52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #17: At Worship ~ Who Are Your Parents Johann Schuttler, Part 4 ~ (Immigrant #50)

This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is At Worship. This is my fourth week of visiting my brick wall third great grandfather Johann Schuttler, and unless the wall crumbles, it might the last time I visit him during the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.


I feel like I have exhausted every place to look for clues on Johann except while he was at worship here, and potentially in Germany.  Here in the states, a place to look for hints about Johann Schuttler are the German church records from Chicago’s St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church that were saved from the Chicago Fire.

As previously mentioned this month, the first record I found was from December 4, 1853.  Johann was marrying my third great grandmother Louisa Gerbing.

The second record I found was from October 8, 1854, when my second great grandmother Christine Katharina Schuttler was baptized by Reverend Wunder. Her godparents were her uncle Christian Gerbing, and a woman named Katharina Rupp. To date, I have not been able to determine who this Katharina Rupp is living in Chicago. Perhaps she wasn’t living in Chicago at all?  Is she related to the Rupp that married the oldest brother of Peter Schuttler – Johann Konrad Schuttler?

The last record with clues comes from Johann’s first born son Charles Schuttler when he was baptized Karl Wilhelm on Christmas day in 1856. His godparents, listed in order they were written by Reverend Wunder: Wilhelm Schuttler, Karl Schuttler, Katherine Bauer, Dorothea Gerbing.

To the best I can tell from digging around in Chicago censuses and city directories, Wilhelm Schuttler is William David Schuttler, a Chicago bookkeeper born about 1834 in New York, USA. He married English immigrant Amelia Cook. William David Schuttler appears to have great great grandchildren alive today. William died in 1872 in Chicago.

Karl Schuttler is Corporal Charles Schuettler, born in 1836 in Mannheim, Germany, the verified nephew of Peter Schuttler I mentioned last week. He served in the Union Army from 1861-1865. He also worked as a foreman for Peter Schuttler like my Johann did. Charles died in a Soldiers’ Home in Chicago in 1905. He married another German immigrant Mary Wilhartitz and they had three children together. While he had a stepdaughter named Emma who has a plethora of descendants alive today, Charles Schuettler’s biological descendants died without children. The last passed away in the 1990s. I will find NO DNA matches there unfortunately.

I searched for Katherina Bauer in the Chicago records and have no idea how she is related to my family or if she is even from or living in Chicago.  Is she the Katharina Rupp from my second great grandmother’s baptism?

Dorothea Gerbing is a younger sister of my third great grandmother Louisa – making her aunt to the baptized baby.  Dorothea’s story is coming along with Christian’s.

So we have siblings of my third great grandmother Louisa listed as godparents.  Unfortunately, I cannot prove that Johann is the sibling of either Katharina Rupp, Katharina Bauer, William David, nor Corporal Charles.

These are all the records I have been able to find for Johann’s children in St. Paul’s.  I did not search to see if Johann was listed on any church records besides his immediate family’s.  That is another thing to try.  I think the Rupp name is of interest because we know a sibling of Peter Schuttler married a Rupp and that I match DNA with those that have ancestry with the surname Rupp from Harxheim, Germany.

So, when funds are available, maybe I will purchase a one month subscription to Archion.de to see if I can locate anything of interest in Harxheim, Germany church records.

For what it is worth, I have a hunch who Johann’s parents were, but with no proof, I will not show such in my trees on My Heritage and Ancestry.

Who are your parents Johann Schuttler?



52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #16: Out of Place ~ Who Are Your Parents Johann Schuttler, Part 3 (Immigrant #50)

This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is Out of Place.  Is my third great grandfather Johann Schuttler out of place in Wachenheim records?  This is part 3 of my research on the origins of my brickwall third great grandfather Johann Schuttler.

A few years ago I wrote to Wachenheim, Alzey-Worms, Germany trying to find information on my third great grandfather.  I am going to relate a little background on the family that the Mayor of Wachenheim, Dieter Heinz, sent me.

Mayor Heinz, and his son-in-law, who is a Schuttler, sent me entire family trees of the Schuttler branches of Wachenheim.  None of those trees contained my third great grandfather.  Further, they said they looked in the town church records and could not locate him.

Information they sent said the first Schuttler in Wachenheim came to their town around 1700 and became a town official.  I translate that he was Mayor of Wachenheim but my translations of German should not be trusted!  His name was Ulrich Schuttler, and he was born in Schwabisch Hall, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.  His great grandson Johann Adam Schuttler married Maria Sybilla Reiel in Wachenheim and was the father of Peter Schuttler, Johann Schuttler’s supposed uncle.

Johann Adam Schuttler and Maria Sybilla Reiel would be the grandparents of Johann Schuttler, should I ever find a record in Germany to verify he is the biological nephew of Peter Schuttler.

