Tombstone Tuesday–John C. Hoehamer

John C. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2013 photo by Karen)

John C. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of John C. Hoehamer, located in Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. The marker is inscribed:

John C.
Son of
N. & A. S.
Hoehamer
Died Jan 18, 1881
Aged 4 m. 8 d.

John C. Hoehamer was the son of Nicholas Hoehamer and his first wife Anna S. Manzelman. John was born 10 September 1880, as calculated from his tombstone. There is no birth or death entry for him in Zion Chatt’s records.

John C. was the sixth known child of Nicholas and Anna and was the second of their children to die young. His brother Henry A. Hoehamer died at age 6 years.

John C. was less than two months old when his mother died on 4 November 1880, at the age of 28 years, 5 months and 1 day. John C. died about 2 ½ months later. It must have been a very difficult time for the Hoehamer family.

 

Müller—The French Connection

Seriously? The extremely common German name of Müller has a connection to France? Yes, to be sure.

Last week, Karen’s Chatt received July 4th greetings from Marie, a French researcher with a Bierbach Müller connection. Her comment was written in French. No, I do not read French, but thanks to Google Translate I am able to understand what her message said. We may be distant cousins, but since Müller is such a common German name, I am not so sure. It appears that her Müllers settled in Bierbach before my Müllers. There may be a connection somewhere down the line, well before that time.

Bierbach town sign.

Bierbach town sign.

Bierbach, the native town of my great-grandfather Jacob Müller/Miller, is close to France. According to my ADAC Maxi Atlas, Bierbach is a little over eight miles from the French border. Bierbach is in the Rhine Pfalz area of what was once the Kingdom of Bavaria.

Before 1800, what we now call Germany consisted of numerous kingdoms, duchies and principalities. In the late 1700s Napoleon invaded and controlled the Rhine Pfalz area of Germany and all Germanic lands west of the Elbe River. The area remained under French control until 1815, when Napoleon was defeated.

What is interesting and important to those who have ancestors from this area is that Napoleon required that civil records be kept in the areas he conquered. Before that time only the churches recorded births, marriages and deaths. This means that the Rhine Pfalz, which included Bierbach, was one of the earliest areas of Germany to have civil records. It is always good to have an additional group of records to search.

I found a couple French civil records when researching my Müllers of the Bierbach area. Jacob Müller’s father, Johann, was born in Gerhardsbrunn in 1816 to Valentin and Margarethe (Armberger) Müller. Gerhardsbrunn is about 14.5 miles northeast of Bierbach and was under French rule until 1815. Valentin and Margarethe lived in Gerhardsbrunn from about 1808 to sometime after 1816.

At the end of the Napoleonic Era the German language started to replace French. As a result, Johann’s 1816 birth record was written in German. However, two of Johann’s siblings were born in Gerhardsbrunn a few years earlier and their civil birth records were written in French. These German and French records have been microfilmed and I ordered them from the Family History Center in Lima several years ago.

Marie Marguerite Müller was born 17 August 1808 in Gerhardsbrunn to Valentine and Marguerite (Armberger) Müller. [1]

French civil birth record of Marie Marguerite Mueller, 1808, Gerhardsbrunn.

French civil birth record of Marie Marguerite Mueller, 1808, Gerhardsbrunn.

Jean Adam Müller was born 24 December 1810 in Gerhardsbrunn to Valentin and Marguerite (Armberger) Müller. [2] Jean is the French form of John.

French civil birth record of Jean Adam, 1810, Gerhardsbrunn.

French civil birth record of Jean Adam Mueller, 1810, Gerhardsbrunn.

By 1876 all of Germany kept civil records but the dates that civil record-keeping began vary with the area. Below is a basic time-table of civil records in Germany:

  • 1792–Alsace-Lorraine
  • 1798–Bacen, Rhein Pfalz
  • 1803–Hessen-Hassau
  • 1808-09–Westfalen, Hamburg, Hannover
  • 1810-11– Baden, Oldenburg
  • 1850–Anhalt
  • 1866–Bremen
  • 1874–Prussia
  • 1876–All of the German Empire

There is no central repository in Germany for civil records. Instead, civil registers are kept at the Standesamt [registry office] and contain records of births, deaths, marriages and children. Once the registry records are no longer considered current they are transferred to the Standtarchiv [city archive] or Kreisarchiv [county archive for a small town or village that does not have its own archive].

