Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Edwin Allen Rodeheffer (1923-1945) - "52 Ancestors"

52d Bomb Sq, 29th Bomb Gp, WWII
I decided to add one more story today. This one is in remembrance of the veterans who have fought and died to keep our country free.

The picture to the left is of the 52nd Bomber Squadron, Group 29, US Army Air Force during WW II. The man standing in the center of the photo is 2nd Lt. Edwin Allen Rodeheffer, Jr., my wife's second cousin 2 times removed. Edwin was born on 7 April 1922, the son of Rev. Edwin Allen Rodeheffer and Edna M Knierem. His father was a methodist preacher. Edwin had three siblings, Twila, Calvin and James. Since he was the son of a preacher he moved fairly frequently. He was born in Monroe, Ohio. In 1935 he was living in Toledo, Ohio and in 1940 he was living in Paulding, Ohio.

Edwin attended college and in 1942, after three years of school, he enlisted in the military to serve his country during WW II. Edwin was assigned to the 52nd Bomber Squadron and served in the Pacific theater. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant and Navigator on a B-29 bomber. On the evening of 19 June 1945, his plane, along with 122 other B-29s took off from Guam air field on a mission to bomb the city of Shizuoka, Japan. It was a clear night and visibility was perfect for their flight. This was to be a nighttime incendiary raid. As the 123 B-29s approached the city and began dropping their bombs, the city below began to glow with fires and the heat caused turbulence in the air along with blocking visibility due to the amount of smoke. During the confusion, Edwin's plane (#44-69881) collided with another B-29 (#42-65373). Both planes went down near the city and all 23 airmen were killed in the crash. The remaining 121 B-29s returned to their base after a successful mission.

A resident of the town, Fukumatsu Ito, found the wreckage of the bombers and buried the US airmen and built two monuments at the location. One of the monuments was a memorial to the more than 2,000 residents of the city that were killed that night. The other was a monument to the 23 airmen that lost their lives. Since 1972, there has been an annual memorial service at the site to remember the victims of this event. In 2008, the ceremony was attended by members of the Bomber Squadron who placed a headstone with the names of the fallen airmen at the site.

In 1949 the airmen were repatriated to the US and buried in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Elizabeth Bruns (1860-1916) - "52 Ancestors"


Hello again. Somewhere along the line I missed another week of writing. This is week 46 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. The last week has been interesting. I have started trying to find the right person to write about several times. Saturday morning I started working on the Brucken family again only to end up in the Koverman family. So I took a break and went on an airboat ride with the family. It was a beautiful day, sunny and in the 70s. When I got back home I tried again. This time I ended up in the Hilgefort family. I found a young man who died in an accident in August Wise's sawmill. The newspaper article was pretty graphic:

While Henry Hilgefort was in the act of mending a fly wheel belt in a saw mill near Berlin, 6 miles south of here, he was caught in some way and hurled with tremendous force around the machinery, mangling him in such a way as to produce instant death. He was picked up in pieces, and could not be recognized.


Joseph Farno and Elizabeth Bruns Farno
On Sunday, I tried to focus my research again and started in my Bruns and Hilgefort line but ended up in the Mescher and Dahlinghaus lines. I did get a lot of research done and found several new families to add to my research but I just couldn't find the right person to write about. I blame it on my ADD. For some reason I kept coming back to the Bruns line as I was doing my research and then I found this wonderful photograph of Elizabeth Bruns and her husband Joseph Farno. So I decided to work on her story. She is my 1st cousin 3 times removed.

Elizabeth Bruns was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Frederich "Frederick" Bruns (1835-1907) and Anna Mary Buschman (1838-1868). She was born 16 November 1860 near Ft. Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio. She was the second of five children born to this marriage. Her siblings were Joseph (~1859-?), Herman (1863-1867), John (1865-1938) and Bernard (1867-1941). Herman died on 14 July 1867, four months after Bernard was born. Her mother died a little more than a year later at the age of 30, on 9 November 1868, one week before Elizabeth's eighth birthday.

Elizabeth's father, Frederick Bruns remarried about two years later to Maria Engel Speller (1843-1914), a German immigrant. They had three more children, Henry (1871-1959), Herman (~1874-??), and Frederic William (1880-1937).

