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William Wessels (#47588360)
 member for 3 years, 10 months, 10 days
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I have interest in the Prairie Valley Cemetery because it is the resting place of many of my ancestors. My great grandparents, Adolph and Hilma, as well as my great great grandparents and even my great great great grandmother are there.

I remember as a small child, going to the family reunions at the Lodge across the street from the church and cemetery. During my junior high, high school and college years, I had not thought of these days because of all the other things that occupy a young persons mind. It was not until later my thoughts returned to those early days. A few members of our family took the time to prepare family trees and research that restored my interest. I'm both inspired and grateful for all the work they have done.

One of my memories as a small child was visiting the cemetery with my grandfather, George F. Wessels Sr. I saw the grave of the Wessels Twins (Gerhard and Ida) and asked about them. He told me they were not related to us. That memory returned when I noticed many Wessels buried in the cemetery were not on our family tree. Research revealed a group of Wessels were in Prairie Valley before the arrival of my ancestors, Heinrich and Johann with their families. I feel Herman Wessels Sr. is the patriarch of that group because he donated the land for the church and cemetery. Further research revealed yet another group in Halstead / Rutersville, just north of La Grange. All these groups came from Germany, most likely from Bremen to Galveston. All unrelated to each other.

Over the years, the Prairie Valley groups help develop the community and many lived in the nearby towns of West Point and Plum. St. Peter Lutheran church worked with the churches in Rutersville and La Grange. In the early days, it was an all-day trip to go to La Grange. First the church was established and then the cemetery. Heinrich was the first interment and now it is the resting place of many of the church founders and their descendants. By the third generation, most of the German language had faded into history. The early headstones provide testimony to the changing times. My great grandfather, Adolph translated the sermons to English as all were spoken in German. His sister Annie married Herman Wessels Jr., linking the 2 groups together.

I regret that I had not asked questions about my ancestry at an earlier age. Those that could best answer them had already passed on. I guess many families can identify with this. For this reason, I'm so thankful for the work that had been done. I hope putting what I have learned into this website will provide the same for future generations. I urge all who have pictures and / or stories to tell will add them to the site.

In addition to the family trees and a beautiful publication by Audrey Huenefeld entitled St. Peter Lutheran Church 100 years, I researched Death Certificates, as well as Birth and Marriage Records to help confirm my data. Many pictures presented at past reunions were thrown away because no one could remember who they were. Please do not let this happen to your family history. Pictures and stories add a lot to a memorial and keep the person's contributions and memory alive for years to come.
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Messages left for William Wessels (58)[Leave Message]
William, you are doing a great job. My Mom was a Freudenberg & I also do family history. I have a correction for you Gerhard Freudenberg (75440487) is linked to the wrong parents George & Alma. Gerhard parents are Heinrich (75440632) & Meta (75481926). Thanks!!
Added by Christi on Jun 28, 2015 10:40 AM
Diane Schulte
RE: Infant Daughter Witt Memorial # 140866607
I have done a little reading and have added requests for links for the rest of the siblings to Fritz and Frieda. I don't really feel like I need to have the memorials transferred to me at this time. I will see about getting the obit for Fritz posted. Since it was in 1918, there should not be a copyright problem.
Added by Diane Schulte on May 11, 2015 9:22 AM
Diane Schulte
RE: Infant Daughter Witt Memorial # 140866607
Thank you so much for your response. So far I do not have any memorials. I have not really gotten into that part and am not sure how to do it. You mentioned wanting to get links to the rest of the family. How does that work? Do you have to contact whoever has their memorial? If you need names of all the siblings, I can give you the names and where they are buried. I think they are all on Find A Grave. Just let me know how I can help.
Added by Diane Schulte on May 10, 2015 8:02 PM
Diane Schulte
RE: Infant Daughter Witt Memorial # 140866607
Thank you so much for your reply. I agree with you that the mother was Frieda Erdmann, not Frieda Harbers. However, I believe that these two babies are the same baby. For one thing, it would certainly be a coincidence for a couple to have two children with almost identical birth and death dates a year apart. More importantly, though, Frieda Erdmann's next child was born 23 Feb 1908, so it would have been impossible for her to have had a baby in December 1907. I believe the 1907 on the stone in Rutersville in is error. I know that Fritz and Frieda did live in Rutersville before they moved to Rabbs Prairie. I'm just not sure what year they moved. Fritz's father, Carl Witt Sr., is buried in Rutersville with his second wife Augusta Roch. Fritz's mother is Carl's first wife Dorothea Strand who died around 1873 and is buried in an unmarked grave at Chappell Hill, TX.

