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John H. Klein

Oct. 1828 to 12-30-1901






John H. Klein

(middle name Henry?)

came to the US about 1854, at age 26

(or so he told census takers) from Prussia.

 He and Christina are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Evergreen Park. There are five illegible tombstones beside theirs.

married c. 1855


Christina Alberg

2-29-1836 to 12-21-1919


all born in Chicago


 1859-Mary Klein Falkenthal

 1861-Anna Klein Wachdorf

 1863-Henry Klein


 1871-Christina Lehman

 1876-George Klein

 plus five who did not live


Catherine became

a nun of the

Poor Clare Colettine


Santa Barbara Mission



His parents:




Christina's parents:


Georg & Claudia Alberg


His grandparents:



The name was sometimes spelled Kline in the census.

Have been unable to track his immigration due to his common name.

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This information is condensed from the census (1860 onward), cemetery records, and death certificates.

John H. Klein (I'm betting that H. is for Henry) was born in Prussia in October 1828 and listed on the census that he came to the US in 1854, so at age 26, but listed in the 1892 voter registration that he came to the US in 1849, so at age 21. By the voter registration, he arrived in Illinois in 1854. If he was actually in the US from 1849, where he was in the missing 5 years between Germany and Illinois, I have no idea. In 1855 he married Christina Alberg (who had already been in the US for five years), probably in Chicago. By 1900 Christina was the mother of eleven children, but only six were alive. I'm guessing some of the mortalities occurred in the early years of their marriage, since in the 1860 census they list only one child, daughter Mary, one year old. Either they went five years childless, or the first children did not survive.

John spends his life listing his profession as day laborer or foundry hand, apparently finding plenty of work building Chicago from prairie to city, and then helping rebuild it after the fire in 1871. In 1860 his personal estate is $350. In 1870 it is $200, but his real estate is worth $1800. In 1900 he is at 5809 Princeton, and owns it (though he has a mortgage), with his son-in-law renting the other apartment in the building. Chicago underwent a street number re-label at some point, so 5809 may have changed to 5800, because after John's death, his son-in-law and his widow are at 5800 Princeton. That building, with its multiple flats, often had Wachdorfs in residence. Wonder if some relative remained the landlord.

By 1900 Christina is reporting that she has 11 kids but only 6 are alive. By the time her obituary is printed in 1919, the survivors are Mary (Falkenthal), Anna (Wachdorf), Christina (Lehman), Catherine, and George. Henry (Samuel) died in 1916 of tuberculosis so the other one who died must be Hanah/Harry. St. Mary's cemetery in Evergreen Park has a Heinrich Klein in lot N3 block 7 section C (same as John and Christina) who was interred 10-25-1889, with the notation that he was moved from St. Boniface cemetery. Unfortunately there is no legible stone or further information, but perhaps Hanah/Harry is Heinrich, in which case he was 20 when he died. On the other hand, Heinrich could have been John's father for all I know. Whoever Heinrich was, he's buried beside John and Christina, so he was kin. The Heinrich of St. Mary's is not Henry (Samuel), by the way, because St. Mary's also has both Heinrich and Henry (see below). 

John Klein died 12-30-1901 of cerebral apoplexy, according to his death certificate. Though John listed in the 1900 census that he was born in October of 1828, which agreed with the age he reported through the years, his death certificate for some reason says his age is 74 years, 3 months, which would put him born in Sept. 1826. Cemetery interment records, which might have settled matters, unfortunately list his age as 42. Perhaps some typist copied an old handwritten 72 as 42. 72 years would put him nicely back in 1828.

1860 census Chicago Ward 2, dwelling 1450, family 1784

John Kline, age 30, day laborer, personal estate value $350, born Prussia

Christine Kline, age 24, born Prussia

Mary Kline, age 1, born IL


1870 census Chicago Ward 8, dwelling 1247, family 2091

John Klein, age 42, foundry hand, real estate value $1800, personal estate 200, born Prussia

Christine Klein, age 34, keeping house, born Prussia

Mary Klein, age 11, at school, born IL (as are her siblings)

Anna Klein, age 9, at school

"Samuel" Klein, age 7, male, at school

Catherine Klein, age 3, at home

"Hanah" Klein, age 1, female


1880 census, Chicago District 66, Steward Avenue

John Kline, age 52, day laborer, born in Prussia of parents born in Prussia

wife Christina, age 44, keeping house, born in Prussia of parents born in Prussia

daughter Mary, age 21, milliner, born in IL (as are her siblings)

daughter Anna, age 19, at home

son Henry, age 17, wks in Saddlery (was Samuel in 1870)

daughter Katrina, age 13, at home

son Harry, age 11, at school (was female and Hanah in 1870)

daughter Christina, age 8, at school

son George, age 4


1892 Chicago voter registration

5800 Princeton (or 5890, third digit hard to read) John Klein, listing himself as resident of the precinct for 5 years, and of the state & county for 38, as German born but naturalized, with the date of his naturalization papers being 1849, but "court not known." In the 1900 census he lists his arrival year as 1854, but by this, that is only the year he arrived in Illinois (doing the math from 38 years in state on this registration). Where he was between US arrival in 1849 and Illinois arrival in 1854 I do not know.


1900 census, Chicago Ward 30 District 947 5809 Princeton (owns with mortgage)

John Klein, age 71, born Oct. 1828, married 45 yrs, immigrated 1854, naturalized, laborer

wife Christina, age 64, born Feb 1836, married 45 yrs, immigrated 1850, mother of 11, 6 of whom survive

Chas Falkenthal (head), age 41, born Sept 1858, married 6 yrs, born IL of German parents, gas machine maker

wife Mary, age 41, born Jan 1859, married 6 yrs, mother of three of whom 1 survives

daughter Coleta, age 2, born May 1898 IL

son George, age 15, born July 1884, born IL of parents born IL, at school

son John, age 12 born Sept 1887, IL, at school

son William, age 10, born Dec 1889, at school

(NOTE: John's daughter Mary wed widower Charles Falkenthal, gaining three stepsons)


Regarding 5800 Princeton/5809 Princeton/5890 Princeton--John and Christina appear to have arrived at that address or close to it by 1892 and stayed there, and then their daughter and son-in-law stayed there, and then various Wachdorfs rented it. 5800 Princeton was a four flat apartment building, and the shifting address number may have been because of the renumbering of the Chicago streets (I don't recall exactly when that happened) or because they only lived near it before actually buying it, but tracking the ownership papers of that building, if such a thing can be done, might prove worthwhile some day.