The Descendants of Johann Carl Christian and Wilhelm Bohnstedt in Illinois

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)


Johann Carl Christian "Charles" Bohnstedt II and wife Mary Ann (Cappel) Bohnstedt


Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt I and
Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt II

Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt, who went by "Carl" or "Charles" left Ohio with his wife, Dorothea and at least some of his children sometime after 1854. Exactly how many of the older children left Ohio with Carl and Dorothea at the same time is uncertain. But it does appear that some of the older children had begun families of their own in Ohio before they moved on to Illinois.

Johann Carl Christian "Charles" Bohnstedt II and wife Mary Ann (Cappel) Bohnstedt

For example: Carl and Dorothea's oldest child, Johann Carl Christian Jr. married Mary Ann Cappel, who was born in Ohio, thus it's safe to speculate that they probably married in Ohio as well, in 1851. However, Carl Jr. and Mary Ann's children were all born in Illinois, beginning in 1855. Carl and Dorothea's next child, Catherine, was married in 1850 in Ohio, and it's possible that she and her husband stayed there. Likewise, Catherine's younger sister, Anna, also married in Ohio.

At this point in the story it is probably easier to proceed with explaining who left from Illinois to go to other parts of the United States, and then go back and examine which lines remained in Illinois.

Theodore Bohnstedt, a son of of Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt Jr., left with a cousin to seek his fortune in Wyoming. Evidence suggests that this cousin was probably William Henry Bohnstedt, a son of Johann Christian Friedrich "Frederick" Bohnstedt. Theodore turned back for Illinois but stopped in Nebraska, due to a fascination with a young lady named Mary Ellen Townsend. We will look at Theodore's descendants in the next section: The Descendants of Theodore Bohnstedt in Nebraska.

As for Frederick, he had begun his family in Illinois, in fact, all of his children that we know of were born there, so he didn't go to Wyoming until well into the late 1800's; after 1870 in fact. But it does appear that he eventually moved to Wyoming with some of his younger children, perhaps at the recommendation or urging of his eldest son, William Henry. Another son of Frederick's, Danial, also went to Wyoming to seek his fortune and became a gold miner in the Lander, Wyoming area.

Ludwig "Lewis" Bohnstedt, a son of Carl and Dorothea Bohnstedt, began his family in 1871 in Olney Illinois by marrying Anna Poff. They had four children, all born in Illinois from 1875 through 1878. Anna died in 1878, perhaps in labor with her last child George Clinton. Lewis married again in 1880 in Olney to Clara Hyers-Jenkins, who was probably married before.

Lewis and Clara had five children, but only the first was born in Illinois in 1881. Sometime after that Lewis and his family relocated to Missouri, near Springfield. It appears that the four children from Lewis's first marriage were left with their maternal grandmother, and when Lewis and Clara were settled in Missouri they sent for the first four children. The story of these Bohnstedts in Missouri is told in The Bohnstedts in Missouri: Descendants of George Clinton Bohnstedt, and The Bohnstedts in Missouri: Descendants of Guy and Vaden Bohnstedt.

With so many of Carl and Dorothea's descendants relocating elsewhere to find their fortunes and build their families, the question is, who did remain to carry the Bohnstedt name and the Bohnstedt lines in Illinois?

In some cases there may have been Bohnstedt lines that were never properly identified, lines which descended from some of the men mentioned above. For example, Johann Christian Friedrich "Frederick" Bohnstedt had quite a few children from two marriages, and descendants have never been identified for several of these children. Having said that, today one can look up "Bohnstedt" in phone books and Internet searches, and with a little bit of research, even using material in this particular work, find that in nearly every case, they descended from people whom we have already identified.


The Bohnstedt Family Bible

In October of 2007 I received an e-mail from Erin Curry, an artist. Erin collects antique books and objects and makes art of them. While visiting a book sale in Gainseville, Florida she found an old German family bible. In the middle of the bible she found some names in the family registry, names of Bohnstedts. Thinking that a Bohnstedt family somewhere might like to have the bible returned because of the family history in the registry, she did a search for "Bohnstedt" on the Worldwide Web. She found my website, contacted me, and sent me some digital pictures of the registry pages. When I offered to buy the bible from her she sent it to me and refused to take any payment for the bible or even reimbursement for the cost of shipping, citing the "pay it forward" principle.

