Tombstone Tuesday–Romeo Brandt

Romeo Brandt, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Heinrich Romeo Brandt, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed ROMEO, Son of L. & M. Brant, Born Apr 10, 1876, Died Mar. 31, 1894, Aged 17 y. 11 m. 21 d. His tombstone is next to that of his parents.

According to the church records of Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, Heinrich Romeo Brandt was born in Mercer County on 10 April 1876, the son of Ludwig and Margaretha (Haffner) Brandt. He was baptized by Rev. Hugo Willert on 25 June 1876 with Georg Haffner and Carolina Haffner as sponsors. He was the 5th child of Ludwig and Margaretha.

Romeo’s mother passed away in 1889. He was confirmed the next year, on Palm Sunday, 30 March 1890, by Rev. Christian Reichert. He went by the name of “Romey” at that time.

Romeo died of consumption on 31 March 1894 at 3:30 in the morning at the age of 17 years, 11 months and 21 days. He was buried on 2 April in the parish cemetery, services by Rev. J. F. C. Soller. Survivors included his father, 5 brothers and 2 sisters.

His surviving siblings would have been Mathilda Henrietta, Gustav Adolph, Otto Arthur, Benjamin Franklin, Anna Maria Louisa, Samuel Clarence and Carl Rudolph Walter.

Eliza C. J. Breuninger and Albert G. Ellis

Marriage of Albert G. Ellis to Eliza C.J.L. Breuninger, 19 August 1847, Brown County, Wisconsin, Marriages, Vol. 1:22, Wisconsin Historical Society..

Eliza Breuninger, my great-great-grandaunt, was the second wife of the well-known Green Bay, Wisconsin, pioneer Albert Gallatin Ellis. She was also the sister of my great-great-grandfather, Louis Breuninger (1819-1890).

Had it not been for the letters and documents saved by my ancestor Louis Breuninger (which I refer to as “The Breuninger Collection”) I may never have discovered the Breuninger/Ellis connection.

In The Collection is Louis’ baptismal record which names his parents, Johann Martin Friedrich and Sophia Carolina (Pfaff) Breuninger, and that Louis was born in Bachlingen, Kingdom of Württemberg.

After I learned where the Breuningers lived I ordered a roll of the microfilmed church records of the Evangelische Kirche at Bachlingen from the local Family History Center. The Johann Martin Friedrich Breuninger family was entered in the Familienbuch section of their church records.

The Familienbuch, “family book”, is a section of the church records that gives the names of the family members and vital information about them. There can be a lot of good information in these records. From these records I learned who Louis’ siblings were:

Johann Martin Friedrich Breuninger married Sophie Karoline Pfaff on 3 February 1818. Five children were born to the couple when the information was written:
Carl Ludwig, born 23 November 1818
Ludwig Friedrich Peter, born 15 December 1819
Eliza Charlotte Juliana Louise, born 2 June 1821
Johann Friedrich Ernest, born 2 November 1822
Charlotte Eliza Magdalena, born 25 August 1824
(Source: Familienbuch, Evangelishce Kirche at Bachlingen, Württemberg, 1529-1938, microfilm #1340113, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.)

Eliza’s death notice is in The Breuninger Collection:

From the Wisconsin Pinery, Nov. 15th 1872.
On Sunday the 10th inst., Mrs. Eliza C. J. the wife of Gen’l Ellis, aged 51 years, at peace with God and in communion with His Church.

Retiring in her disposition, and unobtrusive in her deportment, though invariably courteous and king to all, she seemed to feel that her sphere of usefulness was especially the home circle, and there her worth was duly appreciated, and this bereavement is justly esteemed in irreparable misfortune. Her simple memorial—a devoted wife and affectionate Mother, is inscribed on the hears of those who the very last were objects of her tender solicitude and untiring care.

Eliza (Breuninger) Ellis death notice, private collection of the author.

The following letter from General Albert G. Ellis is also in The Collection:

Stevens Point
Nov. 14, 1872

Louis Breuninger Esq

My Dear Sir,
I grieve to write you such a letter as this. Two weeks ago last Tuesday, your dear sister Eliza was taken down very suddenly with violent [?], pain, & [?] dibiliy. Everything that [?] & good medical aid could do, was done, but all to no [?]. She continued to sink till last Sunday when she died. Sister Charlotte was with her the last two days. She had been unconscious for two days but on Saturday she revived so as to know us all–recognized aunt Charlotte Kitchen [????] of whom she took a most affecting [?] leave knowing that she was soon going [?] to the/be

My heart is too full to write: five [?] children are sick with whooping cough: one at least not expected to live.

