Murder in Mission, Texas

Joseph William Konzen was born in Nov 1858 in Lawler, Chickasaw, Iowa, USA, to the son of Johan Mathias Konzen (1818-1900) and Sophia Conrad (1832-1905).  We don’t know very much about Joe – he wasn’t in the paper all the time like Harold or Bad Peter.  It doesn’t seem that Joe ever married, but he lived in Chickasaw County for most of his life.

In the 1880 census, he is 22 years old and living with his parents and siblings.  His occupation is listed as “at home” and since his father was a farmer at the time, Joe probably worked on the farm with his father and younger brother John. Joe is living with his parents, his sister Mary, and his brother-in-law James in the 1900 census.  At that time he was working as a piano dealer.  There are also mentions in the Nashua Reporter of Joe having a store in the early 1900s.

The Nashua Reporter November 19, 1908.

The Nashua Reporter on November 19, 1908.

Joe sold pianos for a while. In the 29 Nov 1908 edition of the Nashua Reporter, “J. W. Konzen put a nice new piano into the Albert Wolff home one day last week.”  In 1910, the census lists Joe as living as a boarder in New Hampton.  He’s in the same profession, listed this time as a traveling piano salesman.  He was self-employed, but he was out of work for 25 weeks in 1909.

The Nashua Reporter on May, 1909

The Nashua Reporter on May 29, 1913.

In the 29 May 1913 issue of the Nashua Reporter it says that J.W. Konzen sold some land to D.A. Weaklin for $1 and “valuable consideration.” Joe lived in New Hampton in the 1915 census, and real estate was listed as his occupation.  Joe earned $1,000 from his real estate work in 1914, which would be about $24,000 today.

For a couple of years, Joe seemed to just disappear off the family tree after the 1915 census. We didn’t really have any idea where to look for him, but then Michelle found some articles on him. And we learned that Joe moved to Mission, Hidalgo, Texas, around 1916. He farmed for at least part of his time there.

On 18 Mar 1920, the Dyersville Commercial published an article entitled “J. W. Konzen Died in Texas.”  The article said “J. W. Konzen, a former New Hampton business man, who was operating a truck farm near Mission, Texas, died at that place last Saturday. He was found dead in bed. He was for several years engaged in the merchandise business and real estate business at New Hampton. P. H. Konzen of Hallock, Minn., a brother has gone to Mission to attend the funeral. It will be held at Mission.”

The Dyersville Commercial on March 18, 1920.

Joe died 12 Mar 1920 in Mission, Hidalgo, Texas.  However, the first Dyersville article didn’t tell the full story.  A second article published in the Dyersville Commercial on 22 Apr 1920 was titled “See Foul Play in Joe Konzen’s Death: Was Shot in Back through Window in Dark of Evening.  Intimated that He Feared His Partner was After Him – Operated a Farm in Texas.”

The Dyersville Commerical edition published on 22 Apr 1920.

The Dyersville Commercial on April 22, 1920.

The article stated, “It now develops [sic] that Joe Konzen, of Chickasaw county, mention of whose mysterious seat at Mission, Texas, was made in the Commercial several weeks ago, met death by foul play.  The Lawler Dispatch in an account of the affair says: ‘Atty. P. H. Konzen of Hallock [sic], Minn., spent several days of last week visiting with his sisters, Mrs. Buchholz and Mrs. Wheeler and old Lawler friends.  He was enroute home from Mission, Texas, where he had been to attend the funeral of his brother, J. W. Konzen.

‘The body had been embalmed and rested at the home of friends, Dr. and Mrs. Stidger.  Funeral services were held at their home and he was buried at Mission.  Mr. Konzen tells us that his brother, Joe as we all know him, is suppose to have been killed by his partner, a Missourian named Hacker, who is now bound over to the Grand Jury for trial in September.  The morning of March 13th, Dr. Stidger saw a light shining from a lamp through the window of the Konzen shack and went to investigate.  Joe had fallen forward, shot in the back of the head by some person outside the window.  There was [sic] no evidence of a struggle, not even the chair being tipped.  Several witnesses were found who had heard a shot at about 8 o’clock of the evening before and apparently Joe had sat down to ear and smoke as his pipe and newspaper indicated.  During the week previous Joe had remarked to two men in different conversations, that he felt that Hacker was after him and he planned to sever the partnership relations as soon as the cabbages were marketed.  Prices were high and Hacker, an extremely ignorant man seemed to think, making a way with Joe would leave him with the proceeds of the whole crop.

