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Peter Muehlfeld (1804-1873)



Image Peter MUEHLFELD, (also known as Peter III, Peter, Sr., or Johannes Peter) legitimate son of Peter MÜHLFELD and Gertrud, nee SCHMITT, from Wahlen, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, was baptized on 30 Oct 1804 at the Catholic Church in Wald Michelbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. On the right side of the Latin church record is a small notation of "n.28". Since "n." or "nata" in Latin means born, Peter was probably born on the 28th. Johannes BANGERT, a married man from Wald Michelbach served as Peter's godfather.1

Parents of Peter: Peter MÜHLFELD was born in 1776, and died in 1843 and Gertrud (SCHMITT) MÜHLFELD died in 1839.

Paternal Ancestors of Peter were:
  • Paternal grandparents: Johann Peter MÜHLFELD, b.1744, d. 1791, and Elisabetha WERNER.
  • Paternal great-grandparents: Peter, b.1720, d. 1795, and Maria Margaretha MÜHLFELD.
  • Paternal great-great-grandparents: Johann Benedict MÜHLFELD, d. 1750 and Elisabeth JÄGER.

Marriages and Children

Peter's first wife was Anna Maria KEIL, daughter of Eberhard KEIL and Christina HECKMANN. For more of her ancestors, see the Pedigree chart of Anna Maria KEIL.
25 year old Peter was married to 27 year old Anna Maria on 18 Feb 1830 at the Catholic Church in Wald Michelbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany.2
Anna Maria was baptized 12 Jun 1796 in Fürth, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, and died 23 Sep 1843 in Wahlen, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany.
Peter and Anna Maria had 6 children: Johann Peter, Georg Peter, Valentine, Leonard, Gertrude, and Barbara.

Image The widower, Peter, married Elisabetha Margaretha MÜHLFELD of Wahlen, the 4th daughter of Johannes MÜHLFELD and Elisabetha Margaretha SCHÄFER. They were married 26 Nov 1844 at the Catholic Church in Wald Michelbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. The German church record tells us not only that the bride was Lutheran but also that the bride and groom were of second degree blood relation and so special permission to be married had to be granted from the Grand Duke.3
Elisabetha Margaretha was born (20 May?) 1817 in Wahlen, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, and baptized at the Lutheran Church there. She died 8 Nov 1892 in Frankenmuth Twp., Saginaw Co., MI.
Peter had 6 children with his 2nd wife also: Adam, Anna Maria, Peter, Mary, Anna, and Elizabeth.
The family record from the Catholic Church in Wald Michelbach, gives the following listing:4
Peter MÜHLFELD III of Wahlen
2nd wife: Elis. Marg. MÜHLFELD, daughter of Joh. and Elis. Marg. SCHÄFER
Children:
1. A. Maria, 09 October 1851
2. Peter, 27 May 1849
3. Adam, 26 December 1844

Emigration and Immigration

According to emigration information from the Hessen Darmstadt Archives, Peter MÜHLFELD III of Wahlen escaped to the USA in April 1851. I have been unable to find ship records for Peter or for his son Valentine. A story told by Valentine to his descendants indicated that Peter was accused of shooting a tax collector off of his horse and that he escaped authorities by traveling to America on a cattle boat under an assumed name. According to this story, Valentine made the arrangements for his father, who maintained that he was innocent, to come to America.
Daughter Anna Maria's baptism record (October 1851) further substantiates this date as it shows an "absent" father. Additionally, this date, along with the date of his wife's arrival in America, would explain the unusual large gap between the birthdates of their 4th and 5th children.

Next to arrive in America were Peter's children George Peter, Gertrude, and Barbara who traveled from London, England to New York in 1855 aboard the S.S. Sir Robert Peel.
About 2 years later, Peter's second wife Margaret and her children Adam, Peter, and Anna Maria, along with Peter's son Leonhard, arrived in New York on 25 Apr 1857 aboard the ship "Plymouth Rock", which also came from London, England.