You[?]  much affection
A. G. Ellis

Letter and envelope from Albert G. Ellis to Louis Breuninger, informing Louis of the death of his sister, Eliza. 1872. In private collection of author.

Albert G. Ellis married Eliza C. J. L. Breuninger on 19 August 1847 in Brown County, Wisconsin. (Brown County Marriage Record, Vol. 1:22, Wisconsin Historical Society.) This was Albert’s second marriage.

Census enumerations for Albert and Eliza’s family:

Albert G Ellis, 49, land surveyor; Eliza, 29, born in Germany; Richard RC, 18, musician; Eugene, 15; Orange R, 9; Parmelia, 2; Theodore C, 0; Candice, 76, Connecticut; Lora Braninger, 20, Germany; Alexander Lami, 52, millwright; John Mathews, 22, laborer; Aaron M Palmer, millwright. All the children were born in Wisconsin. [Source: 1850 US Census, Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin, p. 46B; digital image by ( :  accessed 21 June 2012); from National Archives microfilm M432_994.]

Albert G Ellis, 59, receiver US Land Office; Eliza CJ, 39, Germany; Orange R, 17; Pamala, 13; Theodore, 11; Lora, 9; Candace, 6; Verlena, 4; Charlotte, 8/12; Lora Breuninger, 29, Germany. [Source: 1860 US Census, Stevens Point, Portage County, Wisconsin, p. 353; digital image by ( : accessed 21 June 2012); Family History Library Film no. 805426, from National Archives microfilm M653_1426.]

Albert Ellis, 69, mill owner; Eliza, 49, Germany; Pamila, 22, teacher of music; Theodore, 20, teacher of music; Laura d, 18; Candas, 15; Verbena, 14; May, 12; Eliza, 10; Soprona, 6; Albertina, 2; Edwin Danahus, 17, mill hand. [Source: 1870 US Census, Stevens Point, Portage County, Wisconsin, Ward 2, p. 172B; digital image by ( : accessed 21 June 2012); Family History Library Film no. 553231, from National Archives microfilm M593_1732.]

Albert G Ellis, 79, printer, widowed; Candace, 25, music teacher; May, 20, teacher; Eliza, 18; Sophronia, 15; Albertina, 12. [Source: 1880 US Census, Stevens Point, Portage County, Wisconsin, Enumeration District 146, p. 177A; digital image by ( : accessed 21 June 2012); Family History Film no. 1255442, from National Archives microfilm Roll 1442.]

It is interesting to note that Eliza and Louis Breuninger’s father was a school teacher in Germany and that the teaching tradition was carried on in the Ellis family. There was evidently some musical talent in the family, too, since a couple of Eliza’s children were music teachers. Imagine music teachers in the mid-1800s. There is a reference to an instrument that Louis made in one of the letters. In addition, one of the Ellis daughters was an artist who painted the oil portrait of her father. I wonder which daughter painted that portrait?

And as usual, other questions arise: When did Eliza and her sister Charlotte immigrate and how did Eliza meet Albert Ellis, who was 20 years older than she? What about Eliza’s sister, Charlotte Kitchen? Who was Lora Breuninger? Another sister?

More from The Breuninger Collection in upcoming blogs.




Tombstone Tuesday–William Buechner

William Buechner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of William Buechner, located in row 11 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed BUECHNER, William Buechner, 1859-1926.

According to the church records at Zion Lutheran, Schumm, Johann Adam Wilhelm Büchner was born 12 January 1859 to Johannes Büchner and his legal wife. He was baptized 14 January at home with Adam Büchner and Wilhelm Schumm as sponsors. Other entries in Zion’s records indicate that Johannes Büchner’s wife and William’s mother was Anna Margaretha Scior.

Death Claims Well-known Willshire Township Man

News of the death of William Buechner, well-known retired farmer, who maintained a bachelor home at the original Buechner farm four miles east of town for a number of years, following the death of his mother, came to the people of the entire community with a distinct shock, as it was not generally understood that he was critically or even seriously ill, it being the impression that he had been taken to the Van Wert county hospital two weeks before for treatment and care for ailments that could be overcome without difficulty. His condition, however, became critical almost from the first day in the hospital, heart disease and incidental complications resulting in his demise at 5:05 o’clock Friday evening, April 23, 1926. He was aged 67 years, three months and 12 days, having been born on the farm on which he resided, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Buechner, both deceased.

