Johann Christopher Michael Lotter, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)
This is the tombstone of Johann Christopher Michael Lotter, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:
Gest 17 Oct
Alt 15 Jahr
“Here rests Johann Christopher M. Lotter, died 17 October 1894, aged 15 years and 10 days.”
There are only two entries in Zion Chatt’s records for Johann Christopher Michael Lotter—when he was confirmed and when he died.
According to the church death and burial record Johann Christopher Michael Lotter was the son of John Lotter and wife. The wife was not named. The record goes on to tell us that Johann Christopher Michael was born 17 October 1879 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and died of typhoid on 27 October 1894 in Adams County, Indiana, at the age of 15 years and 10 days. He was buried on the 28th. Survivors included his parents and siblings.
Who were his parents? It is complicated because there were actually two John/Johann Lotters mentioned in Zion Chatt’s records and they were both married to women named Catharine–Catharine Eichler and Catharine Kniesel. It appears that one man went by the name of John/Johann and the other went by the name of John “Peter.” I suspect the two were brothers.
It appears that Johann Christopher Michael, was the son of John Lotter and his wife Catharina Kniesel. Several records, including a couple entries in Zion Chatt’s records point to this:
Johann Christopher Michael Lotter was confirmed at Zion Chatt in 1893 and his father was shown as John Lotter. In that same confirmation class was John George Lotter, born 20 January 1878 in Adams County, Indiana, the son of John P. Lotter. John Lotter was differentiated from John P. Lotter in this record.
The church records document that John Peter Lotter and his wife Catharine (Eichler) had a son Lorenz, born 6 June 1880, and baptized at Zion Chatt on 18 July 1880. His birth would have been about 7½ months after the birth of Johann Christopher Michael Lotter. It is possible that Catharine (Eichler) gave birth to another child after 7½ months, but not very likely.
In 1880 Johann Christopher Michael Lotter, indexed on Ancestry.com as Christoff Latter, was living with his parents John and Catharina in Wapakoneta. Their household in 1880: John, 39; Catharina, 36; Christoff, 8 months, and Anna, 73. John was born in Bavaria, Catharine in Württemberg, Christoff in Ohio, and Anna in Bavaria. The 73-year old Anna was John’s widowed mother. 
This 1880 census was actually a very good find because it shows where the mother Anna was living in 1880. Plus, since Anna is listed as John’s mother in the 1880 census and Anna is identified as John Peter’s mother in Zion Chatt’s records, that information from both records indicates that John and John Peter were brothers.
Their mother Anna eventually went to live with John Peter in Adams County, Indiana, shortly before her death and she is buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery, next to her son John Peter.
 1880 U.S. Census, Wapakoneta, Auglaize, Ohio, ED 3, p.369A, line 46, John Latter; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Jan 2017); NARA microfilm T9, roll 993.