We Celebrate the Birth of Christ-ine

Christine Rodewald was born on December 24, 1847, the daughter of Peter and Regina (Klemp) Rodewald. Our German Family Tree lists Christine as the 4th child born into this Rodewald family, but some Ancestry.com family trees claim there were additional children that were older than Christine. As near as I can tell, this Rodewald family arrived in America not long before Christine was born because she was the first child to be born in this country. Records for members of this family are found in the Friedenberg Remembrances book, so Christine was likely baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg.

Christine is found in her first census in 1850 at the age of 3. Her father is called a laborer in the Cinque Hommes Township.

1850 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

The only other census in which we still see Christine as being single is the one taken in 1860. This must have been about the time when she was being confirmed.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the man she would later marry. His name was Heinrich Michael Fassold, who was born on March 9, 1841. Henry was the firstborn child of Michael and Elizabeth Fassold. I was unable to determine the maiden name of his mother. This Fassold family likely arrived in America not long before the birth of Henry, and, like Christine, was probably baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. Henry is found in his first census in 1850 at the age of 9, and his family was also living in the Cinque Hommes Township. By the time of this census, Henry’s mother had died, and his father had married Kunigunda Amschler. John and Mary Fassold, both in their 60’s, were Henry’s grandparents.

1850 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we find Henry in the 1860 census. Henry was working on his father’s farm at the age of 20.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Henry went to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. His record of service is shown on the document pictured below.

Henry Fassold – Civil War military record

Henry Fassold married Christine Rodewald on April 2, 1866 at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. We cannot view a church record for this wedding, but we can take a look at a civil record for the marriage.

Fassold/Rodewald marriage record – Perry County, MO

The German Family Tree indicates that this couple had 10 children. Some of these children died quite young. When the 1870 census was taken, we find this Fassold family living in Perryville, and Henry’s occupation was called general labor. Two young children were in this household.

1870 census – Perryville, MO

The 1880 census lists 5 children living in the Fassold household. This is the first time that Henry is called a carpenter, which seemed to be his occupation for much of his life.

1880 census – Perryville, MO

Three more children were born in the 1880’s. Since we cannot view the 1890 census, a lot of time passes before we can view the 1900 census. Three sons were still living with Henry and Christine in 1900.

1900 census – Central Township, MO

An article was found in the Perry County Republican in 1902 that described a fall that Henry took.

Henry Fassold – 1902 PCR article

The last census in which we find Henry Fassold was the one taken in 1910. Right above the entry for Henry and Christine we find the family of their son, also named Henry, who was called a bartender.

1910 census – Perryville, MO

That year, 1910, was the year that Henry died at the age of 69. Kidney problems contributed to his death. His death certificate gives no help in identifying Henry’s mother’s maiden name.

Henry Fassold death certificate

An obituary for Henry was published in the Perry County Republican.

Henry Fassold obituary – PCR

Christine Fassold is found in the 1920 census. Her daughter, Louise, had married Thomas Hart, and it is in his household in which we find Christine, who was 72 years old.

1920 census – Perryville, MO

The last census in which we find Christine was the one taken in 1930. At the age of 82, she was living by herself.

1930 census – Central Township, MO

Christine Fassold died in 1936 at the age of 88. Her death certificate gives pneumonia and influenza as the cause of her death.

Christine Fassold death certificate

We can also view an obituary that was published in the Perry County Republican for her. She had an impressive number of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.

Christine Fassold obituary – PCR

Henry and Christine were each buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville. Christine’s day of birth is calculated from the number of years, months, and days that she lived.

Even though Christine gave birth to 10 children, 5 of them died before she did. Add the that the fact that another child died just a month after she did in 1936.

I cannot help but wonder if Christine got her first name because she was born on Christmas Eve. I suppose there is no way to know for sure whether that was the case. I have a former student whose parents had another name chosen for their daughter, but since she was born on Christmas Day, her parents changed their minds and called her Holly.

Since it is Christmas Eve, and I’m not sure I’ll write a post tomorrow, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from all of us at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum in Altenburg.


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