Feb 24

Tombstone Tuesday–George A. Roehm

George A. Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

George A. Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of George A. Roehm, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Hier ruhet
Georg A. Roehm
Gest. Den 30 Mai 1901
Alter
38 Y. 2 M. 17 T.
ROEHM

Translation: here rests Georg A. Roehm, Died 30 May 1901, age 38 years, 2 months, 17 days.

George Adam Roehm was born in Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, on 13 March 1862 to Andrew and Friedericka (Guthiel) Roehm, according to Zion Schumm’s records. He was baptized at the church on 14 March 1862, with Mr. & Mrs. Georg Steeger and Mr. & Mrs. G. Adam Kolb as sponsors. [1]

George Roehm’s parents were both born in Germany, his father in Württemberg and his mother in Saxony. His father was a farmer. In 1880 George had four living siblings Catherine, 18; Magdalena, 15, Susanah, 14, and Rosanah, 11. [2]

George married Gertrude Heffner on 21 January 1886 at Zion Lutheran church in Chattanooga. Gertrude was from Chattanooga, the daughter of George and Sophia (Martin) Heffner. George and Gertrude moved to Van Wert County after their marriage and attended Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm.

In 1900 George and Gertrude lived in Willshire Township, where George was a farmer. George and Gertrude had been married 15 years and they had six children, all of them living. George’s parents were also living with them at that time, his father, 86, and his mother 75 years of age. [3]

Things would change drastically for the Roehm family during the next year, when George and two of their children would die. George’s father Andrew would pass away the year after.

According to Zion Schumm’s records, George Roehm died 30 May 1901 of dropsy. He was only 39 years, 2 months, and 17 days old. He was buried on 2 June. His wife Gertrude died in 1933 and has a separate headstone in row 6 of Zion’s Cemetery.

George Adam Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

George Adam Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

George’s tombstone inscription indicates he was 38 years old, which would make his birth year 1863. However, both his church baptismal record and death record state he was born in 1862. I tend to agree with his baptismal record and I believe the tombstone inscription is incorrect. His baptismal record was created shortly after his birth, written in chronological order with the other baptismal records for that year. Additionally, his church death and burial record indicates he was 39 years old.

George and Gertrude had seven children; all were baptized at Zion Schumm:

Eleanore Anna Magdalena (1886-1901)
Selma Sophie (1888-1924), married Fred Althoen
Edwin Andreas (1890-1950), married Alma A. Reidenbach
Carl Georg (1893-1959), married Grace E. Rice
Estella Julia Sophie (1896-1988), married William Chase Winters; married Clarence T. Sears
Marie Friedricke (1899-1901)
Edna Pauline (1901-1991), married Thomas B. Alspaugh

 

[1] Some show his middle name as Andrew, but he was baptized as George Adam, according to Zion Schumm’s records. All other records show his name as George or George A. His baptismal record is the only record I have seen that gives his middle name as Adam.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 154, p.449B, family 120, Andrew Roehm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 February 2015); from FHL microfilm 1255074, from NARA microfilm T9, roll 1074.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 97, p.9A, dwelling 177, family 190, George Roehns; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 February 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241329, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1329. Note: Their surname is indexed as “Roehns” on Ancestry.com.

Feb 20

Organizing My Book List with Book Catalogue App

Books. I like books and I have quite a few. I enjoy reading non-fiction as well as fiction and I have a number of reference and how-to genealogy books.

A portion of the author's books.

A portion of the author’s books.

I recently saw a Barnes and Noble quiz on Facebook, “What’s Your Book Nerd Score?” Here are just a few items from that list that apply to me:

  • I currently own more than 100 books.
  • I own hard-copy books as well as books on an e-reader.
  • I have read more than one book at a time.
  • I leave the house with my purse, phone, keys, and my e-reader.
  • I have pulled an all-nighter reading a book.
  • I can read while working out.
  • I am a stickler for spelling and grammar, even when texting.
  • I love the smell of books.
  • I have binge-read an author’s entire series in just a few days.

Yes, I passed the Book Nerd Test.

It is difficult to keep track of my books and I hate to admit it, but I have been known to purchase duplicates of the same book. More than once.

That is bad enough, but I have even read several chapters of a book before I remembered that I had already read it!

I needed a way to catalog my books.

Several years ago I tried entering my book list in a database which I printed and took with me to conferences. That did not work very well. It was time consuming, difficult to keep up to date, and unhandy to search for books.

