Apr 07

Tombstone Tuesday-Martin Geisler

Martin Geisler, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Martin Geisler, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruhet in Gott
Martin Geissler
Gestorben
2 September 1852
Alter von 52 Jahren

Here rests in God, Martin Geissler, died 2 September 1852, age 52 years.

Martin Geisler was born in about 1800, according to Zion Schumm’s records. In all probability he was born in Germany.

This appears to be the Martin Geisler family in Willshire Township in 1850: Martin, 50; Anna, 44; Margaretta, 19; Michael, 21; John, 16; Barbara, 12; CM, 6; Theodore, 3; and Catharine, 6 months. Martin was a farmer. All members of the household were born in Germany, except Catharine, who was born in Ohio. [1] This would indicate that the family immigrated about 1858. Also of interest is that the Martin Geisler family was enumerated next to my great-great-grandfather Louis Schumm. They lived very close to each other, possibly next door to each other.

Martin is mentioned in Zion Schumm’s records only one time and that lone entry is his death and burial record. That record indicates Martin Geisler died 2 September 1852 at the age of 52. He was buried on the 3rd.

Other Geislers attended Zion Schumm with Martin and they all may have been related in some way. Some of these other Geislers include:

Michael Geisler [the older] d.1857.

Margaret Geisler, d.1857, age 19.

Margaretha Geisler married Jacob Schrenk in 1867.

John “George” Geisler [son of older Michael Geisler] d.1872, married Rosine Schinnerer in 1858.

Michael Geisler [the younger] married Elisabeth Hartel in 1863 and she died later that same year. Michael Geisler [the younger] married Susanna/Susan Balzell in 1866.  

Nicholas Geisler (1832-1912) married Elisabeth Coffitz in 1863.

Barbara Geisler married Henry Adams 1858; married Michael Greib in 1867.

Madgalena Geisler married Henry Schumm I in 1891.

[1] 1850 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.170A, dwelling 332, family 351, Martin Gurser; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/ : viewed 6 Apr 2020).

Apr 03

Nimrod Headington Journal, 1852, part 9

Trip to California, Nimrod Headington’s journal, details his 1852 journey by ship, sailing from New York to San Francisco, to pan for gold. [1] [2]

This is the ninth in a series of blog posts, the transcription of Nimrod Headington’s 1852 journal.

Today’s installment begins the end of May, 1852. They sailed from New York over 95 days before and now their ship is docked at Valparaiso, Chile. Headington is in the city of Valparaiso.

[Late May, 1852] I next visited the cemetery, and this is the manner in which they bury their dead. The common herd of poor class they bury all in one common grave. They dig a hole 40 or 50 foot long and 10 or 12 foot deep, and when one dies, they throw the body in without any coffin and throw just enough dirt on to cover it up. And when another dies, they throw it on top of that and a little more dirt, and so on until that hole is full and then dig another. I saw the legs and arms of several sticking out. In this way hundreds are buried in one common grave while the wealthy class and all foreigners are buried in single graves in coffins.

There are a great many sailors buried here. I noted some of the inscriptions or epitaphs on some of the tombstones:

      To me remains no place nor time.
      My country is in every clime.
      I can be calm and free from care
      On any shore since God is there.

      After many toils and perils past,
      In foreign climes I fell at last.
      Reader, prepare to follow me,
      For what I am you soon must be.

      Ship mates, all my cruise is up.
      My body moored at rest.
      My soul is where? Aloft, of course,
      Rejoicing with the blest.

I found this epitaph on the tomb of an old sea captain, buried here in 1828:

        Here lies the rigging spars and hull
        Of sailing master David Mull

The following lines I found on the tomb of an America lady buried here:

        Light be the turf of thy tomb  
        May its verdure like emerald be.
       
There should not be the shadow of gloom
       
In aught that reminds us of thee.

These lines were inscribed on the tomb of an American Sailor buried in 1840:

        With bounding heart I left my home   
        Not thinking death so near.
       
But here the tyrant laid me low,
       
Which caused a messmate’s tear.

I might have taken many more of the inscriptions, but the day being almost gone, I had to stop and retrace my steps toward the city in order to reach there before dark, as I had some suspicion of these natives, especially in the dark. They all carry their big, dark knives by their side, attached to a belt, and they both fear and hate a Yankee.

