Tracking the Elusive Hadlers

This story started very simply.  Find a February 16th birthday and start looking for information that may be interesting to our readers.  I found a girl by the name of Lydia Hadler who had that birthday, so I started looking.  One of the first things I look for is photographs.  Stories are always better with images of the people involved.  At first, I did not find any photos of Lydia or her parents.  Without photos, I take a quick look to see if any other facts stick out as unusual.  In Lydia’s case, that is what happened.  Our German Family Tree says that she was “born in AR”.  It also says in another record that she was “born and baptized at Farrar”.  There is no way that Lydia could have been born in both Arkansas and Missouri.  Thus the hunt began.  I went off to track the elusive Hadlers.

As it turns out, I will share some information that I discovered about this Hadler family, but I will also describe some of the techniques I used to find this information.  I guess I have the bug.  My colleague, Gerard Fiehler, has that bug too.  We are going to try to turn over every stone we can find to discover clues that lead us to the answers to our questions.  Today, we started out with the question, “Was Lydia Hadler born in Arkansas?”  And if so, “Why?”  I think we now have answers to those questions, but in the process of looking for those answers, more questions came up, and some of those questions remain unanswered.

First, I feel the need to set the scene.  We tried to answer the question, “When did the Hadlers arrive on the scene in America?”  In this case, it was possible to find some records in Germany for a significant person in this story….Diedrich Hadler.  The name Diedrich shows up with several spellings in the records over the years.  It was also spelled Dietrich, Diedrick, and Diederich.  I choose to use Diedrich.  And while I am on the subject of spelling names, the name Hadler sometimes shows up as Hadeler and Hatler.  Diedrich was born in the same little town in Hannover, Germany that was mentioned in the Steffens story a few days ago.  That town was Lamstedt.  Here is an image of Diedrich’s baptism record.

Dietrich Hadler baptism record Lamstedt
Diedrich Hadler baptism record – Lamstedt, Germany

This record states that Diedrich was born on July 13, 1824 and baptized on July 18th.  His parents were Claus and Maria (Coleis) Hadler.  However, here is another baptism record that shows up there.

Diedrich Hadler baptism record Lamstedt 1823
Diedrich Hadler baptism record – Lamstedt, Germany

This record says that Diedrich was born on July 29, 1823 and baptized on August 3rd.  The same parents are listed.  There are some surnames in the sponsors list that are the same, but it does not look like the sponsors are identical.  One possible explanation would be that a boy was born in 1823 who died not long after birth.  Then another boy was born a year later who was given the same name.  However, I do not know for sure that is what transpired.

If you look closely at these two records, you will also see that one has Diederich and the other Diedrich.  Also, one has Hadler and the other Hadeler.

Diedrich married Marie Dammann while he was still in Germany, and this couple began having children in 1861.  There were three children born in Germany before the family moved to America.  Their names were Johann, Adelheid, and Herman.  The Hadlers came to the United States aboard the ship, Hermine, in 1868.  Here we find them on the passenger list for that ship as it landed in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Diedrich Hadler passenger list Hermine
Diedrich Hadler passenger list – Hermine

This was one year after Gerhard Steffens came to America and settled in Perry County.  Maybe Diedrich decided to follow him.  At any rate, Diedrich and his family ended up settling in the Altenburg area of Perry County where one more child was born in 1871.  His name was Heinrich Hadler.  He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Here is his baptismal record.  I will refer to the name in the red box later.  At this point, do not get her name confused with Heinrich’s sister by the name of Adelheid.

Heinrich Hadler baptism record Immanuel Altenburg
Heinrich Hadler baptismal record – Immanuel, Altenburg

When Heinrich was just one year old, his mother died.  That left Diedrich with four children ages 1, 5, 11, and 12.  Here is Marie’s death record from the Immanuel Lutheran church books.

Marie Hadler death record Immanuel Altenburg
Marie Hadler death record – Immanuel, Altenburg

By the way, the differences in handwriting between these two records made me think that a change in pastors may have taken place between 1871 and 1872.  I looked, and I was right.

