The Guetersloh’s – Herman and Marie

I will share another 150th birthday story today, and it just so happens to be related to a post that was written just two days ago about another man who was celebrating such a special birthday. That post was titled, Henry and Meta – The Zerbst Pair from Jacob. That birthday boy, Henry Zerbst, married Meta Guetersloh, who was the sister of today’s birthday boy.

Herman Guetersloh was born on August 12, 1872, the son of Dietrich and Margaretha (Boesch) Guetersloh. In our German Family Tree, there are 8 children listed in this family. Herman is child #2, and Meta is part of a set of twins that were #’s 6 and 7. All of those children were born in Oyten, Germany. That town is seen on the map pictured below.

Oyten, Germany map

According to later American census entries, Herman came to this country in 1885. However, I was not able to find any more documentation for that arrival. Even our friend, Lori Adams, has been unsuccessful at finding more detailed documentation for this family’s immigration, and she has tried a lot harder than I have. Since we cannot view the 1890 census records, we do not see Herman in an American census until after he was married. A photo of Herman Guetersloh may or may not have been taken before his marriage. That photo is shown here.

Herman Guetersloh

Now, we will take a look at the woman who would become Herman’s bride. Her name was Maria Heitmann, who was born on January 11, 1878. She was the 5th of 7 children born to Joachim and Maria (Brunkhorst) Heitmann. The first 3 of those children were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri, but then Joachim moved his family across the Mississippi River to Jackson County, Illinois. Joachim was one of the men who were charter members of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. That congregation was established in 1875.

Christ Lutheran Church – Jacob, IL charter members

When Maria was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob in 1878, that congregation had just begun keeping its records, and Maria has the distinction of being the first baptism record found in that church’s books. Rev. Erdmann performed this baptism. The record spills over two pages.

Maria Heitmann baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Maria is found in the 1880 census at the age of 2. Her father was a farmer in the Fountain Bluff Township.

1880 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

I think there is a good chance that the photo of Maria shown below was taken prior to her marriage.

Maria Heitmann

Herman Guetersloh married Maria Heitmann on November 6, 1895 at Christ, Jacob. We can take a look at the church record for that occasion.

Guetersloh/Heitmann marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Let me point out that two of the witnesses for this wedding were Henry Zerbst and Meta Guetersloh. Two days ago, it was mentioned that those two were married the next year in 1896. When I see a situation like this, I always wonder if this occasion was the one that instigated a new romance.

Below is a wedding photo of Herman and Maria Guetersloh.

Herman and Maria Guetersloh wedding

The above photo has appeared in this blog before. It is included in a story about wedding fashion for men titled, Buttoned at the Top (Updated). It includes a gallery of wedding photos showing men who were wearing suitcoats that are buttoned just once at the top like Herman is in the above picture.

Six children, all baptized at Christ, Jacob, were born to Herman and Maria. However, two died as infants and another died at the age of 20. When the 1900 census was taken, we find Herman and Maria living with Herman’s parents. By this time, they had two children. Herman’s younger brother, John, was also in the household. Herman and his father were farmers.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

In 1910, the Herman Guetersloh family was listed separately in the census, but right below them, you find his parents and the family of John Guetersloh. Four of their children are found in this entry, but Ernest Guetersloh would die before the next census was taken. Also, the baby, Hulda, would die before that calendar year was over.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

In the plat map of Fountain Bluff Township that I displayed in the previous post, you can see Herman Guetersloh’s parcels of land in the upper left portion.

Herman Guetersloh land map – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Next, we find this Guetersloh family in the 1920 census. The last daughter, Lorna, had been born in 1913, so we see 3 children in this listing.

1920 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The 1930 census shows the following Guetersloh household with two remaining children.

1930 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The last census in which we find Herman and Maria was the one taken in 1940 where we find them in their 60’s. Below Herman’s household, you see the entry for his son, Rudolph and his wife.

1940 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Both Herman and Maria Guetersloh died in 1948. Maria died in August at the age of 70; Herman died on Christmas Eve at the age of 76. I located an obituary for Maria, but not Herman.

Maria Guetersloh obituary

Herman and Maria are buried together in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob.

Herman and Maria Guetersloh gravestone – Christ, Jacob, IL

Several photos that include those in this Guetersloh family can be located on I will place a gallery of them below.

Top left: Dietrich Guetersloh family. Herman and Maria are one of the couples in the photo. Dietrich died in 1912, so this photo was taken before then.

Middle left: Herman Guetersloh farm…likely it is Lorna feeding the chickens.

Bottom Left: Herman and Maria with 3 children…Henry, Rudy, and Lorna.

Right: Herman and Maria later in life.

One thought on “The Guetersloh’s – Herman and Marie

  1. The Guetersloh family appears to have arrived in New York on 15 May 1885 aboard the S.S. Hermann from Bremen, Germany. The given names of the parents (“Friedr.” & “Friedrike”) don’t match what they used elsewhere in North America (“Dietrich” & “Margaretha”), however their ages match as do the names and birth order of their eight children (“Gesche”, “Hermann”, “Johann”, “Heinrich”, “Maria”, “Dietrich”, “Meta”, & “Anna”). The ages of their youngest children were rounded down a bit but I’ve observed that was not uncommon on such journeys and may have been done to receive a more favorable fare. It also lists their previous residence as “Oeytin”, a spelling which closely resembles “Oyten”:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s