Monday, February 10, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Henrich Michael Berger

(Another entry in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge)

Henrich Michael Berger was born 15 May 1788 in present-day Rinnthal, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany and was baptized three days later in Annweiler.  "Michael's" parents were Karl/Carl Jakob Berger and Catharina/Katharina Kupper(in).

Michael and Elisabetha Fredricka Matz had their first child in 1808.  Over the next thirty-three years, they would go on to have eleven known children, seven of whom lived to adulthood.

The obituary of Michael's son, Henry, states that the family came to America in 1832.  In April of 1833, Michael appeared before the Stark County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas and declared his intent to become a US citizen.  The family left Ohio a few years later and owned land in Marshall County, Indiana by August of 1838.  He would farm in the German Township area for the rest of his life.

The family, who had been members of the Lutheran Church, were converted in 1848 when German Evangelical Association missionaries came to their area.

Michael's wife, Fredricka, died in 1868 and Michael three years later in September of 1871.

The family was often enumerated as 'Barger' in the US.  Whether they purposefully changed their name to this or it was an oft repeated error (probably do to the way the family pronounced their name) I do not know.

I have many records relating to the Bergers, which are available upon request.  Michael and Fredricka's youngest, John William Berger, was my great-great-grandfather.

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