You may want to read the post titled, Seelitz Sweethearts, before reading this one. That post told the story of Johann George Gotthold Darnstaedt, Sr. who was married twice. His first marriage was to a woman who was about 17 years older than him who had several children. After she died, he married a woman, Christiane Friedricke Mueller, who was about 23 years younger than him. This couple would have six more children. The youngest of those children was Johann George Gotthold Darnstaedt, Jr. Not only was he the youngest, but three other children who were born into his father’s second marriage were boys. I would think that when parents want to name their child after the father and make him a “junior”, it would most likely be the oldest son, not the youngest son. However, that was the case with Johann George Gotthold Darnstaedt, Jr.
Almost all the documents for this child show him as being called John, so I will use that name as well. John Darnstaedt was born on July 6, 1875 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. Here is his baptism record.
John can be seen in the 1880 census as a 5 year-old.
I will now take some time to look at the life of John Darnstaedt’s future wife before their marriage. Her name was Paulina Haehnlein, who is today’s birthday girl. She was born on October 7, 1875. She was the daughter of Henry and Anna (Schroeder) Haehnlein. She, like her future husband, was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is her baptism record.
Paulina’s confirmation record can be found in the church books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. That record states that Paulina was born in Fountain Bluff, Illinois, but baptized in Altenburg, Missouri.
If you look above at John’s baptism record, it is #13 in the Trinity books. Paulina’s record is just five items later in those same books, and even though all the other records have a number next to them, Paulina’s is blank. The first baptism record you find in the Christ, Jacob books was one that took place in 1877. It has been surmised that during the time before 1877, Lutherans in Jackson County, Illinois came across the river to Perry County to be baptized. This appears to be the case for Paulina.
When Paulina was 19 years old, she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Esther Haehnlein. The father was Bill Moor (probably Moore) according to her baptism record in the Christ, Jacob books. The phrase enehelicher kind you see in front of Paulina’s name means illegitimate child.
In May of 1896, Paulina married Heinrich Weseloh. However, this marriage did not even last one year. In January of 1897, Heinrich died. A family story says the he died when a well that he was digging collapsed on him. Here is his church death record.
When he died, Paulina was pregnant. In May of 1897, she gave birth to a daughter, Ida Weseloh. Here is her baptism record. I am guessing that some of the extra words shown here indicate that Paulina had recently become a widow.
That leads us up to the marriage of Paulina (Haehnlein) Weseloh to John Darnstaedt. That wedding took place on April 3, 1899 at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. Here is the church record for that marriage.
When the 1900 census was taken one year later, we find this household with one of John’s step-daughters, Ida Weseloh. I did find Paulina’s daughter, Esther, in that census living with Paulina’s parents.
Later in 1900, this couple’s first child was born. Gustav Darnstaedt was born on his father’s 25th birthday, July 6, 1900. John and Paulina would have 6 children. We see the following situation in the 1910 census. Both of John’s step-daughters along with 5 children of his own were in this household.
John had his World War I draft registration filled out in 1918.
The 1920 census shows this Darnstaedt household. We see all 6 of the children born to John and Paulina.
We have some wonderful photos of the children of John and Paulina. First, we have this photo of five of their children. Their last son, George, was not yet born, so this photo was probably taken around 1910.
The next photo must have been taken just a year or two later. It shows George and Rosie.
I can also show confirmation photos of the three oldest children. I am putting them in a clickable gallery.
In 1930, we see the following household in the census for that year.
The last view of this family can be seen in the 1940 census. John and Paulina had an empty nest.
Later in their lives, John and Paulina had this photo taken.
John died in 1964 at the age of 89. Below is his obituary.
Paulina died in 1970 at the age of 94. Here is her obituary. This obituary states that Paulina was born in Perry County, which contradicts her confirmation record.
John and Paulina are buried together in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob, Illinois.
I have a tongue-in-cheek theory about why John Darnstaedt, Sr. waited until his last son was born. I think he waited until he had a son that was going to look like him. He also might have realized he might not get another chance. John, Sr. was 61 years old when John, Jr. was born.