Memorial Day 2013

Willshire Memorial Day Parade 2005.

My dad in the Willshire Memorial Day Parade in his 1953 Army Jeep, 2005.

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, traditionally marks the beginning of summer. But the true meaning of the holiday is much more than that.

Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War and began as a way to remember and honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who were killed in battle. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. On that day, at Arlington National Cemetery, Logan declared in General Order No. 11:

The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion…

We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders…

Let no vandalism of avarice of neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic…

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor…

After WWI, Memorial Day was extended to honor Americans who died in all wars. Today many Americans use this holiday to decorate all graves, whether the deceased served in the military or not. For more information about the history of Memorial Day visit Memorial Day History.

Memorial Day was declared a US federal holiday in 1971 and is now observed the last Monday in May, which falls on May 27th this year.

In December 2000 the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed. This asks all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’ ” at 3:00 local time.

Most towns in our area, including Willshire, Rockford, and Celina, will have Memorial Day parades followed by ceremonies at local cemeteries. The ceremonies are usually conducted by the local American Legion or VFW, who also mark all veterans’ graves with an American flag. In Willshire there will be a display of military uniforms, photos, flags, maps and letters of local servicemen. This display will be at the Willshire Home Furnishings store this coming Saturday-Monday.

Memorial Day Service at Willshire Cemetery 2000.

Memorial Day Service at Willshire Cemetery 2000.

Proper American flag etiquette should be observed this weekend. The American flag should be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day and then raised to full-staff. During a parade there may be several participants with a flag and it is appropriate to salute only the first flag as it passes by. As the first flag passes everyone should show respect by standing at attention with their right hand over their heart. Those in uniform should give their appropriate formal salute.

The red poppy has been associated with Memorial Day for over 90 years. Since 1922 VFW members and American Legion Auxiliary volunteers have distributed red poppies on Memorial Day weekend in exchange for a contribution to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans. This tradition originated with Moina Michael in 1915. She was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” and came up with the idea to wear a red poppy on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving our nation during war. She sold poppies to her friends and co-workers and the money went to needy service men. By 1922 the VFW had taken on the project. You can read more about this tradition at The Story Behind the Poppy.  

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
—Moina Michael, 1915.

The following is a list of my collateral ancestors who died while serving our country:

Civil War:

Hallet Bryan (c1836-13 Sep 1863) was the son of Peter and Mary (Huey) Bryan of Jay County, Indiana, and was my 3rd great-granduncle. Private Bryan served in Company E, 89th Regiment, Indiana Infantry and was killed in Memphis, Tennessee. He is buried in the Memphis National Cemetery.

Daniel Schumm (2 Mar 1840-8 Feb 1863) was the son of Johann “Jacob” and Hannah (Billman) Schumm and was my 1st cousin 3 times removed. Corporal Daniel Schumm served in the 52nd OVI and never returned home from the Civil War.

John Schumm (30 Mar 1843-28 Oct 1864) was the son of George Martin & Maria (Pflueger) Schumm and was my 1st cousin 3 times removed. Corporal John Schumm served in Company A, 60th OVI. He was wounded and captured in Virginia during the Battle of Petersburg and was imprisoned at Salisbury, North Carolina, where he died.


Carl Schumm was the son of Rev. Ferdinand and Wilhelmina (Brockmeyer) Schumm and was my 2nd cousin twice removed. He was killed in France during WWI.


Ralph J. Derrickson (5 Apr 1925-15 Jan 1945) was the son of Ralph and Alpha (Brewster) Derrickson and was my 1st cousin once removed. Private Derrickson served in the 99th Infantry Division during WWII and was killed in action during the Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg.

Edgar Schumm (18 Nov 1914-13 Nov 1944) was the son of William & Amanda (Reidenbach) Schumm and was my 3rd cousin once removed. He was killed while serving in WWII.

Victor Schueler (23 Jan 1924-3 Aug 1945) was the son of Adolph and Marie (Limbach) Schueler and was my 4th cousin. Private First Class Schueler was a member of the 85th Mountain Regiment, 10th Mountaineer Division and was killed in Italy during WWII.

