I found a story today that I am going to enjoy telling. It’s not one of my typical tales. The story only has one small connection to this area, but what I find interesting is what takes place before that connection and what takes place after. I found the story of Elise Eberhardt led me to an better understanding about other families in this area and a better understanding about early relationships between some other early Lutheran churches in this part of America. So, here we go.

Marie Elise Eberhardt would be celebrating a special birthday today. She was born 150 years ago on September 1, 1870. Elise was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Bendel) Eberhardt. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Here is her baptism record, along with another record shown beneath it in the church’s records.

Elise Eberhardt baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Two weeks after Elise was baptized, there was another baptism for a child who also had a mother with the maiden name of Bendel. That child was Joseph Wunderlich. Elise Eberhardt and Joseph Wunderlich would have been cousins, with their mothers being Bendel sisters. This sent me off on a search to find out about this Bendel family. In the process, I did find a connection between this family and the one I wrote about in the post, Bendel the Burier.

Elise’s mother, Elizabeth Bendel, was the daughter of John and Barbara (Becker) Bendel. We have some Bendel’s in our German Family Tree, but several of them are not tied to one another, and as I have discovered, they should be. Also, when looking at some Bendel family trees on Ancestry, I really didn’t find one that tied all the Bendel children together. I think I now have a little better understanding of that family by putting together information from a variety of sources.

The first evidence that I was able to find is located in the church books of Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. I found a Friedrich Bendel being born and baptized at that congregation in 1843. Two other children were born in 1846 and 1852 that were baptized there. In addition to these children, I also ran across some evidence that there was a previous Bendel daughter, Maria Josephine Bendel who was born in 1839, and was said to have been born at sea when the Bendel family was traveling to America. Even though they came to America in 1839, they were not part of the Gesellschaft that also arrived in St. Louis at that time.

As near as I can tell, John and Barbara Bendel moved their family to Madison County, Illinois around 1855. A son was said to be born in Illinois on future censuses during that year. It was in 1857 that Josephine Bendel married Johann Gottlieb Wunderlich in Madison County, Illinois. It is a mystery to me how these two met. Here is an Illinois record of that wedding.

Wunderlich/Bendel – Illinois marriage record

The Wunderlich couple could be found living in Shawnee Township in the 1860 census.

1860 census – Shawnee Township, MO

We find the John Bendel family in the 1860 census for Collinsville, Illinois. You can see the mother of today’s birthday girl, Elizabeth Bendel in this census at the age of 18.

1860 census – Collinsville, IL

On June 8, 1864, Elizabeth Bendel married John Eberhardt in Madison County, Illinois. Here is an Illinois record for that wedding.

Eberhardt/Bendel – Illinois marriage record

In an 1868 Missouri state census we find John and Barbara Bendel living in Cape Girardeau County.

1868 Missouri state census – Cape Girardeau County, MO

We find the Friedrich Bendel family living in Shawnee Township at this time also. He was married in Perry County in 1870 and began having children being baptized at Uniontown and New Wells after that. We also find John and Elizabeth Eberhardt had children being baptized at Immanuel, New Wells beginning in 1866. So, several members of the Bendel family could be found living in the Shawnee Township during the late 1850’s and throughout the 1860’s.

John and Elizbeth Eberhardt can be found in the 1870 census for Shawnee Township.

1870 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Now, we get to the time when Elise Eberhardt was born. After Elise was born, the Eberhardt’s moved back to Illinois and back to the Collinsville area. The 1880 census shows the Eberhardt’s living in Collinsville when Elise was 9 years old.

1880 census – Collinsville, IL

On September 4, 1898, Elise Eberhardt married Friedrich William Langewisch in Madison County. Here is an Illinois marriage record for that wedding.

Langewisch/Eberhardt – Illinois marriage record

We find this Langewisch couple in the 1900 census for Collinsville. F.W. Langewisch was a farmer.

1900 census – Collinsville, IL

The Langwisch couple had their 3 children during the first decade of the 1900’s. We see them in the 1910 census.

1910 census – Collinsville, IL

The Lungwisch family can be found in 3 more census records. First, here is the one from 1920. You might notice that Elise is always shown as being born in Missouri.

1920 census – Pin Oak Township, IL

Next, we find them in the 1930 census.

1930 census – Collinsville, IL

Finally, we see them in the 1940 census.

1940 census – Collinsville, IL

William Lungwisch died in 1950 at the age of 79; Elise Lungwisch died in 1954 at the age of 84. These two are buried together in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Troy, Illinois, which is located quite near Collinsville.

Wilhelm and Elise Langewisch gravestone – St. Paul’s, Troy, IL

I found this story which goes from St. Louis to Collinsville to New Wells and back to Collinsville to be quite interesting. In addition to finding out more about the Bendel family, it once again shows a fairly close relationship between some early Lutheran churches in the Missouri/Illinois area. In addition to the regular churches that are discussed on this blog that exist in this area as well as Old Trinity in St. Louis, there are some churches in Madison County, Illinois that had early beginnings. I know I have written several posts that show connections between all of these congregations.

The churches in Madison County began as a pastor by the name of Rev. Friedrich Lochner spent some time in that area. Rev. Lochner’s first wife was Liddy Buenger, who was part of Christiane Buenger’s family. Liddy was living in that Madison County area when she died rather early on and whose story was included in the post titled, Stories in a¬†Painting.

Now, after answering a lot of questions about this Bendel family today, I wonder if Barbara (Becker) Bendel was related to some Becker’s who were part of the New York Group. But that may be a story for another day.

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