Family Stories

Louise Fabry and August Abt – From Germany and Switzerland to Lincoln County

A year or so ago Ritchey and I visited three small cemeteries in Ottenheim, Kentucky.  Ottenheim is a small town in rural Lincoln County settled by German and Swiss immigrants.  There is the German Reform Church Cemetery, the Lutheran Church Cemetery and St. Sylvester Catholic Church Cemetery.  I believe at one time Ottenheim was a bustling little town and community, but today you could drive through without realizing you missed it!

Today I want to share with you information about the Abt family – August Abt and Louise Fabry – and some of the photos we took in St. Sylvester Cemetery.

At home, with a little research, I’ve found much more about this immigrants to Lincoln County.  Louise Fabry came from Germany with her parents and siblings in 1886, leaving from the port of Le Harve, France, on the steamship St. Laurent.  They arrived in New York on March 18, 1886.  Included in the family were the parents – Pierre, 50, and Madeline, 42.  The children were Michael, 17; Pierre, 11; Louise, 7; Emile, 3; and Marie, 1.  The family came to Kentucky and settled in the little town of Ottenheim.

According to the census records August Abt and his family came from the Aargau Canton, Rottenschwil, Switzerland, in 1884.  His parents, Leonz Plezidus Abt and Verena Huber, were both from the Aargau Canton of Switzerland – he from the town of Rottenschwil and she from Unterlunkhofen – about a twenty-five-minute walk from each other.  Leonz and Verena married February 15, 1863.  They had eight children – Kaspar, August, Maria, Joseph, Johann, Adolf, Anna and Joseph.

Louise Fabry married August Abt on September 27, 1899, in Lincoln County, at Oppenheim.  In the 1910 Census of Lincoln County August is 44, Louise is 33.  Children are Celia, 10; Elsie, 8; and Charles, 6.  Daughter Elfredia was born in 1912.

Louise Abt, May 24, 1878 – September 5, 1918, St. Sylvester Catholic Cemetery, Ottenheim, Lincoln County, Kentucky.

Unfortunately, a terrible accident took place on August 30, 1918.  Louise caught her fingers in the gear of a fruit press.  She died six days later of lock-jaw, a form of blood poisoning.  What a sorrow for the family.  Elfredia was only six.

Cecelia Abt, June 18, 1906 – November 3, 1923.

Daughter Cecelia died at the young age of of 23.  I believe there must be a mistake for her birth year on her gravestone.  She was ten in the 1910 census, and 19 in the 1920 census.  Cecelia must have been older than the seventeen years it shows on her stone.

August Abt, February 8, 1865 – September 11, 1844.

Four years later August Abt married Wilhelmine ‘Minnie’ Jedamzik.  She also had children from a previous marriage.  They lived happily together until August’s death on September 11, 1944.

1 reply »

  1. I very much enjoyed reading this history of the Apt family. Chances are more than likely that my ancestors crossed paths with them. My great grandparents, along with their 8 children, arrived in Ottenheim from Switzerland in 1885. My grandfather was the youngest at one year. The family history says they were sweet talked into buying some property in rural KY. On arriving there by train,fresh off the boat at Castle Garden,NY; they found the land unsuitable for farming. They endured a rough winter or two there, then moved to Northern KY. One of their sons, Joseph Elsener ,married into the Miller family. I have just acquired the book ” Lincoln County, Kentucky”. The book has clarified for me how my family wound up in KY. A Mister Ottenheim aggressively advertised and pursued German and Swiss immigrants who really had no particular destination in mind. I also suspect that the fact that there was a Catholic church (St. Sylvester) in Ottenheim sealed the deal.My goal is to find some document or info indicating their land purchase. Neither the Elsener or Miller families are represented in the book.

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