52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #32 – Anna W. (Mergenthaler) Karthaeuser

Relationship: 2nd Great-grandmother
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Anna W. Mergenthaler (also spelled as Merkenthaler) was born 24 Februay 1860 in Speyer, Germany.[1] Even though family group sheets prepared by her daughter had her birth year as 1865[2], I have chosen to use the 1860 year as this matches the ages on many of the U.S. Censuses where she was found.

  • 1900 Census, Anna, 40 (Feb 1860) [3]
  • 1910 Census, Anna, 48 [4]
  • 1920 Census, Anna, 59 [5]
  • 1930 Census, Anna, 65 [6] – Here she mysteriously loses 5 years from her age…

Anna’s mother’s name was Marie and seems to have been married twice. First to a man with the last name of Mergenthaler and second to Karl Gruber.[7] While Marie was a Mergenthaler, she had daughter Anna W., son Otto and another daughter whose name is not known. During her marriage to Karl Gruber, she had daughters Katie and Marie and a son named Charles. I have a photo of Marie with her second husband Karl.

awmk003

Left to right: Anna Karthaeuser, Maria Gruber, Karl Gruber, Anna (Mrs. John Adam) Karthaeuser, Katie Gruber

On the back of the photo as written:awmk003a

27-year-old Anna made the trip over the Atlantic Ocean with her soon-to-be husband, John Adam Karthaeuser, arriving on 21 April 1887 in New York City.[8] She was married to John Adam on 25 February 1892 in Richmond County, New York, one day after her 32nd birthday.awmk006

A date discrepancy pops out upon continued inspection of the 1900 census. According to the census, Anna and John have been married for 15 years, which would put their marriage date sometime in 1885. That would indicate they were married for two years before immigrating to America. However, on the passenger manifest which is dated 21 April 1887, Anna is listed with her maiden name of Mergenthaler. Adding to the confusion is a marriage certificate which indicates a marriage date of 25 February 1892.[9] This would mean that Anna and John were married in New York almost two (or three) years after their daughter was born in 1889/1890, thus making her born out of wedlock. It would also mean that Anna and JohnScreen Shot 2015-02-28 at 4.10.53 PMwere in America almost five years before they were married. Could it be that they were married in Germany before immigration? If so, then why is Anna W. listed with her maiden name on the manifest? Were they married once in Germany and then married again in New York State? Further investigation is needed to resolve these questions.

Daughter Anna Marie was born to John and Anna Karthauser on 31 March 1889 (possibly 1890) in Port Richmond, Staten Island, New York.[10] They lived and worked in New York City, Anna as a housekeeper and John as hotel/boarding house keeper. (See John’s post:John Karthaeuser).

Anna also raised Charles Karthaeuser as her son. John and Anna’s daughter Anna Marie had a child out of wedlock. (See a detailed story on this on post:http://wp.me/p4WHi0-31) John and Anna took Charles in as their own child and Charles was always introduced to family as Anna’s brother. It is unclear whether Charles was ever told who his biological mother was but I suspect he had been told later in life. Whatever the case, Charles considered Anna his mother and captioned all the photos of her that way.

awmk004Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 12.47.35 PMBetween 1920 and 1930, John and Anna moved out of New York City to live in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey. They did some traveling with Anna’s 1/2 brother, Charles Gruber, who had a car that they took on trips.

Anna lived to see her daughter Anna married to George Arthur Repsher on 18 January 1910 in St. John’s Lutheran Evangelical Church located in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.[11]

She didn’t, however, get to see her son Charles married. Charles was married to Carolyn Louise Franklin on 23 October 1937 in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. This was two years after Anna had passed away on 03 July 1935 in Hackensack, Bergen, New Jersey. awmk005

Caption reads: “My mother Anna Karthaeuser at Cayuga Sate Park, N.Y. about 1934” From photos of Charles Karthaeuser.


[1] 1900 U. S. census, Richmond County, New York, population schedule, New York City, ED 611, p. 12A (penned), dwelling 203, family 246, Adam Karthaeuser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1154. Birth city comes from: New York City, New York, marriage certificate no. 124-1892 (1892), Karthaeuser-Mergenthaler, certificate number is penned.
[2] Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr. and Caroline Repsher nee Bonser”; (Handwritten family group sheets, Netcong, New Jersey, 1911-1970), p. 81.
[3] 1900 U. S. census, Richmond County, New York, population schedule, New York City, ED 611, p. 12A (penned), dwelling 203, family 246, Adam Karthaeuser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1154.
[4] 1910 U. S. census, Richmond County, New York, population schedule, New York City, ED 1322, p. 7B (penned), dwelling 122, family 143, Adam Karthaeuser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1073.
[5] 1920 U. S. census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, ED 889, p. 9A (penned), dwelling 100, family 201, Adam Karthaeuser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1167.
[6] 1930 U. S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ED 162, page 23A (penned), dwelling 210, family 467, Adam Karthaeuser; digital image, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publicationT626, roll 1356.
[7] Eleanor G. Freeman, Mays Landing, New Jersey, to Jodi Lynn Strait, hand-written group sheets, 09 March 2012, Karthaeuser documents and pictures.
[8] “New York, Passenger Lists,1820-1857,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 December 2014), entry for A. Karthaueser,  Microfilm series M237, Roll 505, List 436, line 126-127, Image 1024. Ship Name: Westerland.  Port of Departure: Antwerp, Belgium.  Port of Arrival: New York.  Place of Origin: Germany.  Arrival Date: April 21, 1887. Citing , National Archives and Records Adminstration, New York Passenger List (Microfilm M237, rolls 95-580 and T715, rolls 5592-6267),  A. Karthaeuser (30) is listed with wife-to-be, Anna Merkenthaler (27).  His occupation is listed as clerk.
[9] New York City, New York, marriage certificate no. 124-1892 (1892), Karthaeuser-Mergenthaler, certificate number is penned.
[10] Anna Karthaeuser, SS no. 142-20-4410, 06 August 1943, Application for Account Number (Form SS-5), Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland.
[11] “Pennslyvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 February 2012), marriage entry #350 for George A. Repsher, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; citing Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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