I tried LibraryThing, a very good “book cataloging and social networking website for book lovers.” But entering my books still took time and I wanted access my book list on the go, from my phone and tablet.

Then I heard about the Book Catalogue app for Android phones and tablets. It is free, but donations are accepted.

Book Catalogue app on my Android phone.

Book Catalogue app on my Android phone.

I downloaded the app from the Google Play Store and it does just what I want—it enables me to have a list of my books on my phone, my tablet, and my PC. What I like most is how quick and easy it is to enter a book. Even fun!

There are four ways to enter a book into Book Catalogue: scan the barcode/ISBN; enter ISBN; search the Internet; or add a book manually.

Ways to add a book with Book Catalogue.

Ways to add a book with Book Catalogue.

Scanning the book’s barcode is the absolute fastest and easiest way to enter a book. The app uses my phone’s barcode scanner. I just hold my phone over the book’s barcode and within a few seconds I have all sorts of information about the book and a thumbnail photo of its cover.

Book Catalogue searches Amazon, Good Reads, LibraryThing, and Google Books for book information. It syncs with LibraryThing to provide the thumbnails. I already use LibraryThing so Book Catalogue prompted me to get a developer key from LibraryThing in order to get the thumbnails.

Book list with thumbnail covers on Book Catalogue.

Book list with thumbnail covers on Book Catalogue.

Book Catalogue gathers and lists the following information about a book: title, author, cover picture, ISBN number, number of pages, publishing company, year published, book description (some of which may be quite lengthy), price, genre, and more.

A book's information with thumbnail. Book Catalogue.

A book’s information with thumbnail. Book Catalogue.

Book description, scrolled down from above photo. Book Catalogue.

Book description, scrolled down from above photo. Book Catalogue.

It is still easy to catalog a book even if it does not have a barcode. The app does this by searching the Internet. You can enter the author’s name with a portion of the title or simply the book’s title.

I have found nearly every book on my bookshelves using either of these two methods.

You can view your books a number of ways: alphabetically, by author, with or without thumbnails, read and unread, by bookshelves, and more. You can create your own Bookshelves and organize your books by subject matter. Books can be on multiple shelves.

Compact book list, arranged by author, Book Catalogue.

Compact book list, arranged by author, Book Catalogue.

Some other features:

  • Sort by author (last name), title, series, etc.
  • Search capability
  • Export and Backup
  • User-defined sort and list styles
  • Create a wish list
  • Write your own notes about a book
  • Indicate to whom and when you loaned a book

For backup and export, Book Catalogue saves your book list as a csv file. I sent my export.csv file as a G-mail attachment to my PC and my Android tablet. My book list can be viewed and printed as a spreadsheet on my PC. I also back up my csv file in Dropbox.

Book list as csv spreadsheet, as seen on PC, Book Catalogue.

Book list as csv spreadsheet, as seen on PC, Book Catalogue.

I could scan and enter books on my tablet, too, but since I am working with only one file I enter information on just one device [my phone] and update the other device [my tablet] with the export.csv file. First I downloaded the Book Catalogue app onto my tablet and then downloaded the export.csv file. Next I imported that csv file into my tablet’s Book Catalogue app. I got the thumbnails from “Automatically Update Fields,” under the app’s Administration and Preferences.

Administrations and Preferences, Book Catalogue.

Administrations and Preferences, Book Catalogue.

This app is fairly easy to use because helpful tips pop up often and most tasks are self-explanatory.

One thing I would like to see Book Catalogue develop is cloud storage. Although I can share my book list between my devices by importing and exporting the csv file, syncing automatically between devices would be very nice.

I think will go now and scan in some more books….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 17

Tombstone Tuesday–Gertrude (Heffner) Roehm

Gertrude (Heffner) Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

Gertrude (Heffner) Roehm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Gertrude (Heffner) Roehm, located in row 6 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

GERTRUDE WIFE OF
GEO ROEHM
1865-1933

Gertrude Heffner was born 9 June 1865 in Blackcreek Township, near Chattanooga, to George and Sophia (Martin) Heffner. She was baptized at Zion Chatt on 25 June 1865 with Leonhard Beyer and Gertrude Heffner as her sponsors.

Gertrude was probably confirmed at Zion Chatt about 1879, but there is a lapse in the confirmation records between 1877-1882. I cannot imagine that no one was confirmed during those four years, so the names probably did not get written down. There also seems to be a gap in the pastors during that time period. Zion may not have had a permanent pastor then, or one who did not keep up with the church records.

