 1911 he sold it to E. Bange and on 21 Jun 1912 he sold it to Henry Weygandt. This author can only assume the first sale, although reported, was not completed, or it was sold back to George before he sold to Henry Weygandt.


  • 44. i. Edgar ALTSCHUH (34) was born 14-Apr-1887.
  • 45. ii. Richard G ALTSCHUH (36) was born 23-Sep-1889.
  • 46. iii. Alfred Jacob ALTSCHUH (38) was born 15-Apr-1892.
  • 47. iv. Elsie Henrietta ALTSCHUH (40) was born 22-Mar-1895.
  • 48. v. Adele ALTSCHUH (42) was born 10-Jul-1901.

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