These are the children of Johann Adam Schuttler, and Maria Sybilla Reiel born in Wachenheim, according to the data from Dieter Heinz:

  1. Johann Konrad Schuttler, brickmaker, b. April 21, 1793, m. Katharina Wohlgemuth in 1819.  Katharina’s mother was a Rupp.*  Katharina died May 10, 1829.  He marries Susanna Rupp* from Harxheim on December 9, 1829.  She dies April 20, 1841 and he remarries Margaret Mannchen December 8, 1842.  He has at least six children from all three women.
  2. Friedrich Schuttler, b. March 14, 1795, m. Maria Barbara Petri in 1826 in Mannheim.  I researched them.  They had at least 5 children starting in 1827.  They both die in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg.**  I found more on one of their children.  Their son Carl (Charles)*** was born in 1836 in Mannheim, came to America in 1855, enlisted in the Union Army in July, 1861, served with the rank of Corporal and as a wagonmaker, worked as a foreman with my ancestor Johann at Peter Schuttler Wagons, and died in a Chicago Soldiers and Sailors Home in 1905. 

    Charles is a nephew of Peter Schuttler and he is a foreman at his company.

    Army Advert

  3. Johann Adam Schuttler, b. March 2, 1797 and dies in 1801.
  4. Johann Schuttler, b. March 19, 1799, brickmaker, marries Anna Maria Schmidt in 1833 in Wachenheim.  They have at least one daughter born in 1835.
  5. Dieter Schuttler, b. in 1803, died in 1803.
  6. Christian Schuttler, b. ? 1806, unknown.
  7. Katharina Schuttler, b. ? 1808, died? possibly in America.
  8. Anna Margaretha Schuttler, b. November 4, 1810, m. Peter Huber in 1834.
  9. Peter Schuttler, b. 1812, m. Dorothy Gauch in America.

Where does Johann Schuttler, born September 26, 1829 in Wachenheim fit?


I wonder if Johann Schuttler was baptized in a nearby town…

Or, was he illegitimate and his mother was a unmarried sister of Peter Schuttler…

So I also got to thinking too, if the totality of the research from Wachenheim on the Schuttler branches had at one point been carried out on those Schuttlers who actually married and stayed in Germany.  Obviously my Johann Schuttler did not.  Nor did Corporal Charles Schuettler.  I located his parentage on my own.  

* From last week’s post on DNA it is has been determined that I match individuals from Harxheim with the surname Rupp.

I also wonder if I was given an incorrect death date on the first wife of Johann Konrad Schuttler since his first wife Katharina’s mother had the surname Rupp.  Is that possible?  Is it possible she died later after she gave birth to my Johann in September?

** I share matches with a whole page of individuals on Ancestry with Mannheim ancestry.  To the best of my knowledge this far, I do not have Mannheim ancestry.  However, I cannot determine if the matches are because Mannheim is not very far from the Rheinpfalz, the birth place of my German-American grandmother’s grandparents.  Or do I really just have Mannheim ancestry?

***More on Corporal Charles Schuttler/Schuettler in next week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge At Worship because he shares more than one connection to my third great grandfather.

Coincidentally, I can’t help but notice that Maria Sybilla Reiel had children on birthdates shared with members of my family.



52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #15: DNA – Who Are Your Parents Johann Schuttler, Part 2 (Immigrant #50)

This week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is DNA.  I am continuing the search for Johann Schuttler’s parents looking at my DNA matches.


This is quite a challenge since Johann is 5 generations away from me and nobody in my direct ancestry back to Johann has been tested.  My DNA results are on Ancestry, My Heritage, and 23andme.  I also have two tests uploaded to Gedmatch.

The first thing I did was search all of those websites for matches with the surname Schuttler.  Ancestry was the only place that gave me matches to anyone with the surname Schuttler.  All of those matches are confirmed as cousins that descend directly from Johann Schuttler and my 3rd great grandmother Louisa Gerbing.  Unfortunately for some verifiable matches to Johann and Louisa’s descendants, I have seen three different sets of parents for Johann in their trees with no sources.  So I struck out there.

Next I searched for any matches that had Johann’s birthplace of Wachenheim in their trees.  Ancestry was the only website where I found some.  Again, I found confirmable relations that trace back to Johann and Louisa.  I also found the following:

  • A 5th-8th cousin match with a user whose tree contained a Johann Jacob Naugle born in 1699 in Wachenheim.  He married an Anna Maria Bankert.  This tree has some suspect sources in it and I am not sure the lineage is verifiable.  However, a shared match with this user does take me to matches that I share with confirmed cousins that descend from Johann Schuttler and Louisa Gerbing.
  • A 5th-8th cousin match with a user whose tree contained a Margaretha Elenora Beuckert born in 1723 in Wachenheim and died in Maryland.  She was married to a John Yingling.  I have no shared matches with this individual.  Hmmm…

So the next thing I did was check matches from surrounding geographic villages.  I only had hits in two villages.  Monsheim and Harxheim.

