Katharina’s 150th Birthday

If you want to be qualified to celebrate your 150th birthday in 2020, you must have been born in 1870.  We are going to look today at two people who formed a couple in which both the bride and the groom were born in 1870.  One of them, the bride, was born on this day, January 17th, back in that year.

Katharina Schumacher is today’s birthday girl.  I was really having a hard time finding out much about her family until I looked at her death certificate, which I will display later.  On that form, it said her father’s name was Oswald and that Katharina was born in Grand Tower, Illinois.  Once I had that information, I was able to locate her in the 1870 census for Grand Tower.

Katharina Schumacher 1870 census Grand Tower IL
1870 census – Grand Tower, IL

Once I found that, I was then able to find a family history on Ancestry.com that gave a few more facts (if they are correct).  That source says she was the daughter of Oswald and Johanna (Schwering) Schumacher who arrived in America in 1865.  Both of her parents died in the 1870’s, and I was unfortunately unable to find Katharina in the 1880 census.  However, when 1895 rolled around, she was in Uniontown, Missouri getting married to Benjamin Heinrich Brandes.

Benjamin Brandes was the son of Henry and Amelia (Liskiehn [sp?]) Brandes.  Benjamin was born on December 13, 1870 and baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri.  Below is his baptism record.  It is quite difficult to read.

Benjamin Brandes baptism record Grace Uniontown MO
Benjamin Brandes baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO


Benjamin barely missed getting into the 1870 census, and you cannot find him in a census record on Ancestry.com, but he can be found in the once-lost census records from Union Township that are on another website online.  His Brandes household stretches over two census pages, so I have to show this in two images.  Benjamin was the baby of the family.

Benjamin Brandes 1880 census Union Township MO

Benjamin Brandes 1880 census 2 Union Township MO
1880 census – Union Township, MO


On October 20, 1895, Benjamin Heinrich Brandes married Katharina Schumacher at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  Below is the church record for that wedding.

Brandes Schumacher marriage record Grace Uniontown MO
Brandes/Schumacher marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

We also have the civil marriage license for this couple.

Brandes Schumacher marriage license
Brandes/Schumacher marriage license

The first census in which we find this pair together was the one taken in 1900.  They had two children at the time and were living with Benjamin’s parents.

Benjamin Brandes 1900 census Union Township MO
1900 census – Union Township, MO

Our German Family Tree says there were 9 children, 6 boys and 3 girls, born into this family.  One of the boys died right away.  The next census in which we find this household was in 1910.

Benjamin Brandes 1910 census Union Township MO
1910 census – Union Township, MO

We see a parcel of land identified as belonging to B.H. Brandes on the plat maps of Perry County produced in 1915.

B H Brandes land map 1915
B.H. Brandes land map – 1915


Next, we find Benjamin’s family in the 1920 census.  All 8 of their living children were in this household.

Benjamin Brandes 1920 census Union Township MO
1920 census – Union Township, MO

The last census I was able to find in which we see Benjamin and Katharina was the one taken in 1930.  I think the ages for these two were wrong on this form.

Benjamin Brandes 1930 census Union Township MO
1930 census – Union Township, MO

Katharina Brandes died in 1937 at the age of 67.  We can view her death certificate.  This is the document that gives her father’s name and her place of birth.

Katharine Brandes death certificate
Katharina Brandes death certificate

I was unable to find Benjamin Brandes in the 1940 census.  Benjamin died in 1953 at the age of 82.  Below is his death certificate.

Benjamin Brandes death certificate
Benjamin Brandes death certificate

Benjamin and Katharina are both buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown, Missouri.

One of Benjamin and Katharina’s descendants, Russell Brandes, married my cousin, Jay Schmidt.  If I have this figured correctly, Jay and Russell live on the property on which Benjamin and Katharine once lived.  And I live on the land on which Jay grew up in Altenburg.

I am reminded today that one of the good places to look for information about a person I am researching is one of their last documents.  That is their death certificate.  I have used a death certificate before to find a person’s place of birth and other data, but I guess my old brain needs to be reminded of this useful skill.  Sometimes you find out about where a person began their life by looking at a document that describes the end of their life.



















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