Elizabeth grew up on the family farm near Ft. Loramie and married Peter Brucken on 25 October 1881 in St. Michael's Church in Ft. Loramie. This marriage did not last very long since Peter died about seven months later on 15 May 1882. Elizabeth then married Joseph Farno (Varno) (1858-1920). Joseph was the son of Bernard Farno and Catherine Saline, both immigrants from Germany. Joseph grew up on his family's farm in Cranberry Prairie, Mercer County, Ohio and decided to make farming his career also. In 1900, he and Elizabeth, along with their seven children, Frederick John, William Henry, Julius John, Ferdinand Louis, Mary Sophia, Rosa Clara and Antonio Henry were living on a rented farm in Butler Township, Mercer County, Ohio.  Tow of the children, Frederick and William, were working on the farm while most of the other children, except Antonio who was too young, were attending school. By 1910, the family had moved to another rented farm. This one was located in Granville Township, Mercer County, Ohio. Two of their children, Rose and Anthony, were living at the home. The next year was a busy one for the family. Their son, Louis Ferdinand, married Mayme Ahrns on 8 February 1911. Their daughter, Rose Clara, married Bernard John Schwieterman three months later on 10 May 1911. John Julius married Frances Louise Quinter on 6 September 1911.

About 1913, Joseph and Elizabeth moved to Minster and lived on N. Frankfort Street.  Elizabeth died on 19 April 1916, at the age of 55. After her death, Joseph moved to Frenchtown, Darke County, Ohio where he died on 22 July 1920.

Exactly two years after Elizabeth died, her son Louis Ferdinand died on 19 April 1918. Louis had been married to Mayme Ahrns for seven years and they had three children, Anna Maria (age 5), Bernard (age 2), and William Louis (2 weeks old). they were living in Deshler, Ohio at the time and Louis was working for the Wells Fargo Express Company traveling between Pittsburgh and Chicago transporting packages. On Friday the 19th of April at 3:20 a.m. he was carrying packages to the B&O RR car to prepare for the early morning departure from Defiance, Ohio. As he approached the train, it moved and he fell. His legs were instantly severed by the rail wheels. He died at the Defiance hospital five hours later.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lawrence Ferdinand Lochtefeld (1891-1968) - "52 Ancestors"

Hi everyone. Did you miss me? I had to take the last couple weeks off from my blog. I was at training up in West Virginia for a week and then my parents came by for a few days visit. So, now I am trying to get back to writing. Welcome to week 44 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

The fall is a time when we notice the leaves changing color (unless you live in Florida, like me) and we get ready for several big holidays. We just had our Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff at church yesterday. I was inspired to try my hand at chili this time. I have never made chili before so this was an opportunity to try a recipe I picked up at the store. My wife likes to joke that I don't know how to follow recipes. I use them as guidelines and often change them. So to make it more challenging, I decided to change the recipe to a vegan dish. The end result - I won the competition. I guess enough people liked my recipe to beat out the other ten or so entries.

Another thing with the fall is the time change. So what do you do with that extra hour? I decided to take advantage of the extra hour to research a family in my tree. I ended up choosing Lawrence Ferdinand Lochtefeld. As I researched him I realized that this was going to be an interesting family to research but that it would probably be a short story. He was a farmer who experienced many tragedies during his life. Lawrence was my 1st cousin 3 times removed on my father's side and 3rd cousin 3 times removed on my mother's side.

Lawrence Ferdinand Lochtefeld was born on 2 April 1891, in St. Rose, Mercer County, Ohio. His parents were John Bernard Lochtefeld (1862-1932) and Catherine Hoying (1864-1948). Lawrence had at least 11 brothers and sisters and was the fourth born child. Several of his siblings joined the Catholic clergy, including his sister, Sis. Mary Emma Lochtefeld (1894-1928) and brother, Rev. Melchior Joseph Lochtefeld (1905-1984). Two of Lawrence's siblings died at birth. They were Catherine, born/died 10 March 1886, and Joseph, born/died 10 February 1899.

