The Glabe family are Terry's ancestors, his mother's people.
The Glabe family, in Germany spelled Glebe, originated in Hesse, a province in central western Germany, which in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a series of independent duchies.1 Our Glebe family is from Niederaula, in the Fulda River Valley about seven miles southwest of the city of Bad Hersfeld and about twelve miles from the former East German boarder. The Glebe family is found in this valley between Hersfeld and Niederaula from the earliest times. There are references to Glebes in Hersfeld from the late 1500's, before the earliest surviving church records.2

Based on the Research of Cousin Lee

The major research on the Glabe family in the U.S. and their ancestors in Germany, has been done over the last 45 plus years by Terry's first cousin Lee Pound. He published his early findings, covering the immigrants Jakob and Katharina Glebe and their descendants, in 1969,1 and a pamplet covering their ancestors in Germany in 1979.2 He has since posted many of the ancestrial lines on his website.

While Lee's work is the foundation of what is presented in this section, we do not attempt to present the complete scope of his work here, but include only those family members for whom we have found substantital addition details. Some of the family branches not included here are outlined in our Outline Section, which includes many people found by Lee's research. Readers may also want to consult Lee's website.

The Glabes in this Section

Our record starts with Johann Jakob Glebe and his wife Anna Katharina Stein, known as Jacob and Katherine Glebe after they immigrated with their eldest son. They arrived in New York in May 1847.3 They settled in Tazewell Co., Illinois, buying a small farm in Washington, in an area called Farmdale. In Tazewell County Jacob prospered and became a prominent man in the community. He was listed as one of the leading citizens in a history of Tazewell County published in 1879.4 He and his wife had four more sons and a daughter on the farm. By the time of his death he had about 40 grandchildren, who became the progenitors of about half the Glabes in the United States.1

One other Glabe family is known to exist in this country, descendants of John Glabe, who came to the U. S. in 1867 from Pomerania, in present-day Germany. He settled in Chicago and raised his family there. John had four sons and two daughters, Charles, Herman, Louis, Fred, Augusta, and Caroline. Charles went to Rochester, Minnesota about 1890 and had several descendants living in California. It is not known if this family is related to the descendents of Jacob and Katherine in Germany.1

The immigrant Jacob and most of his sons were farmers, and apparently successful ones. The later generations gradually followed more diverse career paths. All of Jacob and Katherine's children, about three-quarters of their grandchildren, and half of their great-grandchildren remained in Illinois. About twenty percent of their grandchildren, and a quarter of their great-grandchildren ended up in California. The rest were widely scattered throughout the country.

Reading More About Them

To read their stories you can begin with Jacob or Katherine, the immigrant couple who founded the family in central Illinois. While most of their early descendants were quiet farmers, there were some more colorful characters that you might want to read about. They include:
  • The husband of Jacob and Katherine's daughter Caroline, Adam Oetzel, who was murdered by his brother-in-law
  • Their grandson Louis's father-in-law, William Henry Van Velson, was convicted of bigamy after he married a second time without first divorcing Louis's mother-in-law
  • Jacob and Katherine's grandson William Glabe, a quiet auditor who "packed heat" in Prohibition-era Peoria, then moved to California in the late 1930's
  • William's brother-in-law, a prosperous pre-Prohibition distiller, businessman, and contractor Edwin Lehmann, who let his teenage niece (Terry's mother, Carmen Glabe) drive him about in his large automobile
  • Jacob and Katherine's grandson Charles Glabe, whose letter to a pen pal provides a compelling account of Atlantic crossings during WWI
  • Jacob and Katherine's great-grandson Kenneth Glabe, who was killed in a contract murder resulting from a love triangle

If you prefer, you can look for specific people in the Index on the left.

Maps and Charts

You can also explore the family in Jacob and Katherine's Descendants Chart.

There is a set of charts that outline Jacob and Katherine's ancestors.

There are a number of Maps showing the principal locations where the family lived. In addition, many of the places mentioned in the narratives about each person contain this icon, which is a link to display that place in Google Maps. For more information about these links see the Map Links section on our main page.

The Goembel and Mooberry Families

Two charts illustrate the relationships of members of other families that intermarried with Jacob and Katherine's descendants multiple times: the Goembel Family and the Mooberry Family.

The Glabe e-book

Our free e-book The Glabe Family of Central Illinois contains much of the information in this site. You may prefer it as an alternate way to explore this family. The e-book offers portability, in that you may install it on your portable e-book device. It also offers you a way to save the information which is not dependant on our maintaining our web hosting service. The e-book may be downloaded from our ReigelRidge Press section.

The e-book does not offer some of the richer features of the website, such as maps and charts, which are not adaptable to the e-book format. It also does not include accounts of some of the families of the spouses of the descendants, and a few other people associated with the family, which are included in the website.


  1. [S54] Pound, Glabe Family.
  2. [S111] Pound, German Ancestry of Jacob Glabe.
  3. [S1053] Lesmonn arrival 3 May 1848, Passenger Lists, New York, 1820-1897.
  4. [S8113] History of Tazewell County Illinois, pg 686.