Seelitz Sweethearts

You will read another one of those stories today about the parents of children who have been the subjects of previous posts on this blog. However, the story of the mother and father has yet to be told. Also, among the other names that I would call Seelitz names like Schlimpert, Kuehnert, and Degenhardt, you also find the Oehlert’s and the Poppitz’s. Today, we will take a look at a Poppitz/Oehlert couple. The groom in that pair is today’s birthday boy.

Ferdinand Carl Poppitz was born on December 2, 1857, the son of August and Caroline (Metzner) Poppitz. Today, Ferdinand would be 164 years old if he was still living. Ferdinand was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. His baptism record is pictured here.

Ferdinand Poppitz baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Ferdinand’s father was married 3 times, and Ferdinand was from wife #3. He was the first and last child born to that couple because Ferdinand’s father died in 1858, not even a year after his birth. In the 1860 census, Ferdinand is listed as being 2 years old, and his mother was a widow who worked as a seamstress.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Ferdinand in the 1870 census. His mother had married Fred Bultmann in 1865, but he died in 1869, so Caroline was once again a widow when this 1870 census was taken. It looks like Ferdinand is a Bultmann in this entry. He was 12 years old at the time.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ferdinand was still single when the 1880 census was taken. He was a 22 year-old farmer living with his mother and a half-sister, Amelia Bultmann.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we will look at Ferdinand’s Oehlert bride. Ernestine Wilhelmine Oehlert was born on Epiphany Day, January 6, 1860, the daughter of Johann Gottlieb and Wilhelmina (Krause) Oehlert. She was the 2nd of 13 children listed in our German Family Tree for this family. Ernestine was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

Ernestine Oehlert baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Ernestine was born early enough in 1860 to be included in that year’s census. She was 5 months old when the census was taken. Her father was a carpenter.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The Oehlert family was a bit larger when the next census was taken in 1870. Ernestine was 10 years old.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ernestine was still single when the 1880 census was taken.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ferdinand Poppitz married Ernestine Oehlert on May 14, 1882 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this wedding is shown below.

Poppitz/Oehlert marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

One interesting aspect to the time of this wedding is that Ernestine’s mother would later give birth to her last and 13th child in July of 1882. She must have been quite pregnant when Ernestine got married. Also, that child born in July was the only Oehlert child from that family to be baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

The German Family Tree lists 10 children born to Ferdinand and Ernestine, but not all of them lived to adulthood. It is not until 1900 that we can view a census for this couple, and by then their house was already rather full. Ferdinand was a farmer.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The 1910 census shows this Poppitz household. There were 7 children in their family at this time.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

A photograph was taken of the Ferdinand and Ernestine Poppitz family. I am guessing that this photo was taken not long before the above 1910 census.

Ferdinand and Ernestine Poppitz family

Another photo was taken of just Ferdinand and Ernestine. I am guessing this photo was taken at the same time as the one above.

Ferdinand and Ernestine Poppitz

We find the Ferd. Poppitz farm on the plat maps produced in 1915. It is so hard to read the name on the map that does not identify this parcel as Poppitz land. I just knew where to look.

Ferd. Poppitz land map – 1915

The last census in which we find Ferdinand was the one taken in 1920. Just 3 sons were left in their household at that time.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ferdinand almost made it to the 1930 census. He died in February of that year. We can take a look at his death certificate. It says he was 72 years old when he died of throat cancer.

Ferdinand Poppitz death certificate

Ernestine is shown as a widow in the 1930 census. There was a Ferdinand Poppitz living with her, but that was her son. Ernestine, at the age of 70, was called a farmer.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ernestine Poppitz died in 1938 at the age of 78. Her death certificate says she died of pneumonia.

Ernestine Poppitz death certificate

Ferdinand and Ernestine Poppitz were each buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

The creator of our German Family Tree, Lynn Degenhardt, along with all his siblings, would call this Poppitz/Oehlert their great grandparents. His grandfather married one of the Poppitz daughters from today’s family. A photo was taken a while back of the Poppitz home found in Seelitz.

Poppitz home in Seelitz

The hill called Stephansberg is seen in the background. That is the location where Rev. Martin Stephan had hoped to build his “palace” once his colony was established in Perry County. The above home is one that I became familiar with in my travels to Perry County from St. Louis during my childhood. This house was in the neighborhood of my uncle and aunt, Oscar and Lorna Schlimpert, where we often stayed during our visits.

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