Wayfaring Wunderlichs

Johann Carl Wunderlich would have been 159 years old today.  He was born on April 23, 1860 and his was one of the early baptisms recorded in the church books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.  Carl was the son of Johann Gottlieb and Maria (Bendel) Wunderlich.  We have a photo of Carl’s parents.


Below is Carl’s baptism record.

Johann Carl Wunderlich baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Johann Carl Wunderlich baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The first census in which we find Carl was the one taken in 1860.  Carl was just a matter of months old.  The family was living in Shawnee Township in northern Cape Girardeau County.

Charles Wunderlich 1860 census Shawnee Township MO
1860 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On July 21, 1887, Carl married Anna Katherine Roth at Immanuel, New Wells.  Here is this couple’s marriage license.

Wunderlich Roth marriage license
Wunderlich/Roth marriage license

Katherine Roth was born on October 3, 1861.  She was the daughter of Peter and Christiane (Schumann) Roth.  The story of Katherine’s mother, Christiane, was told in the post, The Trail of Christiane Theilig’s Out of Wedlock Child.  The baptism record for Katherine is somewhat of a mystery.  We find it in the Concordia, Frohna church books, but I could not find the actual image.  In some notes, it lists some children who were baptized in 1861 and 1862 who were not members of the congregation, and Katherine is included in that list.  Future baptisms in this Roth family took place at Concordia.

Non-congregation baptism records 1861-1862 Concordia Frohna MO

The first census in which we find Mr. and Mrs. Wunderlich was the 1900 census, and we find them living in Lincoln County, Kansas.

Charles Wunderlich Pleasant Township KS
1900 census – Pleasant Township, KS

By that time, Carl and Katherine had four children, and it says all of them were born in Kansas.  The oldest, their only son, Henry, was born in 1888, so this family must have moved to Kansas shortly after their marriage in 1887.  Carl was a farmer.

In a Kansas State Census taken in 1905, this family is shown as living in Sylvan Grove, which is in Pleasant Township, Kansas.

Charles Wunderlich 1905 Kansas census Sylvan Grove
1905 Kansas State Census – Sylvan Grove

However, sometime before 1910, this family moved again.  We find them living in Wichita County (which is not where the city of Wichita is located).  They were living in the township with an interesting name….Whitewoman Township.

Charles Wunderlich 1910 census Whitewoman Township KS
1910 census – Whitewoman Township, KS

There is an interesting legend associated with White Woman Creek, which flows through Wichita County.  You can read about it at this link:


In the above census, the youngest child in the family was born ten years after their previous child.  We have this photo of the Wunderlich family which shows only 4 children.  I am guessing that this photo was taken when they were living in Sylvan Grove, and the last child had yet to be born.

John Carl Wunderlich family

I could not find this Wunderlich family in a 1920 census.  However, I did find a notation made in the Wunderlich family binder that was produced by Clinton Wunderlich.  It states that Carl and his family once lived in Mountain View, Missouri.  Mountain View is found in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri.

Johann Carl Wunderlich infor Clinton Wunderlich family book

Carl and Katherine returned to Shawnee Township before the 1930 census.  At this point in his life, Carl was called a carpenter.

Charles Wunderlich 1930 census Shawnee Township MO
1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Both Carl and Katherine died in 1932.  Katherine died in April; Carl died in November.  Here is Katherine’s death certificate.  She was 70 years old when she died.

Katherine Wunderlich death certificate
Katherine Wunderlich death certificate

Next, we see Carl’s death certificate.  He died when he was 72 years old.

Carl Wunderlich death certificate
Carl Wunderlich death certificate

Carl and Katherine are buried together in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown, Missouri.

Carl and Katherine Wunderlich gravestone Trinity Shawneetown MO
Carl and Katherine Wunderlich gravestone – Trinity, Shawneetown, MO

Carl and Katherine certainly were well-traveled during their lives.  Yet they found their way back home.


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