Wilhelm Traugott Schirmer was born on November 28, 1860, so today he would have been 160 years old. Wilhelm was the son of Conrad and Hermine (Petzoldt) Schirmer. His baptism record can be found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. I am unable to display any church records today.
Let me backtrack just a little. Conrad Schirmer can be found in the 1860 census living in the Petzoldt household. His wife, Hermine, is also listed in this household, but she appears to still be Hermine Petzoldt. However, this census was taken in July of that year, and Conrad had married Hermine the previous January. I would argue that Hermine was also pregnant with today’s birthday boy when that census was taken. Wilhelm was the first of 10 Schirmer children.
When the 1870 census was taken, we find the Schirmer’s still living in the Brazeau Township in Perry County. Wilhelm was 9 years old.
We find Wilhelm in one more census as a single man. In the 1880 census, Wilhelm was 19 years old.
Wilhelm’s wife was going to be Anna Maria Putz. She was the daughter of Joseph and Katharina (Pilz) Putz. That’s right. Her parents were a Putz/Pilz couple. That couple came to America together in 1858 and landed at Baltimore in December of that year before coming to Missouri. Here is the passenger list showing these two, along with Katherine’s 66 year-old mother.
Joseph Putz married Katherine Pilz on January 1, 1859 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Then, on September 21, a set of twins was born to this couple. Both were girls, and each of them carried the first name of Anna. They were Anna Maria and Anna Josepha Putz. Only Anna Maria survived. The Putz family can be found in the 1860 census living in the Shawnee Township in Cape Girardeau County. Maria was 1 year old. Her grandmother, Mary, and her aunt, Theresa, were also part of this household.
Maria’s mother died in 1866 when Maria was just 6 or 7 years old. Then, in 1869, her father remarried. His second wife was a widow. Her name was Josephine (Reisenbichler) Kain. We find this couple in the 1870 census, but for some reason, Maria, who would have been around 11 years old, was not listed in this household. I was unable to locate her anywhere else.
When the 1880 census was taken, Anna Maria shows up in this household again at the age of 21. Albert Kain was the son of Maria’s stepmother.
On February 13, 1887, Wilhelm Schirmer married Anna Maria Putz at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. We can take a look at this couple’s marriage license.
According to our German Family Tree, Wilhelm and Maria had 4 children, and all of them were boys. All four of them were born before the 1900 census. This family was living in the Shawnee Township. Wilhelm was a farmer.
Next, we find the Schirmer household in the 1910 census. At this point in his life, I am sure that Wilhelm was happy to have 3 boys to help him on the farm.
The 1920 census shows the Schirmer’s with just two sons left at home. We can also see Maria’s stepmother living nearby as a widow.
The last census in which we find Wilhelm and Maria was the one taken in 1930. By this time, these two had an empty nest.
Wilhelm Schirmer died in 1935 at the age of 74. His death certificate says he died at Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.
I find it interesting that the undertakers listed on his death certificate were Reisenbichler and Putz. His father-in-law was a Putz who had married a Reisenbichler.
Maria Schirmer died in 1938 at the age of 78. Her death certificate says she died in St. Louis as a result of cancer of the liver.
Both Wilhelm and Maria Schirmer were buried in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.
The Schirmer surname continues to be found in this area. All 4 of the boys from this Schirmer family got married and had Schirmer children. I know I have written a few other posts already on this blog about Schirmer’s and will likely do so again in the future.