(Alternative spellings for this surname: Games, Garms, Gambers)

Joachim was born on 23 March 1797 and baptized in the Catholic church in Rees, Rhineland, Prussia, Germany, the son of Joannes Gamers and Maria Wanders.

On 26 June 1832, he married Ludovica Aloysia Bretheuer. She was the daughter of Wessel Bretheuer and Margretha [sic] Polte. Together they had five known children all christened: Johannes, on 3 July 1833; Maria, on 5 September 1835; Anna, on 14 May 1837; Johanna Ludovica Aloysia, on 16 October 1839; and Maria, on 1 May 1842. All were baptized at the Catholic church in Rees. Since there were two daughters named Maria, it is assumed that the first one died. Only Maria born in 1842 was shown on the emigration list.

This forty-eight-year-old day laborer must have anticipated a much brighter future for himself and his family when he left his home in Rees on the right bank of the lower Rhine for the United States in 1845. From the time of their arrival in the U.S. until 1850 nothing is known about them. However, the records of St. Joseph’s, a German Catholic church in St. Louis, Missouri, lists the death and burial of Aloysia, wife of Joachim “Garms” on 15 July 1850. Tragically, less than a week later, two of his daughters passed away on the same day, 21 July. Ten and a half-year-old Aloysia was buried the same day while thirteen-year-old Anna was buried the next day. The mother and two daughters were among the forty-seven who had died and were buried from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in July of that year. Although 1849 was the year of the cholera epidemic in St. Louis, one might conclude that it was still the cause of many of these deaths in 1850.

Joachim must have been devastated by this sudden loss of his wife and two of his daughters. Like many widows and widowers, he remarried shortly thereafter. On 1 October 1850, Joachim married Bartholomea Elizabeth Sadelar/Zadelaer, widow of Johann Verheyen, who had died on 14 August 1850. She had three young children (Herman, born 1842; Frederick, born 1844; and Margaret, born 1846) and was in need of a breadwinner.

Sadly, the tragedy in Joachim’s life was not over. On 5 March 1851, his son, Johannes, died with burial from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in St. Louis.

A happier event occurred on 2 June 1852, when Joachim’s wife, Bartholomea, gave birth to a daughter whom they named Aloysia, undoubtedly after his first wife and previous daughter.

The 1860 census shows him living with his wife Elizabeth and her children, Herman, Frederick, and their eight year old daughter, Aloysia, in the eighth ward of St. Louis. Interestingly, there is no occupation listed for Joachim but his step-son, Herman Verheyen, was listed as a laborer. Perhaps, at sixty-three years of age, Joachim was too old or disabled to work. Herman may have been the breadwinner of the family. On 7 March 1865, Joachim died with burial from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Submitted by Joe Armour
February 2019
© 2019, St. Louis Genealogical Society

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Last Modified: 17-May-2019 12:02