Our earliest mother in North America

All of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in your body comes from your mother, you get none from your father. You can study the genetics of mtDNA to learn how women create families that move around the world over the centuries. It is an entire field of study that I won’t discuss more in this post, but if you want details the haplogroup is H1e.

What I want to talk about is my immediate families oldest mother in North America; Christina Laib Hofer Engelhardt. She was my great-great-grandmother and is responsible for seven generations of my family in North America and for me, North Dakota. Daughter-Daughter is Christina Laib Hofer Engelhardt (1863-1934), Christina Hofer Bossert (1885-1956), Emma Bossert Dick (1913-1998), my mother, my sister, my nieces, and my grand-nieces. There are other families with female lines from her, contact me if you want details.

Christina was born in what is now Ukraine in a village known as Hoffnungsthal, Bessarabia. The current name of the village is Zebrykowe, Irynivka, Odes’ka, Ukraine. In Kloestitz, Bessarabia in 1882, she married Johann Hofer (1860-1904) and together they had twelve children, five who died in childhood. When Johann died, she married Rudolf Engelhardt, a widower with at least two children. In 1907 they traveled to McLean County, North Dakota.

She and her second husband are buried in Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in very rural McLean County, north of Garrison. The church is gone and all that remains are 61 gravesites.

If you are a Hofer or Laib from McLean or Sheridan counties in North Dakota, you are most likely related to her or her first husband. I think her oldest daughter was married in Bessarabia in 1903 and eventually ended up in Germany. The other children that lived ended up in North and South Dakota. The daughters married into families with the names of Bossert (two Hofer sisters married two Bossert brothers), Hofer (a distant cousin), Kleingartner, and Pankratz.

2 thoughts on “Our earliest mother in North America

  1. I to have a Bossert line going back to Hoffnungstal, Akkerman, Bessarabia and before that into the Glueckstal Colonies. My closest direct Bossert ancestor is my Great Grandmother Magdalena Bossert (1860-1936) who immigrated and settled in South Dakota with her husband. I do have a bit more back a couple of generations but thought you’d like to connect

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