When Was Rosa Born?

I put today’s mystery question in today’s title.  Rosa Landgraf is today’s birthday girl….or is she?  One birth date we have for Rosa was August 21, 1885.  As we work our way through this story, we will find two other alternatives.  Rosa was the daughter of Bernhard and Mary (Litzelfelner) Landgraf.  She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.  Below is her baptism record.  Please note that this entry definitely says that her birth date was 21 Aug.

Rosa Landgraf baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Rosa Landgraf baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The first census in which we find Rosa was the one taken in 1900.  She was 14 years old.

Rosa Landgraf 1900 census Apple Creek Township MO
1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Just two years later and just a few months after her 17th birthday, Rosa got married.  Her husband was Herman Bodenschatz.  Herman was the son of Frederich and Rosalie (Mueller) Bodenschatz.  He was born on March 15, 1881 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Here is his baptism record.

Herman Bodenschatz baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Herman Bodenschatz baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Although he was baptized at Trinity, Altenburg, Herman was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, so that is where he likely met Rosa Landgraf.  Also, Herman’s mother, Rosalie, died in 1890 when he was just 9 years old.  His father then married Martha Roen.  We find Herman in the Shawnee Township in the 1900 census living with his father and stepmother and other siblings.

Herman Bodenschatz 1900 census Shawnee Township MO
1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

November 9, 1902 was the marriage date for Herman Bodenschatz and Rosa Landgraf.  They were married at Immanuel, New Wells.  Here is the church record for that marriage.

Bodenschatz Landgraf marriage record Immanuel New Wells MO
Bodenschatz/Landgraf marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The marriage license for this couple contains a memo that states a form is on file from Rosa’s father that he has consented to this marriage of his 17 year-old daughter.

Bodenschatz Landgraf marriage license
Bodenschatz/Landgraf marriage license

We have the wedding photo of this couple.

Bodenschatz Landgraf wedding
Bodenschatz/Landgraf wedding

The first census in which we find this couple was the one from 1910.  They were living in the Apple Creek Township and had three children.

Herman Bodenschatz 1910 census Apple Creek Township MO
1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

More children were born before the 1920 census.  This census shows them back in Shawnee Township once again.  I also included the Ben Landgraf household which was listed right below the Bodenschatz household.  Ben was Rosa’s father.

Herman Bodenschatz 1920 census Shawnee Township MO
1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Two more children were born in the 1920’s.  Our German Family Tree lists 11 total children.  Only the first one died right away.  A plat map for Cape Girardeau County was produced in 1930.  We find a piece of property with Herman’s name near New Wells on the map below.

Herman Bodenschatz land map 1930 Cape Girardeau County
Herman Bodenschatz land map – 1930

It must have been right about 1930 that Herman moved his family across the Apple Creek into Perry County.  We find them living in the Brazeau Township in the 1930 census.  Rosa’s mother had died in 1927, so in this census, we see her father, Bernhard, living in the Bodenschatz household as a widower.

Herman Bodenschatz 1930 census Brazeau Township MO
1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The 1940 census shows this family still living in Perry County.  Herman was a farmer all his life.

Herman Bodenschatz 1940 census Brazeau Township MO
1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Herman died in 1947 at the age of 66.  We have his death certificate.  It indicates that Herman was living in Shawneetown when he died.

Herman Bodenshatz death certificate
Herman Bodenschatz death certificate

Herman was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown.

Herman Bodenschatz gravestone Trinity Shawneetown MO
Herman Bodenschatz gravestone – Trinity, Shawneetown, MO

It was at this point in my research of this family that I hit a roadblock.  Findagrave.com says that Rosa (Landgraf) Bodenschatz is buried in the same cemetery as Herman, but it has no photo for the grave site.  I also could not find a death certificate for Rosa Bodenschatz.  This puzzled me.  I did not solve this problem until I found a family history on Ancestry.com that said Rosa had a second husband by the name of Henry Boren.  Once I discovered that, I found a grave site for Rosa Boren in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.  I will show that gravestone later.

The next puzzle was that I could not find a marriage record for Rosa Bodenschatz and Henry Boren anywhere in Missouri.  I did find their marriage record, but it was not found in this state.  I found it in Alva, Oklahoma.  They were married on June 17, 1950.

Boren Bodenschatz marriage record Alva OK
Boren/Bodenschatz marriage license – Oklahoma

This document says both the bride and the groom are from Missouri.  They are both said to be residing in New Wells.  You might ask why they were getting married in Oklahoma.  I happened to already know the answer.  I wrote a post several years ago about how one of the Bodenschatz sons, Newton, had moved to Alva, Oklahoma.  That story was titled, Oklahoma Ground Sweethearts.  You can see Newton Bodenschatz’s name on the above form.  Even though they were both from New Wells, the decision must have been made to get married in Newton’s congregation in Alva.

Henry brought Rosa back to Shawnee Township, Missouri.  Rosa died in 1954 at the age of 69.  Once I found out she was a Boren, I was able to find her death certificate.  This document gives us one of those other different birth dates.  It states Rosa was born on August 15, 1885.

Rosa Boren death certificate Bodenschatz
Rosa Boren death certificate

Rosa, as stated before, was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Rosa Landgraf Bodenschatz Boren gravestone Immanuel New Wells MO
Rosa (Landgraf) Boren gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

And there you have it.  A third different birth date for Rosa.  Her gravestone says she was born on August 25, 1885.  Which one is correct?  August 15?  August 21?  August 25?  I don’t know for sure.  One document I have displayed was recorded at the beginning of her life.  The other two that have been displayed were recorded at the end of her life.  I will now show one more document.  It is a civil birth record from Cape Girardeau County for Rosa Landgraf.  It is almost impossible to read, but I have cropped out the part that matters to this discussion.

Rosa Landgraf birth record Cape Girardeau County
Rosa Landgraf birth record – Cape Girardeau County

In the upper right, I think there is no doubt that it shows Rosa was born on August 21st.  That is the date I think is correct.  Maybe you think differently.  I just happen to think that today is her birthday.



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