Another Brick…Busted!

I was reviewing copies of Catholic records I had requested and realized that John C. Lichtenfels’ middle name was part of his last daughter’s baptism record…Conrad. His will has a middle name of Henry. My best guess for his name would be John Conrad Henry Lichtenfels, or Johann Conrad Heinrich Lichtenfels. I mentioned that a Conrad Lichtenfels immigrated to Indiana about the same time as my John C. Lichtenfels and the family story was a younger brother immigrated with him. In doing some German research, I found Conrad’s father was Conrad who had a brother Philipp. I’m wondering if my John C. was Conrad’s cousin and his father was Philipp?

A quick search on for Johann Conrad Lichtenfels brought up a christening record for a boy born 17 July 1800 to a Philipp and Magdalena (Mueller) Lichtenfels in Langensteinbach, Karlsruhe, Baden.  I’m excited to be moving my research closer to Germany!

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:



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!