The Grobbel Emigrants to the U.S.A.


Anton, John and Daniel GROBBEL15

Around 1849, three great-grandsons of J. Heinrich GROBBEL12, Anton, John and Daniel GROBBEL15 , decided to emigrate to the U.S.A. Anton, John and Daniel were the sons of Röttger GROBBEL14 and Maria Catharine SPOTT. Daniel settled in Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan (MI), while Anton and John began farming in Section 17 of Warren Township, Macomb Co., MI.

An entry in the "Business Directory" portion of the 1875 Macomb County Atlas lists Anton as "Anthony Grobbel" and indicates that he was born in Germany and gives 1849 as the date of settlement for his farm in Section 17. So far, I have been unable to find any record of their emigration or journey from Germany to Michigan, nor have I found any Naturalization papers to indicate they applied for US citizenship. Dierk Stoetzel, of Eslohe, Germany, has examined the 19th Century emigration records for this region at the "Landratamt" in Meschede, Germany, and concludes that they never applied for their "consens" papers, which would have allowed them to legally emigrate from Prussia.

During the Civil War, the increased demand for copper caused a mining boom in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan. In 1865, Anton and John took their families and moved to Hancock, Houghton Co., MI. to work in the mines. Anton and John stayed in the UP for only about a year and then returned to their farms in Warren Twp.


Franz Anton GROBBEL15 , was the oldest of these three brothers. He was born on 04 NOV 1819 in Cobbenrode, Westphalia, Germany, and died on 24 MAR 1900 in Warren Twp., Macomb Co., MI. Anton married Elizabeth GÖBEL, who was born on 08 APR 1829 in Germany, emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1853, and died on 21 MAR 1917 in Warren Twp. Macomb Co., MI. Both are buried in the St. Clement Cemetery in Center Line, Macomb Co., MI.

According to the Rinke Family History, Elizabeth came from a large family in Germany. Her family faced such difficult times that they sent Elizabeth to America with strangers when she was about 12 years old. The journey supposedly took about three months to complete. However, the 1910 U.S. Census records indicate Elizabeth GÖBEL emigrated to the U.S. in 1853, when she would have been 24 years old. St. Clement Parish Baptismal records indicate that a Francis GÖBEL was Catherine GROBBEL's Godfather, so apparently others in her family may also have come to Michigan.

The children of Anton and Elizabeth GROBBEL
15 were all born in Warren Twp., Macomb Co., MI.:
1. Elizabeth Grobbel16 - b. 08 OCT 1856, m. Jacob SCHLAÜT, d. 25 SEP 1934
2. Elizabeth Grobbel16 - b. 02 SEP 1857, d. 2 SEP 1857
3. Marie Elizabeth "Mary Ann" Grobbel16 - b. 31 MAY 1859, m. Frank LANGE, d. unknown
4. Catherine Mary Grobbel16 - b. 07 OCT 1860, m. Bernard SCHNÖBELE (Schnoblen), d. about 26 JAN 1930
5. Marie Therese Grobbel16 - b. 16 FEB 1863, d. 29 MAY 1864
6. Anthony John Frank Grobbel16 - b. 30 OCT 1865, m. Mary MINICK, d. 12 MAR 1942
7. Bernard John Grobbel16 - b. 17 SEP 1867, m. Catherine OHLERT, d. 04 MAR 1954
8. Frances Mathilda Grobbel16 - b. 20 OCT 1869, m. Anthony MINICK, d. 1905
9. Joseph Grobbel16 - b. 8 MAY 1873, unm., d. 8 MAR 1954

