Tombstone Tuesday-Maria E. Sundemacher

Maria Weaver Sundemacher, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio (2023 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Maria E. Sundemacher, located in row 12 of Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Maria E. [?]
Frau von [wife of]
J.D. Sundemacher
Gestorben [died]
9 Mai [May] 1876
Alter [age]
67 J [years], 4 M u. 3 T [days]

This is one of two nearly identical tombstones that stand side by side in Kessler Cemetery. These two stones mark the graves of the first and second wives of John Dietrich Sundemacher. A few weeks ago I wrote about John’s first wife Rebecka (1809-1872). [1]

This surname has been read as Gundemacher on these two tombstones but research and studying the letters G and S in the old script shows that the surname is actually Sundemacher.

Sundemacher, Rebecka & Maria, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio (2023 photo by Karen)

John Dietrich and Rebecka Sundemacher lived in Auglaize County in 1860 and likely moved to the Chatt area about the time their daughter Martha married Jacob Hiller at Zion Chatt on 20 February 1868. After their marriage Martha and Jacob Hiller lived in Adams County, Indiana.

John D. Sundemacher’s first wife Rebecka died 27 August 1872 and two years later, on 7 November 1874, John D. Sundemacher married Maria E. Weaver in Auglaize County, Ohio. [2]

Zion Chatt’s communion records agree with this information and these dates. John D. Sundemacher and wife Rebecka first communed at Zion Chatt on Christmas Day 1869. They communed at Zion Chatt at least once a year until Rebecka’s death on 27 August 1872. After Rebecka’s death widower John D. Sundemacher continued to commune at Zion Chatt, communing without a wife during this time. Widower John D. Sundemacher married Maria E. Weaver on 7 November 1874 and they both communed at Zion Chatt on Christmas Day 1874. Maria Weaver Sundemacher died May 1876 and widower John D. took communion by himself in November 1876.

As calculated from her tombstone, Maria Weaver Sundemacher was born 6 January 1809. She was about 65 years of age when she married John D. Sundemacher, so there is a very good possibility that she was married previously. That would mean that Weaver was not her maiden name.

Maria Sundemacher, Kessler Cemeteery, Mercer County, Ohio (2023 photo by Karen)

Negative image, Maria Sundemacher, Kessler Cemeteery, Mercer County, Ohio (2023 photo by Karen)

Zion Chatt’s records indicate that Maria Sundemacher died 7 March 1876, approximately 66 years of age. That date disagrees a couple months from the date inscribed on her tombstone.

Unfortunately, I do not know anything else about Maria Weaver Sundemacher. John D. and Maria married in Auglaize County and I wonder if he knew Maria a few years before, during the time he and his family lived in Auglaize County, in the 1860s.

This is certainly a challenging family to research.

[1] Rebecka A. Sundemacher was the first wife of Johann Dietrich Reinhard Sundemacher. Zion Chatt’s records indicate the Sundemachers were from Weseloh, Kingdom of Hanover. The couple married in Germany and had their children before immigrating to America. Tombstone Tuesday-Rebecka Sundemacher, Karen’s Chatt, 23 May 2023.

[2] Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, Auglaize Marriages, Vol. 4: 240, John D. Suntmacher [sic] & Mary E. Weaver, 7 Nov 1874;, viewed 25 May 2023.



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