America 1860 - 1900

Much research has yet to be carried out both with our cousins in the USA and in Germany, following which it is hoped that some detailed genealogical facts will be published. Until then, here is an extract from some notes written by one of the Jents/Yents in America some time ago.

Yents/Jents/Ients in the USA

The Yent girls came to the US around 1890, after the death of their father Philipp of pneumonia and their mother soon after. They were put in the charge of a guardian who housed them in an unheated attic for the first six months, while he presumably took care of their assets. He got them onto a ship when there was no money left except for their passage, and he couldn't get any more from them for room and board. At least that was the story I heard. He wouldn't allow Anna and Mathilda to take their dolls, which he claimed would not be allowed on the ship. Besides, he had children who could use them.

At the time of departure, Pauline was 19, Mary 17, Lina 15, Anna 13 and Mathilda 11. They stayed for two weeks with a cousin in New York and then went on the train accompanied by this cousin, and I don't know who she was, to Ohio, to live at least temporarily with the Keyerleber cousins in the little house on Chardon Road.

The Yent girls

4 of the 5 Jent girls who were taken to the USA in the 1880s: Mathilda, Anna, Lina & Pauline. Taken in the 1950s.

Here is another photo of the Jent sisters taken in Mentor, Ohio. Taken possibly in the 1930s/40s:

The 5 Jent sisters who went to the USA in the 19th century
From left to right: Mathilda, Anna, Lina (Caroline), Mary (Maria), Pauline. This photo was taken in Mentor, Ohio, in about 1940. 

5 Ient SistersIn this picture (taken in the 1930s?) we have (L to R):

Back Row:
Lina, Pauline, Mathilda, Mary, Mrs Finkomien (not sure of the spelling), Anna

Front Row (young people):
Florence, Hilda, Walter, Edward, Ben, Edna (at this stage we don't know what there full names are)

Here is the reverse:
Ient Sisters - Names

A brief history of the early years of the Jent sisters:

After the sisters' parents died, the State (in Germany) appointed a guardian who claimed that there was no money in the estate, only enough to send the five sisters to the USA. They emigrated to Euclid, Ohio, USA to live with Keyerleber cousins who ran a grape vineyard. They arrived in Ohio in the winter, and for a short while attended school to learn English, after this, the girls were placed in housework jobs.

Pauline Jent (1871 – 1957)
She married her first cousin Paul Keyerleber in 1922.

Mathilda Frieda Jent (1880 – 1964)
At the end of their first summer in Ohio, Mathilda was sent to work for their aunt, Mrs Pauline Ott, who lived in Galion, Ohio, about 100 miles away. Mathilda and Ed lived in Chardon Road, Euclid, Ohio, until Ed died. Then Mathilda sold the farm and moved to Painesville.

Caroline Jent  (1875 – 1960)
Also known as Lina. Lina married her first cousin, August Keyerleber. August was a house builder and Lina helped him with his work, doing all the painting on the properties he built. Lina was also an accomplished dressmaker.

Maria Jent (1873 - ?)
Also called Mary. According to Keyerleber family history, Maria (Mary) was outstanding for her kindness and devotion to her sisters and for her ability to laugh her way through a life that was not very funny. Anecdotal evidence from Ellen Moore has it that it was Mary who kept her sisters alive onboard the ship from Germany to America, by making friends with upper class passengers so that she could sneak the food they gave her to her seasick sisters. Mary had 5 children. She may also have had two further children who died as babies. She named one daughter after her mother.

Anna Phillipina Jent (1877 – 1958)
Anna was given the jobs of going in early to build the fire, a frightening task for her. She didn't know how to light a fire and was afraid of the dark. (She was, apparently, afraid of many things, including black cats and singing before breakfast.) An older boy in the school, Wilbur Sorter, came to her aid and helped her with the fire until she learned how to manage herself.

The following summer Anna was placed into a housework job with the Gallop family.  She was only 14 years old and did not speak much English.

The above information is taken from a letter written by Ellen Moore, October 1990.

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