Korean War:

Emanuel George Roehm (3 Aug 1931-23 Apr 1951) was the son of Emanuel George and Esther (Ohnesorge) Roehm and was my 4th cousin. Private First Class Roehm was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He was killed in action while fighting in Korea. Roehm was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. (source: WWI, WWII, and Korean War Casualty Listings [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.)

Viet Nam:

Corey Wayne Ellenberger (19 Oct 1946-12 Jan 1967) was the son of Kenneth & Nola (Charleston) Ellenberger and was my 2nd cousin. Private First Class Ellenberger served as a rifleman in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division and was killed in South Vietnam. (source: National Archives and Records Administration. Vietnam War: U.S. Military Casualties, 1956-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.)

And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave. –Joseph Drake

This Memorial Day, amid the family gatherings, the cookouts and the sales, take a moment to remember the real meaning of this holiday.

Tombstone Tuesday–Michael G. Pflueger

Michael Pflueger, Greenbriar Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

Michael Pflueger, Greenbriar Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Michael G. Pflueger, located in row 6 of Greenbriar Cemetery, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Michael G. Pflueger
Died 1 Jul 1903
Aged 79 y, 1 m, 13 d
Gone but not forgotten

There is also a flagstaff near his marker that is inscribed: GAR 1861-1865.

Michael’s tombstone has fallen from its base and is partially embedded in the soil, as are many tombstones in this cemetery. It appears that the fallen stones did not have a cement foundation, while most of those with a cement foundation are still standing.

Michael G. Pflueger. (2013 photo by Karen)

Michael G. Pflueger. (2013 photo by Karen)

Greenbriar Cemetery is located about 3½ miles west of Ohio City, at the intersection of Willshire-Ohio City Road and Glenmore Road, Section 13 of Willshire Township. There are three sections in the cemetery, section one being the oldest. Many of the grave markers have fallen over in section one and that is where Michael Pflueger’s tombstone is located. Bethel Church was next to Greenbriar Cemetery and the frame church building is still standing.

Georg Michael Pflüger was born 18 March 1824 in Schrozberg, Württemberg, the son of Johann Christian and Anna Barbara (Sekel) Pflüger. [1] George “Michael” Pflueger was my second great-granduncle, the brother of my second (and third) great-grandmother, Maria Barbara Pflueger, who became the wife of Johann Ludwig Schumm.

Michael Pflueger married Maria “Catharine Brant” on 28 May 1846 in Holmes County, Ohio. [2] According to the records of Zion Lutheran Schumm, they were probably living in the Schumm area by 1848 when their daughter Maria Rosina was born and baptized. Michael and Catharine had at least eleven children and at least six of them died young and are buried in Zion Lutheran Schumm Cemetery. Catharine (Brant) Pflueger died in 1882 and is also buried in Zion Schumm Cemetery. I do not know why Michael is buried at Greenbriar instead of with his wife and children at Schumm. [Their children’s names are listed in last week’s Tombstone Tuesday, Maria C. Pflueger.]

Michael Pflueger was a private during the Civil in Company C of the 41st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served from 4 September 1864-13 June 1865, for 9 months and 12 days. During the war he suffered from camp diarrhea and rheumatism. [3] [4]

Michael G. Pflueger GAR 1861-1865 flagstaff. (2013 photo by Karen)

Michael G. Pflueger GAR 1861-1865 flagstaff. (2013 photo by Karen)

According to the 1872 map of Van Wert County “M. Pflueger” owned land in the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 26 and the southeast half of the southeast quarter of Section 29 in Willshire Township. Both farms were on Willshire Eastern Road. The 80 acres in Section 26 was east of Zion Lutheran Church. The 55 acres in Section 29 was closer to Willshire and what is now State Route 81 ran through the farm.

In 1900 widower Michael Pflueger was living with his son Adam in Willshire Township. [5]  


[1] Evangelische Church at Schrozberg, Württemberg, entry 5 (1824 Baptisms), unpaginated, Family History Library microfilm #1528613, birth and baptism of Georg Michael Pflüger.

[2]Ohio , County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, ( : accessed 12 May 2013), citing Holmes County Marriages, Vol. 2:298, Michael “Pfleger” and Catharine Brant, 1846.

[3] 1890 Veterans Schedules, Van Wert County, Ohio, Willshire Township, p. 3, line 34, Home 121, Family 126, Michael Pflueger, database, ( : accessed 3 Apr 2013), from National Archives Microfilm, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Publication M123, Record Group 15.

