Tombstone Tuesday–Minnie Schumm

Minnie (Breuninger) Schumm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Wilhelmina “Minnie” (Breuninger) Schumm, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed Minnie Schumm, Aug. 26, 1860-Jan. 28, 1899.

Minnie was the fourth child of Louis and Maria (Seckel) Breuninger, my great-great-grandparents.

According to the records of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm, Minnie was confirmed there in 1875. She married Johann Schumm on 18 November 1880 at her parents’ home.  Both were from the Schumm parish.

Her death and burial was also recorded in the church records: Wilhelmina Schumm, born Breuninger, wife of Mr. John Schumm, was born 22 August 1860 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  She died 28 January 1899 of consumption, age 38 years, 5 months and 6 days.  She was buried on 31 January 1899 in the parish cemetery.  The funeral text was Hosea 6:1.

Wilhelmina Schumm, daughter of Lewis and Mary Brenninger [sic], was born August 22, 1860, at Green Bay, Wis., and died January 28, 1899, aged 38 years and 5 months.  In ’67 the family moved to Atlanta, Ga., and after a short time came to Willshire Township where they have since resided.

November 15, 1880, she was united in marriage to John Schumm.  To this union was born six children, Victor, a manly lad of 17 years, twin daughters, Hilda and Lydia, 15 years, then Lizzie and Arnold, and last a little daughter, Salome, who is now 6 years of age.

This is indeed a sad case.  For over three years Minnie bravely fought disease, trying to regain health and strength, to be with her family.  A part of these years was spent at the Toledo Hospital.  Some nine weeks ago, word was received that consumption, fell destroyer of all hope, had set in and medical skill was of no avail.  Then willing hands and loving hearts responded quickly, the doors of Mrs. Lewis Schumm, and affectionate sister, were thrown open, that the children at home might not be overburdened with care and that they might not remember the sufferings of the dear mother who so loved and cared for them, who so longed to live for the sake of husband and children.

You mothers who sit at fireside and table with your children happy and contented, will never know the look of inexpressible joy and contentment that flashed over the face of Minnie when she learned that she was going home, “home to friends, to mother, to children, the dear children and to John, my John.” She was of a loving disposition and in the last nine weeks of her life there were many days of sunshine and pleasure.  The end was free from suffering and she passed peacefully and quietly out into the great unknown.

Funeral services were held at the German Lutheran church, Tuesday afternoon, January 31st, by Rev. Seemeyer.  Text, Hosea, 6:1.  Minnie is indeed “At rest,” the tired hands are crossed, the frail body is at ease, and the sensitive spirit has returned to the God who gave it.  Repetition of the Lord’s Prayer soothed her like a benediction, and “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” seemed to be a favorite line.

She leaves a husband ever kind and true, six dutiful children, a mother, (her father died in 1890) and “No love like a mother’s love ever hath shone,” a dearly beloved brother, three sisters, Mrs. Mary Stamm, Mrs. Lottie, wife of Geo. Schumm, and Mrs. Lewis Schumm who made the last days of her life pleasant and cheerful besides a large circle of friends and acquaintances.  Truly they can say:

“We miss thee from our home, dear mother.
We miss thee from thy place;
A shadow o’er all our life is cast,
We miss the sunshine of thy face;
We miss thy kind and willing hands
Thy fond and earnest cares;
Our home is dark without thee.
We miss thee everywhere”              

(source: Van Wert Republican, Van Wert, Ohio, 16 Feb  1899.)

Wilhelmina "Minnie" (Breuninger) Schumm (1860-1899)

Mrs. Lewis Schumm, the sister with whom Minnie spent her last days, was Sarah (Breuninger) Schumm, my great-grandmother.


Civil War Certificate of Non-Liability–The Breuninger Collection

We have quite a number of old documents, papers, letters and various other items that once belonged to my great-great-grandfather, Louis Breuninger (1819-1890). Most of the items had been stored away for years in the crude wooden trunk that held his possessions when he came to this country in about 1839.

There are enough of his papers and items that I like to refer to the whole group as the “Breuninger Collection”. Fortunately, most of the items are still in pretty good condition.

I have already blogged about a couple of documents from the Breuninger Collection: a letter from his brother (“A Letter to Louis Breuninger, 1840”, 24 February 2012 blog) and a copy of Louis’ baptism record dated 1837 (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”, 10 February 2012 blog). The 1837 paper is one of the oldest papers Louis brought with him from Germany. I have many letters written in the mid-1800 from his father in Germany. Unfortunately, most have not been translated.

Below is another Breuninger document, Louis’ Certificate of Non-Liability from the Board of Enrollment. The document was issued in 1865, during the Civil War. My transcription of the document follows the image below and I have typed the handwritten items and the signatures in UPPER CASE.

