Joseph “Joe” Kram and Anna Margaretha Klüch/Klück/Glistch

Joseph and Margaretha Kram with family.

Joseph Kram was born March 12, 1854 in Ebersberg, Germany, and Anna Margaretha Klüch/Klück/Glistch was born January 13, 1860 in Eichenzell, Germany. Both municipalities were in the state of Hesse, located in the central part of the country. (Place of birth was given on the passenger list when the Kram family immigrated to America in 1888.)

Joseph “Joe” Kram
Margaret Kram

Joseph and Anna Margaretha married sometime before 1880. Between the years 1880 and 1888, they had five children – Anna Margaretha (1880), William Frederich (1882), Emil (1884), Carolina (1885) and Marie (1886). They were all born in Eichenzell.

During the 19th century, thousands of Germans left their homeland and came to America. However, the 1880’s was the decade of heaviest immigration when nearly 1.5 million Germans immigrated and settled in the United States. Joseph and Anna Margaretha Kram and their family were a part of the vast group. They departed from the Port of Bremen and arrived in the Port of New York, August 24, 1888. The name of the passenger ship was the Trave.

Passenger ship US Trave

By 1900, the Kram family was living in Lavaca County, Texas. The 1900 United States Federal Census lists Joseph, Anna Margaret and their ten children, so during the twelve years since their immigration, they had five more children. Added to the “fold” were Charles, Ida, Herman, Josipha and Christina. Anna indicates on the census record she had given birth to eleven children and ten were still living. The name of the deceased child was Emma who was born April 3, 1894 and died September 12, 1894.

Joseph and Margaret were still living in Lavaca County, Texas when the 1910 United States Federal Census was taken. As might be expected, the family had undergone some changes. Anna, William and Charles had married and established their own households. Another daughter, Louise, was born in 1901. Those children listed on the census were: Emil (25), Caroline (24), Marie (23), Ida (18), Herman (14), Josepha (13), Christina (12) and Louise (8). One interesting bit of information given on this census was language spoken. Margaret indicates she spoke German and all other family members spoke English.


In 1919, Joseph and Margaret decided to leave Texas and head west to California. We do not know if they lead the way or followed other family members in this decision to make this big move. Nevertheless, four of their older children also made the move.

The 1920 United States Federal Census was enumerated on February 20. Sadly, one month later on March 20, Joseph Kram died. The family lived in Woodland, Yolo, California. This must have been a devastating occurrence for his family, particularly for Margaret. Being new to the area, they probably had few acquaintances other than family. I was not surprised to find Margaret died about one and a half years later, December 8, 1921. Both were buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Yolo County, California. Joseph’s obituary in the Woodland Daily Democrat on March 6, 1920 and reads as follows:

 Joseph Kram, ten months a resident of this county and formerly a resident of Texas, died at noon today at his newly purchased home place three miles northwest of Woodland, at the age of 65 years. He is a native of Germany and leaves three sons, Emil, W.F., and Herman Kram, all of Woodland; and six daughters of whom Tena and Louise reside here and Mrs. Lena Ehlers, Mrs. Mary Koenning, Mrs. Ida Koenning and Mrs. Josie Behin reside in Texas. The Krellenberg Company has the case. There are no arrangements for the funeral.

Sources 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Web: California, Find A Grave Index, 1775-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Joseph Kram, death certificate number 1043, State of California, Department of Public Health, Sacramento, California.

Joseph Kram obituary, Woodland Daily Democrat, Woodland, California.

Margaret Kram, death certificate number 21-049958, State of California, Department of Public Health, Sacramento, California.

Norway Heritage Collection,

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft, 2015

Joseph Kram Family Group Sheet (click link) Joseph Kram FGS – Document