The St. Clement Parish records are the source for most of the children in the above list, except for Elizabeth (b. 1856) and the name "Mary Ann", whose source is John Schlaud, of Grand Blanc, MI.. The Rinke Family History lists six children: Catherine, Elizabeth, Anthony, Bernard, Joseph and Mary. It provides dates only for Anthony, Bernard and Joseph (it credits cousins, obituaries and gravestones as the sources). It also indicates marriages for Elizabeth (husband's last name Jasper) and Mary (husband's last name Jostock). However, the St. Clement Parish records indicate no baptism for an Elizabeth, only a burial on 02 SEP 1857 with the handwritten Latin phrase "aetatis (of age) aligust momentorum (lived for a moment?)". The St. Clement Parish records also indicate that an Elizabeth Grobbel married Jacob "Schlaüt" and are the source for the birth dates for all of the children shown above except Elizabeth (b. 1856). The 1860 U.S. Census adds to the confusion because it lists an Elizabeth (b.1857) and Mary (b. 1859) by name and birth year. My conclusions are that the St. Clement Parish and John Schlaud records provide more accurate documentation and that the Census information on Elizabeth's birth year may have been given in error

The 1880 U.S. Census records show Catherine, Anthony, Bernard, Frances and Joseph as living at home and gave their ages as of 01 JUN 1880. The 1900 U.S. Census indicated (6) living children at that time from a total of (9). The 1910 U.S. Census indicated that they had (5) living children from a total of (7). From this, one could conclude that the information from the 1900 U.S. Census indicating a total of (9) live births was correct if Mary Ann died between 1888 and 1900, and that the 1910 U.S. Census should have read (5) of (9) children living.


John GROBBEL15 was born on 21 OCT 1825 in Cobbenrode, Westphalia, Germany, and died on 31 JAN 1870 in Hamtramck, Wayne Co., MI. at age 43, according to a 1963 copy of his death certificate. St. Clement Parish records indicate he was buried on 02 FEB 1870. On 28 JAN 1864 in St. Clement's church, he married Mary Anna WARNER. She was born on 08 MAR 1844 in Pennsylvania (perhaps Philadelphia); the Rinke Family History gives her birthdate as 08 MAR 1841, however the correct year was 1844 based on the St. Clement Parish Marriage records that give her ages as 19 and 27 years old at the time of her two marriages. Mary died on 11 JAN 1916 in Warren Twp. Macomb Co., MI. (the same day as the wedding of her granddaughter Catherine Ann GROBBEL17 to Peter BURG). Both John and Mary are buried in the St. Clement Cemetery in Center Line, Macomb Co., MI.

John and Mary GROBBEL
15 had four children:
1. Anna Victoria Grobbel
16 - b. 13 NOV 1864, m. William DEGRANDCHAMP, d. 20 MAR 1955
2. Ferdinand Grobbel
16 - b. 13 MAR 1866, m. Apollonia WIEGAND, d. 21 FEB 1919
3. John Anthony Grobbel
16 - b. 15 OCT 1867, m. Elizabeth ELLIOT, d. 10 MAR 1911
4. Josephine Magdalene Grobbel
16 - b. 01 AUG 1869, m. Frank LINTO, d. 15 MAR 1925

After Anna's birth in Warren Twp., Macomb Co., MI, John moved his young family to Hancock, Houghton Co., MI so he could work in the copper mines. It was during this period that Ferdinand was born. Mary was desperately lonely and little Anna's health was poor, so the family returned to their farm in Warren Twp., Macomb Co., MI, where John and Josephine were born.

In January 1870, John was clearing his land of timber and hauling the cordwood into Detroit to be sold for fuel. At the intersection of Harper and St. Cyril, the wood extending out from his wagon became entangled with a hay wagon driven by a man named Engleman from Center Line, MI, and John was killed in the resulting crash. [Item from the Detroit Free Press, Tues. Nov. 16, 1869: "Exhilarating - a walk out on the Gratiot Road in the morning and meeting a hundred loads of wood and fifty tons of hay coming to market, gives a grand idea of the great city and its powers of consumption."]

