April 14, 2019

Back Even Further - Hans Joachim Elling, Still in Tietlingen

Oh, yes, by now I am telling you about my fifth great grandfather - Hans Joachim Elling!
According to German sources, Joachim is pronounced Yo-a-k'm with the stress on the first and third syllables.

Hans Joachim Elling was born in Tietlingen, Dushorn Parish, on June 24, 1763, and was baptized on June 27th. I have that record, but as you can imagine, the older the record, the poorer the copy, so I did not post. It was a good record; and in that it named Hans Joachim's parents, Hans Friedrich Elling and Anna Maria Helmke (Helmken), taking us another generation back!

Hans Joachim married Anna Engel Fedderke (Fedderken), who was also born in Tietlingen on October 1, 1764, and baptized on October 4, 1764. She was the daughter of Johann Casten and Ilse Marie Fedderke of Bockhorn, part of Dushorn parish. The marriage took place on February 20, 1789. Hans Joachim was described as a haeusling, or tenant, at Tietlingen.

The researcher could find eight children in the church records:
Stillborn boy in 1790
Ilse Marie, born Aug. 1, 1791
Johann Freidrich, born April 4, 1792 (our ancestor)
Johann Heinrich, born March 4, 1797
Anna Engel, born Feb. 11, 1800
Ilse Marie, born April 26, 1802
Casper Heinrich, born June 10, 1805
Hans Joachim, born May 22, 1808

These records told us that the first Ilse Marie probably died before 1802, and another child was given her name. This was a common practice. Some gaps in the years between children might mean that there were miscarriages or babies died and the death missed or not recorded.

The death record of Hans Joachim could not be found, but his wife died at age 55 on August 11, 1819. Her husband was listed on the death record as a pensioner, so he was still alive at the time of his wife's death.

For more information on what was going on in Germany during the life of Hans Joachim Elling, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_century_history_of_Germany and http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=2803&HistoryID=ac62
He lived through some turbulent times in Prussia.

Johann Friedrich Elling, Sr. - in Germany

It's been almost twenty years ago now that I hired an excellent researcher in Germany to help me find the Elling family origins. Dr. Sylvia Moehle worked at the archives in Fallingbostel and was so helpful in not only finding the records, but in translating them, too. Obviously, when you look at the actual images that I've posted, it's no secret that it is hard going to make anything out of what often seems illegible, especially in the earliest records.

First, Dr. Moehle took a great deal of time finding the Lutheran parish for the Ellings and it was Dueshorn parish. From those records, we found that our immigrant grandfather, Johann Friedrich Elling (the immigrant) was the only son of Johann Friedrich Elling, Sr. and his wife Anne Ilse (nee Meier/ Meyer.) Five children were born to this couple in Tietlingen:

Johann Friedrich (Jr.) born 1817
Margarethe Dorothee Marie Catharina Engel born 1821
Anna Ilse born 1824
Engel Dorothee born 1828
Dorothee Catharina Engel born 1833
(I have the baptismal records for those children, but will not post because of the quality.)

Johann Friedrich Elling Birth Record

Johann Friedrich Elling Sr.'s baptismal record from the Dushorn parish church book, p. 68. #12, is the image above -
The date of baptism is first - #12 in the year 1792, 4 (April), 6 (day)
Born 4 April 1792 at Tietlingen, godparent - Cord Harms and ???
Parents - Hans Joachim Elling, haeusling (tenant) at Tietlingen and his wife Anne Engel Fedderke from E..?
Beside the entry in parentheses is a cross and the date 11 April 1864. That is a notation by the pastor or clerk marking J.F. Sr's death.

Johann Friedrich Elling Death Record

The second image is the death record of J. F. Elling Sr. - #21. This is from the Dushorn parish book 1853 - 1873.
The date at the top of the page is 1864, the place of death is Tietlingen.
Name, Profession, Age of Deceased - Elling, Johann Freidrich, Altenthelier (pensioner) and widower at Tietlingen, 71 years and 7 days.
Parents - Hauswirth Hans Joachim Elling and his wife Anne Engel Fedderke
Date of Death - 11 April, 8:00 in the evening
Cause of Death - Weakness (of old age)
Day of Burial - 14 April

So after his son and family emigrated to America in 1859, the father lived almost five more years. How hard it must have been to say good-bye to his oldest son.

Any information for J. F. Elling Sr.'s wife, Anna Ilse Meyer Elling could not be found in the Dushorn records. The marriage records for that period were hardly legible, according to the researcher. Since her baptism record was also not in that parish, it is thought that they may have married in her parish, whatever that was.