‘That the killing was premeditated is recognized now from remarks Hacker made in the presence of others in which he reviled the Mexicans (although his wife is a Mexican) and when Joe would defend them as being peaceful in and around Mission, he would say, “They’ll get you yet.” A few weeks ago five cottages, among them Mr. Konzen’s were burned and suspicion pointed strongly to Hacker.  About two weeks ago, Joe had two horses stolen and previously a set of harness and he had remarked to close friends that he could not help believing Hacker knew of their whereabouts [sic].  So far as known the two men had never quarreled or had disputes over their business affairs and friends her know that Joe had a peaceable, non-quarrelsome [sic] disposition.  His tragic death is much regretted by many friends and it is hoped that the man who so treacherously murdered him may be brought to justice.'”

Joe Konzen's death certificate

Joe Konzen’s death certificate.

According to his death certificate, Joe died “from a shotgun wound in right side of head – (Homicidal).”  I’ve tried to find out what happened to Hacker – from what I’ve been able to find in census records, it seems that his name is William Hacker.  I haven’t found him in the Texas convict ledgers in so it doesn’t look like he served time for Joe’s murder.  I’ve been unable to find any newspaper articles to confirm if he was indicted or stood trial.  Hacker died on 8 Jan 1925 in Mission.


52 Ancestors: Pinky the Black Sheep

When you think of a Konzen black sheep you probably think of my 2nd great uncle Peter Hubert Konzen – also known as bad Peter.  But there’s more than one black sheep in the Konzen family. Harold Mathias Konzen, also known as Pinky, was born 27 Jun 1900 in Lawler, Chickasaw, Iowa, USA.  Harold’s parents were John G Konzen (1862-1913) and Mary A Connors (1866-1953).  His grandparents were Johan Mathias Konzen (1818-1900) and Sophia Conrad (1832-1905).

At first, Pinky seemed to live a fairly average life.  He lived in Mason City, Iowa, and worked as a clerk in 1918 according to his WWI draft registration card.  In 1919, the Mason City Directory listed Harold as a waiter at Vermilya Cafe.  He was also listed as a waiter in the 1920 census. Harold still lived in Mason City when he married Loduska Marie Hays on 6 Jun 1924 in Eldora, Iowa.  According to the 1925 state census, the couple lived in Hansell, Iowa. Then Pinky started appearing in newspapers.

In the 8 Aug 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette, he had been charged with illegal possession and transportation of intoxicating liquor.  The article reads: “Harold Konzen, Hampton, Taken By Federal Man: Jailed Here Pending Posting of $1,000 Bond on Two Charges.  Harold ‘Pinkey’ Konzen, Hampton was arrested there lated Thursday afternoon by John P. Johnson, federal agent, and charged with illegal possession and transportation of intoxicating liquor.  The arrest of Konzen was said to have occurred after the federal agent had made a ‘buy.’  Two gallons of alleged alcohol were found by the officers.  A Hudson coach valued at $1,800 was taken by officers.  Konzen was [brought] to the county jail here Wednesday night where he will remain until the bond set at $1,000 is posted.”

8 Aug 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

8 Aug 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

On 16 Nov 1929, the Mason City Globe-Gazette reported that Harold plead guilty to violating Prohibition.  “Fines totaling $2,600 were assessed against nine Mason City men in United States district court Friday at Fort Dodge on liquor charges.  Harold Konzen, Hampton, was fined $300 on a liquor charge.”

Harold and Loduska were still married and living in Hampton in the 1930 census.  His occupation was a cafe proprietor and he could have been violating Prohibition for his business.  Maybe he needed liquor to make a living because it brought customers into his cafe.  Or maybe he violated Prohibition only for extra money and not because he was worried about his business.  Or he might have just been running liquor because he wanted it for himself.

16 Nov 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

16 Nov 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

Pinky was back in the news in 1930 facing another liquor charge.  The Mason City Globe-Gazette reported on 29 Apr 1930 that “Franklin county district court was reconvened for the April term here today, with Judge H. E. Fry of Boone on the bench.  Two cases are assigned for trial this term: State versus H. M. Konzen on a liquor charge, and that of State versus Dick Blair on a statutory charge.”

It seems that Harold stayed out of the news for a few years – maybe because Prohibition ended in 1933.  Somewhere along the way, he and Loduska divorced and he married a woman named Imogene.  In the 1 Apr 1937 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette, Imogene had filed for divorce from Harold.  The divorce must have been completed quickly because in the Mason City Globe-Gazette on 28 Jun 1937, Imogene Konzen, 23 years old, and Lamont J Johnson had been issued a marriage license.

On 13 Aug 1938, Pinky was in the Mason City Globe-Gazette for a charge of disorderly conduct.  The paper said “A hearing on a charge of disorderly conduct filed against H. M. Konzen, Hampton, was continued by Acting Judge Haynes.  Konzen was arrested by police at 5:30 o’clock Saturday morning in front of 13 West State street, where he was alleged to have been sitting in a car drinking.  Officers stated he had a small quantity of whisky and alcohol with him when arrested.”

