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Bittman, Philomena   (1841-1916)

Philomena Bastian was born November 25, 1841 in Michelbach, Baden. She was the fifth of nine children to Joannes Baptista (Johannes) Bittmann and Catharina Hertweck. At least two of her younger siblings died shortly after birth - but at least five married and raised families - four of them in the U.S. Philomena's father was married three times, and Catharina was his third and last wife. Philomena had six half-siblings through her father's previous marriages - five who were alive when she was born. Three of them emigrated and settled in New Orleans between 1852 and 1867. Philomena's father died in 1858, when she was 17. On January 11, 1864, Philomena married Bernhard Bittmann, and they had four children in Michelbach before emigrating. In 1865, her mother Catharina took four of Philomena's siblings and emigrated to the U.S on the ship "Borussia". All but one of her brothers settled in Wisconsin. Her brother Alois settled in Charlestown, Indiana by 1880. Magdalena, Philomena's fourth child, died when she was five months old, on December 5, 1870. Four months later, on April 15, 1871, Philomena and Bernhard emigrated with their family from Hamburg, Germany, on the ship "Cimbria". They arrived on May 22, 1871 in New York, and settled first in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. After arriving in Wisconsin, Bernhard and Philomena had three more children from 1873 through 1879. Philomena's husband died in 1890 - leaving her with six children (the youngest was eleven years old). Both of her daughters were married within two years of his death, and by 1900, she was living with her sister Pauline Osthoff and family in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In 1910, Philomena lived with her daughter Pauline Benzing and husband Adolph (who was a partner with her son Otto's business). Philomena died July 9, 1916 (cause of death was myocarditis), and is buried with her husband in Calvary Cemetery, Milwaukee.

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