A Cemetery Stumper Solution

It is going to be a busy morning.  A bus tour of 45 people from Arnold, Missouri is coming for a tour at our museum.  They will arrive when the local annual Vacation Bible School is taking place at Trinity Lutheran Church here in Altenburg.  We have to make several unusual accommodations to make this tour a success, and my blog-writing time is limited.  So instead of writing a full-fledged article, I am going to post a short one that is a follow=up on a previous post.

Just three days ago, I published the story titled, Double Stepmother – Never a Birth Mother.  The main character in that story was a woman by the name of Maria Amalia Seibel.

Amalie Maria Seibel
Maria Amalia Seibel

Toward the end of that post, it was mentioned that Amalia is said to have been buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg in 1952.  However, on Findagrave.com, there was no photo of her gravestone.

When I took my granddaughter to the cemetery two nights ago, I took the time to find the area in the cemetery where they buried people in 1952.  I was on the hunt for Amalia’s gravestone.  I did not find a gravestone, but I did find what I am almost certain is her gravesite.  Here is what I found.  First, shown below is the gravestone for the last person who was buried at the end of 1951.  Her name was Eva Fischer, and she died on November 4, 1951.

Amalia Rodewald grave space 2 Trinity Altenburg MO

Next, to the left of that stone, the one shown below can be found.  This gravestone was the one for Louise Hellwege, who died on May 9, 1952.

Amalia Rodewald grave space 1 Trinity Altenburg MO

As you can see, there is an empty space between these two stones.  When I was at the cemetery, I could not remember Amalia (Seibel) Rodewald’s date of death, so I took pictures and would check later to see if Amalia’s death date would be between November 4, 1951 and May 9, 1952.

When I finally got around to checking it out today, I found that Amalia died on March 16, 1952, and that indeed makes this space work for Amalia’s gravesite.  I was not just satisfied with that.  If you remember, I was in Memphis when I wrote Amalia’s story, so I could not get at the church records in our research library.  I am able to do so now, so I went to the Trinity Lutheran death records to look for the deaths that took place in 1952.  Below is an image of the pertinent information that I found.

Amalia Rodewald death record Trinity Altenburg MO
Amalia Rodewald death record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Right above Amalia’s name, you will see the name of Mrs. Eva Katherine Fischer (nee Kuennell) who died on November 4, 1951.  Right under Amalia’s name, you will see the name of Mrs. Louise Magdalena Hellwege (nee Oehlert) who died on May 9, 1952.  I think there is little doubt that the empty space of grass between Eva’s stone and Louise’s stone is the gravesite of Mrs. Maria Amalia Rodewald nee Seibel.

I think we have solved one mystery, but that may lead us to another.  Why did Amalia have no gravestone placed where she is buried?  One factor may be that Amalia never had children of her own.  She did have stepchildren with the surnames of Schuessler and Rodewald.  I do not know the answer.  I doubt that I will ever know the answer.  However, at least now we have answered at least one more question.  We know where Maria Amalia “Grandma Rodewald” was buried.

I don’t know if it would do any good to publish a photo of an empty piece of grass in a cemetery on Findagrave.com.  Maybe our “Miss Findagrave” Diane Anderson would consider it.  And I suppose, if someone cared enough, they could place a stone on Amalia’s site someday.


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