Lawrence married Maria Agnes Hausfeld prior to 1917. At the time he registered for the WW I draft on 5 June 1917, he listed her as his wife and he listed his occupation as a self employed farmer living in Chickasaw, Mercer County, Ohio. Maria Agnes Hausfeld was the daughter of Frederick Clemens Hausfeld and Mary Elizabeth Boeke. She was born two months after Lawrence, on 15 June 1891 in St. Johns, Mercer County, Ohio and she preferred to be called Agnes.

Lawrence and Agnes had their first child, Julitta, on 27 October 1918. Julitta had some serious problems and was institutionalized at the Institute for Feeble-Minded Youth in Columbus, Ohio. She only lived to the age of 8 and died at the Institute due to bronchopneumonia with a contributory illness of Furunculosis or chronic boils. Their second child was Omer. He was born on 8 December 1921 and died at the age of 78, on 8 August 2000. Their third child, Cletus, was born on 31 August 1925. Cletus' birth was very difficult on Agnes and she died from eclampsia on the day Cletus was born. This probably contributed to Cletus' poor health and mental handicap. He too was institutionalized at the Institute for Feeble-Minded Youth but he went to a location outside Columbus in Orient, Pickaway County, Ohio. Cletus died at the Institute on Christmas Day, 1933, at the age of 8. The cause of his death was Pellagra. This disease is caused by the lack of vitamin B3 or niacin usually due to the body's inability to produce tryptophan, an essential amino acid. The symptoms can be severe sensitivity to sun, peeling or scaling of the skin, and aggressive behavior.

On 22 February 1927, Lawrence married Elizabeth Luebke. Elizabeth was the daughter of Frederick Luebke (1846-1929) and Elizabeth Kohr (1854-1950), both of whom were immigrants from Germany. Elizabeth was born on 9 October 1891. Lawrence and Elizabeth had three children. Their first child was Gregor who was born 7 December 1927. Their second child was Mary Ann, born about 1929, and their third was Hugo who was born on 29 September 1931.

Lawrence lived on his farm near Chickasaw, Mercer County, Ohio for his entire life. Sometime during his life he must have had an accident because his WW II draft registration points out a scar on his nose and forehead. I do not know the cause of this scar but I can take a guess of a few ways that it could have happened on the farm. In addition to farming, Lawrence served on the Chickasaw School Board for several years.

His son Omer, left the farm but remained near the family farm in Chickasaw. He became a rubber worker. He married Marietta Rindler on 3 July 1948. Lawrence's brother, the Rev. Melchior Lochtefeld performed their marriage ceremony. His son Gregor, was a veteran of the US Army during the Korean War and worked at New Idea where he built farm machinery but continued to live on the family farm. Gregor died on 14 December 2002. On 24 May 1950, Mary Ann married Paul Edgar Kremer and left the farm. Lawrence's youngest son Hugo also remained on the farm until his death and never married.

Lawrence's health began to decline after he turned 70. He had been experiencing heart problems for at least four years prior to his death on 16 January 1968. He had been in Joint Township Hospital in St. Marys for ten days before his death. He was 76 years old. His death was hard on the family but his son Hugo took it the hardest and became despondent. Hugo was found a day later hanging from the rafters of the barn of an apparent suicide. Hugo and his father were buried in the cemetery at the Precious Blood Church on the same day. The funeral was officiated by Rev. Melchior Lochtefeld, Lawrence's brother.

Monday, October 13, 2014

August Henry Poeppelman (1881-1960) "52 Ancestors"

Ready for week 41 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge? This has been another busy week and I just about missed getting a story out this time. I went to a German Genealogy Interest Group meeting last Thursday. One of the things they talked about was a service called Ancestor Seekers that you can contract with to do research. The person who tried them said she had spent 35 years looking for an immigration record and that only a few hours after she sent her request they had found the elusive document. I thought it was worth a shot to see if they could find any information on James A Walker. So I sent them a copy of all the research that I have on him. A few hours later they replied back that the likelihood of them finding his birth, death or information on his parents was "Poor". Ok, that makes me feel better since I haven't been able to find anything about him beyond the 1870s-1880s.