He was reared in the Lutheran faith, being given the rite of baptism in infancy, and following the usual training in church doctrine, was confirmed and united with the Zion Evangelical Lutheran church at Schumm, Ohio, April 5, 1873, retaining his membership therein until called to his eternal home.

He was a jovial disposition, and his almost daily visits to Willshire during the past twenty years, up until four weeks ago, found him calling on and joking with his friends and acquaintances.

He took an active interest in the public affairs of his community and county, and some few years ago served in the capacity of township trustee.

He leaves to mourn their loss, two brothers, John Buechner of Willshire township; Henry Buechner of Blackcreek township, Mercer County, and one sister, Mrs. Mary Schumm of near Rockford.

Funeral services were held from the Zion Lutheran church at Schumm Monday afternoon, conducted by Rev. R.O. Bienert, with interment in the church cemetery, attended by a large concourse of relatives, friends and acquaintances.  (The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 29 April 1926, p.1.)

According to the 1872 Map of Van Wert County, the John Buechner farm was one mile east of Zion Lutheran Church.

1940 Census Indexing Update

I am helping index Ohio in the 1940 Census.

Thousands of volunteers for the 1940 US Census Community Project continue to index at a phenomenal rate. Overall, the indexing is 63% complete and reports that indexing is one month ahead of schedule.

Over 75 million records have been indexed and 20 states are 100% indexed and searchable on States that are searchable by an individual’s name are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. The following states are 100% indexed and will soon be searchable on-line: Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska and North Dakota.

You can see the 1940 Census Community Project progress map at

Searchable on are Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington DC. Rhode Island is searchable on

Ohio is now 44% indexed. When I have a little extra time I try to index batches from Ohio. I just indexed my 50th batch yesterday. I have indexed batches from Allen, Auglaize, Lucas, Darke, Logan, Paulding, Lake, Licking, Defiance, Franklin and Cuyahoga counties. My Arbitration Results are 98% agreement. That isn’t too bad considering that some of the handwriting is difficult to read.

I indexed a couple batches from Kansas before Ohio was available. I enjoy indexing counties in the western part of our state because it is interesting to see surnames that I am familiar with. I hope to get some batches from Mercer County and I would probably be up all night indexing if that happens. I have heard of some indexers indexing their grandparents. Now that would be something!

I also indexed some Kansas batches.

There are also 1940 Census Indexing Contests for indexers and genealogical societies. Prizes are awarded from sponsoring partners,, ProQuest, FamilySearch and the National Archives. Congratulations to the Ohio Genealogical Society Indexing Group, May’s winning society with 16+ members. They won the top prize, a new lap top computer, for the most records indexed.

There is a lot of interesting information about Ohio on This page tells that Ohio’s population in 1940 was 6,907,612 and 11,536,504 in 2012. It is interesting to see how the populations of Ohio’s cities have changes since 1940.

Since Oregon is one of the states that is now searchable in the 1940 Census I decided to try out the index and search for Ruecks in Oregon on I immediately found my Rueck relatives.

L Jacob & Regina Rueck were living in Clackamas County, Oregon. Living with them were Claude A & Margaret Pullen, their son-in-law and daughter. Living next door to them was David Rueck. I know that David and Regina were brother and sister, siblings of my great-grandmother Christine (Rueck) Miller.

The Oregon Ruecks were all farmers and David had a poultry farm.  [source: “United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2012), L Jacob Rueck, Barlow Election Precinct, Clackamas, Oregon, United States.]

We should all give a big thanks to the thousands of volunteers who are making the 1940 Census Index possible. If you think you would enjoy this type of project you can get more information at The 1940 US Census Community Project, You are able download the Indexing Software there and get indexing instructions and tutorials.

I helped index the first half of the 1940 US Census.

I find indexing to be rather relaxing and I always have enjoyed entering data.Volunteering to help index the 1940 Census is a great way to help researchers today and in the future easily learn more about The Greatest Generation. It is a way of contributing and giving back.

Tombstone Tuesday—Jeanetta, Charles and Amalia Schumm

Tombstone of Jeanetta, Charles, Amalia Schumm, Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Mercer County, Ohio.

This is the tombstone of Jeanetta A., Charles J. and Amalia  C. Schumm, located in row 3, old section J, Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Dublin Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed SCHUMM, Jeanetta A, 1875-1916, Charles J, 1875-1954, Amalia C, 1884-1969.