So far, the Hadler tracking has been fairly easy, but now it gets challenging.  After Marie’s death in 1872, Diedrich must have figured that he could no longer properly care for his children by himself.  In his case, he apparently decided to “farm them out” to other families.  It took me a while, but I did manage to locate three of the four Hadler children living in households fairly nearby.  First, let me tell you that Diedrich can be found in the 1876 Missouri census as living by himself in Altenburg.

Diedrich Hadler 1876 MO census
1876 MO census – Altenburg, MO

Johann Hadler was living with the John Grother family in Altenburg in the 1880 census.  The Grothers were also members of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

John Grother 1880 census Altenburg
1880 census – Altenburg, MO

I was unable to find Adelheid in the 1880 census, but Herman was living with the Herman Gerth family who lived in the New Wells area.

Herman Hadler 1880 census Apple Creek
1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Heinrich Hadler was living with the Herman Heid(t) family according to the 1880 census.  Herman’s wife was Adelheid Heidt.  As shown above, she was one of Heinrich’s baptismal sponsors.

Herman Heidt 1880 census Farrar
1880 census – Farrar, MO

I have this photo of Herman Heidt, as well as one of a house that is said to have likely been Herman’s in 1880.

Heinrich Hadler was the father of today’s birthday girl.  On April 6, 1896, Heinrich married Maria Katharine Stelling at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri.  Here is their civil marriage license.

Hadler Stelling marriage record
Hadler/Stelling marriage license

This record says the Henry Hadler was from Perry County, Missouri.  There is no indication of any connection to Arkansas.  However, when I went to the Salem Lutheran records, I hit paydirt.

Heinrich Hadler marriage record Salem Farrar
Hadler/Stelling marriage record – Salem, Farrar

This record states that Heinrich Hadler was from Ulm, Arkansas.  Ulm is a small town near Stuttgart, Arkansas.  Now we have a new question.  Why was Heinrich living in Ulm, Arkansas before his marriage.  It was one year after this marriage in1896 that Lydia was born.  Now we can see why it may make sense that Lydia was born in Arkansas.  Two more later records give us all the proof we need that Lydia was born in Ulm, Arkansas.  One is her death record in the Salem Lutheran church books.

Lydia Hadler Lohmann death record Salem Farrar
Lydia Hadler Lohmann death record – Salem, Farrar

It states that Lydia was born on February 16, 1897 in Ulm, Arkansas.  Another record is Lydia’s Missouri death certificate.  I have put a red box around the fact that she was born in Ulm, Arkansas.

Lydia Hadler Lohmann death certificate
Lydia Hadler Lohmann death certificate

At this point, I had tracked Lydia to Arkansas, but I still hadn’t discovered why her father was there before he was married.  I decided to take another look at Herman Heidt on and once again hit paydirt.  Here is Herman Heidt’s gravestone.

Herman Heidt gravestone Zion Ulm AR

Herman died about 7 months after Heinrich and Mary were married.  He also died about 3 months before Lydia was born.  However, it is the location of this gravestone that answers our question.  It can be found in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Ulm, Arkansas.  Apparently, the Heidts had moved to Arkansas sometime after the 1880 census, and almost certainly took their “adopted” son, Heinrich Hadler with them.  I found this photo of the Zion Lutheran Church.

Zion Lutheran Church Ulm AR

The next child in the Hadler family was born in 1898 and baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, so it was not long after Lydia was born that her family must have moved back to Perry County.

This story is not over.  Two other questions remain unanswered.  What happened to Adelheid?  And what happened to her father, Diedrich?  After the 1876 census, neither one of these two are to be found anywhere in Perry County.  As it turns out, these two both ended up living in the same location.

Adelheid would later leave the country to find her husband.  In this later census from Spring Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1921, we find Adelheid as the wife of August Fuhr.  Spring Valley is near the city of Moose Jaw.

