The Leifeste Family Origins
Johann Heinrich Conrad Leiweste was born on July 12, 1782, in Broistedt, Province of Braunschweig, Germany.
On November 25, 1808, Johann Heinrich Conrad married Johanna Sophie Wöbekind in Broistedt. He had constructed a house in 1807. Over the door, he hung this inscription: "Was mein Gott will, geschehe allezit," J. H. K. Leiweste, translated, "What God wills, may it be done always."
Johann Heinrich Conrad and Johanna Sophie had eight children born to them, all in the family home. They were Heinrich Conrad 1810, Heinrich August 1812, Johann Heinrich Karl Christian 1814, Marie Christine Elisabeth 1817, Johann Heinrich Gottfried 1819, Johann Friedrich 1821, Sophie Christine Henriette 1824, and Johanna Marie Christine, who died at the age of six.
Soon after their eighth child was born, Johanna Sophie died. The date was July 4, 1827. Life now took on a different look for the entire family. The youngest child was nine months old, the oldest girl only two years old. With no one to take care of the child, Johann Heinrich Conrad needed another wife. He found Marie Karoline Dorothea Juliane Heike, who he married on November 30, 1827. Johann Heinrich Conrad and Marie K. D. J. had five children of their own in the next thirteen years. With a stepmother and a second set of children, the older children were being "pushed out the door".
In 1844, tales of the Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer in Texas began circulating in Germany. Dissatisfied men and women, eager to change their lives, eagerly listened to all the stories. They heard of the freedom, the opportunities, the free land and they signed contracts by the thousands. In the fall of 1845, Heinrich Gottfried, Johann Friedrich and Sophie Christine, all unmarried, were ready to depart Germany...