Margaret Keppel was born in Annweiler, Südliche Weinstraße district, Bavaria (now Rhineland-Palatinate) Germany, near the Alsace region of France. Her first husband, Friedrich Rehmund, was 27 years her senior and he died in 1826 in Germany. Margaret arrived in the United States with her second husband, Johann Friedrich Hey, and children from both her marriages in about 1833. The family settled near the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati.
In May of 1849 Margaret's son-in-law, Micheal Bobinger, died of cholera and her husband, Johann Friedrich Hey, succumbed to the same illness two months later. Her daughter, Elisabeth Rehmund Bobinger, died in childbirth later that same year. Elisabeth was also apparently suffering from tuberculosis when she died. Margaret raised her two young, orphaned granddaughters, Louise and Kitty Bobinger.
Along with her son from her second marriage, Johannes Hey, Margaret ran a coffee house in the mid-1850s called Deer Creek House in Walnut Hills off Lebanon Pike Rd. (a continuation of Hunt Rd.) click for map.
Margaret's older son, Friedrich Rehmund, died of small pox in 1860. Her younger son, Johannes, died of tuberculosis in 1863. Margaret's only child to outlive her was her daughter from the second marriage, Catharine Hey Gould Busse who lived to age 92.
Margaret's life is a testament to her survival skills. My ability to search her out is a testament to the modern information age and the internet. The only information I had about her when I began my search was her married name: Margaret Hey. I was not even sure who she was! Her granddaughter Katherine "Kitty" Bobinger Thonssen (my great gandmother) put Margaret's name on a genealogy document she made, but did not include how she and Margaret were related.
I discovered that Margaret was living with Gustav and Kitty Thonssen in Cincinnati in 1870 by searching the federal census. She is described on that census as "a widow of the family". That description was not a huge help in understanding her relationship to Kitty, but Cincinnati has a wonderful genealogy community whose members have cataloged and indexed many of the early church and cemetery records.
Margaret is buried in the same plot at Walnut Hills Cemetery with Elisabeth Rehmund Bobinger and her husband Michael Bobinger. A little more digging (no pun intended) revealed that Elisabeth was Margaret's daughter from her first marriage and that's why their surnames were different: Margaret married again to Mr. Hey after her first husband, Mr. Rehmund, died in Germany.
Tracing Margaret Keppel and her family was like solving a mystery for me. It was a long journey, often fun, sometimes frustrating, but finally very fulfilling!
Note: Catherine Hey Busse, Margaret's daughter, lists her year of immigration as 1833 on the 1910 US Census and 1832 on the 1920 US Census. She is living with her son Fred Busse in 1920 and son John Gould in 1910.
Source: S242 Type: Census Title: 1860 US Federal Census Place: 11th ward, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, OH Date: 23 July 1860 Media: digital Source Locality: Heritage Quest DATV Oct 2010 Object: Format: jpg File: ~/Desktop/My Family/sources/FC1860.hey.jpg Title: FC1860.hey
Source: S243 Type: Census Title: 1870 US Federal Census Place: Hamilton County-11-ward, Cincinnati, OH Date: 22 Jun 1870 Media: digital Source Locality: Heritage Quest DATV Oct 2010
Source: S303 Type: Census Title: 1880 United States Federal Census Record for Fritz Busse Place: Ohio > Hamilton > Cincinnati > District 119 > 15 Date: 3 Jun 1880 Media: digital Source Locality: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. DATV Jul 2009
Source: S305 Type: Periodical Title: Death Notices Periodical: Cincinnati Volksblatt Date: January 23, 1882, page 8
Source: S307 Type: Census Title: 1910 Federal Census Place: Ohio-HAMILTON, SPRINGFIELD TWP- Date: 21 Apr 1910 DATV Jul 2009 SERS Series: T624 Roll: 1196 Page: 160
Source: S308 Type: Census Title: 1920 Federal Census Place: OHIO , HAMILTON, 12-WD CINCINNATI Date: 5-6 Jan 1920 DATV Jul 2009 SERS Series: T625 Roll: 1391 Page: 179
Source: S43 Type: Web Site Author: Walnut Hills Cemetery; Cincinnati, Ohio Title: Genealogy Search, section 9, lot 235 URL: http://www.walnuthillscemetery.org/Genealogy.html Text: Walnut Hills Cemetery records, Cincinnati, OH. Section 9, Lot 235.
Source: S710 Type: Census Title: 1850 Federal Census Place: Cincinnati, ward 11, Hamilton, Ohio Date: 8 Aug 1850 Media: digital Source Locality: beta.familysearch.org DATV Oct 2010
note for source of marriage records of Margaretha Keppel to Friedrich Rehmund and Friedrich Hey:
Title Kirchenbuch, 1713-1891
Authors Evangelische Kirche Winden (BA. Germersheim) (Main Author)
Subjects Germany, Bayern, Winden (BA. Germersheim) - Church records
Format Manuscript (On Film)
Publication Salt Lake City, Utah : Gefilmt durch The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1959
Physical auf 2 Mikrofilmrollen ; 35 mm.
list of residents of Hey household from 1850 census:
Margaret Hey F 52y
John Hey M 29y
Frederick Hey M 25y
Catherine Hey F 22y
Mary Hey F 13y
Louisa Bebinger F 6y
Catherine Bebinger F 4y
John Lake M 27y
Daniel Rickstern M 29y
Peter Gordon M 24y
Christian Seitz M 20y
James Dockney M 22y
Eve Canveius F 24y
Death Notice for Margaret Hey (translated from German):
Cincinnati Volksblatt - January 23, 1882 - Page 8
On 21 January at 10, died our loved mother, ? in-law and grandmother -- Margarethe Hey -- the funeral will be at 2 in the afternoon (at the home of???) ?-in-law F Busse, 90 Milton Street. Family and friends invited.
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Margaret by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA.
Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line: