German Genealogy

The Death of Loved Ones.

Researching your family can be sad at times. Especially when you see what the death rate was. I have come across many families who have lost several children. One family in particular pulled at my heartstrings. Catherine Gossmann is my 3rd great-grand aunt. Her parents are Jost Heinrich Gossman and Gertrud Elisabeth Thielemann, my 4th great grand parents. Catherine was the fifth child of Jost Heinrich Gossman and Gertrud Elisabeth Thielemann, born 26 December 1839 in Wehlheiden, Germany.

On 30 January 1875 Catherine married Johann Ferdinand Nemits(born 7 June 1841). At the time of their marriage Catherine was 35 years old and Johann was 33 years old.

It seems to be that Catherine and Johann where a little bit older than most couples that married in Germany. Most of the marriages seem to happen around the age of 26, at least the ones I have found in my family.

The next even to happen to Johann and Catherine Nemits was their daughter was born 2 February 1875, just 3 days after the marriage. It was common for couples to have children before marriage in Germany due to having to ask the local town where they lived for permission to marry. If the couple was poor they may not get permission for several years.

This is the birth record for Dorothea Caroline Auguste Nemits, born 2 Feb 1875. This record is a transcript of the original church record. I have not been able to locate the original. Image from ancestry.

I have not found any other children for Johann and Catherine but the next even to happen to the Nemits family is the death of Catherine, she died just 7 days after her daughter was born.

Catherine Gossmann Nemits death record from ancestry.
Translation of record The mason Ferdinand Nemits, Wehlheiden house #141 3/4 reports the death of Catherine Gossman, age 35, evangelical religion, living with him. Born 26 December 1839, wife of the declarer, daughter of the deceased quarryman Jost Heinrich Gossmann and his equally dead wife, Elisabeth Theilemann both of Wehlehieden, she died 8 February 1875 at 8 am from complications of child birth recovery.

I can not imagine what Johann was feeling at this moment. He had married and had a child and then lost his wife. The sadness he must have felt and all that he had to deal with. The story does not end there. Just a week later his daughter Dorothea Caroline Auguste Nemits died on 15 February 1875.

Death record of Dorothea Caroline Auguste Nemits, Image from ancestry.

Translation The mason Ferdinand Nemits, residing in Wehlheiden house #141 3/4 indicates that his daughter Caroline Dorthea Auguste, 13 day old protestant religion born in Wehlheiden on 2 February 1875 daughter of him and his deceased wife Catherine Nemitz nee Gossmann, died inWehlheiden on 15 February 1875 at 6 am, cause of death convulsions.

I sat at my desk and cried when I found this information. I can not even imagine what Johann must have felt. I have tried to research Johann and see what ever happened to him but so far I have not found any further information. I hope that he was able to have a happy life after all the loss he had in 2 weeks.

12 thoughts on “The Death of Loved Ones.”

  1. What a heartbreaking time in his life! I hope you learn about what happened to him. My heart breaks for my ancestors when I uncover stories like these.


  2. It is so sad when we discover the heartbreak that our ancestors must have had at losing their close loved ones. I also shed tears when I learn of these sad stories. I hope his life from then on was a happy one – I look forward to more of the story when you find out.


  3. Such a moving post. I have also cried when my research revealed the death of a child — even though the event was more than a century ago. Johann was relatively young when these tragic losses happened. I wonder if he eventually married again after time helped him heal from the trauma. Good luck with your research on him.


  4. Jennifer, a little clarification for you: In second half of 19th century age when children became legally adult in Germany was 21 years. So for getting married groom and bride had both be 21 years old. Bride could be younger than 21 on day of marriage only with a special permission by a) her parents and b) a court or the mayor of town.
    Yes, ages of 33 and 35 on first marriage was certainly quite old in those times. Especially due to high number of women deaths from childbed fever in 19th century, many women did not get very old.


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