I’m afraid that today’s tale will not be a long one. I do not have any original church records to display, and not even many civil records. The main characters did not live very long lives…each dying in their 50’s. Yet the couple that will be highlighted today ends up with 11 pages of descendants in our German Family Tree. It is indeed a story worth telling. Plus, it has one of those facts that I find irresistible…a bicentennial birthday.
George Michael Hoehn was born on February 6, 1821, making today his 200th birthday. Because he would later become a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, we have an issue with looking at any church records for him and his family. That is because a fire destroyed this congregation’s books. An amazing project would later reconstruct as much information as possible about members of this congregation. The result of that project is a book titled Friedenberg Remembrances. I will be able to show some information that book includes regarding George Michael Hoehn and his wife, who was also from that congregation.
Michael Hoehn was born in the Alsace-Lorraine area of Europe near Strasbourg. That location can be found right on the border between France and Germany. It is a piece of land that has been fought over for a long time, and at the present time, Strasbourg is located in France. I am using the present-day more French spelling of this city’s name. In German, it would be spelled Straβburg (according to Wikipedia). The following information is found in the Friedenberg Remembrances book about Michael Hoehn.
I found this obituary for Michael Hoehn in the Friedenberg Remembrances book. It gives the only information about the immigration of the Hoehn’s that I could find.
The first record we find of him being present in Perry County was his marriage in 1841. Even the original record for that event cannot be viewed. Only a transcription of it can be found on Ancestry.com.
Let’s take a look at Michael’s bride, Anna Margaretha Bergmann. She was born on September 9, 1817, the daughter of Johann and Brigitta (Schwarz) Bergmann. This family is reported to be from Schirradorf in Bavaria. I was unable to find such a city on an internet map source. Here is the information on Anna Margaretha that is found in the Friedenberg Remembrances book.
On October 12, 1841, Michael Hoehn married Anna Margaretha Bergmann. Rev. C.F. Gruber began holding services in Friedenberg in 1840. Early on, those services were held in the home of George Bergmann, the brother of Anna Margaretha. So, it is somewhat likely that the Hoehn/Bergmann wedding took place there.
Our German Family Tree lists 8 children born to this Hoehn couple. We find the Hoehn family in the 1850 census living in the Cinque Hommes Township. By that time, we already see them having 5 children. Michael was a farmer.
Next, we find the Hoehn household in the 1860 census. Seven children are displayed on this census entry. In this record it says that Michael was born in France and Anna Margaretha was born in Bavaria.
Michael Hoehn served in the military during the Civil War. Here is an image of a document showing his Civil War service.
The last census in which we find either Michael or Anna Margaretha Hoehn is the one enumerated in 1870. Once again, we see Michael’s birthplace as France.
Anna Margaretha Hoehn died in 1873 at the age of 56. Michael Hoehn died in 1876 at the age of 55. These two are buried in the Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Friedenberg.
As I said earlier, the marriage of Michael and Anna Margaretha Hoehn led to page after page of descendants in our German Family Tree. And we wish Michael a very Happy Bicentennial Birthday today.