Last fall Paul asked members of the “I’m a Schinnerer” Facebook group if someone would show him and his wife around the Schumm area while they were here from California, visiting family in Columbus, Ohio. While he was “in the area” he wanted to see Schumm and the farm where his great-great-grandfather Martin Schinnerer lived before selling everything and moving to California around the turn of the century.
So Joe and I had the privilege of showing Schinnerer (and Schumm) descendant Paul Scott and his wife Lynne around the area in October.
When I hear of someone whose ancestors hailed from the Schumm area and who has names like Schinnerer and Schumm in their family tree, I figure there is a very high probability that we are related. Actually, probably related in more than one way.
But before they arrived I had a little homework to do. How were Paul and I related and where did Martin Schinnerer once live? Whether Paul liked it or not, I was going to bore him with some family history.
Just as I figured, Paul and I are related through both the Schumms and the Schinnerers. In several ways.
On the Schumm side Paul is my third and fourth cousin once removed, with George Ludwig and Barbara (Pflueger) Schumm as our common ancestors. On the Schinnerer side he is my fourth cousin, with Georg Michael and Anna Barbara (Zeller) Schinnerer as our common ancestors.
Paul’s great-great-grandfather Martin Schinnerer was the brother of my great-great-grandfather Friederick Schinnerer. Martin was born in the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1834 and immigrated to America in 1852. He likely followed his brother Friederick, who had already settled in the area. Martin married Maria Schumm in 1860. She was the daughter of Ludwig and Barbara (Pflüger) Schumm. (Ludwig and Barbara were my great-great and great-great-great-grandparents, depending on which of their descendants you look at, either my grandmother or my grandfather.) Maria (Schumm) Schinnerer died in 1870 and Martin married Maria’s sister Rosina Schumm in 1871. Paul descends from Martin and Rosina. Martin and Rosina and some of their family moved to California about 1903 and remained there the rest of their lives. Martin died in Los Angeles in 1930.
As I prepared for Paul and Lynne’s visit I looked at the 1886 Willshire Township plat map and was very surprised at what I saw. I couldn’t believe where Martin Schinnerer lived before moving to California. I knew right away that I was going to be able to show Paul more than just the land that Martin once owned.
Martin Schinnerer purchased the land from Christian Airman in 1854, the northeast quarter of Section 28 in Willshire Township. His farm was next door to the farm my Schumm grandparents ended up owning and living on years later.
On 19 October 1903, before moving to California, Martin Schinnerer sold the 160 acre farm to John Scaer.
This is where the truly amazing part comes in and where things get really interesting.
John Scaer was my great-grandfather, the father of my maternal grandmother Hilda (Scaer) Schumm. After their marriage John and Elizabeth (Schinnerer) Scaer lived near Monroeville, Indiana, where my grandmother Hilda was born in 1895. John Scaer purchased the farm, with a frame house on it, from Paul’s great-great-grandfather Martin Schinnerer and the Scaers moved from Monroeville to the farm between Willshire and Schumm about 1903.
But it gets better.
When John Scaer purchased the property from Martin Schinnerer in 1903 there was a frame house on the farm, the home that Martin Schinnerer and his family would have lived in before moving to California. Today a brick house is situated on the property, situated where the frame house stood. That is the house we drove by and showed Paul on his visit to Schumm. I just learned this past week that the frame home was not destroyed but that brick was put around it and a living room was added. According to this person, the frame house is still there, although the outside looks very different. John Scaer added the brick sometime around 1915, give or take a couple years.
And I just happen to have a photo of that frame house. Yes, I was able to give Paul a photo of the home his great-great-grandfather Martin Schinnerer lived in before moving to California in about 1903!
The photo below shows the old frame house as it looked on the John Scaer farm about 1904. Standing in front of the house are John’s children, Willie, Elsie, Hilda, and Edna Scaer.
On our sight-seeing tour east of Wilshire last October we viewed the homes and farms between Willshire and Schumm, drove through both villages, and toured Zion Lutheran Church and Zion’s Cemetery. Paul and Lynne were very impressed with Zion’s beautiful church and commented that it was much larger than they had envisioned.
We looked at several tombstones of our common ancestors in the cemetery. Visiting Zion Schumm’s cemetery is always a very humbling experience.
It was a beautiful autumn day and we all enjoyed the beautiful countryside and colorful trees.
It was great to meet my third/fourth cousin Paul and his wife and to show them around our area and share a little of the history of our common ancestry.
What a cool story Karen! How lucky for Paul to have a distant cousin like you. Great job!
As so often happens, I was able to share information with Paul but I also learned some things myself. I did not have that particular land deed. Now I do!
What a fun and amazing day that must have been for you and your distant cousins to share! I bet they could not sleep that night with all of the historical information and images running through their heads.
It was a fun day showing them around. I think you see things in a new way when you show others who are seeing them for the first time.
It was such an amazing pleasure to be introduced to my “roots” by Karen. I am sure my mouth was hanging open the entire time. So wonderful to see where my ancestors began in the US. Absolutely stunning countryside.
THANK YOU so much Karen for taking the time to show us around, and be so warm and welcoming to your very distant relatives!
You are so very welcome! We enjoyed spending the day with you and Lynne. Do let us know if you are ever in Ohio again.