Before I tell today’s story, I want to point out that the facts I found while researching it may lead me to do some more research to solve a mystery. This post will mention the surnames of Blanken and Pfau as well as the locations of Perry County and Wentzville, Missouri. Those two surnames previously showed up in another post titled, Wedig Wedding. Our German Family Tree lists Blanken and Pfau families, but does not link the two families that are involved in that post and today’s post. I won’t be able to tie them together today, but I may attack that problem later.
Johann Heinrich Barthold (John) Blanken was born on October 6, 1858, making him today’s birthday boy. John was the son of Johann Heinrich and Margaretha (Reimann) Blanken and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
To illustrate the potential confusion that can be found when researching Blanken’s, there was another Blanken baptism in May of 1858 at Concordia with the baby having the name Heinrich Barthold Blanken who had a different set of parents.
John can be found in the 1860 census as a 2 year-old. His parents are shown on the previous page of this census which I chose not to display.
John is once again found in the same place and same family in the 1870 census.
The Blanken family can be found in the 1880 Union Township census that was lost for many years. John is called a laborer.
In 1883, John Blanken married Emma Meister at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. The word, meister, means “master” or “boss”, so that will explain the title of this post. Emma was born on May 17, 1858 and baptized at Grace Lutheran, Uniontown. She was the daughter of Valentin and Christina (Pfau) Meister. Here is her baptism record.
Emma’s first census was the one shown below that was taken in 1860.
Once again, we find her in the 1870 census.
Then she shows up in that set of pages from the 1880 Union Township census that were lost for so many years. Her census record is only one page away from the Blanken family.
John Blanken and Emma Meister were married on November 8, 1883. We have their marriage license.
We also can show the church record for this wedding.
When we find this couple in the 1900 census, they are living in Frohna where John was a clock and watch repairman. This couple had 4 children, but only 3 made it to adulthood.
Sometime before the 1910 census, this family moved to St. Charles County where John was called a jeweler with his own shop.
When we take a look at the 1920 census, we see John and Emma living in Wentzville, Missouri, which is also located in St. Charles County. He was in the business of repairing clocks and sewing machines.
I included the family below the Blanken household. It shows the Emil Pfau household. Although Emma’s mother was a Pfau, our German Family tree does not connect her to this Pfau, even though he, too, is found in the GFT from another set of Pfau parents in Frohna.
John Blanken died in 1929. Below is his death certificate. It says that he was living in St. Louis when he died at the age of 71. John was described as a farmer on this form even though I found no evidence of him being in that profession in the census records.
Emma Blanken can be found living in St. Louis with her youngest daughter, Emily Adkins.
Emma’s final census was the one taken in 1940. We find her living back in Perry County during the last part of her life. She was living with another elderly woman, Hulda Fischer, in the town of Altenburg. Hulda is listed on the bottom of the previous page of this census.
Emma died in 1941 at the age of 83. We have her death certificate. It indicates she was living in St. Louis when she died.
Both John and Emma Blanken are buried in the Koenig Lutheran Cemetery in Wentzville, Missouri.
It seems like every time I attempt to do a Blanken story, I run into challenges. Maybe you noticed that this surname isn’t even always spelled the same. Sometimes you see it spelled Blancken and even Blanke or Blancke. As said before, our German Family Tree has a few Blanken families that are not connected but there seem to be other clues that make one wonder if they are. The same thing could be said about the Pfau’s. As we see today, the city of Wentzville seems to tie these families together. I just scratch my head today. I don’t have the time or energy to pursue it now. Maybe later.