Sources for my Parents-- Adam Heinrich Gernhart born August 20, 1875 in Iba Bebra, Hessen, Germany

+4 votes
Can anyone see any sourced information on his parents? I see plenty of unsourced info stating the same parents but am trying to find a source (or several :) ) to support the parents.


WikiTree profile: Adam Gernhart
in Genealogy Help by Lindsay Tyrie G2G6 Mach 1 (18.1k points)
Lindsay, I compiled my findings and added them to the profile of Jacob Gernhardt. That was fun.

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
Ah! Found it. Lindsay, do you have an account? His death certificate is online there.

The informant was William Gernhardt -- a son? He provided the birth and death information, including the birth date of August 20, 1875. For birth place, only Germany. No town name.

The death date is 2/19/1900 but the zeros are lined through and replaced by "10" (therefore 1910).

Ugh. He died horribly in a mine accident; this lung was ruptured when he was caught between a motor and timber. (That's what it says.)

William Gernhardt also listed Adam's parents: Jacob Gernhardt and Martha Tahm(?) -- Tann would work. But I'd want to second source if it were my research.

Adam's occupation was mine foreman.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (764k points)
selected by Lindsay Tyrie
Also found him in the 1900 census in Black Creek, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania. That census record claims he was born in August (not October) 1875. Mm... there could be an "8th month" confusion. Oct translates to eight and October used to be considered the 8th month. But in our contemporary calendar, the 8th month is August.

This 1900 census indicates the Adam emigrated in 1881 (and his wife Emma in 1890). Emma (b Feb 1880) has had two births, two living-- two daughters living with them -- Verdie (June 1899) and Edna (Aug 1899) which clearly can't be correct unless one of them was adopted.

So who was William who was the informant on the 1910 death certificate? There was another Gernhardt family in Luzern county in the 1900 census. Possibly a nephew or other relation? Anyway, I gotta break for dinner. But you should check out the census records.

Dinner's over, as is the evening stroll. We're so lucky to have nice weather after Hurricane Arthur... it's lovely here. Now on back deck, and looking for immigration information for Adam.  As said above, per the 1900 census he emigrated in 1881.

There is a Gernhardt family in Hamburg Passenger Lists (another database) traveling on the "Frisia" departing Hamburg 7 May 1884. The family is from "Machtlos, Hessen."  Here's the family unit:

Martha Gernhardt 42
Wilh Gernhardt 9
Friedr Gernhardt 8
Adam Gernhardt 7
Elise Gernhardt 3
Georg Gernhardt

6 Monate


Notice that Adam not only is the adult here Martha (likely mother, which matches the death certificate) the family also has an older brother named Wilhelm (which would convert later to William) -- another possibility for the informant on the 1910 death certificate.

Machtlos, Germany looks to be a teensy weensy town currently associated with Ronshausen, which is not far from a town called Bebra. Well there you go. There's the Bebra from "Iba Bebra". I'd say that there's a VERY good chance that this is your family. One of my German emigrating families was associated with "Kreuznach" -- they didn't actually live there, but that was the closest large town or small city.  I think it was common for people to refer to a larger town name than their teensy weensy village names.

Now, let's go see if the LDS has microfilmed church records from this area...



heh heh. I LOVE THIS WORK. It's not work, it's PLAY! 

Machtlos does not appear to have microfilmed church records, but Ronshausen does, AND some of them (1808-1812) are online. So this is far before your emigrating ancestor, but might be 1-2 generations back. If the town really is as small as it appears, there may have been only one or two Gernhardt families... 

There's an index of sorts starting on Image 8 of 261 and there's reference to a Conrad Gernhard marrying 28 March (no year given) with a reference to page 12. Then there's reference to a Martha Elizabeth Gernhard born 10 Nov, ref to page 30.

