Monthly Archives: October 2018

Tombstone Tuesday – October 30, 2018 – Herman Rehnen


Herman Rehnen was the son of Ulrick and Mary Ann (Hutker) Rehnen. He was born in 1856 in Indiana. Ulrick and Mary Ann had eight children; Bernard (1847), Henry (1849), Maria (1851 – 1855), Joseph (1853-1856), Herman (1856), Johann (1858-1860), Martin (1862), Elizabeth(1866).

In the 1870 Federal Census, Herman is a 14 year old who is still attending school and living at home with his parents in the Third Ward of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He can also be found in several Fort Wayne City Directory entries for the years of 1877, and 1879. In the 1880 Census, Herman is a Saloon Keeper in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is single and living alone on West Main Street. The census was recorded on October 25, 1880.

One hundred and thirty-eight years ago today, on October 30, 1880, Herman died. It was five days after being recorded in the 1880 Federal Census and three days before the November 2, 1880 presidential election between James A. Garfield and Winfield S. Hancock. Based on the newspaper article quoted below, it appears that Herman was a Hancock supporter. It make me think that there must have been lively debates about the presidential race in the saloon which Herman ran.

In the Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel on November 3, 1880, there was the following article about Herman’s Funeral.

Gentlemen Everyone

It is a pleasant note amid the animosities engendered by the campaign, the harmony existing between the democratic and republican organizations of this city. It has been demonstrated that blood is thicker than water, and that brotherly love far outshines any jealousies that a political campaign may have cause. The funeral of Herman Rehnen, yesterday afternoon was a piece of genuine sorrow rarely witnessed and never equaled. The deceased was captain of the Hancock and English guards, but was well known among the members of the Garfield’s Legion, who attended the funeral in a body, as in his own Party ranks. And be it said to the credit of those composing the followers of General Garfield may it rebound to their credit as gentlemen and Politicians, that they occupied a position in the procession which no discrimination selected, which no motives but esteem and love for a departed friend made valuable and which they filled with gentlemanly deportment characteristic of such an occasion General Garfield may be proud of such followers, Fort Wayne of such citizens.

Herman is buried in the Rehnen Family plot in the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana according to the cemetery records. No tombstone is available.

Henry Rehnen2

Herman, just so you know, nothing much has changed in politics. Elections are still very hot topics with the Democrats and the Republicans severely divided along party lines. While we are not voting on a president this year, the election is no less heated!

Rest in peace. Herman!

Love, Jan

Herman was the Brother-in-law to my 2nd Grand Aunt. I can’t help but wonder why a seemingly health 25 year old saloon keeper died. Was it an act of violence?  There may be an interesting story here. I just might have to buy his death certificate. I sure wish Indiana and some of the other states would provide death certificates online like the state of Michigan does.

Tombstone Tuesday – October 23, 2018 – Bessie J Hainer


Bessie Hainer was born on August 30, 1890 in Michigan. She is the daughter of Joseph  Hainer and his wife Nettie Louise Currier. Joseph and Nettie had four children; Bessie (1890), Hazel (1995), Elta (1995), Grace (1900).


One hundred and thirteen years ago to day, Bessie died at the tender age of fifteen. She is buried in Duplain Cemetery in Saint Johns, Michigan. Her death Certificate states Motor Paralysis as the cause of death.


She is buried in the family plot in the Duplain Cemetery in Clinton County, Michigan.

Rest in peace, Bessie!

Love, Jan

Bessie is a second cousin three times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – October 16, 2018 – Sophia M Eckert Bly


Sophia M Eckhert was born in Mosbach, Baden, Germany in December 1, 1794. She is the daughter of Johann (John) and Elizabeth Dorothea Eckert. I can not determine when she arrived in America or whether she came as an adult or a child at this time.

She married John Jacob Bly in Fairfield County, Ohio on March 14, 1810. They had eight children; Rudolph (1812), Barbara (1813), Jacob (1815), William (1820), Sarah (1822), David (1824), George Washington (1829), Edwin Gabriel (1834)

In the 1830 Federal Census, Jacob and Sophia have five sons who range in age from under 5 years to between fifteen to nineteen and they have two daughters, one who is between five and nine and one who is between ten and fifteen.

