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Jul 29

Tombstone Tuesday–Michael and Elizabeth (Mueller) Kuhm

This is the tombstone of Michael (Sr) and Elisabeth (Mueller) Kuhm, located in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

Michael & Elisabeth Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

Michael & Elisabeth Kuhm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruht in Gott

 Vater
Michael
Kuhm
Geb. den
29 Juli 1826
Gest. Den
18 Nov. 1909

 Mutter
Elisabeth

Kuhm
Geb. den
27 Aug. 1826
Gest. den
22 April 1912

KUHM

[Here rests in God, Father Michael Kuhm, born 29 July 1826, died 18 November 1909; Mother Elisabeth Kuhm, born 27 August 1826, died 22 April 1912.]

The following information for both Michael and Elisabeth is from Zion Chatt’s records and their tombstones:

Michael was born 29 July 1826 in Schillersdorf, Elsass [now in Germany]. The records did not say who his parents were. He died of old age on 18 November 1909, at the age of 83 years, 3 months, and 20 days. Michael was buried on the 21st and was survived by his widow and 4 children.

Michael’s wife, Maria Elisabeth (Mueller) Kuehm, was born 27 Aug 1826 and died 22 April 1912, at the age of 85 years, 7 months, and 25 days. She died of old age and complications from a throat problem and was buried on the 24th. Elisabeth was survived by 1 son, 3 daughters, 30 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. The records did not give the names of her parents or where she was born.

After searching for some time I finally located the Kuhms in the census records. Sometimes a surname is indexed with a different spelling, depending on how the name was read and transcribed when it was indexed. That can sometimes make it difficult to find a family on websites such as FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com. Plus, a name may be indexed differently on different websites, so it may be helpful to search for a hard-to-find name on several websites that have indexed records. I tried all that, so I used another method to find them–I searched for a neighbor with an easier-to-spell name. And it worked!

I searched for Jacob Hiller. The Hillers also attended Zion Chatt, where the Kuhms were baptismal sponsors for some of the Hiller children. Thinking of the “FAN” technique [friends, associates, neighbors], I figured the two families were probably neighbors and friends. They were. And I suspected the families lived in Adams County, Indiana. They did. So I searched for Jacob Hiller in Adams County, Indiana, and found the Hillers and Kuhms were enumerated side-by-side in both the 1880 and 1900 censuses, both living in Jefferson Township in Adams County. And they all likely lived very close to Chatt.

Michael and Elisabeth Kuhm were both 53 years old in 1880 and Michael was a farmer. The family consisted of the Kuhm children: Michael (Jr), 19; Jacob, 17; Mary, 15; Lena, 12; Barbara, 10; and George, 8. All were born in “Alsaac” [Elsass], [1] and from Zion’s records we know they were from Schillersdorf.

In 1900 the Kuhms were still living in Jefferson Township and still residing near the Hillers. They were enumerated between Jacob and George Hiller. The 1900 census is one of my favorites because it asked some different, but good questions, such as the year of immigration.

There were only three family members in the “Kuehm” household in 1900. [Yes, the name was spelled Kuehm in this record.] This enumeration indicates that Michael was born in July of 1827, that his wife Elisabeth was born in August of 1826, and that Lena was born in August of 1867 and was 32 years old. Both Michael and Elisabeth were 73 years old and they had been married 55 years. Their daughter Lena was singe. Elisabeth had given birth to eight children but only three were still living. [There may have been more children living, according to later records.] All three in the household were born in Germany and Michael immigrated in 1873. We know they were all born in Germany and I would assume the whole family immigrated together. Michael was a farmer and owned his farm. [2]

As I browsed through a few pages of those censuses I noticed that the Kuhms didn’t live all that far from some of my Brewster ancestors: great-great-grandfather Daniel Brewster and great-grandfather Philip Brewster. My grandma Gertrude Brewster was just 13 years old then. They also lived close to Charles Brewster, Winfield Brewster, Jesse Buckmaster, John Bollenbacher, Jacob Bollenbacher, James Duff, and Conrad Heffner, to mention a few. All familiar names. Jefferson Township borders Ohio and many of these Indiana folks conducted business in Chatt, and of course some attended church at Zion Chatt.

Michael died a year before the 1910 census was taken and Elisabeth, age 83, was a widow in 1910. She was living with her daughter Barbara “Phizer” [Pfeifer] and Elisabeth’s two Pfeifer grandchildren, Hilda, 8, and Carl, 6. Barbara was 40 years old and married, but her husband was not enumerated with them. They were living close to Elisabeth’s son Michael Kuhm Jr and his family, and all were still living close to the Hillers. [3]

Michael and Elisabeth (Mueller) Kuhm had the following children:

Margaretha (1855-1942), married Michael Schott
Michael Jr (1861-1947),married Maria Geier
Jacob (1863-1899), married Julie Berron
Maria (1865-1890), married Georg Berron
Magdalena “Lena” (1867-1909)
Barbara (1870-1928), married George J Pfeifer
Georg (1871-1899), married Lizzie Goess

Zion Chatt’s records mention a Catherine/Katherine Kuhm, married to George Hoehamer, who was a baptismal sponsor for a couple children. At this point I do not know if she was another daughter of Michael and Elisabeth.

 

[1] 1880 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 133, p. 6B, dwelling 50, family 50, Michael Kuhm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 July 2014); from NARA microfilm T9, roll 263.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 4, p. 11B, dwelling 203, family 203, Michael Kuehm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 July 2014); from FHL microfilm 1240357, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 357.

[3] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana, ED 4, p. 2B, visited 37, family 37, Elizebeth Kuhm; Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 July 2014); from FHL microfilm 1374351, from NARA microfilm T624, roll 338.

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