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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).

2 comments

  1. P. Brockmyer

    Could this family be related to Fort Wayne’s famous mayor, Harry Baals?

    1. Karen

      Good question! I believe there is a very good possibility that they were related. According to Find a Grave, Harry’s parents were August and Margaret Baals. Two children of August and Margaret Baals were baptized at Zion Lutheran Schumm, Robert in 1875 and Clara in 1877. Conrad Baals and his wife Anna were baptismal sponsors for Robert. Find a Grave also indicates that Robert and Clara Baals were Harry’s siblings. So Harry’s parents had a connection to Zion Schumm. Harry was born in 1886 in Fort Wayne. Even if the 2 Baal families were not related they certainly knew each other. It would be interesting to look into this. Thanks for writing.

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