by: William Brackett
The first Lucker families of Berrien County, Michigan appear to have been born in Saxony, Germany. Saxony was a province that became part of Germany. It was located on the eastern border near the center of the state and it bordered with Czechoslovakia. Saxony was taken over by Prussia before these provinces turned into the modern state of Germany. This region today is known as Sachsen.
From the 1860 census of Berrien County you can find that Charles and Elizabeth Lucker were living in St. Joseph with some of their children. They appear to have been in New York about 1854 as their oldest son was born there. This family name is also in the records of Berrien County as Looker and Luker. Living in St. Joseph, Michigan in 1860 were:
Charles Lucker 37 yrs. old b. Saxony, Germany
Elizabeth Lucker 23 yrs. old b. Saxony, Germany
Frederick Lucker 6 yrs. old b. New York
Augustus Lucker 4 yrs. old b. Michigan
John Lucker 5 months b. Michigan
From the 1870 census of Berrien County you can find that Charles and Elizabeth Looker were living in St. Joseph as was an August and Minnie Looker. August would appear to have been Charles’s younger brother. He and his wife were in New York about 1867 as their oldest daughter was born there. August and family came to Berrien County about 1868/69. Both these brothers and their wives were born in Saxony.
The 1870 census adds more details as well as family members both families were living in St. Joseph, Michigan:
Charles Looker 46 yrs. old b. Saxony Carpenter
Elizabeth Looker 38 yrs. old b. Saxony Keeps house
Frederick Looker 16 yrs. old b. New York
August Looker 13 yrs. old b. Michigan
John Looker 11 yrs. old b. Michigan
Eddie Looker 9 yrs. old b. Michigan
Willie Looker 7 yrs. old b. Michigan
Charles Looker 5 yrs. old b. Michigan
Louis Looker 1 yr. old b. Michigan
Nicholas Soergel 25 yrs. old b. Baden Minister
Note: Nicholas Soergel was a minister with the German Lutheran Trinity Church in St. Joseph. This would indicate the Lucker family was most likely also German Lutheran.
August Looker 39 yrs. old b. Baden in Planning Mill
Minnie Looker 29 yrs. old b. Baden Keeps house
Lina Looker 3 yrs. old b. New York
Albert Looker 1 yr. old b. Michigan
Antoine Looker 5 yrs. old b. New York
Note: Baden is apparently a mistake as the 1880 census reveals they were born in Saxony.
The 1880 census adds more details as well as family members both families were living in Lincoln Township of Berrien County, Michigan:
Charles Lucker 56 yrs. old b. Saxony Carpenter and Farmer
Elisabeth Lucker 44 yrs. old b. Saxony Keeping house
John Lucker 20 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Edward Lucker 17 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
William Lucker 15 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Charles Lucker 14 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Louis Lucker 12 yrs. old b. Michigan At Home
Louisa Lucker 9 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Mary Lucker 4 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
August Melchert 12 yrs. old b. Prussia Working out
August Lucker 45 yrs. old b. Saxony Works in Sash & Door Factory
Minnie Lucker 42 yrs. old b. Saxony Keeping house
Earnest Lucker 15 yrs. old b. Saxony At home
Lena Lucker 13 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Albert Lucker 11 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Matilda Lucker 9 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Minnie Lucker 6 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Robert Lucker 3 yrs. old b. Michigan At home
Emma Lucker 1 yr. old b. Michigan At home
From these records it appears that Charles and Elizabeth Lucker had at least nine children:
Frederick Lucker b. 1852 in New York
August Lucker b. 1857 in Michigan
John Lucker b. 1861 in Michigan
Edward Lucker b. 1861 in Michigan
William Carl Lucker b. 1863 in Michigan
Charles Lucker b. 1865 in Michigan
Louis Lucker b. 1869 in Michigan
Louisa Lucker b. 1871 in Michigan
Mary Lucker b. 1876 in Michigan
Note: Mary Lucker was born in Lincoln Township, Michigan on 24 Feb 1876 to Charles and Elizabeth Lucker.
William Carl Lucker who was born about 1863 married Carrie Josephine Upson and he died in November of 1919 in Fountain in Mason County, Michigan. Carrie remarried to Laurel Osborne.
Liber “C” of the Berrien County death records contains the death record for Charles Lucker. The record reads: # 803 date of death, Feb. 1, 1910 Lucker, Charles male white widower, 87 years 3 months and 16 days old died in St Joseph City of Cystin, born in Germany, occupation none, father’s name Frederick Lucker, mother’s name Sophia Martin, place of residence St Joseph, Mich., date of record Mar. 7, 1910. Charles Lucker would have been born on 16 Oct 1822 in Saxony.
