South Bend, Indiana, Schmachtenberger Records

October 2001

Met some new Schmachtenberger cousins online. One of them, Pat Schmachtenberger Kiel, emailed me some great information that she had about the earliest Schmachtenbergers–Adolph’s father, Adam, and Adam’s father who was born on a ship sailing to America in 1745. There’s an article that says once the child was born on the ship, the parents died and a couple from the ship took him to Baltimore and raised him; however, they didn’t change his name, in case relatives came looking for him. The boy had many children, of whom sever were sons who fought in the revolution.
[Note from February 2024: I have since come to believe that the seven sons were the Rupert side of Jacob’s ancestry.]
Besides letting me know some interesting history, she sent me some of her files. The picture is  Jacob Schmachtenberger, one of Adolph’s sons, and my ggg-grandfather William’s brother. Pat and I look forward to a continued friendship as we dissect the tree bit by bit, eventually hoping to put the whole puzzle together.

Thanks to the volunteers. . . 

A wonderful volunteer genealogist named Irvin Morse from the South Bend Genealogical Society saw my posting in a St. Joseph, Indiana, message board and offered to look up family records in the area. I had no idea just how much he would end up sending. We’re still exchanging information, but he has sent marriage applications, licenses, cemetery inscriptions, and obituaries for William Schmachtenberger’s family.

He sent my great great great grandmother’s death notice in 1879: Mary Newman Schmachtenberger – wife of William.

He also sent two obituaries that were extremely important to my research. I have links to the obit copies, in case you’d like to take a look.
Andrew was the last surviving child of Adolph Schmachtenberger, and the obituary helps prove my theory that my William is related to Adolph. Andrew is buried in the grave next to William, lived with two of William’s sisters and the obit tells of his Stark County, Ohio roots: 1911 Andrew Schmachtenberger.

Sarah was the last surviving child of William, and my g-g-grandmother’s sister: 1945 Sarah Schmachtnberger Slough. Links to the obituaries are here.

Irvin also sent me many census copies, including the one above, but one of my favorite records is a photocopy of the hand-transcribed will of George Schmachtenberger from 1885. This record proved one of my “detective” guesses was correct. I had found a woman named Pearl Schmachtenberger who married a Perry Baker. I couldn’t connect her to the family. She was from the St. Jo, Indiana area, and the only male Schmachtenberger there was George. On the 1880 census, he had one daughter named Eva. He died in 1885. The will was necessary to prove she was his daughter and–thanks to Irv– I have my proof. I later found Pearl under her married name on the same census page as her mother–she was born in 1881. Her name was now Eva Baker and her mother Mellissa had remarried and was a Kimble. Since both of the women had new last names, I was lucky to find them.

I also received a copy of Pearl’s obituary from the Marshall County, Indiana Genealogical Society, a woman named Karen Rettinger sent it. It’s an interesting headline story about a huge trainwreck in Bremen, Indiana, in which Pearl died. She was 38.

As a result of message boards, look ups and friendly, helpful genealogists, I’m swamped with obits, marriage licenses, and pictures now–it’s WONDERFUL. A special thanks to Irv, for all your help. (I only need a couple more records, I promise.)

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