Tombstone Tuesday : Anna Elisabeth (Hufnagel) Stern

George M. & Anna E. (Hufnagel) Stern marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.
George M. & Anna E. (Hufnagel) Stern marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.

Anna Elisabeth Hufnagel was born 29 August 1855 at Schwalbenmühle bei Windsbach, Mittelfranken, Bavaria.[1] She was the daughter of Georg Andreas Hufnagel and his wife, Eva Elisabeth (Böhm).[2] At 17 years old, she departed from Bremen and immigrated to the United States on board the S.S. Berlin, arriving at Baltimore, Maryland on 3 September 1872.[3] She appears to have traveled unaccompanied by any family members.[4] On 15 July 1877 she married George Michael Stern in Bay City, Bay County, Michigan.[5] Following her marriage, Anna Elisabeth resided in Frankenmuth, Saginaw, Michigan with her family.[6] She had one son.[7] Anna Elisabeth (Hufnagel) Stern died 29 November 1942 in Frankenmuth.[8] She is buried with her husband in St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery.[9]

Reference Notes:

1. Tobias Brenner, compiler, “The Brenner Collection,” type- and manuscripts, n.d., family group record for Gg Andreas Hufnagel and Eva Els Böhm, married 26 November 1848; FHL microfilm 541,585.

2. Ibid.

3. “Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 September 2015), manifest, S. S. Berlin, Bremen to Baltimore, Maryland, arriving 3 September 1872, p. 13 (unpaginated), no. 425, Anna Hufnagel; citing National Archives microfilm publication M255, roll 020, list no. 109.

4. Ibid.

5. Bay County, Michigan, Marriage Registers, 1877, p. 58, no. 1594, George Michael Stern-Elisabeth Hufnagle [sic]; digital image, “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015); citing Michigan Department of Vital Records, Lansing.

6. See, for example, 1900 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Frankenmuth Township, p. 199-B (stamped), enumeration district 34, dwelling 74, family 75, Anna E Stern; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 September 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, exact roll not cited for individual images.

7. Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Baptisms (1857-1885),” (typescript, 1995, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), pp. 263 & 4, Stern no. 317.

8. “Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015), Anna E Stern, 29 November 1942; citing Michigan Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing.

9. St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery (Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan), Anna E Stern marker, section 2; personally read, 2012.

Connecting the Hufnagels of Bay and Saginaw Counties

Recently, I received a message from a woman inquiring about a potential DNA match with her mother. We had both tested through AncestryDNA and were a high confidence match. A couple of weeks ago, my potential cousin and I connected via the telephone and discovered our shared ancestry through the Hufnagel line.

Three years ago, I began my Hufnagel research only knowing the name, birth and dates of my great-great grandmother Anna Elisabeth Hufnagel (1855-1942)[1] who had married George Michael Stern. This information had been recorded on a slip of paper by my grandmother which she had presumably written for my father. Beyond that, I had no knowledge of her or her family. The civil marriage record for the couple indicated Elisabeth Hufnagel was born in Germany and living in Bay City, Bay County, Michigan at the time of her marriage to my great-great grandfather on 15 July 1877.[2] This led me to search for her family origins which in turn led me to other Hufnagels in Bay and Saginaw Counties.

The Hufnagel surname was not particularly common in the Saginaw Valley and a variety of census, marriage, death, church, newspaper, probate and other records indicated the following additional Hufnagels born in Germany and residing in either Saginaw or Bay Counties, Michigan:

  • J. Michael Hufnagel (1842-1887)[3]
  • George Adam Hufnagel (1851-1920)[4]
  • Anna Maria (Hufnagel) Schreiner (1857-1922)[5]
  • Johann L. Hufnagel (1860—1896)[6]

Given their common surname, birthplaces of Germany, and proximity of settlement in the Saginaw Valley, it seemed likely they were all related. Multiple on-line family trees had them all listed as siblings, although none had adequate sources supporting this. Through the various records mentioned above, I found connections as siblings for George Adam, Anna Elisabeth, Anna Maria, and Johann L.[8] No records indicating J. Michael Hufnagel’s relationship to any of the other Hufnagels or their common parents were located.

