Schwitzgebel Genealogy

Wiemers of Gamshurst, Baden

What's the deal?

On 9 August, 1854, Symphorosa emigrated from Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2,3 In the Gamshurst Familienbuch is the notice, „Die Witwe ist mit 6 Kindern am 9.8.1854 auf Kosten der Gemeinde nach Amerika ausgewandert“ ("The widow [Symphorosa Wiemer] has emigrated to America together with 6 children 9 August, 1854, at the expense of the community"). Here, 'Amerika' does not refer specifically to the United States of America, but to North America. 3

This distinction is borne out by the contract between the community of Gamshurst (or perhaps Achern) and a company from Liverpool to deliver 344 persons at the expense of the community from Liverpool to Québec, Canada (quite likely Montréal). The people, 229 adults, 107 children and 8 babies left Gamshurst in the last 10 days of July 1854 and traveled by boat, via Mannheim, to Rotterdam and then to Hull, Great Britain. From Hull, they traveled by railroad to Liverpool and then left Liverpool on August 16, 1854 aboard the ship Megan Enterprise.3

This, of course, explains why I have been unsuccessful in locating most of this family in U.S. documents, over the years. I'm told that records for Canada during this time period are very difficult to come by, so my chances of finding the Wiemers from here in the US aren't looking good—but that's my goal. If you have some information about this family or about Canadian genealogical sources in general, please what you know.

Family of Wendelin Wiemer and Symphorosa Metzinger

  1. Wendelin Wiemer was born on 7 February 1806 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2 He died on 29 November 1843 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2

    He and Symphorosa Metzinger were married on 22 February 1830 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2

    Symphorosa Metzinger (daughter of Bernhard Metzinger and Elisabeth Schanz) was born on 21 August 1807 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany) and died in America.1,2

    The Gamshurst records state that 6 of Symphorosa's 10 known children emigrated with her, and the church records explicitly indicate that Monika, Elisabeth, and Fabian were among them. So, who were the remaining three?

    Several of the children are easily eliminated: Theodor died in April, 1854, in America (three months earlier); and both Xavier and Remigius died prior to 1854. An entry in Auswanderung aus Gamshurst ("Emigration from Gamshurst") shows that Helena emigrated to America 6 December, 1851, with Anton Hermann of Ottersweier.

    This leaves Dominika, Juliana, and Maria Franziska, so we infer that the six children who emigrated in 1854 were Monika, Juliana, Maria Franziska, Elisabeth, Fabian, and Dominika.

    1. Dominika Wiemer was born on 31 July 1828 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2 Her parents were not married at the time of her birth. She was married in America.
    2. Theodor Wiemer was born on 15 July 1830 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2 He died in April 1854 in America.1,2
    3. Helena Wiemer was born on 21 May 1832 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2

      She emigrated on 6 December 1851 from Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany) according to an emigration notice that states „ein led. Bursche Anton Herrmann aus Ottersweier will sie MIT nach Amerika nehmen“ ("a single fellow Anton Herrmann of Ottersweier wishes to take her to America"2). She and Anton arrived at the port of New Orleans, Louisiana, aboard the Minnesota (from Havre) on 3 February 1852.24

    4. Monica Marie Wiemer
      Monica Marie Wiemer
      Monica Marie "Mary" Wiemer was born on 24 April 1834 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2,4,5

      On 11 November 1856, she married Francis "Frank" Steinbach in Columbiana Co., Ohio (despite some confusion caused by the notation that the wedding was officiated by the "pastor of Morges [Ohio]").7 Frank was born on 15 January 1827. Sources differ as to whether his place of birth was France or Germany, which suggests Alsace-Lorraine.4,5,8

      His obituary states that he came to the United States early in life and lived in Cincinnati and Steubenville, Ohio, before marrying and settling in Rose Twp., Carroll Co., Ohio (ca. 1862).25 According to a biography of their son, Florentz, Frank and Mary met during the seven years he worked in a paper mill at Steubenville,26 which places them there in roughly the 1855-1862 timeframe.

      Their marriage certificate proves that they were married in 1856, so the estimated 1862 date of their settlement in Rose Township is probably several years late. In any case, I've been successful in finding neither Frank nor Mary in 1850 or 1860 censuses for Steubenville.

