The Heins-Mahnke-Wichern-Richter Maze

Today’s tale will include several marriages. The last one took place on February 13th, and that is the event that got me started. It is certainly not where the story begins. I will begin the story with the birth of Johann Heinrich Heins that took place in Lamstedt, Germany on July 18, 1839. He was the son of Lueder and Katherine (Gruenwald) Heins. I am able to display the baptism record from Lamstedt.

Johann Heins baptism record – Lamstedt, Germany

A transcription of this document can also be found on Ancestry.com.

Johann Heins baptism record transcription

I do not know exactly when John Heins arrived in America, but he was here by 1865 because there is a Perry County marriage record stating that he married Anna Mahnke on August 10, 1865. I cannot display a record of that marriage, but it is included in a list of Perry County marriages that we have in our research library.

Heins/Mahnke marriage record – Perry County, MO

Anna Mahnke was the daughter of Peter and Maria (Miesner) Mahnke. She was born in the Hannover region of Germany sometime around 1843. Her family arrived in America in 1857 aboard the ship, O Thyen. Anna is on this passenger list at the age of 14.

Peter Mahnke family – O Thyen passenger list – 1857

A child by the name of Johann Heinrich Heins was born to John and Anna in 1867. This child was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of that baptism record is shown below.

Johann Heinrich Heins baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We do not know exactly when John’s wife, Anna, died, but it must have been before 1876. A Missouri state census for that year shows John and his son living in the household of Claus Ehlers, and Anna is not to be found there.

1876 Missouri state census – Brazeau Township, MO

In the entry for Claus Ehlers for the 1880 census, we find Henry Heins listed as an adopted son at the age of 13. Henry would die of tuberculosis not long after this census in 1886.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

John Heins married another Anna in 1877. Her name was Anna Wichern. Anna was born on March 12, 1856 in Ostervesede, Germany, the daughter of Johann Friedrich and Engel (Volckmer) Wichern. That makes Anna about 17 years younger than John. Once again, I am not sure exactly sure when Anna arrived in America. The 1900 census says she came in 1876, and the 1910 census says 1874. It must not have been long before she was married to John Heins in 1877. These two were married on November 1, 1877. We cannot view a church record for this wedding because it happened during the “Koestering Hole” in the Trinity, Altenburg records. However we can view a Perry County civil marriage record.

Heins/Wichern – Perry County marriage record

The German Family Tree shows 4 children born to this couple, 3 of them girls. The only boy died before the age of 1. We find this family in the 1880 census.

Then John Heins died in 1890 at the age of 50, so he would not be found in the census for 1900. John’s death record is found in the Trinity, Altenburg books, so he is likely buried in their cemetery, but no record of his grave site is found on Findagrave.com.

That finally leads us to the marriage that took place on February 13, 1893. Anna’s second husband was Friedrich Adolph Richter. Let’s take a look at his previous life. Adolph was born on May 19, 1832 in Ostramondra, Germany. I am able to display his baptism record from the parish in that town in two images below. This record states that his parents were Johann Gottlieb and Marie Rosine Richter.

Friedrich Adolph Richter baptism record – Ostramondra, Germany

Before coming to America in 1865, Adolph had married, but we only have a first name, Christine. We find the Richter’s on a passenger list of the ship, Hermann, that arrived in the United States in January of 1865. The passenger list is shown below. There was a son named Alvin and a baby in this family. I don’t think the baby lived long after arrival.

Richter family – Hermann passenger list – 1865

The Richter family can be found in the 1870 census. Adolph was a farmer.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I was unable to find Adolph and Anna in the 1880 census. Then Adolph’s first wife, Christine, died in 1891 at the age of 62. That leads us up to the marriage of Adolph Richter and Anna (Wichern) Heins on February 13, 1893. That wedding took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can view the church record for that event. I would add at this point that Anna was about 24 years younger than Adolph.

Richter/Heins marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We also can take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Richter/Heins marriage license

Two children are listed in our German Family Tree for Adolph and Anna. Their first child died before the age of six. The second was born in 1897, when Adolph was 65 years old. The Richter household can be found in the 1900 census. Adolph was a carpenter.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last census in which we find Adolph Richter was the one taken in 1910. At the age of 77, Adolph is no longer shown as having an occupation, but Anna is listed as a laundress.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Adolph Richter died later in 1910 at the age of 78. That was the year that Missouri death certificates began to be utilized, so we find one for Adolph.

Friedrich Adolph Richter death certificate

Adolph is said to be buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg, but his gravestone is not shown on Findagrave. I gave brief thought to making a trip to the cemetery to attempt to find it, but it is 11 degrees and snowing. I decided it wasn’t worth looking.

Anna Richter can be found in census records all the way to 1940. Let’s take a look at the one for 1920. She was living with her daughter, another Anna, who had married Joseph Roth.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1930, we find Anna Richter living in a household by herself at the age of 74.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last census we can view was the one taken in 1940. Anna was once again living in the household of Joseph Roth who was living in Wittenberg.

1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

There is an Illinois death record that states that Anna Richter died in Collinsville, Illinois in 1944 at the age of 87.

Anna Richter – Illinois death record

Anna Richter is buried in the Holy Cross Lutheran Cemetery in Collinsville.

Anna Richter gravestone – Holy Cross, Collinsville, IL

I think one of the fascinating facts of this post is that from the time of John Heins’s birth in 1839 until the death of his 2nd wife, Anna (Wichern) Richter, in 1944, there is a span of 105 years. It is even a longer span of time if you look at the 1832 birth date of Adolph Richter. I hope you didn’t get lost in the maze. I almost did.


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