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1. Erin Curry, the woman who rescued the Bohnstedt family bible on behalf of the Bohnstedt family in America
2. The family bible of Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt (Jr.) and Mary Ann (Cappel) Bohnstedt.

When I received the bible and examined it I felt as if I was holding a historical treasure.  In fact this is true so far as the Bohnstedt family history is concerned.  This bible was printed some time in the early 1800s, in German.  I personally suspect it was brought with the family from Germany in 1848, but I cant prove it. 

When the bible was purchased new it contained blank registry pages between the old and new testaments for the purpose of recording names and events, including births.  Upon examining the registry pages it was quickly obvious that this bible was used by Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt II ("Carl Bohnstedt Jr."), the eldest child of Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt I ("Carl Bohnstedt Sr.") and Dorothea Bohnstedt, and Mary Ann Bohnstedt; Carl Bohnstedt Jr.'s wife.  In the registry pages were listed Carl and Mary Ann, and as far as I can tell, all of their children.

The first registry page listed the following names:

-  Carl (also known as "Charles"), born 31 May, 1829 in Jersleben.
-  Mary Bohnstedt, his wife. It appears that someone wrote "3rd day of March, 1823" as her date of birth. There is also another date written near it: 1835, her correct year of birth.
-  Amelia Bohnstedt, (their first child) born in 1855 in Clark County Illinois, 29 December 1855
-  Kate Bohnstedt, or "Katie Bohnstedt", born July 1878.

The first page lists "Carl" (also known as "Charles"), his wife, Mary Bohnstedt, Amelia Bohnstedt, Kate Bohnstedt or "Katie Bohnstedt".

The second registry page listed the following names:

-  Christine (or Christina) Elisabeth Bohnstedt, born in Clark County Illinois May 1858
-  Mary Ann Bohnstedt born in Jasper County Illinois 17th day, June 1860
-  Theodore Bohnstedt born in Richland county Illinois 10th day of August, 1862
-  Frederick William Bohnstedt born in Richland County Illinois in 1867.

1-2. The second registry page shows Christine (or Christina) Elisabeth Bohnstedt, , Mary Ann Bohnstedt (daughter), Theodore Bohnstedt, 1862, and Frederick William Bohnstedt born in Richland County Illinois in 1867.

The third registry page listed the following names:

-  Sarah Margaret Bohnstedt born in Richland County Illinois, July 1869.
-  Minnie Bohnstedt born in Richland County Illinois 1871.
-  In the top margin of the page was also written "Katie Bohnstedt born in Richland County Illinois July 19, 1878", apparently repeating the entry for Kate Bohnstedt from the first registry page.

The third registry page lists Sarah Margaret Bohnstedt, Minnie Bohnstedt, a repeated entry for "Katie Bohnstedt, and Harry Bohnstedt.

The fourth and final registry page listed two more children:

-  The first seems to be written in pencil and the name is uncertain. In family records there is a six year gap between Minnie Bohnstedt born in 1872, and Kate Bohnstedt born in 1878. This may have been another child who might have been born in between Minnie and Kate, and who may have been still-born or died very young.
-  The last entry is Harry (or Harrie) Bohnstedt, "born in Richland County Illinois, house".

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1-2. The fourth and final registry page lists two more children. The first seems to be written in pencil and the name is uncertain. In family records there is a six year gap between Minnie Bohnstedt born in 1872, and Kate Bohnstedt born in 1878. This may have been another child who might have been born in between Minnie and Kate, and who may have been still-born or died very young. The last entry is Harry (or Harrie) Bohnstedt

Besides the valuable family history information in the registry pages the bible itself seemed to be a kind of time capsule.  Inside the pages were pressed several items:

-  A "trouble ticket" presumably from a tailor or dress shop
-  Some notes regarding a church service
-  Several leaves or pieces of flowers
-  Three ticket stubs
-  A blue piece of cloth with "Mabel" written on it.

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Some items were found pressed into the Bohnstedt family bible; A "trouble ticket" presumably from a tailor or dress shop, some notes regarding church service, several leaves or pieces of flowers, three ticket stubs, and a blue piece of cloth with "Mabel" written on it.

