Tombstone Tuesday–Caroline Hardzog

Caroline Hardzog, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio.

Caroline Hardzog, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Caroline Hardzog, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The sandstone marker is inscribed: Caroline, Daught of Christian Hardzog died March 8 1840, Aged 2 years & 3 ms.

Exactly as the marker is inscribed:

Daught of Ch
ristian Hardzo
g died March
8 1840
Aged 2 year
s & 3 ms

It is interesting to note the way the monument carver broke up the words. When he ran out of room he finished the word on the next line.

This tombstone is probably the only record of Caroline’s birth and death. She died during a time when most vital events were not recorded.

The Schumms arrived in the area in 1838 and had to establish a burial ground that same year to bury one of their own. Katherine (Schumm) Schueler, the 28 year old daughter of John George Schumm, was the first one buried in Schumm Cemetery.

Zion Lutheran Church was not established until 1840, the year same Caroline Hardzog died. The earliest of Zion’s records date back to 1846 so there is no church record of Caroline’s birth or death.

Caroline’s father appears to have been buried in Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery, just south of Zion’s Cemetery.

The name Hardzog was spelled Hartzog in later years.


  1. You have identified a very critical turning point for this part of the Northwest territory. Although Ohio became a state early in the 1800s, the establishment of churches, news paper offices, and even government offices in local regions were just ideas yet to bloom. Consequently lives were much less carefully documented, especially those many young children and women dying early in their child bearing years. Often tragic events that concerned only the family members involved, if even that. Perhaps a note in an old Bible if anyone had a Bible and could read or write. Bibles that eventually disappeared or were even destroyed as they passed through generations, generations completely unfamiliar with the old language in that Bible (Bibles like the one held in the family photo on the sidebar). How slowly the old world history tools moved into the frontier of the time. Where were the boundaries of “recorded” history?

    The lack of records leaves a wide open window of wonder and mystery. Where did those missing relatives go? Where do they rest? How do we learn of their lives?

    1. You raise some good points. The German Lutherans were very good record keepers, even centuries ago. But in this case Zion Lutheran Schumm was not yet established. Since the cemetery predates the church I think Schumm Cemetery was one of the first established in the area and the locals were using it for burial. It appears other Hardzog/Hartzog family members were later buried down the road at Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery.

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