Mom and Son Celebrate Birthday

April 28th must have been a very special day in the Lowe’s family. Both the mother and her firstborn son shared this day as their birthday. These two were born exactly 23 years apart. I will attempt to tell their stories today. One story takes us to Arnsberg Lutheran Church and the other to Hanover Lutheran Church, two different congregations located in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

Before I move on, let me say a little about German pronunciation. The surname, Lowes, is sometimes shown as Loves in documents. Germans will pronounce their W’s as V’s, so others may hear a German saying this name as “Loves”. Perhaps even “loave-is”.

We will begin with the mom. Johanna Maria Wilhelmina Fornkahl was born on April 28, 1808 in the Hanover region of Germany. She would later marry Christian Lowes, probably sometime around 1830. That leads us to the birth of the son who shared her birthday. Christian Lowes, Jr. was born on April 28, 1831. Then, in 1851, the Lowes family made the voyage to America aboard the ship, Ernestine. The passenger list for this ship is one of the places where we see the surname spelled as Loves.

Lowes family – Ernestine passenger list 1851

This family settled in the Apple Creek Township of Cape Girardeau County. We find them in the 1860 census. Please note that Christian Lowes, Jr. is no longer a part of this household.

1860 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The property owned by Christian Lowes, Sr. is shown on this map made in 1901. By that time, it was in the hands of Peter Lowes, one of his other sons. You can see how close their farm was to the Arnsberg church (the black arrow).

Peter Lowes land map – 1901

I am also able to show a photograph of the Christian Lowes, Sr. home that is found in the Arnsberg Church binder that we have in our research library.

Here is a photo that includes Christian, Sr., Wilhelmina, and their youngest daugter, another Wilhelmina.

Before I move on to discuss the life of Christian, Jr., let me say that Christian, Sr. died in 1865 at the age of 63. He is buried in the Arnsberg Cemetery.

Christian Lowes, Sr. gravestone – Arnsberg, MO

According to a later obituary, Christian Lowes, Jr. got married in 1855. His wife was another Wilhelmina…Marie Wilhelmina Grebe, the daughter of Johann Heinrich and Louise (Phillips) Grebe. We find this couple in an 1868 Missouri state census for Cape Girardeau County. I find it interesting that a nearby household had the name, Phillips.

1868 Missouri state census – Cape Girardeau County, MO

Two years later, we find this family living in the Randol Township near the city of Cape Girardeau in the 1870 census.

1870 census – Randol Township, MO

Our German Family Tree contains 8 children of Christian, Jr. and Wilhelmina. However, none of them have baptism records from congregations for which we have church records. Next, we find the Lowes family in the 1880 census.

1880 census – Randol Township, MO

We cannot view the 1890 census, so the next census we can look at is the one taken in 1900. Before that census was taken, some other events took place. The year 1895 was not a good year for Christian, Jr. He lost both of the Wilhelmina’s in his life…his wife and his mother. In March, his wife died at the age of 58. An interesting story about the establishment of a new cemetery at Hanover Lutheran Church near Cape Girardeau involved this Lowes family. That story is told in a binder we have for the Hanover congregation.

Here is a photo of Wilhelmina’s (and also later Christian, Jr.’s) gravestone in the Hanover Lutheran Cemetery.

Chrsitian, Jr. and Wilhelmina Lowes gravestone – Hanover Lutheran Cemetery

Then, in December of 1895, Christian’s mother died at the age of 87. That Wilhelmina Lowes was buried in the Arnsberg Cemetery. There is no photo of her gravestone on Findagrave, even though the Arnsburg binder describes her gravestone as being in good shape.

Christian, Jr. married again in 1897. It would be the third marriage for his new wife, Matilda (Hilleman) Ruemiller Schuette. They were married on May 13, 1897. We can look at their marriage license.

Lowes/Schuette marriage license

We find this couple with an empty nest living in Cape Girardeau in the 1900 census. It says Christian was still a farmer at the age of 67.

1900 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

The 1910 census shows a very similar situation.

1910 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Christian Lowes, Jr. died in 1919 at the age of 88. His death certificate says he died of pneumonia.

Christian Lowes, Jr. death certificate contains a brief biography of Christian, Jr.

An obituary for him is also found on that site.

As said before, Christian was buried with his first wife in the Hanover Lutheran Cemetery.

I have a lot to learn about early churches like the one in Arnsberg and Hanover Lutheran Church. While researching this story, I discovered that some early baptisms of children in the Arnsberg area have records in the Hanover church. It seems there were some very early relationships between Hanover and Arnsberg. This Lowes family story shows another relationship between people at these two congregations.

In recent years, a rather extensive restoration project was done at the Arnsberg Cemetery. This note found in the Arnsberg binder shows that there was major involvement in that project by descendants of Christian Lowes, Sr.

For your information, another was post was written about Henry Lowes, one of Christian, Jr.’s brothers. It can be found by clicking on the link below.

Trip to the Lowes in Arnsberg

One thought on “Mom and Son Celebrate Birthday

  1. I have been communicating with Rose Mary Fornkahl online who claims to be living in Sarcoxie, MO is she from this family of Fornkahl? She is now 30 years old born in 1992 in Sarcoxie, MO


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