Ministers continued to keep parish registers after civil records were started. Although the parish records may not have been as detailed as they once were, the civil records seemed to continue where they left off. For example, some parish registers give only the baptism date, not the date of birth. And the civil marriage record of my great-great-grandparents Johann Müller and Marie Kessler contains a lot of information and detail.

Personally, I find civil records a little more difficult to read than church records. Especially when they are written in French!

 

[1] Zivilstandsregister, 1798-1957, Gerhardsbrunn, Bayern, Standesamt. FHL microfilm 1488918. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. [Marie Marguerite Müller birth, 1808.]

[2] Zivilstandsregister, 1798-1957, Gerhardsbrunn, Bayern, Standesamt. FHL microfilm 1488918. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. [Jean Adam Müller birth 1810.]

Tombstone Tuesday–Henry A. Hoehamer

Henry A. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana.

Henry A. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana.

This is the tombstone of Henry A. Hoehamer, located in Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. The marker is inscribed:

HENRY A.
Son of
N. & A. Hoehamer
Died
Oct. 26, 1878
Aged
6 yrs. 9 mo. 10 ds.


Sweet Henry unto earth
A little while was given.
He plumed his wings for flight
And soared away to heaven.

Henry A. was the son of Nicholas and Anna S. (Manzelman) Hoehamer. Henry’s tombstone may be the only remaining written record of his life. He was born and died between census enumerations and there is no record of his birth or death in Zion Chatt’s records.

Seven Hoehamer markers in a row at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Seven Hoehamer markers in a row at Mount Hope Cemetery. Nichols Hoehamer to far right, concealed by yucca plant. Henry’s marker is 5th from left.

The last numeral of Henry’s death date is difficult to read. It could be either an 8 or a 9, but I believe it is an 8. His date of birth would be 16 January 1872, as calculated from his tombstone.

A lamb is carved into the top of his stone. A lamb is often seen on the tombstone of a child and symbolizes innocence and purity.

 

July 4th, 2013

Happy July 4th! The birthday of our nation, when we fly the flag and watch parades and fireworks in remembrance and celebration of our country’s independence. And it is a day to remember the principles of freedom and liberty upon which our country was founded.

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Below is The American’s Creed, which we recite at our DAR meetings.

The American’s Creed

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support it Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.        —-William Tyler Page

The American’s Creed was the winning submission in a 1917 national writing contest for a creed of the United States. William Tyler Page used phrases from the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in his entry. The American’s Creed was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1918.

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Patriot’s Day in Boston. (2009 photo by Karen)

Below is Boston’s Old State House, the oldest surviving public building in the city. The Declaration of Independence was read from its balcony on 18 July 1776.

Boston's Old State House.

Boston’s Old State House. (2009 photo by Karen)

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.  –Robert J. McCracken

Tombstone Tuesday–Anna S. Hoehamer

Anna S. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2013 photo by Karen)

Anna S. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Anna S. Hoehamer, located in Mount Hope Cemetery, Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. Her marker is inscribed:

Anna S.
Wife of
N. Hoehamer
Died
Nov 4, 1880
Aged
28 y, 5 m, 1 d

Anna S. (Manzelman) Hoehamer was born 3 June 1852, as calculated from her tombstone. She was born in Mecklenburg, [1] possibly the daughter of John Manzelman.

Anna married Nicholas Hoehamer on 4 January 1870 in Auglaize County, Ohio. Their marriage record shows that her father gave his consent for the marriage, but the record did not give his name. [2]

Anna died 4 November 1880 at the age of 28 years, 5 months and 1 day. She is buried next to her husband Nicholas at Mount Hope Cemetery. Her tombstone is difficult to read and I believe these to be the dates inscribed on the marker.