Lorikeets from the zoo.
So after all that, I started to think about who I would write about this week. I decided to write about August Henry Poeppelman (1881-1960). He is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. Why did I choose him? Well, for the same reason I select most of my subjects, random chance. As I started looking at what I have on the Poeppelman line I realized that there was a lot of information missing and many many people that were not included in my file yet. So I spent the last couple days doing research to try to fill in the gaps. And since today was a holiday I figured I would spend more time getting things in order for this story. But we went to the zoo instead (see the pretty birds to the right). So now I am going to write about what I already have. Hope you enjoy.

August Henry Poeppelman was born 23 December 1881 near Ft. Loramie in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. He was the fourth child of Clemens (1848-1911) and Bernadine Berning Poeppelman (1856-1939). His siblings were Mary (1876-1940), Katherine (1878-1957), Anna (1880-??), Anton (1883-1949), Agnes (1885-1927), Rosa (1887-1978), Bernard (1889-1971), Fred (1892-??), Bernadine (1895-1979), Clemens Bernard (1898-198), Cecelia (1900-1969), and Margaret (1902-1925).

In 1880, Clemens (age 32), his wife Bernadina (age 23), and their three daughters, Mary (age 3), Catherine (age 2), and Anna (age 5 months) are living on the farm of his father and mother, Henry and Catherina Baumer Poeppelman. Henry was 73 years old and had immigrated from Oldenburg, Germany. Catherina was 65 years old and had also immigrated from Oldenburg. Since August was born in 1881, it can probably be assumed that after he was born he lived with his grandparents also. His grandmother, Catherine, died on 11 August 1884 and his grandfather Henry died on 3 December 1889.

I am not sure where August was living in 1900. The 1900 census lists Clemence (age 62), his wife Bernadina (age 53), and their children Catherine (age 31), Anthony (age 26), Rosa (age 22), Bernard (age 20), Bernadina (age 15), Clemence (age 12), Cecelia (age 10) and Margaret (age 8). I know August married Mary Ann Lehmkuhl in 1907, so he wasn't married at the time. Maybe he did what many young men did during this time, he could have moved to Dayton, Ohio for employment and stayed with relatives there. I will have to keep searching to see where he disappears to for these few years.

In 1910, August (age 27) has been married to Mary (age 24) for 2 years and has his first daughter, Helen (age 1). August is renting a farm in Van Buren Township, Shelby County, Ohio. But by 1920 he has his own farm which he owns free of a mortgage. His family has also grown by the 1920 census. It now consists of himself (age 38), his wife Mary (age 32), and their children Hellen (age 10), Adella (age 8), Viola (age 6), Varona (age 4) and Clarans (age 16 months). Adella and Hellen are attending school.

It appears that his dominant crop on this farm was corn. That is based on two newspaper articles from the 1920s and 1930s. In March 1923 a storm hit the farm and took part of the roof off his tool shed and scattered corn fodder all over the fields. Then in 1934 there is a short sentence which states "The D-L and P-L shredder company (whatever that is) started to shred corn at the August Poeppelman place Wednesday morning." I like this short sentence, especially the part about "whatever that is".

By the 1930 census, August and Mary state they had been married for 23 years. August is 48 years old and Mary is 43 years old. Their family consist of seven of their children, Adele (age 18), Viola (age 16), Verona (age 14), Clarence (age 11), Alma (age 8), Wilber (age 5) and Orville (age 2). I am assuming that Wilber and Orville were named after the Wright brothers. All of the children, except Wilber and Orville, are attending school.

In 1940, August (age 58) and Mary (age 53) are living on the farm with their children Alma (age 18), Wilbur (age 15), Orville (age 12), and Donald (age 9). August had an 8th grade education, which was typical of the farmers at this time. His son Clarence also had an 8th grade education. His wife Mary had a 7th grade education. However, his daughter Alma was finishing her fourth year of high school. Wilbur, Orville and Donald were in the 8th, 5th and 3rd grades, respectively. Clarence was helping out on the farm and was working 40 hours each week. August reported that he was working 45 hours per week on the farm.

August signed up for the WW II draft registration at the age of 60. He wasn't selected but at least he registered. He lists his employment as a self employed farmer and lists the location of his farm as RR#2, Anna, Shelby County, Ohio.

