Friday, March 7, 2014

Charles Joseph Meyer, Sr. (1840-1904) "52 Ancestors"

We are now on week 10 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I hope everyone has been enjoying the stories. This week I decided to expand on a story I wrote about Charles Joseph Meyer, Jr. during week two. This one is about his father, my great-great-grandfather Charles Joseph Meyer, Sr.

Charles Joseph Meyer, Sr. was born on 15 July 1840 in the area of Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio. He is the son of Johann Joseph Meyer (1806-1882) and Elisabeth Bocklage (1812-1897). His parents were born in Oldenburg, Germany. So far, it appears that Charles was one of eight children. His siblings, as far as I have been able to determine so far, were Francis, Elizabeth, Henry, Joseph, August, Benjamin and Catherine.

The 1850 census lists the family as Joseph (age 44) and Elizabeth (age 38), with their children Francis (age 15), Elizabeth (age 13), Cordell (Charles) (age 10), Henry (age 8), Joseph (age 6), August (age 4) and Benjamin (age 3 months). Joseph is listed as a farmer with real estate valued at $1000. All of the children except August and Benjamin are listed as attending school. The family is living in German Township in Auglaize County.

In 1860, Charles (age 19) is listed as a farm laborer living at home with his parents in Minster, Jackson Township, Auglaize, Ohio. His father's land is now valued at $1800. His brothers, Henry (age 18) and Joseph (age 15), are also working as farm laborers. The remaining children, August (age 13) and Catherine (age 6), are attending school. His older sister Elizabeth (age 22) is working in the home. On 16 October 1866, Charles married Mary Katherine Wehrman (1847-1916) in Auglaize County, Ohio. Mary was born in Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio and was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Wehrman and Maria Catherina Bernadina Winner, both immigrants from Germany. After their marriage they can be found living near Egypt in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio where Charles continued farming.

Their first two children, Charles Joseph and Herman were born on 28 September 1867 and 15 May 1869. Herman died at the age of 3 months. By the time of the 1870 census Mary was pregnant with her third son Henry August who was born on 15 July 1870. Charles' farm is valued at $3600 in the 1870 census. In addition to his wife Mary (age 20) and their son Joseph (age 2), there is a servant girl named Little Magdaleen (age 15) living with the family. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't know who this Little Magdaleen is yet but I hope to someday find out.

On 15 October 1872, their first daughter, Mary Catherine Meyer was born, however she died on 8 August 1879, at the age of 6 years old. Their next child, August Meyer, was born on 7 January 1875. He died two weeks after Mary Catherine, on 22 August 1879, at the age of 4. On 10 February 1877, Charles and Mary had their sixth child, Bernard Meyer and then on 11 January 1880, Anton Meyer was born. So, by the 1880 census the family consisted of Charles (age 39), Mary (age 29) and their children Joseph (age 12), Henry (age 9), Bernard (age 3) and Anton (age 5 months). Joseph and Henry are attending school.

Charles and Mary eventually had a total of ten children (I only have the names for nine). The remaining two children that I know of were Mary Bernadine, born 1 September 1882, and Elizabeth, born and died 23 February 1884. By the 1900 census all of the children except Anton (age 21) have either died or moved away. Only five of the children are still living. Anton is living at home and is employed as a carpenter.

Charles Joseph Meyer, Sr. died on 11 July 1904, just 4 days short of his 64th birthday. He had been ill for a long period of time and his death was not unexpected. The family, including his wife and five remaining children; Joseph, Henry, Bernard, Anton and Bernadina, were all gathered by his side when he died. His funeral was held on 13 July and he was buried in the St. Joseph Cemetery in Egypt, Auglaize, Ohio.

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