Tombstone Tuesday–Rebecca (Shell) Schmidt

Rebecca (Shell) Schmidt, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is reportedly the tombstone of Rebecca Schmidt, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. This marble tombstone was very weathered and illegible when I took this photo in 2012. However, the Van Wert County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society read Zion Schumm’s Cemetery in 1992, when the inscription was apparently still readable. Their reading of this tombstone:

Rebecca Schmidt
Gest [?] 1862
27 J, 8 M, 13 T

Rebecca Schmidt, died [?] 1862, [age] 27 years, 8 months, 13 days.

This information corresponds with a death and burial entry in Zion Schumm’s records, that of Rebecca (Shell/Schell) Schmidt, wife of Carl Schmidt, who died 9 May 1862, at the age of 27 years, 8 months, and 15 days.

Rebecca Shell was born 24 August 1834, as calculated from the church records.

This is likely the same Rebecca who was enumerated in the 1850 census in Willshire Township, in the household of Henry Shell: Henry Shell, 42; Mary, 40; Rebecca, 16; Sarah, 14; C A, 13; Elisabeth, 10; Nancy, 8; and Jeremiah, 0. Henry was a blacksmith, born in Pennsylvania. The other members of the household were born in Ohio. Rebecca was possibly the daughter of Henry and Mary, but we do not know for sure from this enumeration, since no relationships are given. [1]

Rebecca Shell married Carl Schmidt on 6 November 1851 in Van Wert County, Ohio. His name was recorded as Charles Smith. [2]

The Carl Schmidt family in 1860, living in Willshire Township: Carl, 34; Rebecca, 26; William, 6; Virginia, 3; and Charles F, 9 months. [3] Their son William Henry Schmidt (1854-1926) lived to adulthood. I am not sure about the other children enumerated in this census.  

The Schmidts attended church at Zion Schumm in the early 1860s, where a son was baptized. Carl Samuel Schmidt, born 22 July 1861, was baptized at home on 29 July 1861. His sponsors were Carl Germann and his wife Elisabeth.

Within a year, both Rebecca and their son Carl had died, passing away within a day of each other.

Rebecca (Shell) Schmidt died 9 May 1862 at 2:00 in the morning. Their son Carl Samuel died 10 May 1862, at the age of 9 months. No cause of death was given for either of them.

Widower Carl Schmidt married Maria Stamm on 23 Apr 1863, married at the bride’s home in Harrison Township, Van Wert County. Carl and Maria had at least three children of their own, who were baptized at Zion Schumm:

Anna Elisabeth (1864-1950)
Johann Friedrich (1869-1954)
Jacob Christoph (1871-1964)

Carl Schmidt died 26 January 1872 and is buried in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm.

[1] 1850 U. S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p. 167A, dwelling 120, family 137, Henry Shell; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 1 Dec 2019).

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Van Wert, Ohio, Marriage Vol. 1:138, Charles Smith & Rebeca Shell, 6 Nov 1851; database with images, ( : viewed 2 Dec 2019).

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.426, dwelling 1083, family 1077, Charles Schmith; digital image by subscription, ( : viewed 2 Dec 2019).

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