Tombstone Tuesday-Broken Flower Bud

A broken flower bud was most often carved on the tombstone of an infant or a young child and symbolizes that their life was cut short. They died too young. Their life ended too soon.

Broken bud, 1863.

Broken bud, 1878, Ridge Slater Cemetery.

Broken bud, 1857, Ridge Slater Cemetery.

Broken bud, 1857, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm.

Broken buds with cross, 1874, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm.


Parents for Maria Seckel

I broke through a brick wall this past week and did the Genealogy Happy Dance. I haven’t done that dance for some time and it was pretty exciting.

All this, thanks to Cousin Ken, my 4th cousin on the Schumm branch of my family. Ken contacted me recently and told me that he was looking through images of the church records from Ruppertshofen, where the Schumms attended church before immigrating in 1833. These records are available with’s World Explorer Membership. I only had their U.S. Discovery Membership.

It didn’t take me long to decide to upgrade my subscription so I could see these records for myself. I soon noticed that there are other German church records there as well. Churches that other branches of my family attended. The search was on…

I know very little German, just enough to read names and what the minister was recording, be it baptisms, marriages, deaths, or family registers. These old records are written in the old German Gothic script. I haven’t looked at anything written in Gothic script for some time and I am pretty rusty at translating these records. But, I got out some German reference books and, rusty or not, I was able to find some new information, not only about the Schumms, but about the Seckels and the Ruecks.

Today I am writing about my big Seckel Find. I’ll write about the Schumms and the Ruecks another time.

Maria Anna Seckel (1827-1910) was my great-great-grandmother. She married Louis Breuninger (1819-1890) in Wisconsin in 1851.

Maria Seckel was one of my brick walls because I did not know the names of her parents. I knew only that she was born in Germany in 1827 and that she had a brother Jacob Seckel, born in Germany in 1828, who died in Wisconsin in 1911. I have been looking for the names of their parents for some time.  

Maria (Seckel) and Louis Breuninger lived in Green Bay for about 20 years before moving to the Schumm area. I always wondered why they moved here of all places. People usually moved and settled near where they had relatives and/or friend. Where they knew someone.

Plus, Maria’s Seckel surname was a major red flag for me. I have ancestors from the Schumm area with a Seckel connection. Was there a Seckel connection to Maria in Schumm?

I suspected, but could never prove, that Maria had relatives living near Schumm. Pflueger relatives. Let me explain.

Christian Pflueger (1781-1877) married Anna Barbara Seckel (1791-1846) in Germany in 1814 and they immigrated in 1832 with their six children. The Pfluegers lived in Holmes County, Ohio, the same time as immigrant John Georg Schumm and his five children. The Schumms and Pfluegers definitely knew each other. In fact, two of the Pflueger daughters married two Schumm brothers. Maria Pflueger married George Martin Schumm and Barbara Pflueger married Louis Schumm. Louis and Barbara (Pflueger) Schumm were my great-great-grandparents.

Those Pflueger children had Seckel maternal grandparents.

But why did Maria and Louis Breuninger move to Schumm? Was it just a coincidence that there was a Schumm-Pflueger-Seckel connection in Schumm when they moved?

It was not just a coincidence. My theory was correct and proved when I found the image of Maria Seckel’s baptism, recorded in the church records from an Der Heide u. Michelbach, now on I also found the baptism record of Maria’s six siblings, including her brother Jacob Seckel.

The Michelbach an Der Heide church records indicate that Maria’s parents were George Andreas Seckel and Anna Maria (Ruf) Seckel. What a find!

George Andreas Seckel (1798-1830) was already in my database. I knew who his parents were but I did not have any children for him. George Andreas Seckel was the son of Johann Michael Seckel (1752-1825) and his wife Elisabetha Maria Friederika (Hilpert) (1764-1814). Johann Michael Seckel and wife had at least four other children in addition to George Andreas. And guess who was one of their other children?

Anna Barbara Seckel (1791-1846) was their daughter and was George’s older sister. Anna Barbara (Seckel) married Christian Pflueger and their two daughters married the Schumm brothers in Holmes County.

Georg Andreas Seckel and Anna Barbara Seckel were siblings. Anna Barbara (Seckel) Pflueger was Maria (Seckel) Breuninger’s aunt. The Pflueger children were Maria (Seckel) Breuningers first cousins. Maria (Pflueger) Schumm and Barbara (Pflueger) Schumm were Maria (Seckel) Breuninger’s first cousins. That was the connection I was looking for.

