Tombstone Tuesday–Caroline Biberstein

Caroline Biberstein, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Caroline Biberstein, located in row 14 of Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed Hier ruhet, Caroline Biberstein, Geb. 14 Nov 1874, Gest 15 Oct 1890, Alter 15 Jah, 11 Mo, 1 Td. Translation: Here rests Caroline Biberstein, born 14 Nov 1874, died 15 Oct 1890, aged 15 years, 11 months, 1 day.

This is the fifth and remaining Biberstein/Beberstein tombstone in Kessler Cemetery. It is between the tombstone of her father and mother.

Caroline’s inscription is on the north side of the tombstone. The name Frederike Biberstein is inscribed on the south side of the tombstone and nothing more is written on that side. There is no mention of another Frederike Biberstein in the church records of Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, just Friedricka the mother.

Frederike Biberstein, south side of tombstone.

According to the records of Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, Caroline Margaretha “Baberstein” was born 14 November 1874 in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. Her parents were Abraham Baberstein, born in Canton Bern, Switzerland, and his wife Friedricka, born Stretter, born in Murr, Württemberg. Caroline was baptized 12 December 1874.

Caroline Biberstein inscription, north side of tombstone.

I did some further research on the Biberstein family. It appears that Abraham and Friedricke had a son, George Washington, who lived to maturity and married. George W. “Beverstine”, age 2 [born c1858] was enumerated in the 1860 census, in Sandy Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. According to Zion’s records Washington Biberstein was confirmed in 1873. Since Lutherans are usually confirmed at about age 14 this was likely the same person.

G.W. “Beberstine” married Magdalena Wiedman on 18 January 1883, in Mercer County, R. H. Besel, mg, officiating.  [1]

According to Zion’s records Georg Washington and Magdalena (Widmann) Biberstein had a son Georg Abraham, born 11 September 1884 and baptized 17 September 1884. His sponsor was Johann Enkel, in place of Wilhelmina Ritter, who was absent. Georg Abraham’s baptismal record also gives the birth place of his father as Sidney Township [a spelling error?], Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and that of his mother as Recovery Township, Mercer County, Ohio.

This is the George Beberstein family as they appeared in 1900 in Allen County, Indiana: George (42, Oh; father born in Switzerland, mother born in Germany), Magdalina, (33, Oh), George A (15, Oh), Charles M (12, Ind), Mary M (11, Ind), Elizabeth (8, Ind), Emma (6, Ind), Alwis (3, Ind). [2]  

There a memorial to George W. Beberstein on Find A, #28524191. There is no photo of his tombstone but the memorial indicates that he was born in 1857 and died in 1933. He is buried in Saint Johns Lutheran Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana. Also memorialized on Find A Grave in the same cemetery are the following Bebersteins: Magdelena (1865-1932), #28524189; Dortha Lucile (1900-1918), #28524172; and Theodore O. (1897-1950), #28524178. [3] 

There were two other Bibersteins in Zion’s records, very likely members and/or descendants of this original Beberstein family.

Maria Louisa Biberstien was confirmed in 1873. This would indicate that she was born about 1859 if she was confirmed at about age 14, She might be Mary, age 1, enumerated in the 1860 census, Sandy, Tuscarawas County, in the Abraham “Beverstine” household. [4]

Maria Wilhelmine Engel was baptized in 1885. Her parents were Johann and Friderike Wilhelmine (Biberstein) Engel. Further research shows that John P. Engle married Minnie Beberstine on 23 October 1884 in Mercer County, Ohio. [5] This was probably Minnie “Beaverstein” age 16 in the 1880 census. [6]

[1] Mercer County Marriages Vol. 5: 185, Probate Court, Celina, Ohio.

[2] 1900 US Census, Wayne, Allen, Indiana; Roll: 358; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 22; FHL microfilm: 1240358, ( : accessed 18 Aug 2012).

[3] Beberstein memorials, Saint Johns Lutheran Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, added 25 Jul 2008 by Jim Cox, ( : accessed 18 Aug 2012).

[4] 1860 US Census, Sandy, Tuscarawas, Ohio; Roll: M653_1043; Page: 354; Image 297; Family History Library Film: 805043, ( accessed 29 July 2012).

[5] Mercer County Marriages Vol. 5: 275, Probate Court, Celina, Ohio.

[6] 1880 US Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio; Roll: 1048; Family History Film: 1255048; Page: 472C; Enumeration District: 188; Image: 0656, ( accessed 29 July 2012).



    • Steve Shonk on November 22, 2017 at 3:02 am
    • Reply

    I don’t know if this is still an ‘active’ site, but was happy to find it, adding to my information regarding the Bibersteins (and other spellings). I’m not related, but have been researching people connected to the former communal society at Zoar, Ohio, settled in 1817 by a group of about 250 German Separatists seeking religious freedoms (my mother’s side of the family). One of Zoar’s midwives during that period was Anna Maria Beuter, who kept a hand-written record of births she attended/assisted (dating back to about 1847, it’s believed to be the earliest collection of birth records in Tuscarawas Co, aside from a few church records); one of the entries was that of “Abraham & Frau Biberstein” of Sandy Twp (Zoar is in neighboring Lawrence Twp), noting the birth of a son – George Washington B., on July 4, 1857. After 1860 they disappeared from the area. I recently took up the search again, and found a few brief mentions of them in records from the German congregation at Winesburg, Ohio (in neighboring Holmes Co). Interestingly, a number of early ‘Zoarites’ – who had left Zoar, apparently dissatisfied with communal living & other matters – were also listed in the Winesburg records. Holmes Co records also show that Abraham was naturalized in 1847. Fredericka (var. sp) is also mentioned as being his 2nd wife, but I have thus far found no dates as to the 1st or 2nd marriages. I then learned the family had moved to Mercer Co, and later of GW’s whereabouts in Indiana. There was also a Benedict “Beberstine” in neighboring Wayne Co, OH who was supposedly a cousin of Abe’s, some of his relatives later lived in Wells Co, Ind. (I think listed as Beverstine). There was yet another cousin, John Ferdinand B., who also lived in Wayne Co (altho had a nearby Stark Co PO address)…. Whew!

    1. This is very, very interesting, not only because of the Bibersteins, but because some of my ancestors lived in Holmes County and attended the church at Winesburg before moving to Van Wert County, Ohio. The Schumms, Pfluegers, and Reidenbachs were some of my ancestors who attended church there. Some married there and had children there. Are any of those names in the midwife records you mention? That is certainly an interesting and very good record source! We enjoy visiting Holmes County and on one trip we went through Winesburg. Some of my Scaer/Scare ancestors lived in Baltic for awhile and some are buried there. I wrote at least one blog post about my ancestors who lived in the Holmes County area at one time. To read it you can do a search for Holmes County on my website. The search feature is in the upper right of the home page. It looks like you have found some of your Bibersteins. Thank you for writing and sharing that information!

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