Jeanetta was Charles’ first wife and he married Amalia after Jeanetta’s death.

According to her death certificate, Jeanetta Ann Schumm was born 23 October 1875 in Ohio to Joseph and Samantha (Wildermuth) Bury. She died 11 September 1916 in Dublin Township, Mercer County, of an accidental electrocution. She was married and was aged 40 years, 10 months and 18 days. She was a housekeeper on the farm. She was buried on 14 September. The informant was Charles Schumm. (Certificate of Death, State of Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics, Registration District 850, File 57588, Primary Registration District 5301, Registered 70; Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953, index and images,, accessed 9 Jun 2012.)

Electric Shock Causes Untimely Death of Mrs. C.J. Schumm, While Washing Monday

The community was shocked Monday morning to learn that Mrs. C.J. Schumm had been electrocuted by a short circuit when attaching an extension cord to an electric washer in the yard. Mrs. Schumm was found lying on the ground. Medical aid was summoned but could give no help for the vital spark had fled. The blow to the husband and children and her parents and family was overwhelming, and the sympathy of all went to the bereaved family.

Just how the fatal accident occurred will never be known. Mr. Schumm had gone to the fields and other members of the family were absent. Mrs. Schumm had the water ready to do her washing and had the washer set out in the yard as she had always done in good weather. Power was transmitted through an extension cord from a socket in the house, the cord being run out through a window. Mrs. Schumm must have been just ready to attach the cord to the motor when she received the fatal shock. Mrs. Helen Karnes, on her way to school in town, stopped at the Schumm home and found Mrs. Schumm lying in the yard. She summoned aid and neighbors came at once to the home.

The Schumm home is two miles northwest of Rockford, and the electrical current to the home is furnished from the Willshire-Wren light line of the Rockford Electric Lighting plant. This is the first accident that has ever occurred in the history of electric light and power in this community.

Mrs. Schumm was well and favorably known in both town and country and her friends were many. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bury of Rockford. She is survived by the husband, daughter Miss Donna and two sons, one aged about three years and the other a baby seven weeks old. Three brothers, Homer of Rockford, Cleve of Mercer and John of Jackson, and sisters Mrs. Odus Street, Mrs. Jess Spry of Jackson, and Mrs. Tom Karnes of Chamberlain, S.D., are with the parents left to mourn the death of their favored sister.

The Schumm family have [sic] been brought to grief by two untimely deaths in their circle within the last few weeks. In each case the wife and mother was taken away leaving a small baby. Mrs. Wm. Schumm was taken away only a short time ago, from a neighboring home. Their friends far and wide extend their heartfelt sympathy to the family, in this their hour of double bereavement.

The funeral was held this Thursday afternoon from the Rockford Presbyterian church, of which the deceased was a member. Dr. A. Arthur Griffes preached the funeral service, and music was furnished by the Presbyterian Choir. Burial was made in Riverside Cemetery. (The Rockford Press, Rockford, Ohio, 15 Sep 1916, p.1)

Schumm, Jeanetta Ann, his wife, 1875-1916, Charles J 1875-1954. Marker behind granite marker. Riverside Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio.

Charles and Jeanetta had the following children: Donna Doris (1900-1950), Carl Arnold (1904-1912), Oral (1912-1912), Charles Robert (1914) and Joseph Frederick (1916).

Charles remarried to Amalia Germann, the daughter of Charles Friedrich and Hannah M. (Schumm) Germann. They had the following children: Lucile (1924), Virginia B. (1926) and Herbert (1928).

From the church records of Zion Lutheran, Schumm: Karl Johann Heinrich Schumm was born 14 March 1875, the child of Mr. Friedrich Jacob and Maria (Germann) Schumm. He was baptized 29 March 1875, with sponsors Karl Germann, Peter Germann and Heinrich Schumm II. “Charles“ John Henry Schumm died in the hospital at Findlay, Ohio, on 29 April 1854 at the age of 79 years, 1 month and 15 days. He was survived by his widow Amalie. He was buried on 1 May, services by Rev. Werner VonKulhburg.

The church records also show that Amalia (Germann) Schumm died 12 February 1969 and was buried 15 February.

A group of three grave markers are in the row behind the main stone. They are inscribed with the names of Charles and Jeanetta, their two sons Carl and Oral, and their daughter Donna Doris.

Group of Charles Schumm family markers. Riverside Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio.