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MHT (#46877998)
 member for 7 years, 4 months, 17 days
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I have been doing genealogy research since 1974. Families I continue to research are McNealls, Daltons, Tungates, Forresters, Forquers, Ropps, Hoskins and Schlabachs. I have searched through many cemeteries and taken lots of pictures. I was delighted to find this site where I can display the pictures so that other researchers can find them.

Please note that I do not as a rule transfer people who are in the families that I am actively researching.
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Messages left for MHT (138)[Leave Message]
Steve Seim
Adams County Poor Farm Cemetery
Could you give me the GPS coordinates for this cemetery? Thanks.
Added by Steve Seim on Mar 13, 2014 9:02 AM
David & Magdalena Stutzman
Thank you for the marker photo for David & Magdalena Stutzman (#31178256). Would it be OK with you if I post your photo, with credit, to my family tree? (And other photos I may come across as I continue to research this family?)
Sue S.
Added by Sue on Feb 23, 2014 6:53 PM
Mary Clarkson Turek
Old Poor Farm Adams CO. IL
I have been trying to find the Old Poor Farm in Adams Co. IL for you and could not find any info of how to get to it. So I started searching on the internet and this is what I found: Seems that this cemetery was bulldozed in the 1960's.

"County Home Gilmer Linda says County Home was actually another cemetery in Gilmer township (different from Home alias Stahl), it was also known as the Adams County Poor Farm. It was bulldozed in the 60s."
Added by Mary Clarkson Turek on Dec 26, 2013 10:39 PM
John Page
Jacob Sturm mem. 20185296

I have Jacob's Obit. my grandmother who was raised in Zoar has Jacob death date as 16 Mar 1960.

Largo, Fl.
Added by John Page on Jul 30, 2013 3:00 PM
Thank you, Madeline, for the transfers. It was most generous of you and I appreciate it!
Added by David on Jul 12, 2013 11:17 AM
RE: Christina Zimmerman
A Family Migrates

The is the sad story of the Ship Sybylla which left the Dutch port of Helviotsluys in September, 1832, with a group of immigrants aboard from Württemberg, Germany. There were two Zimmerman families and two Knodel families from Ochsenbach. I have learned that all of these were of one extended family.
Let me set the stage. Jacob F. Zimmerman and Maria Magdalina Gaertner Zimmermann were aboard with 4 single children: Gottfried (24), Johann (19), Henrich (17) & Johanna (12). Maria Madgalina was the granddaughter of Andreas Mannber and gr. granddaughter of Veit Mannber. Two older children did not join the party, staying in Germany. They were Jacob Frederich and Christian.
This couple also had a son Christoph Zimmermann aboard with his wife Elisabetha and 3 small children:Gottfried (5), Christine (4) and Christina (1).
They also had a daughter Elisabetha Zimmerman married to Johanna Jacob Knodel and they had two young children: Johanna (4) and Christina (2).
Maria Magdalena's sister, Maria Dorothea, was aboard with her husband Gottfried Knodel, brother of Johann Jacob Knodel. This last couple had four small children: Fredricka (8), Wilhermina (4), Christina (2) and Georg (1).
Also to be mentioned were their friends, the Best family: Johannes and Christina and two children: Gottlieb (9) and Johann (2). They lived just down the road at Spielberg.
These people left Ochsenbach in May of 1832 for the difficult journey down the Rhine River to the sea. Entries were made in the Ochsenbach Kirkenbuch like: "On May 29th the whole family migrated to North America." This probable journey down the Rhine took most of the summer. At the Dutch port of Helviotsluys they boarded the Ship Sybylla. There was probably a stop over at an English port before beginning the ocean voyage, which took 3 months.
An article in The New York Evening Post, Dec. 8, 1832, tells the story: "The British ship Sybella, Captain Thornhill, says the Merchantile Advertiser, arrived yesterday at the quarantine ground from Helvoitsluys, whence she sailed about the 10th of September with 132 passengers, emigrants from Wirtemberg. Of this number 28 only reached the port alive, the rest having perished by disease, while the whole crew of the vessel though constantly engaged in attending to these unfortunate beings, enjoyed perfect health. The passengers are said to have been filthy, inert, indifferent to their fate, and unaffected by the death of their friends or relatives. Most of them died quietly, without pain or struggle. The Captain thinks the disease is not the cholera."
Actually about 38 persons survived the voyage, of our family group only 8 survived! My gr gr grandparents, Johann & Elisabeth Knodel were the only adults to survive. Others to survive were: a daughter of Gottfried and Maria Dorothea Knodel: Fredricka (8); the 3 children of Christoph and Elisabetha Zimmerman: Johanna (4), Christina (2) and Christian (1); and 2 children of the elder couple: Henrich ( 17) and Johanna (12). The whole Best family perished.
The word got back home and more entries were made in the Kirkenbuch. "It is reported they died in America". "It is reported they died in the ship on the way to American States. "It is reported they died upon the Sea." What high hopes they had when the set out in May. How the hopes were dashed! The question still stands, what happened during the voyage? Disease? Bad food? Bad water? Food ran out? A baby girl was born at sea to one unfortunate mother. She was named Sybilla Christina, no doubt from name of ship. Alas, the last column after her name is marked, "dead"!

John and Elisabeth arrived in the New York harbor on December 14, 1832. Because so many survivors on the Sybylla were sickly it took a couple of weeks to clear quarantine. We image they were able to come ashore shortly after Christmas. Pause to ponder the situation: a young couple in their early 30's, arriving in a strange land where another language was spoken. In the last 3 months they had lost 13 family members, including their own 2 children, Elisabeth's parents, Elisabeth's brother and sister-in-law and John's brother and sister-in-law as well as two other brothers! Their grief would be fresh and great and probably their health was not good.
I don't know how they passed the winter in New York, but by some means they got through. It is possible that Elisabeth's oldest surviving brother, Heinrich, may have apprenticed to a tailor. This was the occupation listed for him on the ship's manifest. No trace of him can be found where they ultimately made their home in Ohio.
I can picture the family group setting out for the west when spring came. Whether by land or water is hard to know. The trip across New York and Pennsylvania to Ohio by land would have been a hard trip. I can see the possibility that they may have made use of waterways on canals and the lakes. By some means we know that they had arrived in Tuscarawas County of Ohio by June of 1833. This was about 25 miles south of Canton.
On June 20, 1833, John Knodel purchased 80 acres of land in northern Tuscarawas County for $155. The purchase was interesting from two standpoints. The purchase required money, something that many immigrants didn't have much of left by the time they got here. It has been suggested that John now had the accumulated resources of the entire family at his disposal. Since he had all but one of the orphans under his wing this would make sense.
The other interesting thing was the location of the farm he purchased. It was immediately adjacent to the land of Joseph Bimeler. Bimeler was the head of the Zoar commune and held all the commune's land in his name. This commune made up of German dissidents had settled here in 1817. They had arrived in this area and been kept alive by the help of the Quakers in Pennsylvania. One needs to raise the question, why did John Knodel come all the way from New York to this spot in Ohio without a stop-over? Many immigrants worked their way west by stages. Something must have caused him to make a bee-line for Ohio. Did it have something to do with this Zoar commune? It is unlikely that he joined the commune, but he did buy land next to it and live there for a time. It may be of further interest that a note about his application for citizenship was contained in "The Zoar Scrapbook" by Stephen Fritz. I suspect the question may never be answered but it is intriguing.
John and Elisabeth started a new family in the 1830's. John was born in 1834; Wilhelmina in 1836 and Fredricka in 1837. This was the third generation of Johns. I have called him John Sr. for convenience. His father (the immigrant) was actually Johann Jacob and grandfather was Johann Jacob as well. John Sr. also had a son John that I call John Jr. Whilhelmina married Mathias Rudolph and their family stayed in Tuscarawas Co.
On October 31, 1836, John (Johann Jacob Jr) made known his intentions of becoming a citizen of the United States. Two years later citizenship was granted by the court. In it he renounced allegiance to the King of Wertemberg (sic). It is apparent that John moved quickly to begin a new life in America. In just 5 years he had become a property owner, had 3 new children and was a citizen of his adopted land. He was one of millions who cut their ties with the "old country", went out to a new land, and never looked back.
In 1840 the census shows his family in Lawrence Township of Tuscarawas Co. This was where he bought the farm mentioned above. With him in addition to his wife were 1 male 5 to 9 and 2 females under 5. There is no mention here of the orphan children. Court records indicate that some other disposition had been made of the younger children in an earlier time. On September 12, 1833, Louis Bick was named guardian of Christiana, Charles and Christian Zimmermann. These are the 3 children of Christoph Bernhard Zimmermann, the brother of our Elisabeth, that we know as Gottfried Carl, Christina Catherina and Christian. An error was made in the record giving them as heirs of John Zimmermann. Louis Bick was a prominent member of the Zoar commune and took them to live there. In 1850 Christina and Christian were living with Joseph Bimeler, the head of the Zoar commune. Christian took up permanent residence there, married the daughter of Louis Birk and lived the rest of his life as part of the commune. Christina married John G. Ruof in 1854 and also lived the rest of her life in the commune. In April, 1835, John A. Knisely was made guardian of Hannah Zimmermann. We know her as Johanna, the little sister of our Elisabeth. No further record is found of Johanna. The father of John A. Knisely was the founder of New Philadelphia, OH. This still leaves Fridricka Knodel, the niece of John Knodel, unaccounted for. She was 16 by 1840 and could have been married or working out for another family in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it has been impossible to trace any but Christian and Christina of the orphan children of the Knodel and Zimmermann families.

