Getting Used to Girls

I will be discussing a Miesner/Heins couple today.   To begin with, let me say that these two names can easily cause research issues.  There were Miesner’s and Heins’s who were found on both sides of the river, both here in Perry County, Missouri and across the river in Jackson County in Illinois.  Just this morning, I had breakfast at the Old Bank Coffee Shop with Russell Miesner.  He has previously told me that he comes from a Miesner/Heins couple, and I originally thought the couple I was discussing today was tied to him.  However, I noticed that all the children that came from today’s couple were girls, so I know no more Miesner’s would come from that branch.  Today’s couple was married on the Illinois side of the river.

Gottlieb Miesner and Sophia Heins were married on September 24, 1903, making today their 116th anniversary.  I know this is a little out of order, but the first document I am going to show today is the marriage record for this couple as we find it in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.

Gottlieb Miesner-Sophia Heins marriage record Christ Jacob IL
Miesner/Heins marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

I love these entries from that time period in these records.  They are so thorough and so easy to read (even though they are in German).  One item I want you to notice is that Gottlieb Miesner was born on December 31, 1878 and was from Farrar, Missouri.  Gottlieb was the son of Claus and Margaretha (Ehlers) Miesner.

All of the other Miesner children in Gottlieb’s family, both older and younger, were baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.  However, according to our German Family Tree, there is no baptism record for Gottlieb.  I decided to take a look at those Salem records and found the entry shown below which I found rather interesting.

Gottlieb Miesner possible baptism record Salem Farrar MO
Possible Gottlieb Miesner baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

First of all, this record is the last entry for a birth in the year 1878.  The entry right above it indicates a birth in August of 1878.  The entry after this one was for a birth in February of 1879.  Next, you will see that there was a birthday listed and then crossed out for December 30, 1878, which is one day away from Gottlieb’s birthday.  Also, above the name Karl Peter, you will see Gottlieb which is also crossed out.  These records for Salem have been recopied sometime in the past, so they are not the original records.  I am of the opinion that whoever was copying these records began copying Gottlieb’s baptism record, but then may have become confused and inserted a record that looks like it was missing earlier in the list.   It appears to me that a mistake was made, and Gottlieb’s baptism record was not copied completely.  If we could get at the original records, we might find it, but I am not even sure those records are still available.  I know the museum does not have them.

The first record that we do find for Gottlieb is his confirmation record from Salem which is shown below.  It is another document that says Gottlieb was born on December 31, 1878.

Gottlieb Miesner confirmation record Salem Farrar MO
Gottlieb Miesner confirmation record – Salem, Farrar, MO

According to our German Family Tree, Gottlieb had 8 other siblings and one step-sister from his father’s first marriage, and only two of them were girls.  The first census in which we find Gottlieb was the one taken in 1880 from Salem Township in Perry County.

Gottlieb Miesner 1880 census Salem Township MO
1880 census – Salem Township, MO

In the 1910 census, we find Gottlieb working as a farm laborer in the Joachim Meyer household.  I had a little trouble finding this entry because his surname was spelled Mitzner.  Please note that Joachim Meyer at this time was a farmer with a wife and three daughters.  A hired hand would be welcomed into that situation, and it would be a foreshadowing of things to come.

Gottlieb Miesner 1900 census Salem Farrar MO
1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Now, we turn our attention to Sophia Heins.  She was the daughter of Lueder (Leo) and Anna (Versemann) Heins.  Her birthday was November 14, 1882, and she was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.  Below is her baptism record in two images.

Sophia Heins baptism record 1 Christ Jacob IL

Sophia Heins baptism record 2 Christ Jacob IL
Sophia Heins baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Our German Family Tree shows that Sophia was the oldest of 9 children in this family, and only one other sibling was a girl.  It was another household full of mostly boys.  We find Sophia in the 1900 census for Fountain Bluff Township.

Sophia Heins 1900 census Fountain Bluff IL
1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

That leads us up to the marriage of Gottlieb Miesner and Sophia Heins in 1903.  This event also seems to be the one that precipitated the movement of Gottlieb across the river into Jackson County, Illinois, unless he had already moved over there to become a hired hand previously.  All of the remaining census records for this couple are found there.  Here is the census entry from 1910.  The household includes a hired hand by the name of Paul Stueve.

Gottlieb Miesner 1910 census Fountain Bluff Township IL
1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

In 1918, Gottlieb had his World War I draft registration completed.

Gottlieb Miesner – WWI draft registration

Gottlieb and Sophia would have 5 children, and all of them would be girls.  This is why I titled this post as I did.  Two parents who had grown up amidst a whole bunch of boys ended up having a family full of only girls.  The 1920 census shows all 5 of the girls.  This time we find a hired man by the name of Paul Schilling included in this household.

Gottlieb Miesner 1920 census Fountain Bluff IL
1920 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The last census I could find including this family was the one taken in 1930.  This time their household included a hired hand by the name of Walter Weber.

Gottlieb Miesner 1930 census Fountain Bluff Township IL
1930 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

There is a recurring theme here.  Gottlieb Miesner, the father of all girls, is shown to always have a hired hand in the household when a census was taken.  He most certainly would have benefited by having a young man helping him with his farm.

Sophia died in 1936 at the age of 53; Gottlieb died in 1951 at the age of 72.  They are both buried in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob, Illinois.

As I have researched for this blog, I have noticed so many census records that show hired hands living in other families’  households.  Many times, young men from families with too many sons would find employment in households with several daughters.  This story is full of census records that display that situation.


2 thoughts on “Getting Used to Girls

  1. Thanks for all the research you put into finding families like this Miesner/Heins (my grandparents) in places I wouldn’t have taken the time or have the patience to do but now you’ve got me checking my old trunks to see what I can find.


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