A valuable outcome of these records was that we have two sources giving yet another generation back of the Elling Family - Hans Joachim and Anne Engel (Fedderke) Elling. More on them next time.

April 13, 2019

Mary Elling Pringnitz's Baby Boy, Herbie

Herbert Huldrich , "Herbie", Pringnitz was the youngest child of Henry and Mary Pringnitz. Born on October 29, 1883, he lived on Kelley's Island his whole life and eventually, he ran the jail there. He never married and after his parents' deaths, he lived in the homestead with his sister and her family until his death on February 23, 1952. 

On the Ohio Historic Inventory for the Pringnitz house, it stated that "...he was a popular island resident. Many faceted and good humored, he served as village constable, a pillar of the German Reformed Church, farmer, butcher, and blacksmith, using the Bauman smithy on Division Street. In the 1930's, he operated a silver fox farm with Frank Nowalk adjacent to his farm to the west...Vestiges of the old fox farm are still visible."
A newspaper article from the the early 1950's that appeared in the Toledo Blade included an interview with the infamous jailer/ constable of Kelley's Island. Apparently, his job was not really a challenging one.

"Jail on Kelley's Island Gathering Dust"
Kelley's Island, O. May 20 - if a crime wave ever started on this island its one-man police force would have its hands full.
But Herbert Pringnitz, 66, the only policeman here and his own police chief, is not worried. The jail has not been occupied for the last 20 years. Since its construction in 1861 it has been used on an average of about once every 10 years.

'I keep a mattress on one of the bunks and a couple of blankets there, but that is all the bedding I keep in the jail," Pringnitz said. 'If I put more out it would simply rot, so why waste money?'

The two cells are painted a rusty red and have a capacity of four. But the bunks have been gathering dust and one of Prignitz's duties is to dust the jail about every two weeks.
'If I don't clean it at least that often I have to give myself a dressing down when I go on an inspection tour,' he declared.

Another of his jobs is to keep the keys polished.
'I use them so rarely that if I don't clean them they would get a heavy coating of rust. I also keep the locks oiled so that if I should ever have to lock anyone up, I'd be able to get the doors open.' he said.

Prignitz has often toyed with the idea of having some of the islanders sit in the cells just to see what the cells look like when occupied. None of the islanders seem interested, so Pringnitz will have to wait until he can get a genuine lawbreaker."

The Children of the Immigrants - Last, Fritz and Anna

The fourth child and second son of Johann Friedrich was our ancestor, Fritz Elling, already discussed in an earlier blog.

The last child and third daughter of Johann Friedrich Elling was Anna Maria Margaretha, the only one to be born in America - Henry County, Ohio - on August 2, 1860. The nation would soon be in the uproar of the Civil War.

Aunt Alma once wrote me that she remembered her dad talking about his Tante Anna Hastedt who lived in Michigan. What a great clue that was! Anna was living at home with her parents in the 1870 census - 10 years old. The next year her father died. By the 1880 census, she had gone to Kelley's Island where she was found in the household of Julius Kelley, his wife H. Mary and their son, H. Zina who is 33. The son was listed as having some kind of fever (not legible) so I don't know if he was disabled or just temporarily ill. Anna, then, was listed as a servant at the age of 19.
Going to Kelley's Island and working as a domestic before marriage seemed to be a pattern for the girls in this family.

On October 23, 1873, Anna married Hermann Hastedt. Without the 1890 census, I can only assume that they moved back to Henry County, Ohio because by the 1900 census, the family is found on Elm Street in Deshler Village, Bartlow Township. Harmon and Anna, both born in August 1860, had been married 17 years. Sadly, she has had 12 children, of which only 6 survived.
The children listed were: John born September 1885 and 14 years old; Ida born January 1889 and 11 years old; Arthur born August 1892 and 7 years old; Ella born October 1893 and 6 years old; Mary born April 1895 and 5 years old and Harmon born November 1897 and 2 years old.
Father Harmon, who immigrated in 1879, worked as a day laborer and they rented their home.

It must have been the lure of good, cheap farm ground. By the 1910 census Harmon and Annie had moved to Jordan Township, Fillmore County, Minnesota. Harmon, now 50, and Annie, 49, lived with their children: Otto (named as Arthur on the 1900 census), Mary and Herman.
Harmon rented a farm there and Otto, 17, and Mary, 15, were home farm workers.