Mary was left with four small children and a farm with only a small portion of the wooded acreage cleared. There was no way for her to earn a living, especially with four babies to care for. The only thing a woman in her situation could do was to marry again, which she did within a year. On 09 JUNE 1871, she married Joseph RINKE, a bachelor six years younger than herself. Although the marriage proved congenial, she felt that it had been wrong to load her troubles onto so young a man, and this bothered her all the rest of her life. Some time after she had married Joseph, she received a settlement from Mr. Engleman. Catherine "Kate" GROBBEL
17 Burg thought that the amount she received was two thousand dollars, but Hugo RINKE insisted that it was only five hundred dollars. Either amount would have been a substantial sum at a time when wages were typically less than two dollars per week!


Daniel GROBBEL15, who was the youngest of these three brothers, was born on 03 DEC 1836 in Cobbenrode, Westphalia, Germany. Daniel married Elisabeth TRINKAUS (also spelled TRINKHAUS and DRINKAUS) on 02 Sep 1862 at St. Joseph Parish, Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan. They had the following children, all born in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan and baptized at St. Joseph Parish:

1. Margaret Catherine "Maggie" GROBBEL16 - b. 13 JUN 1863, d. unknown
Phillip Richard GROBBEL16 - b. 15 JUL 1865, d. unknown
Elizabeth Josephine GROBBEL16 - b. 09 MAR 1867, d. unknown
George Daniel GROBBEL16 - b. 22 JUN 1870, d. unknown
Daniel Cornelius GROBBEL16 - b. 18 NOV 1871, d. unknown
Wilhelm S. "William" GROBBEL16 - b. 03 JAN 1874, d. 08 DEC 1899
Silvester GROBBEL16 - b. 10 MAY 1876, d. 02 JUL 1876
Elisabeth Cecilia GROBBEL16 - b. 08 JUL 1879, d. unknown
Clara GROBBEL16 - b. 03 NOV 1880, d. unknown
Phillip Franz GROBBEL16 - b. 31 JUL 1883, d. unknown
Rosalia Frances GROBBEL16 - b. 31 JUL 1883, d. unknown
Henry Raymond GROBBEL16 - b. 20 JUL 1885, d. unknown
Mathilda L. GROBBEL16 - b. 18 AUG 1888, d. unknown

Two additional children are listed in the Rinke Family History:

14. Edward J. GROBBEL16 - b. unknown, d. unknown
15. John S. GROBBEL
16 - b. unknown, d. unknown

According to the Rinke Family History, after emigrating to the U.S.A., the elder Daniel operated a combination Grocery and Meat Market at 413 Chene St., in Detroit (not to be confused with "E.W. Grobbel Sons Inc.", a wholesale meat supplier that still operates today in Detroit's Eastern Market, which was founded by Daniel's first cousin once removed, W. Emil GROBBEL16 ). According to Julia DeGrandchamp17 in the Rinke Family History, her great-uncle Daniel had a large family. She thought that there were twelve or thirteen children, and that he had a long life but mourned the fact that he had no grandchildren. If this is true, then it is likely that there are no living descendants of this branch of the Grobbel family. A Detroit Directory from the late 1890's listed the following six children living at the Chene St. address:

1. Dan C. Grobbel
16 Jr. - a lawyer with offices in the Hammond Building and later the Buhl Building; he was a Detroit City Assessor and in 1928 he was the Secretary of the Board of Commissioners for the Detroit Water Department. His name is on the brass dedication plaques at the Detroit Water Board Building, the Detroit Springwells Water Treatment Plant and the Water Intake Screening Structure at the head of Belle Isle (Water Board information source: Mark Edward Grobbel19 ).
2. Elizabeth Grobbel
16 - a school principal.
3. Maggie (?) Grobbel
4. John S. Grobbel16 - a student in 1893.
5. William S. Grobbel
16 - a bookkeeper for the Peter Koenig Coal Company; d. 08 DEC 1899 at age 25.
6. Edward J. Grobbel
16 - a clerk.

Also according to the Rinke Family History, two other Grobbels that might belong to the Daniel GROBBEL15 family are:
1. Anna Grobbel - m. Louis Rinke (son of Carl Rinke)
2. Gertrude Grobbel - m. a man named Rehms; according to descendants of Carl Rinke, she was Anna's sister.