Unfortunately none of the "time capsule" items had a date on it.  But the piece of cloth with the name "Mabel" written on it could be a clue as to who the bible was passed to.  According to available information, there are two possible candidates: (a) Mable Elma Bohnstedt (1905-1974), daughter of Theodore and Mary Ellen Bohnstedt (b) Mabel (Madden) Bohnstedt, wife of Charles Ervin Bohnstedt.

One possibility is that the bible was passed to the wife of Charles Ervin Bohnstedt, Mabel (maiden name Madden). But Charles and Mabel were married only a few years, from 1914 to 1920 at which time they divorced.  It is unlikely (although not impossible) she took Bohnstedt family heirlooms with her when they separated.

The more likely possibility is that Mabel Elma Bohnstedt (Theodore and Mary Ellen's daughter) was married in 1924 to Clarence Cockerill in Colorado.  They had five children; four boys and one girl.  The bible might have been passed to one of the five children who eventually retired in Florida.  At this time I don't have enough information about the Cockerills to know which of these children might have received the bible.  Another problem is that records exist which show that Mabel Elma died in Oakridge Oregon, not Florida.  The bible could have been passed to one of her children, but of the five children, only two are known to have died at the time of this writing.  Neither died in Florida, and one of them died in 2015.  In other words, we still haven't figured out who had the bible, or which "Mabel" was referred to.


William Frederick Bohnstedt

William Frederick Bohnstedt, a son of Charles and Mary Ann Bohnstedt and grandson of Carl and Dorothea Bohnstedt, began his family in Olney Illinois as many others in his family were doing. He married in 1890 in Richland County, Illinois to Harriet Mae "Hattie" Turner. We know of seven children born to William and Hattie, all in Illinois and probably in Richland County: Howard William (1891), Maude F. (1893), Charles Ervin (1894), Ross Joseph (1897), Byron Vincent (1900), Mary Elizabeth (1902), and Harold Ardel (1906).

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William Frederick Bohnstedt (right) and his painting crew. According to one of his descendants, he was a painting contractor and he painted railroad bridges all over central Indiana and Illinois.
2. Hattie Mae (Turner) Bohnstedt with one of her grandchildren; the child may be Wendell Hull.

So far we have not been able to establish any evidence of a substantial line of descendants from William Frederick Bohnstedt. The Bohnstedt name was carried down to his grandchildren, but it does not seem to have gone any farther than that.  We do know that Howard (who apparently had the nickname "Bohny"), a telegrapher, and his wife Luvadie, who went by "Vadie", had at least two daughters.  The first, born in 1917, died the same day, and is buried in Barks Chapel Cemetery in Whitewater Missouri. The second, Mary Maud, was born in 1921.  She married in 1958 to Norvel Woodrow Hosea.  William and Hattie's daughter, Maude, remained in Illinois and married Herschel Otis Zollars.  Together they had three children. The first two were twins, Florese and Florence. Florese died the same year that she was born, and is buried in Haven Hill Cemetery in Illinois. 

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1. Howard William "Bohny" Bohnstedt and wife Luvadie "Vadie" (Moore) Bohnstedt
2. Luvadie (Moore) Bohnstedt and daughter Mary Maud Bohnstedt
3. Mary Maud Bohnstedt
4. Charles Edward Bohnstedt, Purdue University

Charles Ervin served in the infantry in WW I, and was married twice; first to  Mabel Madden, and then to someone named Charlotte. We don't know very much about these two marriages, but a census record indicates a girl named Buelah, born about 1919, and adopted by Charles and Lottie, but it is not clear whether they both adopted her, or if she was a child from Lottie's previous relationship, and she was adopted by Charles when Lottie married him.  I suspect the latter.  After Lottie, Charles was married one more time, to Marguerith Johann Thaden.  Marguerith had been married before, to someone with the last name of "Gray", and had two children with him; Betty and Ralph. After she married Charles she had another child, JoAnn, who later married Willard Paul Royer.  After Charles died in 1940 Marguerith married again, in 1962, to John Lewis Idlewine.

1. Grave marker of Charles E. Bohnstedt, son of William Frederick and Harriet Mae Bohnstedt in Haven Hill Cemetery. Photo by Kathy Hursta.
2. JoAnn Bohnstedt, senior picture, 1953, Frankton High School, Frankton, Indiana.
3. Grave marker of Marguerith Idelwine and JoAnn (Bohnstedt) Royer in Greenlawn Cemetery, Frankfort, Clinton County, Indiana. Marguerith was the third and last wife of Charles Ervin Bohnstedt and JoAnn was their daughter.

