Contributed by: William Brackett

The family name of Sauerbier seems to be of German origins. It translates literally as sour-beer. It is found in the records as Sourbier, Saurbier, Sauerbier, Sourbeer and a derivative is thought to be Sorber.

The 1870 census of Berrien County, Michigan includes the following:

In Royalton Township:

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.

The 1880 census of Royalton Township includes the following:

Christopher Sauerbier 70 yrs. old b. Saxe Gotha Coburg Retired Farmer

Hannah Sauerbier 69 yrs. old b. Saxe Gotha Coburg Keeping house

William Sauerbier 27 yrs. old b. Saxe Gotha Coburg Farm laborer

Lottie Sauerbier 21 yrs. old b. Bavaria Keeping house

Mary Sauerbier 5 yrs. old b. Michigan At home

Frederick Sauerbier 3 yrs. old b. Michigan At home

Frederick Sauerbier 45 yrs. old b. Saxe Gotha Coburg Farmer

Mary Sauerbier 32 yrs. old b. Louisanna Keeping house

Frederick Sauerbier 16 yrs. old b. Michigan Farm laborer

Henrietta Sauerbier 13 yrs. old b. Michigan At home

Mary Sauerbier 11 yrs. old b. Michigan At home

Emma Sauerbier 8 yrs. old b. Michigan At home

Charles Sauerbier 5 yrs. old b. Michigan At home

Catherine Sauerbier 3 yrs. old b. Michigan At home

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.

From the records in Berrien County it appears that Christopher and Johanna (Neuring) Sauerbier had at least five children:

Frederick Sauerbier b. 1834 in Prussia

Dorothea Elizabeth Sauerbier b. 1837 in Saxony

Edward Sauerbier b. 1848 in Prussia

Charles Sauerbier b. 1851

William Sauerbier b. 1853 in Saxe Gotha Coburg

There is a marriage record for a William Sauerbier who married Charlotte Chandler on 26 Oct 1874. He was 21 years of age and was born in Buffalo, New York. Towanada, New York is just north of Buffalo. Charles’s marriage record also indicates he was born in Buffalo. This may indicate where this family was before coming to Michigan.

Dorothea Elizabeth Sauerbier married Charles Lucker probably in New York State, possibly in Erie County near Towanada/Buffalo.

This Christopher Sauerbier is probably the same as Christoph Friedrich Wilhelm Sauerbier who was born on 05 Oct 1810 in Hohenbergen, Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha. Sachsen and Saxe are derivatives of Saxony. This area was part of Prussia before it became part of Germany.

Christoph Friedrich Wilhelm Sauerbier was the son of Johann Gottfried Sauerbier and Maria Elisabetha (Alban) Sauerbier. Johann and Maria had at least two sons, one being Christoph and the other being Balthasar Christoph Sauerbier who was born on 17 Apr 1812. Johann G. Sauerbier was born on 26 Mar 1786 and died on 10 Jun 1854 in Hohenbergen. Marie Elizabeth Alban was born on 30 Oct 1786 in Obermehler and died on 12 Dec 1813 in Hohenbergen. Johann and Marie married on 22 Nov 1807 in Hohenbergen.

Johann Gottfried Sauerbier was the son of Christoph and Martha Elizabeth (Kleinhardt) Sauerbier. Maria Elizabetha Alban was the daughter of Bernhard Christoph and Anna Marie (Stier) Alban. These families were all from Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha Thuringen.

There is a record, which indicates that Frederick B. Saurbier, son of Christopher and Johanna (Neuring) Saurbier was born in Tonawonda, which is in Erie County, New York. Other records indicate he was born in Germany. This may, however, be a clue as to where Charles Lucker met and married Dorothea Elizabeth Sourbier. Records indicate their first child was born in New York. Members of the Sauerbier family can also be found in the census of Cook County, Illinois in 1880. There was also a Christoph Sauerbier there and he may have been the brother (Balthasar Christoph Sauerbier) of the Christopher Sauerbier of Berrien County, Michigan.

No death record or burial site was found for either Christopher or Johann Sauerbier. There are several by this name buried in the Lakeview also known as the City Cemetery of St. Joseph. There are two grave marked just Mother and Father. The dates on these stones indicate Father 1830-1896 and Mother 1826-1892. These dates are too late to belong to Christopher and Johanna. Their son Charles is buried there and maybe the dates on these two stone were just estimates?

There are the following Sauerbier family members buried in the Lakeview Cemetery (aka City Cemetery) in St. Joseph, Michigan:

Bessie Saurbier b. 1890 d. 1973 wife of Harry

Charles. A. Saurbier b. 1852 d. 1923

(female) Saurbier b. 1826 d. 1892 “Mother”

Fred C. Saurbier b 1876 d. 1903

Harry H. Saurbier b. 04 Jul 1887 d. 15 Dec 1958 WWII vet.

Louis E. Sauerbier b. 1882 d. Sep 1931 buried 02 Oct 1931

Louise Sauerbier b. 1882 d. 1920

(male) Saurbier b. 1830 d. 1896 “Father”

Mary M. Sauerbier b. 1857 d. 1940

Mina Sauerbier b. 1899 d. 1959

Walt Sauerbier b. 1890 d. 1965

There are some by the Sauerbier name buried in the Crystal Springs Cemetery in Benton Harbor, Michigan. They appear to be descendants of Christopher and Johanna also.