Thursday, November 26, 2020

Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann (1770-1822)

So, it has been over four years since I last posted a story to this blog and today is the 11th blogiversary for the OurAncestories blog. Eleven years ago today, I wrote my first story about my great grandfather, August Jacob Wise. That story was written on Thanksgiving and now, eleven years later, I am writing another Thanksgiving post, giving thanks to all my family and ancestors and all the trials and tribulations they experienced. During this time, we have been asked to use the hashtag #GiveThanks in our social media and other online posts to show what we are thankful for. 

Back in 2009 I posted:

"At this time of Thanksgiving, let us remember our ancestors for the people they were, not for the dates they lived. Let us see them in a more complete light as people, not just names. We are what we are due to the decisions they made. For better or for worse, they are all part of us and we are part of them. Take the time to talk to your families and learn something more about each of them as you gather around the dinner table this holiday season."

That thought still stands today even though we are separated due to the COVID pandemic. We should strive to learn more about the lives of our ancestors and now, with the ever increasing amount of records and data that are available online, the task is much easier. This blog post will highlight some of the German Catholic records that I have discovered over the past several days. These records come from the Matricula website which provides free access to digital images for many Catholic church records from Germany and surrounding areas.

My post today is about Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann (Poeppelman), my 4th great grandfather and his family. According to information on Findagrave, Johann was born 15 June 1770 near Damme, Vechta, Germany. I have not yet found his baptism record since there is a gap in the online records around 1770. His father, Johann Herman Pöppelmann was baptized on 4 May 1737 in St. Viktor Church in Damme. His mother was Anna Maria Saalfeld. 

On 22 January 1805, Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann married Maria Adelheid Arkenberg (1785-1861) in St. Viktor Church in Damme. Witnesses to the ceremony were Carl Westendorf and Heinrich Arkenberg.

Marriage Record for Johann and Maria Arkenberg Pöppelmann (22 January 1805)

Johann died on 12 November 1822 and was buried in the cemetery at St. Viktor Church in Damme on 15 November. His funeral record stated that he was 50 years old but he was actually 52. It is believed that he died in an accident at a windmill.

Funeral Record for Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann (d. 12 November 1822, buried 15 November 1822)

His wife, Maria Adelheid Arkenberg died 28 January 1861 and was buried in the St. Viktor cemetery on 1 February. Her funeral record states that she was 75 years, 5 months and 8 days old at the time of her death.

Funeral Record for Maria Adelheid Arkenberg (d. 28 january 1861, buried 1 February 1861)

(1) Their first child was also named Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann. He was born on 25 June 1806 and was baptized in St. Viktor Church on 27 June 1806. His baptism record was a great help in my research since it included his marriage date, 8 November 1836. 

Baptism Record for Johann Heinrich Poppelmann (b. 25 June 1806, baptized 27 June 1806)

With the marriage information that I found on Johann Heinrich's baptism record, I was able to find his marriage record. On 8 November 1836, he married Catharina Maria Baumer who was born on 23 July 1814. The ceremony took place in St. Viktor Church with Bernard Pöppelmann and Maria Anna Baumer as the witnesses.

Marriage Record for Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann & Catharina Maria Baumer (8 November 1836)

Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann and his wife emigrated from Bremen, Germany aboard the ship "Ernst & Gustav" in July 1837 and arrived in Baltimore on 25 September 1837. They are listed on lines 22 and 23 on the passenger list with a destination of Cincinnati. From Cincinnati, the family settled in Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio where they had 7 children. 

Catherine Maria died on 12 August 1884 and Johann Heinrich died on 2 December 1889 and both are buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Egypt, Ohio.

(2) Their second child Johann Bernard Pöppelmann was born 28 June 1809 in Damme and was baptized on 2 July in St. Viktor Church. Again, this baptism record was a great help since it provided the marriage and death dates for Johann Bernard.

