Happy 175th Birthday, Anna Weseloh

A baby girl was born 175 years ago on today’s date in Scheeβel, Germany. You will be reading her story today. That baby was named Anna Weseloh. Her baptism record from the congregation in Scheeβel says she was born on February 8, 1848 and baptized 5 days later on February 13th. Anna was the daughter of Claus and Adelheid (Behrens) Weseloh.

Anna Weseloh baptism record – Scheeβel, Germany

A later census would state that Anna would come to America in 1871. Her father had died in Germany, but there is evidence that her mother came to this country also. There is an 1889 death record for her in the Christ Lutheran Church, Jacob, Illinois books. The first document I located that included Anna was a St. Louis marriage record for her. On July 6, 1873, Anna married Gustav August Weis. The image shown below for this marriage is very difficult to read.

Weis/Weseloh – St. Louis marriage record

Not much is known about August Weis. Based on the 1880 census entry shown below, he must have been born in Germany in about 1849 or 1850. August was a brick layer in St. Louis. He and Anna had 4 children by the time of this census. There was a 15 year-old nephew named August Boeger included in this household. He is called a student. I found a family tree for this young man on Ancestry.com that looks well-researched, but I found no connection in that tree with August or Anna. I have written about some Boeger’s who lived in the Chester, Illinois area, but I found no indication that August’s Boeger family was located there.

1880 census – St. Louis, MO

August Weis must have died sometime in the 1880’s because we find Anna, as a widow, getting married again in 1886. Let’s take a look at her 2nd husband. Heinrich H. Luedemann was born March 7, 1856 in Scheeβel. He was the son of Heinrich and Margaretha (Rathjen) Luedemann. Census entries say Henry H. arrived in either 1869 or 1870, but I found this passenger list for the ship, Uhland, that arrived in this country in 1867. Henry would have been 11 years old in 1867, so his age fits. It has the correct names for Heinrich’s parents and also lists a 16 year-old girl with the name, Rathjen. However, our German Family Tree says Henry H.’s parents “lived and died in Germany?” I’ll let you decide if this is the Henry H. Luedemann who would marry Anna Weis.

Luedemann names – Uhland passenger list 1867

I was unsuccessful at finding Heinrich or any of his Luedemann family in either the 1870 or 1880 census records.

Heinrich H. Luedemann married the widow, Anna Weis on the Fourth of July in 1886. That means the two wedding anniversaries for Anna in her life were just 2 days apart from one another. The church record for this wedding is included in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. Pastor Ph. S. Estel wrote very detailed marriage records in his church’s books. This document gives the birthdays of both the bride and groom, along with their parents names, and mother’s maiden names.

Luedemann/Weis marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

I almost took a photo of the wrong marriage record for Henry H. Luedemann. That’s because there were only 3 marriages that took place at that church in 1886, and two of them involved grooms named Henry Luedemann. What are the chances of that? This probably explains why so many documents for today groom include a middle initial of “H.” for him. The other Henry Luedemann had the middle initial of “F.”

I also found this Illinois marriage record for this Henry and Anna’s wedding.

Luedemann/Weis – IL marriage record

Our German Family Tree lists 2 children born to Henry and Anna. They were each baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob. None of the Weis children from Anna’s first marriage show up in any later census entries with her, but they were all confirmed at Christ, Jacob. In the 1900 census, the Luedemann’s were living in the Fountain Bluff Township where Henry was a farmer. The two Luedemann children had been born by this time.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Next, we find the Luedemann’s in the 1910 census. The two sons were old enough by this time to be helping on Henry’s farm.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Anna Luedemann died on the very first day of 1920 at the age of 71, so she would not show up in that year’s census. We can take a look at an Illinois death record for her.

Anna Luedemann – IL death record

Henry shows up as a widower in the 1920 census. His son, August, had married Carrie Sauerhage in 1913, and his family can be found right below that of Henry. I think it is likely that they were working and living on the same farm.

1920 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Henry Luedemann died in 1927 at the age of 71. His Illinois death record is pictured here.

Henry H. Luedemann – IL death record

Henry and Anna Luedemann are buried together in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob.

Henry and Anna Luedemann gravestone – Christ, Jacob, IL

The surnames Weseloh, Weis, Rathjen, and Luedemann are all names that appear fairly regularly in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, so I would refer to them as “Jacob Names”. Those names all show up in the life history of today’s birthday girl. Happy 175th Birthday, Anna (Weseloh)(Weis) Luedemann.


One thought on “Happy 175th Birthday, Anna Weseloh

  1. In a more legible image of Gustav Weis and Anna Weseloh’s marriage record, it shows they were married by Rev. Carl F. Stark [pastor of Bethany German Protestant (UCC) in St. Louis]. I looked in that congregation’s marriage register to see if the church record contained more information about the groom. Unfortunately, Rev. Stark’s marriage recordkeeping appears to have had a lot in common with the oft bemoaned “Koestering Hole” in Altenburg/Frohna so there’s not a surviving church marriage record.

    The 1880 census record presented above demonstrates Gustav was a bricklayer and 1884 St. Louis Death record #7028 suggests he may have died at work. It indicates 35 year old married German bricklayer, “Gustave Weis”, died 22 Oct 1884 at City Hospital of “injuries received by falling from the roof of a 5-story house; accident” and was buried at [Old] St. Marcus Cemetery.

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