Several years ago I found a book referenced on Rootsweb called Footprints of Five Generations by C. W. Schmidt. Subsequently, I found a real copy of this book in the Bellville, Texas library. This book has one passage that referenced the other possible father for my great-grandfather Charles Bastian. At this point, I will begin to refer to my great-grandfather as Charles (1875) because there are others with the same name, and I think it will be less confusing. This book was about early ancestors in New Ulm, Austin County, Texas with the primary source being the New Ulm Enterprise up to 1930. Charles (1875) was born in New Ulm according to the sources I have found so far, so this seemed like a possible lead.
The passage that references the possible lineage of Charles (1875) lists another Charles Bastian as a pioneer of New Ulm who settled the area prior to 1858, as well as the names of eight surviving children (all grown). The listed children are:
- Mrs. August Hoppe Sr.
- Adolf Bastian
- August Bastian
- Mrs. Antonia Bader
- Henry Bastian
- Charles Bastian (this is possibly my great-grandfather)
- Mrs. Gustav Kretzschmar
- Mrs. Charles W. Rau
Unfortunately, there is not a wife or mother listed in the book, nor is there any other information about the Bastian family that I could find. I did searches when I originally found this information back in 2008, but was not able to trace the children's names without any dates. So, this became a source that I go back to every so often in hopes of matching up the details to what little I know about my great-grandfather.
To coincide with the above mentioned source, I found a database entry for a declaration of intent and petition for naturalization/grant of citizenship for a Charles Bastian in 1852 and 1856 in Austin County, Texas. This immigrant lists Germany as his country of allegiance or birth. I have not yet received the documents, but that is next on my list to do (probably within the next couple of weeks). The timeline seems to match the Charles listed in the book, so I am reasonably certain they are the same.
The next source that comes into play is an index of early marriages in Austin County, Texas. This is where the line becomes a bit fuzzy and interesting at the same time. This index shows a Charles Bastian marrying Mrs. Fredericke K. Waige on 06 Jun 1858. Sounds great, right? A perfect match to the previous data? Well, the same index shows a Carl Bastian marrying Sophie Helms on 10 May 1874. I thought nothing of this until I found an entry for Carl Bastian on Find a Grave. According to the information posted by the creator of the memorial, Carl Bastian was married to Fredericke Krantzmann first and Sophia Helms second. The dates listed a very similar to those in the marriage index. Is it possible that Charles and Carl are the same person?
The next source I found last week is a Texas voters registration for 1867. This lists Charles Bastian in New Ulm. I do not see another Bastian on this register. I also found a couple of Bastians in the 1860 Census, but there are only first initials listed, so there is not much I can determine from those at this time.
My next step was to search message boards for anyone researching the same line. I did find a post about the same Carl Bastian, which references the first wife. This message, however, brings in the possibility that the family originated in Russia by listing Petersburg, Russia as Carl's birth place. His suggestion is that the family may have moved to Russia from Germany by way of Carl's father or grandfather being a conscript in the Napoleonic wars with Russia. I am working now to contact the person who posted this message to see if he has any more specific information, but since the message was posted over ten years ago, I am prepared not to receive a reply. I am also reading about another theory for why the family may have been in Russia: Volga Germans.
Anyway, the road is leading in some unexpected directions, but I am enjoying at least making some minimal progress. We shall see where it goes from here.
Link to Carl Bastian's cemetery: