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ORTH FAMILY HISTORY

THE MEISINGER FAMILY

The book "Portrait and Biographical Record of Tazewell and Mason Counties, Illinois (1894)" contains a record about John George Meisinger and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Orth.  This record was found in the Meisinger Family History published by Eldon Meisinger (1987).  The record states:

John George Meisinger: Tazewell County is greatly indebted for its present wealth and high standing to the sturdy, intelligent and enterprising tillers of the soil who have been instrumental in developing its vast agricultural resources. As a worthy member of its farming community who has contributed towards its material advancement, it gives us pleasure to represent Mr. Meisinger in this volume.  He has been associated with the farming interests of Sand Prairie Township, and has built up a comfortable home on section seven.

Our subject was born May 31, 1840 in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, and is a son of Baltz Meisinger, also a native of that empire, where his birth occurred in 1806. The latter attended the common schools of his native country until 14 years of age, and then learned the shoemaker's trade, which occupation he followed for 2 years. At the end of that time he again turned his attention to tilling the soil, at which he worked in his native country for 10 years after his marriage. That event was celebrated in 1837, at which time Miss Anna Catharine Kumpf became his wife.

The young couple immediately went to housekeeping on their own property, and were engaged in farming pursuits on that place until 1846, when they took passage on a sailing vessel, which landed them in New York in August of that year. From that city they went to Buffalo, thence to Cleveland, from that place to Cincinnati, afterward to St Louis, and finally to Pekin. In visiting the latter place it was Mr. Meisinger's intention to find a location in Tazewell County, and this being done, he returned to the Mound City and brought his family with him to their new home in Sand Prairie Township. The land was in a wild condition, but by hard work he broke the soil and put in a crop which yielded a good harvest. He remained there until 1863, when he purchased the farm where his son, our subject, is now residing. He retired from active work in 1876, although still making his home on a farm, and in 1881 departed this life.

Mr. and Mrs. Baltz Meisinger were the parents of eleven children, four of them died in infancy. Of those who grew to mature years, Maggie married Leonard Orth and resided on a farm in Cincinnati Township, this county, until her decease, in 1861. Our subject is the next in order of birth; Elizabeth married George Weyhrich and made her home in Springlake Township until her decease, in 1889; Catherine who is now Mrs. Adam Weyhrich, living in this Township; Lizzie, now Mrs. Jacob Hoerr, makes her home on a farm in Cincinnati Township; Eve became the wife of George Meisinger and is living in Cass County, Nebraska; and Anna also married a man by the name of George Meisinger and is making her home in Cass County, Nebraska.

After coming to America, our subject attended the district school, and during the summer worked on his father's farm. He remained at home until his marriage, in 1866, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Orth, also a native of the Fatherland, and a daughter of Peter Orth, who emigrated from Germany to America, first locating in Canada, but finally made his way to this county, where he was numbered among the early settlers.1 After his marriage, Mr. Meisinger rented land until enabled to purchase a farm of his own. This was accomplished in 1881, and he is now the proprietor of 380 acres of the finest land in Sand Prairie Twp. It is tilled in a most thorough manner, adorned with a fine set of buildings, and the substantial dwelling is surrounded with all that goes to make a home pleasant and attractive.

Of the nine children born to our subject and his wife, those living are: Eve, the wife of Leonard Vetter, who resides in this Township; Adam, who is living with his parents and is engaged in farming on his own account; Leonard, Mary and Jacob, who also live under the parental roof. The wife and mother died June 11, 1891.   Our subject has been Road Commissioner for a number of years, and has always manifested a deep interest in educational matters in this locality, having occupied the position of School Director for some time.  He belongs to the German Lutheran Church, and is a Christian man in every sense of the word.

1 Author's Note:  This is incorrect.  Peter Orth never lived in the United States.  However, it may be that this biography has confused Peter with his brother, Phillip Orth, who did live in Canada for a short period of time before moving to Tazewell County, Illinois, around 1856.

Background:

There are a number of connections between the Orth and Meisinger families.  The history of the Meisinger family as compiled by Eldon Meisinger of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, provides a fantastic chronicle of this family from its first known origins in Germany to its wide dispersion throughout the United States.   The history of this family has been so well documented by Mr. Meisinger that it provides not only a very good family tree but also an excellent social history relating to this particular Odenwald family, their emigration and settlement patterns and their relationship and connections with other Odenwald families, including the Orths.

