Finding a Bride Across the River

Johann Friedrich Conrad Amschler was born on July 8, 1863.  That would make today his 156th birthday.  John’s story got a fairly good accounting in a previous post about one of his sons which was titled, Z to A.  Even though that post included information about John, I decided to embellish his story in a post of his own.  John was the son of another John Amschler.  His father was John George Amschler, and his mother was Anna (Lang) Amschler.  Today’s John Amschler was born near Longtown in Perry County, Missouri. I was not able to find a baptism record for him.  My best guess is that he may have been baptized at the congregation in Friedenberg, but those records were destroyed, although great efforts have been made to reconstruct them.

We find John in the 1870 census for Cinque Hommes Township in Perry County.  John was 6 years old, and his father was a farmer.

John Amschler 1870 census Cinque Hommes Township MO
1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

We find a rather interesting situation in the 1880 census.  First of all, we find John living in the Joseph Miller (almost certainly Mueller) household in the Brazeau Township as a laborer.  That Joseph Mueller was married to Anna Petzoldt.

John Amschler 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

However, while I was looking for his father in the 1880 census, he was not found on  When that happens these days, I automatically open up the “Lost” 1880 census entries from Union Township.  Not only did I find John’s father, but I also found John.  In other words, it appears that he was included twice in that year’s census.  This one says that John was at school at the age of 16.

John Amschler 1880 census Union Township MO

John Amschler 1880 census 2 Union Township MO
1880 census – Union Township, MO

Both of these census records were submitted in June of 1880.  Go figure.  A photo showing a rather young John Amschler is shown below.

Johann Amschler
John Amschler

From this time forth, all the records I could find for John are found across the river in Jackson County, Illinois.  In an Amschler family binder we have in our museum, it says he moved to Jacob, Illinois in 1890.  I found this entry for church attendance at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob which shows John’s future wife, Margaretha Rathjen.

Margaretha Rathjen attendance records Christ Jacob IL
Christ, Jacob, IL – attendance records

Behind Margaretha’s name, it includes the name Amschler in columns that show entries for the end of 1889.  Another record from those church records indicate a Friedrich Amschler becoming a voting member there in 1891.  John had a younger brother named Friedrich, but I think he would have been a little too young to be a voting member at that time.

John Friedrich Amschler membership record Christ Jacob IL

This entry is right above another person from Uniontown, Charles Frentzel, who was about 3 years younger than John.  They might have been friends who moved to that area around the same time.

John Amschler married Margaretha Rathjen on November 26, 1890 at Christ Lutheran.  Here is the marriage record from that congregation.  I love these marriage records from that church.  They are some of the most complete records you can find.  One item found here is the fact that John was born near Longtown.  Margaretha, on the other hand, was born in Osterversede, Germany.  She was born on August 9, 1870.  She was the daughter of Friedrich and Anna (Boesch) Rathjen.  Some information about Margaretha’s parents can be found in the post titled, Joseph Rathjen – What Goes Around, Comes Around.

Amschler Rathjen marriage record Christ Jacob IL
Amschler/Rathjen marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

The Amschler family binder also includes this photograph of the couple’s marriage certificate.  It is one of those fancy certificates filled with religious illustrations concerning marriage.

Amschler Rathjen marriage certificate

The photo below is said to be John and Margaretha’s wedding photo.

Johann and Margaret Amschler wedding

John and Margaretha would have 5 children.  The last child, born in 1901, was another John Friedrich Amschler, so today’s John is often referred to as John Amschler, Sr. (as is seen in the caption for the above photo).

We find this couple in the 1900 census for Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois.  You find John’s younger brother, Friedrich, living in their household.  John was a farmer.

John Amschler 1900 census Fountain Bluff Township IL
1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The photo of the Amschler family below was probably taken in the early 1900’s.

Johann Amschler family
John Amschler family

I could not locate this Amschler family in the 1910 census, but I do not think that meant they were living elsewhere.  I think they just managed to not be counted that year.  We do find them once again in the 1920 census for Fountain Bluff Township.

John Amschler 1920 census Fountain Bluff IL
1920 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The Amschler’s bought and built what was known as a “Sears House” in 1919. An early photo was taken of that house.  More photos will be shown later.

John Amschler house early

We find them once again in the 1930 census.  They were now living in the household of their son, John, Jr.  This form incorrectly states that John was born in Illinois.  I think they misplaced the name “Missouri” in the box for Gladys right above John.  Gladys was born in Illinois.

John Amschler 1930 census Fountain Bluff Township IL
1930 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Margaretha died in 1937 in a hospital in St. Louis at the age of 67.  Her death certificate was shown in a previous post.  We have the church death record for her.  I always shake my head when I see a record like this.  It does not contain Margaretha’s first name anywhere.  It simply calls her Mrs. John Amschler.

Margaretha Amschler death record Christ Jacob IL
Margaretha Amschler death record – Christ, Jacob, IL

It is interesting that her gravestone and marriage record say Margaretha was born on August 9th, her death certificate says her birth date was August 10th, and this church death record says she was born on August 11th.

When the 1940 census was done, John was a widower.  He is called the head of the household, but he was once again living with his son, John, Jr. and his family.

John Amschler 1940 census Fountain Bluff Township IL
1940 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

John died in 1948 at the age of 85.  He died in a hospital in Murphysboro, Illinois.  We do not have an Illinois death certificate, but there is a death record for him in the Christ Lutheran books.  It said he died of old age.

John Amschler death record Christ Jacob IL
John Amschler death record – Christ, Jacob, IL

I am going to include a few more photos that I found that are associated with this family.  You can click to enlarge them.


Both John and Margaretha were buried in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob, Illinois.


John Amschler was married and buried at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob.  The pastor that married him was Rev. Estel.  The pastor that buried him was Rev. Petzoldt.  Both of those pastors had roots in Perry County, Missouri, and so did John.


One thought on “Finding a Bride Across the River

Leave a Reply