This photo of the Gotthold Seibel family showed up in a post not too long ago. I am going to tell a story again today about some members of this family.
In today’s tale, I will discuss the four girls who are indicated by the red arrows, all of which remained single during their entire lifetimes.
Before I begin, I would like to express the frustration that I sometimes experience when trying to find information about single women. When it comes to finding records for single women, the task is often a real challenge. They just do not have as many records available. Even when looking at census records, single women are often found living in other people’s homes or they are boarders in a home with people with that have several other surnames. It is also harder to tell if you have the right person because you cannot verify their identity by looking at their husband’s or their children’s names. Also, it is not often that you find military records for females (although in this case, I did find some).
I will start with the oldest, Monica Seibel, who is shown by the arrow that is farthest to the right in the back row. I was not very successful at finding Monica in the records. I did not find her at all in any census records. She was born in 1881, and before the next census that we have was recorded, she was already 19 years old and may have moved elsewhere for a while. The only record I did find was her death certificate. It indicates that she died in Perry County of cancer. If I am reading it right, it says she was a caterer. She died at the relatively young age of 52.
The next daughter in line was Marie Seibel, who was born in 1883. She is shown by the middle red arrow in the back row in the photo above. Her birthday was tomorrow’s date, January 30th. The 1930 census shows Marie living with her father and her younger sister, Louise. She is described as doing housework for a private family.
Marie lived to be just two weeks short of her 100th birthday.
After Marie comes Caroline Seibel. She is today’s birthday girl. She was born on January 29, 1885, just one day before her older sister’s 2nd birthday. She is shown by the red arrow to the far left in the photo above. Caroline can be found in the 1920 Altenburg census, but it is somewhat hard to read so I will not include it here. That document simply says “telephone” under the occupation column. I have heard that the Seibel family may have had some involvement in the advent of the telephone into Altenburg. Caroline was another sister who lived a good, long life. She died at the age of 96.
Quite possible the most interesting of the four single Seibel sisters was the youngest one. Her name was Louise Seibel, and she was born in 1894. Louise is the young girl shown by the arrow in the front row on the right in the Seibel family photo. In the 1920 census, we find Louise living in St. Louis and serving as a graduate nurse for a private family.
Even before this census, however, Louise used her nursing talents to serve her country. She was part of the Army Nurse Corps during World War I. I suggest you watch this video about World War I nurses that is about 5 minutes long.
This is another video showing some interesting photos of American nurses during this war. (I found some of the music quite annoying, so you may want to mute it.)
The only photo I found of any of these single Seibel sisters was this one of Louise. She is pictured in a nurse’s uniform.
I found this information about Louise’s military service on Ancestry.com., although the birthdate is wrong. It should say 1894, not 1884.
Louise died in 1978 at the age of 84. All four of the Seibel sisters are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. Here are their gravestones. I have made these as thumbnails so that you can click on them for enlargement.
Over the years, these Seibel sisters seemed to show up living with their father in Altenburg, but never altogether. Also, even though it was likely that several of these sisters may have lived in other locations over the years, they all managed to return to Altenburg in their older years to die and be buried here. I am sure there are some old-timers here in East Perry County that may have memories of knowing some of these ladies in the later years.