Gertrude grew up west of Chatt and met and married George Adam Roehm, who was from the Willshire area. They were married 21 January 1886 at Zion Chatt by Rev. Karl Adam, Jr.

George Roehm was born 13 March 1862 in Van Wert County near Willshire, the son of Andrew and Friederike (Gutheil) Roehm. After they married they lived in Willshire Township, where George farmed.

They were married only 16 years when George died on 30 May 1901 of dropsy. He was 39 years, 2 months, and 17 days old and was buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery on 2 June. [1]

Gertrude died at her daughter Edna’s home in Cuyahoga Falls on 6 May 1933. Gertrude’s death was not recorded in Zion Schumm’s records. Her obituary:

Mrs. Gertrude Roehm, many years a resident of Willshire township, died Saturday evening following a lingering illness at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Thomas Alspach, of Cuyahoga Falls. Mrs. Roehm was aged 67 years and is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Alspach and Mrs. Stella Sears, of Cuyahoga Falls, two sons, Edward Roehm, of Convoy and Carl Roehm, of Ohio City, and two brothers, Philip Heffner, of Monroe, and Conrad Heffner, of Rockford. The funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon, at 2:30 o’clock, at the Lutheran Church at Schumm. Interment will be made at the Schumm cemetery. [2]

George and Gertrude had seven children; all were baptized at Zion Schumm:

Eleanore Anna Magdalena (1886-1901)
Selma Sophie (1888-1924), married Fred Althoen
Edwin Andreas (1890-1950), married Alma A. Reidenbach
Carl Georg (1893-1959), married Grace E. Rice
Estella Julia Sophie (1896-1988), married William Chase Winters; married Clarence T. Sears
Marie Friedricke (1899-1901)
Edna Pauline (1901-1991), married Thomas B. Alspaugh

1901 must have been very difficult for Gertrude. She was pregnant and the baby was due in July. Her husband, who was only 39 years old, died in May. Gertrude gave birth to their daughter Edna on 10 July. Two of their other daughters died later that year, Marie in August and Eleanor in October. A very tragic year for the Roehm family.

 

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, ED 97, p.9A, dwelling 177, family 190, George Roehm; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 February 2015); from FHL microfilm 1241329, from NARA microfilm T623, roll 1329.
[2] “Deaths and Funerals,” Van Wert Daily Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 8 May 1933, p. 6; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Feb 2015).

Feb 13

J.D. Gackenheimer–Zion Chatt’s First Minister

This week’s Tombstone Tuesday mentioned that George Heffner and Sophia Martin were married by Rev. J.D. Gackenheimer in 1851. Rev. Gackenheimer was a pioneer minister in this area and he was the first minister at Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga.

Rev. Gackenheimer performed the Heffner/Martin marriage four years before Zion Chatt was formed in 1855 and their marriage was recorded at St. Paul Lutheran, Liberty Township, aka St. Paul Liberty.

Rev. J.D. Gackenheimer, first minister at Zion Lutheran, Chatt.

Rev. J.D. Gackenheimer, first minister at Zion Lutheran, Chatt.

Rev. J.D. Gackenheimer was a traveling minister. Some call him a traveling missionary. Several times a year he traveled on horseback from Van Wert County to the Chatt area and ministered to the congregation at St. Paul Liberty. St. Paul was organized in 1841 and is located about 2 ½ miles southeast of Chatt, on Wabash Road.

Zion Chatt was established in 1855 as an outgrowth of St. Paul Liberty and Rev. Gackenheimer, the traveling minister, took on another congregation to become Zion’s first pastor. In fact he served both St. Paul Liberty and Zion Chatt at the same time, as well as two churches in Van Wert County. When he was in the area he would preach, perform marriages, baptize, and give communion to the adults.

Church members worshipped in homes, or barns, or schools during that time because neither congregation had a church building. Zion’s first church was constructed in 1860.

The first recorded events at Zion Chatt were recorded in German script by Rev. Gackenheimer: the baptism of Johann Haffner, born 22 October 1854, baptized 18 November 1854; the marriage of Johann Becher to Anna Maria Becker, 22 January 1855; the death of Jakob Bollenbacher on 30 July 1856, son of Adam and Elisabeth Bollenbacher. Rev. Gackenheimer also likely officiated at Zion’s first recorded communion in 1861, when 43 members received Holy Communion that day.

