My name is Clytee Kleager Gold, and I live in Utah, United States.
My great-great grandfather is Joseph Magnus Kleger. He was born 23 January 1816 in Kaltbrunn, SG to Peter Paul Kleger and Maria Barbara Fäh
Peter Paul Kleger's parents are Joseph Johann Georg Kleger and Maria Theresia Stoop of Kaltbrunn.
Joseph Magnus Kleger is on a ship passenger list as "Mang Kleger", departing from Le Havre, France and arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana on 26 October 1846, age 30 years old. The ship name was "Diana".
On 13 November 1846 "Joseph Kleger" appeared in the St. Louis (Missouri, USA) Court of Common Pleas. He declared that he was 26 years old, was a native of Switzerland, and was declaring his intent to become a citizen of the United States. He renounced his allegiance to "The Canton of Glarus". His signature on that document is an "X", he was illiterate, even in his native German, and signed all documents throughout his life with an "X".
Why Glarus and not St. Gallen, I don't know. Suzanne Peter-Kubli (who was the first to "find" my Joseph Magnus Kleger in the Kaltbrunn records) suggested that because Joseph Magnus was illiterate, he probably was poor and had not had any opportunity for an education, and that perhaps he had been working in one of the textile factories in Canton Glarus for several years before he emigrated, so declared he was from Glarus.
What I do know is that in 1848 his father Peter Paul Kleger died in Ludwigsburg, Wurttemberg. His death is recoded in both the parish records of Kaltbrunn AND in Ludwigsburg.
Two terms used in the Ludwigsburg death record are "Arbaither" and "Strafgefangener". The best translation I have received suggest he was a prisoner or laboring in a poor house/work house at the time of his death. Why was he is prison? Why was he in Ludwigsburg? I don't know, but would like to find out!
Perhaps he had been there for several years, and that may have something to do with why his son Joseph Magnus was on his own and perhaps laboring in a textile mill before he left for the United States? Joseph Magnus' mother died in 1839, so had been dead for some time.
JOSEPH MAGNUS KLEGER'S LIFE IN UNITED STATES:
On 8 September 1847 he enrolled in the United States Army to serve as a Private for the duration of the the War with Mexico. His assignment was to be a teamster in charge of driving a wagon and looking after some horses. He was injured during his service, dislocating his shoulder and suffering a "rupture". He was honorably discharged on 2 October 1848. In his pension application he declares he cannot read or write, and signed his name with an "X".
He married an Elizabeth Janne (who may have been from Switzerland) on 6 December 1848, and by 1850 had purchased 40 acres of land near Jeffriesburg, Franklin County, Missouri which he farmed. He had two children with Elizabeth: (my great grandfather) Joseph Kleager in 1850 and William M. Klaeger in 1854.
Elizabeth Janne died in 1856, and on 2 Jan 1857 Joseph Klaeger, a widower, married Josephine Klaeger (daughter of George Klaeger and Theresa Muller) in St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Washington, Franklin County, Missoui. Joseph Klaeger and Josephine Klaeger had to get a dispensation to marry because they were related by a "2nd degree relationship". I have not been able to find Josephine's birth record or how they were related. One U.S. census suggests she was from "Westemborg, Hannover, Prussia" and another that she was from Wuerttemberg, but I don't know what to make of that.
Joseph and Josephine had 5 children between 1858 and 1866: August, Terese, Crescentia, Paulina Clementina and Bernhard. Josephine died about 1876, Joseph in 1884. He lived his entire post-immigration life in Franklin County, Missouri.
In Missouri, Joseph's last name was spelled differently in various documents: Kleger, Klager, Klaeger and Kleager. Descendants of his son Joseph (my ancestor) have all spelled their name Kleager. Descendants of his son William seem to spell their name Klaeger.
I would love to hear from any other descendants of Joseph Magnus Kleger or Peter Paul Kleger, or any Klegers!! I enjoy exchanging information.
I also have a blog about my Kleager ancestors: http://www.Kleager-Klaeger-Klager.blogspot.com
that you would be welcome to visit also!