A church record for Anna Maria (Hufnagel) Schreiner indicated her birthplace was Windsbach, Baiern.[7] This led to a search for records from the town of Windsbach, Bavaria. This then led to the discovery of The Brenner Collection of family group sheets extracted from parish records in and near the district of Ansbach, Mittelfranken, Bavaria. These records include Windsbach parish. The Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah) holds microfilms, 764 rolls to be exact, of the Brenner Collection. I ordered a film potentially containing records for my Hufnagels of interest.

A family group sheet from the collection confirmed the parentage, birth dates and places for the Hufnagels I had already identified as siblings:

Children of Gg Andreas Hufnagel and Eva Els Böhm married 26 November 1848 in Windsbach:

  • Georg Adam, b. 20 December 1851, Schwalbenmuehle [bei Windsbach]
  • Anna Elisabeth, b. 29 August 1855, Schwalbenmuehle
  • Anna Maria, b. 8 October 1857, Schwalbenmuehle
  • Johann Adam (aka Johann L.), b. 2 June 1860, Schwalbenmuehle [9]

Schwalbenmuehle lies to the east of Windsbach. It translates as “swallows mill.” The record lists Gg Andreas as a “Mühlgutsbesiter,” a mill landowner.[10] The record also listed these additional children of the couple:

  • Anna Elisabeth, b. 28 August 1849, Windsbach; d. 1 January 1850, Windsbach
  • Georg Michael, b. 21 October 1850 Windsbach; d. 15 November 1853, Windsbach
  • Margareta Barbara, b. 25 March 1853, Windsbach [11]

J. Michael Hufnagel, born 1842, about six years before Georg Andreas Hufnagel and his wife were married, was not a part of this record. Still theorizing he must be a relation, I continued to search the Brenner Collection. Another family group record potentially identified his birth:

Child of Gg. Andr. [Georg Andreas] Hufnagel and M. Barb. [Maria Barbara] Böhm married 4 June 1838 in Windsbach:

  • Johann Mich. [Michael], b. 11 January 1842, Windsbach [12]

This couple also had several other children between 1839 and 1846.[13]

Based on his proximity in time and location to the other Windsbach area Hufnagels in the Saginaw Valley, this Brenner Collection record is probably the correct record for J. Michael Hufnagel of Bay County, Michigan. This was the only record from the Windsbach area that proved to be a possibility for him.

The Brenner Collection is a derivative source and the information provided by the records is out of context and error-prone, thus making it difficult to ascertain the definitive connection of Johann Michael Hufnagel of Windsbach to the Hufnagels of Bay County, Michigan and Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan; however, I offer this hypothesis:

There is not enough information from both family group records cited to state that the father Georg Andreas Hufnagel is certainly the same man. There is no death recorded for Maria Barbara (Böhm) Hufnagel, but her last children were twins born 12 May 1846.[14] The other family group record for a Georg Andreas Hufnagel shows his marriage to have taken place on 26 November 1848.[15] It is possible that the Georg Andreas Hufnagel of both family group records is the same man if his first wife died sometime between the birth of their twins and his potential second marriage. Moreover, there do not seem to be records for Hufnagels in Windsbach prior to the 1838 marriage of Georg Andreas, lessening the likelihood that there were several Hufnagel families residing there. This would make Johann Michael Hufnagel a half-sibling to the other Hufnagels of Bay County and Frankenmuth, Michigan; however, the original church records of Windsbach should be examined in context to possibly prove this. American church records for J. Michael Hufnagel have not yet been located; they may provide further insight into his identity.

Since originally examining The Brenner Collection on microfilm, I found that Ancestry.com has recently digitized the collection as “Ansbach, Germany, Lutheran Parish Register Extracts, 1550-1920.” The collection is also still available on microfilm from the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Reference Notes:

1. “Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015), Anna E Stern, 29 November 1942; citing Michigan Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing.

2. Bay County, Michigan, Marriage Registers, 1877, p. 58, no. 1594, George Michael Stern-Elisabeth Hufnagle [sic]; digital image, “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015); citing Michigan Department of Vital Records, Lansing.

3. History of Bay County, Michigan With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers (Chicago: H. R. Page, 1883), 203.

Bay County, Michigan, Death Registers, 1887, f. 80, no. 386, Mike Hufnagel; digital image, “Michigan Deaths, 1867-1897,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015); citing Michigan Department of Vital Records, Lansing.

