My father is a Weisbeck, one of 7 children born to Katherine & Basilius Weisbeck who emigrated to the US - Meadow So Dakota - from Odessa Russia prior to 1907. Basilius was born in 1884 in Russia and died in 1927 in or near Meadow So. Dakota; Katherine (Geffery or Kefre) was born in 1885 and died in 1922 in or near Meadow SO Dakota. He died in a truck accident in 1927; she in childbirth in 1922. All of the live children born to Katherine and Basilius were born in Meadow between 1907 and 1920 with the exception of the last child born in 1922 resulting in Katherine's death (the baby taken in by a family friend died soon after). My father and his younger siblings were sent to St. Martin's Orphanage in Sturgis, where they stayed until adopted. One son, George was adopted by the Shrimp Family (Spelling ?) As far as we know BOTH Basilius and Katherine (Geffery or Kefre) were married in Russia and came here together prior to the birth of any children. Dad and his siblings were baptized in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Bison South Dakota. Dad was baptized March 23, 1919. Dad's sponsers/Godparents (who could have been family) were Martin Dillman and Ann Hulm. The family was German, the children spoke only German when their parents died.
My Dad was only 3 when his mother died; seven or eight when his father died. So all of our family history was lost. We don't even have a photo of the parents or any of his brothers or sisters as children. I have come to believe that my grandparents came to America and settled in that area of South Dakota because there were other family members already here or they came with other family members. There are many many Weisbeck's in the area of Southern North Dakota and North Central South Dakota - then Dakota Territory. Probably when Katherine and Basilius died they left behind such a large family and times were so tough that no other extended family could take in so many children. My Dad's adoptive Mother and Father took the youngest three from the orphanage and raised them. Eventually, she helped reunite all seven of the siblings. Only three are living now.
Basilius Weisbeck Born Odessa?? Russia 1884
Died Meadow SD? 1927
Katherine Geffery/Kefre Weisbeck (Basilius) Born Odessa ??Russia 1885
Died Meadow SD 1922
Katherine Weisbeck Olander (Delbert) Born 5/29/1907
Died Pittsburg CA
John Weisbeck Born Meadow SD 9/1/09 Died Eau Claire WI
Steve Weisbeck Born Meadow SD 8/16/1911 or 10/16/1912
Died 7/10/1973 Kentucky Wife Mary Francis
Mary Marian Weisbeck Anderson (Vernon) Born Meadow SD
12/5/1913 Died White Pigeon MI 8/11/1987
George Weisbeck Born Meadow SD 2/6/1918
Martin Weisbeck Everett Born Meadow SD 2/25/1919
Eva Weisbeck Sharpe (Del) Born Meadow SD 3/25/1920
We have always been haunted by our lack of family history. Several of my cousins and I keep trying to piece together bits and pieces. When we find Weisbecks we keep seeing a reoccurrence of the same "family" names recycled over and over. We know there are connections, we just can't find them. We were told that a family friend/the town mayor came in and "disposed" of the family belongings including a family Bible, by keeping anything of value and selling the rest. We also know they lived in a sod house so its unlikely they had much of real value except pictures, etc., that now would mean a lot. Dad was given aproximately $50 from the "estate". The names of a Pete Vetters and Pete and Mary Lockert and Sebastian Lockert are mentioned as family friends who kid know the family well enough to help obtain birth certificates for John and George Weisbeck (brothers of my father) in 1942. Also two schools were mentioned that Dad or the other children may have attended - Thompson's School or Meadow Central.
At one time some Weisbeck's from Canada knocked on my Aunt and Uncle's door - just looking for other Weisbeck's. They visited for a long time but couldn't define a direct family connection - except - the man, according to my aunt and uncle - was an EXACT reproduction of my Dad.
That is all I know about our family, except that there are a whole bunch of us "other" Weisbeck's out here who would dearly love to be able to call other Weisbeck's "cousin" or "family." So please keep in touch, maybe through asking lots of questions we can solve our family history.
PS I have run across a couple of Weisbecks who claim to have copies of a family tree. They've promised to send it but haven't done so. Please send me anything you find, I'd be very grateful.