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Gosling/Gesling, Heitmeier

The Herman Gesling Family

Herman Gesling, b. Mar. 1805, Herford, Westfalen, Prussia; d. 1 Oct. 1882, Flint River T., Des Moines Co., IA; m. 6 Nov. 1831, Herford, Prussia to Anne Catharine Riepen, b. 8 Aug. 1808 in Prussia; d. 17 Nov. 1886 in Des Moines Co., IA. Their children are:
  1. Herman Gesling, b. Jan. 1837, Prussia; m. abt. 1865, Rebecca, b. May 1847, Prussia. Their children are:
    1. Wesley John, b. 1866, IA
    2. Henry Herman, b. Oct. 1867, IA
    3. Anna Christine, b. 1870, IA; d. 8 Apr. 1882, Des Moines Co., IA
    4. Jacob, b. July 1876, IA; d. Sept. 1965, IA; m. 1902, IA, Sarah May, b. 1877; d. 1964. Their children are:
      1. Fern D., b. 1903
      2. Otis C., b. 27 July 1904, d. 23 Dec. 1995, Burlington, IA; m. 1926, Ruth
      3. Elmo E., b. 27 Aug. 1909; d. 20 Feb. 1930
      4. Lucie N., b. 1909
      5. Ida D., b. 1912
      6. Hugh L., b. 6 Jan. 1915, IA; d. 27 Apr. 1999, IL
    5. Albert, b. Feb. 1879 in Des Moines Co., IA; d. 1933 in Des Moines Co., IA; m. Lena; d. 1941, IA. Their children are:
      1. Raymond, b. 3 Mar. 1911; d. 12 June 1972
      2. Glenn W., b. 10 Dec. 1917; d. 10 Nov. 2003, Fairfield, IA
    6. Minnie, b. 1881 in IA; d. 1965; m. William Dustman
    7. Mary, b. Feb. 1888 in IA
  2. Hannah, b. 18 Jan. 1842, Prussia; d. 23 Dec. 1883, Franklin Township, Des Moines Co., IA; m. 3 Apr. 1861, Henry Heitmeier, b. 20 June 1839, Prussia; d. 9 Nov. 1924, Franklin Township, Des Moines Co., IA. Their children are:
    1. Louisa D., b. 29 June 1862, Franklin Town., Des Moines Co., IA; d. 6 Jan. 1919, Louisa Co., IA; m. 12 Sept. 1888, Adam Vandemark, b. 11 Dec. 1846/48, PA; d. 16 Oct. 1918, Louisa Co., IA. Their child is:
      1. Jesse J., b. June 1892, IA
    2. Anna Rosetta (See Riepe), b. 1864, IA; d. 1931, IA; m. Feb. 1887, J. Frederick Riepe, b. 1862, Des Moines Co., IA; d. 1941, Des Moines Co., IA. Their children are:
      1. Esther Anna, b. 1889, Des Moines Co., IA; d. 1949; m. Arthur Boyer
      2. Carl, b. May 1890, Des Moines Co., IA; m. Clara Timmerman
      3. Paul Henry, b. Jan. 1892, Des Moines Co., IA
      4. Margaret, b. Dec. 1894, Des Moines Co., IA
      5. Nellie May, b. Sept. 1895; m. 1916, Des Moines Co., IA, Raymond Peter Bachenberg
      6. Anna, b. Mar. 1897, m. Everett Walker
      7. Frederic Dewey, b. Oct. 1898
      8. Louisa
      9. Velma, b. 1902; d. 1980
      10. Florence, b. 1905; m. Walter Schmidt; d. 1994
    3. Edward Heitmeier, b. 1867, IA; d. 1924, Louisa Co., IA; m. Emma B. Lines, b. 1864, IA; d. 1929, Louisa Co., IA. Their children are:
      1. Circe, b. 1892, IA
      2. Clement "Bazz", b. 21 Feb. 1897, IA; d. Nov. 1980, Louisa Co., IA
      3. Earl, b. 16 Jan. 1899, IA; d. Oct. 1966, Mediapolis, Des Moines Co., IA
      4. Bertha, b. 1902, IA
      5. Wayne, b. 29 Sept. 1903, IA; d. 3 Oct. 1993, Oswego, Kendall Co., IL
    4. Charles Heitmeier, b. Nov. 1870/71, IA; d. 1936, Louisa Co., IA; m. Lulu, b. 28 June 1881; d. June 1969, IA
    5. Margaret Heitmeier, b. Jan. 1873, IA; d. 11 Nov. 1961, IA; m. Demas Sutcliffe, b. Oct. 1870, IA; d. 25 Dec. 1929, IA. Their children are:
      1. Henry J. Sutcliffe, b. 31 Jan. 1896, IA; d. Mar. 1976, Des Moines Co., IA
      2. Ralph Sutcliffe, b. 28 Oct. 1897, Des Moines Co., IA; d. Nov. 1894, Des Moines Co., IA
      3. Hannah Sutcliffe, b. 22 Sept. 1899, IA; d. 30 Apr. 1965, Des Moines Co., IA
      4. Ruth Sutcliffe, b. 1902, IA
      5. Pearl Sutcliffe, b. 1903, IA
      6. Cecil Sutcliffe, b. 15 July 1904, Des Moines Co., IA; d. Feb. 1983, Des Moines Co., IA
      7. Milford Sutcliffe, b. 1906, IA
      8. Margrete, b. 1908, IA
      9. Grace, b. 1911, IA
      10. Robert, b. 1913, IA
      11. Irvin, b. 1914, IA
    6. Catherine (Kate) Heitmeier, b. 16 Feb. 1875, IA; d. 7 June 1973, Des Moines Co., IA; m. 24 Sept. 1895, Edward Riepe, b. 14 Aug. 1866. Their children are:
      1. Emma Riepe, b. Sept. 1896, IA
      2. Elmer Riepe, b. Dec. 1898, IA
    7. Frank Heitmeier, b. 1877, IA; m. Mata W. Gerdes, b. 15 Oct. 1888, IA; d. Mar. 1982, Des Moines Co., IA. Their children are:
      1. Ralph W. Heitmeier, b. 8 Mar. 1912, IA; d. Nov. 1963
      2. Frances H., b. 1914, IA
      3. Ruby L., b. Jan. 1916, IA
      4. Lawrence F., b. 20 Mar. 1918, IA; d. May 1980, Des Moines Co., IA
  3. Caroline, b. 1844, Prussia
  4. Catherine, b. 1847, Prussia
  5. Albert Goessling, b. Feb. 1850, Prussia; m. 1873, Mary, b. Sept. 1851. Their children are:
    1. Ida, b. 1874, IA
    2. Edward, b. Jan. 1876, IA
    3. Laury, b. 1879, IA; d. bef. 1900
    4. Albert, b. Aug. 1881, IA
    5. Olinda, b. July 1884, IA
    6. Ella, b. July 1887, IA
    7. Hattie, b. Jan 1891, IA
  6. Anna, b. 1855, New York