      Frank died on 18 January 1897 in Carroll Co., Ohio.5,8

      The Steinbachs raised their niece, Elizabeth Mayer, following the death of Elizabeth's mother—Mary's sister, Elisabeth—during childbirth.

      Mary died on 3 September 1902 in Carroll Co., Ohio.5

    5. Xavier Wiemer was born on 2 December 1835 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2 He died on 14 December 1840 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2
    6. Juliana Wiemer was born on 18 February 1837 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2
    7. Maria Franziska Wiemer was born on 16 February 1839 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2
    8. Remigius Wiemer was born on 30 September 1840 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2 He died on 29 June 1841 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2
    9. Elisabeth Wiemer
      Elisabeth Wiemer
      Elisabeth Wiemer was born on 28 November 1841 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2,12,13 She died on 24 October 1878 in Ft. Thomas, Campbell Co., Kentucky.9,13

      She was married to Leo Bernard Mayer (son of Francis Mayer). Leo was born on 29 June 1840 in Baden.12,15 He immigrated in 1865.12 For over fifty years, he was merchant tailor in Cincinnati and lived for a time in Dayton and Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, before returning to Cincinnati.14 He died on 8 November 1926 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio.9,14,15

      According to family lore, Elisabeth, Leo, and their children were attending a family gathering when Elisabeth went into premature labor and died giving birth to their daughter, Elizabeth. It is unknown whether the gathering was being held in Carroll County, Ohio, or in Kentucky, but Elisabeth was buried in Kentucky.

      Elizabeth, born premature and extremely small, was kept in a shoebox in an oven, which served as her incubator. She was by Elisabeth's sister, Mary, and her husband, Frank Steinbach as their own daughter, in Carroll Co., Rose Twp., Ohio.

      The 1860 Federal Census for Hamilton Co., Ohio, lists an Elisabeth Wiemer, age 18, born in Baden, in the household of master baker John Bender, as a servant.10 Since Elisabeth and her family emigrated from Gamshurst "at the expense of the community," she may have worked off her passage in a period of servitude, as was a common arrangement at that time; however, there is insufficient information to be certain that the woman who worked for John Bender is the same Elisabeth Wiemer.

    10. Fabian Wiemer was born on 31 January 1843 in Gamshurst, Bühl, Baden, (Germany).1,2

      During the Civil War, he served with the Union army. Fabian mustered in to Company I, 9th Ohio Infantry Regiment as a private on 22 Apr 1861 and served for three years.19 The raising of the German 9th Ohio Regiment is described in History of Hamilton Co., Ohio:

      "Upon the receipt of the thrilling news of the fall of Sum-ter[sic], the Germans of Cincinnati promptly held a meeting at Turner hall, which was addressed by Judge Stallo, Colonel R.L. McCook, and other prominent citizens. The issue of this gathering was the raising of a German regiment, for which two hundred men enrolled at once, and within three days fifteen hundred were offered. The Ninth was mustered for three months April 22d, at Camp Harrison, and moved to Camp Dennison May 18th, where it was soon after mustered in for the long term, the first three years' regiment from the State, in consideration of which the Columbus ladies sent it a superb bass drum."20

      Fabian married Mary Margaret Stegner (daughter of Jacob Stegner and Margaret Hoffman) on 12 September 1871 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio at St. John's Unitarian church.23 She was born on 16 February 183921 or 1842/43 in Bavaria, immigrated in 1849, and was naturalised in 1854.15 She died on 5 November 1924 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio.15,21 Cemetery records indicate that Mary was buried in a plot owned by Martin Mentges in Spring Grove Cemetery and report her relationship to him as "sister-in-law."

      The 1880 Federal Census lists the family of a Fabian Wiemer, age 37, born in Baden, working as a saloon keeper. The family employed one servant, 16-year-old Lizzie Beelman, of Baden, and kept eleven boarders.

      He died of sunstroke on 12 July 1881 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio, as a result of a heat wave, during which temperatures were reported as high as 110ºF. According to The Enquirer (Cincinnati), from 13 July 1881,

      "Never since the last cholera epidemic in 1849[?] has Cincinnati experienced such a terrible mortality as at present. The undertakers are all overrun with orders for interments and so great is the demand for vehicles that it is almost impossible to get a hack at any price."

