American Dreams: Ancestors and Descendants of John Zimmermann and Eva Katherine Kellenbenz Who Were Married in Philadelphia in 1885


This book tells the story of John Zimmermann and Eva Katherine Kellenbenz and how they succeeded in their dreams in America. The story begins in the state of Württemberg, in southern Germany, where their ancestors had lived in small towns for more than 400 years. Both towns were a few miles east of Stuttgart, although the Kellenbenz and Zimmermann families did not know each other in Germany.

American Dreams is divided into three parts. Part I, with two chapters, is about the European origin of the families of John Zimmermann and Eva Katherine Kellenbenz. It begins with the background of the Germanic people, and it then focuses on the homeland of these two families in the Swabian Alb, now the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It traces the history of the Zimmermann and Kellenbenz families from the 1400s to the late 1800s, when John and Eva each decided, independently, to come to America. Part II continues with the story of John and Eva Katherine, who came separately to America, where they met and were married in Philadelphia. Part II also tells of the early lives of their seven children and recounts John Zimmermann’s remarkable success as an inventor of weaving and dyeing machines, as a businessman in the textile industry, and as a philanthropist and Mormon bishop. Part II ends with his death in 1936. Part III is divided into seven chapters, each of which is devoted to one of John and Eva Katherine’s seven children, and of their descendants. It follows the lives and careers of the descendants of John and Eva to the present time, including 190 of their descendants, and eighty of those who are known to be their spouses.

The lives of about 270 men, women and children are presented in either outline form or in biographies. The value of this work is enhanced by a wealth of photographs, a complete bibliography, a full-name index, and three appendices: Zimmermann Family Charts (bef 1642–2009), by Jean Hoxie Naples; John Zimmermann Family Timeline (1855–1978), by Jean Naples; and, Barbara S. Zimmermann, Mutterings (1969), excerpts.

George J. Hill, M.D., M.A., D.Litt.

2016, 8½x11, paper, index, 346 pp.

ISBN: 9780788457364