Added by VictorOSchwarz on Jul 10, 2013 4:14 PM
RE: Christina Zimmerman
The Zimmermann Orphans in Zoar

"Lewis Birk Guardian for Christiana, Charles and Christian Zimmerman heirs of John Zimmerman separate bonds $100 each J. M. B." Thus began the association of three orphan siblings to the Zoar Separatists Society in Ohio in September of 1833.

The three named children were born Gottfried Carl (2/25/1827), Christina Catherine (4/3/1828), and Christian (8/17/1830) and were christened in the Ochsenbach Lutheran Church in Württemberg, Germany. Fate brought them to the above state in 1833. They had departed from home with their parents Christoph Bernhard Zimmerman and Elisabethe Catherina Moesner in the spring of 1832 and sailed on the ship Sybylla. Unfortunately, by the time the ship reached harbor in New York many of the passengers had died, including their parents and also their grandparents Jacob Fridrich Zimmermann and Maria Magdalena Gärtner. Several others of their extended family also died bringing the total to 13 out of the 21 who had embarked. The lone adults that survived of this family were Aunt Elisabeth Zimmermann Knodel and her husband John Knodel.

John and Elisabeth Knodel brought 4 children west with them to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in the spring of 1833. The above entry would indicate that the Knodels felt they couldn't take care of the 4 orphans and they were given to the court to assign guardianship. Lewis Birk was given guardianship of the 3 children of Christoph and John A. Knisely of New Philadelphia was given guardianship of Johanna Zimmermann. Lewis Birk was a Trustee in the young Zoar Society and J. M. Bimeler, who went bond for the guardianship, was the Agent General. The Society had considerable holdings adjacent to the land purchased by John Knodel and, no doubt, an acquaintance had already been made between John and the leading members of the Zoar Society.

Zoar was a quaint little village tucked in the rolling hills of northern Tuscarawas County and center for the communistic society that had been established there scarcely 15 years earlier. A group of German Separatists had come to America in 1817 to escape persecution for their religious beliefs and had established the Zoar Society in 1819 and lived together in their new village of Zoar with all things in common. Why they chose to take in the 3 orphans is unknown. It is possible that the orphans lived in the home of Lewis Birk, but more probable that they were split up and placed in the boys' and girls' dormitories. It was the common practice at that time for all children to live either in the boys' or girls' dormitory. The Birks already had a daughter Louisa who had been born in the spring.

Boy's Dorm © 2005 Old Log Meetinghouse also used as Girls' Dorm

Of the next few years we know nothing except that they would have attended the school a half block west of the boys' dorm and on Sunday the mandatory services at the old log meetinghouse directly west of the boys' dorm, where Joseph Bimeler preached each Sunday. Life in the dormitories was very strict. Punishment was severe for disobeying the rules. At age 6 the children were put in school and were taught in both German and English. Subjects were reading, writing and 'rithmatic. Church consisted of a 2-hour service every Sunday morning, Sunday School in the afternoon for the children and a service again in the evening. As soon as they were old enough the children had to go to work: the boys in the field or as an apprentice; the girls often were put in charge of the milking twice a day as well as other chores.

Of Carl (Charles) I know only this at the present time. In the funeral discourse for Christian Zimmermann it was mentioned that "his brother" [Charles] left the Society. Jacob Sylvan reported in the preface to the Meeting House Sermons that in 1844 and 1845 there was "a band of rebellers" who "were revolters and backsliders". Since Charles was gone by 1850 it is entirely possible that he was among that group that rebelled and left. I do not know what became of Charles after this.

