The main surname for today’s post goes through some spelling changes during one man’s lifetime. We first see it using the German spelling with an umlaut. The name was Schϋtz. We later see documents that spell this name in the standard way that a German umlaut spelling was “Americanized”. It was almost always changed by removing the umlaut and placing in “e” after the vowel. In this case, Schϋtz became Schuetz. Even later, we see this surname changed to Scheetz. I will use the last spelling. It is the spelling that shows up on the gravestone for today’s main characters.
Johann Heinrich Scheetz was born on May 19, 1861, making today his 160th birthday. He was the son of Conrad and Anna Barbara (Wiesel) Scheetz. Let me address another spelling issue. Anna Barbara’s maiden name is given as Maisel in our German Family Tree. Her name is spelled that way in the Friedenberg Remembrances book we have in our research library. Yet, in the marriage record shown below, the bride’s surname looks like Wiesel. The letter that looks like an “f” is a version of an “s” in German penmanship.
Henry Scheetz was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. We cannot view the original record for that baptism because that congregation’s books were burned up in a fire. We find Henry in the 1870 census at the age of 9 living in the Cinque Hommes Township of Perry County.
That census would be the only one in which we find Henry as a single man. He would get married to a girl named Theresa Unseld. Theresa was born on September 6, 1861, the daughter of William and Eva Katharine (Neiswert) Unseld. I am not sure where Theresa was baptized. The first church record I found for her was a confirmation record from the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. She was confirmed in 1875.
I was unable to find an 1870 census record for the Unseld family. Then, on May 18, 1880, Henry Scheetz married Theresa Unseld at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. These two were married one day before Henry’s 19th birthday. We can take a look at the church record for that wedding. Theresa’s surname was spelled Unselt in this document.
This marriage record gives another tidbit of information about Henry Scheetz. It says he was born near Dog Trot. That location is sometimes called Eureka and is found at the intersection of Highways U and D. The map below shows the relation between Dog Trot (Eureka) and the towns of Friedenberg, Farrar, and Longtown.
We can also view the civil marriage record for the Scheetz/Unseld wedding.
There are a dozen children listed for Henry and Theresa in our German Family Tree. If you look at the available baptism records for these 12, you will find them being baptized at several different churches, and some of them are not recorded anywhere as being baptized. Between 1884 and 1890, there were several children baptized at Cross Congregation outside Longtown. I will just display the first one that was baptized in 1884.
There is a record from Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest that says a child was born in the 1890’s in Cape Girardeau County, so this Scheetz family may have spent some time living in that county. Then in 1900, there is one baptism that is included in the books of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.
The last two children born to Henry and Theresa were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest. The baptism records we have for that congregation are listed alphabetically, so we can see both of them in this image.
We find Henry and Theresa Scheetz in their first census as a couple in the same year that they were married, 1880. They were living with Henry’s father in the Salem Township.
This couple may have lived in Cape Girardeau County in between 1890 and 1900. In 1900, we find the Scheetz family living in the Bois Brule Township of Perry County. There were 6 children listed in this entry.
Next, we find the Scheetz household in the 1910 census. This census entry says that Theresa was born in Illinois. Since we do not find her baptism record in any local church, this is a possiblity.
The last census in which we find Henry and Theresa was the one taken in 1920. One of their daughters, Emma, had married a Klobe, and he apparently had died before this census. Emma and her daughter were living with her parents.
Henry Scheetz died in 1921 at the age of 60. We can look at his death certificate.
Theresa Scheetz died in 1928 at the age of 66. This is the document where we find her mother’s maiden name, Neiswert. This document says Theresa was born in Perry County, Missouri, not Illinois.
Henry and Theresa Scheetz are buried together in the Home Cemetery in Perryville, Missouri. You can definitely see that their surname is spelled as Scheetz on this stone.
The baby born in Dog Trot spent most of his life living in the vicinity of his birthplace, although he and his wife moved around from one church to another as they were established and closed down. It makes for quite an interesting listing of children and their baptisms in our German Family Tree.