[4] U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, on-line database, ( : accessed 10 May 2013), from National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System,

[5] 1900 U.S. Census, Van Wert County, Ohio, Willshire Township, ED 0097, p. 9B, line 77, dwelling 185, family 199, Adam “Pfluegar”; digital image by subscription,, ( : accessed 12 May 2013); FHL microfilm 1241329, from National Archives microfilm R623, Roll 1329.



Chattanooga News, June 1927

Chattanooga, Ohio.

Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

Local newspapers reported news about Chattanooga, Ohio, in the first half of the 20th century. The Willshire Herald printed a Chattanooga column during the 1930s and 40s and I recently discovered that The Rockford Press also had a frequent column about the Chattanooga residents, or as I like to call them, the Chattanoogians.

The newsy personal items below are from the 24 June 1927 edition of The Rockford Press. As you read these items from nearly 86 years ago you will notice some clues that show family relationships and genealogical information. This is just another reason newspaper research can be valuable for family history research.

I enjoy reading about the residents of the little village of Chattanooga back then and seeing some familiar names. I hope you will enjoy them, too.

  • Leo Slusser took dinner Sunday at the Perry Gibbons home.
  • [?] Slusser is doing some painting for Geo Koch.
  • Mrs. Marcella Strable called on Miss Grace Huffman Tuesday evening.
  • Miss Helen Fogel is doing the housework for her grandmother, Mrs. William Betzel.
  • Mrs. Geo Koch and daughter Goldie called on Mrs. Wm. Weinman Tuesday.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Heffner entertained company at their home Sunday.
  • Mrs. Wm. Fogle and son Billy and daughter Nellie visited her mother Mrs. Wm. Betzel.
  • Miss Mildred Bauer came home from Bowling Green Thursday but returned to school Monday.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Roebuck and family, Mr. and Mrs. Clem Roebuck were Fort Wayne caller Friday.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Alex Smith and daughters, Maxine, Joan, Glenna and Mrs. Wiseman motored to Angola Sunday.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Wendell and son Jimmy and daughter, Genevieve were business callers at Celina Tuesday.
  • Don’t forget the children services program Sunday night, June 26, at the Zion Lutheran Church. Everybody welcome.
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Regedanz and daughter, Mildred, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Carr and son Robert were at Edgewater Sunday night.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Rothhaar, Mr. and Mrs. James Duff were Sunday dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Landfair and family.
  • Sure was a nice rain we had Tuesday. Everyone is wearing a smile.
  • Miss Verla Huffman visited her mother Wednesday. Miss Verla is working at Celina.
  • Sunday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Andrews and family were Mr. and Mrs. John Andrews, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Baumgartner and family, Mr. and Mrs. Bruff and family, Mr. and Mrs. Jess Pickering and family.
  • Miss Evelyn Fetters called on Grace Huffman Saturday afternoon.
  • Misses Glenndola Bebout and Neva Stetler went to Marion, Ind. to Bible School. They will remain there a week.
  • Don’t forget the ball game Sunday, June 26th, Chattanooga vs. Maples, Ind.  Everyone in in Chattanooga was seen wearing a smile this week. Why? Chattanooga won Sunday. Who lost? Geneva Grays.
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Leistner and son Forest, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Wendel, Messrs. Walter and Gale Butcher, Dwight Raudenbush, Victor Schaadt, Misses Grace Huffman, Lucille Purdy, Lulla Affolder motored to Anderson, Ind. Sunday to a camp meeting. Quite a number from Willshire attended the meeting.

And last but not least, was the report of a grand birthday party was held for Mildred Regedanz:

