Koenig-Hecht Share a Birthday

It is a rare occasion when I get a couple that shares the same birthday, but that is true about today’s pair. So, today I can say we have both a birthday girl and and birthday boy. Let’s start with the oldest of the two.

Friedrich Koenig was born on December 23, 1833 in Korbußen, Germany. He was the son of Gottfried and Rosine (Wunderlich) Koenig. We can take a look at a transcription of Friedrich’s baptism record from the parish in Korbußen. It says he was baptized on December 26th, the day after Christmas.

Friedrich Koenig baptism record – Korbußen, Germany

In 1853, Friedrich, at the age of 20, travelled aboard the ship, Ella, as it made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to America. We can find him on a passenger list for that ship.

Friedrich Koenig – Ella passenger list 1853

It is reported that Friedrich bought some land near Farrar and became one of the people involved in establishing Salem Lutheran Church in that location. Friedrich is found in the 1860 census at the age of 26 and called a laborer.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The birthday girl for today is Maria Hecht, who was born on Friedrich’s 8th birthday. She was born on December 23, 1841, making today her 180th birthday. Her parents were Friedrich and Christiane (Augustin) Hecht, who came to America as part of the Gruber Group and arrived in November of 1839 aboard the Johann Georg. Maria was the first child in her family to be born in this country. She was baptized at on Christmas Day in 1841. Her baptism record is found in the books of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Here is an image of her baptism record.

Maria Hecht baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Maria is found in the 1850 census at the age of 9. Her father was a farmer.

1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Maria in the 1860 census as a teenager.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Friedrich Koenig married Maria Hecht on January 17, 1861 at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. The church record for their wedding is shown below.

Koenig/Hecht marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

A civil marriage record can also be viewed.

Koenig/Hecht marriage record – Perry County, MO

Our German Family Tree lists 5 children born to Friedrich and Maria. One of them died right away, and another one died as a child. The 1870 census is the first one in which we find this couple after they were married. At that time, they had 2 children in their household.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The 1880 census shows all three of the children that would live to adulthood. Friedrich was a farmer.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

We find the Koenig household in the 1900 census next. Their son, Benjamin, and his family were living in their household.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

When the 1910 census was taken, Friedrich and Maria were living with their son, Ernst, and his family.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

In 1913, a photograph was taken that included Friedrich and Maria. I do not think the ages listed under this picture are correct. Either that or the date of 1913 is incorrect.

Maria Koenig died in January of 1920 at the age of 78. I should have been able to find a death certificate for her, but I was unsuccessful. Friedrich was still alive when the 1920 census was taken, but I was also unable to find him in an entry in that year’s enumeration. Friedrich died in 1921 at the age of 87. We can take a look at his death certificate.

Friedrich Koenig death certificate

An obituary was printed in the Perry County Republican when Friedrich died.

Friedrich Koenig obituary – PCR

Friedrich and Maria Koenig were buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to share a birthday with your spouse. I suppose for one thing, these two would never forget their spouse’s birthday. Their children would certainly have it easier to celebrate the birthday of their parents on just one day instead of two separate days. Add to this the fact that Christmas was just around the corner. Yes, this couple not only shared the same birthday, but also almost shared their birthday with the baby born in Bethlehem so many years earlier.


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