By 1850 Christian and Christina were living in the Number 1 house with J. M. Bimeler and his wife Dorotha. Christina is now listed in the census as 22 and Christian as 20. Christian's trade was "merchant", but nothing was given for Christina. There were 5 other people of various ages also living in the house.

A description of the colony was given by a visitor about this time that reflects the kind of life they would have experienced:

"The dwellings, twenty-five in number, are substantial and of comfortable proportions; many of them log, and nearly all unpainted. The barns are of huge dimensions, and with the rest are grouped without order, rearing their brown sides and red-tiled roofs above the foliage of the fruit trees, partially enveloping them.
"The sound of the horn at daybreak calls them to their labors. They mostly work in groups, in a plodding but systematic manner that accomplishes much. Their tools are usually coarse, among which is the German scythe, short and unwieldy as a bush-hook, sickles without teeth, and hoes clumsy and heavy as the mattock of the Southern slave. The females join in the labors of the field, hoe, reap, pitch hay, and even clean and wheel out in barrows the offal of the stables. Their costume and language are that of Germany. They are seen about the village going to the field with implements of labor across their shoulders, their faces shaded by immense circular rimmed hats of straw—or with their hair combed straight back from their foreheads and tied under a coarse blue cap of cotton, toting upon their heads baskets of apples or tubs of milk.
"The community are strict utilitarians, and there is but little mental development among them. Instruction is given in winter to the children in German and English. They are a very simple-minded, artless people , unacquainted with the outer world, and the great questions, moral and political, which agitate it. Of scarcely equalled morality, never has a member been convicted of going counter to the judicial regulations of the land. Thus they pass through their pilgrimage with but apparently few of the ills that fall to the common lot, presenting a reality delightful to behold, with contentment resting upon their countenances and hearts in which is enthroned peace.

It was but a few years till the remaining 2 orphans became tied permanently to the Society. On May 14, 1854, Christian was married to Louisa Birk, who was aforementioned. In September of the same year Christina was married to John George Ruof who was 47 at the time and had been part of the original migration from Germany. John George had first married Rosina Miller, but she died in the cholera epidemic of 1833. He then married Rosina Christina Ackerman who died in 1854 after giving birth to 5 children. Of these only Christian and John had survived to adulthood. So John George married again in 1854 (just 5 months after the second wife died) and Christina Zimmermann bore him 4 more children.

In 1860 Christina was stepmother to Christian and John and mother to Obediah who was 6 months old. Her husband John George was the hotel keeper. By 1870 Selma had been added to the family. Not listed in the census records were Nathan who was born in 1857 and died before 1860 and Josephine who was born in 1870 and died in 1873. By 1880, the census shows the stepchildren had left home and John G. and Christina had Obed (20) and Selma (13) living at home with them. Obed was clerking in the store. Mrs. Morhart reported, "On Third Street West is the Ruof house ... built for Selma and Obed Ruof. Christina died in 1893 of dropsy and is buried in the Zoar Cemetery with a small stone reading: "Christina Ruof 1828-1893".

By 1860 Christian and Louisa had 3 children: Lydia (4), Louis (3) and Charles (5 months). Louisa's father is now dead and her mother Ursula Birk was living with them. Christian Zimmermann was listed as a merchant. In 1870 the roles were reversed and Ursula is shown as head of the household with Christian, Louisa and their 3 children living with them. Christian died Aug. 15, 1875 of "billious fever". It would be presumed that he is buried in the Zoar Cemetery, but no marker is evident. There are quite a number of graves marked with an upright board with no visible writing. Louisa lived until 1909 and a large stone clearly marks her grave.

The Society decided in 1884 that it was time to incorporate as a village. Papers were filed to the County Commissioners with signatures of the men of the Society. Among these were familiar names: John G. Ruof, Obed Ruof, Louis Zimmerman and Charles Zimmerman. In August, 1884, the petition was granted and the village was properly incorporated.

In 1898, the Zoar Society disbanded and the assets were divided among the members. All members had to sign the deed transferring the assets. Among those signing this deed were a number of persons in the Zimmermann family. The 2 children of Christina: Obediah and Selma were signers. For the family of Christian Zimmermann were his widow Louisa and his sons Louis and Charles. At that point the Zoar Society was no more and former members went their separate ways. Some stayed in the town of Zoar but others moved to nearby towns or cities.