Sundays here is their day for sport, horse racing, bull fighting, and all sorts of gambling. A great race was to take place on Sunday while we were there. And as we wanted to see all the sights, we went out to the racecourse. Thousands of people were there. The races were very fine—very fast running horses and piles of money bet on them. After the races were over, two of the men that owned the horses commenced quarreling. They were both mounted on horses, and very soon they drew their revolvers and made a dash at each other. And when the smoke cleared away, both of these men lay dead upon the ground.

For sin and licentiousness Valparaiso excels any city in the world of its size. Even the women are so depraved that they have no shame. 

There was an English Man of War anchored close to our ship while we lay in this port, and on Sunday they sent an invitation to our ship to attend church service on their ship at 4 o’clock p.m. Eight of us in a small boat rowed over to their ship, and we were a little too soon for church. They took great pleasure in showing and explaining everything on their ship. Also their implements of war. They had 36 cannon and large amounts of muskets with glittering bayonets. Everything was very clear and neat and in proper place, much more so than on our ship. It was not long until the bell rang for church, and all hands gathered between decks and were soon seated on benches. The chaplain read the services and prayers, and every word was repeated after him by all the soldiers, sailors, and seamen. Soon the bell tolled again, and the services were ended. The benches were all stowed away, and the brooms were brought out and sweeping commenced. They do not allow a speck of dirt to accumulate in any part of the ship. They invited us to remain to supper with them, and out of curiosity to see how the lived, we accepted their invitation. I did not eat much, for all they had was pilot bread and tea, and the bread was so hard that I could not eat it. They had 260 soldiers on board. Then we left them, they shook hands with us and wished us good luck.

May 31st.  All ready to sail, and when our captain went to the consul to get his clearance papers, he found that someone had filed a petition against allowing the ship to go without being thoroughly cleansed and whitewashed. So he could not get his clearance. We had three doctors on board, and they went to the consul’s office and prevailed on him to issue the clearance, promising that they would have the ship cleaned as soon as she got to sea. The wind blew from off the sea so hard all day that we could not run out. [3]

To be continued…

I will post Nimrod’s journal in increments, but not necessarily every week.

[1] Nimrod Headington (1827-1913) was the son of Nicholas (1790-1856) and Ruth (Phillips) (1794-1865) Headington. He was born in Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, on 5 August 1827. He married Mary Ann McDonald (1829-1855) in Delaware County, Ohio, in 1849. Nimrod moved to Portland, Jay County, Indiana, by 1860 and a couple years later served in the 34th Indiana Infantry during the Civil War as a Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, and Major. Nimrod died 7 January 1913 and is buried in Green Park Cemetery, Portland. Nimrod Headington is my fourth great-granduncle, the brother of my fourth great-grandfather, William Headington (1815-1879).

[2] Nimrod Headington at the age of 24, set sail from New York in February 1852, bound for San Francisco, California, to join the gold rush and to hopefully make his fortune. The Panama Canal had not been built at that time and he sailed around the tip of South America to reach the California coast.    

Nimrod Headington kept a diary of his 1852 journey and in 1905 he made a hand-written copy for his daughter Thetis O. Tate. This hand-written copy was eventually passed down to Nimrod’s great-great-granddaughter, Karen (Liffring) Hill (1955-2010). Karen was a book editor and during the last two years of her life she transcribed Nimrod’s journal.

Nimrod’s journal, Trip to California, documents his travels between February of 1852 and spring of 1853.

[3] Nimrod Headington’s journal, transcription and photos courtesy of Ross Hill, 2019, used with permission.

Mar 31

Tombstone Tuesday–Conrad Baals

Conrad Baals, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Conrad Baals, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

In memory of
CONRAD BAALS
Died
Mar 7, 1889
Aged
71 Y, 7 M, 12 D
BAALS

Johann “Conrad” Baals was born 25 July 1817 in the Kingdom of Bavaria, according to the records of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm. The name of his hometown looks like Pagenhart in the records, but I cannot find that town in Germany. He immigrated before 1851.

Conrad Baals married Anna Geisler on 6 May 1851 at Zion, Schumm. Both were members of Zion’s parish. Anna was also from Germany.

Three children were born to Anna and Conrad Baals within the next 7 years: George (1854), August (1856), and Mary (1858).

The Conrad Baals family in 1860, living in Willshire Township: Conrad, 40; Anna, 32; George, 6; August, 4; Mary, 2; and Nicholas Geisler, 27. Nicholas Geisler was Anna’s brother. Conrad, Anna, and Nicholas were all born in Bavaria, while the rest were born in Ohio. [1] 

The Conrad Baals family in 1870: Conrad, 53; Anna, 42; George, 16; Augustus, 14; Margaret, 12; Fredrick, 5; and William, 3. [2]

The Conrad Baals family in 1880: Conrad, 62; Anna, 52; George, 26; Augustus, 24; Margaret, 20; Frederick, 17; and William, 12. Conrad and his sons were farmers. [3]

Conrad Baals died of consumption on 7 March 1889, at the age of 71 years, 7 months, and 10 days. He was buried on the 10th.

