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Jul 02

Tombstone Tuesday–Anna S. Hoehamer

Anna S. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2013 photo by Karen)

Anna S. Hoehamer, Mount Hope Cemetery, Adams County, Indiana. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Anna S. Hoehamer, located in Mount Hope Cemetery, Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. Her marker is inscribed:

Anna S.
Wife of
N. Hoehamer
Died
Nov 4, 1880
Aged
28 y, 5 m, 1 d

Anna S. (Manzelman) Hoehamer was born 3 June 1852, as calculated from her tombstone. She was born in Mecklenburg, [1] possibly the daughter of John Manzelman.

Anna married Nicholas Hoehamer on 4 January 1870 in Auglaize County, Ohio. Their marriage record shows that her father gave his consent for the marriage, but the record did not give his name. [2]

Anna died 4 November 1880 at the age of 28 years, 5 months and 1 day. She is buried next to her husband Nicholas at Mount Hope Cemetery. Her tombstone is difficult to read and I believe these to be the dates inscribed on the marker.

Anna 's tombstone next to tombstone of husband Nicholas. (2013 photo by Karen)

Anna ‘s tombstone next to tombstone of husband Nicholas. (2013 photo by Karen)

I had trouble finding Nicholas and Anna Hoehamer in the 1870 census and I am sure the problem was in the way Hoehamer was spelled in the indexes. I finally located the Hoehamers by using the “FAN” technique, a research method I explain in my Beginning Genealogy Workshop. FAN is an acronym for friends, associates and neighbors. By researching and studying a person’s friends, associates and neighbors you can often find out additional information about that person. In this case I searched for a family that I thought might be neighbors of the Hoehamers in Auglaize County.

I knew from other documents that Anna’s maiden name was Manzelman and that she and Nicholas were married in Auglaize County in January 1870. I thought they possibly lived in Auglaize County before their marriage and in the months after, but I could not find the Hoehamers in the 1870 census index. So I searched for Manzelman instead and found John and Anna “Meuselman” in the Ancestry.com index, living in Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. [3] I then looked for Hoehamer neighbors and on the previous page there was not one, but three households of Hoehamers, including Nicholas and Anna. [4]

John and Anna “Meuselman” were living about six households away from Nicholas and Anna and they may be Anna’s parents. Both John and Anna were born in Prussia and were in their mid-50s, old enough to have been Anna (Manzelman) Hoehamer’s parents.

Auglaize County marriage record of Nicholas Hoehamer and Anna "Manzalman," 1870.

Auglaize County marriage record of Nicholas Hoehamer and Anna “Manzalman,” 1870.

The Nicholas Hoehamer family in 1870:
Nicholas, 25, farm hand, born in Ohio, (did not own land but his personal estate was worth $250)
Anna, 18, keeping house, born in Mecklenburg Ger.

By 1880 Nicholas and Anna were living in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. Their family looked like this in 1880:
Nicholas, 34, born in Ohio, farmer
Anna, 27, wife, “Mechlingberg”, keeping house
George, 9 (b. 1871) son, Ohio, at school
Jacob, 6 (b. 1874) son, Ohio
William, 5 (b. 1875) son, Ohio
Barbara, 2 (b. 1878) daughter, Indiana

Son William was born in Ohio and daughter Barbara was born in Indiana, so the family probably moved from Auglaize County to Indiana sometime between 1875 and 1878.

From church and cemetery records I determined that Nicholas and Anna had the following children, and they may have had more:

Johann Georg (1870-?) [confirmed at Zion Chatt in 1886/gave DOB; married Attie Bergman 1907]
Henry A. (1872-1878) [tombstone at Mount Hope]
Jacob Wilhelm (1873-1899) [death record at Zion Chatt]
William A. (1875-1956) [confirmed at Zion Chatt 1890/gave DOB; married Elisabeth M. Kallenberger]
Sophie Barbara (1877-1929) [confirmation 1891 & marriage at Zion Chatt; married Wm Allmandinger]
John C. (1880-1881) [tombstone at Mount Hope]

Their son John C. was born 10 September 1880, as calculated from his tombstone. His mother Anna died 4 November 1880 and he died 18 January 1881. One wonders if one or both died from complications of childbirth. Anna’s death was not recorded in Zion Chatt’s records.

 

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Adams County, Indiana, ED 133, p. 14B, line 4, dwelling 123, family 123, Nicholas Hoehamer; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 June 2013); from National Archives microfilm T9, roll 263.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZKS-5PX : accessed 23 June 2013), Nicolas Hoechamer and Anna Manzelman, 1870.

[3] 1870 U.S. Census, Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, p. 435 stamped, p. 9 penned, line 34, dwelling 69, family 69, John “Meuselman”; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2013); from FHL film 552671, from National Archives microfilm M593, roll 1172.

[4] 1870 U.S. Census, Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, p. 434B stamped, p. 8 penned, line 26, dwelling 61, family 61, Nicholas “Hoechammer”; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2013); from FHL film 552671, from National Archives microfilm M593, roll 1172.

2 comments

  1. Waldo

    It would be interesting to know the literacy rate back in these times. With the variation in name spelling in the many records, it would seem illiteracy was very high. Presumably people were simply saying their names and relying upon someone who could write to spell it from the sounds, thus many different spellings occur in tax, chureh and local records. Apparently it was not until the early 1900s that schools really began to be available in the Mercer county area, and even then many families could not, would not or just did not send their kids to school. Some went occasionally or until they were needed to help with work, income or just taking care of the other kids and chores. Even relatively wealthy families appear to not have been able to read or write, thus making records such as the stray animal book even more remarkable.

    We often wonder how folks managed before our extraordinary communication systems evolved, ie postal, phone, internet, news media, etc. The answer often is that thy wrote letters and got them delivered by travelers, etc., yet that fails to take into account that so few were able to read and write, a fact often overlooked in historical perspectives.

    1. Karen

      One of the first things you discover when doing genealogy research is that there may be many spelling variations for each name. There are many reasons for this. For example, in the census the census taker spelled and wrote down the name the way he heard it–the way the name sounded. His handwriting may be difficult to read. Sometimes an “n” looks like a “u”, etc. Indexers today spell the name as they see it and the names in the indexes might vary. I like to search the indexes of both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.com because a name may have been indexed differently on each. Sometimes you just have to search through the original census images to find the name you are looking for. People even changed the spelling of their surname: One family’s surname was Scaer. A couple of the siblings decided to change the way they spelled their name, spelling it Scare. So you have siblings in the same family spelling their name differently–Scaer and Scare. There are many different reasons for variant name spellings but I think the main one is that people wrote down the name the way they heard it.

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