Tombstone Tuesday–Maria B.E. Bienz

Maria B.E. Bienz, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Maria Barbara Elisabeth Bienz, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Maria B.E. Tochter von
J. und M. Bienz
Gest. den 26 Jan 1897
Alter 28 J. 3 M. 29 T.

Maria B.E., daughter of J. and M. Bienz, died 26 January 1897, aged 28 years, 3 months, 29 days.

“Maria” Barbara Elisabeth Bienz was born in Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, on 27 September 1868, born to Johann (1823-1898) and Magdalena (Schueler) (1835-1916) Bienz. She was baptized 2 October 1868 with Mrs. Jacob (Elisabeth) Bienz, Maria Roehm and Mrs. Barbara Schumm serving as her sponsors.

In 1870 Maria, called Mary in the two censuses she was enumerated in, was the youngest member of the Bienz family. The John Bienz family in 1870: John, 47; Magdalena, 35; John F, 17; George E, 15; Rosina C, 13; Anna BC, 11; John JC, 9; Henry W, 5; and Mary, 1. The father John was a farmer. [1]

In 1880 Maria was enumerated with her parents and her six siblings. The John Bienz household in 1880: John, 55; Magdalena, 45; Catharine, 21; John, 19; August, 17; Henry, 14; Mary, 11; Christian, 8; and Martin, 4. Her father, a farmer, was born in Wuerttemberg and her mother and siblings were born in Ohio. [2]

Maria Bienz died in Willshire Township of a heart ailment on 26 January 1897, at the age of 28 years and 4 months, according to Zion Schumm’s records. She was buried on 30th.

According to the Van Wert County Probate records Maria died of consumption at the age of 28 years and 3 months. This record indicates that she was born and died in Willshire Township, that she lived in Schumm, and was a house servant. [3]

Maria’s mother, Magdalena (Schueler), was the daughter of Maria Katharina (Schumm) Schueler (1810-1838). Maria Katharina (Schumm) was the daughter of immigrant Johann Georg Schumm. Maria Katharina was an immigrant herself and married to Michael Schueler. Maria Katharina (Schumm) Schueler was the first person buried in Zion Schumm Cemetery.

Johann and Magdalena (Schueler) Bienz had a very large family and Maria was the 8th of 13 children:
Johann Friedrich (1853-1918)
George Emanuel (1855-1954)
Rosina Catharine (1857-1940)
Anna Barbara Catharine (1859-1943)
Johann Jacob Andreas (1861-1935)
August George (1863-1938)
Heinrich Wilhelm (1865-1926)
Maria Barbara Elisabeth (1868-1897)
Christian Andreas (1872-1947?)
Ludwig Eberhart Ferdinand (1873-1876)
Martin Gottfried (1875-1954)
Wilhelm C (1878-1879)
Magdalena Anna Margaretha (1881-1965)


[1] 1870 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.439B, dwelling 135, family 136, John F. Bence; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 24 Mar 2019).

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 145, p.452C, family 162, John Beinz; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 24 Mar 2019).

[3] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : viewed 24 Mar 2019), Mary Bienz, 26 Jan 1897; Willshire, Township, Van Wert County, Deaths, Vol. 2:11.


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