Tombstone Tuesday–Katharina Elisabeth Byer

Katharine E. Byer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Katherina Byer, located in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruhet
Katharina E
Tochter von
Jasper n. Sophia
Gest. 19 Jan 1888
17 Y, 10 M, 21 T

Translation: Here lies Katharina E, daughter of Casper and Sophia Byer, died 19 January 1888, aged 17 years, 10 months, 21 days.

According to Zion Chatt’s records Katharina/Catharina Elisabetha Byer was born 27 February 1870 in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, born to Casper and Sophia (Gugel) Byer. She was likely their second child. Katharina’s father was born in Puschendorf, Bavaria, and her mother was born in Butler County, Ohio. Her parents married 8 August 1867. [1]

Their surname was sometimes spelled Beyer in the church records and Katharina’s father’ s name was sometimes written as Jasper.

Katharina was baptized 3 April 1870 with Henry Becker and Sophia Gugel as her sponsors.

In 1870 the Casper Byer family lived in Blackcreek Township with a Shanes Crossing post office. In the household: Casper, 30; Sophia, 20; Sixtus, 2; and Catherine [Katharina], 3 months. Casper was a farmer and some of their neighbors included Conrad and George Heffner, Fredrick Baker, Fredrick Hardzog, Sixtus Gugel, and John Baker. [2]

There was tragedy in the Byer family in 1872 when Katharina’s mother Sophia (Gugel) and Sophia’s 13 day-old child, Georg Friedrich, died on 10 March 1872. Sophia was only 22 years old.

Katharina’s father Casper married Margaret Kneisel on 9 November 1872 in Auglaize County. Their first child, John Phillip Byer, was born 7 September 1873. [3]

In 1880 the Byer family still lived in Blackcreek Township, now with seven children in the family. The Casper Byer family  in 1880: Jasper, 39; Margret, 31; Sixtus, 11; Catharine, 10; John P., 7; Mary L, 5; Matilda F, 4; Ema C, 2; and Luis, H, 1. [4]

Katharina was confirmed at Zion Chatt on Palm Sunday, 6 April 1884.

Katharina Elisabeth Beyer died 19 January 1888, at the age of 17 years, 10 months, and 21 days. She was buried on the 21st and was laid to rest next to her mother Sophia and her infant brother Georg Friedrich.

[1] “Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, (accessed 26 Feb 2017), Casper Beyer and Sophia Gugel, 8 Aug 1867; Mercer County, vol. 3-5, FHL microfilm 0914956.

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, dwelling & family 160, p. 29B, Casper Byre; (accessed 26 Feb 2017); FHL microfilm 552742, NARA microfilm M593, roll 1243.

[3] “Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, (accessed 26 Feb 2017), Jasper Beyer and Margaret Knisel, 9 Nov 1872; Auglaize County, vol. 4-5, FHL microfilm 0963057.

[4] 1880 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, ED 179, p.323B, dwelling & family 1, line 9, Jasper Byer; (accessed 26 Feb 2017); NARA microfilm T9, roll 1048.


    • Andy Gappa on February 28, 2017 at 10:50 am
    • Reply

    As you know, I’m all things Byer. Casper, aka Jasper, was my GG Grandfather. If anyone wants more info on the Byer family of Adams County, Indiana, and Van Wert County/Mercer County, Ohio, please e-mail me at and I can provide them with trees, branches, photos, reunion info, etc. I’ve got a giant tree on, too. Thanks again, Karen, for all you do.
    Andy Gappa

    1. I thought she was in your line. Thanks for writing!

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