Anna 's tombstone next to tombstone of husband Nicholas. (2013 photo by Karen)

Anna ‘s tombstone next to tombstone of husband Nicholas. (2013 photo by Karen)

I had trouble finding Nicholas and Anna Hoehamer in the 1870 census and I am sure the problem was in the way Hoehamer was spelled in the indexes. I finally located the Hoehamers by using the “FAN” technique, a research method I explain in my Beginning Genealogy Workshop. FAN is an acronym for friends, associates and neighbors. By researching and studying a person’s friends, associates and neighbors you can often find out additional information about that person. In this case I searched for a family that I thought might be neighbors of the Hoehamers in Auglaize County.

I knew from other documents that Anna’s maiden name was Manzelman and that she and Nicholas were married in Auglaize County in January 1870. I thought they possibly lived in Auglaize County before their marriage and in the months after, but I could not find the Hoehamers in the 1870 census index. So I searched for Manzelman instead and found John and Anna “Meuselman” in the Ancestry.com index, living in Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. [3] I then looked for Hoehamer neighbors and on the previous page there was not one, but three households of Hoehamers, including Nicholas and Anna. [4]

John and Anna “Meuselman” were living about six households away from Nicholas and Anna and they may be Anna’s parents. Both John and Anna were born in Prussia and were in their mid-50s, old enough to have been Anna (Manzelman) Hoehamer’s parents.

Auglaize County marriage record of Nicholas Hoehamer and Anna "Manzalman," 1870.

Auglaize County marriage record of Nicholas Hoehamer and Anna “Manzalman,” 1870.

The Nicholas Hoehamer family in 1870:
Nicholas, 25, farm hand, born in Ohio, (did not own land but his personal estate was worth $250)
Anna, 18, keeping house, born in Mecklenburg Ger.

By 1880 Nicholas and Anna were living in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. Their family looked like this in 1880:
Nicholas, 34, born in Ohio, farmer
Anna, 27, wife, “Mechlingberg”, keeping house
George, 9 (b. 1871) son, Ohio, at school
Jacob, 6 (b. 1874) son, Ohio
William, 5 (b. 1875) son, Ohio
Barbara, 2 (b. 1878) daughter, Indiana

Son William was born in Ohio and daughter Barbara was born in Indiana, so the family probably moved from Auglaize County to Indiana sometime between 1875 and 1878.

From church and cemetery records I determined that Nicholas and Anna had the following children, and they may have had more:

Johann Georg (1870-?) [confirmed at Zion Chatt in 1886/gave DOB; married Attie Bergman 1907]
Henry A. (1872-1878) [tombstone at Mount Hope]
Jacob Wilhelm (1873-1899) [death record at Zion Chatt]
William A. (1875-1956) [confirmed at Zion Chatt 1890/gave DOB; married Elisabeth M. Kallenberger]
Sophie Barbara (1877-1929) [confirmation 1891 & marriage at Zion Chatt; married Wm Allmandinger]
John C. (1880-1881) [tombstone at Mount Hope]

Their son John C. was born 10 September 1880, as calculated from his tombstone. His mother Anna died 4 November 1880 and he died 18 January 1881. One wonders if one or both died from complications of childbirth. Anna’s death was not recorded in Zion Chatt’s records.

 

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Adams County, Indiana, ED 133, p. 14B, line 4, dwelling 123, family 123, Nicholas Hoehamer; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 June 2013); from National Archives microfilm T9, roll 263.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZKS-5PX : accessed 23 June 2013), Nicolas Hoechamer and Anna Manzelman, 1870.

[3] 1870 U.S. Census, Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, p. 435 stamped, p. 9 penned, line 34, dwelling 69, family 69, John “Meuselman”; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2013); from FHL film 552671, from National Archives microfilm M593, roll 1172.

[4] 1870 U.S. Census, Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, p. 434B stamped, p. 8 penned, line 26, dwelling 61, family 61, Nicholas “Hoechammer”; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2013); from FHL film 552671, from National Archives microfilm M593, roll 1172.