Ross Joseph Bohnstedt and his wife, Elsie, had two children; Charles Edward Bohnstedt, born in 1919 in Olney Illinois, and a daughter, Pauline Elizabeth, born the next year in Olney. Like his older brother, Howard, Ross didn't stay in Illinois.  He moved on to Indiana with his family.  Pauline married and began her family in Indianapolis.  Their son, Charles Edward Bohnstedt, attended Purdue University, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. He became a design engineer for Westinghouse, and married twice, first to Helen Lezitsky in Newark, new Jersey, and then to Freddie Cole-Kendall, in Somerset, New Jersey. As far as we know Charles had no children.

1-2. Grave markers of Howard William Bohnstedt (left) and wife Luvadie (Moore) Bohnstedt (right), in Cape County Memorial Park, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Two of Frederick and Harriet's children almost didn't make it to adulthood. In an obscure book called Carnegie Hero Fund Commission: 1913-1914, a certain Maurice Buckley was mentioned. According to the excerpt, in 1912, Buckley, who was seventy three years old at the time, and a watchman at a train crossing, observed two teenagers starting to cross the train tracks. The two teens, Byron V. Bohnstedt, 13 years old, and his sister Mary, 10 years old, didn't see the two locomotives which were coupled together and backing towards them at about fifteen miles per hour, although how it's possible to NOT see a large train locomotive coming towards you is a mystery to me. Buckley saw that the kids didn't see the locomotives, and started towards the two youths waving his arms. Byron and Mary saw Buckley and stepped back in time to prevent being hit. Unfortunately Buckley wasn't as fortunate. He was struck by the locomotive and died of his injuries.  We know that Byron served in the Army Air Force in WW II. He later went to work for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a billing clerk. He was married twice, firs to Alta Claire Hall, and then to Mary Fulk, with whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth Jane.

1-2. Two different grave markers of the infant daughter of Howard William Bohnstedt and Luvadie (Moore) Bohnstedt, Barks Chapel Cemetery, Whitewater Missouri. The first one is much older, and no doubt the original, placed in 1917.  The second one is obviously newer. The original may have broken or deteriorated so much that a replacement was needed.  The replacement was no doubt paid for by a family member, either her parents or perhaps her sister, Mary Maud (Bohnstedt) Hosea.

Byron's sister, Mary, stayed in Illinois and married James Kelly Hull, and had six children.  The youngest of William and Hattie's children, Harold Ardel Bohnstedt, made his life in the Indianapolis area.  He married Pearl Lane in 1926.  He was a laboratory technician for the Acme-Evans Company. He was also a volunteer firefighter for the Avon, Indiana Fire Department. (Avon is a suburb of Indianapolis).  Harold and Pearl had one child, a boy, who died in 1927, the same year he was born.  He was buried in Haven Hill Cemetery in Illinois, suggesting that they were married in Illinois before they went to Indiana.  Harold died when he was 61 years old from a heart failure while he was on a run while he was on a run as a firefighter.

1. Grave marker of Mary Maud (Bohnstedt) Hosea, Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
2. Grave marker of Ross Joseph and Elsie Bohnstedt, Floral Park Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana.


Georg August Heinrich Gottlieb Bohnstedt and Isaac Carl Bohnstedt

Isaac Carl Sylvester Bohnstedt, a son of Georg August Heinrich Gottlieb Bohnstedt, was born in 1874 in Olney, Illinois, and was married about 1901 to Dora Ellen Matter. They had two children that we know of; a daughter, Bernice, born in 1904, and a son, Earl, born in 1909. It was through this son, Earl Kenneth Bohnstedt, that the Bohnstedt family name remains in Illinois, through his two sons Robert Kenneth Bohnstedt and James Earl Bohnstedt, and their children and grandchildren. This story is told in Gottlieb Bohnstedt and the Descendants of Isaac Carl Bohnstedt in Illinois.


Wilhelm "William" Bohnstedt

Wilhelm "William" Bohnstedt was the ninth child, and the sixth son of Carl and Dorothea Bohnstedt. He was born in 1849 in Brush Creek Township, Muskingum County Illinois, and married in 1873 in Richland County Illinois to Mary Margaret "Maggie" Kent. So far we've been able to determine that William and Maggie had five, possibly six children.