Baptism Record for Johann Bernard Pöppelmann (b. 28 June 1809, baptized 2 July 1809)

Using the marriage date of 24 April 1834 found in the baptism record, I was able to find his marriage to Catharina Maria Osterhoff (b. 7 August 1802) on 24 April 1834 in St. Viktor Church. The witnesses for the marriage were Heinrich Pöppelmann and Maria Engle Osterhof. 

Marriage Record for Johan Bernard Pöppelmann & Catharina Maria Osterhof (24 April 1834)

Johann Bernard Pöppelmann died 31 August 1871 and was buried on 3 September 1874 in the St. Viktor cemetery in Damme, Germany.

Funeral Record for Johann Bernard Pöppelmann (d. 31 August 1874, buried 3 September 1874)

(3) Their third child was Johann Frans Henrich Pöppelmann who was born on 20 September 1811 and baptized on 21 September 1811 in St. Viktor Church. This baptism record includes his death as 27 August 1839.

Baptism Record for Johann Frans Henrich (b. 20 August 1811, baptized 20 September 1811)

He died on 27 August 1839 and was buried in the St. Viktor cemetery on 30 August 1839. He was 27 years, 11 months and 8 days old.

Funeral Record for Johann Frans Henrich Pöppelmann (b. 27 August 1839, baptized 30 August 1839)

(4) Their forth child was Anna Maria Pöppelmann who was born on 26 January 1814 and was baptized on 27 January 1814 in St. Viktor Church.

Baptism record for Anna Maria Pöppelmann (b. 26 January 1814, baptized 27 January 1814)

(5) Their fifth child was Bernard Heinrich Pöppelmann who was born on 18 March 1816. He was baptized on 20 March 1816 in St. Viktor Church. Witnesses to the baptism were Heinrich Wilkam, Elisabeth Kramer, and Bernard Schmiesing. His baptism record helped find his death record since the death date was included.

Baptism Record for Bernard Heinrich Pöppelmann (b. 18 March 1816, baptized 20 March 1816)

Bernard Heinrich died on 2 March 1832 and was buried in the St. Viktor cemetery on 4 March. He was 15 years, 11 months and 16 days old at the time of his death. 

Funeral Record for Bernard Heinrich Pöppelmann (d. 2 March 1832, buried 4 March 1832)

(6) Their sixth child was Anna Maria Angela Pöppelmann. She was born 6 August 1818 and baptized in St. Viktor Church on 8 August 1818. Witnesses to the baptism were Angela Kophanke and Herman Arkenberg. Again, this baptism record included the marriage date so it was easy to find her marriage record.

Baptism Record for Anna Maria Angela Pöppelmann (b. 6 August 1818, baptized 8 August 1818)

Anna married Johann Hermann Lagemann on 22 August 1840 in St. Viktor Church. Johann Hermann Lagemann was born 11 March 1819. Witnesses to the marriage were Johann Heinrich Meyer and Agnes Lagemann.

Marriage Record for Anna Maria Angela Pöppelmann & Johann Hermann Lagemann (22 August 1840)

I have not yet found the death record for Anna or Johann Hermann.

(7) Their seventh child was Anna Maria Pöppelmann. Anna is my 3rd great grandmother. Her baptism record lists her name as Maria Anna Pöppelmann but later records in Ohio have her as Anna. Anna was born 26 February 1821 and was baptized on 1 March 1821 in St. Viktor Church. Witnesses to the baptism were Maria Engle Beckmann and Johann Bernard Heitmann.

Baptism Record for Maria Anna Pöppelmann (b. 26 February 1821, baptized 1 March 1821)

Anna immigrated to the United States around 1845 and married Johann Bernard Schmiesing (1818-1903) on 29 July 1845 in Auglaize County, Ohio. She and Johann Bernard lived in Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio where they had at least 9 children. Anna's obituary lists her name as Maria Anna and her death date as 31 December 1902. She was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Egypt, Ohio on 3 January 1903. She and her husband have a shared headstone.

