Anna Katharina was born on April 25, 1807 as the daugther of Johannes Steup and his wife Anna Elisabeth (nee Kleber) in Bach. Her father lived as farmer in Bach and her mother was the conjugal daughter of the Miller Henrich Kleber from the Mill in Fehl. In 1814 the family had to pay an extra war tax of 6 fl, 14 alb und 4 Pfg and in the year 1815 their residential house with barn had an value of 690 Gulden.
Anna Katharina married on November 8, 1829 Johann Henrich Hisgen, born on March 8, 1804 in Pfuhl. Their daughter was born on November 9, 1832 and only two year later her husband died on December 4, 1834 with the age of 30 years.
On September 24, 1837 she married a second time the on November 8, 1811 born Heinrich Ludwig Schneider from Langenbach near Kirburg. 1837 their eldest son Christian was born and 1840 Friedrich Wilhelm was following. 1842 their daughter Juliana was born.
Possibly of the bad economically situation the family decide to emigrate. Ludwig Schneider and family set sail from Antwerp, Belgium to the United States on September 25, 1845 on the ship “Washington”1), under the command of Captain Benson, and they arrived at Galveston on November 25, 1845. Their next destinaton was Fredericksburg, today Gillespie County.
Listed on the Ship Washington's manifest is Ludwig, Anna Katharina, Wilhelmina Hisgen (age 13) and their two children Christian (age 8), and Juliana (age 3). Friedrich Wilhelm (age 5) was not listed on the manifest which must have been an error because he was christened in Germany and arrived in Fredericksburg with the family. Juliana who was also christened in Germany, did not arrive in Fredericksburg, she must have died in Germany before sailing, on the ship, or soon after arriving on the shores of Texas.
Oral history from the Schneider family in Texas is that Anna was very ill on the ship and maybe even had a miscarriage and was very weak and frail upon arriving in Texas. According to the obituary of her daughter Wilhelmina Hisgen who was 13 when her mother died, Anna Katharina died upon arriving in Fredericksburg, Texas. She is believed to be buried in an unmarked grave in the Fredericksburg Cemetery.
The later part of 1846 Ludwig took his children on to settle in the frontier German settlement of Leiningen2) in Castell3) Texas.
When the German immigrants settled in Fredericksburg it was inhabited territory and there were no doctors. Hundreds of the weak and weary German settlers lost their lives to epidemics of malaria and cholera. So many died that the survivors could not make the coffins fast enough and many were simply wrapped in sailcloth and buried in unmarked graves in the old section of the "Der Stadt-Friedhof" Cemetery in Fredericksburg, and any early records they had kept were destroyed by a fire.
Ludwig Schneider settled in Castell in 1847 at a time when there was nothing but wilderness and Indians, and there he built the first known home in Llano County, a 2-room log cabin, for his family and helped pave the way for others to follow. Ludwig did not leave Castell as many did in those first years, and along with his oldest sons Christian and Wilhelm, did endure the hardships of life in a hostile frontier environment, and persevered through years of difficulty facing both the Indians and the outlaws. As many other pioneers, Ludwig took up arms and fought for his family, neighbors and Llano County, and he earned a reputation of stepping up where needed and promoting positive change. Depending on individual opinion, although maybe not as great as others, Ludwig Schneider’s “personal contributions” to Llano County began in 1847 and were honorable, consistent and noteworthy to say the least as were the contributions of each and every one of our courageous pioneer fathers and mothers!
One of the most undeniable pieces of documented early Llano County history is the 1880 “Pioneers of Llano County Texas” photo poster that was taken during a gathering at the Llano County Courthouse where each man gave the year of their settlement in Llano County and the year was documented under each of their photos. Ludwig Schneider and Heinrich Vasterling are pictured on the poster to be the first two men to settle in Llano County in 1847.
The following are a few of many documents that verify Ludwig Schneider’s residence in Llano County:
- 1855 Ludwig’s signature on the petition requesting the creation of Llano County
- 1857 Llano County election returns showing Ludwig Schneider elected as the first Justice of the Peace in Castell, Llano County District 4 and serving consecutively until 1865
- March 9, 1862 Llano County Court document showing Ludwig and 23 other Germans from Castell as the first men in Llano County to organize a Texas Ranger Company
- Muster Rolls showing Ludwig Schneider from Llano County as 1st Lieutenant in the Texas Rangers company and as Sergeant in the 3rd Frontier District, Texas State Troops
- 1890 Llano Commissioner’s Court records showing Ludwig Schneider and his son Christian Schneider sr. helping conduct the Llano County Election
- 1891 Ludwig Schneider’s signature on one of the Llano County petitions protesting portions of Llano County be detached to create a new county
In 1897 Ludwig Schneider traveled from his home in Castell to visit his daughter and family in Menard. While there he became seriously ill and died, and he was befittingly buried in the “Pioneer Rest Cemetery” in Menard, Texas. Because of transportation back then, it was very common to be buried in the place you died, which was not always the place you resided.
1) List of Ships from Europe to Galveston 1846-1874
2) named after Viktor August Graf zu Leiningen-Westerburg-Altleiningen, Founder of the "Mainzer Adelsverein"
3) named after Carl Friedrich Christian Graf zu Castell-Castell, Founder of the "Mainzer Adelsverein"