Conrad and Katie – Dance Partners

I have mentioned in a few previous posts that have included individuals with the surname, Tanz, that their name means “dance” in German. Thus, the title of today’s post. This story will enable me to introduce you to a surname that has not shown up on this blog before. That name is Villhardt…sometimes spelled Villhard.

I will begin with today’s birthday boy, Arthur Gotthilf Conrad Tanz, who was born on May 31, 1883. His parents were Herman and Margaretha (Blanken) Tanz. Conrad was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. I am still away from Altenburg, so I cannot display church records. We cannot view a census that includes Conrad until the one taken in 1900. The Tanz family lived in Union Township, and Conrad, at age 17, worked as a laborer on his father’s farm.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Conrad was still single 10 years later when the 1910 census was taken. This entry says Conrad was a laborer at odd jobs.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to the Villhardt family. I am going to go back to the arrival of the first Villhardt to this area. Peter Villhardt arrived in America in 1854 aboard the ship, Mortimer Livingston. On the passenger list below, you see Peter’s name right below the names of Margaret and Adam Neff.

Villhardt and Neff names – Mortimer Livingstone passenger list 1854

Although I did not find documentation, Peter must have married Margaret not long after arriving in this country. I did manage to find a baptism record from Germany for the son, Adam Neff. This record uses the term, unehelich, which means “illegitimate”. No father is listed on this record. Adam would later take the surname, Villhardt, and become the father of one of today’s characters.

Adam Neff baptism record – Erbach, Germany

Early during this family’s time in America, they were living in the St. Clair Township in Illinois. The 1860 census shows that Peter and Margaret had another child that was born in Illinois.

1860 census – St. Clair Township, IL

I found pictures of Peter and Margaret Villhardt.

Peter and Margaret Elizabeth Villhardt

In 1880, Adam Villhardt is shown as still single and living in St. Clair County, Illinois. The Villhardt family had gotten rather large.

1880 census – St. Clair County, IL

Later, in November of that census year, Adam Villhardt married Elizabeth Sittner at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim, Missouri. They were married on November 25, 1880. Their civil marriage record shows them being married by Rev. O.F. Voigt, who was the pastor for the Mecker/Bangert marriage that was discussed two days ago. There are several “Friedheim names” included in a few other marriages that are included in this document…another Bangert, along with Wilke and Eisenberg. The Dietrich Blank shown marrying an Eisenberg is likely related to Conrad Tanz’s mother, Margaretha Blanken.

Villhardt/Sittner marriage record – Cape Girardeau County, MO

I was unable to find the Adam Villhardt family in the 1900 census, but I can tell you that this couple’s first child was likely baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, and all the rest of their children were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. Their 4th child, Katharina Rosina Villhardt, would later become the wife of Conrad Tanz. She was almost always called Katie on documents. She was born on March 11, 1889 in the Cinque Hommes Township of Perry County. We can take a look at a Perry County birth record for her (in two images).

Katharina Villhardt birth record – Perry County, MO

The Adam Villhardt family had a photo taken that includes a young Katie. She is standing in the back on the left wearing a patterned dress.

Adam Villhardt family

Katie can be seen in the 1910 census for the Cinque Hommes Township, listed at the age of 20.

1910 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Conrad Tanz married Katie Villhardt on April 13, 1914 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim. I wish I was able to look in our Friedheim books to find the church record for this wedding. We can view this couple’s Missouri marriage license. It says the bride and groom were from Perry County, but the marriage took place in Cape Girardeau County.

Tanz/Villhardt marriage license

The map below shows how close the Cinque Hommes Township is to the town of Friedheim.

Friedheim, Missouri map

After their marriage, the children of Conrad and Katie were baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. I suspect that Conrad was helping to farm his father’s land. Both Conrad and Herman’s family are listed on the same page of the 1920 census.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

The 1915 plat maps for Perry County show a parcel of land owned by Herman Tanz located on the road between Uniontown and Frohna.

Herman Tanz land map – 1915

Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to Conrad and Katie. The 1930 census shows all 4 of the children. This entry states that Conrad was a laborer at odd jobs.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

The last census which we can view for this family was the one taken in 1940. I did not display the occupation column, but it said Conrad was back to being a farmer.

1940 census – Union Township, MO

Conrad Tanz died in 1945 at the age of 62. His death certificate says he died of stomach cancer.

Conrad Tanz death certificate

Conrad is buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown, Missouri.

Conrad Tanz gravestone – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Katie lived until she was 91 years old. She died in 1980. She died too recently for us to view her death certificate. I suspect she was living in Perryville when she died because she is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

Katherine Tanz gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Conrad and Katie, the Tanz partners, may not be able to dance on earth right now, but their eternal future in heaven should enable them to celebrate with plenty of dancing.


One thought on “Conrad and Katie – Dance Partners

  1. Katie died in St. Louis County. She had a stroke, and was here for drs. and care. I believe she was visiting her sons family when it happened. Her permanent residence was still Perryville.

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