Marrying Multiple Mirly’s

A 150th birthday begins a journey to a family in which a man eventually marries a pair of sisters. Not at the same time, of course. We will start with the birthday girl.

Wilhelmine Mirly was born on August 22, 1870, the daughter of Joseph and Wilhelmine (Schimmelpfennig) Mirly. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Here is an image of her baptism record.

Wilhelmine Mirly baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Wilhelmine did not make it into the 1870 census, so the first one in which she is found is the one taken in 1880. As it turns out, it would be the only one in which she is found. She was 9 years old at the time. Wilhelmine had a younger sister named Mathilda. Those two are marked with red arrows. These two sisters would both become wives of one man.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Let’s turn our attention to the man who married these two Mirly sisters. His name was Julius Hoffmann, who was born on March 14, 1865. His parents were Carl and Marie (Mueller) Hoffmann. Julius was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is his baptism record.

Julius Hoffmann baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Julius shows up in the 1870 census for Brazeau Township in Perry County at the age of 5. It is displayed in two images.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It must have been at about this time that Carl Hoffmann moved his family to New Wells in Cape Girardeau County. A younger sibling of Julius was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells in 1871. The 1880 census shows Julius at the age of 14.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On November 13, 1890, Julius Hoffmann married Wilhelmine Mirly at Immanuel, New Wells. Here is the church record for this wedding.

Hoffmann/Mirly marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We can also view the marriage license for Julius and Wilhelmine.

Hoffmann/Wilhelmine Mirly marriage license

I will also point out that this Hoffmann/Mirly marriage was not the first to take place. Earlier in 1890, Carl Hoffmann, Jr. married Emilie Mirly at the same location. So, all in all, there were three Hoffmann/Mirly weddings.

According to our German Family Tree, there were 5 children born to Julius and Wilhelmine Hoffmann. Only 3 of them lived to adulthood. When the last of these children was born in 1900, Wilhelmine died as a result of that childbirth. The death record from the Immanuel, New Wells books gives what looks like kindbirth as the cause of death. I think kindbirth is a combination of German and English.

Wilhelmine Hoffmann death record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Wilhelmine died in May; that baby died in July. That left Julius as a widower with several children. The 1900 census shows his household with 3 children, a sister-in-law, and two boarders.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On June 2, 1904, Julius Hoffmann married Mathilda Mirly, Wilhelmine’s younger sister. Mathilda had the same birthday as Julius. She was born on March 14, 1875, and even then, she wasn’t the only one born on that day. Mathilda was a twin. Her twin was Herman Mirly. A rather silly post was written a while back which focused on several events taking place on March 14th (Pi Day) in this family called Baking Up a Good German Lutheran Pi. Here is the baptism record for the Mirly twins.

Herman and Mathilda Mirly baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

There is no record for the marriage of Julius and Mathilda in the Immanuel church books. The marriage license states that this marriage was performed by a Justice of the Peace.

Hoffmann/Mathilda Mirly marraige license

Our German Family Tree shows 6 children born to Julius and Mathilda, but only 3 of them lived to adulthood. We find the Hoffmann household in the 1910 census with 5 children, 3 from Julius’s first marriage and 2 from his second marriage.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find the Julius Hoffmann household in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census in which we find either Julius or Mathilda Hoffmann was the one taken in 1930. These two had an empty nest.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

It was also in 1930 that a set of plat maps was produced for Cape Girardeau County. We find Julius Hoffmann owning a piece of farmland not far from the village of New Wells.

Julius Hoffmann land map – 1930

I did locate a photo of Julius Hoffmann, however, it is a rather fuzzy image.

Mathilda Hoffmann died in 1936 at the age of 62. Her death certificate says that she died on Christmas Eve.

Mathilda Hoffmann death certificate

Julius Hoffmann died in 1940 at the age of 74. His death certificate says he died of pneumonia.

Julius Hoffmann death certificate

Julius and both his Mirly wives are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

I have previously written the story of Herman Weber, who, after his first wife died, married that wife’s sister. So, Herman married two Poppitz sisters. That post was titled, As For Me and My House….. Today’s episode may not be the first situation like this to show up on this blog, but it is a very interesting one.


An important historic event slipped past me earlier this week. August 18, 1845, is the date for the establishment of the city of Frankenmuth, Michigan. Frankenmuth, along with a few other settlements around the United States, including that of Perry County, Missouri, were involved in forming what became known as the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Even though we are a little late, we would like to congratulate Frankenmuth on their 175th anniversary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s