In the 1850 Federal Census, Jacob, Sophia, Barbara and Edwin are living in Marion Township, Ohio. Jacob is not employed according to the census but a sixteen year old Edwin says he is a laborer. William and his wife Elizabeth live next door  to Jacob and Sophia and so do David and his wife. William eventually moves to the Fort Wayne Area of Indiana.  These Bly families are the first three families counted Marion Township District 48.

In the 1860 Federal Census, Sophia is living with her eighty three year old husband, Jacob and one son, Edwin in Marion Township, Hancock, Ohio. Edwin and Jacob list their occupation as farmer in the 1860 Census.

In the 1870 Federal Census, Sophia is living with Edwin and his wife, Mary and their son, Ephraim. There is also a six year old Mary E King listed.

One hundred and forty two years ago today, Sophia died. She is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay, Ohio.  According to Findagrave, she is buried in Section X, Block B. Lot 122, space nine.

Maple Grove

Maple Grove Cemetery

Rest in Peace, Sophia.

Love, Jan

Sophia is the Paternal Grandmother of the of the wife of my Grand Uncle.


Tombstone Tuesday – October 9, 2018 – Else Larsdatter

Else was born in 1584 in Tonsberg, Norway. She was the daughter of Laurits Christoffersen Maretrand Falck and Else Fronick. Laurits and Else had at least two children; Else (1584), Isach (1601)

Else married Jakob Olsen Kjaeras around 1600. Jakob and Else had nine children; Anne (1600), Marte (1605), Barbro (1608), Viveke (1610), Lars (1612), Mari (1614), Anne (1616), Sara (1618), Ragnhild (1620) (Randi). They lived on a farm area known as Kjaeras.

Three hundred and forty nine years ago today, Else died in Andebu, Norway. She is likely buried in the cemetery next to the Hoyjord Stave Church. The church was built in the 11th century. It is the last remaining Stave Church in Vestfold County, Norway.


Else may be my nine times Great Grandmother. This information was received by a tool I use, called “We’re Related”. It is a phone app that I use in conjunction with Several months ago, I received a match which connected me with Henrik Ibsen who is a famous Norwegian playwright, director and poet. It is thru this match that I received the information about Else and her father Laurits Falck. Henrik Ibsen descends from Else’s brother, Isach. I am still working to verify this information. The language barrier makes this a difficult process but so far it seems very likely.

Rest in Peace, Else!

Love, Jan

Tombstone Tuesday – October 2, 2018 – Laura Alice Miller James

Laura Alice Miller James

Laura Alice Miller was the daughter of Gabriel and Anna (van Evans) Miller. She was born on March 6, 1862 in Knoxville, Iowa. Gabriel and Anna had three daughters; Mary Isabel (1853), Catherine (1856), Laura Alice (1862). In the 1860 Census, Gabriel, Anna and the two oldest of their three daughters, Mary Isabel and Catherine, are found in Webster, Iowa.  Gabriel is a carpenter.  In the 1870 Census, the Miller family is found in Knoxville, Iowa. Gabriel and Anna now have the two younger daughters living with them, Catherine who is a seamstress and twenty-four years of age and Alice (Laura) who is attending school and is eight years old. Mary Isabel has likely married and is no longer living at home. By the time of the 1880 Federal Census, Laura Alice is now an eighteen year old young woman who is still living at home.

Laura Alice Miller

Laura Alice Miller James – about 1881 **

Laura Alice married Clarence James on August 10 , 1881. The Clarence James family is found in Clay, Iowa in the 1900 Federal Census. They have a 6 year old daughter whose name is Helen. In the 1910 Census, the James family is still in Clay, Iowa and their daughter is now sixteen. They also have William T. James living with them. He is the 52 year old brother of Clarence. In 1916, Clarence James died. By the 1920 Federal Census, Laura James is living by herself in Knoxville, Iowa. She is a widow at the age of fifty eight. She is again recorded alone in the 1925 Iowa State Census. She lives in Knoxville on Main street in the 1930 Federal Census. Helen James Anderson , the daughter of Clarence and Laura, died in 1930 six years before her mother.

Eighty two years ago today, Laura Alice died in Knoxville, Iowa.  She was buried at Graceland Cemetery.


Rest in peace, Laura Alice!

Love, Jan

**  Thanks so much to the member PaMayhew who shared this photo of Laura Alice Miller James.