Obituary for Maria Anna Pöppelmann Schmiesing (d. 31 December 1902)
Source: Minster Post, 9 January 1903, page 5

Her husband Johann Bernard Schmiesing died one week later on 6 January 1903. He was only a few days short of his 85th birthday.

Obituary for J Bernard Schmiesing (d. 6 January 1903)
Source: Minster Post, 9 January 1903, page 5

(8) The last child that I have been able to find was Maria Angela Elisabeth Pöppelmann. She was born 31 January 1823 and baptized 2 February 1823 in St. Viktor Church. Witnesses to the baptism were Maria Elisabeth Arkenberg and Johann Heinrich Kophanke. The baptism record also included the marriage date of 18 March 1843

Baptism Record for Maria Engel Elisabeth Pöppelmann (b. 31 January 1823, baptized 2 February 1823)

Maria Angela Elisabeth Pöppelmann married Johann Bernard Baumer (b. 13 October 1821) on 18 May 1843 in St. Viktor Church. Witnesses to the marriage were Heinrich Baumer and Hermann Lagemann.

Marriage Record for Maria Engel Elisabeth Pöppelmann and Johann Bernard Baumer (18 May 1843)

Johann Bernard Baumer died on 28 October 1880 and Maria Angela died on 27 March 1897. Both are buried in St. Augustines Cemetery in Minster, Ohio.

I have been in communication with the descendants of Johann Heinrich Pöppelmann (Poeppelman) who still live in Ohio as well as a Pöppelmann cousin in Germany.

Earlier this year, the Poeppelman family did a 3-part series of  webinars concerning the Poeppelman Legacy Day that was held on 9 September 2019. These videos include family stories, research, and a description of their trip to Germany to visit the towns and churches where the Pöppelmann family lived. You can see these videos at the following link. Each one is about an hour long.

I hope these stories will inspire you to research your family history during this time of Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Leo Herman Kohnen (1888-1976)

Hello everyone. I know it has been a while since my last post (again) but I have been busy. This year I was able to attend RootsTech in Salt Lake City and the NGS National Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I also gave three talks at the Northeast Florida Genealogy Conference in Jacksonville, Florida and had a genealogy booth at Celtic Crazy Festival in Titusville, Florida. In addition to all the genealogy related travel, my job has been very busy. But being busy hasn't stopped me from doing research and starting a few other projects. I started a one name Facebook page for the Westerheide surname and have been busy putting together posts for that. If you are related please ask to join. One of my cousins asked me a question based on some information she was told many years ago about a mystery person named George Homan. She had spent some time trying to find out who George Homan could be with no luck. So I decided to help her out and research it a bit. This research led me to writing this story of a lost link in the family and the convoluted connections I discovered. So, here is the story. CAUTION - this is a long post (but it's mostly pictures) and may be confusing.

If you have been around the genealogy world for awhile you may have heard of the FAN process in researching. FAN stands for Friends, Acquaintances and Neighbors. This research technique includes looking at who is living nearby on the census, investigating associated people on various records and seeing who is listed in newspaper articles about your research topic. The FAN process was important in discovering some hidden connections in the research I include below.

You've probably heard of "Where's Waldo" but have you heard of "Who's Leo"? My story starts with a question from my cousin about George Homan listed as the grandson of my 3rd great grandparents, Francis (Frank) and Elisabeth Westerheide. This information turned out to be from the 1900 US census.

1900 US Census listing Frank and Elisabeth Westerheide and their grandson Leo Kohnan

On the 1900 census I realized that the individual that was supposedly George Homan was actually Leo Kohnan. He is listed as a grandson born in April 1888 and aged 12. With this in mind, I need to take a few steps back and let you know about another "mystery" that had previously been holding back research on this family.