A most enjoyable evening was spent at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Regedanz, Monday evening, June 20th at their home in Chattanooga, when a number of friends gathered there to remind Miss Mildred of her 16th birthday. Miss Mildred received many beautiful gifts including five large birthday cakes. “Ye Gods” what a surprise! Those present were as follows: Opal Bollenbacher, Helen Meyers, Mable Howell, Verla Huffman, Magdalene Albrecht, Lela Baumgartner, Clista Baker, Gertrude Baker, Arlene Baker, Helen Fogle, Golda Koch, Mildred Regedanz, Clara Schaadt, Genevieve Johnson, Grace Huffman, Ernest Bollenbacher, Leota Baker, Ralph Schott, Albert Bollenbacher, Ferdinand Bollenbacher, Daily Lehman, Wm. Rothhaar, Luther Heffner, Pete Heffner, Orval Gibbons, Leo Slusser, Luther Gibbons, Dewey Gibbons, Sie Schritz, Arthur Pefferberger, Ray Smith, Gale Butcher, Dorsie Grimm, Paul Weiman, Chester Grimm, Glenn Felver, Perry Felver, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Meyers, Perry Gibbons, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Grimm, Mr. and Mrs. Orval Felver, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Carr and their son Robert, Mrs. Wm. Heffner, Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Johnson, and Mr. and Mrs. John Regedanz. The evening was spent in playing games. Miss Grace Huffman and Miss Goldie Koch furnished the music for the evening with everyone joining in on the chorus. Ha! A delicious luncheon was served consisting or sandwiches, angel food cake, ice cream and tea. All separated at a late hour reporting a good time and wishing Miss Mildred many more happy birthdays.  [1]


[1] The Rockford Press, Rockford, Ohio, 24 June 1927, p. 10.

Tombstone Tuesday–Maria C. Pflueger

Maria C. Pflueger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

Maria C. Pflueger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Maria C. Pflueger, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. In addition to Maria’s name the names of five of her children are inscribed on the four sides of the marker.

The front of the marker has the names of Maria C. and her daughter Margretha. The marker is inscribed:

Maria C.
Frau von
Michael Pflueger
Gest 5 Apr 1882
Alter 55 Jahre, 6 Mo, 5 Tag,

 Margretha Pflueger
Gestorben 1849
Alter 7 Monat

 Rosina Pflueger
14 Mai 1869
Alter 18 Jahre, 7 Mon, 17 Tage

 Andreas Pflueger
Gestorben 27 Mar 1867
Alter 8 Mon, 17 Tage

 Maria C. Pflueger
Gestorben 27 Sep 1848
Alter 4 M, 28 Tag

 Johannes H. Pflueger
Gest 4 Juni 1864
Alter 7 Mon, 24 Tage

The top of this tombstone is broken off. It is inscribed in German and translations for the German words are: Alter: age; Gest/Gestorben: died; Frau: wife; j/jahre: years; monat: months; t/tag: days.

According to Zion Schumm’s church records, [Maria] Katharina Pflueger, nee Brand, was born 9 April 1826 in Gerebrunn, Württemberg. She died 4 April 1882 of dropsy at the age of 56 years, 11 months and 4 days. She was buried on April 7, 1882 in the parish cemetery and her funeral text was Psalm 90:11,12. 

“Catherine Brant” married Michael Pflueger on 28 May 1846 in Holmes County, Ohio, by Daniel Crans. [1]

Although her tombstone shows her name as Maria C., it appears she went by the name of Catherine/Katherine. Her name was spelled both Catherine and Katherine in the church records. Also note that her age and date of death in the church records disagrees with that on the tombstone.

Maria C. Pflueger. (2013 photo by Karen)

Maria C. Pflueger, lower front of tombstone. (2013 photo by Karen)

Michael and Maria Catherine Pflueger had at least eleven children, according to Zion Schumm records. Of the eleven children mentioned in the church records at least six of them died young and four of them lived to adulthood. I do not know what happened to their youngest child, Maria Hanna, although she lived to be at least nine years old. Many of their children died as infants between census enumerations, so the church records are valuable in reconstructing this family.

Margretha Pflueger, upper front of tombstone. (2013 photo by Karen)

Margretha Pflueger, upper front of tombstone. (2013 photo by Karen)

The following are the children of Michael and Maria Catherine (Brant) Pflueger, as taken from Zion Schumm’s records. Some of the information disagrees with the tombstone information, possibly in part because of the weathering of the tombstone, making it difficult to read.

