Wirth – Thieret – Hornberger – Hacker

As the title implies, I will be taking a tour through four different surnames today. I will be using a little different format today than usual. Instead of tracking one person at a time leading up to a marriage, I will be tracking four separate people simultaneously, all of whom were born in the 1850’s.

I will begin with the first of the four to be born. His name was Johann Hacker, who was born on January 30, 1853. John was the son of Andreas and Anna Barbara (Knob) Hacker. According to a newspaper article, John was one of the first babies to be baptized at the new church, Peace Lutheran Church, in Friedenberg.

The next of the four to be born was Anna Margaret Hornberger, who was born a matter of weeks after John. Her birthday was February 16, 1853. Margaret was the daughter of Adam and Elizabeth (Baer) Hornberger. She, too, was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg.

The third of the four to be born was Johann Heinrich Wirth, who was born on July 24, 1857. It gets really confusing here because according to the Friedenberg Remembrances book, there were two Johann Heinrich Wirth’s, both sons of the same parents. In census records, the older one was called John, and the younger one was called Henry. It becomes even more confusing because John Wirth married a Hornberger, but Henry did not. I am not sure where the Wirth children were baptized, but they are included in the Friedenberg Remembrances book because of their marriages.

The last of the four highlighted in today’s post to be born was Felicitas Elizabeth Thieret. She was born on May 20, 1858, so she is the reason I am writing this story today. She was the daughter of Christoph and Mary (Lang) Thieret. She is another one that shows up in the Friedenberg Remembrances book but it does not indicate that she was baptized there.

All 4 of these folks were found in their first census in 1860. First, here is the one that includes John Hacker at the age of 7. His mother had died in 1856, and Andreas remarried. His second wife was Brigitta Friedmann.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we find Margaret Hornberger in this 1860 entry. She was called 5 years old, but I calculate that she was older.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Henry Wirth was just 3 years old when he showed up in his first census.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Felicitas Elizabeth Thieret shows up in her first two censuses as Melissa for some reason. Here we find her at the age of 2 in the 1860 entry. We see evidence here that the Thieret family had spent time in Pennsylvania and Ohio before ending up in Missouri.

1860 census – St. Mary Township, MO

Ten years later, we find all four of these folks still living with their parents as single persons. Here is John Hacker’s entry.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Here is the one for Margaret Hornberger.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Henry Wirth is shown in this next entry for 1870.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Finally, we can see Elizabeth (Melissa) in this entry. Her father had died in 1864.

1870 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the first marriage that took place amongst these four individuals. I do not know an exact date, but sometime around 1877, John Hacker married Margaret Hornberger. I cannot display a marriage document for this couple, but our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to this pair. The last one died early.

When the 1880 census was taken, we no longer have to display 4 separate entries. The Hacker couple is found living in the Salem Township with their first child. John was a farmer.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

Henry Wirth and Elizabeth Thieret were still single in 1880. Here, we find the entry for Henry. This entry was difficult to find because Ancestry.com has the surname transcribed as Weist.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

Elizabeth Thieret is found in the entry below, where we finally see her called Elizabeth.

1880 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Several events happened in the 1880’s. First, on May 5, 1881, Henry Wirth married Elizabeth Thieret. These two were married at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. I can display a civil record for this marriage.

Wirth/Thieret marriage record – Perry County, MO

There were 2 children born to this couple. As it turns out, we never see this couple in a census entry together. On December 18, 1853, their second child was born. Three days later, on December 21, Henry died, leaving Elizabeth as a widow with 2 very young children, one a newborn. We can view a Perry County death record (in two images) for Henry. It says he died of double pneumonia.

Henry Wirth death record – Perry County, MO

And if that wasn’t enough, Elizabeth lost her oldest child in April of 1884.

In 1885, John Hacker became a widower because his wife, Margaret, died. We can also take a look at her Perry County death record. Her cause of death is given as peritonitis.

Margaret Hacker death record – Perry County, MO

That leads us up to another wedding. The widower, John Hacker, married the widow, Elizabeth Wirth, on March 7, 1886. The record for that wedding is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.

Hacker/Wirth marriage record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

We can also view this couple’s marriage license.

Hacker/Wirth marriage license

The German Family Tree lists 3 more children born to this pair. We are not able to view a census including these two until 1900. They were living in the Salem Township, so the census entry is difficult to read. The household included children with both the Hacker and Wirth surnames.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Elisabeth Hacker died in 1907 at the age of 48, so John Hacker was once again a widower. We find his household in the 1910 census. Elizabeth’s daughter by her first husband, Emma, had married Christian Rauh in 1905, but he died in 1909, so Emma was a widow living with her stepfather.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

John Hacker is still found in 2 more census entries. Here is the one from 1920.

1920 census – Salem Township, MO

The last census in which we find John was the one taken in 1930. He was living in the household of his son, Charles Hacker.

1930 census – Salem Township, MO

John Hacker died in 1940 before the census was taken that year. His death certificate states that he was 87 years old when he died.

John Hacker death certificate

Three of the four people highlighted in this story are buried in the Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Friedenberg. The only exception is the grave of Margaret Hacker. For a short while, the Hacker’s were members of the Cross Congregation near Longtown. Margaret is buried in that church’s cemetery. I placed the photos of the gravestones in a gallery in the order of their burials.

This story turned out to be quite the ride through the lives of these 4 people. John Hacker proved to be the only one who lived what I would describe as a long life.


This post is a little late getting published today because our museum hosted a school tour from Zion Lutheran School in Harvester, Missouri. It was a pleasure to tell these 6th graders our story.

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