August retired from farming in 1955 at the age of 73. Near the end of 1958 or the beginning on 1959, August, his wife and their daughter Viola moved into a new house that they had built in McCartyville. August died at his home at 9 p.m. on 19 July 1960. He was 78 years old. He had been suffering from an illness for three years. He was a member of the St. Joseph Society of Sacred Heart Church and was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus in Minster. By the time of his death, his family was spread out across the area. His daughter Helen was married to Ray Hoying and living in St. Patrick. Adele had married Arthur Huecker and was living in Anna. Viona had married Carl Flaute and moved to Dayton. Alma was living in McCartyville with her husband Ray Heilers. Clarence had married Martha Ahrns and was living in St. Patrick. Wilbur married Virginia Dietz. Orville married Dorothy Mae Johnson and Donald married Verona Otting. Wilbur, Orville and Donald were all living in McCartyville. He also had 43 grandchildren and a great-grandchild at the time of his death. He was buried in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in McCartyville.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Joseph Henke (1876-1955) "52 Ancestors"

Hi everyone. This is week 40 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  As I get further into the year it gets more difficult to figure out who I will be writing about. I started out wanting to write about one of my wife's Bielefeld relatives from New Knoxville, Ohio. But after searching for a few hours and pulling in lots of trivial newspaper articles on Vernon Bielefeld and his family. I decided it wasn't what I wanted to do. So I took a break and went to a genealogy fair for a couple hours. I talked to a few people there about the problems that I have had searching for James Albert Walker and Corydon Bloomfield Reeder, both of whom I have previously written about. One of the people I talked to was a Bauer from Dayton, Ohio. Her husband is Thomas Bauer. We talked about the possibility that maybe my Bauers and her husband's line may have some connection, so I decided that I would work on that line. I didn't find any connections last night but I didn't search for very long, so there still may be something there to look for. So then this morning I woke up and chose another random person to begin with. It ended up being Joseph Henke, my 1st cousin 3 times removed. So, here is his story.

Wedding photo for Joseph Henke
and Bernadine Drees (1901)
Joseph Henke was born on 9 February 1876 on his father's farm two and a half miles southwest of Ft. Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio. His parents were Heinrich "Henry" Christopher Henge (1833-1897) and Anna Weise (1839-1909). Anna is the daughter of Justus Weise (1808-1884) whom I wrote of previously. Henry immigrated to the US from Germany around 1838 and Anna immigrated from Holland in 1852 or 1854. The couple married on 29 April 1857 in St. Michael's Church in Ft. Loramie. They had a total of 15 children with Joseph being number 11 or 12. Joseph's siblings were Henry August (1858-1858), Frederick (1861-1940), August (1862-1879), Wilhelmina Regina (1865-1865), Anna Theresia (1866-1950), twins Christina (1867-1867) and Inocentia (1867-1867), Maria Josephine (1870-1871), Magdelina Theresia (1872-1894), Anna Mariam Margaretha (1874-1966), John Frank (1877-1958), Margaret Cecilia (1879-1960) and Rosa W (1883-1968). I am missing one child but haven't yet found out who that is.

The first census that I find Joseph in is the 1880 census. His father Henry (age 47) is listed as a farmer. His mother Anna (age 41) is keeping house. His siblings were listed as Henry (age 22), Frederick (age 20), Anna (age 14), Madeline (age 8), Mary (age 6), Joseph (age 4), John (age 3) and Maggie (age 9 months). Additionally, Joseph Larshe (age 27) is working at the home as a servant. The two oldest siblings, Henry and Frederick are working on the farm. Anna, Madeline and Mary are attending school.

When Joseph's father died on 5 January 1897 at the age of 63, the farm went to his mother Anna, who at 61 years old was not able to care for it without the help of her sons Joseph and John. In 1900 the census records the family as Anna (age 61), Mary (age 26), Joseph (age 24), John (age 21), Margaret (age 20) and Rosa (age 17). Joseph married Bernadine Drees on 16 October 1901. The wedding was held in St. Michael's Church in Ft. Loramie. Interestingly enough, Bernadine Drees is also related to me on her own. She is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. In 1909, needing more care than she was able to give herself, Anna moved in with her daughter Anna Henke Hilgefort's family after suffering a lengthy illness. Anna died of pneumonia on 2 March 1909 leaving the farm to Joseph. Her funeral was attended by a large number of family and friends from the area.