I checked Monsheim which is 2 kilometers east of Wachenheim.  I matched the following:


  • A 5th-8th cousin match with a user whose tree contained a Susana Galle, born in Monsheim around 1745.  She married a Peter Strohm from Kriegsheim, Germany.  The shared match I had with this user took me to a match with one of my own sibling’s children, but none of the cousins I know descend from Johann and Louisa.  My sibling’s child is of Pennsylvania German descent with ancestry in Pennsylvania going back pre-Revolution.

Then I checked the village of Harxheim matches.  Harxheim is about 2 kilometers west of Wachenheim.  I had several matches as follows:

  • Two 4th-6th cousin matches to a tree user with Harxheim ancestors with the Harxheim surnames of Linscheid, Janson, Rupp, and Ruth.  Unfortunately, that tree has suspect sourcing because it uses other member user trees as sources.  Mamma mia!  We had six matches in common too.
  • A 4th-6th cousin match to a tree user with Harxheim surnames Ruth and Strohm from Harxheim in their tree.  I only shared two matches with that member. One of the shared matches was one of my close relatives but no cousins on my mother’s side.
  • I matched two 5-8th cousins with trees that had the Susann Galle tree mentioned above, and the Harxheim surnames Ruth and Rupp from Harxheim.
  • A 5th-8th cousin match with a tree also containing the Harxheim surnames Ruth and Rupp from Harxheim.  I have only one match in common with that user.
  • The last match with Harxheim ancestry had a private tree.  So I struck out there.

Perhaps I should try looking to see if there are any Schuttlers in Wachenheim that married the surnames Rupp, Ruth, Galle, Strohm, Linscheid, Beuckert, Bankert, and Naugle.  I’ll have to look at what the mayor of Wachenheim sent me on the ancestors of Peter Schuttler in next week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge Out of Place.

I hate trying to use DNA to match someone that is so far removed from me generationally.  I also have no clue what I am doing when it comes to DNA Genealogy.  But, DNA never lies.  







52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #14 – Brick Wall – Who Are Your Parents Johann Schuttler? (Immigrant #50 ~ Third Great Grandfather Johann Schuttler Part 1 ~)

Johann Schuttler, who are your parents?

Schuttler Wagon

My immigrant third great grandfather Johann Schuttler was born in Wachenheim, Alzey-Worms, Germany in 1829 and came to the United States in 1849 to live with his uncle Peter Schuttler, “The Great Chicago Wagon King.”


For as long as Johann’s great grandsons and other descendants have been researching their family tree, nobody has ever verified the names of Johann’s parents. Obviously, one of his parents would have to be a sibling of his uncle Peter Schuttler.

My Great Uncle John, Johann’s great grandson, began researching his family tree, including his Schuttler ancestors, in his teens. That was the early 1920s. He did not stop researching until he passed away in 1999. His cousin Frank Eckebrecht also searched for John Schuttler’s origins for decades.

There are no records for Wachenheim, Alzey-Worms retained online for researchers. But I’ll get to that…

So the search continues for Johann’s parents and my intent this week is to relate what the family lore, records, and newspaper articles in the United States tell of my wagonmaker ancestor Johann Schuttler from Wachenheim.

Please note there are two Lutheran marriage records from Chicago that say Johann Schuttler was born in Wachenheim on September 26, 1829.

In 1850, Johann first appears on an American record – the Federal Census – living in Chicago with his wagonmaking uncle Peter Schuttler, Peter Schuttler’s wife Dorothy and their three children Peter, Katharina, and Henry. He is 20 years old. According to that census, Johann had been in the United States for 1 year. His first name was already Americanized to John. Later censuses, and his voter registration also support the 1849 year as his immigration year.

His Uncle – The Great Chicago Wagon King

Peter Schuttler came to the United States as a poor young man from Wachenheim in 1834 when he was 22. He worked in Buffalo and Ohio as a wagonmaker. In the early 1840s he moved to Chicago and started a small shop. Because of Chicago’s geographic location, the wagons were an excellent place for travelers to the West to purchase their transportation.

Schuttler wagons were used by pioneers, Mormons, and eventually 49ers to head west.

I found an article in the Chicago Tribune from late summer 1861 listing the names of the Vice Presidents of the Chicago War Committee that attended a war rally at Bryan Hall with other well-respected members of the Chicago community. Peter Schuttler was one of the Vice Presidents. They discussed treasonous actions, the South, and attack on Fort Sumter, and made resolutions in support of the War Department, and they, as members of the community, native born and immigrant alike, resolved to aid in the suppression of the rebellion by volunteering for the army and aiding them with supplies. It is a fascinating read.  A perspective was given on behalf of German immigrants. I could go on and on. The article printed their speeches and resolutions. If you have a newspapers.com account and would like to read it, click here.

