Belated Bicentennial Birthday

Perhaps I should have written today’s post a year ago because that would have been the bicentennial birthday of Wilhelm Maisel. So, I am a year late. Wilhelm was born on November 2, 1820 in the Bavarian region of Germany. The only indication of a name of a parent shows up in Wilhelm’s marriage record. It states that his father was Eberhard Maisel. I was unable to find out when Wilhelm came to America, but it had to be before 1853. However, he is not to be found in the 1850 census for Perry County, Missouri. Wilhelm’s marriage took place on September 5, 1853, The marriage record for this event is included in the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. I have to display it in two images.

Maisel/Weber marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

I cannot read the German in the above document, but a translation that we have says that someone, likely Eberhard, was a mailman. The translation also says that the bride was a Catholic that intended to become a Lutheran.

There is also a Perry County civil record of this marriage.

Maisel/Weber marriage record – Perry County, MO

Let’s now take a look at the bride in this wedding. Her name was Eleonore Weber. With a name like Weber, one might think that she was part of one of the Weber families that have shown up on this blog in the past, but she is not. The fact that she was described as a Catholic also indicates she was a different Weber. Our German Family Tree does not give any indication concerning her family roots, but I located a family tree on Ancestry.com that follows Eleonore’s Weber family back to the early 1700’s. If that tree is accurate, then Eleonore’s parents were Amand and Maria Anna (Distlezweig) Weber. That Ancestry tree says Eleonore was born on February 22, 1832 in the Baden region of Germany, which corresponds with what the church marriage record says about Eleonore.

Allow me to spend some time talking about German words. First, let me confess that my source for definitions of German words is usually Google Translate. First of all, the word “weber” means weaver. Next, the interesting word “Distlezweig” means thistle branch. Finally, the word “Maisel” means cornel. I didn’t know what cornel meant. I thought it might have something to do with maize, which is another term used for corn, but that does not seem to be the case. Apparently, cornel is a word describing a plant in the dogwood family. I find it interesting that Eleonore has words such as thistle, dogwood, and weaver associated with her.

According to our German Family Tree, Wilhelm and Eleonore had 8 children. Some of those children can only be documented in census records. The first child born to this family in 1854 was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, but she is the only child for which I could find a baptism record. Below is the baptism record for Catherine Maisel.

Catherine Maisel baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

The 1860 census shows this family living in the Cinque Hommes Township of Perry County. There were 4 children in the household, all girls. Wilhelm was a farmer.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

In 1864, Wilhelm was a member of the 64th Enrolled Missouri Militia, serving under Captain Guth. Below is an image of his military record.

Wilhelm Maisel – Civil War military record

The Maisel household next shows up in the 1870 census. The family had gotten larger and now included two sons.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

That census would be the last one in which we find Eleonore. She died in 1872 at the age of 40, leaving Wilhelm as a widower with all those children. Eleonore’s death record can be found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. It says she had 5 daughters and 2 sons at the time of her death, meaning one of the children in the above census had died. Also, another daughter, the youngest named Sophia, died later during that same year.

Eleonore Maisel death record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Wilhelm is still found in the 1880 census in which we find him living in Perryville by himself and working as a teamster.

I find the note in the margin for the above census to be quite interesting. It says that Wilhelm lived in the “Suburbs of the Town of Perryville”.

Wilhelm Maisel died in 1894 at the age of 73. This is the only documentation I could find for the birthday of Wilhelm. If you go back 73 years, 3 months, and 11 days before his date of death, February 13, 1894, you arrive at a birthday of November 2, 1820.

Wilhelm Maisel death record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Since both of the death records for this pair are found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville, you might expect to find their gravestones in that congregation’s cemetery. However, Findagrave.com does not include them. That does not mean that they are not buried there.

Two of the Maisel girls married Boxdorfer’s. However, probably the most notable story to come out of this Maisel family is the set of quadruplets that were Wilhelm and Eleonore’s grandchildren. Both Wilhelm and Eleonore were already dead when those quadruplets were born. The story of those quadruplets was told in the post, The Maisel Quads.


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