Gerard’s Great Grandparents

I mention Gerard Fiehler quite often in my blog posts. He is such an important asset for our museum and assists me so much when I am researching for these posts. Today, you will read the story of one set of his great grandparents. We might describe them as the Schilling great grandparents. Also, from my perspective, I would call this couple my Aunt Clara Schilling’s in-laws. However, I will not begin with a Schilling. I start with a Kasten, who happens to be today’s birthday girl.

Anna Maria Kasten was born on February 17, 1870, making today her 151st birthday. Anna was the daughter of Carl and Juliana (Lehner) Kasten. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. We can view her baptism record from that congregation’s records below.

Anna Kasten baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Anna was born early enough in 1870 to be included in the census that was taken during that year. We find the Kasten family living in the Apple Creek Township of northern Cape Girardeau County. The entry says she was 4 months old. Her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

When the 1880 census was taken, we find the Kasten family living in the Shawnee Township. Anna was 10 years old.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Anna would get married in August of 1900, so she was likely to show up in the 1900 census as still being single. However, I was unable to find her in that year’s enumeration. I do know she was not still living with her mother, who was still found living in the Shawnee Township in that census. Anna’s father had died in 1899. So, we will now turn our attention to Anna’s future husband.

Adolph Ferdinand Schilling was born on September 22, 1871, the son of Friedrich and Theresia (Schuessler) Schilling. His mother, Theresia, was an older sister of the main character in yesterday’s story, Henry Schuessler. Ferdinand was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below, you will see an image of his baptism record from Trinity’s books.

Ferdinand Schilling baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Ferdinand lost his father, who died in 1873, when Ferdinand was just 2 years old. Ferdinand is found in his first census in 1880 where he is listed as being 8 years old.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I did manage to find Ferdinand Schilling in the 1900 census while he was still single. His mother, Theresia, had died early in 1900, so she would not be found in this census. Ferdinand is found as the head of the household which just included a 15 year-old farm laborer by the name of Paul Mueller.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

If you flip to the next page of the census, you will find the family of Gotthilf Schilling. Gotthilf was Ferdinand’s older brother. It is somewhat likely that these two brothers were farming the same land or nearby land.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

On August 19, 1900, Ferdinand Schilling married Anna Maria Kasten at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this wedding says Anna was from Pocahontas. When she was confirmed, the record for that event is found in the books of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. Below is an image of the church marriage record from Trinity’s books.

Schilling/Kasten marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We can also view the marriage license for this couple. The license says Anna was from Perry County which is contrary to the church record.

Schilling/Kasten marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists 3 children born to this Schilling couple. The last child, born in 1904, died after only 6 days. The first child, a boy named Rudolph, was born in 1901. The photo shown below must have been taken around that time because it is reported to be Ferdinand and Anna and the baby, Rudolph, standing in front of their original home.

The Schilling family can be seen in the 1910 census with two children, Rudolph and his younger sister, Amanda.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When the plat maps were produced for Perry County in 1915, we see parcels of land farmed by two Schilling brothers, Gotthilf and Ferdinand. Ferdinand’s land is pointed out by a blue arrow. This land could be described as being not far from The Ridge and not far from Seelitz.

Schilling land map – 1915

Next, we can see the Schilling household in the 1920 census. Their two children were teenagers.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Both of the Schilling children got married in the 1920’s, so when the 1930 census was taken, we find the following entry. We see that Ferdinand and Anna were living with their son, Rudolph, and his family. Rudolph had married Clara Loebs in 1924 and by this time, that couple had two children, Myrtle and Lillian. Lillian was Gerard’s mother, making Ferdinand and Anna his great grandparents.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I am going to display a photo that I found on It is identified as being Ferdinand, but for some reason, the person who published this photo calls him Adolph George Schilling, which casts some doubt as to whether this is really Ferdinand.

The 1930 census would be the last one in which we find Ferdinand. He died in 1938 at the age of 66. We can take a look at his death certificate.

Adolph F. Schilling death certificate

Anna can still be found in the 1940 census, in which we find her at the age of 70 still living with the family of Rudolph Schilling. She had several other grandchildren by that time.

1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Anna Schilling died in 1942 at the age of 72. Her death certificate can be viewed below.

Anna Schilling death certificate

Ferdinand and Anna are each buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Since my Aunt Clara Loebs married Rudolph Schilling, the surname, Schilling, has always been a special one to me. Ferdinand and Anna are also a very special part of those I know who can call them either grandparents or grandparents. I also know that nowadays, there are some little ones who can also call them great great great Grandma and Grandpa.

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