George Maximillion’s 150th Birthday

A lonely record found in our German Family Tree is the starting point for today’s post. Below is all that lonely reference in the GFT for George Max Christisen (and even his surname is spelled differently than it is on his gravestone).

A2.CHRISTENSEN, Georg Max (Born 22 Apr 1873) [PerryvilleMO]: Georg Max Christisen, Born 22 Apr 1873 & Baptized 22 May 1873 by Rev Demetrio to Johann Anton Christensen & Margaretha nee Poehner, Sponsors: Wib & Anna Margar Sandler       

Just George’s baptism record found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville is given in the above information from the GFT, which is basically an index of people associated with Lutheran churches in the Perry County, Missouri region. There are 11 children in the GFT for this Christisen family, and George is listed as #2.

Then, I made another discovery. Included in the list of 11 Christisen children in our GFT is another George Chirstisen who is listed as Child #4. That child is actually the same George Christisen as Child #2. This entry has the surname spelled properly.

A4.CHRISTISEN, “George” M (Born ca. Aug 1876, Married 15 Oct 1902) [PerryCoMO-1900Census]: George Christisen, son of Anton, 23y old, born Aug 1876 in MO, father born in Den, mother born in MO (#231-BoisBrule Twnshp); [PerryvilleMO]: George M Christisen, of Perry Co MO married Emma M L’Hote, of Perry Co MO on 15 Oct 1902

George Maximillion Christisen was born on April 22, 1873, thus qualifying him to be celebrating his 150th birthday today. George was the son of Anton and Margaretha (Poehner) Christisen. I am only able to show you a transcription of important information regarding George’s baptism as found in an Immanuel, Perryville binder that we have in our research library. You can see that George’s surname has been butchered.

George Christisen baptism record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

George is found in the 1880 census at the age of 7. His father was a farmer in the Bois Brule Township.

1880 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

On a plat map produced in 1915, we find Anton Christisen’s farm located near the village of Sereno, a small unincorporated community located between Perryville and Chester, Illinois.

Anton Christisen land map – 1915

George would be well into his 20’s before we can view him in the 1900 census. It is likely this census entry that caused another entry for George to be included in our German Family Tree. It gives the age of George as 23, and his month and year of birth is given as August of 1876. That corresponds with Child #4. George was working on his father’s farm. I already saw Lynn Degenhardt at breakfast this morning, and I told him he might have to make a correction in the German Family Tree.

1900 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Now, we need to take some time to look at the woman who would become George’s bride. Her name was Emma L’Hote, who was born on November 24, 1880. She was the daughter of Arthur and Catherine (Schroeder) L’Hote. I located photos of Emma’s parents on their entries.

Since her parents are buried in the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cemetery in Belgique, I assume that Emma was baptized and raised as a Roman Catholic. Emma is not found in the 1880 census because she was born after that census was taken that year. So, the first census in which we find Emma was the one taken in 1900 when she was 19 years old. Her father was a farmer in the Bois Brule Township.

1900 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

The 1915 plat maps show where the L’Hote farm was located near Belgique.

Art. L’Hote land map – 1915

George Christisen married Emma L’Hote on October 15, 1902. The church marriage record for this event is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.

Christisen/L’Hote marriage record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

We can also view the marriage license for this couple.

Christisen/L’Hote marriage license

The German Family Tree lists 8 children born to George and Emma (under Child #4, not Child #2). The first 7 of them have their baptism records in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest, which was also located in the Bois Brule Township in the Mississippi River bottoms north of Menfro. In the 1910 census, we find the Christisen household with 4 children. George was a sawyer for a lumber yard.

1910 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

I am thinking that George may have been working at the Moldenhauer sawmill that was located near Menfro. Perhaps George is in this photo of that sawmill that was posted in a previous blog post about the Moldenhauer family.

Moldenhauer sawmill

George Christisen died in 1915 at the young age of 42. His death certificate gives his cause of death as “paralysis of brain caused by exposure”. This form gives his occupation as machinist.

George Christisen death certificate

The 1920 census shows Emma Christisen as a widow. There is a mystery here. There is a 3 year-old girl named Sylvia listed in the Christisen household. If she was 3 years old, she would have been born around 1917, after George had died. Sylvia is Child #8 in our GFT, and she is the one that does not have a baptism record listed. The GFT says she was born in 1917, but the only records listed are census entries like this one.

1920 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Next, we find the Christisen’s in the 1930 census. Sylvia is once again in the household at the age of 13.

1930 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

The last census in which we find Emma is the one taken in 1940. Emma’s daughter, Velma, had married Charlie McClure but they had gotten divorced. Velma and her son, Gary, then moved in with Emma before this census was taken. Another one of Emma’s sons, Roy, was a carpenter.

1940 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Emma Christisen died in 1942 at the age of 61. Her death certificate is pictured here.

Emma Christisen death certificate

Both George and Emma Christisen are buried in the Home Cemetery in Perryville. You can see the Chistisen spelling of their surname on each gravestone. We also get verification of George’s date of birth from his tombstone.

Today, we wish a Happy 150th Birthday to George Maximillion Christisen, the Mississippi bottoms sawyer.

Leave a Reply