The Lichtenfels

Paul Mayer married his third wife, Caroline (Lichtenfels) Hammann on 4 Feb 1869, making her my 2nd-great-GM. She was born in Indiana in 1844 to parents John C. Henry and Eva (Baetz) Lichtenfels.

While at the Wayne County Courthouse getting copies of marriage licenses, I happened to check the will book for the year John Henry Lichtenfels died (1853). Lo and behold, there was his will, listing the children from his first marriage and then the children with Eva. He named a daughter Christiana from the first marriage, so I did a census check for her since her given name was a bit unusual. On the 1860 census, I did find a Christiana Lichtenfels, age 55, living with a younger Christiana (married name Goehner)! My first hunch was John Henry divorced his first wife, Christiana, and married Eva. However, I haven’t found neither a divorce record for the first marriage nor a marriage license for the second marriage. It is possible that some of this might’ve happened somewhere in Ohio as John Lichtenfels lived there for a time (some of his children were born there), but I’m not sure where in Ohio at this point. Also, my guess is Christiana Lichtenfels is the mother of Christiana Goehner as the ages and places of birth fit.

So, here is what I have thus far:

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His children with second wife Eva are listed in birth order and correspond with the 1850 census. Altogether, his children were:

Gottlieb (noted as ‘Goodlove’ in the will), b: 1826
Christiana, b: 1828
Christopher, b: 1829
John, b: 1835?
Martha, no known information
Caroline, b: 1844
Peter, b: 1845
Thomas, b: 1849
Sarah, b: 1851

Birth years taken from census reports.

Son Peter was a fairly well-known gentleman in Richmond, and a biography of him was published, giving a bit of family history:

“P Lichtenfels of the firm of P Lichtenfels & Co is a native of Richmond Ind born in 1845 a son of John C and Eva Baetz Lichtenfels natives of Germany who came to America in 1833 and to Richmond in 1842 His father was by trade a baker and established the first German bakery in the city He died in 1852 and his wife in 1878 They had a family of four children P Lichtenfels was reared in his native city In May 1879 he became established in present business at 622 Main street remaining there March 1882 when his business having increased he to the Hittle Block corner of Ninth and Main streets carry a stock of $25,000 and have a constantly trade Mr Lichtenfels was married in 1872 to Josephine Giltz born in 1850 in Philadelphia of German parentage They have a family of two sons and two daughters.”**Peter Lichtenfels, History of Wayne County, Indiana: Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Towns, Volume 2, pages 200-201, Inter-State Publishing Company, 1884

Needless to say, I find the Lichtenfels interesting. A lead I’m following is another Lichtenfels who came to Indiana during the same time period. His name was Conrad, and he was born in 1797 in Germany. He lived in a nearby county and was said to have immigrated with a younger brother. I think that might have been John C. Henry Lichtenfels, but, as yet, I have no proof of that.

ETA: On the 1850 census, John Litchenfelts [sic], age 49, is listed as married to Eve, age 39, with children George, age 18 and born in Germany, and Mary, age 12 and born in Ohio, plus Caroline, Peter, and Thomas (all of their ages correct as compared to other censuses and cemetery information). This makes me wonder if George is John and Mary is Martha? If so, the Lichtenfels were in Ohio in 1838 and in Indiana by 1844. So many answers that lead to many more questions!

3 thoughts on “The Lichtenfels

  1. Lisa Turcotte says:

    I have a grandmother born the name of Barbara Mildred Lichtenfels in Ohio. Daughter of John A. Lichtenfels Jr. and Anna Fruehe. He passed 2/27/1924. I am inquiring of his parents? I only know he was born on 10/21/? I know he had a mother that lived in Jacksonville and came up to Ohio for some years to help my Great Grandmother Anna after John’s passing. Also a sister name Marge? My grandmother shared info with me as young girl but can not locate info she gave me years ago due to divorce from x-husband (who had my records). Any family info would be great. Thanks,

    • I’ll go through what I have and get back with you via your email. Caroline was born in 1844. Her father had five children with his first wife; one of those sons was a John. But, there might be other John A.’s. Do you remember her mentioning Richmond, Indiana? A lot of Lichtenfels there from the mid 1800’s onward. Thanks for writing! I’ll get back with you tomorrow. 🙂

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