In 1910, the census records Joseph's family as himself (age 34), his wife Bernadine (age 28) and their children Anna E (age 7), Agnes (age 6), Christian H (age 4), August F (age 2) and William J (age 10 months). Also living in the house was Anthony Wenning (age 25) who was a farm laborer.

At the age of 42 Joseph registered for the draft for WW I. His physical description is listed as medium height, slender build, grey eyes and dark hair. He is living and working on the family farm.

By the time of the 1920 census, Joseph's family had grown considerably. Joseph (age 43) and his wife Bernadine (age 38) have nine children; Anna (age 17), Agnes (age 15), Christ (age 13), August (age 12), William (age 11), Julius (age 8), Bernard (age 7), Leo (age 3) and Bernadine (age 1 year 6  months). All of the children except Leo and Bernadine are attending school.

In 1930, Joseph (age 54) is still working on the farm. His son William (age 20) is listed as a farm laborer. August (age 22) is working as an auto repairman at the Westerheide Motor Sales Company which was run by Ed Westerheide. His wife Bernadine (age 48) and the other children, Julius (age 18), Bernard (age 16), Leo (age 13), Bernadine (age 11) and Helen (age 9) are also living on the farm. Leo, Bernadine and Helen are attending school. According to the census, the family owned a radio so they would have been able to listen in on the broadcasts of the day.

The 1940 census lists Joseph (age 64) as a farmer who owns his own farm, He is working about 50 hours per week. The farm is valued at $1600. His wife Bernadine (age 58) and children Julius (age 28), Bernard (age 26), Leo (age 23), and Helen (age 19) are all living at the home. Julius had finished one year of high school and is working 50 hours per week on the farm. Bernard had finished two years of high school and is working 60 hours per week as a waiter in a restaurant. Leo finished one year of high school and is working and Helen had finished three years of high school.

Anna, his oldest daughter, married Lawrence Joseph Mescher on 18 June 1924. They had six children. Agnes married Arthur Knapke on 16 October 1928. They had three children. His son Christian married Ruth Esther Setsor on 20 September 1947. They had one son. August married Jessica Eischer and had one daughter. William married Leona Hilgefort. Julius married Adella Schmidt. Leo was a WW II veteran who fought in Italy. He married Rita Goubeaux on 24 August 1948. Bernadine married Adrian Gariety and had seven children. Helen married Delbert Barhorst and had two children. Bernard, a veteran of WW II, never married.

On 3 December 1955, at the age of 79, Joseph died at the family farm on which he had lived his entire life. He had been ill for three years and confined to his bed for the last 10 weeks. He was survived by 10 children, 21 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. His burial was in St. Michael's cemetery in Ft. Loramie.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bernard Bruns (1880-1968) "52 Ancestors"

If I am counting correctly, this would be week 39 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I was out camping with our Boy Scouts this weekend, so I didn't have much time to think about writing - other than I need to make sure I get an article done before the week starts. As is my typical method of writing, I chose a random relative to focus on. This time I selected Bernard Bruns (1880-1968) as my focus. He is my 1st cousin 3 times removed. Bernard was the son of my 2nd great grand uncle and aunt, John Bernard Bruns (1842-1882) and Maria Anna Budde (1849-1909). John Bernard was commonly known as Bernard, so this may get a little confusing, especially since Bernard, the subject of this story had a son Bernard also.

Bernard was born on 14 January 1880 in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. This information is based on various birth records that I have found. However, his obituary states that he was born 13 January 1880 in Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio. Since McLean Township is fairly rural, and parts of it are within the area serviced by the Minster post office, I can see how the location may be considered either one. I grew up in McLean Township, went to Fort Loramie schools but had a Minster address when I was a child.

Bernard was the sixth of seven children. His siblings were Joseph (1868-1956), Anna M (1870-1931), Henry (1873-??), Maria Anna (1875-1975), Josephina (1878-??) and John A (1882-1962). The family lived in a log house at 11425 Bruns Road on a 40-acre farm.

