The Saga of Anna Franke

The starting point for today’s story is the birth of Anna Dorothea Eggers on July 15, 1869. If she was still alive today, she would be blowing out 153 candles on her birthday cake. Anna was the daughter of Henry and Anna (Resen) Eggers. Some researchers say that the maiden name for Anna’s mother was Reese, but I am using the spelling used by Cal Eggers because I trust his knowledge of the Eggers family. When she was baptized shortly thereafter, that event took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of her baptism record is displayed here.

Anna Eggers baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Anna was very young when she shows up in her first census in 1870. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The only other census entry in which Anna was listed as a single woman was the one taken in 1880. Anna was 11 years old at the time.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now we will turn our attention to the man who would become Anna’s husband. His name was Eduard Franke, who was born on November 29, 1862. His name would almost always be spelled Edward. He was the son of August and Theresa (Koenig) Franke. Edward was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can take a look at an image of his baptism record from Grace’s church books.

Edward Franke baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

When the 1870 census was taken, we find Edward at the age of 7. There was a previous child born to Edward’s parents, but that child died as an infant. So, Edward was the oldest child in the family in this list. His father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township, but after 1870, that portion of the Brazeau Township would become part of a new township named the Union Township.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Edward was a teenager in the 1880 census for the Union Township. You can see that the Franke family had gotten considerably larger. The census taker apparently had trouble recording the gender of the members of this family. The only other brother listed was only one year old. I’m sure it was really important that Edward was helping his father with the farming to help support this large family. Edward is found in the 1880 census for the Union Township that was NOT lost.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

On October 18, 1888, Edward Franke married Anna Eggers. That wedding took place at Anna’s church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can view the church record for this event.

Franke/Eggers marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

The marriage license for this couple is shown below.

Franke/Eggers marriage license

Edward and Anna have 12 children listed in our German Family Tree. It is quite startling that 5 of them were stillborn. Of the 7 children that lived to adulthood, 6 of them were girls. All of those 7 children had something in common. They all were given names that began with a vowel. It happened so often that I think this was intentional, especially when you consider that Edward and Anna had names that begin with a vowel. One of those daughters had the name of Anna, which may have been confused with her mother’s name, so she often went by her other name, Lydia. Half of the 12 children were born before the 1900 census was taken. One child was stillborn before this census, so we see 5 children listed in this entry, all daughters. Edward was a farmer.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Next, we find the Franke’s in the 1910 census. Five daughters and a son were in their household. Anna Lydia was working in a Bronnenkant household as a servant in 1910, so she was not in this list of Franke’s.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

When the 1915 plat maps were produced, we find the Edward Franke farm located north of Uniontown.

Edward Franke land map – 1915

As it turns out, the 1910 census was the last one in which both Edward and Anna were found. Edward Franke died in 1917 at the age of 54. His death certificate says he died suddenly of a heart disease.

Edward Franke death certificate

Anna Franke died two years later in 1919 at the age of 48. Heart disease is also indicated on her death certificate as a cause of death.

Anna Franke death certificate

Edward and Anna Franke are buried in the Grace Lutheran Upper Cemetery in Uniontown. Based on photos found on, it looks like they have a gravestone with the Franke name on the front, with the names of Edward and Anna on each side.

I wondered what happened with the young Otto Franke after his parents died when he was so young. We find him living with 3 older, single sisters in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

I cannot help but notice the similarity between the name of Anna Franke and the famous person, Anne Frank. Anne Frank was not born until 1929. Around here, the name Franke is pronounced Frahn-key, so there is a difference in pronouncing these two names.

Anne Frank

I wonder if any of the descendants of Anna Franke, when required to read the book, Diary of Anne Frank, in high school, were reminded of their ancestor.

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