Shoudel brick wall angst (yes this again)

While things were getting a little more back to normal, I was working on trying to find more information on Martha (Carr) Shoudel. She and Anna (Schadel) Conner are my toughest brick walls. I have a feeling Martha’s line will lead to the Galway, Ireland and Scotland/England connections but it is impossible to find any information on her parents and I can’t assume it is what other people have in their family trees on Ancestry. There is an 1870 census listing for a Martha Carr, age 21, living with her father and mother in Ohio, a Jesse and Margaret Carr, and some of my cousin family trees include this information. In fact, to be exact, 18 family trees on Ancestry include this information, information that I believe is incorrect for the following reasons: (1) by 1870, Martha was already a married woman living in Indiana with her husband (Balthazar) and their two year old. Although I cannot find an 1870 census for her and her husband’s family together, her oldest in the 1880 census is 12 years old; (2) she was married and lived in Indiana where her husband and his family had settled; (3) there is a family story that she had trouble being accepted into the German community there; (4) I’m not connected to any DNA matches for Jesse/Margaret Carr. It’s just really frustrating. And part of the problem is Ancestry records have this record connected to her so many people have made the assumption that is who her parents are, but I just don’t see how it can be correct. Of course I have made mistakes but this is really a no brainer. Of course I partially blame Ancestry because many times I have seen inaccurate records like this attached to a person. Sigh….

Here is the certificate from Martha’s marriage to Balthazar Shoudel in DeKalb County, Indiana on May 6, 1867:

Another record I found is a document with inscriptions from all of the graves at the St. Michael’s church cemetery where Martha is buried. There are a ton of Schoudels/Shoudels there. New names I wasn’t aware of who married into the Shoudel family, such as Reinig, Schortgen, Gfeller, Zircher, Ruppert, Hoffelder, Ellert, Hoff, Pfefferkorn, Schmidt, Richter, Schenck, Deitzen, Dapp, Gaetz, Wetosky, Schmidt, Royal — it seems almost the entire cemetery is filled with Shoudel family. I already knew some of the names connected to the Shoudel family: Schlosser, Dulle, Hohl, May, Fetter — but this really opens up the family connections. I thank people for that kind of work, it is tireless and voluntary and people like me appreciate it! I cannot wait to visit that cemetery! My father and I planned a visit to the area but then Covid showed up. It is 3 hours away and we were going to drive out, have lunch, see the area, etc., and there is also a Duesenberg museum my father likes out there. But it will have to wait until this pandemic is over.

Source: St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church website

Information on the cemetery states that the original portion was on a hill 1,000 behind the church to the west, this is where John Matthias Shoudel was buried in the middle in 1881 after his wife purchased one acre of ground from her son Michael for $50.00, and donated it to the church for a cemetery (mentioned in a previous post). Married people were buried in rows across the cemetery as they died, and not side by side. The west side of the cemetery was reserved for unmarried people and babies. In 1937, a Schoudel donated ground for an addition to the back of the cemetery and a circle drive through the cemetery, and in 1992, a Schortgen donated seven acres on the west side of the cemetery.

This is a list of land records for Dekalb County from 1880. J.M. Shoudel is John Matthias Shoudel and his sons are also listed in the same area, I posted a photo of the land plat before from Smithfield. B.R. Shoudel is Balthazar Shoudel; M.L. is Michael L. Shoudel; M.E. Shoudel is Mathias Shoudel. I am not sure yet about Catharine. All of the men were founders of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, which makes sense why so many Shoudel family members are buried in the church’s cemetery.

My father told me that he is going to do a DNA test. This is really exciting because not only will it show me where his DNA is from, but because of a new feature on 23andme, it will also show the DNA inheritance I get from him, and even if my mother doesn’t take a test, the remaining DNA inheritance I get from her. Super cool! I am very curious to see what shows up in his DNA. Genetic genealogy is the future!!

Thanks for reading!

Saint Michael the Archangel Church

History from the website of the Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Waterloo, Indiana:

Fourteen Catholic families settled in Smithfield Township, DeKalb County, Indiana, near the small town of Summit. They met resistance from their neighbors because they did not speak the same language or have the same beliefs. The immigrants all spoke the Bavarian dialect of their native land. They attended St. Francis Xavier Church (built in 1967) in Waterloo, Indiana, once a month….

November 8, 1879 – Owing to the distance and inconvenience of attending mass in Waterloo, a meeting was held in the home of Mr. & Mrs. John Mathias Shoudel, and was then decided by these 14 members to erect a church 30′ X 46′. The men present at the meeting were (the fourteen founding families):

John Mathias Shoudel, Michael L. Shoudel, Sr., George May, Mathias E. Shoudel, John Miller, Frank Miller, John Hoffelder, Sr., George Ellert, Frederick Reinig, Frederick Gfeller, Sr., Xavier Smith, Baltazar Shoudel, Michael Leidner, Ferdinand Fetters

You recognize the name Shoudel but the Millers and Fetters are also part of the Shoudel family. John Matthias Shoudel’s wife is Maria Magdalena Miller (originally Muller or Mueller), and her brother is Frank Miller, originally in German Franz Anton Muller. John Miller is probably another brother but I haven’t confirmed that. Fetters married into the Shoudel family.

When John (Shoudel) came to America from Germany, he joined with four others and bought 40 acres of land in Smithfield Township, those four men were Frank Miller, John Miller, Xavier Schmidt and Frederick Schmidt:

There are also many Trapps in the same area, and I’m going to guess those are most likely family connected to Maria as her mother was Anna Maria Trapp. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.

Thanks for reading!

Tombstone Tuesday — Michael L. Shoudel

Today’s tombstone is the tombstone of Michael L. Shoudel, one of the sons of my maternal great-great-great grandparents, Matthias and Magdalena (Miller) Shoudel. He was one of the pioneers of Smithfield Township in Dekalb County, Indiana, along with his parents, who came to our country from Bavaria, Germany, when he was about 11 years old. He was born on December 3, 1844 and died on April 28, 1929.

The History of Dekalb County, Indiana is a goldmine of information on the area and has a long biographical sketch of him (page 866), along with his father, which I’ve mentioned in a past post. I also recognize another family name, Joseph Hohl (page 868), who was also a settler. My DNA tests list a number of Hohl cousins. Matthias Hohl, his son, was married to Mary Shoudel, the daughter of Balthasar and Martha (Carr) Shoudel — Balthazar and Michael were brothers. This is on my maternal side, my grandmother Madeline’s cousins.

Wednesday Wanderings: From Germany to Dekalb County, Indiana

According to a biographical sketch in the History of Dekalb County, Indiana published in 1914 by B.F. Bowen & Co., John Mathias Shoudel was known as a leader in the agricultural circles in DeKalb County, Indiana. He was born in Bavaria (Germany) in 1814 and was the son of Johannes (John) Franz Schaudel and Magdalena Schmitt. He married Magdalena Miller, who was from the same area and was the daughter of Johannes (John) Miller and Mary Trapp. He learned the trade of a weaver and also farmed. He came to the United States in 1854, eventually ending up in Chicago for a couple of years, working on the Chicago docks. His family came in 1855 and they moved to DeKalb County in 1857, where he joined four other men and together they bought forty acres of land located in Section 15 of Smithfield Township. They divided the land between them, eight acres each –

1918 Land Records from Smithfield Township

Eventually John was able to buy more land until at the time of his death he owned two hundred acres of land.

John was one of fourteen founding members of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Waterloo in 1880. According to the church’s website, he died while the church was still under construction, but his wife donated an acre of land for the cemetery. John is buried near the center of the cemetery.