Things must not have worked out in Minnesota because by the 1920 census, the whole family has moved to Newell Street, Flint City, Genesee County, Michigan. Harmon and Annie ran a boarding house with four children still living at home: Otto, 26; Ella, 25; Harmon Jr., 21, and Mary, 22. (These ages do not quite connect with previous censuses, but we have the same names.)

 Looking south down Detroit Street

 Otto worked as a policeman on the city police force and Ella worked at the boarding house. Harmon Jr. had a job at the auto factory soldering and it said that Mary was a machinist at the auto factory.
The family had four boarders - Mary Clarance, 27, who worked the drill press at the auto factory; Chas. Clinton, 19, and Fred Scherd, 28, who were truckers for the auto factory; and William Schroder, 20, who was a machinist at the auto factory. I really am amazed at the two young women working in the auto factory.

Many, changes occurred in the years between 1920 and 1930. Anna died Nov 27, 1929 and by the 1930 census, all the children had left home except for Otto. Still in Flint City on Newell Street, the boarding house was no more. Living alone in the house were Herman Hastedt, age 70, not employed, and his son, Otto, age 38, still working on as a policeman on the city force.
Herman died June 16, 1935.

Wilhelm H (Meyer) Tietje

OK, I had lots of things I COULD have done around here...like tackling the stacks of boxes yet to be unpacked from moving 9 months ago, pricing and organizing garage sale items and attacking the ever-present laundry piles, not to mention the barren landscaping around the house that should be addressed.

BUT, instead I spent three hours at the Records Center this morning, transcribing and proofreading old marriage records from 1888-1890 because I am preparing a book manuscript for my genealogical society and I am way behind where I would like to be on this project. Then, when I was completely cross-eyed and numb from sitting and trying to read the penmanship and phonetic spellings in the old books, I impulsively decided to drive to Deshler, OH to visit the small library there. I knew the library had resources in their collection not available in the Napoleon Library.

I spent a couple more hours there just browsing around and did find a few things, mainly on the Spoerings so I'll save them for later. Nothing earth shattering. The one interesting thing I will share comes from the history of Hope Lutheran Church in Hamler. I found this entry :

Tietje, Wilhelm (Meyer) - parents: Wm. H. Tietje & Katharina Anna L. (Spoering) Born 30 April 1912 in Pirmasens in the Pfalz, Germany. Bapt. May 1912 Germany. Conf. 20 June 1926.

I still wonder what happened to this adoptive son of Aunt Kate and her first husband and where is this location in Germany? Another path to travel.

April 9, 2019

The Children of the Immigrants - Third, Dora

The second daughter and third child of Johann Friedrich Elling was Christina Dorthee Elling.

 Born also in Tietlingen, Dushorn parish, near Fallingbostel, her birth record reads:
"Born in the morning of 29 May, Christina Dorthee Elling. Baptised 11 June. Father - Friedrich Elling, Hausw. (landlord) in Titlingen.
Mother - Marie born Fuhrhop.
Godparents - Dorothee Wildung, Ilse Elling, Doroth. Pralie, Christine Fuhrhop."

The Mueller family history (undated) stated:

"Dorothea's father died when she was young and she worked in friendly homes. She worked in grape vineyards on Kelly's Island and there she met Harmon Mueller. The story says that when Dorothea was 17, her father was planning on her marrying a rich, old man. She heard this and put all her clothes in a box and got a ride on a wagon to the next town. She took a job 40 miles away and was gone a year. Her parents advertised in the paper for her to come home. She knew Harmon Mueller only three weeks before she married him. They lived only 20 miles apart in the province of Hannover, and the families never knew each other.

After Harmon and Dorothy were married, they lived in Freedom Twp, then Marion Twp. for 19 years east of Holgate (Ricker farm where Allen Clady lives now) and then moved to the house on 281 near the corner of 281 and 65 where Lester and Emma Rettig lived in Richfield Twp. (now Michael Haake)
Dorothy died in Bartlow Twp and is buried at St. John's Lutheran Church, Bartlow Twp. She died of arteriosclerosis... Harmon and Dorothy's 4 children are Herman, Henry, Anna (Benien) and Minnie (Seeman)."

I could not find Dora in the 1870 census. Her father died that year and she was probably working as a domestic somewhere, perhaps on Kelley's Island. Her sister Mary was there that year. On October 23, 1873, Dora married Harmon (Herman H.) Mueller who also worked on Kelley's Island for a time.

The 1880 census found Harman Miller, Dora and sons Harman, 6, and Henry, 4, along with daughter Annie, 1, living in Freedom Twp. Harman was 42 and a farmer and Dora was 30 and keeping house. Living with them was Frederick Miller, age 15, who was at school. The name Mueller was Miller in this census and I'm not sure if Frederick is a nephew or some other relation of Harman.
Harman, born December 1844, and Dora, born May 1849, were living in Marion Twp. in the 1900 census. Son Harman had moved away and now at home were Henry, 24; Anna, 21; and Minnie, 17. Also living with them was Anna Shumaker, foster daughter, 16, and Charles Heber, boarder, 18. Harman and Dora had been married 27 years now and he iwas still farming. Henry and the boarder, Charles, were listed as farm laborers. The farm was rented.

By the 1910 census of Richfield Twp. in Henry County, Henry and Dortha still had son, Henry, 34 and single, at home, along with daughter Minnie, age 27 and single. They were still farming, with Henry working on the home farm as well. Now they owned their farm, which was mortgaged.

Dorotha Cristina Elling Herman Henry Mueller

 In the 1920 census, Harman, 75, and Dortha, 70, and Henry, 42, were still on the farm in Richfield Twp. This census told us that Harman immigrated in 1871 and was naturalized. Harman and Dortha could read and write, but Henry could not, according to the report. Henry was listed as a farmer, but his parents were not working.

Dora was alive in 1930, but again, I couldn't find her in the census. Harman died on Christmas Day, 1921, and Dora lived until Feb. 24, 1934.

The Children of the Immigrants - Next, Henry Elling

The first son and second child of Johann Friedrich Elling was Johann Heinrich Friedrich Elling, called Henry. In an earlier post, I noted that there were two Henry Ellings of near the same age in the New Hanover Church records.
In this German church record of his birth and baptism, it states:
Elling, Titlingen
Johann Heinrich Friedrich Elling, born 10 January, baptized 23 January. Father - Friedrich Elling of Tietlingen. Mother - Marie born Fuhrhop. Godparents - Johann von Hofe, Heinrich Helmann, Heinrich MacKenthau, Heinrich Fuhrhop.

It was my conclusion that Henry may have died around the age of 16, as noted in the New Hanover church records. Well, amazingly, I found the source to help support that notion. (If you dig long enough, it will come.) In the family history notes of the Mueller family - (Dora Elling,Henry's sister) - it stated:

"Dorothy had brothers Fred Jr of Napoleon and Henry who died in a train accident at age 17, and sisters Mary and Anna."

Now...what train? Where? Was he working or traveling? Lots of things to figure out still for proof certain.

The Children of the Immigrants - First, Mary

The birth and baptismal record of Fred Elling's oldest sister is posted above. Roughly translated, it reads:

Title (top left) - Name and Place - Elling, Tietlingen
Title (center) - Born 1843 - #7 Marie Dorothee Engel Elling, born 23 February in the morning,
baptized 6 March. Father: the landlord, Johann Friedrich Elling Mother: Anne Marie Fuhrhop
Godparents: Anna Dorothee Fuhrhop, Catherine Marie --? , and Engel --?

Of course, we've already heard the story of the child of Johann Friedrich and Anne Marie Engel Elling who was my gg grandfather and our direct ancestor, Fritz (Fred) Elling. But what of his brothers and sisters? Fritz had the farm, but what happened to his sisters?

The immigration records stated that she was 14 years old when the family immigrated in 1859. That record did not match her birth record which would make her 16 at the time. In the 1860 census, she was listed as 18 years old, living at home and working as a domestic.

Mary met and married Henry Pringnitz, the son of Elizabeth Pringnitz, a widow with seven children who also came to America in 1859. Both families were members of the New Hanover Church in Henry County in the early years. In 1860, Henry went to Kelley's Island to ply his trade as a blacksmith with a fellow smith, Mr. Becker. Four years later, Henry purchased 13 acres of land adjacent to Mr. Becker for $3000.

I haven't yet found the marriage records, but a history stated the couple married in 1865 and in 1866 built their home. That home is currently on the Ohio Historic Inventory and is still occupied. Kelley's island lore says that the house is haunted and that good things will happen to those who see that ghost. Apparently, the ghost only appears in the front bedroom and is none other than a child of Henry and Mary..."Herbie" Pringnitz.

By the 1870 census for Kelley's Island, Erie County, Ohio, the Pringnitz family was listed with Henry, aged 32, engaged in farming with real estate valued at $5000 and personal property at $300. His wife M.E. was 27 and keeping house with children, Emma, aged 4, and Elizabeth, aged 1. Henry's mother, Elizabeth, lived with them, too, at age 70.

