Wilhelmine Weber will be the focus of today’s tale. During her lifetime, she was married twice. The first marriage took place on today’s date.
Wilhelmine Weber was born on July 25, 1835 in Ossig, Germany. Wilhelmine was the daughter of Gottfried and Christiane (Seidel) Weber. Her baptism record from the parish in Ossig is displayed below.
Wilhelmine’s family came to America in 1852 aboard the ship, Bremerhaven. The passenger list for that ship is pictured here. Wilhelmine was 17 years old at the time.
It was not long after Wilhelmine arrived in Perry County that she got married, so we will take a look at the man who would become her first husband. His name was Friedrich Wilhelm Hecht. He was called Wilhelm or William during his life, likely because his father’s name was Friedrich. His mother was Christiane Augustine. Wilhelm was born in about 1830 in Mittel-Frohna, Germany. The Hecht family came to America as part of the Gruber Group in 1839. They are shown on the passenger list of the ship, Johann Georg, below.
Wilhelm is found in the 1850 census at the age of 21. He is called Frederic W. on this entry. He was working on his father’s farm in the Brazeau Township.
Wilhelm Hecht married Wilhelmine Weber on November 17, 1853 at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. That makes today the 169th anniversary of this couple. The church record for that wedding is shown here.
We can also view two different civil marriage records for this event. The first one which was completed by Pastor Gruber lists 3 marriages that had taken place at Grace Lutheran Church in 1853. The middle one is the one that mentions Wilhelm and Wilhelmine.
There is also this document that we can view. I can tell you that right above this record on the same page is the Telle/Hemmann marriage record, and right below is the Wunderlich/Jacob marriage record as seen in the document above.
We have a Hecht family binder in our research library, and that binder contains the following information about Wilhelm Hecht.
The Hecht’s had 6 children. All but the last one were baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. The last child was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. There is a mistake in the above information from the Hecht binder. The 4th child, Ernst Joseph Hecht, did not marry Amanda Hemmann. Amanda married a Hecht from a different family. Ernst Joseph died in 1877 as a teenager. When the 1860 census was taken, we find the following Hecht household.
There is some evidence that Wilhelm Hecht was involved in the military during the Civil War. I found 2 different documents for men named William Hecht, both of which served in the 64th Regiment. I will let you decide which one, if any, is Wilhelmine’s husband.
The fact that the last Hecht child was baptized in Altenburg makes me speculate about a few things. First of all, in 1864, Grace Lutheran Church was in between a few pastors, one who left in 1864 and another one who arrived during that year. Perhaps that was a factor in the Hecht’s having their last child baptized in Altenburg. Also, that year was the time when Rev. J.F. Koestering arrived to take over at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Wilhelm may have been off serving in the military at about this time, and I suppose that he may have gotten wounded or sick as a result of his service. For whatever reason, Wilhelm must have died sometime around 1864 or 1865. There is no death record for him in any church books, nor can I find him buried in any local cemeteries. That possibly can be explained by the fact that many years of death records are missing during the time when Pastor Koestering was in Altenburg.
Wilhelmine married again in 1866. Let’s take a look at her second husband, whose name was Theodor Herman Winter. Herman was born on May 13, 1832 in Germany. I was not able to determine the names of his parents. He does not appear to be related to any of the others around here with the surname, Winter. Herman does not show up in any records in Perry County until his marriage occurred in 1866. There is a record saying that Herman Winter married Wilhelmine Weber (not Wilhelmine Hecht) on October 9, 1866. I found it in an index of Perry County marriages, but I could not locate an actual image of this marriage record. The index says the marriage was conducted by a JP (Justice of the Peace).
One child was born to Herman and Wilhelmine in 1867. When the 1870 census was taken, we find the Winter household shown below. All but one of the children were actually Hecht’s, but this entry seems to call them Winter’s. Herman was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.
Next, we find Herman and Wilhelmine in the 1880 census. This would be the last census in which we find Herman.
Herman Winter died in 1884 at the age of 52. His death record can be found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. I assume he was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, but Findagrave.com has no entry for him.
Wilhelmine Winter is found in the 1900 census living with her daughter, Emilie, who had married Ernst Hoehne.
Wilhelmine Winter died in 1906 at the age of 70. Like Herman, her death record is found in the Immanuel, Altenburg books. There is an entry on Findagrave.com for Wilhelmine, but there is no gravestone photo.
That brings to the end the story of Wilhelmine Weber and her two spouses, Wilhelm and Herman. It’s a story of immigration, a couple of marriages, raising a blended family, and missing death and burial information. I never know exactly where a story will lead me.