Maria Wilhelmine Schilling is today’s birthday girl. She was born on December 5, 1863, making today her 158th birthday. Maria was the daughter of Friedrich and Theresia (Schuessler) Schilling. She was probably baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, although there is no record included in that congregation’s books. An older sibling, as well as younger siblings, have baptism records in that church’s books, but not Maria’s. This can probably be explained by looking at the list of Trinity’s early pastors shown below.
Pastor Beyer left sometime in 1863, and Pastor Koestering arrived in 1864, so it’s likely that when Maria was baptized in December of 1863, Trinity was between pastors. Whoever performed her baptism apparently did not record it anywhere in a church’s books.
Maria is found in the 1870 census for the first time. For some reason, Maria is said to be only 4 years old. She should have been about 7 years old. However, there are other age issues on this form. Maria’s mother, for example, should be shown as 33 years old, certainly not 63.
The 1880 census shows Maria as a teenager. Her father died in 1873, so her mother is the head of the household. Maria’s age of 16 is more accurate this time, and so is her mother’s.
Now, we will turn our attention to the early life of her future husband. His name was Carl Ludwig Hilpert, who was born on April 6, 1859. His parents were George and Anna Margaretha (Popp) Hilpert. Ludwig was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can take a look at his baptism record.
Ludwig can be found in the 1860 census at the age of 1.
The 1870 census shows Ludwig at the age of 11. He was the youngest in his family, so we find him at the bottom of the list.
I was not able to find Ludwig in the 1880 census. In his early 20’s, he may have been working elsewhere. That leads us up to his marriage.
Ludwig Hilpert married Maria Schilling on September 10, 1885 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this wedding is shown here.
We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple. Even though this marriage is recorded in the Trinity books, the pastor listed on the license, Rev. William Zschoche, was the pastor at Concordia, Frohna at that time. His name can also be seen in the church record above.
Ludwig and Maria had just two children according to our German Family Tree. Both of them were girls, and both were baptized at Concordia, Frohna. We have to wait until 1900 to view a census including this family. If we could view the 1890 census, it would have also included their two girls.
In 1910, there was just one daughter left in the Hilpert household. Ludwig was always a farmer. There was also a farm laborer by the name of Rudolph Schade living in their household.
The last census in which we find Ludwig Hilpert was the one taken in 1920. There was also a granddaughter named Hildegard Doering living in their household. Their daughter, Maria, who had married Theodore Doering, had a child named Hildegard. The daughter that was still living in their household, Clara, would get married to Paul Theiss later in 1920.
It looks like Hildegard shows up in the 1920 census in two locations. She also shows up living with her parents, Theodore and Maria Doering, in Perryville.
Ludwig Hilpert died in 1924 at the age of 65. His death certificate says an obstruction of the bowels was the cause of death.
Maria Hilpert is found living with her daughter, Clara, and her husband, Paul Theiss, in the 1930 census. They were living in Wittenberg. Paul Theiss’s story was told in the post, It’s Pronounced Tice – Rhymes with Mice.
Maria Hilpert died in 1937 at the age of 73. Pneumonia is given as the cause of death on her death certificate.
Maria’s church death record is found in the books of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg, but both Ludwig and Maria Hilpert are buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.
A large portion of Maria’s life, as a result of marrying a Hilpert, was spent living in Frohna. However, her early life was spent in the Altenburg area where she attended Trinity. Then, after her husband died, her remaining years were spent in the Wittenberg area and attending St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Yet, she was not buried there. Arrangements must have been made for her to be buried with her husband in Frohna.