In America

Peter declared his intention to become an American citizen on 08 Nov 1856 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio and his "Declaration of Intent" is the first recorded instance of Peter in America that has been found. 5 Filing their declarations of intent on the same day and place were Peter Muehlfeld, Jr. and Valentine Muehlfeld. Peter, Sr. became an American citizen on 15 Feb 1860 as evidenced in his naturalization record also found in the records of Clark County, Ohio.6

We then find Peter and his family in Mad River Twp., postal address Enon, Clark Co., Ohio in the 1860 Census.7
Around 1867, Peter and his wife Margaret brought their family to Michigan. The 1870 Census finds the family in Frankenmuth Twp., Saginaw Co., MI.8 This is where Peter & his family established their residence on King Rd. Peter was a farmer and this homestead farm still belongs to one of Peter's descendants.
Margaret is listed with her son Adam in the 1880 Census in Frankenmuth Twp., Saginaw Co., MI.

Deaths

Peter died 26 Aug 1873 according to his gravestone in Oakgrove Cemetery, Bridgeport, Saginaw Co. MI. I have been unable to find any other records of his death. His stone is inscribed "PETER MUEHLFELD, Gesturben 26 Aug 1873, Alter 71 Jahr 10 Monat". [translation: Died 26 Aug 1873, Age 71 years 10 months]

Peter's 2nd wife Margaret died 8 Nov 1892 in Frankenmuth Twp., Saginaw Co., MI. Her gravestone is in the Janson Cemetery, Bradley Road, Blumfield Twp., Saginaw Co., MI. It is located near her son Adam's gravestone and is inscribed "MÜTTER, Ruhe in Friden, Geb. 1817 Gest. 1892". [translation: MOTHER, Rest in Peace, born 1817, died 1892]
Newspaper obituaries and the death record from Saginaw County, Michigan all accord her different names, but I am sure that they all pertain to the same woman. No evidence was found of any other Muehlfeld woman of this age living in Frankenmuth at the time and no other death for 1892 for any Muehlfeld was found.
From the Saginaw County death record:
Date of Death: 08 Nov 1892; Name: Anna Mary Muelfeld, Female, Married; Age: 75 years, 7 months, 16 days; Place of death: Frankenmuth; Cause of death: Tumor; Birthplace: Germany; Occupation: Housekeeper; Parents: Unknown.9
From the Saginaw (Michigan) Evening News, Wednesday, 09 Nov 1892, p.8
"Mrs. Wm. Muehfeld, aged 70 years, died yesterday morning at the family residence in Frankenmuth, of an abcess. The funeral will take place tomorrow at 7 a.m. from the residence, the interment being in the Blumfield cemetery."

The death notice also appeared in The Saginaw Post Zeitung (the local German newspaper) with basically the same information, though it did add that the residence was on King Road.

Miscellaneous

Maps of Germany

Descendant outline chart of the descendants of Peter Muehlfeld. (this is very lengthy and will take time to load; size of file is 306 kb and prints 90+ pages) Last update was 15 Sep 2006.

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Sources:
1. LDS Family History Library Film #996796, Katholische Kirche Wald Michelbach, Taufen 1698-1706, 1743-1821, p.211.
2. LDS Family History Library Film #996668, Katholische Kirche Wald Michelbach, Heiraten 1808-1877, p. 74.
3. LDS Family History Library Film #996668, Katholische Kirche Wald Michelbach, Heiraten 1808-1877, p. 192.
4. LDS Family History Library Film #996660, Katholische Kirche Wald Michelbach, Familienbuch 1810, Konfirmationen 1858-1881, p. 91.
5. Clark County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas in Springfield, Naturalizations, Volume 2, p.21.
6. Clark County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas in Springfield, Naturalizations, Volume 1, p.298.
7. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark County, Mad River Township, p.298.
8. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Saginaw County, Frankenmuth Township, p. 274R.
9. Saginaw County, Michigan, Deaths Book C, p.188, Record 150.



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Muehlfeld Family Genealogy: Peter Muehlfeld
Last updated Sunday, 14-Jan-2007 09:23:53 MST
Sandy Muehlfeld
1885 S. Beyer Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48601
email:muehlfeld@chartermi.net