Liber “B” of the Berrien County death records contains the death record for Elizabeth Lucker. Elizabeth’s first name appears to have been Dorothea. The record reads: # 161 date of death, Nov. 29, 1897 Dorothea E. Lucker female, white, married, 61 years and 9 days old, died in St. Joseph Township of Hemephli…, born in Saxony, Germany, occupation Housekeeper, father’s name Christopher Sourbier, mother’s name Johanna Neuring, place of residence Saxony, Germany. Dorothea Elizabeth Sourbier would have been born on November 20, 1836. I cannot read the last few letters of the cause of her death.
It was common practice for German families to name their children after Saints. Often the first name was for a Saint and was used in official records while they went by their second name. I have seen as many as five given names and many times the person would choose which one they went by and sometimes this changed from record to record. This makes tracking these German families very challenging.
Liber “B” of the Berrien County death records contains the death record for Edward Lucker. The record reads: # 509 date of death, Nov. 1, 1899 Edward Lucker male white married, 36 years old died in St. Joseph of Tuberculosis, born in Lincoln Township, Michigan, occupation Farmer, father’s name Chas. Lucker, mother’s name Dorothea Sauebrie, residence Lincoln Township. This record proves the Elizabeth Lucker’s first name was Dorothea. In this record her last name is spelled differently. The record of her death was probably provided by her husband and may be more accurate.
The Berrien County Directory and History, 1871, by Ed. B Cowles includes the following:
In St. Joseph Village,
Luker, August, home on State Street
Luker, Charles, cabinet maker, home on State Street
The Berrien County Directory, 1892, by R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers includes the following:
In St. Joseph,
Lucker, August, machine hand at W.A. Preston, residence east side of State Street 2 north of Jones Street.
Lucker, Brothers & Osborn, owned by William C. and Charles E. Lucker and Ernest L. Osborn, Fresh and Salt Meats, north side of Ship Street 4 east of State Street.
Note: Earnest L. Osborn was married Louisa Lucker on 19 Feb 1890 in Lincoln township, Charles and William’s sister.
Lucker, Charles E. residence west side of State Street 3 north of Market Street.
Lucker, Frederick C., meats, north east corner of Main Street and Pleasant, residence west side of Court Street near school house.
Lucker, John, teamster, W.A. Preston (teamsters drove a team of horses)
Lucker, Wm, drover, residence west side south Niles Avenue between Central and Winchester Avenues.
The 1910 Benton Harbor, St. Joseph and Niles Directory, by R. L. Polk & Co. includes the following:
In St. Joseph,
Lucker, Arthur H., driver for Richard Lucker, residence 910 Harrison Avenue
Lucker, Mrs. Bertha, stenographer for Cooper, Wells & Co. residence 610 Jones Street.
Lucker, Charles, boards at 808 Court Street (This is probably Charles Sr.)
Lucker, Charles E., carpenter contractor shop and residence 1723 Forres Avenue
Lucker, Edward, fisherman, boards at 1401 Morton Avenue
Lucker, Elizabeth, bookkeeper for F. C. Lucker, residence 519 Church Street
Lucker, Florina, boards at 808 Court Street
Lucker, Frederick C., proprietor of City Meat Market, 310 State Street, residence 808 Court Street
Lucker, Frederick G., meat cutter for F. C. Lucker, boards at 808 Court Street
Lucker, L. Benjamin, meat cutter for F. C. Lucker, residence 1401 Morton Avenue
Lucker, Richard, baker, 317 Main Street, residence 610 Jones Street
Lucker, Wm J., clerk for Freund Brothers, residence 813 Harrison
The interesting thing to note is that William C. Lucker was in business with his brother, Charles E. and borther-in-law, Ernest Osborn in 1892, selling fresh and salted meats. This is the William Carl Lucker who married Carrie Josephine Upson in Lincoln Township on 29 Aug 1886.
Dorothea Elizabeth (Sauerbier) Lucker’s parents and four of her brothers were also found to be in Berrien County.
The 1870 census includes the following:
Edward Sourbier 22 yrs. old b. Prussia Farm Laborer
Sarah Sourbier 21 yrs. old b. Michigan Keeps house
Amelia Sourbier 3 yrs. old b. Michigan
John Sourbier 1 yr. old b. Michigan
Christopher Sourbier 59 yrs. old b. Prussia Farmer
Hannah Sourbier 59 yrs. old b. Prussia Keeps house
Charles Sourbier 18 yrs. old b. Michigan Farm Laborer
William Sourbier 16 yrs old. b. Michigan Farm Laborer
Frederick Saurbier 36 yrs. old b. Bavaria Farmer
Mary Saurbier 23 yrs. old b. Michigan Keeps house
Frederick Saurbier 6 yrs. old b. Michigan
Henrietta Saurbier 3 yrs. old b. Michigan
Mary Saurbier 1 yr. old b. Michigan
In St. Joseph near the Lucker family:
Edward Saurbier 23 yrs. old b. Prussia Fisherman
Sarah Saurbier 21 yrs. old b. Michigan Keeps house
Amelia Saurbier 2 yrs. old b. Michigan
John Saurbier 6 months b. Michigan Note: (Born in Dec)
The reason Edward Sourbier is listed twice in the 1870 census is that on July 13th he was counted at his home and on July 26th he was counted with the household of William Manning where he was probably working as a farm hand. This name translates literally as Sour-beer and one can assume this family name derived from those who were associated with brewing.