In the 1880 Kelley's Island census, Henry, aged 43, and D. Mary, aged 37, have five children: N. Emma, 13; Elizabeth, 10; Sarah, 6; Albert, 3; and Harry 5/12. Three children attended school and Henry was still farming.

Now we have to skip ahead 20 years to the 1900 census - a census with much more information. Still on Kelley's Island, Henry was  listed as 63, with a birthdate of Jan. 1837, and Mary D. as 57, with a birthdate of Feb. 1843. That matched her German birth record! They have been married for 34 years and strangely, it stated that she had five children with four living. I have a photo with her six children in it as adults (see above), so I'm not sure about that statistic. Living with the couple in 1900 were their three sons - Albert H., born July 1876, aged 23; Harry F., born Dec. 1879, aged 20; and Herbert H., born Sept. 1883, aged 16. Henry was still farming with the two older sons helping him, while the youngest was at school. The document stated that Marycould not read or write, but could speak English. They owned their farm, which was mortgaged.

By 1910, father Henry had died and Albert was listed as the Head of the Household at age 33. He and his youngest brother Herbert, at age 26, were single and living with their mother Mary who was now widowed at age 67. Albert was a locomotive engineer for the quarry on Kelley's Island and brother Herbie was farming. It stated that Mary was living on her own income. On this census, it noted that Mary COULD read and write. The farm was owned free and clear!

Mary Elling Pringnitz died on 15 Feb 1916. By the 1920 census, Albert at age 43 was married to wife Mary, 46 and living in Portland Twp, Erie County (near Sandusky). He was a machinist for a tractor works.

From the Sandusky Star Journal, February 16, 1916:

Special to the Star-Journal,
KELLEY'S ISLAND, O., Feb. 16 - 
Mrs. Mary Pringnitz, aged and well known island resident and widow of the late Henry Pringnitz, died at her home at 5:30 Tuesday evening.  She had been ill for more than a month.  Funeral arrangments have not yet been completed.

Mrs. Pringnitz was aged 73 years and is survived by three sons, Albert of Sandusky, Harry of Toledo, and Herbert who lives here; three daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Ohlemacher of Sandusky, Mrs Sarah Trieschmann and Mrs Emma Titus, living here; seven grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Dorothy Miller of Napoleon and Mrs. Anna Hafette of Michigan, and one brother, Fred Allen* of Napoleon, O."

*(It should read Fred Elling, not Allen.  In one census, Elling was written as Alling, so it must be how it was pronounced by some.  Also, Anna's last name was Hastedt, not Hafette.)

As for the other children...Emma Naomi married William Titus, grandson of an early quarry owner, who worked as a lime kiln operator for the North Quarry and later as a teamster for the Dock company. They eventually lived in the Pringnitz homestead with the youngest brother, Herbie.

Elizabeth Dorothy died in 1964 in Mansfield, Richland County, OH.

A son, John, was born 21 Jan 1871 and died the same day.

Sarah Matilda was married to Henry Trieschman Jr. and lived her whole life on Kelley's Island. Her husband ran a meat market on the island.

Harry Fred lived in Toledo and worked for the Toledo Scale Company.

And the youngest, Herbert Huldrich, "Herbie", Pringnitz...well, he deserves his own page!

They were buried in the cemetery on Kelley's Island. 

April 8, 2019

I Spy an Aunt

I'll send you on an "aunt hunt." This is a confirmation photo from St. John Lutheran, Freedom Township, taken in 1934. Have fun on this expedition!  

Last one on the right in the back row ...Hildegarde Rausch 

Uncle Hunt

Brother Ron tells me that I don't update this enough. He's a loyal follower! So here's a little quiz for the Elling clan. I've posted a confirmation class photo from St. John Lutheran Church, Freedom Township, 1938. One of my uncles is in this photo. No other hints. Click to enlarge the photo.

6th from left, first row - Norman Miller

Automobile Photos from Aunt Alma Hicksted

While cleaning through some boxes this week, I came across some other photos Aunt Alma had sent, along with a newsy letter.  The quality of the first photo is poor, but the auto is identifiable.

Aunt Alma wrote, "Now this was many years ago, too, at Paul and Hildegarde's house and it was our 1938 Ford convertible, and it's your Dad "Rudy" standing beside it.  It think it was in summer of 1942 or 1943."