Frank Westerheide immigrated from Germany and arrived in the US in 1857. Based on this information I had expected to find him listed in the 1860 US census but all searches on Ancestry and other sites turned up empty. Why wasn't I able to find him in the searchable indexes? With no luck searching, I decided to revert to the old way of researching, I went page by page looking for the name. Finally, I was able to find him and realized why he wasn't searchable in the indexes. Take a look at the 1860 census entry and tell me what you see.

1860 US Census for Frank Westerheide and family

Do you see Westerheide? I sure don't. This looks like Sisterhiden to me. The indexer for Ancestry had it as Listerhider. Notice his wife Elizabeth, age 30 is listed along with two children, John (age 2) and Mary (age 1 month).

It was no less difficult finding him and his family in the 1870 US Census either. I had to revert to the page by page search again.

1870 US Census for Frank Westerheide and family
This time the family is indexed as Wisterhier. Look at all those children. Now they are up to 8 children, John's name is now listed as Herrod, and Joseph (age 7) is my direct line ancestor. Frank went from 30 years old to 44 between the 1860 and 1870 census and his wife Elizabeth went from 30 years to 43 years old. Aging more that 10 years between censuses isn't a rare event for many fellow researchers, but in this case it is important to watch the ages between each census and to fully investigate each piece of information presented in the census.

The 1880 US census was a bit easier to research. Westerheide is only slightly misspelled as Westerheida. In this census Frank and Elisabeth are both 48 years old, only aging 4 - 5 years since the last census, and they have 8 children in the home with Rosa (age 8) being born between the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

1880 US Census for Frank Westerheide and family
At the bottom of this 1880 census image I have included the next family as a reference. Notice the family is Kohnen, similar to Kohnan that Leo went by. I wonder if there is any relation.

Of course we don't have the 1890 census to research so looking back at the 1900 census we see Frank (age 70) and Elisabeth (age 68). So everything looks right in the world, or does it? Again, who is Leo?

Look a bit closer at the 1900 census. How long have Frank and Elizabeth been married?

1900 US Census listing Frank and Elisabeth Westerheide and their grandson.
If you said 22 years, you would be correct. But in the 1880 census they had a son Gerhard who was 22 years old. Another thing you will notice is that at the end of this line it says 2 2. That means that Elisabeth had 2 children, both of whom are living. But we counted at least 9 children in the previous censuses. So what does this all mean?

Many researches had assumed that the Elisabeth listed in the 1900 census and the 1860 census were the same person since they were of similar ages. But that would have been wrong. The first Elizabeth died in 1871 and Frank married the second Elisabeth in 1878. How do we know there were two Elizabeths? Well one hint is that there are two different burials for Elisabeth Westerheide in the St. Henry Cemetery.

Elizabeth Westerheide (1829-1871)
Elisabeth Westerheide (1832-1917)

Searching all of the children of Frank and Elizabeth(1) you find that none of those children married a Kohnen or Kohnan. What about the 2 children listed for Elisabeth(2)? Did she have 2 children with Frank between 1878 and 1900? That is a possibility since there is plenty of time for them to grow up and leave the house but Elisabeth would have been in her late 40s and Frank in his early 50s if that was the case.

So I continued searching and ran across the 1910 US census.

1910 US Census for Frank and Elisabeth Westerheide

Notice that toward the end of the line it states that Elisabeth had 3 children, 2 of which are still living and also it has M2, indicating that she and Frank had both been married twice. So, maybe one of Elizabeth's children married a Kohnen and was the parent of Leo. But now I need to find out who her first husband was so I can find her children.

Luckily the 1900 census provides us another clue. On the same page of the census that Frank and Elisabeth are listed there is another family of interest. This family is at the bottom of the page, four houses down, Theodore and Elisabeth Kolker and family.

1900 US Census - Kolker family
Notice that there is a step-son named Leo Kohnen in this family. He was born May 1888. The Leo Kohnan listed with Frank and Elisabeth Westerheide was born April 1888. Also, he has a sister named Francis Kohnen, also born May 1888. They would be twins. Is this our Leo? And, if so, who are the Kolkers?