Surnames often changed after immigrants came to the United States. The reasons are varied, but the different spellings create a challenge for the researcher until a spelling is agreed upon by family members. Gosling/Gesling is an excellent example. Immigration records show the spelling as "Gosling". Naturalization index records, "Gosfling" and "Gossling". Census records, "Gesling", "Goasling", "Goesling", "Goessling", "Goeszling" and, finally, "Gesling". While the spelling may vary, it may also provide an indication on how the name was pronounced.

For many immigrants during the 1800s, Castle Garden in New York City was the first stopping place when entering the United States. Records were not meticulously kept, so there are many errors.

Herrmann Gosling and his family arrived in January of 1854 on the Wieland. They first settled in New York State where their youngest daughter, Anna, was born in 1855. The family then joined the German community in Des Moines County, Iowa. They lived in Flint River Township near Middletown.

1860 Federal Census

Name Age Place of Birth
Herman Gesling 54 Prussia
Catharine Gesling 51 Prussia
Herman Gesling 23 Prussia
Hannah Gesling 18 Prussia
Caroline Gesling 16 Prussia
Albert Gesling 10 Prussia
Catherine Gesling 13 Prussia
Anna Gesling 5 New York

Father and son Herman Gosling became citizens of the United States in 1857 and 1858.

The elder Herman Gosling did well farming. In 1860, the value of his personal estate was valued at $260. By 1870, the value of his personal estate had increased to $900 and he owned property valued at $1,200. His children also started their own households and only the two youngest, Albert and Anna, remained at home. The in 1870 Federal Census, two Gesling families are listed.

