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Gertrude (Muehlfeld) Walter

Gertrude MUEHLFELD was born 4 Dec 1836 at 11 o'clock in the morning in Wahlen, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. She was the fifth child and first daughter of Peter MÜHLFELD and his wife Anna Maria nee KEIL. She was baptized the following day, 5 Dec 1836 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon at the Catholic Church in Wald Michelbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany with the name Maria Gertrudis MÜHLFELD. Her godmother was Gertrude MÜHLFELD, nee SCHMITT, wife of Peter MÜHLFELD of Wahlen. This could be Gertrude's grandmother, but we can't be sure because no such reference is made in the German record. 1

Gertrude came to the United States in 1855 along with her brother George and sister Barbara aboard the S.S. Sir Robert Peel. This ship traveled from London and arrived in New York on April 28, 1855. This information is derived from the Manifest of Passengers from the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, where it shows Gertrude MUHLFELD, age 18, from Germany, sister to George. According to emigration information from the Hessen Darmstadt Archives, 18 year old Gertaud MÜHLFELD left Wahlen for London in March 1855 with her brother Georg Peter, age 23, and sister Barbara, age 16.

Gertrude and Barbara not only arrived in America on the same day, they also were married on the same day. Gertrude was married to Christian WALTER on 4 Feb 1858 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, while Barbara was married to John Goebel. Both were married by James Ward, J.P.(justice of the peace). 2 We don't know why the marriage record lists her name as Catherine; but we can imagine the difficulties that our German ancestors had in communicating with the English speaking people of this country.

Christian WALTER was born 8 Nov 1826, also in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany according to WALTER family records. Christian Walter, age 29 and from Hesse Darmstadt, filed his declaration of intention to become an American citizen on 08 Sep 1856 in Springfield, Clark County, OH.3 His final papers, declaring him a naturalized citizen, were filed 19 Nov 1859 also in Springfield, Clark County.4 There is no way to be certain, but the Christian Walter that filed these papers was very likely the same man that was married to Gertrude Muehlfeld.

Gertrude and Christian lived in Ohio for a while, where their first son Christian was born in 1859. It is quite likely that their next two sons, who died as toddlers, were also born in Ohio. Unfortunately, births and deaths were not recorded by the county until 1867, and efforts to secure church records for these children proved to be fruitless.

The young family eventually moved to a farm on Amelith Road in Amelith, Michigan where sons Adam and Martin were born. Amelith was first located in Kochville Township, Saginaw County, MI. Township and county lines changed in February 1881, at which time Amelith became a part of Frankenlust Township in Bay County, MI. I have not yet located the family in the 1860 Federal Census and I don't know exactly when they moved to Michigan. 1870 and 1880 Census records find the family in Kochville Township, Saginaw County, Michigan. 5, 6 Gertrude is living with her son Adam on the homestead farm in Frankenlust Township, Bay County, Michigan in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 Census records.7, 8, 9

Gertrude and Christian had 5 sons together. 2 of these children died as toddlers according to information from Gertrude's Bible. The names of the toddlers are extremely difficult to read, so the names below are what we can best decipher.
  • Christian WALTER, 1859-1931
  • Leonhard(?) WALTER, born 10 Aug 1861, died 20 Sep 1864 at the age of 3 yrs.1 mo.
  • Heinrich? WALTER, born 2 May 1864, died 30 Mar 1866 at the age of 1 yr. 11 mos.
  • Adam WALTER, 1867-1931
  • Martin WALTER, 1869-1936
Christian died 16 Jun 1885 in Bay County, MI when only 58 years old. Gertrude died 23 May 1924 at the age of 87 years, also in Bay County, MI. Both are buried in Fremont Cemetery, Monitor Township, Bay County, MI. Near the large family stone engraved "WALTER" are the smaller stones of Gertrude and Christian. Gertrude's gravestone is inscribed "MOTHER, GERTRUDE, 1837-1924". Christian's gravestone is inscribed "FATHER, CHRISTIAN, 1827-1885".

1. LDS Family History Library, Film Number 996665, Katholische Kirche Wald Michelbach, Taufen 1808-1847, p.373.
2. Clark County, Ohio, Probate Court in Springfield, Marriages Volume 4, p. 498.
3. Clark County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas in Springfield, Volume 2, p. 3.
4. Clark County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas in Springfield, Volume 1, p. 277.
5. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Saginaw County, Kochville Township, p. 287R.
6. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Saginaw County, Kochville Township, p. 21R.
7. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Bay County, Frankenlust Township, District 47, Sheet 4A.
8. 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Bay County, Frankenlust Township, District 54, Sheet 11B.
9. 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Bay County, Frankenlust Township, District 88, Sheet 5A.

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Muehlfeld Family Genealogy: Gertrude Muehlfeld
Last updated Sunday, 14-Jan-2007 08:42:10 MST
Sandy Muehlfeld
1885 S. Beyer Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48601