The Albright & Ehrman Orphans

Last week I wrote about the Albrights and the Ehrmans, two German immigrant families who had tragic family losses. The parents of both families died within a few years of settling in the Willshire and Chattanooga areas, leaving behind underage children.

My original research problem was to determine what happened to their orphaned children. Unfortunately, this situation happened more often than you would think. Parent-less children were usually taken in by relatives, baptismal sponsors, neighbors, or friends. To make matters worse, in this instance it appears the Albrights and Ehrmans did not have any relatives in the area. Their children had to live with friends and neighbors after their parents died. However, the legacy of both families continued on and both families have many descendants today.

The Albrights’ one living child Anna, legally a minor at age 17, married George Bollenbacher shortly before her mother Eva Barbara died in 1853. Anna’s father John George Albright had died a couple years before, in 1850, and Anna’s mother Eva Barbara had to give consent for minor daughter Anna to marry. Anna (Albright) and George Bollenbacher spent the rest of their lives in Liberty Township, Mercer County, and had a number of children.

The Ehrmans left more children behind, most of them minors. The mother Charlotte Ehrman died in 1851 and the father Adam Ehrman died in 1853. Their deaths left their six orphaned children behind, five of them under 21 years of age.  

What happened to the Ehrman children?

Christian Ehrman, the oldest child of Adam and Charlotte Ehrman, was 25 years old when his father died in 1853. Christian married Margaret Bienz 13 July 1854, about eight months after his father’s death. Christian and Margaret started their own family on the Ehrman farm between Willshire and Schumm. I will relate the research of the Christian Ehrman family in a future blog post.

John “Adam” Ehrman, the second child of Adam and Charlotte Ehrman, was born about 1833 and was age 20 when his father died in 1853. Adam (the younger) was enumerated in the 1850 census and seemed to disappear after that.

Emily “Amelia” Ehrman, the third child of Adam and Charlotte Ehrman, was born about 1836 and was age 17 when her father died. She married George Adam Kienzle (1835-1900) on 2 January 1859 in Van Wert County and they had seven children. [1] Emily (Ehrman) Kienzle died in Celina, Ohio, on 13 October 1921 and is buried in North Grove Cemetery, Celina. [2]

George Kienzle & Emeline Ehrman marriage, 2 Jan 1859, Van Wert Co, Vol 1839-1863, p.153

Florina Ehrman, the fourth child of Adam and Charlotte Ehrman, was born about 1838 and was 15 years old when her father died. She was enumerated in the 1850 census and seemed to disappear after that.

Margaret Ehrman, the fifth child of Adam and Charlotte Ehrman, was born 25 March 1847 and was 6 years old when her father died. After her parents’ death Margaret went to live with Adam and Maria (Germann) Dietrich and was living with them in 1860: Adam, 32, Hesse Darmstadt; Mary E, 27, Hesse Hamburg; Mary M, 1, Ohio; Eserbert [sic] [Eberhart?] Zimmerman, 19, Bavaria; and Margaret Airaman [Ehrman], 15, Ohio. [3] Margaret Ehrman married Friedrich Schumm Jr (1844-1907) on 26 October 1871 and they had nine children. Margaret died 27 June 1885 and is buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery.

Catharine Ehrman, the sixth child of Adam and Charlotte Ehrman, was born 7 November 1849 and was 4 years of age when her father died. Catharine was baptized 27 November 1849, with John George and Elizabeth Brenner as her baptismal sponsors, as recorded in Zion Schumm’s records. After her parents’ death, Catharine Ehrman went to live with the Brenners, her baptismal sponsors, and was enumerated with them in Willshire Township in 1860: John Brenner, 62, Wuerttemberg; Elisabeth, 55, PA; Godfrey, 16, OH; and Catharine Airman [Ehrman] 10, OH. The Brenners lived very close to the Adam Dietrichs, where Catharine’s sister Margaret was living. [4] It is nice to see the sisters were still living rather close together.

Catharine Ehrman married Anthony John H. “Anton” Kramer (1850-1937) on 22 July 1871 in Allen County, Indiana, [5] and they had five children. Catharine (Ehrman) Kramer died 30 May 1930 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery there. [6]

As usual, questions still remain:

  • Where were Margaret and Catharine Ehrman living in 1870? I have not determined that yet. My best guesses are Fort Wayne, somewhere in Adams County, Indiana, or in Van Wert County.
  • When did Adam Ehrman [the older] settle in Van Wert County? The Ehrmans immigrated in 1834 but I have not found the family in the 1840 census. Adam Ehrman purchased his Willshire Township land in 1848 and they first appear in Zion Schumm’s records in 1849, when their daughter Catharine was baptized. I am now wondering if they lived in another area before moving to Van Wert County.
  • What happened to children John Adam Ehrman and Florina Ehrman after 1850?

I would love to hear from and compare notes with Ehrman family researchers.

[1] Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993, Ohio, Van Wert, Vol 1839-1863, p.153, George A Kienzle & Emeline Areman [sic], 2 Jan 1859;, viewed 3 Aug 2023.

[2] Find a, memorial no. 64404497, Amelia Kienzle, North Grove Cemetery, Celina, Ohio.

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p: 151 (penned), dwelling 1075, family 1069, Adam Dertrich [sic];, viewed 4 Jan 2019.

[4] 1860 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.151 (penned), dwelling 1073, family 1067, John Bauner [sic];, viewed 6 Sep 2021.

[5] Indiana, U.S., Marriages, 1810-2001, Allen County, FHL Film no. 002111268, p.330, Anton Kramer & Catherine Ehrman, 22 Jul 1871; database,, viewed 3 Aug 2023.

[6] Find a, memorial no. 120842047, Katherine Ehrmans Kramer, Woodlawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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