So let's first go to page 12 for Conrad's marriage... Oh man... the pastor (or whoever) who kept these records was a wordy man. These are not easily formatted marriage records, but each marriage has a longggg narrative (this one is FOUR PAGES), and while I'm generally pretty good at deciphering the old German script, this guy's handwriting is a doozy...  The marriage definitely took place in March, and it looks like it too place at 6pm... Conrad Gernhard (I think an age is provided), son of [another] Conrad Gernhard and Anna D.... [married] ____tt [later learn her first name is Martha] Elizabetha [UGH cannot make out her last name] of ___bach born... daughter of [get this:] Adam Schaub? and Elisabeth Brindal?? [it's really difficult to read]; the bride's age is also given, but I can't make it out. There's more narrative, reference to the parents (die eltern). The marriage record is FOUR PAGES long. What's lovely about it is that it includes the (MUCH easier to read) signature of Conrad Gernhardt -- two of them (likely father and son) as well as Adam Schaub, Heinrich Schaub and additional witnesses Conrad Schaub and Johannes Schaub. (Their signatures are FAR easier to read than the pastor's handwriting.) 

Now on to page 30 for the birth of Martha. The father is definitely Conrad Gernhard, and he might be of Hernbach or Horenbach. The mother is identified as Martha Elisabetha, born Schaub (i.e., her maiden name was Schaub).  The daughter born this day (which I cannot decipher) is another Martha Elisabetha. Names of "sponsors" (like Godparents) are also listed: Georg Wilhelm _____ and his age; Conrad Schaub, his age of Hoehnbach...  Signatures of Conrad Gernhard and Conrad Schaub join that of the pastor.


"Deutschland, Hessen-Nassau, Personenstandsregister und Kirchenbücher 1701-1875," images, FamilySearch (,137274602,137275602 : accessed 06 Jul 2014), Ronshausen > Evangelisch > Geburten, Heiraten, Tote 1808-1812 > image 25 of 261; (that's the birth; marriage was image 16) citing Stadtarchiv Marburg.

I'd say there's a good chance that Conrad and Martha Elisabeth (Schaub) Gernhardt might be the grandparents of your Adam Heinrich...

AND if you look at Google maps, there's a Hönbach very close to Machtlos. ;-)

What I can't easily find is where on earth the rest of the records are. 1808-1812 is a drop in the bucket. This was an "Evangelische" church (protestant). There should be records back into the 1600s (if not further) and into the early 20th century.

So... if I were you, I'd find mailing lists/message boards for Hessen-Nassau (or just Hessen) and start learning whatever you can about this region that included Machtlos and Ronshausen. The records might be associated with one of the other towns in the region. Definitely look up Machtlos on Google Maps, and jot down the names of the towns in the surrounding areas. Then search's catalog for records related to those town.

Fun fun fun.
I'm not thinking properly. I looked up Bebra. There is 1-2 years of records online for this town/city. 1874-1875 (!)  They're civil records, not church.

On 6 (?) November, 1874 was born Barbara Elisabeth, daughter of Conrad Gernhardt and Elisa Grebe.

No obvious connection to what you've got here on Wikitree.

His marriage record to Emma Applegate is on He gives his birth date as 20 August 1875 in Germany. Emma's birth date is given as 13 Feb 1880. 

+3 votes
Lindsay, you might try contacting the person who uploaded their GEDCOM to WorldConnect back in February 2014:

Looks like there are a few family trees on have you contacted each of the contributors to see where they got their info?

Also, I have never heard of, nor can I find on a map, Iba Bebra in Germany. There's nothing German about that name.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (764k points)
Two common ways of identifying small towns in German: the more common one would be "bei" (by) a bigger town or city, the less common one would be "über", indicationg how you would travel to the town and best be translated as "via" . Dialect and illiteracy could easily make "iba Bebra" out of "über Bebra".
Helmut, great point about iba/über... Thanks!

It's not correct in this case, though. The village is called Iba, since 1972 it's a part of the town of Bebra. [German wikipedia entry]

Iba's protestant church records are online at Archion (which, sadly, is a pay site, but at least, it's 100% correct since it comes from the church directly)

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