On August 13, 1822, 200 years ago, a baby by the name of Maria Lang was born in Krögelstein, Germany. Below is a map showing the location of that town in Bavaria.
Maria was the daughter of Peter and Barbara (Schmeuszer) Lang. I located these photos of Maria’s parents.
In a previous story on this blog, Great Great Great Granddaughter of Count Schmeuszer, the following excerpt from this family’s history was shared.
Our German Family Tree lists 7 Lang children, and Maria was #2. The information on all those children is found in the Friedenberg Remembrances book. Members of this family traveled to this country at different times on different ships during the 1850’s.
There is a bit of debate over Maria’s marriage. Let’s take a look at the man who would become the father of her children. His name was Johann Christoph Thieret, who was born on October 29, 1821 in a region known as Beyreuth in Bavaria, Germany. That location is not far from where Maria was born. Christoph was the son of Johann Martin and Johanna Susanna (Bochner) Thieret.
Here is where we find a mystery. A researcher from the Lang family made an attempt to locate the marriage record of Christoph and Maria back in the 1970’s. a pastor from the parish in Krögelstein was contacted to find such a document back in the days when you could not used the internet. He responded by saying that he could not find a marriage record for them. However, he did find the baptism record for their firstborn son, Friedrich Karl Thieret. It says the father was Christoph Thieret, but the mother was “Maria Lang, servant girl”. If this is accurate, then I would say that Maria had quite the combination of descriptors…both the granddaughter of a count and a servant girl.
Two children were born in Germany before Christoph and Maria decided to move to the United States. They made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the ship, Elise, in 1851. We can see this family on the passenger list for that ship. Please note two things in this image. First, Maria is called Maria Lange on this list, not Maria Thieret, giving credence to the hypothesis that Christoph and Maria were not officially married. Second, this family was headed towards Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Thieret family, after arriving in New York, settled in Pittsburgh for about 2 years where they had another son. There is evidence that they moved to Ohio for a while, where a daughter was born. Maria had a pair of sisters living in Cincinnati, Ohio at this time, so that is likely where Christoph and Maria lived for a while. In 1854, Christoph and Maria moved to Perry County and settled in the area around Friedenberg. Other family members had moved there previously. The last 3 Thieret children were born in Perry County.
We find the Thieret family in the 1860 census living in the St. Marys Township. Christoph was a farmer.
Christoph served in the Union Army during the Civil War. An image of his military record is pictured here.
Christoph Thieret died shortly after his Civil War service. He died in July of 1864 at the age of 42, leaving Maria as a widow with several young children. Christoph was buried in the Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Friedenberg. A grave marker found there today looks like one that was placed there at a later date because the previous marker was not there or was unreadable.
We find the Mary Thieret household in the 1870 census living in the Bois Brule Township. Two older sons were doing the farming.
The last census in which we find Maria was the one taken in 1880. Just 3 children remained in the household, along with a young niece by the name, Emma Ponder.
Maria died in 1884 at the age of 61. She died during a time period when Perry County kept death records. Maria’s record is shown here in two images.
Maria was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville. I am going to display 3 different photos of her grave site. She has an older gravestone along with a newer one like the one shown for Christoph.
I sometimes debate whether to include facts about an individual in a blog or not. Sometimes, I do avoid telling some details that are not complimentary. In the case of today’s couple, even if there is some doubt about whether these two were officially married, we see that their lives were certainly exemplary once they came to this country. Christoph was willing to serve his new country in a war. He and Maria had their children baptized and confirmed at a Lutheran church. Also, after Christoph died, Maria remained faithful until her death.
Maria certainly experienced some difficult times. In 1855, her parents came to America, and on that trip, her father, Peter Lang, died and was buried along the shore of the Mississippi or Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois. Then, she lost her husband when she was still quite young. I would say that her Christian faith helped her cope with losses such as these.
So, today we wish a Happy Birthday to a woman with royal roots. She could call her grandfather Count Schmeuszer.