Moeckel and His Mathilde

A wedding took place on this day 140 years ago at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. The story of that couple will be told today. It is yet another tale about a family that begins in Perry County, Missouri, but ends up across the Mississippi River in Jackson County, Illinois. It is a story that also introduces us to a new name that has not shown up on this blog before.

I will begin by looking at the groom. His name was Charles August Erdman Moeckel, who was born on January 29, 1856. His parents were Gottfried and Sophia (Militzer) Moeckel. Charles was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. An image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books is displayed below. His was the first baptism for the year 1856.

Charles Moeckel baptism record

Charles is found in the 1860 census at the age of 3. His father was a farmer.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We next find Charles in the 1870 census living in the same location.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It was a little more difficult to find Charles in the 1880 census. It turns out that his family was listed on the Union Township pages that went missing until recent years. I wonder how long it will be before Ancestry.com includes those pages on their site. I want to also point out that just because the Moeckel’s are living in a different township does not mean that they moved to a different farm. This is the first census after the Union Township was established. That new township included much land that was once part of the Brazeau Township. In 1880, Charles was 24 years old and still single. He is simply called a laborer.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

I will now turn to Charles’s bride, who happens to have a surname I have never seen before. Her name was Adelheide Mathilde Seberosky who was born on July 29, 1862. She is one of those rare individuals for whom I was unable to determine the names of her parents. A later church death record states that she was born in Dissen, which later was named Friedheim. I looked in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim, which have not yet been added to our German Family Tree, to see if I could find Mathilde’s baptism record. I was not successful.

The search for Mathilde in census records took me on quite the journey. After much frustration, I finally looked in the 1876 Missouri state census for Cape Girardeau County and found her there. That entry is shown below. She must have been around 14 at the time, and I figured she might have been living in the Englemann household which was listed just above her name.

1876 Missouri state census – Cape Girardeau, MO

I looked for the Engelmann family in the 1870 census. I found the entry shown below. These census entries lead me to conclude that Mathilde lost her parents at a very young age.

1870 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Mathilde is the 8 year-old toward the bottom of the list. Ancestry.com transcribes her name as Methilda Rawwasky. It’s no wonder that I was not able to find her. I never did succeed at finding Mathilde in the 1880 census, and, yes, I did check the same Union Township lost pages without finding her.

Charles Moeckel married Mathilde Seberosky on April 21, 1881 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can view this couple’s church record for the wedding. This entry says Mathilde was from Frohna.

Moeckel/Seberosky marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

A civil record for this marriage can also be viewed.

Moeckel/Seberosky marriage record – Perry County, MO

The first two of 5 children, who were born in 1883 and 1885, were baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. A record from Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois says that Charles became a voting member at that congregation in 1889. This couple’s last 3 children were baptized at that congregation. We find Charles and Mathilde and all 5 of their children in the 1900 census for the Fountain Bluff Township.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

That would be the last census in which we find Mathilde. She died in 1902 at the age of 39. Her death record from the church records is the one that says she was born in Dissen.

Mathilde Moeckel death record – Christ, Jacob, IL

The oldest child in this family, Frederick Moeckel, got married fairly early in 1910, so when the census came out for that year, we find the widower, Charles, with 4 children in his household.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, MO

Next, we find Charles in the 1920 census living with his son, Ernst, who had married Louise Knoll. Charles was still called a farmer.

1920 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

On August 4, 1921, when Charles was 65 years old, he married again. His second wife was the widow, Louise Farnkopf. That surname is another new one for me. The record for this wedding is found in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob.

Moeckel/Farnkopf marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

I was unable to find Charles and Louise in the 1930 census. When the 1940 census was taken, Charles was living with one of his nephews. Louise must have died before this census was taken because Charles is once again listed as a widower. I have no idea when she died nor where she is buried.

1940 census – Fountain Bluff Township, MO

Charles Moeckel died in 1943 at the age of 87. Both Charles and Mathilde Moeckel are buried in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob, Illinois.

There are 15 gravesites in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery that contain the surname, Moeckel. Charles was not the only Moeckel who originated in Perry County that moved across the river to the Jacob area. However, he is the only one who married a Seberowsky.


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