Louis Breuninger's Civil War Certificate of Non-Liability, dated 7 January 1865.

Form 30
Certificate of Non-Liability, To Be Given by the Board of Enrollment.

We, the subscribers, composing the Board of Enrollment of the FIFTH District of the State of WISCONSIN provided for in section 8, Act of Congress “for enrolling and calling out the national forces,” approved March 3, 1863, hereby certify that LOUIS BREUNINGER of PREBLE, of BROWN county, State of WISCONSIN, having given satisfactory evidence that he is not properly subject to do military duty, as required by said act, and the act approved Feb’y 24, 1864, by reason of OVER AGE, is exempt from all liability to military duty for the term of THE PRESENT.

Age: 45
Height: 5’ 4 ½“
Complexion: RUDDY
Eyes: BLUE
When: DEC 28/64
Where, Town & State: GREEN BAY, WIS
Period: 1 YEAR

Signed, C. R. MERRILL, Provost Marshall and President of Board of Enrollment.
Signed, W. A. BUGH, Member of Board of Enrollemnt.
Signed, H. O. CRANE, Surgeon of Board of Enrollment.
Dated at GREEN BAY WIS., this 7TH day of JANUARY, 1865.

Note.—This certificate is to be given in all cases where it is applicable, according to the acts of Congress referred to above. [end of document]

What did this document mean? A little history will help to explain it.

The Civil War was the first time the United States used conscription to raise armies. Conscription is also referred to as compulsory military service, or the draft. The Union and the Confederacy both used this process.

Under the Union Draft Act men faced the possibility of conscription in July 1863 and in March, July, and December 1864. Louis was drafted 28 December 1964.

An amendment to the original enrollment was passed in February 1864 and stated that persons between the ages of 20-45 were subject to military duty. Louis was 45 years old.

A certificate of non-liability was issued to men who were not available for conscription for a specified number of years. The document could have been issued for a variety of reasons.

In some cases the person provided a replacement, also called a substitute, to take their place. A person could avoid service by paying commutation money. In this case Louis was just too old to be drafted.

According to Wikipedia, there were about 2,100,000 Union soldiers and of that number about 2% were draftees and another 6% were substitutes.

Conscription was not popular with the general public or with many of the volunteer soldiers. Problems included substitutions, desertions, enforcement and loopholes in the laws.

What other information can I get from the document? It gives me a nice description of Louis that I would not otherwise have. It also tells me where Louis was living in 1865.

This would have been the document Louis brought home with him proving that he was exempt from military service. I wonder how many similar documents have survived.


Sources of information and further reading about Civil War conscription:
Home of the American Civil War
, Conscription (Military Draft) In The Civil War.
, Series III, Volume V, Pages 618-19, Union Letters, Orders, Reports.
Conscription in the United States
, Wikipedia.


Tombstone Tuesday–Peter L. Breuninger

Peter L. Breuninger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Peter L. Breuninger, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed BREUNINGER, Peter L., 1870-1939.

Peter Breuninger was the sixth and youngest child of Louis and Maria (Seckel) Breuninger. Louis and Maria were my great-great-grandparents and Peter was my great-granduncle.

According to the records at Zion Lutheran, Schumm, Peter Ludwig Breuninger was born 27 January 1870 and was baptized 6 April 1874. His sponsors were Ludwig Breuninger and Johann Büchner.

The church records also record his death and burial: Peter Ludwig Breuninger, born 27 January near Willshire, Ohio, died 2 August 1939 near Willshire, age 69 years, 6 months and 5 days. He was buried August 4 in Zion’s Cemetery. His funeral verse was Romans 3:23, 24, Rev. A. Moeller.

Funeral Rites Held for Peter Breuninger
Funeral rites were performed at the Zion Lutheran Church in Schumm Friday afternoon for Peter Louis Breuninger, who died last Wednesday at the Richard Allmandinger home, two miles southeast of Schumm. S.S. Buchanan & Son of this town were the morticians.

He was born Jan. 27, 1870, on the old Breuninger homestead, the son of Louis Breuninger and his wife, Anna Maria, nee Seckel. He was baptized by the Rev. G. Schumm and confirmed in 1884 by the Rev. G.F. Seemeyer.

After a stay of many years in Toledo, he returned here with the intention of spending his declining years at the home of R. E. Allmandinger, Mrs. Allmandinger being one of his nieces. After having resided here less than a month, it pleased the Lord to call him out of this life on Wednesday, Aug. 2nd, at the age of 69 years, 6 months and 5 days. He was the last of his family, one brother and four sisters preceding him in death a number of years ago.

Burial was made in the congregation’s cemetery at Schumm by the Rev. A. Moeller.