Conrad Baals, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

It appears Conrad and Anna were close friends and/or neighbors with my great-great-uncle Pankratius Schinnerer and his family. Conrad and Anna named one of their children Pankratius and were the baptismal sponsors for some other Schinnerer children. Pankratius was a brother to my great-great-grandfather Friedrick Schinnerer.

Conrad and Anna (Geisler) Baals had the following children:

Johann “George” Pankratius (1854-1930), never married
Adam Gustav (1856-1903)
Rosina Maria Margarethe (1858-1929), married August Heim
Johann “Friedrich” (1864-)
Johann Wilhelm “William” (1867-1943), married Jennie A. Gershaw Haines; Jennie A. Rison

Conrad’s widow Anna (Geisler) Baals died in Willshire Township on 23 September 1925, at the age of 97. She is buried in row 11 of Zion Schumm Cemetery.  

I do not have much information about the Baals family, although at least two other Baals were mentioned in Zion Schumm’s records. Michael Baals died 4 September 1853 while visiting his brother. His age is not given and his brother’s name is not mentioned. Two children of August and Margaretha Baals were baptized at Zion Schumm in the 1870s, Robert Franklin and Clara Henrietta. Michael and August may have been related to Conrad and Conrad may have been related to some of the Baals who are buried in Concordia Lutheran Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

[1] 1860 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.424 [stamped], p.147 [penned], dwelling 1051, family 1045, Conrad Baltz; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/ : viewed 14 Mar 2020).

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert Ohio, p.446B, dwelling 238, family 239, Conrad Balls; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/ : viewed 23 Mar 2020).

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.447A [stamped], p.9 [penned], family 78, Z Coomod Bates; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/ : viewed 23 Mar 2020).

Mar 27

Photos Colorized by MyHeritage.com

Today I am taking a break from Nimrod Headington’s accounts of his voyage from New York to San Francisco in 1852.

The past couple weeks have been trying times for all, as we are all asked to do our part and stay at home to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Joe and I are doing fine here. Actually, we say that our life really hasn’t changed a whole lot during this time. We are not real social creatures and are content to just stay at home most of the time anyway. But this pandemic has taken that to an even higher level. We do like to get out and about a little more than we are doing now, at least for grocery shopping and occasionally dining out.

Now we order most of our groceries on-line at Walmart, for pickup at a specific time the next day, and someone brings the bags to our car. That is a very nice service and works pretty well, although it is somewhat like gambling. We place an order but are never really sure if all the items we ordered will be available the next day. And there may be substitutions.

We had the hardest time getting eggs. I would order eggs but they would be out of eggs by our pickup time the next day. So I decided to order a dozen hard-boiled eggs, to put in with pickled beets. And before you ask, yes, I can boil an egg, I just didn’t have any eggs here. But, instead of a dozen hard-boiled eggs, they gave me 4 eggs. Eventually Joe did get a couple dozen fresh eggs at Chief. We are not going to starve here, although we eat a lot of fresh produce and will need to make a grocery run in about a week. We haven’t really touched our canned and frozen food yet and we have plenty of toilet paper.    

Some of our plans have changed. We cancelled a British Isles cruise we had scheduled for mid-May. That was hard. I had tickets to visit Highclere Castle, where they film the PBS series Downton Abbey. We would have met Lady Carnarvon, who lives there with her husband, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon. I was looking forward to that visit the most, followed closely by touring London and seeing castles and cathedrals in England, Scotland, and Ireland. At this time we don’t know if our Alaska trip will happen later this year.

But those are all minor things. The health of the American people and people all over the world is the most important thing right now. We pray for health, healing, and the end of this pandemic.

Here is something I tried this past week, during my stay-at-home time. A few weeks back MyHeritage.com offered a new service, MyHeritage In Color, that automatically colorizes a black and white photo that you upload. It only takes about 10 seconds for the whole process and the photos look quite nice. I have a DNA subscription at MyHeritage.com, not their Complete Plan, and I was allowed to colorize 10 photos with my plan. But, earlier this week MyHeritage announced that for the next month subscribers that do not have the Complete Plan can colorize as many photos as they want for free. How nice of them to give all their subscribers the opportunity to use this unlimited service at this time!

