Born November 20, 1847 in Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany, Marie Lisette Witte joined her parents Anna Marie and Victor, baby sister Helen, and Anna Marie’s brother Ferdinand on their voyage to America in 1850. After many weeks aboard the Neptune with other German immigrants, the family at last arrived in Galveston on June 13, 1850.
Not much is known about Marie Lisette. Records show that she was baptized on December 11, 1847 in Hannover. The census records show her and Helen living with their parents and Ferdinand Hagedorn, though it mistakenly lists her as 3 years old (she was 2 years and 11 months). Marie Lisette, like Ferdinand, only appears on the 1850 census, indicating she died sometime between 1850 and 1860. Illness and accidents claimed the lives of so many pioneer children, and the nature of Marie Lisette’s demise has been lost to time. While reading through records on epidemics in Texas, I saw that Galveston was hit by a devastating wave of yellow fever in 1853, the same year Carl and Marie Louise Hagedorn arrived with their daughter. During this wave, 60 percent of the Galveston population fell ill and 10 percent died. Could it be possible that Carl and Marie Louise picked up the virus when they landed and brought it to the rest of the family in Winedale?
Marie Lisette Witte, who died sometime between the age of 2 and 12, is buried next to her uncle, Ferdinand Hagedorn, in the Jaeger Witte Cemetery.