Navigating the Haertling-Koenig Labyrinth

Today’s story begins with a puzzle and has puzzles all along the way.  I will attempt to find my way through this maze, but I am the first to admit that I may not get everything right.  It starts with the birthday of Herman Haertling somewhere in Germany.  According to the German Family Tree, his birthday was on today’s date, January 18th, in 1841.  Several family histories on state that his birthday was on January 16th.  And according to, his birthday was June 18th.  Here is an enlargement of Herman’s gravestone showing his birth date.

Herman Haertling gravestone birth date

Although it could be 18 Jun, it could just as well be 18 Jan.  I am going with the January 18th date (mainly so that I can tell this story today).

Since Herman was married here in America in 1866, he must have arrived here before that date.  One family history connected a passenger list from 1870 to Herman, but I figure that cannot be correct.  On December 27, 1866, Herman married Sophia Koenig.  Here is a civil record for the state of Missouri of that marriage.

Haertling Koenig marriage record
Haertling/Koenig marriage record

Rev. J.M. Johannes was the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells at that time.  Here are later photos of Herman and Sophia.


Now in the process of looking into this family, I ran across the fact that this was not the first marriage between a Haertling and a Koenig, nor would it be the last.  I found this marriage record in the Perry County civil records.

Andreas Koenig Haertling marriage record 1854
Koenig/Haertling marriage record

The marriages shown here took place in 1854, twelve years before the previously mentioned marriage.  This record includes the wedding of Andreas Koenig and Christiane Haertling.  I believe that Christiane was Herman Haertling’s sister.  However, I could find no connection between Andreas Koenig and the Sophia Koenig that Herman married.

Now we have to work our way toward another Haertling/Koenig wedding.  Herman and Sophia Haertling had 10 children, one of which was stillborn.  One of those children was named Gustav Herman Haertling.  He was child #5.  He was born in 1876, and he eventually became a Lutheran pastor.  Another puzzle is the fact that Gustav Herman was living with his parents in New Wells in the 1900 census and shown as being a clergyman.

One year later, we see in this marriage license that Gustav Herman becomes the husband of Louise Koenig.  Louise was the granddaughter of the Andreas Koenig mentioned earlier.  According to my reckoning, that would make Gustav Herman and Louise first cousins-once removed.

Rev. G H Haertling Koenig marriage license
G.W. Haertling/Koenig marriage license

This marriage took place on June 17, 1901 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.  The form says that Rev. G.H. Haertling was from Menno, South Dakota.  I found this photo of Immanuel Lutheran Church which is located in that town.

Immanuel Lutheran Menno SD

Rev. Haertling would later become the pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.  We find him in both the 1910 and 1920 censuses from Jacob.  Here is the one from 1910.

Gustav Herman Haertling 1910 census Jacob IL
1910 census – Jacob, IL

The German Family Tree shows this Haertling couple having 7 children, 5 of which were  baptized at the church in Jacob.  The first one to be baptized at Christ Lutheran was born in 1905, so the family must have moved to Illinois not long before that.  Rev. Haertling served that congregation for 20 years.

Later, when G.H. was 63 years old, the 1940 census shows the Haertlings living in St. Louis where he was listed as an office clerk.  When Gustav Herman died in 1959, his death certificate indicates that his occupation had been a a packer for a religious publishing company.  His address was located just blocks away from Concordia Publishing House.

Gustav Herman Haertling death certificate
Gustav Herman Haertling death certificate

Louise died one year later in 1960.  They are both buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in the St. Louis area.

There are still quite a few Haertlings and Koenigs to be found living in the Perry and North Cape Girardeau Counties in Missouri.  I suppose it could be possible that there may still be some Haertling/Koenig marriages in the future.  If so, this labyrinth could get larger.




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