There is a record, which indicates that Frederick B. Sauerbier, son of Christopher and Johanna (Neuring) Sauerbier was born in Tonawonda, which is in Erie County, New York. This may be where Charles Lucker met and married Dorothea Elizabeth Sauerbier. Records indicate their first child was born in New York?
Charles and Dorothea or Elizabeth Lucker are probably buried in the St. Joseph City Cemetery as are Nelson and Gates Upson although no record is found in those cemetery records. There are several descendants of August Lucker buried in the Lincoln Township Cemetery in Stevensville, Michigan.
There is a Naturalization Record on file in Berrien County for Ernest Lucker. Ernest was the son of August and Mary (Wachs) Lucker. This record gives further clues to locations in Germany as well as dates when August and Mary came to America. This record indicates: Ernest was born on 09 May 1865 in “Wymore” Germany. On the 17th of December of 1917, which is the date of this record, Ernest was described as white in color, 5 feet 10 inches in height, 170 pounds in weight, with brown hair and gray eyes. He states he immigrated via Hamburg, Germany aboard the ship “Amerika” and arrived in New York on the 10th of May 1867. Since he was only two at that time this information must have come from his parents. Wymore is probably Weimar, Germany. Weimer is in what was Saxony.
The 1887 plat map of Lincoln Township shows Charles Lucker in the southwest corner of section 13 and an A. Lucker in section 14 living next door to an L. Osborn and an A. G. Lucker in section 34.
The 1900 census of St. Joseph gives further clues to the immigration of Charles Lucker:
Fred. C. Luker b. Feb 1854, 46 yrs. old, born in New York Meat Cutter
Barbara Lucker b. Jan 1873, 27 yrs. old, born in Germany (Wife)
Hannah E. Lucker b. Apr 1880, 20 yrs. old, born in Michigan
Bennie W. Lucker b. Nov 1881, 18 yrs. old, born in Michigan Meat Cutter
Richard E. Lucker b. Jun 1883, 16 yrs. old, born in Michigan At School
Freddie G. Lucker b. Nov 1885, 14 yrs. old, born in Michigan At School
Arthur H. Lucker b. Mar 1887, 13 yrs. old, Born in Michigan At School
Florna Lucker b. Dec 1892, 7 yrs. old, born in Michigan At School
Ruth R. Lucker b. Nov 1894, 5 yrs old, born in Michigan
Barbara M. Lucker b. Mau 1898, 2 yrs. old, born in Michigan
Charley A Lucker b. Oct 1823, 76 yrs. old, born in Germany
Looking at the ages of these children it appears Fred had been married before he married Barbara Ruth. The last two children may have been Barbara’s.
After his wife died Charles Lucker was living with his son Frederck C. Lucker at 808 Court Street in St. Joseph. In this record Charles A. Lucker was 76 years of age being born in Oct of 1823 in Germany. His was recorded as a widower. The year he immigrated to the United States in 1849 and declared his citizenship in “Pa”, which could be Pennsylvania. He probably declared his allegiance at that time. According to his age he would have been 16 or 17 years old at the time of his immigration. It is possible he came with his parents, Frederick and Sophia (Martin) Lucker. This would also indicate Charles Lucker met and married Dorothea Elizabeth Suerbier in New York, possibly in Erie County.
1850 Census of Batavia, Genesee County, New York includes:
Chauncy Kirkham, age 57, Cabinet Maker, born in CT
Angelina, age 47, b. NY, wife
Chauncy, 26, Clerk, b. NY, son
Angela, 21, b. NY, dau
Lyman, 18, Printer, b. NY, son
and 3 other kids
Living with them:
Frederick Lansenberth, 23 Cabinet Maker, b. Germany
Charles Lucker, 27, Cabinet Maker, b. Germany
Oscar Letzner, 21, Cabinet Maker, b. Germany
Hannorah Roche, 23 of Ireland (probably a servant; she couldn't read or write)
Apparently after 1850 Charles moved on to Tonawonda in Erie county and then on to Berrien County, Michigan.