Adelheid Hadler Fuhr 1921 Canada census Moose Jaw
1921 Canada census – Spring Valley, Saskatchewan

I have highlighted the 1887 in the column which indicates when someone immigrated.  That had me flummoxed for a while until Gerard told me that was when she immigrated to Canada.  We find that Adelheid married August in another Canadian location.  Here is her marriage record.


This record states that this marriage took place on November 4, 1890 in East Zorra Township  in Oxford County in Ontario, Canada.  Eleven years after this marriage and 20 years before that 1921 census in Saskatchewan, we find Diedrich Hadler living with the Fuhrs in East Zorra.

Diedrich Hadler 1901 Canada census Oxford
1901 Canada census – East Zorra, Ontario

Diedrich would die not long after this census.  We find him on this roster of deaths in 1904 from Oxford County.

Diedrich Hadler death record Oxford County Ontario
Diedrich Hadler death record – Oxford County, Ontario

The age of his death on this form does not fit the other records in this story, but I am almost certain that this is the correct Diedrich Hadler.

One very detailed family history on calls August Fuhr by the name Rev. August Henry Fuhr.  I found no evidence in the records I looked at that he was a pastor.  In the census records I located, he was described as a fireman and a carpenter.  However, that family history seems pretty reliable, and a few folks around here seem to have recollections of a Hadler marrying a pastor in Canada.

I now have several other unanswered questions:

  • Where was Adelheid Hadler living in 1880?
  • How long did Heinrich Hadler live in Arkansas?
  • Did Diedrich Hadler or his daughter, Adelheid, move to Canada first?
  • Was August Fuhr a Lutheran pastor?

This post has gotten pretty long, so I will not take time today to talk about Lydia Hadler’s life as the wife of Edwin Lohmann.  Maybe that will be a story for another day.  A Hadler family history binder that we have in our research library contains this photo of the Heinrich Hadler family which was taken later in their lives.  I have placed the description of who is who below the photo for identification.  Heinrich, his wife, Marie (Stelling), and Lydia are all included.

Heinrich Hadler family

Heinrich Hadler family photo ID

As is so often the case when doing family research, you sometimes end up answering some questions, but you almost always also end up with some new unanswered ones.  I know there are several Hadler descendants around that may have some answers for us, but as for now, I have to get this published.



I found Adelheid.  She was living with August Doehler, the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg who had been the pastor who recorded Adelheid’s mother’s death in 1872.  He took a call to Wisconsin, and we find him living in Door County, Wisconsin in this census from 1880.

August Doehler Adelheid Hadler 1880 census
Adelheid Hadler – 1880 census – Door County, WI

12 thoughts on “Tracking the Elusive Hadlers

  1. Not only was Adelheid’s father living with her family for the 1901 Canadian census, but her adoptive mother appears to having been visiting them as well. The “Eliza Dowler” enumerated in their household has some indecipherable variation on the word “Mother” (adoptive mother, mother-in-law, etc.) written as her relationship and the description (born 1836 in the US) appears to match Christine Lisette Doehler née Hachmann, wife of Rev. August Gottlob Doehler. The one perplexing thing is that the 1901 census also appears to indicate she immigrated to Canada in 1840. Lisette and her siblings were born and raised in Buffalo, NY, so perhaps she took her first short trip across the Niagara River and into Canada when she was about four.

    Lisette lived the latter part of her life in Wisconsin and died in 1910, as a result of injuries sustained during a train accident in Michigan on her way to visit the Fuhrs again in Ontario. Her obituary</b notes that she had been a resident of Two Rivers, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin since her husband’s tenure as pastor of the local St. John’s Lutheran Church. Lisette and Rev. Doehler also had at least three biological sons, but only Christian August F Doehler lived to adulthood. He was about Adelheid’s age but was in seminary in Watertown, WI by the Doehler’s 1880 census enumeration in Door County. He eventually succeeded his father as pastor of St. John’s.