Johann David “J.D.” Gackenheimer was born 25 April 1820 in Güttlingen, Württemberg, to Johann David Sr. and his wife Elisabeth Catharina Maier.

He was educated at Basel Mission House in Switzerland from 1840-46. He was ordained and then sent to minister to the German immigrants in America. His first congregation was in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, late in 1846.

While in Pennsylvania, Rev. Gackenheimer married Elisabeth Kramer/Cramer in about 1850, probably in the Bridgewater area. Elisabeth was born about 1831 in Württemberg.

Soon after, in 1850, the Gackenheimers moved to Van Wert County, where German immigrants wanted to have their own church with services in their native language. J.D. first established a German Evangelical church, now known as St. Paul’s Reformed Church in America. The church is located in Harrison Township, north of Schumm, on German Church Road. Rev. Gackenheimer was their minister from 1850-1874.

St. Paul's Reformed Church in America, Harrison Twp., Van Wert Co., founded as a German Evangelical church in 1850 by Rev. J.D. Gackenheimer.

St. Paul’s Reformed Church in America, Harrison Twp., Van Wert Co., founded as a German Evangelical church in 1850 by Rev. J.D. Gackenheimer. (2013 photo by Karen)

It was during this time that Rev. Gackenheimer would ride on horseback to the Chattanooga area.

During the nearly 25 years Rev. Gackenheimer lived in the Van Wert area he established and served at several churches.

In Van Wert County he established St. Paul’s Reformed Church in America, Harrison Township, in 1850 and served there until 1874; he established St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Van Wert city in 1868.

In Mercer County he served at St. Paul Liberty from 1850-1861; he served at Zion Lutheran Chattanooga, 1855-1861 and likely had a part in its establishment.

Rev. Gackenheimer was a farmer as well as a traveling minister. He owned about 40 acres of land in Section 2 of Willshire Township, north of Schumm. His farm was very close to the Harrison-Willshire Township line.

The Gackenheimers had seven children and three of their sons died young. Those three sons are buried in the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery in Harrison Township,located by the church J.D. founded.

Rev. Gackenheimer and Elizabeth had the following children:
John G (1851-1851)
Maria C “Mary” (1853-1929)
John David (1854-1854)
Louis F (1856-1893), married Emma Brodnix
Joseph U (1858-1858)
Martin Ulrich (1861-1932), married Byranna Summersett
Emanuel (1863-1940), married Emma P. Schmidt

Rev. Gackenheimer and his family left the Van Wert area about 1875 to serve an Evangelical congregation in Hayesville, Ohio. He retired from the ministry at St. John’s, Warren Township, Huntington County, Indiana.

J.D. Gackenheimer died 29 November 1882 in Bippus, Huntington County, Indiana, at the age of 62. He was buried in Woodland Union Cemetery in Van Wert County, Ohio. Taking part in the funeral were Pastors A. Debus from Urbana, G. Hess from Columbia City, H. Dippel from Huntington, and W.A. Walter from Andrews.

His wife Elizabeth died 29 October 1887 and is buried near her husband in Woodland Union Cemetery.

Zion Chatt is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year and I plan to write about Zion’s history and some of its pastors and charter members during the year.

 

Sources of information:

Johann D. Gackenheimer obituary, Friedensbote, (Messenger of Peace), 1 Jan 1883, p.4. Note: Via e-mail from Lowell Zuck, Eden Seminary Archives, archives of the Evangelical Synod of North America, September 2005. The obituary was translated from German for me.

The Van Wert county Chapter OGS, “Index for 1872 Map of Van Wert County,” (Privately printed, 1992), p. 39, 40, 42.
Hon. S.S. Scranton, editor and compiler, History of Mercer County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, (Chicago, Illinois : Biographical Publishing Co, 1907), p. 155.

Thaddeus S. Gilliland, editor and compiler, History of Van Wert County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, (Chicago, Illinois : Richmond & Arnold Publishing, 1906), p.178.

“Anniversary Observance,” Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 12 October 1968, p.8.

“Church to Mark Its Centennial Celebration Set in Van Wert County,” The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 4 May 1953, p. 9C.

1860 U.S. Census, Harrison, Van Wert County, Ohio, p.165, line 27, John Gackenheimer; digital image by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 February 2015) from FHL microfilm 805045, from NARA microfilm M653, roll 1045.

Schneider Family Tree, Ancestry.com, (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 February 2015).