For some reason Louis and Maria (Seckel) Breuninger left Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the late 1860s and moved to Schumm, where Maria had family. Her aunt Anna Barbara (Seckel) Pflueger had passed away by that time but some of Maria’s first cousins were still living: Maria and Barbara Schumm, George Michael Pflueger (1824-1903), Margaret (Pflueger) Reidenbach (1828-1901), and Elizabeth (Pflueger) Bienz (1835-1913). 

Discovering the names of Maria’s parents was a big break-through and gave me an answer to my question about the Breuninger’s move to Schumm.

However, this information does show pedigree collapse (again), since Louis Schumm (1851-1938) and Sarah Breuninger (1861-1921) were second cousins. Interesting…

Stay tuned to see what else I learn from these old German church records.

Tombstone Tuesday-Sarah Hartzog

Sarah Hartzog, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

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

wife of
George Hartzog
died Dec 28th  
aged 58 Y’rs 9
mo, & 19 ds

Sarah Hartzogs’s date of birth is 9 March 1788, as calculated from her tombstone.

In 1840 Sarah would have been 52 years old is likely the woman in the 50-60 year age group, enumerated with George Hartzog in Willshire Township. The males in this family in 1840: 1/10-15; 2/15-20; 1/20-30; 1/50-60, and females in 1840: 1/10-15; 1/15-20; 1/50-60.

This is another very old sandstone tombstone, one of five located next to each other in row 7. All are related to the Hartzog family. In this row are Sarah Hartzog (1788-1846, wife of George Hartzog), Soloma Hartzog (1767-1844, wife of George Hartzog), Catharine (Hartzog) Strete (1824-1845, daughter of Christian Hartzog), Katherine (Lindemoot) Hartzog (1803-1843, wife of Christian), and Caroline Hartzog (1837-1840, daughter of Christian Hartzog).

It is reported that Sarah’s husband George Hartzog (1789-1846) is also buried in Zion Schumm’s cemetery, but his tombstone has not survived.

Saloma Hartzog, wife of older George and mother-in-law of Sarah, was likely the mother of the local Hartzog men, George, Christian, Benjamin, and Solomon. Solomon and his wife are buried in row 8 in Zion Schumm’s cemetery.

Unfortunately, most of these markers predate Zion Lutheran Schumm’s records, but it would appear they attended Zion Lutheran Church in the 1840s.

Several more Hartzogs are buried about a mile south of Zion Schumm’s cemetery, in Hileman/Smith/Hartzog/Alspaugh Cemetery.

A Pressing Matter

Ironing. Or as we used to call it, pressing. A chore I do not enjoy. I don’t think anyone enjoys ironing. Fortunately, most of today’s clothing is pretty much perma-press wash and wear, and doesn’t require ironing. Nice for all of us.

Last weekend I got out my savvy steam iron to press some clothes for Easter Sunday. This high-tech iron automatically adjusts to any type of fabric. It is a very nice iron but all of its wonderful features have not lured me into using it more often.

As I was misting some water on the clothing I remembered something we used to do before ironing many years ago. In the days before the steam iron.

We dampened the clothes, rolled them up, placed them in a plastic bag, and put them in the refrigerator. It sounds strange today, but it worked. The clothes seemed easier to iron and you didn’t have to iron them right way. You could iron them a day or two later. They weren’t going to mold or mildew in the refrigerator.

I wonder, did anyone else ever do this or was it something only our family did?

Gertrude (Brewster) Miller ironing.

This is a photo of my Grandma Miller ironing. She is standing in this photo but she usually ironed sitting down, watching TV at the same time. Ironing could take hours and watching TV all the while made the task a little more bearable.

Grandma Miller liked to play practical jokes. She was actually was very ornery. Before she was married, still living at home, her brother Dore got the seat of his pants wet. Dore made the mistake of going to his big sister for help. Her solution was to apply a hot iron to the seat of his pants while he was still wearing them! Talk about being in the hot seat! I am sure it was very uncomfortable for poor Dore. I have other stories about Grandma’s antics but will save them for another time.

Ironing could be worse. At least we don’t have to use heavy irons like these anymore.

Tombstone Tuesday-Column Symbols

Stately-looking columns are sometimes used to frame the ends of a tombstone. Unbroken columns symbolize a noble life or that life has been completed.

Columns, Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio. (2021 photo by Karen)

One column, Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Occasionally you will see broken columns on a marker. A broken column symbolizes the end of life, sorrow, or that the life was cut short. This icon can also represent the loss of the head of a family.

Two broken columns, Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

One broken column, Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio. (2021 photo by Karen)

Columns that create an archway symbolize the entrance to Heaven.

Heavenly entrance, Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)