Aug. 28, 1849 Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
Jul. 14, 1933 Ford County Illinois, USA
Born and christened in Idensen, Amt Bokeloh, Hannover, the 3rd of 4 children of Ernst Heinrich (Henry) Conrad Christoph Brandt & Katharine Marie Dorothea (Dora) Freise, Sophia immigrated with her family on the S. S. Rastede, arriving in New York on 8 Jun 1852.
[Her christened name is Catharine Dorothee Henriette Sophia Brandt but she was always known as 'Sophia C.' The family spelled the last name BRAND in the USA.]
Her father died about a month later in the cholera epidemic which swept through the immigrant population, and her mother married E. Christoph Kukuck in 1853. He was a beloved step-father and Sophia helped raise her step-siblings.
The family used German at home so Sophia never learned English well. After marriage she learned to read her German Bible, but not much else. However, she was in great demand as a healer and midwife. She was also remarkably strong for a person under 5 feet tall.
She married Johann Dietrich Zahn in Limestone Township of Kankakee Co. IL on March 27, 1869. They farmed in Kankakee Co. until about 1880/1 when they bought land near Dietrich's brother Jacob in Ford County.
They had 6 children of their own: Amanda Sophia 1870 -1905 m Ebert John Christopher 1871 - 1953 Mary Ellen 1874 - 1956 m Himmel Dorothea Philipena 1875-1962 m Roeder Rosa Anna 1879 - 1918 m Steinberg Samuel Nathaniel 1881 - 1971
Sophia also raised her step-nephew, Edwin Edgar Voigt, after his mother died weeks after his birth in 1892. Later, a widowed Sophia fostered her granddaughter, Ruth Steinberg after Ruth's mother, Rosa Anna, died in 1918.
Sophia died in her own home, being cared for by her daughter Dora(thea) Roeder.