Army Advert

Sometime after the rally, Peter Schuttler solicited for and earned a contract with the federal government in 1861 to produce artillery trucks and supply wagons for the Grand Army of the Republic.  That contract is attributed to what made his family so wealthy. Old newspapers and old genealogical records have been more accurate regarding Peter Schuttler than basic sources like Wikipedia that are editable by anyone online.

My German-American grandmother told us that the Schuttlers made wagons for the Union Army too. She was very proud of this fact.

Maybe a history of Schuttler Wagons should be created.  I would love to read something like that.

Johann Starts a Family

On December 4, 1853, Johann married my immigrant third great grandmother Louisa Gerbing in St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in Chicago. She was the daughter of immigrants Martha Nicolai and Johann Friedrich Gerbing.


Nine months later in late August, 1854, my second great grandmother Christine Katharina (Katy) was born. Katy later married immigrant Fritz Eckebrecht.

By 1855 John, Louisa, and Katy were living in their own dwelling in Chicago’s North Ward according to the Illinois census.

In September 1856, John and Louisa welcomed their son Charles (Karl Wilhelm) into the world. According to John’s 1890 voter registration, 1856 is also the year he became naturalized. Any such record from the courthouse in Chicago was lost in the Chicago Fire of 1871, unfortunately.

Charles later married Delia Bolton.

In August of 1858, John and Louisa had their second daughter, Louise Elizabeth Maria (Lizzie). Louise later married Edward Fuller.

In 1860, John, Louisa, and their three children are found on the Federal Census living in Chicago, Ward 7. John’s occupation is listed as wagonmaker. In several Chicago City Directories from 1861-1869, John’s occupation is listed as sawyer or wagonmaker. It is in 1870 that he starts to be listed as Foreman, at Peter Schuttler Wagon Company in the Chicago City Directories.

By 1863, John and Louisa had welcomed a fourth child into the world. Little Loretta. The following year she contracted cholera and died on September 9, 1864. Two days later, my third great grandmother Louisa passed. On September 12, 1864, John went to Graceland Cemetery and purchased the Schuttler family plot. It was in the cemetery file from Graceland that I learned the dates and causes of death of Loretta and Louisa. I also learned more about Katy Schuttler Eckebrecht’s half-sibling and stepmother.

According to family lore, at this point in my second great grandmother’s life, because her mother had passed away, Katy went to live with her uncle Peter Schuttler. Also according to the lore was that she didn’t like living there. There is a story that she couldn’t keep her napkin on her lap or something like that. Who knows how long she lived there because by early 1865, the Great Chicago Wagon King Peter Schuttler had stepped on a rusty nail, contracted a blood infection, and passed away. His son Peter II took over the reigns of the wagon company.

Butte, Montana News

One other thing to note from family lore is that the richer Schuttlers in Chicago – I believe Peter II – would buy clothes for John’s children.

In early February, 1865, John remarried. He married German immigrant Caroline Lehman who may have been pregnant. In early April, 1865, William Frank was born. Caroline had a brother named William by the way. Whether the child was adopted or his mother was Caroline, nobody can say for sure. Take a guess, you may be correct.  Then in 1868, John and Caroline welcomed a daughter they named Caroline (Carrie).

When the Chicago Fire happened in October of 1871, John packed his family in his Schuttler wagon, left town, and they all watched the fire from the prairie. When they went home, it was considered a family miracle that their home did not burn. Sadly, Schuttler’s Wagon Company did in fact burn down so they built a newer, bigger factory.

Between 1870 up to his date of death, various Chicago City Directories listed John’s occupation as foreman, Peter Schuttler Wagon Company.


The Census Oddities Post-Louisa’s Death

The 1870 Federal Census was the first Federal Census after the death of my third great grandmother. According to the 1870 census the family was living in Chicago’s 10th Ward, and someone informed the census taker that John did not just have the occupation of foreman but he was “foreman – Peter Schuttler wagons.” They also informed the census taker that the 5 year old boy living there was named Peter. William Frank, who would have been 5 is not to be found on that census.

The same was on the 1880 census with his occupation and also for the name of the child that would be the same age as William Frank. By that point my second great grandmother was not living there, because she was married to Fritz Eckebrecht with children in 1880.

By the time of the 1900 Federal Census, all of John’s children had moved out of the house. It was just John and Caroline. It was stated to the census taker that he was born in September of 1829, that his year of immigration to the United States was 1849 and that he was a Naturalized citizen. Also, the census taker transcribed that he was unable to read, unable to write, could not speak English, and that he owned a home that was mortgaged. One more tidbit on that census was that the census taker was informed that John was married for 46 years to Caroline Lehman. He was not. He was married to her for 45 years. Also, Caroline was noted as having the ability to speak English, and was the mother of 5 children and 4 were alive. I count two.

