04 April 2009

Maria HUIGENS (1860-before 1870)

A while back I received an abstract of some baptismal records from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Henry, IL. This list included the records from 1850 to 1860 of all of the names similar to HUIGENS. Two of the entries were of interest.

1856-Nov-1: Mary Julia 9 ds. Dau of Edward HAGENS and Catherine THOMAS, ss Peter and Mary THOMAS

1860: Maria Born to Eberhard HENCHEN and Cathirina THOMAS, wit Mathias TOMMES, Maria SCHMITT

The first entry is for the older sister of my great-grandfather John HUIGENS. I had her listed as Julia M., born Oct. 1856. This record provides not only her exact birthdate (23-Oct-1856, 9 days before her baptismal date), it also provides more information on her name, although she always went by Julia.

The second entry presents a whole host of problems. Is this a previously unknown daughter of my great-great-grandparents? The mother's name matches Catherine TOEMMES and the sponsors are Mathias TOEMMES, Catherine's brother and Maria SCHMITT, the maiden name of Catherine's mother and my great-great-great-grandmother.

There is also a 4-year gap between Bernard HAUGENS (born 18-Aug-1858) and my great-grandfather John HUIGENS (born 15-June-1862). An 1860 birth would fit neatly between those two dates.

However, I had my great-great-grandfather's first name as Edward or Evert. Eberhard was only an outside possibility. There is a gravestone for Eberhard HEIGENS in the Old Catholic Cemetary outside of Henry. The year of death on it is a match for my ancestor and it is near that of what wold be his mother-in-law, but the age, 21 yrs., is way too young. The stone is broken across the engraved birthdate making it very difficult to double check the death age. I need to go back and give the stone a closer look.

The last name is not a very good match either, but it's as close as any other version of the name I've seen. The first "en" may be a transcription error of "ui." I'll need to ask my source to double check that.

There is no Maria listed with the family on the 1860 census. The date on the census form is 2-Jul-1860, which leaves two possibilities. Maria may have been born in 1860 and died before the census. Or she may have been born that year after the census taker came around. In the latter case, she presumably died before the 1870 census because she is not listed with Catherine and her second husband, Nicholas WEND, on that census. I'll also have to ask my source check on the exact date of the baptism.

Given what I know so far, I'm inclined to add Maria HUIGENS as a previously unknown child of my great-great-grandparents.

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