Maria Katharina (1848-1848), died 27 September 1848, aged of 4 months and 28 days.
Margretha (1849-1849)
Rosina/Rose Ann (1850-1869), born 24 November 1850, died 14 May 1869, age 18 years, 5 months, 18 days.
Abraham (1853-1936). He married Elizabeth Hoffman in 1875.
Maria Barbara (1855-1935), born 27 July 1855, baptized 12 March 1858 at home in Mercer County. Sponsors were the widow Barbara Schumm and Georg Schumm and his wife. She married Jacob/GW Clouse in 1874.
Georg Martin (1857-1859), born 23 September 1857, baptized 12 March 1858 at home in Mercer County. Sponsors were the widow Barbara Schumm and Georg Schumm and his wife. The minister wrote, The parents do not belong to the church, but the child was baptized by me.
Martin Friedrich (1860-1943), born 7 December 1860, baptized 15 December 1860 in the church. Sponsors were Martin Schinnerer and his wife and Friedrich Schumm (son of Georg). He married Sarah M. Burk in 1889.
Adam Jakob (1862-1919), born 10 May 1862, baptized 25 May 1862 in the church. Sponsors were Adam Buechner and Jakob Bienz. He married Anna Regina Pifer about 1893.
Johann Heinrich (1863-1864), died 4 June 1864 of inflammation of the lungs (pleurisy), age 7 months, 24 days, buried on 5 June.
Andreas Jacob (1866-1867), born 10 July 1866, baptized 5 August 1866. Sponsors were Andrew Roehm and Jacob Bienz. He died 27 March 1867, age 8 months, 17 days and was buried on 28 March.  Cause of death was lung fever.
Maria Hanna (1871-aft 1880), born 19 April 1871 and baptized 23 April 1871. Sponsors were Maria Schumm and Hanna Schumm.

Pflueger marker with Maria C. & five children inscribed. (2013 photo by Karen)

Pflueger marker with Maria C. & five children inscribed. (2013 photo by Karen)

Maria Catherine’s husband Michael Pflueger is not buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery at Schumm. Find out where he is buried next week.


[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, ( : accessed 12 May 2013), citing Holmes County Marriages, Vol. 2: 298, Michael Pfleger and Catharine Brant, 1846.

The Top Ten Reasons for a Genealogical Conference

FGS 2013 Ambassador

FGS 2013 Ambassador

Because I enjoy attending genealogy conferences and consider them worthwhile for learning about and keeping up with the latest methodology in genealogical research, I signed on to be an FGS 2013 Ambassador. So, from time to time, I will blog about the upcoming FGS Conference, to be held in Fort Wayne this coming August.

Today’s topic is Why Genealogy Conferences and I put together a Top Ten List of reasons for having them and reasons for attending.

I would first like to say that if you have never attended a national genealogy conference you should really try to attend one. There are all levels of researchers at any conference, big or small, and many things for everyone to learn and share.

The top ten reasons for a genealogy conference:

1. Hear the best genealogical speakers lecture on a wide variety of genealogical,historical and technical topics.

2. Attend sessions that will expand your level of research. Sessions are available for all research levels and you will always learn something, no matter what research level you are currently at.

3. Visit and shop at the Exhibit Hall, where you can browse and shop for items such as books, tombstone rubbing supplies, Flip Pal mobile scanner, foreign and domestic maps and atlases from all time periods, books, fun genealogical items such as T-shirts, mouse pads, totes, special pens and magnifiers, publishing items and did I mention books? By the way, the Exhibit Hall is free and open to the public. You do not need to be a conference attendee to go through the exhibits.

4. Special workshops for specific interests or specific areas of research.

5. Learn more about using, navigating and searching Internet websites such as,, Fold3, Google, Google Earth and more.

6. Exposure to new and advanced research techniques.

7. Share information and ideas with other researchers between sessions and at luncheons.

8. Learn about and see genealogy software demonstrations and tech gadgets with the opportunity to ask questions. Talk with representatives of genealogical societies and organizations from around the country, all in the Exhibit Hall.

9. Learn the ability to pay it forward by becoming a volunteer indexer and learn how to index at home through

10. Learn more about and dig deeper into your areas of interest. Or learn about a subject that you know nothing about.

The first national genealogical conference that I ever attended was an FGS Conference–the 2001 FGS Conference in Davenport, Iowa. I will never forget hearing about the terrorist attacks while driving to Davenport on September 11th. Despite the tragic circumstances of that day it was a very good conference and a wonderful learning experience for me. The information I received from that conference helped with my research in many ways.

After that I was hooked on genealogy conferences and as the little girl says on the commercial, “I want MORE!”