Eva Maria Henrich Stahler ??-??
What an obscure line on the 1840 census plus a report on a Widow’s Pension told me about my 4th great-grandmother.
My maiden name is Kaser. If you have been around here for a while, you are aware that I have a great deal more information about my mother’s side of the family, than my father’s. That seems to be because the women in the family passed down the responsibility of keeping track and passing on the family stories. I’m the latest to be tagged “It.”
As I explained earlier, my great-great-great grandfather Joseph Kaser married Elizabeth Stahler. That leads me to exploring the Stahler family, and I am currently piecing together the life of Elizabeth’s father, Adam Stahler, son of an immigrant, and a patriot. However, since the 52 Ancestors challenge this week points us to Census, I can’t resist a short digression about Elizabeth Stahler’s mother, Eva Maria Henrich (Stahler) and how “hidden” information on an 1840 census and a widow’s pension document gave me some interesting information.
Mary Henrich Stahler Questions
Admittedly, I still don’t know a lot about Mary Henrich Stahler. (Her complete name Eva Maria floats in and out of the records, but she seemed to be known as Mary.)
I was not absolutely sure what year Mary was born, and could not find any information about her death. Since her husband was born in 1747, I figured she would have been born close to that date.
An Ancestry hint led me to the 1840 census. Specifically to a page that lists , under a column headed “Pensioners for Revolutionary War or Military Service Included in the Foregoing.”
Eve Mary Stahler listed on 1840 census as Revolutionary War pensioner.
This “hidden” page of the census tells us, in the 2nd family listed, that in a family totaling five, with two engaged in agriculture, there is a Revolutionary War pensioner named Eve Mary Stahler, who is 92 years old.
Eva Maria Henrich Stahler 1748-??
Hurrah! First question answered–she was born in 1748, just one year after her husband. As to WHERE she was born, although I did not find a baptism record, or other birth record, that question was answered by looking at her father’s history. He had arrived in North America in 1742, and moved immediately to Berks County, Pennsylvania, where he spent his life. So that is where she had to have been born.
Although it is impossible to know the details of her young life, we do know of her father and mother’s deep involvement with the Catholic Church, and have to imagine that she helped in hosting visiting priests and hosting the many services that took place in their home.
Marriage and Family
When I scanned the Church records from the Catholic “Goshenoppen Register,” I found her wedding to John Adam Stahler on May 15, 1768, at Weissenberg, alias Macungi” (More about that in my extended bio of Adam Stahler.}
Eva Mary, or just Mary, and Adam, had six recorded children who were baptized in the Catholic church.
On November, 1768, Catharine was born. Whoops! Looks like Mary was four months pregnant when she married. Let’s just blame it on the traveling priests who weren’t always around when you needed them!
I found no church records for children born to Adam and Mary during the period between 1769 and 1775. That would be unusual, so there may be missing records, or they may have lost some babies during that time.
March 19, 1775. Elizabeth, my third great-grandmother came next.
The Revolutionary war was heating up, and even though Adam signed up and became a Captain in the Pennsylvania military, the couple spent enough time together to make a son.
May 1, 1776 the church recorded the birth and baptism. They named him Christian for his grandfather–Mary’s father.
July 29, 1777 came Eva Maria , mother’s namesake, and the last child for which I have a record.
Adam, like most of my ancestors, farmed his plot of land. We find hints that their life was a financial struggle during the recession that followed the Revolution, as Adam applied for military loans.
Mary’s husband, Adam, died in 1804. He was just 57 years old.
More From 1840 Census
So far, the only other clue I have found to Mary’s life, resides in that 1840 census that gave me her birth date. I have learned that it is a very good idea to look backward and forward through the census from the page that has the main data you are looking for. Surprises lurk on those other pages.
Going back one page from the page pictured above tells me who Mary was living with in 1840. Well, kind of. It gives me the name of the head of household. That, of course, starts another chain of searching. Who is John Klingeman and what is their relationship? That will wait for another day.
For now, I know that as an old lady, she was not living alone, but in a house with a middle-aged couple and two young men, presumably their sons.The couple is too young to have been one of her daughters and a husband, so it could have been grandchildren, or related through one of her own siblings.
By the way, she seems to be the only woman whose age falls between 90 and 100 in this area of Pennsylvania, so she would have qualified for that post I wrote about older Ancestors.
1840 Census with family of Mary Stahler.
So when did she die?
Another Ancestry hint points to a list of pensioners’ payments with a notation as to when her payments ended. It says Name: Maria Eva [the Eva apparently added as an afterthought] Stohler ‘of Adam’; Rank: Captain; Half Yearly Allowances: 60; Commencement: Mar. 1825.
Eva Maria Stahler ‘s pension payments
And the facing page where we see an accounting of her payments in March and September for each year, until 1843, where a notation reads: Died 24th of May 42  I cannot make out the entire line of writing above her payments, but it looks as though it applies to her, and includes the words “paid in full [something] date of death [something].
Eva Maria Stahler, Pennsylvania Accounting for widow’s pension payments.
Now the circle is complete, and we know the exact date of death of Eva Maria (Mary) Henrich (Stahler).
Eva Maria Henrich Stahler 1748-1842
Of course there are many loose threads dangling from that “complete” circle. The questions I mentioned above about the identity of the family she lived with in her declining years, for instance. And if I can find a pension application, I might know much more about her and her circumstances.
But I am very grateful for the hidden information on the 1840 census and the Pennsylvania record keeping of the Revolutionary War pensioners for giving me some hints about my fourth great-grandmother.
How I Am Related
- Vera Marie Kaser (Badertscher) is the daughter of
- Paul Kaser, who is the son of
- Clifford Kaser, who is the son of
- Joseph Kaser II, who is the son of
- George Kaser, who is the son of
- Elizabeth Stahler (Kaser), who is the daughter of
- Eva Maria Henrich (Stahler)
Notes on Research
Goshenhoppen Registers (second series) 1765-1786, read in translation at Google Books where it is published as Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, Vol 3 by Rev. Thomas C. Middleton, Translator and Annotation, Philadelphia, 1891.
1840 United States Federal Census, Miffllin, Columbia, PennsylvaniaRoll: 449; Page: 162; Family History Library Film: 0020540.
The National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Ledgers of Payments, 1818-1872, to U.S. Pensioners Under Acts of 1818 Through 1858 From Records of the Office of the Third Auditor of the Treasury; Record Group Title: Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of War. (Revolutionary War) Widows Pensions 1815-1843.