The year of the vehicle below was in question for awhile until another photo of the same car was found with information on the back.

Aunt Alma wrote, " This was your Dad and Mom's car and they lived in an apt. in this house in Toledo, Ohio after they were married."

Rudy Elling and Donna Ordway were married in October, 1943, and began jobs at Willys Jeep in Toledo.  It was the war years and they had good jobs there; however, not good enough to buy a brand new car.  This was a 1934 Chevrolet with the suicide door, as one reader commented on Facebook.  It's easy to see how it was given that name.

April 3, 2019

Anna Marie Engel Fuhrhop Elling, Immigrant

After her husband, Johann Friedrich died in 1871, Anna Marie Engel (called Mary or Marie) continued to live with her son, Fritz, and his youngest sister, Anna. By the 1880 census, Anna was gone from the home and Fred Elling, 26, farmer, was named as Head of the Household with Mary, age 67, his mother, keeping house there. Another person was living with them - Henry Elling, age 16, laborer, born Ohio, parents born in Prussia. No relationship was stated, so I really don't know who this is.

The communion records, 1885 - 1891, of St. Paul Lutheran, Napoleon Twp. show Fritz and Marie Elling and Marie Elling taking communion there, not always on the same dates, but usually twice a year. (Fritz had married in 1884 another Marie.)

Sometime between 1880 and Mary, the immigrant's death in 1893, a case went to court to declare lunacy for Mary. The records are sealed in probate court so I couldn't look at them, but it is my speculation that Fritz was having his mother declared senile and himself named as trustee for her.

The image above shows the Death Register from the records of St. Paul Lutheran, Napoleon Twp.
The Deceased: Elling, Anna Marie Engel, the legitimate wife of Fried. Elling
Day of Death: March 24, 1893
Buried: March 28, 1893
Cause of Death: Weakness of Old Age
Age: 79y 5m 24d
"Estate": 4 children, 17 grandchildren and her Bible verse, Romans 6:23
Pastor Louis Dammann

She actually had five children, but at her death, the record states four...another support for the idea that son Henry died early at the age of 16. I believe the other children were all alive at the time of their mother's death.

More on Our Immigrant Ancestor ...


Poor Johann Friedrich Elling really didn't get to enjoy the joys of America too long. I mentioned earlier that he was in the 1860 census and at that time he was a day laborer, owned no real estate and had personal goods worth $100.

By the 1870 census, several of the daughters had left the home to marry or work as domestics, leaving just our ancestor - son Fritz, aged 17 - and his little sister, Annie, aged 10, at home with their father, now aged 55, and mother, aged 57. Now Johann Friedrich had real estate valued at $3000 and the worth of his personal goods had climbed to $400. (This census was very difficult to find as the census taker wrote the last name as "Alling.")

Unfortunately, J. Friedrich would only live approximately one more year. I could find no will and I have not yet searched land records to determine ownership and land location. I need to find if the same farm of the 1870 census was passed down to son Fritz...the one we saw in the plat map in an earlier post. My guess is that it is the same. Fritz would have been only 18 or so when he had to take over the farming and serve as head of the household.

Johann Friedrich Elling died on July 17, 1871, of consumption (tuberculosis.) The probate death records list his death in 1871; however a close look at the tombstone shows 1870. In this case, a probate records trumps the tombstone inscription. His tombstone still stands in the cemetery at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Napoleon Township at the corner of Roads 17 and Q1. It is located in Lot D2, the sixth row back from Road 17 and near the creek. It is very difficult to read, but the name is fairly clear, along with the age at death. The verse at the bottom of the stone, which is probably a Bible verse, was impossible for me to decipher.

Wife Mary is buried in the 1st row, but there is no marker for her...maybe that is something the family can correct sometime. It appears that in the early days, folks were buried in the order in which they died so that family groups are not together. Fortunately, the church has kept good cemetery plot records.

I hope you all can take a few moments sometime to visit this grave site to think about the trials of our ancestor and the risks he took in bringing his family to America.

Johann Friedrich Marries

Marriage Record of Johann Friedrich Elling

The marriage record was much easier to find than the birth record! A simple letter to a German archives produced this record rather quickly. (Remember word order is different. ) It says:

Extract of the Register of Marriages of the evang. luth Church Records of Walsrode. Year - 1842 Page - 111 (Probably Vol 4) Date of Wedding - 25 February 1842

Name, Status and Residence of the Husband: The bachelor and landlord, Johann Friedrich Elling in Tietlingen, the legitimate son of the landlord, Johann Friedrich Elling and Ilse born Meyer.

