Lorenz and Ida – The Schweizer’s

The surname, Schweizer, pokes its head into East Perry County a few times over the years, but eventually it disappears from this area. One of the Schweizer’s has a birthday today, and I will attempt to tell his story in this post. His name was Lorenz Schweizer, who was born on February 27, 1872 in Germany. His parents, George and Elizabeth (Distler) Schweizer, decided to bring their very young son to America later that same year. They made the voyage across the Atlantic aboard the Thuringia, which landed in New York in June of that year. We find this Schweizer trio on the passenger list shown below.

Schweizer family – Thuringia passenger list – 1872

When George and Elizabeth had two more children in America, we find their baptism records in the books of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is the baptism record for Lorenz’s younger brother, Heinrich Johann, who was born in 1873.

Heinrich Johann Schweizer baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The Schweizer family can be found in the 1876 Missouri state census for Brazeau Township. Lorenz’s father died earlier during 1876, so he does not appear in this entry. Also, Heinrich Johann, is not on the list, so it is assumed that he must have died also. That leaves just Lorenz and his younger sister, Anna.

1876 Missouri state census – Brazeau Township, MO

Lorenz’s mother married again in 1879. Her second husband was Robert Moeckel. The Perry County marriage record is displayed below. The pastor, Rev. Janzow, was the pastor at Concordia, Frohna.

Moeckel/Schweizer marriage record – Perry County, MO

This family can be found across the Mississippi River in Jackson County, Illinois when the 1880 census was taken. They were living in the Fountain Bluff Township where Robert Moeckel was a farmer.

1880 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Lorenz was confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois in 1886. Below is an image of his confirmation record. As confirmation records go, this one is quite detailed. It verifies Lorenz’s birth date.

Lorenz Schweizer confirmation record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Somehow, Lorenz found his bride across the river in Perry County. Her name was Ida Anna Juliane Boehme. Ida was born on December 15, 1871, the daughter of Ludwig and Sarah (Hartung) Boehme. We have this photo of Ida’s parents.

Ida’s baptism record is included in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but because the Boehme’s lived in Wittenberg, her baptism may have taken place there. Here is an image of that baptism record.

Ida Boehme baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Ida is found in the 1880 census at the age of 8. Her father was a farmer. This census entry shows that Ida was the child born into this family right before they had two consecutive sets of twins. The story of those twins was told in the post, Twin Twins.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Lorenz Schweizer married Ida Boehme on February 4, 1894. Their church record, shown below, is included in the books of Trinity, Altenburg.

Schweizer/Boehme marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We can also view this couple’s marriage license.

Schweizer/Boehme marriage license

The German Family Tree shows 4 children born to this pair. Three boys were followed by their only girl. We find the Schweizer household in the 1900 census for the Fountain Bluff Township with the three boys. Lorenz was a dealer in general merchandise.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The Schweizer’s were still living in the same place in the 1910 census. Lorenz is called a salesman in a general store. This entry shows a hired hand by the name of Ernest Seibel and an adopted daughter named Maria Grubmeyer.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

George Schweizer, their oldest son, ended up back in the Altenburg area in the 1910’s and helped operate a new electric company there. He also married Martha Koestering in 1919, the granddaughter of Rev. J.F. Koestering and daughter of Fred Koestering, who operated the Koestering Store in Altenburg. George would also move away from Altenburg at a later time.

Before the 1920 census, the Lorenz Schweizer family moved to Chester, Illinois where Lorenz worked in a retail lumber business.

1920 census – Chester, IL

Next, we find this family in the 1930 census. They had an empty nest with Lorenz still working in the lumber business.

1930 census – Chester, IL

Finally, we find Lorenz and Ida in the 1940 census, still living in Chester. Ida’s sister, Martha Bellmann, whose husband had died, was living in this household. This time, Lorenz is called the proprietor of a lumber company.

1940 census – Chester, IL

Ida Schweizer died in 1954 at the age of 83. Lorenz died in 1959 at the age of 87. There is a Schweizer family burial plot in the St. John Lutheran Cemetery in Chester, Illinois. There is a Schweizer marker with individual gravestones near it.

The Schweizer name appeared in East Perry County and moved across the river. A member of the next generation appeared again later, only to leave once again. As far as I know, there are no Schweizer’s around here now. However, when Schweizer men married a Boehme and a Koestering, they entered some notable families from this area.


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