Emil and Joseph GROBBEL16

About 25 years after Anton, John and Daniel GROBBEL15 left Germany for Michigan, their first cousins once removed, Emil and Joseph GROBBEL16 , followed their lead and came to the U.S.A. in 1879. Emil and Joseph were the great-great grandsons of J. Heinrich GROBBEL12 , and the sons of Joseph GROBBEL15 and Walburga HENRICHS of Obringhausen, Westphalia, Germany. Their brother Franz and sister Bertha also emigrated to the U.S.A., but eventually returned to Germany to rejoin their other brothers and sisters who remained behind. Bertha would also make two other trips to the U.S.A., but returned home each time. Franz was the firstborn of Joseph and Walburga Grobbel's 14 children, while Bertha was eighth in the birth order.

For the Rinke Family History in 1966, Miss Edith Grobbel stated that she, Emil and Joseph were related to Daniel GROBBEL
15 , but that she had never heard of Dan's brothers Anton and John (who lived out in the countryside of Warren Twp., unlike Dan who lived nearby in Detroit).

16 was born on 08 SEP 1852 in Obringhausen, Westphalia, Germany, and died on 18 FEB 1939, probably in Detroit, Wayne Co., MI. German genealogy records indicate that he was christened "Wilhelm Emil Grobbel", but he apparently perferred to be called Emil and used Wilhelm as his middle name. He was the seventh child of Joseph and Walburga Grobbel. He married Elizabeth CAMPEAU, who was born on 27 AUG 1862 and died in DEC 1955. She was the daughter of Sam and Mary Campeau.

In 1883, Emil began operating a meat market stall in the old Cadillac Square Market at 1 Central Market in Detroit. Several moves later, his business is still operating today as a wholesale deli meat supplier in Detroit's Eastern Market under the name E.W. Grobbel & Sons, Inc. at 2500 Orleans St., near the corner of Adelaide Street. Their company is "America's Oldest Corned Beef Specialist".
Click here to view the company's history on their corporate website.

Elizabeth was remembered as a "tough, sharp matriarch of the clan" who "didn't miss a thing" and who "ruled the Grobbels". She and Emil had 7 children:
1. Edith Grobbel17 b. 1886, d. 1974
2. Bertha Grobbel17 b. 09 SEP 1888, m. William SCHULTE, d. 09 APR 1968
3. Florence Grobbel17 b. 1889, m. Morton CHARBENEAU, d. unknown
4. Irene Grobbel17 b. 28 MAY 1893, m. Daniel BEAUFAIT, d. 02 MAR 1969
5. Emil L. Grobbel17 b.16 JUL 1895, m. Margaret (unknown), d. 10 NOV 1985
6. Cyril Anthony Grobbel17 b.1897, m. Margaret F. FITZPATRICK, d. unknown
7. Leo Bernard Grobbel17 b.14 JAN 1902, m. Mary Margaret "Mae" JOHANNES, d. 31 MAY 1969

16 (b. 18 JAN 1856 in Obringhausen, Westphalia, Germany, d. 1923 in Detroit, Wayne Co. MI) was the ninth child of Joseph and Walburga Grobbel. He was an Upholsterer, who resided both on St. Joseph and Canfield Avenues in Detroit. His wife was Helen Lathen, who was born on 11 JAN 1861 in Bonn, Germany and died on 20 MAY 1940 in Detroit. Old Detroit business directories indicate that in 1887 he was an umbrella maker for the C. Lingeman Co. After 1891, he was doing business as "Keves & Grobbel". 6 Joseph and Helen had six children:
1. Joseph Grobbel17
2. Helen (Helene) Grobbel17, m. Ben BICK
3. Alfreda (Elfriede) Grobbel17, m. Harold CORSON
4. Josephine Grobbel17, m. Luke LUCHETTI
5. Wilma (Willima) Grobbel17
6. Anthony (Anton) Bernard Grobbel17, b. 12 APR 1890, m. Mary Anna PETRIK, d. 08 MAY 1940


