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JMZ obituary

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Thumbnail opens a scanned image from Der Christliche Botschafter, published in Cleveland Ohio 10 Feb 1865.  

It was received from archives held by The Center for the Evangelical United Brethern Heritage, United Theological Seminary, 1810 Harvard Blvd, Dayton, OH 45406-4599.  They do charge for their services, but do an excellent job for a reasonable fee.  The person who produced this for me was Gail M Stevens Shourds - gs2@united.edu  (sadly, Gail was leaving the Center in June 2003)

The portion of interest would be that regarding of Michael Zellhöfer (RonKZ's g.g.grandfather), which is believed to describe some details of his death in January 1865 while in service in the USA Civil War.  Of most importance is any details regarding his family back in Rome, Wisconsin, USA.  

I found great translation help for this, which is posted below.

This transcription received from Altons Roithmayer:

Starb in Hospital zu Louisville, Tennessee, den 5.
Jan. 1865, Br. M i c h a e l Z e l l h ö f e r , im Alter von 39 J., 6 M. und 1 T. Gebürtig aus Bergbach, Bayern, kam vor etwa 11 Jahren nach Amerika und machte sich ansässig in Rome, Jefferson Co., Wisc., allwo er sich auch bald nach seiner Ankunft zu Gott be-kehrte und der Ev. Gem. anschloß, in welcher er vier Jahre langals Vermahner und auch eine Zeit langals Claßführer diente und ein aufrichtiger und ernstlicher Christ war. Am 20. August 1864 trat er als Frei-williger in die Ver. Staaten-Armee und starb an den Folgen von chronischer Diarrhoe. Er hinterlässt eine Frau und acht Kinder. Sein Verlust wird in seiner Familie und auch in der Kirche tief empfunden. 

Jos. Ha rlacher.

And this Translation from Hildegard Zech:

Died in hospital at Louisville, Tennessee, on January 5, 1865, brother Michael Zellhoefer, at the age of 39 years, 6 months and 1 day.  Born in (native to) Bergbach*, Bavaria, came to America about 11 years ago and settled in Rome, Jefferson County,  Wisconsin, where he converted to God soon after his arrival and joined the Evangelical Community which he served for four years as [Vermahner]** and also for a time as Class Leader***and was an upright and devoted Christian. On August 29, 1864 he enlisted as a volunteer in the Army of the United States and died from the effects of chronic diarrhea.  He leaves behind a wife and eight children.  His loss is deeply felt in his family and also in the Church.   Joseph Harlacher.

Remarks of the translater:

*    Bergbach:          I was not able to identify a village by that name in the gazetteer and my modern maps, nor could I find a Burgbach as suggested by Google.  You mentioned Brachbach and I found two:  One in Westfalia near Siegen, the other one in Baden/Wuertemberg, between Heilbronn and Stuttgart. None near Ansbach or elsewhere in Bavaria. There is a Braubach on the Rhine south of Koblenz which could have belonged to Bavarian Palatine back in time.  In the old German handwriting the "au" in Braubach looks like "an" with a small "u"hook over the n, and could easily be misread as "ach".

** Vermahner:           German "mahnen" = to remind, to warn. I consulted an old German Duden, an Etymological Dictionary and Wahrig's Woerterbuch and found no such occupation. Presumably his task was to remind people to pay their dues to the Church.  Or he warned them not to sin ???

*** Classfuehrer:       Probably instructor of Religion classes.

This was received from Marianne Sutter Marianne.Sutter@t-online.de  in this regard:

"In my bavarian encyclopedia exists one "Brachbach" and no "Bergbach".
Brachbach, in the middle franconia area. Near the area of
"Uffenheim". I think that´s what you need.
Brachbach belongs to the bigger village "Oberaltenbernheim",
there are 392 poeple in 1875 (8 Catholic and 384 Evangelic/Protestant)
and belongs to the
Evangelic/Protestant parish "Obernzenn". I think in this parish you should
start to look.
The problem: the church records of the parish "Obernzenn" aren´t centralized
and you only can get information of the parish itself. Not filmed not
centralized so you have to write/drive directly.

RonKZ's comments:

Everything in this obit is not perfect - who could know the source of the author's information?  The author Harlacher is interesting to me, as it could be Horlacher, which surname is more common to German genealogy and is a good source even today!

If I've calculated correctly, based on the death date age given here, we obtain a variance in JMZ's birthdate, which works out to 4 July 1825, while his enlistment documents state 17 May 1825.

I spent a whole morning looking for Bergbach (translates to "Mountain Brook")  and found such town but no connection.  Bergbach is an obvious mis-writing in this obituary, as it has become clear JMZ was born/raised in Brachbach, although it is possible that somehow he was in Bergbach after his military service in Bavaria.   His family, of parents Joseph/Anna, were found in the LDS IGI (and more recently in the church records of Obernzenn) as of Brachbach (=Fallow Brook).  Brachbach is 4 km from Urphertshofen (listed as Urphershofen in Anna's earlier obituary in the same publication) and both hamlets were a part of the Evangelical church in Obernzenn.

The issue of emigration date is now clarified.  GGZ's "Autobiography" stated 1846 with others in the family, but that proves incorrect.  The obituaries for both JMZ and Anna put the year at 1853 or 1854, in the "Permission to Leave" documents it became clear that JMZ migrated in 1853, although not clear that he came directly from the ship on to Wisconsin.  Additionaly, JMZ is not found in the US 1850 census in Wisconsin..  

His documented date of enlistment was 30 Aug 1864 and of death was 6 Jan 1865.

It is no surprise that JMZ was active in the Evangelical Church - that was among the family characteristics.

One part vital to the JMZ family research here is the EIGHT children, which along with Anna's obituary saying FOUR children was a huge help in sorting out that the daughter Annie was of JMZ's 1st marriage to Anna, and could not have been the daughter of JMZ's 2nd wife Elnora with any former marriage to a Richard Heilmann.

My greatest appreciation to both for their most valuable assistance!


The names ZellTree, SolarSense Designs,  and all works within this website, are copyright 1998 thru 06 Dec 2009 by Ron Klotz Zellhoefer.   Permission is given to copy & print for private archival purposes only.  Republishing of DATA ONLY (not webpages!) to other websites is permitted IF credited to Ron Klotz Zellhoefer and ZellTree.  Please, let's verify and collaborate first!