Since John did not speak English, and I suppose with all of the Germans in Chicago he had no need to, who had been giving the information to the census takers in English since 1870? Likely his second wife?

William Frank/Peter – According to the 1865 Chicago birth index, the child born in April 1865 was named William Frank and later censuses, City Directories, death record, and his mother’s death notice referred to that individual as William Frank.

There is one more record to note for John that I found (outside the church records that will be explained in an upcoming week), as I previously mentioned, in 1890, John indicated on his voter registration that he was born in Germany and was naturalized in 1856 in the Courthouse of Cook County.

Newsworthy Events at Schuttler Wagons during Johann’s Tenure

The following events took place at Schuttler Wagons during Johann’s tenure.  Some of these events happened while he was the Foreman.  These events were all found in articles in the Chicago Tribune.

  • In 1858 there was a small fire at the factory.  Some wood shavings caught on fire.  It was put out before anyone was harmed.
  • The same type of fire happened in 1859 and was put out before it quickly spread.
  • In 1861 the company obtained a contract with the Grand Army of the Republic.
  • In March of 1866 another wood shavings fire happened and was put out before it spread.
  • Later that year, Schuttler wagons were used by showman P.T. Barnum at the Paris Expedition.
  • One week before the Chicago Fire of 1871, Schuttler Wagons had purchased land to go ahead with building a better, larger factory.  Talk about timing!
  • In December 1876 a worker was cleaning oil off machinery when a belt broke loose, threw him to the ceiling, and killed him instantly.
  • Labor unrest/marches of 1877 shutdown all of the factories in the factory district and notably Schuttler Wagons was one of those companies.

Johann’s Death and the Schuttler Cemetery File

On January 21, 1906, at age 76, John Schuttler passed away. His death certificate listed no parents. On January 23, 1906, his death notice ran in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago’s German language newspaper Abenpost. I have both. The notices listed his residence, age, current wife, the names of his four living children (including Frank Schuttler) and stated he was a grandfather and great grandfather, as well as the date and time of his funeral at Graceland Cemetery. (My great grandmother Caroline Eckebrecht was already married with children. Therefore, some of my grandmother’s siblings had likely met their great grandfather John Schuttler.) No parents or relatives in Germany were listed on either notice. He did not receive the type of obituary his cousin Peter Schuttler II received that took up most of one page of the Chicago Tribune.

The John Schuttler Graceland Cemetery file contained information on the death dates and causes of death for Louisa and Loretta since any other previous information regarding their deaths would have burned in the Chicago Fire of 1871. The file also contained a diagram of how the coffins were placed for burial on the Schuttler plot. The plot does not contain my ancestor Katy Schuttler Eckebrecht, nor does it contain the grave of my great grandmother Caroline Eckebrecht Leies. But my great grandmother was mentioned in the file as a living heir of John as was John’s and Louisa’s daughter Louise Schuttler Fuller. Also mentioned was John’s daughter’s Carrie.

The Schuttler plot contains the graves of Louisa, her daughter Loretta, her son Charles (d 1896), John, Caroline Lehman (d 1910), and William Frank (d 1918.)

Why did the file contain the names of the living relatives? They were mapped out in the file on pupose. After William Frank passed away, his sister Carrie had an affidavit placed in the Schuttler cemetery file as to his paternity so he could be buried in the plot next to Caroline Lehman. She was the one that mapped out my third great grandfather’s living descendants.

For me the file was a bit of a goldmine because without it, I would not have learned what happened to my third great grandmother Louisa.

This is the end of Part 1 –

The rest of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenges for April are as follows and will continue featuring Johann Schuttler:

-Week #15 Challenge is DNA – (Part 2 – Do my three DNA tests help at all? I promise to keep my Ancestry.com rant to a minimum.)

-Week #16 Challenge is Out of Place – (Part 3 – What the Mayor of Wachenheim sent me regarding Peter Schuttler’s siblings and ancestry.)

-Week #17 Challenge is At Worship – (Part 4 – Research of the people mentioned in the Lutheran Church Records in Chicago and what church records may be on Archion.de.)


Do you know who his parents really are? 


Women’s History Month/Immigrant #49 ~ Third Great Grandmother Louisa Anna Elisabetha Gerbing Schuttler ~ Mother of my first American born ancestor


My immigrant third great grandmother Louisa Gerbing Schuttler was born in 1836 in Vieselbach, Prussia and came to the United States in 1852 with her immediate family at the age of 16.  She is the mother of my first American born ancestor.

Louisa Anna Elisabetha Gerbing was born to Martha Nicolai from Niederzimmern and Johann Friedrich Gerbing from Vieselbach.  As my previous post on her parents mentions, her father was a mason by trade.  She was their third oldest child and oldest daughter.