I decided to take advantage of their offer and below are a few old photos that I uploaded to MyHeritage and were colorized.

Before and after colorization. Brewster reunion.

Brewster Reunion, colorized.

1938 Schumm Parochial School. colorized.

John & Hannah (Huey) Bryan family, colorized.

Uncle Kenny with his 4-H calf, colorized.

Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm, dedication, 1915, colorized.

Schumm sawmill, w/Carl Weinman, colorized.

Rose & Emma Rueck, colorized.

Louis Schumm, c1905, colorized.

Farm animals, Carl Miller farm, colorized.

Phil Brewster family, colorized.

Jackson & Mary Ann (Martin) Brewster, colorized.

Lizzy (Schinnerer) Scaer with grandchildren Mary & Elmer, colorized.

Florence (Schumm) Miller, colorized.

Herbert Miller, colorized.

Be safe everyone and do you part to stop the spread.  

Mar 24

Tombstone Tuesday-Anna (Geisler) Baals

Anna Baals, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Anna (Geisler) Baals, located in row 11 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Anna Baals
1828-1925

Anna Geisler was born 19 August 1828 in Germany, according to the records of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm. She may have been from Gruengraben, Bavaria, where her brother Nichols Geisler was from.

The Geislers immigrated before 1850 and the father was likely Michael Geisler. The Michael Geisler family in 1850, in Willshire Township: Michael, 50; Anna, 21; Nicholas, 18; George, 21; Barbara, 15; and Margaret, 11. Michael Geisler was a farmer and all were born in Germany. [1]

Anna Geisler married Conrad Baals on 6 May 1851 at Zion, Schumm. Both were members of Zion’s parish.

Three children were born to Anna and Conrad Baals within the next 7 years: George (1854), August (1856), and Mary (1858).

The Conrad Baals family in 1860, in Willshire Township, where Anna’s brother Nicholas lived with them: Conrad, 40; Anna, 32; George, 6; August, 4; Mary, 2; and Nicholas Geisler, 27. Conrad, Anna, and Nicholas were all born in Bavaria, while the rest were born in Ohio. [2] 

The Conrad Baals family in 1870: Conrad, 53; Anna, 42; George, 16; Augustus, 14; Margaret, 12; Fredrick, 5; and William, 3. [3]

The Conrad Baals family in 1880: Conrad, 62; Anna, 52; George, 26; Augustus, 24; Margaret, 20; Frederick, 17; and William, 12. Conrad and his sons were farmers. [4]

Anna’s husband Conrad Baals died of consumption on 7 March 1889, at the age of 71 years, 7 months, and 10 days. He is buried in row 5 of Zion Schumm’s cemetery.  

Widow Anna (Geisler) Baals in 1900, living with two of her sons: Anna, 76, head; George, 45, son; and William, 32, son. Anna was born in Germany but no immigration date was given. Anna had given birth to 5 children and all 5 were living. George was single and William was married for 5 years, but there was no wife in the household. They were farmers. [5]

Anna (Geisler) Baals, living with her two sons in Willshire Township, in 1920: John, 52, head, divorced; Anna, 91, mother, widowed; and George, 65, brother, single. John and Goerge farmed. Anna was naturalized in 1853, immigration date unknown. [6]

Anna (Geisler) Baals died 23 September 1925 in Willshire Township, at the age of 97 years, 1 month and 3 days. She was buried on the 25th.

Conrad and Anna (Geisler) Baals had the following children:

Johann “George” Pankratius (1854-1930), never married
Adam Gustav (1856-1903)
Rosina Maria Margarethe (1858-1929), married August Heim
Johann “Friedrich” (1864-)
Johann Wilhelm “William” (1867-1943), married Jennie A. Gershaw Haines; married Jennie A. Rison

[1] 1850 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, dwelling 108, family 124, Michael Geshler; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/ : viewed 14 Mar 2020).

[2] 1860 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, p.424 [stamped], p.147 [penned], dwelling 1051, family 1045, Conrad Baltz; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/ : viewed 14 Mar 2020).

[3] 1870 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert Ohio, p.446B, dwelling 238, family 239, Conrad Balls; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/ : viewed 23 Mar 2020).

[4] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.447A [stamped], p.9 [penned], family 78, Z Coomod Bates; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/ : viewed 23 Mar 2020).

[5] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED97, dwelling 211, family 225, Ina Baabs;  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/ : viewed 23 Mar 2020).

[6] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.2A, dwelling & family 25, John Baals; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/ : viewed 23 Mar 2020).

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