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Nov 19

Tombstone Tuesday–Johann Pankratius Schinnerer

Johann Pankratius Schinnerer, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Johann Pankratius Schinnerer, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

JOHANN
Pantkraeius
Schinnerred
Gestorben
Den 19 July 1857
Alter
28 Jah 4M 10T

Johann, Pantkraeius Schinnerred, died 19 July 1857, aged 28 years, 4 months, 10 days.

This is a tombstone that I use as an example of how information can be incorrect, even if the information is chiseled in stone. Both his first and last names are misspelled. But a name like Pankratius Schinnerer was probably not difficult to misspell. And it would have been just about impossible to correct something inscribed in marble. The engraver just could not erase the mistake and start all over.    

Johann Pankratius Schinnerer was born 25 March 1829 in Ipsheim, near Windsheim, in the Kingdom of Bavaria. He was the fourth of seven children born to George Michael and Anna Barbara (Zeller) Schinnerer. His unusual name probably came from Saint Pancras/Pancratius, a young boy who was martyred in Rome in 304.  

Pankratius Schinnerer and his brother Martin sailed to America together on the ship Amelia. They set sail from the port at Havre, France, and arrived in New York on 26 August 1852. They were listed on the ship’s passenger list as Pangraz, age 23, and Mrtin, age 18, both male, both from Bavaria.

Soon after they immigrated, Pankratius and his brother Martin settled in the Schumm area, near where their brother Friedrich had settled a couple years before. Their brother Friedrich Schinnerer was my great-great-grandfather and owned a grist mill near Rockford, and later lived just east of Willshire.

Pankratius Schinnerer married Rosina Hoffmann/Hofman on 25 November 1853. They were married at home and both were members of Zion Schumm’s congregation. Rosina was also a German immigrant.

Pankratius and Rosina had 4 children in the short time they were married, but only one lived to adulthood and he never married:

Maria Margaretha Anna (1854-1855)
Margaretha Katharina (1856-1861)
Stillborn child (1857)
Johann “Martin” (1858-1933), never married

Pankratius Schinnerer died 8 July 1857, after a 7-week long illness involving his liver. He was only 28 years old and was not in America long enough to be enumerated in a census. His wife Rosina was pregnant with their fourth child when he passed away.

Pankratius’ brother Frederick was the executor of his estate. Pankratius owned nearly 100 acres in Sections 28 and 33, east of Willshire, around State Route 81 and south to the St. Marys River.  

There is yet another discrepancy concerning his tombstone. Zion Schumm’s records indicate that Pankratius died 8 July, but his tombstone is inscribed with his date of death as 19 July.

According to his tombstone, Pankratius’ date of birth would have been 7 March 1829. But I use 25 March 1829 as his date of birth, as that is the date shown in the Evangelical Lutheran church records from Ipsheim.

Pankratius’ widow Rosina married twice after his death, first to George Geisler in 1858, with whom she had 5 children. Her second husband George died in 1872 and she married Johann Lunz in 1877. Rosina (Hoffmann) Schinnerer Geisler Lutz died 28 November 1899, at the age of 70. She is buried in row 7 of Zion Schumm’s cemetery.

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