      The birth dates and places from various sources do not explicitly verify that the Fabian Wiemer who lived in Cincinnati was the son of Wendelin and Symphorosa, but I believe this to be the case.


  1. Bernhard Allgeier. Private e-mail note containing information about the family of Wendelin and Symphorosa Wiemer, as extracted from Gamshurst church records. 31 October 1996.
  2. Frühe Gamshurster Soldaten und Auswanderer, 1750-1950 (LDS Film #1676881). Historical information about Gamshurst, Baden, Germany, with names of soldiers who served in Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign and genealogical information about emigrant families from Gamshurst during the 18th and 19th centuries. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990.
  3. Rolf Federle, "poor emigrants from Gamshurst", e-mail messages to Gamshurst Genes mailing list (, 14 & 17 July, 2002.
  4. 1880 US Census, Carroll Co., Ohio. National Archives Microfilm, Reel 997.
  5. Cornelia Schrader-Muggenthaler and Rebecca J. Swinehart. Descendancy chart for Johannes Weimer, compiled from information from Cornelia Schrader-Muggenthaler, in lists of migrations, and from Rebecca Swinehart. Albuquerque, New Mexico: The Weimer Genealogical Center, 1992.
  6. 1900 US Census, Carroll Co., Ohio. National Archives Microfilm, Series T-623, Roll 1244.
  7. Carol Willsey Bell, C.G. Columbiana County Ohio Marriages 1800-1870 ... and other evidence of marriages. Youngstown, Ohio: Bell Books, 1990.
  8. Powell, Esther Weygandt. Tombstone Inscriptions and Family Records of Carroll Co., Ohio. Akron, Ohio: Esther Weygandt Powell, 1973.
  9. Mary Jane Saylor. Research notes.
  10. 1860 US Census, Hamilton Co., Ohio. National Archives Microfilm, Series T-7, Roll 217.
  11. Gilbert Schwitzgebel. A collection of notes, family group sheets, and descendancy charts kept by Gilbert C. Schwitzgebel, and his uncle Harry C. Schwitzgebel, during nearly 20 years of research.
  12. 1900 US Census, Campbell Co., Kentucky. National Archives Microfilm, Series T-623, Roll 513.
  13. Death notice for Elisabeth Mayer (nee Wiemer), which appeared in Cincinnati Volksfreund, a German language newspaper published in Cincinnati, Ohio during the 1800's. Cincinnati, Ohio: Cincinnati Volksfreund, 26 October 1878. (Microform copies of Cincinnati Volksfreund are part of the collection at the Cincinnati/Hamilton Co. Public Library and are available on interlibrary loan).
  14. Obituary of Leo Bernard Mayer. Publisher unknown.
  15. State of Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics. Death certificate. Ohio Historical Center, Archives/Library Division, 1982 Velma Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211.
  16. 1880 US Census, Campbell Co., Kentucky. National Archives Microfilm.
  17. Death certificate. Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Human Resources, Office of Vital Statistics.
  18. 1880 US Census, Hamilton Co., Ohio. (National Archives Microfilm.).
  19. American Civil War Soldiers database. Historical Data Systems, Inc., P.O. Box 196, Kingston, Ma. 02364. (Accessed via
  20. Ford, Henry A., Kate B. Ford. History of Hamilton Co., Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio: L.A. Williams, 1881.
  21. Spring Grove Cemetery. Records of interment in Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum, Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio.
  22. Tagliches Cincinnati Volksblatt, a German-language newspaper. Ohio Historical Society, Archives/Library Division, 1982 Velma Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211.
  23. Jeffrey G. Herbert. Restored Hamilton County Marriages 1870-1884. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994.
  24. Edited by Ira A. Glazier, P. William Filby. Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at US Ports, Vol 2. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1993.
  25. Carroll Chronicle, Carrollton, OH. January 22, 1897.
  26. Biography of Florentz Steinbach (son of Francis Steinbach). I don't have bibliography on this source, which drives me crazy. It's a photocopied page sent to me by another researcher, and all I know is that it appears to be one of those capsule biographies that appeared in state histories that were all the rage toward the end of the 19th century. Page 998, on which the biography appears, bears the heading "Carroll and Harrison Counties".

Return to Mike Schwitzgebel's Genealogy home page