Another Grobbel who was also a great-great grandson of J. Heinrich GROBBEL12 , also emigrated to the U.S.A. and eventually found his way to Detroit in 1884. Anton "Anthony" GROBBEL16 , the son of John Jacob Anton GROBBEL15 and Anna.Maria Elizabeth STILPER, was born on 02 JUN 1851, in Lenne, Westphalia, Germany, and died 09 OCT 1926 in Detroit, MI. He married Elizabeth SCHÄFER in Lancaster, New York. Elizabeth was born 11 OCT 1859 to Franz SCHÄFER and Margarete SASSE in Lenne, Westphalia, Germany, and died on 27 JAN 1918 in Detroit, Wayne Co., MI. Anthony and Elizabeth moved to Detroit in 1884 when their son Albert was 5 weeks old, and resided for many years on Meldrum Ave. Anthony worked as a grinder and polisher for the Detroit Edge Tool Co. As far as is known, Anthony had only two siblings, a brother named Frank and a sister who apparently died at a young age.

Anthony and Elizabeth had seven children, and along the way, at least one of their children dropped a "b" from their last name.

1. Albert Anthony GROBEL
17 , born on 20 August 1884 in Lancaster, NY; married Mary Anderson (born in Rosseau, Muskoka Co., Ontario, Canada to Alexander and Julia Anderson). Albert Grobel said in 1967 that he remembered going with his father, Anthony Grobbel, to visit Emil Grobbel at his Market. Emil and Anthony would try to thrash out their relationship, but always ended up resolving it to be "about 42nd cousins" (they were actually 3rd cousins). Albert and Mary had three children: Elva T. Grobel (b: 1918), Norman A. Grobel (b: 1921, unmarried) and Vera Ann Grobel (b: 1929).
2. Florence Johanna GROBBEL
17 (b: 14 March 1886 in Detroit, MI, d: 20 February 1959), married Francis J. Muer, Sr. (b: 29 August 1886, d: 27 April 1939).
17 (b: 27 June 1888 in Detroit, MI, d: 04 August 1950), married Andrew Kelly (b: 27 November 1885, d: 16 April 1961).
4. Leo Frank GROBBEL
17 (b: 21 March 1890 in Detroit, MI, d: 09 April 1952), married Maude (unk), moved to St. Paul, MN.
5. Josephine GROBBEL
17 (b: 10 August 1891 in Detroit, MI, d: 15 November 1957 from a heart attack in Detroit, MI), married Harvey J. Dumon (b: 09 January 1886, d: 1951 from cancer). They had two sons, James Dumon and Harvey "Bud" Dumon, who married Clair Stenger (d: 1961). (Their children are Jerry Dumon and Mary Jo Dumon. After the death of Clair, Harvey "Bud" Dumon married Joan Hayden in October 1962). The Rinke Family History noted that James, Harvey and the sons of Josephine Mary (GROBBEL16) Linto (daughter of John GROBBEL15): "look enough alike to be of the same family".
6. Caroline GROBBEL
17 (b: 18 March 1898 in Detroit, MI, d: 1919, unmarried)
7. Lillian GROBBEL
17 (b: May 1902 in Detroit, MI) married Vincent G. Rogers (b: 28 December 1896, d: 13 December 1953).

Peter Anton GROBBEL17

Peter Anton GROBBEL17 was born on 12 June 1873 in Milchenbach, Westphalia, Prussia (Germany). He was the son of Johan Caspar GROBBEL and Elisabeth TRÖSTER. From 1893 through 1905, he attended various colleges in Germany Italy and Switzerland in preparation for the priesthood. Upon his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest in July 1905, he was sent to the U.S.A. and in November 1905 he began serving as the Assistant Pastor of St. Michael's Parish in Spalding, Nebraska. Read his full story here.

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