Bay County, Michigan, probate case file no. 2172, J. Michael Hufnagel (1888); “Michigan Probate Records, 1797-1973,” digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 7 August 2015).

4. “Death Records, 1897-1920,” Michigan History Foundation, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 30 August 2013), death certificate image, Bay County, no. 164 (stamped), George Adam Hufnagel, 8 September 1920; citing Michigan Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics.

5. “Death Records, 1921-1947,” Michigan History Foundation, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 26 August 2015), death certificate image, Saginaw County, no. 73 736 (stamped), Anna Maria Schreiner, 31 December 1922; citing Michigan Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics.

6. Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 August 2015), memorial 116845299, Johann L. Hufnagel (1860-1896), Fremont Cemetery, Bay County, Michigan; a photograph by FELIX 5574 provides a legible image of the inscribed data including full birth and death dates.

7. Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Baptisms (1857-1885),” (typescript, 1995, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), p. 253, Schreiner no. 298.

8. 1884 Michigan state census, Bay County, Monitor Township, population schedule,  p. 20, lines 9-12 , household of Adam Hufnagel; digital images, “Michigan State Census, 1884-1894,” Michigan History Foundation, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 30 August 2013).

Bay County, Michigan, Marriage Registers, 1895, f. 174, no. 4800, John Hufnatel [sic]-Mary M. Kraft; digital image, “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 27 August 2015); citing Michigan Department of Vital Records, Lansing.

“Death Records, 1897-1920,” death certificate image, Bay County, no. 164 (stamped), George Adam Hufnagel (1920).

“Obituary,” obituary for G. A. Hufnagel, The Bay City (Michigan) Times Tribune, Friday, 10 September 1920; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 09 November 2013).

“Death Records, 1921-1947,” death certificate image, Saginaw County, no. 73 736 (stamped), Anna Maria Schreiner (1922).

“Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” database, Anna E Stern (1942).

9. Tobias Brenner, compiler, “The Brenner Collection,” type- and manuscripts, n.d., family group record for Gg Andreas Hufnagel and Eva Els Böhm, married 26 November 1848; FHL microfilm 541,585. The birth date for Johann Adam matches that of tombstone record for Johann L. (see reference note no. 6).

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Tobias Brenner, compiler, “The Brenner Collection,” type- and manuscripts, n.d., family group record for Gg Andr. Hufnagel and M. Barb. Böhm, married 4 June 1838; FHL microfilm 541,585.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Brenner, “The Brenner Collection,” Gg Andreas Hufnagel and Eva Els Böhm (1848).

[Field Trip Friday] : The Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center

The Daniel Boone home, Defiance, Missouri; 2015.
The Daniel Boone home, Defiance, Missouri; 2015.

While visiting the St. Louis area this past spring, my mother and I paid a visit to The Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center in the beautiful rolling hills near the Missouri River Valley. Daniel Boone, you may recall, was a Virginia statesman, Revolutionary War soldier, frontiersman and folk hero. He is most famous for forging the Wilderness Road, a route used by pioneers from the East to reach Kentucky.

Note the gun port located  next to a first floor window, The Daniel Boone Home, Defiance, Missouri; 2015.
Note the gun port located next to a first floor window, The Daniel Boone Home, Defiance, Missouri; 2015.

The Boone home near Defiance, Missouri actually belonged to Daniel’s son Nathan. Daniel lived his final years here and died in the home on 26 September 1820. The interior of the home can only be seen by guided tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable on Boone’s history and that of the house. Surrounding the home is a small village of historic buildings also available to tour. More information is available on The Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center website.

The Lovria Hart Letters : Frankenmuth Noted

The Hart family of Tuscola Township, Tuscola County were early Michigan pioneers, settling here, as my knowledgeable uncle proudly tells me, “before Michigan was a state.”[1] Several letters spanning the years 1837-1853 written by the family’s patriarch, Lovira Hart, and his wife to family in New York State are today housed in the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library[2]. Transcriptions of the letters were published in Hildred Jay Hart’s Genealogical History of Lovira Hart, Sr. and His Ancestors and Descendants 1605-1976.[3] Not only do these letters give details of their family life, they also provide insight into the early settlement of Michigan’s Saginaw Valley.

