Concerning the genealogical history of those surnamed 'Saalman' and related spelling variants; for example, 'Saalmann', 'Saalmans', 'Saalsman', 'Sahlman' and 'Salman'...

Hi, my name is Todd Howard Saalman. In my teens, I was curious about whom my ancestors were, from where they came and what their lives were like. My maternal grandfather Roberts noted my interest and provided me with a copy of research done by on of his cousins. It was exciting to read about my Roberts ancestors, who lived in the Massachusetts Colony before and during the Revolutionary War.

But on my father's side, no one seemed to know much about or was interested in family history. My best and only information came from the personal memories of my grandmother Rubie Geeding Saalman, which went back only to the generation before hers on her husband's side; my paternal grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Saalman, had died before my interest sparked. And I wanted to know earlier details.

Then on a whim in 1994, my father visited the small, rural town of Birdseye, Indiana, where his father was born. Unexpectedly, he discovered our distant cousins — the Saalman clan of southern Indiana — who ultimately answered many of the questions I'd had about my Saalman family origins.

Thanks to the many who remembered, researched and recorded, especially to my distant cousin, Neil Arthur Anthony, here are stories and images of my immigrant ancestors, Reinhart Gottfried Christian Saalmann and his wife, Dorothea Christiana Rühling Saalmann, their descendants and forebears.

Any Saalman is encouraged to post his or her history and stories here, too.

Anhalt Duchy, Saxony, North Germany — 19th Century

Reinhart Gottfried Christian Saalmann was born January 25, 1829 in the village of Hoym, Anhalt-Sachsen (Saxony), a region located in what is now eastern Germany, then, a member of the soon to be defunct, German Confederation.

As Christian came of age, civil unrest, oppression and military occupation plagued the Germanic States and peoples, and much of Europe as well. So with hope for a better life, 25 year old Christian fled Saxony with his wife Dorothea, infant son Christopher Columbus and father Johann Christian and sailed to the United States.

Settling finally in Branchville, Indiana to farm and grow his family, Christian soon learned America herself would not be spared a most perilous time.… read more »

Branchville to Bataan — 20th Century

Otis Edward Saalman was Christian Saalman's great-grandson and farmed his great-granddad's land in Branchville, Indiana.

But World War II changed everything. Otis joined the army and soon found himself stationed in the Philippines when the Japanese army invaded Manilla in 1941. Otis was captured in the ensuing battle and forced with thousands of others onto infamous Bataan Death March. But he escaped and fought his way back to Corregidor… read more »

Joseph Christian Saalman family. TOP ROW (L - R): Benjamin Franklin (my grandfather), Joseph Victor, Mary A. 'Maddie' Saalman, Jessie Eugene Grady. BOTTOM ROW (L - R: Rubie Orilla Geeding Saalman (my grandmother), Joseph Christian Saalman, Nancy Virginia Pollard Saalman, Calvin Eugene Grady, Herminia 'Minnie' Dorothea Saalman Grady, Grace Alice Grady.

Part of My Saalman Family Tree

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Hans SALOMON b. 1640
Tobias SAALMANN b. 1677
Johann Christoph SAALMANN b.1732
Christoph Heinrich SAALMANN b. 1772
Johann Christian SAALMANN b. 1797
Reinhart Gottfried Christian SAALMANN b. 1829 Expand Reinhart Gottfried Christian SAALMANN b. 1829

Dorothea Christiana Saalman

After 1864, Dorothea continued to live in Branchville, Indiana and made her living as a midwife, delivering babies for the women in the area. She also did spinning for her neighbors… read more»

See also, Dorothea's letter to President Theodore Roosevelt.

the Esareys

The Saalman and Esarey families are interconnected both in the past and in the present. We are cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews, husbands and wives.

Duane Esarey maintains the Esarey Family website, which purveys photos, letters, Esarey family reunion and genealogy information, including much about Dorothea Saalman Esarey and her daughter Anna Amenda Saalman Esarey.

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