In 1852 she left Hamburg for Quebec City, Quebec in a voyage that would take approximately three months.

The following siblings came with Louisa:

Franz (Frank) Gerbing

Christian Gerbing

Dorothea (Dora) Gerbing 

Mary Gerbing  

On December 4, 1853, Louisa married another German immigrant – my third great grandfather Johann Schuttler – in St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in Chicago.  The minister that performed their wedding ceremony was Reverend Wunder.  In case you are wondering why the year of birth on her marriage record is not 1836, and for more about their marriage record, please see my previous post  Today’s Anniversary ~ Third Great Grandparents Louisa Gerbing and Johann Schuttler ~.


Nine months later, Louisa had her first child – Christine Catharina (Katy) Schuttler (my ancestress), 1854-1915.  She married immigrant Frederick “Fritz” Eckebrecht.

The rest of her children are as follows:

Karl Wilhelm (Charles) Schuttler, 1856-1896; married Delia Bolton

Elisabetha (Louise) Maria Schuttler, 1858-1922; married Edward Fuller

Loretta Schuttler, 1863-1864

In September 1864, Loretta and Louisa contracted cholera during an outbreak in Chicago.  My third great grandmother lost Loretta on September 9th.  Two days later, Louisa also passed.  She was only 28 years old.  My second great grandmother was only 10.

To bury his wife and 1 year old daughter, my third great grandfather Johann bought what I call “The Schuttler and descendants burial plot” in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.  Through the suggestion of another researcher, I ordered a copy of the Schuttler cemetery file and was lucky enough to find an affidavit verifying a graph of Johann’s descendants drawn out in the early 1900s inside the file.  (There will be more on this file and my struggle searching for the parents of Johann Schuttler of Peter Schuttler Wagon Company in the next 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge “Brick Wall.”)

Louisa counts the following individuals among her descendants:

  • Her daughter Louise Fuller is buried in historic Congressional Cemetery – National Burial Ground on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
  • Her great grandson Colonel Gerard M. Leies is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
  • Her great great grandson (through her son Charles Schuttler) was Sergeant Glenn Charles Stromback and is on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Panel 46W, Line 24.  He was a Purple Heart Recipient.  See: His Memorial Page

Please contact me if I have missed someone!  I obviously haven’t found all of her descendants.

The photo below is a picture of my second great grandmother Katy Schuttler.  It was said she had red hair.  I wonder if she took after her mother.Katharina Schuttler


Hamburg Passenger Lists

Vieselbach, Germany Lutheran Church Records

St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church Records

1860 Federal Census

Graceland Cemetery’s file



Immigrant #48: Franz Heironimus Emil Gerbing or Frank Gerbing, Chicago Police Sergeant and Mason (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #9 At the Courthouse)

Immigrant Frank Gerbing was born in 1831 Vieselbach, Germany to my fourth great grandparents Friedrich Gerbing and Martha Nicolai.  He was their oldest child and the oldest sibling of my third great grandmother Louisa Gerbing.  The Gerbing family left Germany in 1852.  I do not know the date of entry of any of the Gerbings into the United States because they sailed to the port of Quebec City.

This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is At the Courthouse.  I had a lot of options with this prompt!  I decided upon Frank Gerbing.

The first record for Frank in the United States I could locate was for his marriage at St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church of Chicago.  These church records were saved by Reverend Wunder from the Chicago Fire, put on microfilm, and are now online at Family Search.  On January 1, 1856, Frank married Eva Elisabetha Schuttler, daughter of Martin and Anna Katharina.  She was born in Brenzbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany.

Frank’s sister, Louisa, my aforementioned third great grandmother, had married German immigrant Johann Schuttler in 1853 in Chicago in the same church.  Johann was born in Wachenheim, about 20 miles from Brenzbach.  Are Johann and Eva Elisabetha related?  How are they related? 

Frank and his wife Elizabeth had 5 children-

Frederick, b. 1856, married Margaret Cronin and Anna Straus

Louis, b. 1857, married Anna Margaretha Wagner

Charles, b. 1860 and d. 1876

Dorothea (Dora) b. 1863, married Jacob Knauss

Elizabeth, b. 1866

Frank shows up in the Chicago City Directory of 1861 as a policeman.  That is when I turned to newspapers.  Frank Gerbing appears in the most newspaper articles I have ever found for anyone in my tree.  I will just touch on some of the highlights and lowlights in the Chicago newspapers.

The Chicago people in my tree were NEVER BORING.

In October 1865, he was listed as a Voting Inspector in the 14th Ward, First Precinct.  In 1867 he was appointed a Republican Committeeman.  On June 5, 1867, he was promoted to Police Sergeant.


