Anna’s Three Henry’s

Today’s story could be placed under the category called “What are the odds?” Back in 2020, I wrote a post titled, Pauline and Her Henry’s. That post described a woman who managed to marry two men by the name of Henry. I found another story that outdoes that one. Anna Soessemann married three men, and all three were named Henry. That is not even the most amazing part of the story. She not only married 3 Henry’s, but two of them were named Henry Roth. What are the odds?

Sophie Elise Henrietta Anna Soessemann was born on January 20, 1851 in Germany. She went by the name, Anna. According to an family history, her parents were Andreas Heinrich Christoph and Johanne Wilhelmine Elizabeth (Steinhoff) Soessemann. Her family immigrated to America in 1863 and apparently settled in the Southeast Missouri area. We find the Soessemann family in the church books of Eisleben Lutheran Church in Scott City, Missouri. We have a binder containing church records from that congregation in our research library.

Anna’s first husband would be George Heinrich Roth, who was born on December 26, 1848. His parents were David and Juliana (Boss) Roth. I located a photo of Henry’s parents.

Henry can be seen in the 1860 census at the age of 11. His father was a farmer living in Kelso, Missouri.

1860 census – Kelso, MO

Next, we find Henry in the 1870 census in which we find the Roth family living in Commerce, Missouri.

1870 census – Commerce, MO

On November 17, 1870, Anna Soessemann married George Heinrich Roth at Eisleben Lutheran Church. The records from that church show that this was actually a double Roth wedding. On the same day, Henry Roth’s sister, Catherina, married Julius Albrecht.

Roth/Soessemann marriage record – Eisleben Lutheran, Scott City, MO

We can also view a civil record for this Roth/Soessemann marriage.

Roth/Soessemann marriage record – Scott County, MO

This couple had two sons. One of them was even named Henry Roth. However, in 1874, Anna’s husband, Henry Roth died at the age of 25, leaving Anna a widow with 2 young boys. This Henry Roth would never appear with Anna in a census record together.

Next, we need to look at the early life of Anna’s second Henry Roth. Johann Heinrich Roth was born on June 22, 1846, making this a special birthday for him, his 175th. This Henry Roth is included in our German Family Tree. In fact, he’s the only character in today’s post that is found there. Henry was the son of Johann George and Margaretha (Burkhardt) Roth, who arrived in Perry County, Missouri as part of the New York Group in 1839. Henry was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Rev. Keyl was still in Frohna at that time and would have been the pastor who baptized Henry. His baptism record from Concordia is displayed below.

J. Henry Roth baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Henry Roth is found in the 1850 census for Brazeau Township at the age of 4.

1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Henry in the 1860 census.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In the 1870 census, Henry was living in the August Lueders household in Frohna. August’s wife was Henry’s sister, Mary.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I don’t know how this Henry Roth managed to meet Anna (Soessemann) Roth from Kelso, but on April 21, 1878, these two were married at Eisleben Lutheran Church. A transcribed record of this wedding is shown below. The witnesses were the brother and father of Anna’s first husband.

Roth/Roth marriage record – Eisleben Lutheran, Scott City, MO

We can also view a civil marriage record for this couple.

Roth/Roth marriage record – Scott County, MO

This couple had two children, both girls, and one of them was named Anna…another Anna Roth. We find this Roth household in the 1880 census living in Kelso. Anna Roth was born during the year of this census and does not appear yet as part of their family. The two sons in this household were from Anna’s first marriage.

1880 census – Kelso, MO

Anna’s second Henry Roth died in 1881 at the age of 35. Anna would get married a third time. She didn’t find a 3rd Henry Roth, but she did find another Henry. His name was Henry Mennecke, who was born on October 5, 1857, the son of Frederick and Dorety Mennecke. We find Henry at the age of 12 in the 1870 census for Kelso.

1870 census – Kelso, MO

Next, we find Henry in the 1880 census, only this time he is living in Commerce, Missouri.

1880 census – Commerce, MO

Henry Mennecke married Anna (Soessemann, Roth) Roth on November 6, 1884 at Eisleben Lutheran Church. The transcription of this church record is shown here. One of the witnesses was Julius Albrecht who was mentioned earlier as marrying the sister of Anna’s first Henry Roth.

Mennecke/Roth marriage record – Eisleben Lutheran, Scott City, MO

All 3 of Anna’s marriage took place at Eisleben Lutheran Church. That congregation apparently gave fancy marriage certificates to couples that were married there. I have photos of all 3 of Anna’s marriage certificates. I think you should be able to click to enlarge them.

Here is a photograph of Henry Mennecke.

Henry Mennecke

We find the Mennecke couple in several more census records. First, we find them in the 1900 census living in Kelso.

1900 census – Kelso, MO

Next, we find the Mennicke’s in the 1910 census.

1910 census – Kelso, MO

A photo of the Mennicke house was taken.

Mennecke house

A close up of the family in the above photo is shown below. It is a combination of Roth’s and Mennecke’s.

When the 1920 census was taken, we find the Mennecke’s living in St. Louis where Henry was an engineer at a chemical company. An engineer in those days usually referred to a person who ran the engines and machinery for a company.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

The last census in which we find Henry and Anna was the one taken in 1930. They were still in St. Louis. Right above their names, you see the couple made up of Matthew and Frieda Straub. Frieda was the daughter of Henry and Anna.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Anna Mennicke died in 1931 at the age of 80. Her death certificate says she was buried in the St. Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis, but I could not locate an entry for her on Findagrave.

Anna Mennicke death certificate

Apparently, after his wife’s death, Henry must have returned to Scott County where he died in 1935. His death certificate says he was 78 years old when he died.

Henry Mennecke death certificate

This death certificate also says that he was buried in St. Louis, but I could not find an entry on Findagrave for him either.

I find it truly amazing that any woman can find two husbands who had the same first and last name. And, as if that is not enough, she finds a third husband with the same first name. It is absolutely incredible.

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