The history of the Meisinger family essentially traces the family of Johann Georg Meisinger who was born on January 23, 1775, in Böllstein, Hesse-Darmstadt, and died on December 17, 1852 in Böllstein.  He married Maria Magdalena Kumpf on February 24, 1800, daughter of Johann Peter Kumpf and Anna Eva Hanst.  Johann Georg and Maria had nine children, six of whom are known to have emigrated to the United States during the period of 1840 to 1850.

The six children which emigrated to the United States include:

Anna Catharina Meisinger (Volk) born January 5, 1801, and died on December 14, 1890.

Anton Meisinger born November 18, 1802, and died May 2, 1885.

Johann Baltazer Meisinger born December 25, 1804, and died on December 1, 1880.

Johann Philip Meisinger born August 7, 1810, and died on February 1, 1892.

Johann Georg Meisinger born August 27, 1812, and died on May 7, 1900.

Johann Michael Meisinger born May 14, 1815, and died on April 30, 1901.

Connections to the Orth Family:

Johann Georg Meisinger (John George), born May 31, 1840, in Böllstein, son of Johann Baltazer Meisinger (see family listing above) and Anna Catharina Kumpf, married Mary Elizabeth Orth, born on December 7, 1845, in Fürstengrund, daughter of Johann Peter Orth and his first wife, Eva Margaretha Orth.  John George and Mary Elizabeth were married on January 31, 1867, in Pekin, Illinois.

Anna Katharine Meisinger, born December 18, 1872, in Pekin, Illinois, was the daughter of Johann George Meisinger who was a son of Johann Phillip Meisinger (see family listing above).  She married George Leonard Kraeger, the son of John Kraeger and Sophia (Orth) Kraeger on March 24, 1898 in Eight Mile Grove Church, Cass County, Nebraska.  George was born on January 12, 1873, in Pekin, Illinois.  His mother, Sophia, was the daughter of Johann Peter Orth and his second wife, Anna Elisabeth (Fitzky) Orth.  George Leonard Kraeger is a brother to Anna Kraeger, who is noted below as marrying George P. Meisinger. 

Adam Meisinger, born January 12, 1869, in Pekin, Illinois, was the son of Heinrich (Henry) Meisinger who was a son of Johann Georg Meisinger (see family listing above).   He married Katherine Thierolf, a daughter of Johann Dieter Thierolf and Elizabeth Rexroth Thierolf.  (Ann) Elizabeth Rexroth was the daughter of Johann Rexroth and Eva Margarthe Orth.  Eva was the sister of Johann Peter Orth.   Adam and Katherine were married on January 11, 1894, in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.   The Meisinger family history indicates that Katherine was born on October 30, 1872, in Hessen, Germany.

Ida Magdalena Meisinger, born February 15, 1889, in Cedar Creek, Nebraska, was a daughter of George Phillip Meisinger who was a son of Johann Georg Meisinger (see family listing above).  She married Henry Thierolf , a son of Johann Dieter Thierolf and Elizabeth Rexroth Thierolf.  (Ann) Elizabeth Rexroth was the daughter of Johann Rexroth and Eva Maragethe Orth.  Eva was the sister of Johann Peter Orth.  Ida and Henry were married on February 15, 1911, in Cass County, Nebraska.  Henry is said to be born on October 2, 1880.  Henry is a brother to Katherine Thierolf, discussed immediately above.

George P. Meisinger, born July 26, 1876, in Cedar Creek, Nebraska, was a son of Jacob Meisinger who was a son of Johann Georg Meisinger (see family listing above).  He married Anna Kraeger, a daughter of John Kraeger and Sophia Orth Kraeger on February 20, 1900, in Cass County, Nebraska.  Anna was born about 1879 in Nebraska.  Her mother, Sophia, was the daughter of Johann Peter Orth and his second wife, Anna Elisabeth (Fitzky) Orth.   Anna was a sister to George Leonard Kraeger, who is noted above as marrying Anna Katherine Meisinger.

Another Orth Marriage - Unknown Relationship

Eldon Meisinger reports another marriage between the Meisinger and Orth families, however, in this case, it is not yet known if the Orth in this marriage was related in any way to Johann Peter Orth.  However, there is a good possibility that there is some connection since the Orth in this marriage apparently came from around the Erbach - Michelstadt area in the Odenwald, located very close to Fürstengrund.  The details of the marriage are:

 

Anna Margaretha "Maggie" Meisinger, born May 31, 1837, in Böllstein, Hesse-Darmstadt, was a daughter of Johann Baltazar Meisinger (see family listing above).  She married Leonard Orth (Johann Leonard) on January 10, 1857, in Tazewell County, Illinois, U.S.A.   Leonard was born on September 17, 1834, in Greisdorf, Erbach, Hesse-Darmstadt.

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