Chicago Tribune April 21 1875
The Chicago Tribune, April 21, 1875 – details of the immigrant backgrounds of officers on the Chicago Police Force
Chicago Tribune Oct 4 1877
The Chicago Tribune October 4, 1877

By 1877 Frank Gerbing was Lieutenant of the Lake Street Squad.  While there, he and other members of his squad, according to newspaper articles, were accused of being intoxicated while on duty.   Also in 1877, he was specifically named as being the homosexual lover of one of his ex-subordinates by that ex-subordinate’s ex-wife as part of a blackmail scheme.

While the Lake Street Squad was under investigation for corruption, he was transferred to the Webster Avenue Police Station.  Then in 1879 he was intentionally made to resign from his police duties by then Democratic Mayor Harrison when he went on a firing spree of all of the Republicans on the Chicago Police Force.

In early 1880, Frank was arrested for embezzlement from the Policemen’s Benevolent Association.  Frank subsequently paid the money back and the suit was dropped.  Since Frank was no longer a police officer, he wasn’t on the force during the Haymarket Labor Riot like the other Chicago policemen in my tree.

Frank then worked as a mason like his father Friedrich Gerbing.  He died in 1891 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.  His wife passed away in 1901.

If Frank was my direct ancestor, I believe I would never be able to stop researching his life on the Chicago police force!

Frank’s grandson, Francis J. Knauss (a son of Dora and Jacob Knauss), was born in Chicago, and was a lawyer in Colorado who rose to be the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Frank and his grandson were likely at the courthouse many times.


Cousin Frank Eckebrecht’s research

Uncle John’s research

Vieselbach, Germany Church Records

Hamburg Passenger Lists

Chicago City Directories

St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church Records

United States Federal Censuses

Brensbach, Germany Church Records

Chicago birth, marriage, and death indexes


Chicago, Illinois Voter Registration Records

Denver City Directories

World War I and II Draft Registration Cards

U.S. Social Security Death Index

Lieutenant Frank Gerbing on Google

Francis J. Knauss on Google



Next: Women’s History Month and the ABCs of My Genealogy Year 2




Today’s Anniversary ~ Third Great Grandparents Louisa Gerbing and Johann Schuttler ~

1853 Chicago – Source: Wikimedia

On today’s date in 1853, my immigrant third great grandparents Louisa Gerbing and Johann Schuttler married in St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in Chicago.   They were my first American ancestors.

Marriage record that was saved from the Chicago Fire of 1871 by Reverend Wunder

At the time of their marriage, combined, they had both been in the United States less than 5 years.

Louisa Gerbing was born in 1836 in Vieselbach, Sachsen-Weimar (current-day Thuringia, Germany), and not in 1835 as it says on her marriage record, to Martha Nicolai and Johann Friedrich Gerbing.  Her father was a mason.

According to the other data transcribed on the marriage record, Johann Schuttler was born in 1829 in Wachenheim, Hessen-Darmstadt (current-day Rheinpfalz, Germany.)  Sadly, I do not know the names of  Johann’s parents, for he and his mother-in-law Martha Nicolai are the only immigrant ancestors whose parents I have been unable to locate.  Maybe someday, and hopefully soon, records for Wachenheim, Alzey-Worms, Rheinpfalz will be available online for oversea researchers. 

Johann and Louisa had the following children:

Christine Catharina (Katy) Schuttler (my ancestress), 1854-1915 m. immigrant Frederick “Fritz” Eckebrecht.

Karl Wilhelm (Charles) Schuttler, 1856-1896 m. Delia Bolton

Elisabetha (Louise) Maria Schuttler, 1858-1922 m. Edward Fuller

Loretta Schuttler, 1863-1864

In September 1864, my third great grandmother Louisa passed in the cholera epidemic in Chicago that also took her 1 year old daughter Loretta.

In early 1865, Johann re-married another German immigrant in St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church named Caroline Lehman.  She was already expecting a child who was born in early April 1865, named W. Frank Schuttler.  Johann had another daughter with his second wife.  She was also named Caroline (Lena).The same birthdate and birthplace was transcribed on that marriage record for Johann.

Johann passed away in Chicago as a retired wagon-maker from Peter Schuttler Wagon Company in 1906.  Johann and Louisa are both buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.  Their children have many descendants living world-wide today.


1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900 Federal Censuses

Chicago City Directories

FamilySearch.org (Records of St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church of Chicago)

Schuttler Family File, Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Chicago Voter Registration records

Uncle John







Immigrant #28 ~ 2nd Great Grandfather Frederick “Fritz” Eckebrecht, Carpenter and Butcher

Uncle John researched his Thuringian, multi-faceted, immigrant grandfather Fritz Eckebrecht for decades.  Fritz was my second great grandfather and everyone in the family knows his name.  My little niece giggled when she heard his name for the first time.  From a young age we were told he was “taken” by Comanches in Texas and was made to be a butcher for them.  After he left Texas and the Comanches, he went to Chicago to work for hire “re-building Chicago after the fire with his carpentry” talents.  Later, he opened a butcher shop there, using the skills he learned while with the Comanches.  He spoke Comanche and when you read more of Uncle John’s research you wonder how much of a captive he really was.

