Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bitha Nickle became Beate Nichols Delang

Bitha Nickle (1826-1870), wife of Leberecht Delang

She was my father’s great grandmother.

To the best of my knowledge, no photograph of Beate exists today. Very little is known about her birth, life or death. A family Bible gives her name as Bitha Nickle. Bitha would be pronounced in German almost the same as Beate in English. It is Beate on her tombstone, so when she came to America, she probably Anglicized the spelling. My grandfather suggested that the name was used by some as a shortened version of Beatrice.

Family notes state that Beate was of the Amish faith. She was born in Prussia in 1826 and died in Iowa in 1870 at about the age of 44. Her death is said to have been caused by an “inflammation of the bowels” which is an old name for appendicitis. At least three of her grandchildren and one great grandchild had difficult appendectomies; her granddaughter Laura died after her surgery.

Beate shares a tombstone at Williamson Cemetery in Lee County, Iowa, with her husband Leberecht Delang whom she married before 1850, back in Prussia.

The family Bible shows the names of three of Beate’s children who died very young. A daughter Rose was born in 1854 and died the same year, in Prussia. The name Louise was inserted into the family Bible between two sons who survived—Charles (Carl/Karl) and Robert. Some family notes suggest that Carl might have been a twin, suggesting Louise as the twin. However, I  recently found the passenger records for when the family arrived in New York (April 15, 1857, on the ship Borussia). The ship’s manifest lists Louise as an infant, 4 months old. A son Gustave was born in Lee County, Iowa in 1860 but died prior to the Iowa state census taken in 1863. Daughter Maria (age 6) and son Carl (age 4) came to America with their parents.   A few months after the family’s arrival in America, my great-grandfather Robert was born, July 30, 1857, in Lee County, Iowa.  

The four surviving Delang children were:

Mary (Maria)                 1850-1930            married Charles Rothe

Charles (Carl/Karl)       1852-1934            married Sarah Foster

Robert                             1857-1931             married Pauline Altman

Pauline                           1868-1936            married Asa (Esop/Ace) Donnolly

I have a fork, a teaspoon, and a sugar spoon which belonged to Beate and Leberecht Delang, brought here from Germany. The fork has a wooden handle. I also have their set of glass salt and pepper shakers which I often use with my holiday family table settings -- the salt shaker is clear glass; the pepper is royal blue glass. 

--genieBev (genealogy Beverly)

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