Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Theresia and Mary A. Matheis - Wives #1 and #2 (of 3)

While searching for more information on the Matheis orphans, I came across this tombstone at FindAGrave (photo courtesy BJJ at FindAGrave.com). The inscription (that which is legible in this photograph) reads:
Hier Ruht
Theresia Matheis
Gest 14 Juli 1875
in Ihrem 27 Jahre

Mary A. Matheis
Geb 21 Dez 1843
Gest 4 Dez 1881
A rough translation from German:
Here Rests
Theresia Matheis
Died 14 July 1875
in her 27th year

Mary A. Matheis
Born 21 Dec 1843
Died 4 Dec 1881

I was able to figure out pretty quickly who Mary A. Matheis was, from an online family history for Leonard Matheis, brother of my great-great-grandmother Regina Matheis Pape. According to that website, Leonard married Mary Ann Reisch on January 10, 1881 in Springfield, Illinois. Kate Dienes, Regina's oldest daughter, was the bridesmaid. Leonard and Mary Ann had a daughter, Theresa (whose name shows up in various documents as Theresia), born November 27, 1881 (not 1882 as in the website). Sadly, Mary Ann died shortly afterward. Leonard married her cousin, Rosa Reisch, on January 23, 1883, in Springfield.

But who was this Theresia Matheis, buried in the same plot as Mary Ann Matheis, who died July 14, 1875, at the age of 27? She wasn't mentioned in this online family history.

Turns out my mother had the answer all along. She has an unpublished manuscript by George Madden, a Matheis descendant, on descendants of Francis Xavier Mattheis (Leonard's grandfather in Germany). His paper is well-documented and references a Sangamon County, Illinois marriage record for a Leonhard Mathis and a Theresa Sprook on October 26, 1874. (My searches on Ancestry.com for a marriage between a Leonard Matheis and a Theresia in or before 1875 didn't bring up any results initially, probably because of the different spellings). I found a Teresa Separk of the right age working as a domestic servant in a Springfield household in 1870 that may (or may not) be her. Sadly she too died, less than nine months after marriage.

So, Leonard Matheis' first and second wives share a gravestone at Calvary Cemetery, also known as the German Catholic Cemetery, in Springfield. Leonard died in 1930 and Rosa died in 1935 and they are buried there as well. The cemetery is adjacent to Oak Ridge Cemetery, where Illinois Governor William Bissell and his widow Elizabeth (see my previous post) are buried, as well as Abraham Lincoln and his family.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment