A Poehner Pair

Today’s tale has what could be described as several “missing pieces”. Actually, I think a better way to describe these missing pieces is that they are pieces that I was unable to find. I spend a few hours each day gathering the pieces to put together for a story. I use the term “drive-by genealogy” to describe what I do. Sometimes, when I cannot find enough pieces, I abandon the story, but not today.

The main character in today’s post is Johann Peter Poehner. Amazingly, even though there are so many missing pieces, Ancestry.com has 119 family trees that include his profile. That is a much larger number than normal. John was born on January 29, 1810 in Langenstadt, Germany. John was the son of Johann Friedrich and Anna Margaretha (Preusinger) Poehner. One thing I do know, and that is the fact that John’s younger sister, Sophia, was married to John Peter Bergmann. Her story was told in the post, Grandma Bergmann. John Peter Poehner came to America before his sister, Grandma Bergmann. She had gotten married in America in 1849. John Peter was married two years earlier, and it is that event that led me to his story.

One of the missing pieces is the immigration information for John Peter Poehner. I did find one immigration record for a Johann Poehner, but it gives practically no information. However, if it is indeed the correct Johann Poehner, then he would have arrived in 1835 (1810 + 25).

Johann Poehner immigration information?

Now, we will take a look at the woman who would become John’s wife. This will not take long. I found practically nothing about her. Her name was Anne Schneider, who was born on January 18, 1824 in Bavaria. That means there was a 14 year difference in ages between John and Anne. Another missing piece is the identity of Anne’s parents. Yet another is any immigration information about her. I suspect that she may have arrived in this country at about the time of her marriage.

John Peter Poehner married Anne Schneider on July 25, 1847 at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. That makes today a very special day for this couple. Today would mark their 175th anniversary. There is some confusion about the date of this couple’s wedding if you look on Ancestry.com for documentation. Many of the family histories on Ancestry.com attach the document shown below for this wedding. I consider it an awful image.

Poehner/Schneider marriage record – Perry County, MO

Another image of a marriage record for this couple can be found on that site for this wedding, but Ancestry lists the date for the event as July 22nd, not July 25th. I have highlighted the date on this image, which is another one that is difficult to read. I can see why they determined it to say the 22nd, but I can also see the possibility that it is the 25th.

Poehner/Schneider marriage record – Perry County, MO

I normally do not take the time to look at Family Search in addition to Ancestry, but in this case, I did. I found a much better image for a marriage record for John and Anne, and the date is definitely July 25th.

Poehner/Schneider marriage record – Perry County, MO

We find the Poehner’s in the 1850 census, but their name is listed as Paner, which is a good way of pronouncing this surname. They were living in the Cinque Hommes Township with their first child.

1850 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to John and Anne, but I think there were more. When the 1860 census was taken, we find the following Poehner household which includes 5 children. They were then living in the Bois Brule Township, where John was a farmer.

1860 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

One more child was born in 1862. If you just look at census records, it looks like the first and last child in this family were the only boys. The last census in which we find John and Anne was the one taken in 1870.

1870 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Anne Poehner died in 1875 at the age of 51. Her death record is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.

Anne Poehner death record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

John Poehner died in 1877 at the age of 67. John was buried on the 4th of July, exactly one year after the United States celebrated their Centennial. His death record is found in the same church’s books.

John Poehner death record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

John and Anne were likely buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville. However, on Findagrave.com, Anne has an entry, but it has no gravestone photo, and John is not listed at all. So, there are a few more missing pieces.

There is a more personal reason that I wanted to write this story, other than the fact that this couple would be celebrating their 175th anniversary. John Peter Poehner was born on my birthday, and he died on my wife’s birthday. With facts like that, how can one resist telling the story?


Sadly, our community has been shocked at the sudden death of our pastor’s wife, Linda Dressler, who was also a cherished docent at our museum. Tomorrow, her funeral will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, and our museum will be closed. I am certain that I will not be able to write a new story.

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