Today is the birthday of Joseph Bock. Like several other Bock babies that have appeared in this blog, Joseph was born and baptized in Uniontown. Joseph was born on November 18, 1843, the son of Michael and Christiane (Hemmann) Bock. Joseph’s mother was the 2nd child of J.G. Hemmann, who has been mentioned in quite a few posts on this blog because he had so many children. Today would be Joseph’s 179th birthday. He was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can view an image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books.
The first census in which we find Joseph is the one taken in 1850. He was 6 years old, and his father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township. Included in this household was Joseph’s grandfather, who was Michael Bock, Sr.
Next, we find Joseph in the 1860 census at the age of 16. He was working on his father’s farm. Joseph’s grandfather had died in 1850, not long after the above census, but we find yet another Michael Bock in this household, a 4 year-old son.
Joseph would get married before the next census was taken, so we will turn our attention to the woman who would become his bride. Her name was Emma Thomas, who was born on October 10, 1849 in Germany. The only document on which I located information about her parents was her death certificate, which just lists the name of her father as Gotthold Thomas. There are quite a few dates given on later census entries that list Emma’s immigration year. The 1900 census says 1853, the 1910 census says 1866, the 1920 census says 1860, and the 1930 census says 1856. Emma’s obituary, which will be displayed later, says she was 7 years old when she came to America. That would indicate that she arrived in this country in about 1856.
There was a Thomas family that I found in the 1870 census for the Apple Creek Township. The father’s name was Gottlieb Thomas, not Gotthold Thomas. There was an Emma Thomas listed as a 20 year-old daughter in that household. However, there is a problem with that. Emma was married to Joseph in 1869, so she would no longer be a single daughter (plus, you are going to view another 1870 census which shows her as Emma Bock, Joseph’s wife). Emma’s obituary says she had siblings named Emanuel, John, and Theresa. There is an Emanuel in the entry shown below, but no John or Theresa.
The bottom line is that I do not think the above census entry is the one for Emma’s family. Joseph Bock married Emma Thomas on December 28, 1868. The only document for this event I was able to find was a civil marriage record from Cape Girardeau County that is pictured below.
This marriage was conducted by Rev. Wilhelm Bergt, who was the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown in 1868. However, there is no record of this wedding in the Grace, Uniontown church books. I was told that Thomas is a Friedheim name, so I checked in their books for this record. They had a pastor who left in 1868, so I thought Rev. Bergt might have done this wedding ceremony on an interim basis, but I found no such record in their books. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen there. Perhaps this marriage just wasn’t recorded by Pastor Bergt in any church books. We find Joseph and Emma in the 1870 census in which we find Joseph as a farmer.
Joseph and Emma Bock had just one child of their own, a daughter who wasn’t born until 1881, over 12 years after they were married. I had to look in the long-lost pages of the 1880 Union Township census to find Joseph and Emma. They were still childless at this time. A farm laborer by the name of Gottfried Winter was living in their household. Emma does not appear to have the correct age in this entry.
When the 1900 census was taken, we find the Bock household with two children. One was their daughter, Pauline. The other was Benjamin Weber, who is called adopted in this entry. I do find it fascinating that in this census and the previous one there are people with the surnames Winter and Weber. Just yesterday, I wrote a post about a Weber who married a Winter.
The above census entry was the last one in which we find Joseph. He died in 1903 at the age of 59. His church death record states that he died of stomach trouble. When the 1910 census was taken, Emma, now a widow, was living in the household of Benjamin Weber, her adopted son. Benjamin had married Frieda Herring. Emma is called a stepmother in this record, but that is not the case.
Next, we find Emma in the 1920 census, still living in the Ben Weber household, which had gotten larger. This time, Emma was called a foster mother.
The last census in which we find Emma Bock was the one in 1930 in which we find Emma at the age of 80. Once again, she was living in the Weber household. And once again, she is called a stepmother.
Emma Bock died in 1933 at the age of 83. Her death certificate mentions both pneumonia and senility as causes of death.
An obituary for Emma was published in a newspaper. The information in the obituary leaves no doubt that this is Emma’s obituary, but the article, including the headline, call her Anna. The only explanation I have is that the newspaper made a mistake.
The funeral rites for Emma were held at the home of Mrs. A.G. Schaefer, who was Pauline, Emma’s daughter. Both Joseph and Emma Bock are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.
I mentioned in today’s title that Joseph and Emma Bock added a few more Bock’s in Uniontown. These two only had one daughter of their own, as well as another one who is called adopted. These two would have several grandchildren from both Pauline Bock and Benjamin Weber, but none of those grandchildren would pass the Bock surname on to the next generation.
3 thoughts on “Joseph and Emma – A Few More Bock’s in Uniontown”
Thank you for your work about Emma and Josef Bock. Parents comes from Altenburg, Saxony.
With Bill Bock family tree Frohna I have a little autosomal match by ancestry.com.
2014 I meet Bill Bock. He show me the museum in Frohna
Our family stay in Berel, lower saxony.
I believe I identified the baptism records for Emma Thomas and her younger sisters, Alwine/Alvina & Selma in Großstöbnitz, Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. The parents’ names listed on those records, Gottlieb Thomas and Sophie Mueller, are broadly consistent with the parents’ names shown on their death certificates. However, in all three instances, the DOB shown on the baptism record is three to six days before or after what is suggested by the death certificate and/or gravestone inscription (and the age at death indicated on those certificates/gravestones doesn’t always add up given the birth and death dates they suggest):
Emma: 14 Oct 1849 on baptism record vs. 10 Oct 1849 on death certificate
Alwine: 26 Jan 1851 on baptism record vs. 23 Jan 1851 on death certificate or 1 Jan 1851 on gravestone inscription
Selma: 27 Feb 1854 on baptism record vs. 5 Mar 1854 on death certificate