The 1880 census lists the family as Bernard (John Bernard) (age 37), his wife Mary (age 30), and their children Joseph (age 12), Anna (age 9), Henry (age 7), Mary (age 4), Josephina (age 2) and Bernard (age 5 months). Also living in the home were John Bernard's mother, Nancy Bruns (age 72) and Mary Horstman (age 23), a servant. Nancy Bruns was born in Oldenburg, Germany, is listed as a widow and is designated as being insane. I believe that Nancy is actually Maria Antonetta Schunck, John's mother.

John Bernard Bruns, Bernard's father, died on 15 November 1882 when Bernard was 2 years old. In 1882, just prior to his death, John Bernard Bruns purchased another 40 acres just to the north of the farm making the farm at least 80 acres is size. After John's death, his wife Maria Anna inherited the farm and lived there with the seven children aged 9 months to 14 years old. Maria Anna then married Fred Friemering who took over managing the farm. The house was expanded in 1891 to include seven rooms on a one and one-half story design, with a summer kitchen. In 1892 a 52'x80' barn was built on the property.

Anna Margaretha Hilgefort Bruns
On 27 June 1906, Bernard married Anna Margaretha Hilgefort (1879-1949). Anna was the daughter of Henry Hilgefort (1834-1916) and Maria Katherina Meyer (1838-1912). Her sister Mary Kathryn Hilgefort (1865-1950), married Mathias Brucken (1857-1935) whom I wrote about previously. Anna was born 4 February 1879 in Ft. Loramie, Ohio. Bernard and Anna's first child, Adella K. Bruns was born on 9 February 1907 in Ft. Loramie. Their second child, Raymond Frederick Bruns was born on 21 January 1909.

Bernard's mother, Maria Anna Budde Bruns (age 60), died on 9 October 1909 and the family farm was then inherited by her second husband, Fred Friemering. Bernard would have been 29 years old then.

During the 1910 census, the family is listed as Bernard (age 30), Anna (age 31) and their children, Adela (age 3) and Raymond (age 1 year 2 months). Bernard owns his farm near Yorkshire in Patterson Township, Darke County, Ohio, free of a mortgage.

In 1920, the family is living on Bruns Road near Yorkshire in Patterson Township, Darke County, Ohio. The family has grown by this time and now consists of Bernard (age 40), his wife Anna (age 40), and their children, Adella K (age 12), Raymond F (age 10), Harold J (age 9), Alma A (age 7), Norbert H (age 6) and Paul F (age 3 1/2 years). All of the children, except Paul are attending school. Bernard is working on his farm.

On 28 February 1926, the original farm that Bernard grew up on near Minster was destroyed by fire. It was still owned by Fred Friemering, his step father, but was rented out to Joseph Langenkamp and his family. Fred Friemering had moved to Minster since he could no longer manage the farm. The house and barn were totally destroyed by the fire. They were able to save the hog house, wood shed, chicken house, machine shed and the corn crib. The Langenkamp family lost all their belongings and soon thereafter moved into the renovated wood shed for shelter during the remainder of the winter. Eventually a house was transported by logs and steam engine from Chickasaw and a barn was brought in from Minster to replace the destroyed structures.

In 1930, Bernard (age 50) and Anna (age 51), along with their seven children, Adella (age 23), Raymond (age 21), Harold (age 19), Alma (age 17), Norbert (age 16), Paul (age 13) and Bernard Jr. (age 10) are living on the farm on Bruns Road in Patterson Township, Darke County, Ohio. Alma, Norbert, Paul and Bernard Jr are attending school. Adella is working as a clerk in a local dry goods store and Raymond and Harold are working as farm laborers on the family farm.

Bernard Bruns
Bernard is still living on the farm in 1940. He is 60 years old and works 60 hours per week on the farm. His wife Anna is 61 years old and the following children are also living at home: Raymond (age 31), Harold (age 29), Norbert (age 26), Paul (age 23) and Bernard Jr (age 20). Raymond's occupation is listed as farmer. Harold is employed as a mechanic in a machine shop. Norbert is a master electrician. Paul is employed as an assembler in a machine shop and Bernard Jr is working on the family farm. The highest paid individual was Paul, who worked 52 weeks and earned $1400 in 1939. Harold, who worked 49 weeks, earned $1200 in 1939 and was the second highest paid individual. Norbert who worked 27 weeks in 1939 only earned $370. While Bernard Jr worked 13 weeks in 1939 and earned $250.

