Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday's Stories, 52 Ancestor Weeks, Week # 1, Katherina Ruthig Gerth

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence


I am behind in THE Trip, THE Encore' posts, I am behind in The Book of Me, Written by You, so, I don't really need another meme challenge to join into, but, I am going to anyway.  Amy Johnson Crow, whose blog is No Story Too Small, has started a once a week challenge to blog about one ancestor a week, tell their story, biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on that one ancestor.  It will be a bit of challenge for me personally to find 52 ancestors that I have not already blogged about. I mean, I have been writing here at Reflections for almost 5 years.  But, I am going to give this a shot anyway.  I miss blogging more about my genealogy, so, committing to the project may force me back to one of my major afflictions in life, family history.  I am going to try to post these on Sunday, thus the name, Sunday's Stories.

Wish me luck!

Katherina Ruthig, daughter of Valentine Ruthig\Rudig, and Margret (Marguarita) Zinkann, was born on March 26, 1854 in North Easthope, Perth County, Ontario, Canada.   She was baptized in the Lutheran church in North Easthope, Perth County, Ontario, Canada on April 25, 1855.

According to Pastor August Deichmann's obituary in the church records of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pigeon/Linkville, Huron County, Michigan Katherine was confirmed April 18, 1869 in Canada.


Katherina married Peter Gerth, son of John Gerth and Barbara Schich on Feb 10, 1874 in Canada. I have yet to locate that marriage in Canadian records, the date was derived from his death notice in church records in Huron County, Michigan.

Katherina and Peter emigrated to the United States on March 27, 1894.

They had 12 children: Mary, Edward Conrad, Emma Maggie, Henrich (Henry) Peter, Johann (John) Heinrich, Lurina Catharina, Katharina Josephine, Martha Anna, Lilly Anna, Alma Rebecca, Peter Andreas, and Louise Friederike.

She died on Oct 27, 1915 in Linkville, Huron County, Michigan, at age 61, and was buried on Oct 31, 1915 in St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Pigeon/Linkville, Huron County, Michigan.


You may have noticed her given name on her death certificate is spelled with a "C", not a "K".  And, it is Catherine, NOT Katharina.  This is a German family, spellings are seldom the same for any one person from their birth to their death.

Katherine's given name is found spelled many ways, in the 1861 census for North Easthope Township, Perth County, Ontario, Canada her name is spelled Catarina.  In the death records of Huron County, Michigan her name is spelled Catherine.

A copy of Katherine's newspaper obituary was given to the compiler (original newspaper source unknown to the compiler), the original was written in German and has been translated by a family member:
     "October 28, in the morning at 1 o'clock A.M., Mrs. Katherine Gerth, maiden name Ruthig, died after a long illness.  She was born 1854 in North Easthope in Canada and married in 1874 to Peter Gerth. Out of this marriage they had 12 children, three of died very early. Three sons and six daughters survived her and also 21 grandchildren. Four grandchildren died earlier.  She also leaves 3 brothers and 6 sisters.  Her age was 61 years, 7 months and 2 days.  She was buried on Sunday by the Protestant Lutheran Church of St. Paul's in Linkville, in the cemetery of the congregation.  She was a very devoted member of this congregation for 20 years."

Pastor August Deichmann of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pigeon/Linkville, Huron County, Michigan wrote quite lengthy entries at the time of a person's death.  Thanks to a family member, as well as family and friends in Germany we have the following translation from the original German entry:
     "On October 31, 1915, Mrs. Katharina Gerth, whose maiden name was Ruthig, was buried by August Deichmann.  She was born on March 26, 1855, in North Easthope in Canada and was the legitimate daughter of Valentin Ruthig and his wife Margarethe, whose maiden name was Zinkan. She was baptized in the Lutheran church in North Easthope on April 25, 1855.  After she had been taught the tenants of the Church, she was confirmed on April 18, 1869 in the Lutheran church in New Hamburg. She maintained true to her confirmation vows and remained an active member of the Lutheran Church for the remainder of her life.  On February 10, 1874 she entered holy matrimony with Peter Gerth, to whom she was a faithful and conscientious wife during the forty-one year marriage.  The marriage produced twelve children, of which two died at young ages, and to their great sadness, their eldest son died about one half year before she died.  She is survived by three sons, six daughters, and twenty-one grandchildren, while four grandchildren have already died.  Although she was healthy for most of her life, she developed an inner illness that caused her much pain.  In order to relieve this pain, she underwent an operation approximately four months ago, through which the source of her illness could only be partially removed because it was determined that in addition to gall stones, she had liver cancer.  Her recovery occurred slowly so that she could only go home approximately four weeks ago.  But instead of allowing herself to recover and to grow stronger, she took on more and more, so that the hope for recovery had to soon be given up, and she prepared herself willingly, with confidence, for her end.  She had to endure much pain at the end, but through it all she remained true to her faith in Him, who would soon free her from her suffering. After she had take Holy Communion one last time, her health worsened visibly and on last Thursday morning at one o'clock, she passed away gently. In addition to her deeply faithful husband, her nine children and twenty-one grandchildren, she left behind three brothers and six sisters, of which most came from long distances to pay their respects for the beloved sister.  She lived sixty years, seven months and two days.  She rests in the peace of the Lord and the eternal light illuminates her."

Katherine has a memorial at Find A Grave.

My wish list for Katherina:  Documentation for birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage. And, even though there is a photo of her headstone at Find A Grave, personally I find it pretty much impossible to make out the inscription, so, to finish off my wish list for her, I would like to have a photo of her headstone that I can make out the inscription.  I have her death certificate and her will.





* Additional source data can be obtained by contacting me, see the right hand column for a yahoo email address.

** Button courtesy of Amy at her original post for this challenge.

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3 comments:

DianaR said...

How great that you have a picture of her! Do you know where in Germany the family was from? And what a great obituary that had her mother's maiden name!!

Wendy said...

I've noticed too among my German ancestors that despite being in the United States for several generations, the German and English spellings continued to go back and forth.

Carol said...

I have this family traced in the area of Schoenenberg, Bayern, Germany. I have her line traced to a Johan Henrich Ruediger of Miesau, Bayern, Germany who was married before 1736 to a bride by the name of Elisabetha Barbara. That covers 5 generations, starting counting Katherina's father as generation 1.