What of the family of Christina? Obediah was in the Massillon State Hospital for the insane from 1900 till his death in 1939. Selma took a job in Dover caring for the son of Charles Schoelles. Unfortunately, the boy contracted diphtheria and soon died. Selma contracted the disease from him and died in March, 1899. Selma and Obediah were never married and both are buried in the Zoar Cemetery. Thus ends the line of Christina Catherine Zimmermann Ruof.

The family of Christian was a bit more complicated. Lydia, the oldest married Fredrick Manz. They lived for a time in Pennsylvania but settled then in Cleveland. They had 2 children: Fredrick Charles and Lillian. Fredrick married, but I have no further information on him. Lillian married Ellsworth Scott and had 2 children Winfield and Vivian. Here also my information runs out.

Louis Zimmermann, the oldest son married Antoinette Ruof (yes, the same Ruof family!) She was the granddaughter of John George Ruof by his second wife Rosina Ackerman. Louis led the band and played clarinet for the Society for many years. He was reported to be an exacting director. Louis was for a time the postmaster of the Zoar Society. E. O Randall wrote of him in about 1899:

Mr. Louis Zimmermann was assistant secretary and treasurer of the Society from 1882 to 1889 and secretary and treasurer from the latter date to the present time. He has therefore had practically the control and management of the commercial and financial interests of the Society for some seventeen years. In that position and particularly in the work of closing up the affairs of the Society, he has displayed marked ability and tact. All classes in the Society had implicit confidence in his honesty of purpose, wisdom of action and his fidelity to the duties entrusted to him. His grandfather, Louis F. Birk, was one of the original Zoar emigrants of 1817. Mr. Zimmerman was thoroughly loyal to the Zoar Society and its aims and work, so long as it could be successful, but was one of the first forced to the conclusion that the time had arrived to abandon the communistic plan. Mr. Zimmerman was for many years the manager of the general retail store of Zoar and at the distribution he and Mr. August Kuecherer received, besides other property, the store as their portion. Joseph Bimeler is also associated in the management of this store."

Louis and his wife had 2 children of record: Almida Laura who died in infancy and Waldemar "Walter" who was last seen in Cleveland where in about 1926 he married the widow Margaret Tremper and took in a stepson, Earl C. Tremper. Louis left Zoar in 1904, moving to Cleveland and working as bookkeeper for the Cleveland-Sandusky Brewing Co. He died in 1912 in Cleveland. He and his wife were buried in the Zoar Cemetery. Antoinette died in 1927.

Charles "Carl" Zimmermann was the youngest son. He married Bertha Straub and they had 3 children: Lydia, Arthur and Arwed. As was his brother Louis, he was a member of the band and a capable musician. Lydia died in 1900 and is buried in Zoar. Arwed died in 1909 either from a hunting accident or self-inflicted wound. Arthur V. worked in Cleveland for a time then moved to Knox county, Ohio. He changed his name to Kramer and took a job with a dairy farmer, later marrying the farmer's daughter. Members of his family have been scattered about the country. Charles died in 1929 at the Massillion State Hospital. He may have been under treatment for alcoholism. Place of burial is unknown to me.

Thus by fateful chance three young children made orphans by the sea became the charges of one of the most interesting communistic societies in America. One chose not to stay but the others opted to remain and were destined to play a part in its history. For 65 of its 80 years they and their families lived in Zoar and partook of the simple communist life. When the Society came to an end the Zimmermann descendents, like the rest of the members, went their separate ways and scattered, melding into normal society. Christian and Christina lie in "God's Acre" overlooking the modern village of Zoar which is dedicated to the memory of these early German pioneers.

"Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life,
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way."

Victor O Schwarz
August 18, 2006

This story originally had pictures with it that didn't copy. I'll find an earlier story about the voyage and send it separately. Victor
Added by VictorOSchwarz on Jul 10, 2013 4:12 PM
Sally Miller Hindley
Thank you so much for the photos of the Koch's gravestones. I really appreciate your time and work! =)
Added by Sally Miller Hindley on Jul 05, 2013 11:08 PM
God bless you for your transfers to Clc. So kind! Thank you!
Added by cemgems on May 16, 2013 10:19 PM
Della Meize
Bruce Harvey
Thank you for linking Bruce to his wife Farrell. So nice to have a suggestion followed through with such speed!
Added by Della Meize on Mar 04, 2013 2:35 PM
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