The Seibel Family is of German heritage, German their native language. They migrated to South Russia from Germany during the reign of Catherine the Great, who ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796. In 1783, Catherine annexed Crimea, and since she was originally a German princess, she sent a declaration to people in Germany offering them land in Crimea to any who wanted to start a new life. It is believed that between 1783 and 1796 this line of the Seibel Family migrated to Russia. It is believed that Konrad was born in Crimea and his father was the one who first migrated to Crimea. His name is unknown at this time.
Our knowledge of individual members of the Seibel's begin with Karl Seibel.
March 20, 1863 - June 17, 1949
Karl & Elizabeth Bechthold Seibel
Karl was born March 20, 1863 in the Colony of Temesch, Crimea, South Russia to Konrad and Elizabeth Baumbach Seibel. He was the youngest of seven children, brothers Heinrich, Conrad, George, Lenhart, Ludwig and Johannes, and sister Elizabeth.
Karl "chose" to marry Elizabeth Bechtold who lived in the Colony of Byten, about 30 miles from Demesch. Elizabeth's parents were Margaret Farber Bechthold and Heinrich Bechthold. Karl had become friends with Heinrich and Margaret before "choosing" Elizabeth to marry. At that time, most marriages were arranged between parents or matchmakers. It is not for certain whether Karl personally picked or was parentally planned, but the match was reported to the pastor of their church and announced in open church services three Sundays in succession before the wedding.
Elizabeth and Karl were married October 3, 1880. They lived in the colony of Temesch with Karl's father, Konrad, for another 13 years. During this time they had six children. They were:
Kathrine, b. February 2, 1883
Maria, b. March 29, 1885
Elizabeth, b. May 18, 1887
Konrad, who died in infancy
Karoline, b. January 16, 1891
Twin sister to Karoline who died at birth
In March of 1893, Karl and his family, including Karl's brothers Lenhart and Ludwig, immigrated from South Russia to the U.S. The first part of the journey was by way of wagon from Demesch to Byten. Then by train to Bremerhaven, Germany, a five day trip. They sat on their baggage in a box car.
On March 31 in Bremerhaven, Charlotte was born. This caused them to miss their boat and it was 11 days until another boat sailed. They lived in the ship company's lodging house until they sailed. The steamship agent was Fredrich Missler. They sailed on the steam ship "Maine", a trip that took 13 days. They landed in New York City, went through Ellis Island.
They immediately left by train for Wittenberg, Hutchinson County, South Dakota. The next spring, 1894, they boarded a train for Colorado looking for homestead land. They decided on 160 acres northwest of Burlington, Colorado. But due to adverse conditions they decided to return to South Dakota. This trip took 10 days to cover the 400 miles back to Wittenburg.
In March of 1895, they decided to return to Demesch, Russia. Instead of farming, Karl became a trader, trading farmer's produce and animals from Demesch to Sevastopol and bringing back seafood to Demesch. Three more children were born to Karl and Elizabeth: Lydia on March 3, 1896; Henry on January 24, 1899; and George on July 11, 1903.
In 1903, they decided to return to America. The Russo-Japanese War being a factor in the decision. They took the same route they took in 1893.
The Ship Manifest for the Main list them as:
Carl Seibel, male, age 40, married
Ethnicity, Russia/German from Tymysch, Tawrik
Elisabeth, female, age 39
Katarina, age 20
Elisabeth, age 16
Konrad, age 20
Georg, age 16
Karolina, age 13
Charlotte, age 9
Lidia, age 7
Heinrich, age 4
Georg, age 3 months
Built by Blohm & Voss Shipbuilders, Hamburg, Germany, 1900. 10067 gross tons; 520 (bp) feet long; 58 feet wide. Steam quadruple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 14.5 knots. 3451 passengers ( 369 first class, 217 second class, 2865 third class ). Built for North German Lloyd, German flag, in 1900 and named Main. Bremerhaven-New York service. Laid up at Antwerp 1914-18 owing to World War I. Transferred to British Government, British flag, in 1919. Transferred to French Line, French flag, in 1921. Scrapped in 1925.
The final destination was Sykeston, North Dakota where Karl's brother, Ludwig, lived. They moved to McClusky, North Dakota the next spring, remaining there until 1922.
In 1922, Karl and his son, George moved to Booker, Texas. Karl and George rented a farm for seven years, moved to Dalhart, and then decided to move back to Booker which became the family home. Karl died in Booker June 17, 1949 and Elizabeth March 12, 1942.
Further Reading on the Seibel Family
Schlichenmayer, M.J. Life History of the Karl Seibel Family 1863-1949.