Feb 10

Tombstone Tuesday–George & Sophia (Martin) Heffner

George & Sophia (Martin) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

George & Sophia (Martin) Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of George and Sophia (Martin) Heffner, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

George Heffner
Died
Sept. 27, 1898
Aged
69 Y’rs. 10 M’s. 2 D’s.
Sophia
Wife of
Geo. Heffner
Died Feb. 14, 1892
Aged
65 Y’rs. 5 M’s. 17 D’s.
HEFFNER

George Heffner was born 21 November 1828 in Thuisbrunn, District Oberfranken, Kingdom of Bavaria, the youngest son of Dietrich and Margaretha (Schmidt) Heffner. [1] According to Zion Chatt’s records George was baptized in Thuisbrunn and confirmed in Mercer County. He may have been confirmed at St. Paul Liberty Township, the earliest Lutheran church in the Chatt area.

George had an older brother Conrad, who was born in 1822. Their father died in 1828, the same year George was born. In about 1830 their mother Margaretha married Friedrich Becher and they had one son, Johann Becher. The whole family immigrated to America in 1840, when George was nearly 12 years old. The family stayed about a year in Butler County, Ohio, before settling in Liberty Township, Mercer County, in about 1841.

On 4 June 1851 George Heffner married Sophia Martin. They obtained their marriage license in Jay County, Indiana, but they may have married near Chatt. They were married by FD Gackenheimer, [2] who also ministered at St. Paul Lutheran, Liberty Township. Their marriage is recorded in St. Paul’s records, with the date of 29 May 1851.

So It appears the Heffners attended St. Paul before Zion was established. Zion Chatt was formed in in 1855 and Rev. Gackenheimer was their first minister. The Heffners were among the earliest members at Zion Chatt and were some of the very first entries in their church records.

Sophia Martin was born 28 August 1825 in Petersbach, Elsass, France, the daughter of Salomon and Christina Martin. In 1850 the Martin family lived in Noble Township, Jay County, Indiana. [3] Sophia’s brother Nickolaus was listed in Zion Chatt’s records, so some of the Martins attended Zion at one time.

According to census enumerations George was a farmer and he and Sophia lived in Blackcreek Township from the time they were married. George owned about 65 acres in Section 31 and his farm bordered the Indiana state line and the Blackcreek-Liberty Township line. [4]

Sophia Heffner died of consumption at 8:30 in the evening of 14 February 1892 in Chatt. She was 66 years, 5 months, and 17 days old and was buried on the 16th. Although the pastor wrote the year as 1891 in the church records, I believe that he entered the wrong year. Her death entry was in chronological order with the 1892 deaths.

According to Zion Chatt’s records George Heffner died of a stroke on 29 September 1898 at the age of 69 years, 10 months, and 8 days. This record disagrees slightly with his tombstone inscription. George was survived by 7 children, 32 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.

George and Sophia had the following children:

Margaretha “Margaret” (1852-1900), married Christian Kessler
Barbara Catharina (1854-1855)
Anna Maria (1855-1931), married William Schumm
Carolina (1859-1924), married Calvin C Boan
Friedrich (1861-1918), married Anna Merkle
Johann Philipp (1863- 1935), married Etta Brandyberry
Gertrude (1865-1933), married George Adam Roehm
Conrad (1867-1951), married Emma Merkle

All of their children were in Zion Chatt’s baptism records except Barbara Catharina and Friedrich.

 

[1] The recent Tombstone Tuesday posts have followed the children of Fredrick and Anna (Merkle) Heffner who are buried in Zion Chatt’s cemetery. George and Sophia Heffner, the subjects of this post, were their grandparents and the parents of Fredrick Heffner. The information about the Heffner family in Germany is from Zion Chatt’s records.

[2] “Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familyshearch.org : accessed 7 February 2015), George Haffner and Sophiah Martin, 4 June 1851; citing Jay, Indiana, county clerk offices, Vol B, p.113; from FHL microfilm 1749840.

[3] 1850 U.S. Census, Noble, Jay, Indiana, p. 314B, dwelling 119, family 119, Solomon Martin; digital images by subscription Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 February 2015), from NARA microfilm M432, roll 153.

[4] Mercer County Chapter OGS, Mercer County, Ohio Combined 1888, 1900 Atlases and 1876 Map of Mercer County, Ohio, (Mt. Vernon, Indiana : Wildmill Publications, Inc, 1999), 1.

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