Every one of the five known children were boys, and so had the potential to start families and perpetuate the Bohnstedt line in Illinois. However, when searching for evidence of these families, we find almost no descendants at all beyond William and Maggie's five known children. The only grandchildren we've seen evidence for is a granddaughter, Frances, born to John Henry Bohnstedt, William and Maggie's oldest son, and another granddaughter; Katherine, born to Charles Christopher Bohnstedt, William and Maggie's youngest son.

1. Grave marker of Edward Harrison Bohnstedt in Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier California.  Apart from his name, and the year of birth and death, the only other thing engraved is "Husband", with no mention of "Father", adding weight to the belief that he had no children. The date on the marker gives a year of birth of 1877, but this is incorrect. Documentary evidence (WWI and WWII draft registration cards) show that Edward was born in 1878, not 1877
2. Grave marker of Ida Maud Bohnstedt, wife of Edward Harrison Bohnstedt, in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Pleasant Grove, Mississippi

There was a Bohnstedt couple who appeared in the Los Angeles area - Alhambra to be exact - named Edward and Ida Bohnstedt. In the 1952, 1956, and 1964 Alhambra City directories there appear an "Ida Bohnstedt", widow of Edward Bohnstedt. This is without a doubt Edward Harrison Bohnstedt and his wife Ida.  Edward's middle name was "Harrison", but one of the directories listed Edward's middle initial as "A". This is most likely a typographical error.  The case for Edward and Ida having moved to California is supported by a 1940 federal census that lists Edward H. and Ida M. Bohnstedt in San Gabriel, California, just a few miles from Alhambra.

1-2. Grave markers of Margaret and Frances Bohnstedt, wife and daughter of John Henry Bohnstedt, in Mount Cavalry Cemetery, Dubuque, Iowa

Interestingly, we also found a record of an "Ida Bohnstedt", born in 1886 in California and died in 1974 in Mississippi. This might fit rather well into the puzzle, and the scenario might go like this: Edward Bohnstedt, born in 1878, goes to California, where he meets Ida Bohnstedt, who was eight years younger than him. She may not have actually been born in California, but rather obtained her social security number there when the U.S. government began issuing social security numbers. In fact the 1940 census for San Gabriel California lists Idas' place of birth as Mississippi.  They marry, and live their lives in California, the latter years in Alhambra near Los Angeles. By 1952, When Ida appears in the Alhambra directory, Edward had already passed away in California, which is why we do not find him buried at Haven Hill Cemetery near others of his family. (he would have been 74 if he had been alive in 1952, Ida would have been 66). In fact, a record in Ancestry.com lists Edward Harrison Bohnstedt's date and place of death as 1950, Los Angeles California.  Edward may have been taken to L.A. County General hospital for some reason, where he died.  Ida, a widow, appears in Alhambra directories as late as 1964, when she would have been 78 years old. She moves to Mississippi, perhaps to be near her family again, where she dies ten years later at the age of 88 years.

1. Grave marker of Edith (Fox) Bohnstedt, John Bohnstedt's second wife, in Noffsinger Cemetery, Pleasant Mound, Illinois.
2. Grave marker of Flora Emily Tennyson, John Bohnstedt's third wife, in Haven Hill Cemetery, Olney, Illinois

Other documentary discoveries showed that a "Frances Bohnstedt" and "Margaret Bohnstedt", both in Dubuque Iowa, were related to John H. Bohnstedt, William and Maggie Bohnstedt's son.  Frances was John and Margaret's daughter, but Margaret later divorced John.  It appears that John and Margaret married in Illinois, and their daughter Frances was born there.  What is uncertain is whether or not they relocated as a family to Iowa, or if Margaret and Frances moved to Iowa after Margaret divorced John.  John died in Illinois and is buried in Haven Hill Cemetery near the rest of the clan, while Margaret and Frances are both buried in Mount Cavalry Cemetery in Dubuque, Iowa.


See Also:
3-8 /
The Descendants of Theodore Bohnstedt in Nebraska
3-29 / Genealogy 3-3-1: America; Illinois and Nebraska
3-35 / Genealogy 3-3-7: America; Wilhelm Bohnstedt in Illinois


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