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May 14

Tombstone Tuesday–Maria C. Pflueger

Maria C. Pflueger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

Maria C. Pflueger, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Maria C. Pflueger, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. In addition to Maria’s name the names of five of her children are inscribed on the four sides of the marker.

The front of the marker has the names of Maria C. and her daughter Margretha. The marker is inscribed:

Maria C.
Frau von
Michael Pflueger
Gest 5 Apr 1882
Alter 55 Jahre, 6 Mo, 5 Tag,

 Margretha Pflueger
Gestorben 1849
Alter 7 Monat

 Rosina Pflueger
Gestorben
14 Mai 1869
Alter 18 Jahre, 7 Mon, 17 Tage

 Andreas Pflueger
Gestorben 27 Mar 1867
Alter 8 Mon, 17 Tage

 Maria C. Pflueger
Gestorben 27 Sep 1848
Alter 4 M, 28 Tag

 Johannes H. Pflueger
Gest 4 Juni 1864
Alter 7 Mon, 24 Tage

The top of this tombstone is broken off. It is inscribed in German and translations for the German words are: Alter: age; Gest/Gestorben: died; Frau: wife; j/jahre: years; monat: months; t/tag: days.

According to Zion Schumm’s church records, [Maria] Katharina Pflueger, nee Brand, was born 9 April 1826 in Gerebrunn, Württemberg. She died 4 April 1882 of dropsy at the age of 56 years, 11 months and 4 days. She was buried on April 7, 1882 in the parish cemetery and her funeral text was Psalm 90:11,12. 

“Catherine Brant” married Michael Pflueger on 28 May 1846 in Holmes County, Ohio, by Daniel Crans. [1]

Although her tombstone shows her name as Maria C., it appears she went by the name of Catherine/Katherine. Her name was spelled both Catherine and Katherine in the church records. Also note that her age and date of death in the church records disagrees with that on the tombstone.

Maria C. Pflueger. (2013 photo by Karen)

Maria C. Pflueger, lower front of tombstone. (2013 photo by Karen)

Michael and Maria Catherine Pflueger had at least eleven children, according to Zion Schumm records. Of the eleven children mentioned in the church records at least six of them died young and four of them lived to adulthood. I do not know what happened to their youngest child, Maria Hanna, although she lived to be at least nine years old. Many of their children died as infants between census enumerations, so the church records are valuable in reconstructing this family.

Margretha Pflueger, upper front of tombstone. (2013 photo by Karen)

Margretha Pflueger, upper front of tombstone. (2013 photo by Karen)

The following are the children of Michael and Maria Catherine (Brant) Pflueger, as taken from Zion Schumm’s records. Some of the information disagrees with the tombstone information, possibly in part because of the weathering of the tombstone, making it difficult to read.

Maria Katharina (1848-1848), died 27 September 1848, aged of 4 months and 28 days.
Margretha (1849-1849)
Rosina/Rose Ann (1850-1869), born 24 November 1850, died 14 May 1869, age 18 years, 5 months, 18 days.
Abraham (1853-1936). He married Elizabeth Hoffman in 1875.
Maria Barbara (1855-1935), born 27 July 1855, baptized 12 March 1858 at home in Mercer County. Sponsors were the widow Barbara Schumm and Georg Schumm and his wife. She married Jacob/GW Clouse in 1874.
Georg Martin (1857-1859), born 23 September 1857, baptized 12 March 1858 at home in Mercer County. Sponsors were the widow Barbara Schumm and Georg Schumm and his wife. The minister wrote, The parents do not belong to the church, but the child was baptized by me.
Martin Friedrich (1860-1943), born 7 December 1860, baptized 15 December 1860 in the church. Sponsors were Martin Schinnerer and his wife and Friedrich Schumm (son of Georg). He married Sarah M. Burk in 1889.
Adam Jakob (1862-1919), born 10 May 1862, baptized 25 May 1862 in the church. Sponsors were Adam Buechner and Jakob Bienz. He married Anna Regina Pifer about 1893.
Johann Heinrich (1863-1864), died 4 June 1864 of inflammation of the lungs (pleurisy), age 7 months, 24 days, buried on 5 June.
Andreas Jacob (1866-1867), born 10 July 1866, baptized 5 August 1866. Sponsors were Andrew Roehm and Jacob Bienz. He died 27 March 1867, age 8 months, 17 days and was buried on 28 March.  Cause of death was lung fever.
Maria Hanna (1871-aft 1880), born 19 April 1871 and baptized 23 April 1871. Sponsors were Maria Schumm and Hanna Schumm.

Pflueger marker with Maria C. & five children inscribed. (2013 photo by Karen)

Pflueger marker with Maria C. & five children inscribed. (2013 photo by Karen)

Maria Catherine’s husband Michael Pflueger is not buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery at Schumm. Find out where he is buried next week.

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch.org (www.familysearch.org : accessed 12 May 2013), citing Holmes County Marriages, Vol. 2: 298, Michael Pfleger and Catharine Brant, 1846.

3 comments

  1. Waldo

    This practice of listing all the family memebers on the sides of tall, square tombstones is interesting. It probably reaches its peak in the Morman cemetaries where the sides are often covered with the names of multiple wives and their children. To the unfamiliar, it can be very confusing. The first question becomes who is really buried here, ie the parents, the father only, everyone, etc.

    1. Karen

      I think that Maria Catherine, the mother, is buried here, with this marker. People today still put the names of their children on their tombstone and I think this is the case with this marker. I think the children were buried in Schumm cemetery somewhere, possibly with no markers. So many of their children died very young. So sad.

  2. Waldo

    Birth rates and survival rates are a completely different issue in our time, especially for the mothers as you have so clearly documented. However a nearly parallel situation exists with the area Amish families as they still have large numbers of children and often don’t entirely utilize the medical resources available, though they certainly do not ignore the medical help either. However, they still have considerably higher mortality rates for mothers and infants compared to mainstream populations. One can only imagine the devastating conditions in many poor countries around the world, or the ramifications of suddenly rectifying those conditions so that there are much higher survival rates.

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