Until I find out differently, I am declaring the Roth/Roth marriage that took place on May 19, 1859 to be the first Roth/Roth marriage involving a personality from East Perry County. I have already written about others, most notably the one involving two Roth/Roth marriages that took place at the same time in the same place, Roth-Roth and Roth-Roth.
We start with the bride. Elizabeth Roth was the daughter of Johann Georg and Margaretha (Burkhardt) Roth. This family was part of the New York Group that joined the Gesellschaft in 1839. Several family members came to America from Germany and one was born in New York City. Elizabeth was the first child born into this family once they arrived in Perry County. Her birthday was October 9, 1840. She was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Here is her baptism record. It was just the 3rd baptism to be recorded in this church’s books.
We find Elizabeth in the 1850 census at the age of 10. Her father was a farmer.
Now we turn to the groom. His name was George Heinrich Roth. Since you do not find any local church records for him until the 1850’s, not as much is known about him. There is what appears to be a reliable family history on Ancestry.com that says he was born in Engelrod, Germany. He was born on our nation’s 54th birthday, July 4, 1830. His parents were John and Anna Katarina (Kimpel) Roth. The first record I could find for George in America was a marriage record from Cape Girardeau County in 1856. He married a woman by the name of Joanna Gerlach, which took place at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.
I was not able to find this record in the Immanuel, New Wells, books. Their first marriage record was one that took place in 1860. Pastor Lehmann, who is shown on the above civil record, was indeed the pastor of Immanuel in 1856.
Joanna must have died not long after this marriage because just 3 years later, we find George Roth marrying Elizabeth Roth in 1859. That marriage took place at Concordia, Frohna with Rev. C.H. Loeber officiating. Below is the civil record from Perry County.
Next is the church record for that wedding. This record includes two facts about George. First, it says he was a widower, and second, it states that he was from Cape Girardeau.
This couple appears to have the rest of their lives divided into two parts. During the first part, they lived in the city of Cape Girardeau. Their second part was spent living near Farrar, Missouri.
We find the relatively new couple in the city of Cape Girardeau in the 1860 census. George was a carpenter, and they had one child. It is in two images.
A family history on Ancestry.com states that George served in the Home Guard of Cape Girardeau during the Civil War. The Civil War record shown below may or may not be a document backing that claim.
The 1870 census once again has the Roth household in Cape Girardeau. This time George is called an undertaker. It makes sense that a carpenter would have the job of undertaker because one of the main tasks they would perform in those days was the manufacturing of the caskets.
The 1880 census was the last one showing this family in Cape Girardeau and the last one for George to be included. It is another one that has to be shown in two images.
This census shows 7 children. I am thinking that it was not long after this census was taken that this family moved to the Farrar area. One reason I say that is the fact that so many of these children married spouses in Perry County, and most found their spouses in the Farrar area.
George died in 1896 at the age of 66. He is said to be buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar. However, if his gravestone is there, it is not shown on Findagrave.com. Elizabeth died in 1914 at the age of 73. We have her death certificate.
Elizabeth is buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.
I find one of the most interesting things about this story comes from the last will and testaments of George and Elizabeth. Since George died first, let’s start with a few excerpts from his.
The document says that it was translated by Charles E. Weber. Charles was not only one of the original immigrants, but also went on to be a Civil War Captain and a Judge for Perry County. I would also like to point out that George begins his will with the words, “In the name of God!”
Another excerpt shows how some of his money was distributed to his children.
This part of his will lists who his children are, including some information about where they lived and who they married. Then it says that they were all to receive $1.00. Before one might jump to some conclusion about whether George was poor or lacked generosity, one should look at the later will of his wife, Elizabeth. First, here is how Elizabeth starts her will.
In a similar manner, Elizabeth starts by mentioning her God. “In the name of the Holy Trinity, Amen!” Next, let’s take a look at how Elizabeth’s will distributes money.
You should be able to see that the money amounts shown here are considerably larger….in the hundreds. I might add that as I have looked at documents like this for that time period, these numbers are larger than usual. In addition, you will see that Elizabeth makes sure to include missions of the Lutheran church in her will.
The way I have it figured, George figured his death was not the time to distribute his assets to his children. He was more concerned about his wife and her needs. After they were both gone, then it was time to divide up their assets.
All in all, I think there is a good model in these wills. When you become involved in will-writing and estate planning, keep three things in mind: Faith, Family, and Church. Write your will so that people reading it will know the basis of your faith. Remember your family, and do what you can to provide for their needs. And there are things you may be able to do to support the missions of organizations you think are important.