SURNAME : STODDARD
Stoddards- Early Puritan Settlers
Curtis Stoddard was my great-grandfather. He homesteaded in Dakota Territory in the late 1880's, but his family came from England to Wethersfield, Connecticut in the mid 1600's. Over the years, as the country grew, my Stoddard family migrated from Connecticut to Otselic, New York, where Curt's father was born; then to Goodhue County, Minnesota, where Curtis was born. When Dakota territory opened, the family moved again. Curt's father was Rev. Albin Stoddard, and his mother was Mary Cross- another family that dates back to the mid 1600's in America. Rev. Albin was a farmer, but also filled in as a preacher when ever needed, preaching in school houses, town halls and homes. I would like to credit Bernard Schleisman for all of the research he did on our family- most of the information and pictures were obtained through him.
Curtis and his brother George met the Fransen sisters- Maggie and Eliza, and soon they each married. George and Eliza in 1886 and Maggie and Curt two years later. Eliza and George's happiness was short-lived as she died in 1892 after bearing three children- Albin, Kate and Mary. Maggie and Curt also met with sadness as they lost their 5 year old daughter Eugenia to heart disease.
Eliza and Maggie Fransen immigrated from Schleswig-Holstein with their parents Henning Nickelas and Catherine Hembling Fransen in 1881, and settled in Grant County, South Dakota in 1882. The history of Schleswig Holstein involves a long and complicated struggle between Danish and German rule. Many young men left to avoid military service, and their families went with them. The website http://www.rootdigger.de/ is a good source of information on immigrants who left Schleswig-Holstein. It looks like Catherine's brother, Christian August Hembling, born 1855, was accused of illegal immigration, listed as not showing up for military service, and reported to be living in America in 1878.