Of the descendants of the late Mr. Breuninger’s brother and sisters, eight nephews and nine nieces mourn his departure, namely: Prof. A.G. Schumm, Cleveland; Geo. Schumm, Pittsburg [sic]; Rev. Paul T. Schumm, Sabin, Minn.; Richard L. Stamm and Victor Schumm, Ft. Wayne; Arnold Schumm, Cornelius L. Schumm and Martin V. Stamm, Willshire; Miss Bertha Schumm, Lafayette, Ind.; Mrs. Alvina E. Muntzinger, Convoy; Mrs. Ida C. Hollenberg, Fort Wayne; Mrs. Bertha A. Smith and Mrs. Lizzie Linser, Van Wert; Mrs. Hilda Schumm, Mrs. Lydia Schumm, Mrs. Saloma Schumm and Mrs. Frieda Allmandinger, Willshire. (The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, Thursday, August 10, 1939, p.1.)

Peter’s mother passed away in 1910 and according to her obituary Peter was a patient at the Toledo Hospital at that time. (Van Wert Daily Times, Van Wert, Ohio, 21 June 1910.) According to Peter’s obituary he passed away at the home of Richard and Frieda Allmandinger. Frieda was his niece and was also the sister of my grandfather Cornelius L. Schumm. Peter never married.


2012 NGS Conference in Cincinnati–A Pictorial Wrap Up

Thanks to the planners, sponsors, volunteers and everyone else who made the 2012 NGS Conference in Cincinnati successful.

Exhibit Hall


Myrtle & Elissa

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Dwane & Miriam

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Genealogical Studies

1940 Census Indexing


BCG Booth

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

I attended 2 sessions Saturday morning before we left at noon:

  • “Research Reports for Ourselves” by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
  • “Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management & Analysis” by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.

Yes, by Saturday I was on Information Overload! Both of the above lectures were excellent. I just need to put what I have learned to use in my research and report writing.

Before I left the conference I purchased a DNA kit from Family Tree DNA. My goal is to see if my paternal side descends from the Mayflower Brewsters. Either way, perhaps this will help us discover who Jackson Brewster’s parents were. The DNA sample needs to come from a male so I will be visiting one of my uncles soon. I’ll let you know how the test turns out.

2012 NGS Conference in Cincinnati, Day 3

One optional feature for this conference was the Guidebook app. What a great idea! I have not used something like this before and it is so very handy.

This app gives the latest conference news, several versions of the schedule, speaker and exhibitor information and has maps of the conference center and Exhibit Hall. I was easily able to make my own schedule of sessions and a to-do list. And I have all this with me at all times on my phone. I got the app for my Android phone from the app store and chose the 2012 NGS Conference. I highly recommend this app for future conferences.



Exhibit Hall 2012 NGS Conference

Sessions I attended today (Friday):

  • “Okay, I Got the Neighbors, Now What Do I Do with them?!” by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA. Elizabeth gave us some very good information and some great research methods that I will definitely use in my general research and for my brick walls. One thing I learned is that in census records I should look at 15-20 families in both directions from my person of interest.
  • “Tracking Pennsylvania Ancestors: Keys to Successful Research” by Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL. This was a very good session detailing where and how to research in Pennsylvania.
  • Shaking the Myth: Proving/Disproving Family Legends” by Jean Wilcon Hibben, PhD, MA, CG. I really liked this lecture where she explained the reasoning process to analyze family myths. The only problem with the lecture was the projected images. She used a small projector (about the size of a deck of cards) and the images from it were faint and very difficult to read. I’m sure the very small projectors are good for traveling but this one just didn’t have the brightness for the large room we were in. It was about 20 feet from the screen. Perhaps the images would have been clearer if the projector had been closer.
  • “German Language Skills for the Genealogist” by John Humphrey, CG. Another good session by John although I feel as though I took a crash course in German grammar. His explanation about verbs was very helpful.
  • “Lost in Pennsylvania? Try the Published Pennsylvania Archives” by Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer, MLS. Back to Pennsylvania again. In this session Christine explained how to use the 138 volumes of the in the 10 Series of the Pennsylvania Archives. The whole series is available on Fold 3 ( for free. Her tips will surely help to search these records.

We attended the National Genealogical Society Quarterly 100th Anniversary Reception this evening. They provided a nice buffet and it was good visiting with friends.

I now have HappyFeet. After hearing several people talk about how good these insoles make their feet feel, I went down to the Exhibit Hall at the last minute and purchased a pair. Now I feel as though I’m walking on water! I even convinced fellow blogger Ruth to get a pair. Ruth, The Passionate Genealogist, . (Thank you Ruth for the shiny Canadian penny. It is special to me because they just quit minting pennies.)

There is also a Junior Olympics competition going on at the Duke Energy Convention Center. It is fun to stop and watch them as we pass by on our way to sessions.

We’ll be saying good-bye to Cincinnati tomorrow.