Tombstone Tuesday–John G. Kessler

John G. Kessler, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

John G. Kessler, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of John G. Kessler, located in Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

John G.
Sohn von
C. & M. Kessler
28 Aug 1852
28 Apr 1853
Alter 8 Monat

Translation: John G., son of C. & M. Kessler, born 28 August 1852, died 28 April 1853, age 8 months.

“Johann Georg” Kessler was born to Christian and Margarethe (Kable) Kessler on 28 August 1852 in Mercer County, Ohio, according to the records of Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga. He died 28 April 1853 in Mercer County, a mere eight months old. His parents were featured in the past two Tombstone Tuesday posts here.

There are only two known records that tell of John Kessler’s brief life, since some of the usual records I use for research do not exist for him. John was born and died between the 1850 and 1860 censuses, so he was not enumerated in a census report. Births and deaths were not recorded in Ohio until 1867, so there are no probate records that record the vital events of John’s life.

However, his small marble tombstone still remains in Kessler Cemetery, next to his mother’s marker. Both tombstones are located in the second row from the west and John’s is immediately north of his mother’s.

The other record that tells about John is in the Familienregister [family register] portion of Zion Chatt’s old records. Even though John died before Zion’s records began in 1855, some entries in the church records give information about people who lived before 1855. 

The Familienregister gives about three generations of genealogical information about many of the earliest families of Zion Chatt. In this case, the family entry is that of Christian Kessler, John G’s father (1814-1892). The record indicates when and where Christian Kessler and his wife Margarethe (Kable) were born, the names of their parents, the year the family immigrated, and information about the couple’s children. Information about their children includes date and place of birth, where they were baptized, and their death date, if applicable.

It was this entry in Zion’s Familienregister that indicated when John was born, when he died, and who his parents were.

And that is why church records are so valuable.





1 comment

    • Waldo on September 24, 2013 at 7:16 am
    • Reply

    Can you imagine what the death of a child would cause in today’s society? Yet, just a short time back in history, even in our very sophisticated society, it was often not even noteworthy, a purely family concern. No records, no government inquisition, hardly even a wimper from neighbors or friends who undoubtedly expressed modest regret and sadness for the mother for suffering the trials of loss then simply went on with their lives. What a difference a few newspaper articles or TV cameras make! What will happen now that every teenager and toddler carries a camera phone?

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