Remember that 1910 census for Frank and Elisabeth Westerheide that we just looked at. Well let's take a closer look and look at the family right next to them.

1910 US Census - Westerheide and Kolker families
The family right before Frank Westerheide is Elisabeth and Theodore Kolker with their daughter Agnes Kolker and son Herman Leo Kohnen. Herman Leo Kohnen is the same person as Leo Herman Kohnen. But Francis Kohnen is missing. And this census indicates that Elisabeth and Theodore Kolker have both been married twice also. 

So, I decided try the obvious source to see who Leo's parents were. I found his obituary and looked it over to see what family members were listed and found that his parents were not included.

Obituary for Leo Kohnen (The Community Post, Minster, Ohio, 4 March 1976)

Maybe Francis will provide a clue if I can find a record for her.

Marriage Record for Mary Frances Kohnen and Fremont Stetler
I was able to find her marriage record which listed her parents as Ben Kohnen and Elizabeth Langenkamp. Now, this means that if Leo is a grandson of Frank and Elisabeth then Mary Frances is also a grandchild. So, how does the link to Bernard Kohnen or Elisabeth Langenkamp occur? Remember that 1880 census that I included previously. Look who is living next door to Frank Westerheide. Notice that it is Bernard and Elisabeth Kohnen. Coincidence? I don't think so. They are Leo and Frances Kohnen's parents!

1880 US Census for Frank Westerheide and family
Ok, so now that I have Leo's parents, how are they connected to Frank and Elisabeth Westerheide? Since Elisabeth(2) Westerheide died in 1917 I was able to find her death certificate which provided a couple clues in my search. By the way, this death certificate is indexed as Westerhigle so it doesn't show up when Westerheide is searched. I had to search with Westerh*. Remember to use the wildcards in your searches.

Death Certificate for Mare Elizabeth Westerheide (nee Holthouse)
With this record I found that her maiden name was Holthouse. This still didn't link her to Elisabeth Langenkamp or Bernard Kohnen but it is one step closer. Since we know that Elisabeth Holthouse was married once prior to marrying Frank Westerheide maybe we can find her marriage record. It could be a difficult search since it was probably sometime in the 1850s to 1870s but it was worth a look.

Marriage Record - John Heinrich Langenkamp and Maria Elizabeth Holthous - 2 September 1853
Elizabeth Holthaus married John Henry Langenkamp. Is this the record I needed to connect to Bernard Kohnen and Elisabeth Langenkamp, Leo Kohnen's parents?

1860 US Census for Henry and Elizabeth Langenkamp and family
After looking 2 pages past Frank Westerheide's family in the 1860 US census I found Henry and Elisabeth Langenkamp with their children Margret and Frank. Margaret is Elisabeth Langenkamp who married Bernard Kohnen. How do I know that Margret and Elisabeth are the same person? Well, the 1870 census lists her as Elisabeth.

1870 US Census for Henry and Elizabeth Langenkamp and family

Oh, and one more thing. Are you still wondering who Theodore Kolker is? Well, Bernard Kohnen died and Elisabeth Langenkamp married Theodore and formed her family with her two children, Leo and Frances Kohnen, and had a daughter Agnes Kolker.

So, were you able to follow the rabbit trail? Let me summarize it for you:

  1. Leo Herman Kohnen (1888-1976) was the son of Bernard Kohnen and Margret Elizabeth Langenkamp.
  2. Bernard Kohnen died and Elisabeth married Theodore Kolker (Leo listed as step son 1900 census).
  3. Elisabeth Langenkamp's parents were John Heinrich (Henry) Langenkamp and Maria Elizabeth (Elisabeth) Holthaus.
  4. After John Henry Langenkamp died Elisabeth Holthaus married Frank Westerheide (Leo listed as grandson in 1900 census).
Well, that wasn't so difficult, now was it?

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 Cemont, 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.  Two 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.