1870 Federal Census

Township Post Office Name Age Place of Birth
Flint River Middletown Herman Goasling 64 Prussia
Catharine Goasling 62 Prussia
Albert Goasling 20 Prussia
Anna Goasling 16 New York
Franklin Dodgeville Herman Goesling 32 Prussia
Rebecca Goesling 24 Prussia
Wesley Goesling 4 Iowa
Henry Goesling 2 Iowa
Anna Goesling 1/12, May Iowa

Herman Gosling, his last name is spelling "Goeszling" on his death certificate, at the age of 77 years and 7 days. He and Catharine are buried in the graveyard of Evangelical St. John church in Flint River Township.

Des Moines County, Iowa Death, Book 1
Goeszling, Hermann Heinrich, No. 196, filed 6 Oct. 1882

Sex - male; Age - 77 years 7 days; Occupation - Farmer
Date of Death - 1 Oct. 1882; Time of Day - 11 a.m.; Marital Status - married
Nationality - German; Place of Birth - Hereford, German
Years in State - 27
Place of Death - Flint River Township, Des Moines Co., IA
Cause of Death - Dying at first and only visit, no perceptable cause
Place of Burial - St. John's Evangelical Date of Burial - 3 October 1882; Doctor - J. Barclay

The Henry Heitmeier Family

Much of Henry Heitmeier's life is chronicled in Biographical review of Des Moines County, Iowa: containing biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past. He was born in Prussia on 20 June 1839 and immigrated to the United States in 1857. He sailed to New Orleans on the D.H. Watson arriving on 18 May 1857 and then made his way up the Mississippi to Burlington, Iowa. He is listed on the ship's manifest as Joh. Henrich Heitmeier.

Henry married Hanna Getzling on April 3, 1861.

The Heitmeier family settled in Des Moines County and in 1867 Henry purchased 105 acres in Section 7 of Franklin Township and was a successful farmer. He married Hannah Gosling on April 1, 1861. The couple began having children.

1870 Federal Census

Township Post Office Name Age Place of Birth
Franklin Dodgeville Heitmeier, Henry 30 Prussia
Heitmeier, Hannah 28 Prussia
Heitmeier, Louisa 8 Iowa
Heitmeier, Anna 6 Iowa
Heitmeier, Edward 2 Iowa

The household continued to grow and in 1880 included eight children.

1880 Federal Census

Township Dwelling & Family Name Age Place of Birth
Franklin 11, 10 Heitmeier, Henry 41 Prussia
Heitmeier, Hannah 38 Prussia
Luwesa 18 Iowa
Anna 15 Iowa
Edward 12 Iowa
Charles 9 Iowa
Mag 7 Iowa
Catherine 5 Iowa
Frank 3 Iowa
Laura 1 Iowa

Hannah died very suddenly on December 23rd in 1883.

In 1900, Henry, his son, Frank, daughter, Laura, and nephew, Charles, were living on the farm. Henry died in 1924. He and Hannah are buried in the cemetery of St. John's Evangelical Church.

Henry Heitmeier died intestate. His son, Frank, was named administrator of the estate and in the final administrative report said, "There was not sufficient personal property to pay the debts and expenses of administration but amounts were advanced by the heirs in order that the sale of the real estate to pay debts might not be necessary." The listed heirs were: Anna Riepe, daughter, Des Moines Co., IA; Ed Heitmeier, son, Des Moines Co., IA; Charles Heitmeier, son, Des Moines Co., IA; Maggie Sutcliffe, daughter, Des Moines Co., IA; Kate Riepe, daughter, Des Moines Co., IA; Frank Heitmeier, son, Des Moines Co., IA; Wilfred, Edna and Clifford Berlin, children of Laura Heitmeier Berlin, Wichita, Kansas; and Jessie Kistler, daughter of Louise Heitmeier Vandemark, Wapello, IA.


  • U.S. Federal Census
  • Des Moines Co., IA, Declaration of Intention for Naturalization Records
  • Des Moines Co., IA, Certificates for Citizenship
  • Des Moines Co., IA, Deed Records
  • Des Moines Co., IA, Marriage Records
  • Des Moines Co., IA, Death Certificates
  • Des Moines County, Iowa Death Book 1, Iowa Genealogical Society
  • Des Moines Co., IA, Probate Records
  • St. Johns United Church Cemetery - transcribed by the Des Moines County Genealogical Society
  • New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945,

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Return to Bachenberg Data page.
Return to Bachenberg Letter page.
Return to Pogemiller page.
Return to Riepe page.
Return to Riepe Data page.

This page was created by Joan Shurtliff. It was last updated 8 July 2009.