Bernard's wife, Anna, died at the home on 26 March 1949 at the age of 70. She had been in reasonably good health at the time of her death. A few months earlier she had experienced heart troubles but the family believed that she had recovered from that. Her funeral was held at St. Nicholas Church in Osgood and her burial was in St. Martin's Cemetery on 30 March 1949.

On 7 November 1968, Bernard died of heart failure in his home. He was 88 years old and had been seriously ill for the prior two months. He was survived by all seven of his children as well as 18 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. His three brothers and two of his sisters preceded him in death. His funeral was held in St. Nicholas Church and he was buried in St. Martin's Cemetery on 11 November 1968.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

William Hall (1810-1878) "52 Ancestors"

Week 38 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is upon us. I have been trying to prepare a couple presentations for an upcoming genealogy conference. Every year I pick a different set of topics for the conference. This year I decided that I would do two talks titled "Mining the Census Records to Write Your Family Story" and "Finding Your Family in the Second Hand Store". Now I just have to do the research and prepare the slides and handouts. Looks like I will be busy for the next couple weeks/months on that. I just have to make sure that I take a break each week to prepare my blog posts.

This week I decided to write about William Hall (1810-1878), my wife's 4th great grandfather. William was born in Aberdeen, Brown County, Ohio around 1810. Aberdeen is a small town located on the Ohio River across from Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky and along Zanes's Trace. Zane's Trace was the frontier road that went from Wheeling, West Virginia to Maysville, Kentucky. The road was constructed in the late 1790s, opening up the frontier of the Northwest Territory. William's father, William Hall, immigrated from Scotland and traveled along Zane's Trace and settled at the terminus in Aberdeen.

View of Maysville, Kentucky from Aberdeen, Ohio.
On 16 June 1835, William married Jane Ann Lee (1813-1856). Their first child, Alexander William Hall, my wife's 3rd great grandfather, was born less than a year later in Aberdeen, Ohio on 25 March 1836. William and Jane had at least 10 children that we have been able to find. The children are Alexander (1836-1911), Mary (~1838-??), William (1840-1922), Luther Leach (1842-1918), Francis "Frank" (~1843-??), George (~1845-??), Lucy (~1847-??), Anna (~1850-1918), Rachel (~1852-??), and Martha (~1856-??).

The 1850 census lists the family as William (age 38), Jane (age 37), Alexander (age 13), Mary (age 12), William (age 10), Luther (age 9), Francis (age 6), George (age 4), and Lucy (age 2). William is employed as a shoemaker. Jane died after the birth of Martha and soon afterward, William remarried to Rose Ellen Love Degman on 21 February 1857 across the river in Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky.

In the 1860 census, the family had moved about a mile to the west to Ripley, Ohio, where William was employed as a boat builder. My wife has many ancestors who were involved in shipping, so this is just one more, even though William was on the Ohio River and not the oceans. William (age 50) and his wife Rosella (age 41) had a merged family. Rosella had at least five children by a previous marriage. Her children are listed in the 1860 census as Julia (age 18), Laura (age 16), James H (age 14), John P (age 12) and Sylvester (age 9). Her children were all born in Maysville, Kentucky. In addition to Rosella's children, William still had Alexander (age 25), George (age 14), Lucy (age 12), Ann (age 9), Rachel (age 7) and Martha (age 3) living in the home. That makes 11 children all at home. Alexander's occupation is listed as engineer.

William and several of his sons (William, Alex, George, and Frank), as well as Rosella's son James Degman, were serving in the Union infantry. James was serving with Co. I, 16th Reg't Kentucky Infantry. While the Halls were serving in Co. H, 12th Reg't Ohio Infantry.

Bridge connecting Maysville and Aberdeen.
During the 1870 census William is listed as "on the river". So I am guessing that he worked on the boats traveling up and down the Ohio River carrying goods. Most of the children had moved out of the house by this census. The remaining family consisted of William (age 62), Rosellen (age 52), Rachel (age 17), Martha (age 13), and Thomas (age 10).

William died on 5 April 1878 near Aberdeen, Ohio at the age of 68.