Metzner Maze

Johanne Caroline Christiana Metzner was not born on this day, but her birthday is pretty close. She was born on May 6, 1837 in Germany. Her parents were Johann Michael and Christiane Auguste Henriette (Aloe) Metzner. According to later census records, the Metzner family came to America in 1844. The first possible document in which I found a Caroline Metzner was this 1850 census record from St. Louis, Missouri. There is a Caroline Metzner listed as a 12 year-old servant in a Metz household. Wilhelm Metz was an organ builder and there were several young men in this list who were called joiners. One of those joiners listed right above the name of Caroline Metzner was Carl Metzner. Caroline did have an older brother who is called a carpenter in a record found in our German Family Tree. Carl and Caroline are also about the right ages in this census.

1850 census – St. Louis, MO

Just a side note: I found this photo of a Metz Organ which is said to have been built by William Metz in 1845 in St. Louis.

Caroline got married in 1857, so let’s take a look at the life of her first husband. His name was August Wilhelm Poppitz who was born on June 26, 1821. That makes him about 16 years older than Caroline. August was one of the original immigrants who arrived in Perry County in 1839. He came with his family aboard the Copernicus. His family is shown on the passenger list below. He is called William on this document and was 17 years old when he made that voyage.

Poppitz family – Copernicus passenger list 1839

In 1843, August married his first wife, Justine Schmidt. I am once again away from Altenburg for a few days, so I cannot display church records, but I can display the civil record for this marriage from Perry County.

Poppitz/Schmidt marriage record – Perry County, MO

There were 4 children born to this couple, 3 of which lived to adulthood. Justine died in 1852, leaving August as a widower. He would marry again later in 1852. His second wife was Johanna Carolina Kuehn. Here is the civil record for that marriage.

Poppitz/Kuehn marriage record – Perry County, MO

There were 3 children born to this couple, but only one lived to adulthood. Johanna died in 1856, leaving August once again as a widower. That leads us up to his marriage to Caroline Metzner, his 3rd wife. That marriage took place on February 19, 1857. This marriage took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can also view a civil marriage record for this event.

Poppitz/Metzner marriage record – Perry County, MO

There was one child born to this couple, a boy named Carl Ferdinand Poppitz. However, this marriage did not last long. August Poppitz died in 1858, leaving Caroline as a widow. She is found in the 1860 census with two children from August’s previous marriages and one child of her own. Caroline is called a seamstress.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Caroline would marry again in 1865. Her second husband would be Wilhelm Frederick Bultemann. We don’t know Wilhelm’s exact birthday, but he must have been born about 1843 in Missouri. He is found in the 1850 census living in the household of Johann Schmidt at the age of 6. An older sister, Mina, is also living in this household. Interestingly, Johann Schmidt was Justine (Schmidt) Poppitz’s brother.

1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Wilhelm in the 1860 census living in the G. Wagner household, and working as an apprentice blacksmith.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We finally get to the event that took place on this date. Wilhelm Bultemann married Caroline (Metzner) Poppitz on May 4, 1865. Starting in 1864, Rev. J.F. Koestering became the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, so we enter the “Koestering Hole”. For a while we do not see marriage or death records for that congregation. Our German Family Tree says there is a Perry County record for this marriage, but I could not locate it on Ancestry.com.

When we look at the 1870 census, we find that Wilhelm is not there. He must have died before that census, but not before he fathered one child, a daughter named Emilie Bultemann. Here is the 1870 census for the Bultemann’s. It looks like Ferdinand would be Ferdinand Bultemann, but he is Ferdinand Poppitz.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Caroline in the 1880 census. This time, 22 year-old Ferdinand Poppitz is listed as the head of the family. He was a farmer.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It would be 20 years later before we see Caroline in another census. The 1900 census shows her living with her daughter, Emilie, who had married Wilhelm Klemp. This household is found in the Union Township. This entry is very difficult to read, so I enlarged it to make it easier.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Caroline Bultemann died in 1905 at the age of 68. There is a death record for her in the books of Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, Missouri. It is likely that Caroline was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown, but Findagrave does not have an entry for her. She died a little too early for her to have a Missouri death certificate, which would have told us where she was buried.

Caroline Metzner was married twice. Neither one of these marriages lasted very long because her husbands died not long after they were married. In the case of her marriage to August Poppitz, Caroline was his 3rd wife. This story ends up including several surnames other than Metzner…Poppitz, Schmidt, Kuehn, and Bultemann. Even though Caroline only gave birth to two children, I counted 13 grandchildren for her in our German Family Tree.


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