Name, Status and Residence of the Wife: The single woman Anne Marie Engel Fuhrhop of Hunsingen, legitimate daughter of the owner of a full farm, Heinrich Fuhrhop and Catharine born Kappenberg.

This document provides us with the parents of my gg grandmother, her village of birth, occupations of the men, and the wedding date.

The German dictionary gives the definition of hauswirth as "landlord." I am not sure that this is the same definition given in the 1840's. In Tietlingen, there was a main farm - the Asche farm currently. 

I have corresponded with a descendant in Germany from this Asche family and he does not know who owned the farm before that. His father, born in 1885, took over the farm and he says, "...where the Elling family lived many years." He also says...and this would have been in the WW II years, "Nevertheless, I well remember that the youth of Tietlingen gathered very often during summer evenings in front of the house of the Elling family." So there were Elling's there as late as 1944, according to his memory. There is much to be discovered about this yet, but I have not found much historical information on Tietlingen that goes back into the early 1800's.

Anne Marie's father, Heinrich, was listed as a Vollmeier - an owner of a full farm.
Hunzingen (Fuhrhop) and Tietlingen (Elling) are about 9 kilometers or a little more than 5 miles apart.


Johann Friedrich Elling, German Birth and Baptism

To find our family further back in Germany, I hired an excellent researcher, Dr. Sylvia Moehle, who worked at the Fallingbostel Archives.  Even if had had found the records myself, I know I would have had little or no success in translating them with any accuracy.  If you enlarge the above record, you'll understand.

This birth/baptismal record is from the Ev. Lutheran Kirchenbuch of Tietlingen Dushorn Parish, Hanover,  The year is 1817.  The month is July.  On July 14, 1817, Johann Friedrich Elling (our immigrant) was born and he was then baptized on July 18.  Parents: Johann Friedrich Elling of Tietlingen and his legal wife, Anne Ilse (born) Meier.  Godparent: Hans Joachim Elling.

From this record, we now know another generation back - there was a Johann Friedrich Sr.  Later we will look to see if Hans Joachim, godfather, is actually the grandfather of the new baby as this was the grandfather's name.

Because of the high infant mortality rate, babies were baptized soon after birth.  Sometimes the mother was not able to attend the baptismal ceremony.

Hanover Settlement and St. Paul Lutheran, Napoleon Twp.

I forgot to mention in the last post that Johann Friedrich Elling also applied for his naturalization papers in 1860.

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Napoleon Township

My thanks to Lucille Sunderman of Henry County who graciously agreed to let me post a response she sent me when I asked her about the location exactly of the Hanover Settlement. In our correspondence, we also discovered that her Arps ancestors came from Stellichte (like Anna Maria Engel Fuhrhop) and her Panning ancestors came from Dueshorn parish (like our Elling ancestors). She is trying to form a database of the native German villages for the people of the Hanover settlement. I think it will be no surprise that many of the people may have known each other in the "old country."

Here is her response:
"The original Church of New Hanover (also known as Zion) in 1851 purchased property and built a log cabin on Henry County Road Q-1, a mile and a half west of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Napoleon Township. This is a half mile east of the Adams Township, Defiance/Henry County Line. There still is a cemetery on the site that, I believe, is maintained by St. Paul, Napoleon Township.
The members of the New Hanover congregation lived around the nuclei of that church in both Defiance and Henry County. In the 1850's, when more emigrants were arriving from Germany, the two Bethlehem Lutheran churches in Adams Township were organized by residents of the Hanover Settlement."

The St. Paul history booklet stated: "In 1848 Henry Helberg and Dietrich Badenhop came from Germany, bringing with them the bodies of little Maria Helberg, aged 1 1/2 years, and Christian Dachenhaus, aged 17.  These settlers needed a burial ground so they immediately decided to arrange for a cemetery and to build a church next to it.  Among others, the well-known preacher, Rev. August Knape, served this little group.  It was a group from this congregation which founded St. Paul's Lutheran Church and when Rev. Damman was called, the congregation dissolved itself and merged with St Paul's in Napoleon Township."
In 1866, St. Paul, Napoleon Township built a church on the site near their present cemetery on the corner of Q-1 and 17.
In 1882, the original Church of New Hanover disbanded. Since that time, the people belonging to St. Paul congregation have been referred to as being from the "settlement."
Hope Lutheran Church, Hamler, was also started by families from the Hanover Settlement that had moved into the Hamler/ Holgate area in the 1860's.