Uncle John’s own words and research were posted here previously:

The Multi-Faceted Life Of Fred Eckebrecht 1848-1920.

The other day I was looking for Fritz’s obituary at newspapers.com and came across this intriguing little snippet from the January 6, 1888 edition of The Chicago Inter-Ocean:


This fell under the head for Cook County Criminal Court

Fritz, what went on there? 

I couldn’t help but notice this is the time period that Uncle John surmised my second great grandmother Katharina Schuttler had left him for a few years.  There was no other reference in the newspapers to this.  It looks like they were released on bond doesn’t it?  By the way, F.W. Westfall was a wealthy Chicago real estate developer.

So Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Archives has criminal records dating back to right after the fire of 1871.

Maybe we will be lucky and a copy of Fritz’s case still exists…



Union Soldier Peter Leies, 1841-1862, born in Nunschweiler, Germany and killed at Antietam

Our newly discovered Union Private Peter Leies was born at Huberhof, Nunschweiler, Germany in 1841 and killed in action at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 in the single most bloodiest day in American history.  Peter is our cousin and left no wife or children.  He enlisted at age 21 in New York City in the NY 4th Infantry, Company “D.”

Image from the Library of Congress

I found a little information about Peter in an American Civil War Research database.  I hope the link to him works for you before we hit a paywall.  The only other information I know about Peter and the war are the records I found pertaining to him on Ancestry.

His enlistment information from Ancestry.com

The enlistment officer wrote his name as Peter Leas. His pension card had that noted as his alias.  LEIES also appears on the pension card, and with the names of his parents on the card, I knew he was the first cousin to my great great grandfather Johann Leies.  I have all of the Leies baptisms and confirmations from Nunschweiler, Germany in a file.  In my research experience, nobody but an actual relative of my grandmother spells their surname as L-E-I-E-S.

In 1865, his mother Louisa Knerr Leies applied for his pension after the war ended.  PeterLeiesPensionCard.PNGIn 1874, his father then applied for the pension, probably after his mother passed.

I found Peter quite by accident last night.  I was chasing down the Leies relatives of Grandma in NYC and trying to prove Peter’s brother Jacob Leies enlisted in the Union Army.  I wasn’t looking for Peter until I found his parents listed on his pension card.  We have long known we had no direct ancestors in the United States Civil War.

I wonder now what possessed the ethnic Germans to enlist in the Civil War and desire to learn more about the Battle of Antietam.  I found a reference to Peter’s Company “D” on another Civil War page saying it was formed with the intent of being a solely German company.  I know that didn’t work out because there is a shamrock on the monument to his regiment at Antietam.  Follow this link to the memorial.

According to the 1855 NY State Census, Peter and his brother Jacob had been living in NYC since 1852.  I found a Jacob Leies enlisting in the NY 159th in 1862.  The problem is that on that enlistment record Jacob has his birthplace listed as Brooklyn.  I have Jacob’s baptismal record from Nunschweiler.  So I wonder if they put Brooklyn on the record if Jacob no longer had the German accent.  I will have to research Jacob some more.  He is the one that led me to Peter.

Grandma’s great grandfather Johann Schuttler made supply wagons for the Army of the Potomac at Peter Schuttler’s wagon company in Chicago during the Civil War.  See: What Grandma said: “SUPPLIED THE UNION ARMY DURING THE CIVIL WAR – SCHUTTLER WAGONS”.  A man that I have been trying to prove is his brother drove wagons in the Illinois 24th Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and was promoted to a Corporal.

With the United States Army Heritage Center so close by, I intend to take advantage of the opportunity to research Private Peter Leies further because, he is a Leies and he died in action.  He gets his own research binder.

In case you are wondering how we are related, Peter Leies and my great great grandfather Johann Leies shared the same grandfather.




On This Day in 1852…

On this day in 1852, my 16 year old great great great grandmother Louisa Gerbing departed from Hamburg, Germany for Quebec City, Canada with her parents Friedrich and Marta, and her 4 siblings Franz-19, Christian-17, Dorothea-12, and Maria-7 on the ship the Anna Catharina, piloted by Captain Gehm.  Friedrich’s occupation was maurer or mason.  According to the manifest, his place of birth was Vieselbach, Preussen.  It is a tiny town outside of Erfurt.


Hamburg Passenger List


It was cheaper for them to take a ship to Canada and the trip would have lasted around 90 days.

The final destination of the family was Chicago.