Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Henry Berger

Although Henry wasn't a direct ancestor of mine, his obituary is one of my favorites.  It provides so much information (which was all new to me the first time I read it) about the family: where they were from in Germany, when they arrived in the US, and when they converted to the religion most of the family stayed with for the rest of their lives:

"Henry Berger of this city died unexpectedly at his home in this city Sunday morning.  He was sick only a little over one day.  The deceased was 84 years old.  The funeral services were held at the Evangelical church at ten o'clock Wednesday, conducted by Rev. Sweitzer, of South Bend.  A more extended notice will appear next week.
April 21, 1899, page 4
Henry Berger was born in Rindal, Germany, July 1st, 1814.  He came to America in 1832.  In 1843 he was united in marriage to Sophia Zimmer and to this union was born eleven children, six sons and five daughters.  One son and two daughters have preceded him in him to the spirit land.  He died at his home in Bremen April 9th 1899, at the age of 84 years, 9 months and 8 days.  He was converted October 30, 1848 under the labors of Rev. Geo. Platz, and died in the living faith of Christ.  The deceased leaves an aged wife, five sons, three daughters, thirty-two grand children, two brothers and three sisters, besides many friends.  The funeral services were held at the German Evangelical church in this city on last Wednesday conducted by Rev. F. Schweitzer, of South Bend." - The Bremen Enquirer, 14 April 1899, page 5

Henry's youngest sibling, John W. Berger (my great-great-grandfather), had died in 1891.  Henry and John also had at least one sister and two brothers who had died in infancy.  There is one typo in the obituary: the family wasn't from 'Rindal' but Rinnthal (although their parish was in Wilgartswiesen).


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