Steinseltz Census 1885

It seems that the village of Steinseltz took a local census about once every 5 years, including in the year 1885. At that time, Steinseltz was under German control, and there were four Aberth households in town. Two of them were inhabited by our direct ancestors.

First, here's the 1885 census document for George "Großvater" Aberth's Household on »Krummeck« aka "Curvy Corner" street in Steinseltz.

In his memoir, George says they tore down and rebuilt his house (which still stands today, and upon which the name "Aberth" is carved in stone) in the same spot in 1890. So presumably, this is the former address of the current house.

George, my great-great grandpa, would have been 28 years old. And his youngest son Henry, my great grandpa, of Akron City Bakery fame would have been just 1 year old in 1885.

Note that the repeated ref. notes in red stand for »reformiert«, aka of the reformed/protestant religion. Nearly everyone in Steinseltz is listed as ref., and only a very few (but none of our ancestors) are listed as kath. aka catholic.

The documents are printed in German and then French, and the handwriting is in German, but here's the important stuff in English:

#. Family Name. First Name. Relation to the
Head of Household.
Columns 5 & 6 for temporarily
present or absent persons.
City Region
1. Aberth Georg ref. Head of Household. Farmer
2. Aberth Margaretha Salomea ref. Wife
3. Aberth Georg Martin ref. Son
4. Aberth Friedrich ref. "
5. Aberth Heinrich ref. "
6. Aberth Maria Salomea ref. Daughter
7. Biegler Dorothea ref. Mother-in-law
8. Kiefer Salomea ref. Foster Child
9. Biegler Leon ref. " Paris France
10. Biegler Julius ref. " " "

Besides the expected wife and children (including Heinrich aka Henry), there's a few intersting things:

  • The german spelling of George – Georg – is used (in other French documents it's written as Georges).
  • George's profession is »Ackerer« aka Farmer – although that is expected.
  • George's wife, my 2G grandma, Margaretha Salomea – I think she went by Salomea – is listed here but her maiden name is not shown. I know from Lori's research that her maiden name was Biegler.
  • George's Mother-in-Law, Salomea's mother – Dorothea Biegler née Schau – is living with them. She must have been a widow by then.
  • Three »Pflegekinder« aka foster children are also living with George's family. A Salomea Kiefer (no idea who this is), as well as two Biegler boys who are presumably relatives of Salomea's. I'm not sure what exactly is meant by foster children here.
  • And the two Biegler foster children are listed as stemming from Paris, France! Lori pointed out that George explains in his memoir that Salomea's older brother Martin had married a Parisian woman, moved to Paris, but then died at the young age of 36 – thus these two are certainly his children.

Here's George Aberth's signature from the bottom of the page. He wrote just Aberth, and his A and b are virtually indistinguishable:

Here's the 1885 census document for the household of George's father (my 3G grandpa), Michael Aberth, who lived on »Hauptstraße«, aka Main Street in Steinseltz. Michael would have been 68 in 1885.

In English:

1. Aberth Michael ref. Head of Household. Farmer
2. Aberth Julianna ref. Wife
3. Aberth Magdalena ref. Daughter

No surprises here. Michael was also a Farmer, and his grown daughter Magdalena is still living at home with her parents.

Here's Michael Aberth's signature from the bottom.

One other minor note. I also found Michael Aberth's death certificate from a few years later in 1901. He was still living in Steinseltz when he died.

All of the dates, names, and other info in Michael's death certificate match Lori's prior research. So there's no surprises.

But there was one tiny nugget of information included in Michael's death certificate that I found interesting. It's not much, but here it is:

This paragraph is describing Michael, the deceased:

⌈Son of the late honorable Georg Aberth, Weaver, and Anna Maria née Wolff⌋

So Michael's death certificate says that he was the son of yet another Georg Aberth and an Anna Maria Wolff. Again, that matches Lori's research, so it's not new info.

But it also says that his father Georg – my 4G grandpa – was a »Weber«, aka Weaver.

Like I said, it's not much, but I thought that was interesting.🙂