Sunday, February 3, 2013

Catherine Bornhorst (1858-1931)

I hope people are enjoying my stories. Even though I have close to 40,000 people in my family tree, I find it difficult to choose one to write about. I am trying to stay with direct lines and not get off on sub-branches of in-laws or those married to the cousin of my great-great-grandmother's sister's husband (yes, I do have those in my tree). Today I will be focusing on Catherine Bornhorst, my great-great-grandmother (not her sister's husband's cousin). This is a little more challenging since most women of this time stayed at home and didn't leave as many records as their husbands.

Catherine Bornhorst was born on 18 December 1858, in Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio. Her parents were Franz Joseph (1820-1900) and Catherine (Brandewie) Bornhorst (1824-1885). She was the seventh of ten children. Her siblings were Anthony (1846-1897), Bernadina (b. 1848), Henry (b. 1850), Bernard (1851-1935), Joseph (1853-1931), Frank (1856-1942), Clemens (1861-1931), Elizabeth (1864-1938), and John (1867-1935). Both of her parents were born in Germany and they were married on 13 May 1845 in Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio. Joseph, her father immigrated in 1836 at the age of 16.

The first record I have listing Catherine is the 1860 US Census for Minster, Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. At the time she is listed as 1 year old. Her family consisted of her father Joseph (age 39), mother Catherine (age 35), and siblings Anthony (age 14), Dena (age 12), Henry (age 10), Barney (age 8), Joseph (age 6), and Frank (age 4). According to this census, her father was born in Oldenburg and her mother was born in Hanover. Her father is a farmer with $1,800 in real estate and $500 in personal property.

Catherine married William Severin around 1877 and had four children from this marriage. These children were Emma, Frank, Bernard and Anne, a daughter who died as a young child. The family left Ohio and moved to Belloit, Mitchell County, Kansas in October 1885. Her husband, William died in January 1886, a few months after they arrived in Kansas. Shortly afterward the remaining family moved back to the Minster, Ohio area to be with family. On 16 February 1887, she married my great-great-grandfather, Henry Westerheide (1863-1948) in St. Joseph's Church, Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio.

The 1900 US Census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio lists the family as follows: Henry Westerheide (age 35) and his wife Katharina (age 41), and their eight children; Edward (age 12), Julius (age 10), Maria (age 9), George (age 6), Raymond (age 5), Paulina (age 4), Joseph (age 2) and Anton (age 6 months). Henry and Katharina had been married 14 years and all eight of their children were still surviving. As was customary for this area, Henry was a farmer. I noticed that none of the three surviving Severin children are included in this family or the child count in the census. I am not sure where those children were during this census or future censuses.

In the 1910 US Census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, Katherine states that she has had 13 children with 12 still living. That would include the nine Westerheide children and the four Severin children. However, the Severin children are again not found in the household. This census lists the family as Henry (age 47) and Katherine (age 52) and their children Edward (age 22), Julius (age 20), Mary (age 18), George (age 16), Raymond (age 14), Paulina (age 13), Joseph (age 11), Anthony (age 9) and Henry (age 7). Edward is a veterinary doctor and Julius is listed as a laborer. Their father is still farming.

The 1920 census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio lists the family as Henry (age 56) and Katherine (age 61) and their children George (age 26), Pauline (age 23), Anton (age 19) and Henry (age 17). Anton and Henry are listed as laborers and their father is still farming.

The 1930 census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio lists the family as Henry (age 66) and Katherine (age 71) and their son Anthony (age 30) with his wife Mathilda (age 27) and son Stanley (age 4). Anthony and Mathilda were married about 1921.

Headstone, St. Joseph's Cemetery
Catherine died on 19 April 1931 in Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio, where she spent the majority of her life. She was survived by her husband, 9 children (2 Severin and 7 Westerheide), 34 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and several of her siblings. Her funeral was held on 23 April 1931 at St. Joseph's Church, Egypt, Ohio with Rev. Thomas Meyer officiating. The burial followed in the church cemetery.


  1. FWIW, I thought I'd read somewhere that Henry Westerheide was a farmhand who accompanied the Severins to Kansas.

  2. Thanks, I haven't seen that info. I'll see if there is something I can find to back it up.