Though not explicitly named, the new German settlement at Frankenmuth was noteworthy enough to gain mention in two letters written by Lovira Hart of neighboring Tuscola Township. In the excerpt below, it is clear that Lovira had already visited the German settlers not too long after their arrival.

Aug. 24 1845

“A new settlement has ________ Reserve between here and Bridgeport ________ seven Dutch families they are direct from Germany of the German Lutheran Order and have brot [sic] their Preacher with two Church bells they have also got their School Teacher and they expect more of their Country men soon to follow them they appear intelligent and can most of them speak the English language and possessing some considerable money they bought about one sec of land on the River at 20/ per acre.”[4]

Reference Notes:

[1] This oral history corresponds to the published assertion of Lovira Hart’s arrival in Tuscola County in 1836. See, History of Tuscola and Bay Counties, Michigan : with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Their Prominent Men and Pioneers (Chicago: H. R. Page & Co., 1883), 33; digital images, University of Michigan Library, Michigan County Histories and Atlases (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/micounty/ : accessed 14 August 2015).

[2] “Lovira Hart papers, 1837-1853,” entry, University of Michigan Library, Mirlyn Catalog (http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/ : accessed 14 August 2015).

[3] Hart, Hildred Jay. Genealogical History of Lovira Hart, Sr. And His Ancestors and Descendants 1605-1976. Centreville, Michigan: n.p., 1979.

[4] Hildred Jay Hart, Genealogical History of Lovira Hart, Sr. And His Ancestors and Descendants 1605-1976 (Centreville, Michigan: n.p., 1979), 188; excerpt from letters dated 24 August, 1845, written by Lovira Hart.

[Follow Friday] : Concordia Historical Institute

Concordia Historical Institute, St. Louis, Missouri; 2015.
Concordia Historical Institute, St. Louis, Missouri; 2015.

The Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) is housed in Saint Louis, Missouri on the campus of Concordia Seminary. CHI should be on the radar for those researching ancestors in the Saginaw Valley’s Franconian settlements or other “German Lutheran” ancestors located throughout the United States. Why? CHI serves as the Department of Archives and History for The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). All of the Franconian settlements’ original Lutheran churches were early members of this denominational body which was originally known as the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States. Frankenmuth’s St. Lorenz Lutheran Church was one of the charter congregations when the synod formed in 1847.

CHI’s facilities include collections storage, a gallery, and a reading room for researchers. It maintains biographical records researched by staff and files on past and present pastors, teachers, missionaries and others who have served in the LCMS. Additional items of interest to genealogical researchers include various church records and minutes, copies of church sacramental records, photographs, and personal papers of men and women who served in the church. Even if you don’t have a Lutheran pastor or teacher in your genealogy, you may find mention of them in church records or a minister’s papers who served their congregations.

Concordia Historical Institute maintains a website with finding aids, contact and membership information. Membership in CHI includes access to its reading room, discounts on research services and receipt of its publications: the Historical Footnotes newsletter and the venerable Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly (CHIQ). Both the Historical Footnotes newsletter and  the CHIQ feature articles on Lutheran history. These have not infrequently included pieces containing information on Frankenmuth and the surrounding Franconian settlements. Sporadic back issues of Historical Footnotes are available on the CHI website.

Concordia_Seminary
Campus of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri; 2015.

I have made two research trips to CHI in the past three years, most recently in May. Each visit has turned up new and interesting and information to add to my family tree or flesh out the biographies of my ancestors and collateral relations. Examples of what I have found include biographical records, newspaper articles, photographs, birth and baptismal records, church minutes mentioning my ancestors and original letters written by long-deceased relations. Their most rewarding collection for me has been my maternal grandfather’s hand-written sermons spanning his career in the ministry. Sermons of exceptional interest include confirmations and marriages of relations, church milestones and celebrations, and funerals of his parishioners and friends. The funeral sermons also fascinatingly spanned the deaths of veterans and active-duty servicemen from America’s three major wars: the Civil War, World War I and World War II.

I never knew my mother’s father; he had died ten years before my birth. Our family was unaware that these papers were housed at CHI or even still in existence. Now, thanks to the preservation efforts of the Concordia Historical Institute, I have begun to know my grandfather.