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Mar 19

Tombstone Tuesday–Margaretha Becher

Margaretha Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Margaretha Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Margaretha Becher, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. All that is readable of the broken marker is: Margaretha.

The Mercer County Chapter OGS read and transcribed the tombstones in Zion’s Cemetery in 1990. Their transcription of this stone indicates that it belongs to Margaretha Becher, who died 4 May 1875 at the age of 75 years, 3 months and 18 days. She was the wife of Friedrich Becher. [1]

According to Zion’s old Family Register Margaretha Becher was born 16 January 1800 in Thuisbrun, District Oberfranken, Kingdom of Bavaria, to Johann and Kunigunde Schmidt. She married Dietrich Haffner in Bavaria and they had three sons, Conrad, George and George. The middle son died young but Conrad (1822-1878) and Georg (1828-1898) reached maturity. Dietrich Haffner died in 1828 and Margaretha married Friederich Becher in about 1830. They had a son Johann Becher (1833-1883). Their son Johann/John and his wife Anna Maria were featured here in last week’s Tombstone Tuesday.

Margaretha and Friedrich Becher resided in Thuisbrun with their sons until they immigrated to America in 1840. They lived in Butler County, Ohio, for nearly a year before moving to Liberty Township, Mercer County. What a wealth of information, all from the Family Register!

Her death record was later in the church records: Margaretha Becher died 4 May 1875 at the age of 75 years, 3 months and 18 days.  Her funeral text was the 23rd Psalm.

In 1850 Friedrich “Bachar“ (52) was living with wife Margaretha (50) and sons George (21) and John (17) in Black Creek Township, Mercer County. The census indicates they were all born in Germany. Margaretha’s son Conrad Hefner (28) was married and living next door. [2]  

In 1860 Friedrich (62) and Margaretha (60) were still living in Black Creek Township. They were living next door to son Conrad Heffner (38) and near to son George Heffner (35). Their name was listed as “Baker“ and Friedrich was a farmer. [3]

The Bechers were still living in Black Creek Township in 1870 and were enumerated as Fredrick (72) and Margret (70) Bakeher, Fredrick was a retired farmer and both were born in Bavaria. They were living next to Coonrod and George Hafner. [4]

Margaretha’s tombstone is located next to her husband’s marker. Their son and daughter-in-law John and Anna Maria Becher are buried immediately to the north. Margaretha‘s son and daughter-in-law Conrad and Margaret Heffner are buried immediately to the south of  the Becher markers. Son and daughter-in-law George and Sophia Heffner are buried in the same row, just a little farther north.

 

[1] The Mercer County Chapter OGS, Mercer County, Ohio, Cemetery Inscriptions, Vol. VI, Blackcreek, Hopewell, Liberty Townships  (Celina, Ohio: Privately printed, 1990), 95.

[2] 1850 U.S. Census, Mercer, Ohio, Black Creek Township, p. 290B, line 34, dwelling 73, family 78, Fredk Bachar; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2013); from National Archives microfilm M432, roll 710.

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Mercer, Ohio, Black Creek Township, p. 333, line 23, dwelling 629, family 634, Fredrik Baker; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2013); from National Archives microfilm M653, roll 1009.

[4] 1870 U.S. Census, Mercer, Ohio, Black Creek Township, p. 298, line 21, dwelling 157, family 157, Fredrick Bakeher; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2013); from National Archives microfilm M593, roll 1243.

4 comments

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  1. Waldo

    The variations in the name spelling over time further exemplifies the struggle between English spelling and German pronunciation (not to mention a strong implication that the folks involved could not read or write and were dependent upon a “hearer” to produce the written record).

    1. Karen

      Spelling variations in written records are often obstacles in research, especially in the census records. The census takers spelled names all different ways, usually the way the name sounded. And that was often very different from the actual spelling that we are looking for today. A surname can be spelled many different ways in records and we have to be aware of those possible variations.

  2. Waldo

    How many Becher tombstones are in the Chatt cemetary? As I drove through the other day, it looked like there were a great many. Obviously this family has been loyal Lutherans for many generations. Of course that assumes that they are all related.

    1. Karen

      I think about 25 tombstones with the Becher surname would be a good estimate. Yes, the Bechers were members of Zion from the very beginning of the church.

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