In the same local history booklet entitled, "The Story of Old St. Paul's Church, The House of Worship for Old St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Napoleon Twp., Henry County, Ohio - 1867 - 1980," on page 14, the first membership list is published:

"The first Membership List found in the records consisted of heads of households and others who were voting members while the new church was being built:
Kaspar Oberhaus
Heinrich Helberg
Wilhelm Freytag
Frederick Ludeman
Christoph Helberg
Heinrich Rohrs
Friedrick Imbrock
Heinrich Othmer
Herman Arps
Herman Mahnke
Heinrich Wittenberg
Johann Wachtman
Charles Bokerman
Friedrich Kruse,
F. H. Freytag
Firedrich Plassman
Christian Buchele
H. J. Stockman
J. Fred Oberhaus
J. Heinrich Otte
Fred Wendt
Friedrich Elling
Heinrich Panning
Diedrich Jost
Heinrich Schorling
Benjamin Huber
Friedrich Schuette
Herman Norden
Heinrich Precht
Heinrich Deilen
Friedrich Helberg
Heinrich Dachenhaus
Wilhelm Othman
Heinrich Mahnke
Joseph Schumacher
Henry Wolkman
Herman Hahn
Wilhelm Orthman" 

In 2001 a group of descendants of German immigrants who chose to settle in Northwest Ohio in the mid-19th century, met to see if enough interest could be generated to organize a group in order to preserve their German heritage.
We now meet four times a year at the Lutheran Social Services building on State Route 66 near State Route 34. Non-members with an interest in their German heritage are always welcome."
Lucille Sunderman

April 2, 2019

1860 and Beyond

Census of 1860

 By July of 1860, the census taker was traveling around Napoleon Township in Henry County, Ohio, counting folks for the federal government. On July 9th, he visited the Elling family and recorded the following:

Fredk Elling, age 47, married, white, day laborer from Hanover, value of personal estate-$100.
Mary Elling, age 49, female, white, from Hanover
Mary Elling Jun, age 18, female, white, a domestic
Henry Elling, age 14, male
Dorathy Elling, age 11, female
Frederick Elling, age 7, male - all from Hanover.
All of their neighbors came from Hanover and all were farmers.

Just a month or so later, on August 2, 1860, the Kirchenbuch of New Hanover, notes the birth of Anna Maria Margareta Elling, daughter of Friedrich Elling and Maria Fuhrhop. Anna was baptized on November 2, 1860, with her sponsors listed as Anna Rohrs, Maria Badenhop, Margareta Stockman and Anna Precht.

The Kirchenbuch also has an entry under burials that, I think, could possibly belong to this family:
"Elling, Johann Heinrich Friederich - Born January 10, 1846 in Hanover - Died October 23, 1862 -Buried October 25. Age: 16 years, 9 months, 14 days."
This could be the child of Johann Friedrich, the son Henry. Somewhere I read that Heinrich was hit by a train, but right now I can't put my hand on that source. I scoured the local Napoleon papers for an account of that accident, but the papers of the time were really not printing much local news and I could not find anything. If I find that source here later, I will report it.

To confuse the issue further, under Confirmations in the Kirchenbuch, I find two Heinrich Ellings confirmed - one on April 15, 1860 and one on April 7, 1861. So, apparently, there was another Heinrich Elling in the congregation. So...that is a question that may or may not be answered.

On April 19, 1863, Dorotea Elling was confirmed by Pastor A. Friedrich Knape.

I looked at the Kirchenbuch of New Hanover early on in my research and now that I know more of the family, I need to go back for a second look. It's on the "to-do" list!

What was Happening in 1859?

Just what was happening in the world when the Ellings immigrated to America in 1859?

...Oregon was admitted to the Union as our 33rd state.

...A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was published.

...France declared war on Austria.

...The Comstock Lode, the most lucrative silver ore mine in history, was discovered near Virginia City, Nevada.

...The electric range and escalator were patented and the first Pullman car went into service.

...John Brown and his followers, in an attempt to get weapons for a slave insurrection, seize the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now WV.) They were quickly captured,
convicted and hung.

...Billy the Kid was born, aka William Bonney

...Charles Darwin published Origin of the Species.

...The first oil well was discovered in the U.S. in Titusville, PA.

...Our president was Buchanan.

...One of the first reports relating tobacco to cancer was published in France!

...Capt. James Simpson searched for the shortest way across Nevada, finding a path that was then used by the Pony Express (1860) and the Overland Mail and Stage (1861.)