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Catherina Margaret "Ada" Helmers Gerken
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Birth: Dec. 26, 1834, Germany
Death: Jan. 4, 1907
Ford County
Illinois, USA

Born at Granstedt, Selsingen parish, Old Kingdom Hannover (now Niedersachsen) the oldest child of Johann Hinrich Helmer (1801-1883) and Magdalena "Lena" Marlene Klie (1815-1892), Catherina married Thees Gerken on Apr. 16, 1859 in Granstedt. Born 1830 in Farven, Thees died about 1877 according to Catherine's obituary, which calls him "Theodore." His German baptismal record in Farven has "Thees." No official record of his death or burial has been found.

A brother, Jacob Helmer 1840-1923 emigrated in 1884 to LaHarpe, IL. He married 1869 Catherine Bellman 1849-1913.

A cousin, son of her aunt Gesche Klie and uncle Michael Jacob Helmer, Peter Helmers 1850-1925, also emigrated to LaHarpe, IL. He married 1873 Catharine Ulfers 1852-1938.

In 1885 Catherina emigrated with her youngest, John, and her eldest, Margaretha, to Ford Co. IL where they lived on a farm near Strawn with now-married daughter Magdalena Gerken Brandt who had come in 1881. Son Cord b1861 disappeared. The US family believes he may have been conscripted into the military. John's twin sister N. N. died at birth. Daughter Metta b1865 died & was buried in Germany.

Ada lived alternately with her daughters, both now married, until young John was able to rent a Sibley Estate farm. She then kept house for him until shortly before her death. The family were very dedicated Evangelical Lutherans.

Some American records spell the name GHERKIN or GERKIN. German records spell GERCKEN, GEHRKEN and GERKEN. Magdalena's family and parts of Margaretha's sometimes spell the name GERKIN.

Other family records in the US have her Margareta Catherina. Catherine's obituary calls her 'Ada' as do her descendants, yet no official record gives that name. The American record of her maiden name is given HELMERS, yet German records in Selsingen usually spell it HELMER.

Family links: 
  Margaretha Gerken Meyer (1858 - 1910)*
  Magdalena Gerkin Brandt (1859 - 1942)*
  Johann Gerken (1868 - 1937)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Hope Cemetery
Ford County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Rosetta
Record added: Mar 16, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10629700
Catherina Margaret Ada <i>Helmers</i> Gerken
Added by: Michael D
Catherina Margaret Ada <i>Helmers</i> Gerken
Added by: Rosetta
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Remembering you at Christmas, dear g-grandmother.
- Rosetta
 Added: Dec. 24, 2009
It is good to find you, great-grandmother, even if the view is a bit confused.
- Rosetta
 Added: Mar. 17, 2005
The name means 'little pickle" in Germany where the family were truck farmers for many generations.
 Added: Mar. 17, 2005

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