I also have an obituary for Fritz Witt (husband of Frieda Erdmann) which states "This union was blessed with 12 children, of which 11 survived the father." Fritz died in 1918. So it does not look like he had two babies that died in 1906 and 1907.

This is why I was wondering if you have seen an actual grave marker in LaGrange City Cemetery, which would bring up even more questions.
Added by Diane Schulte on May 05, 2015 9:46 PM
Diane Schulte
Infant Daughter Witt Memorial # 140866607
William, Thank you so much for the time and effort you have taken to post memorials and pictures on Find-A-Grave. I have a question about your memorial for Infant Daughter Witt in LaGrange City Cemetery. I believe this to be a duplicate of Memorial # 80670883 added by Skip Farrow on 18 Nov 2011. There is a grave stone in Rutersville for "Infant Son of Fritz and Frida Witt" b. Dec. 17, 1907, d. Dec. 25, 1907. A picture of the stone is on the memorial and I have seen it myself. Ancestry has a "Report of Birth" for a son born to Fritz and Frida Witt in Rabbs Prairie on Dec. 17, 1906. Texas Death Index (Ancestry) lists Infant of Fritz Witt died Dec. 26, 1906. And the "Report of Death" that you have posted says the daughter of Fritz Witt died Dec. 26, 1906. I believe the date and gender discrepancies to be errors of memory or transcription. There are two couples named Fritz and Frieda Witt living in Rabbs Prairie about this same time. The couple that I believe this baby belongs to are my grandparents, which would make this baby my uncle. I guess my question is -- Have you seen an actual grave for the memorial you posted? If so, this is a new person that I need to research. Thanks in advance for any additional information you might have on this.
Diane Witt Schulte
Added by Diane Schulte on May 04, 2015 9:36 AM
RE: Raschke/Ullmann Family
Hi William,

Can you tell me how Eugene Wessels is related? He owns the property on either side of Alma Smith's property.


Added by Debra on Apr 17, 2015 12:00 PM
Kathy Fuller
Dietrich Wessels
There is a baptism for Johann Diedrich Ludwig Wessels in Frelsburg, son of Heinrich and Anna Pargmann Wessels, birthdate 5 March 1870 . I am interested in this man because he seems to have been named for my g-g-grandfather Johann
Dietrich Ludwig Schweke who is his godparent along with my g-g-grandmother Philippine Find Schweke. Dietrich Schweke and Anna Pargmann Wessels were both from Neuenkirchen, Hanover. Heinrich Wessels is listed as being from Neudorf, Oldenburg. Does anyone know of any other connection between these families?
Thanks, Kathy
Added by Kathy Fuller on Mar 30, 2015 2:12 PM
Vernell J Noak
The photos you have on Vernell J Noak's page (39194899) are incorrect. Those are for a Vernell (Tramp) Noak, who is alive and therefore not on findagrave. The Vernell J Noak you have was a Weyand and is married to a different Noak than the one Vernell (Tramp) Noak is married to. Also, the parents linked to her are incorrect. Her parents would have had the name Weyand and unfortunately I do not have that information. Both of Glinnie & Elton Tramp's daughters are alive and therefore should not have pages, nor be linked.
Added by Robyn on Jan 14, 2015 1:55 PM
Milda Raschke
Hi William,

It's Debra again. Wanted to mention the 25th Anniversary pic that is on Milda's page has the siblings out of order. They are Louise, Ed, Dora, Katie (my grandma), Lydia and Al.

Thanks again for all of the wonderful work you have done on this family!

Added by Debra on Nov 15, 2014 4:31 PM
Ullmann Family
Hi William,

I wrote you a few years back. You may remember that I am the great granddaughter of August and Milda Raschke. I'm Katie Radenz's granddaughter. So I'm very interested in both families. I see you recently posted some new info from the Ullmann side (typed family history). Can you let me know where you got those copies so I can cite the reference on Thank you so much!!

Added by Debra on Nov 14, 2014 9:46 PM
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