  2. This is a message from a gentleman in our congregation who is a Bible Class leader and the grandfather of several children in our congregation’s Pre-school program. He shares a message daily. I thought you might appreciate seeing this also. Kenneth Hadler Downers Grove, Illinois



  3. I am Bernice Fry Karstensen, my grandfather was the Rev, Arthur Fuhr, died May 21, 1963 in Beatrice, Nebraska. His parents were August and Adelheidt Fuhr. My mother was Thelma Emma Adelheidt Fuhr Fry and she died in Saskatoon Saskatchewan on April 24, 2004. I remember both my great grandparents and visited them in Spring Valley and was at their funerals. Arthur was married in 1915 to Anna Emma Beckmann born in Perry County, Missouri. They met when grandpa was at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. They had 3 children, Harold , Thelma, and Walter. Harold was killed in 1944 over France; Thelma and Walter both died in Saskatoon in 2004. I do remember visiting the Hadler family in 1951 in Perry County. My cousin Harold Fuhr, Walter’s son lives in Cold Creek, Alberta. He and his daughter, Laurie, have researched our family and also have many pictures.


  4. A little more about Adelaide and August. August died in 1954 , not sure of the date , and Adelaide died feb. 15, 1945. Another one of her sons moved to St. Louis and was a tailer. He had two children and mom doesn’t really know much about them. The rest of her children stayed here in Canada. We actually just found aa son of Bill Fuhr in BC. Bill is another one of Adelaide s children. Mom doesn’t really now where many of her cousins are. She thinks most of them are gone .


  5. Hi. I am one of Adelaide’s great grandsons. According to my mother, Martha Ehrhardt(Fuhr) , Adelaide was adopted by a Reverand August Deehler, not sure of the spelling,and his wife. He must have been in the Perry county area somewhere when her dad was looking for people to look after his children. We do have a letter somewhere from a church in Wisconsin , I beleave it was Petersburg , where it states she was baptized as Adelaide Hadler. I wish I could find it for the date and for sure the town. They then moved to Tavistock Ontario where she met August Fuhr. They were married and had 6children. One of their children became a pastor and was accepted to a church in Spring Valley Saskatchewan. The whole family moved to Saskatchewan. August wasn’t a pastor as your history stated. He was a carpenter and worked with iron. Mom says he had a shop for each profession in his yard. His son,Art, was the pastor and actually moved down to Missouri and worked there. Ruby Steffens would know the church he was at. Both Adelaide and August are buried in Spring Valley.


  6. Having done a little of the searching, I have a few of the answers (not all) for the elusive family members. 1) The Rev. Arthur Fuhr, who was pastor at Point Rest during the 19teens years, was the son of Adelheidt and August Fuhr. 2) How did Adelheidt get to Canada? The information from her descendants in Canada says that she was a foster child in the household of a pastor in either Frohna or Altenburg. This pastor and his wife had no children of their own, and when they left Perry County in the late 1970s for a Call to NE Wisconsin, she went with them. They were in Wisconsin for just a few years before accepting a Call to Canada, near Niagara Falls. It was in that area where she met and married August Fuhr. I did not find info that he was a pastor, but one of their son, Arthur, attended Concordia Seminary and then was pastor at Point Rest where his uncle Heinrich Hadler and family were members. Rev. Arthur then served several parishes, including some in Canada. His final parish was at Breman, Kansas, in the 1950s and 1960s, while his son-in-law, Philip Fry was pastor a short distance away in Beatrice, Nebraska. Rev. Arthur died 1963 at Breman KS. 3) An article was published in one of the Perryville newspapers (1980s or 1990s?) about Erna (Schuessler) and Thelma (Wagner Kaempfe) and their parents Heinrich and Marie Hadler making a trip to Canada in two Model T’s sometime about 1920. 4) Apparently Dietrich moved to Canada and lived there for his last years, as you showed. 5) Members of the Fuhr family have visited in Farrar in the last ten years and they have been at the Hadler reunion held in Altenburg. Curtis Hadler has made several trips to Canada to visit these cousins. 6) Johann Hadler had ties to Ridge, and then to New Wells. He died in wagon accident when his horses were spooked by hunters shots. 7) Herman went by Hatler. He lived at Menfro. One of his descendants (grandson, I think) Willie Hatler died just a couple weeks ago (obit in SEMissourian).


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