According to the 1939 Des Moines City Directory, Harold was a manager for Food Shops, Inc.  In the 8 Jul 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette, he had been charged with intoxication.  The article reads “Francis E. Turner, Kansas City, Kans.; Harold ‘Pinky’ Konzen, Hampton; Albert Redding, 119 Seventh street southwest, and Delbert ‘Red’ Faust, Prairie du Chien, Wis., were each fined $10 and costs on charges of intoxication.  Arrested by Police: Turner was arrested by police in the 400 block on Fourth street northeast, at 1:10 o’clock Saturday morning.  Konzen was arrested by a deputy sheriff on highway 106 at 2 o’clock Saturday morning.”

8 Jul 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

8 Jul 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

Harold was in the Mason City Globe-Gazette again on 15 Dec 1939.  “Three Forfeit Bonds In Court: Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct Charges Filed Here.  Stella Mandt, Manly and Harold M. Konzen, Hampton, each forfeited $10 bonds before Police Judge Morris Laird Friday on charges of intoxication.  They were arrested at 2:20 o’clock Friday morning in the 300 block on North Federal.”

15 Dec 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

15 Dec 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

In the 1940 census, Pinky was living in Hampton with his sister Ruth Konzen and her husband Mathias Brun.  He worked at Ruth and Marius’s Brun Inn as a waiter. Harold reappeared in the Mason City newspaper on 29 Feb 1940.  “Harold M. Konzen, Hampton, and Alice Milnes, 1431 Jefferson avenue Northwest, each forfeited $10 bonds on charges of disorderly conduct.  They were arrested at Fourth street and Jefferson avenue southwest at 4 o’clock Thursday morning.”

The next time Harold appeared in the Mason City Globe-Gazette it was on 12 Mar 1940 when he and some friends purchased the Hampton Cafe.  He became the active manager of the restaurant.  Then he was in the paper on 12 Oct 1940 for reckless driving.  “Hampton Driver Fined $100 Here: Harold M. Konzen Arrested on Charge of Reckless Driving.  Harold M. Konzen, Hampton, was fined $100 and costs Saturday by Police Judge Morris Laird on a charge of reckless driving.  Police arrested Konzen at 4:45 o’clock Saturday morning in the 100 block on West State street, when he was alleged to have nearly struck a bakery truck with his car.  Police said he had been drinking.”

On 18 Sep 1942, Harold was living in Hampton and he had been selected for physical examination prior to induction.  I couldn’t find any Pinky sightings in Iowa papers between 1942 and 1951.  Harold was living in Des Moines on 12 Jul 1951 according to The Hampton Chronicle.  He died on 25 Nov 1953 in Des Moines.  His obituary reads “Former Resident of Hampton Dies.  Hampton – Funeral services for Harold M. [Konzen], 51, former Hampton resident, were held here Tuesday at the Greenfield Funeral Home.  He died of pneumonia at a hospital in Des Moines Sunday.  He lived in Hampton a number of years until 1941 when he went to Mexico where he remained four years.  For the past six years he operated the Dutch Mill cafe at Des Moines.  His mother, Mrs. John [Konzen], died here last month.  He is survived by a sister, Mrs. Marius Brun, of Hampton.”

Harold's obituary in the Mason City Globe-Gazette on 25 Nov 1953

Harold’s obituary in the Mason City Globe-Gazette on 25 Nov 1953

His obituary says he lived in Des Moines from about 1947 until his death and that he’d left Hampton in 1941.  The 1941 departure must not be accurate since he was in the newspaper living in Hampton in 1942.  So if he left Hampton around 1942 for Mexico then he would have been in Mexico until at least 1946. I think Pinky was more than a little bit of a black sheep.  After all he was charged with violating Prohibition multiple times and with disorderly conduct.  I’ve also heard him described as a womanizer.  However, he might have been worse than all that.

Since he was absent from Iowa and living in Mexico – according to his obituary – probably between 1942 and 1947, it made Michelle, Sandy, and I wonder if our Harold M. Konzen is the same as the Harold M. Konzen in the Arizona Republic? “Grand Jury Presents 11 Indictments Here.  Nine open and two secret indictments were presented for action of the Phoenix branch of the U. S. District Court by the federal grand jury which closed its two-day session here yesterday.  Among the alleged offenses for which men will be held for court action here are two Dyer act cases, a rape charge and a white slave traffic act violation.  Harold M. Konzen and John Turner were indicted for allegedly transporting a woman from El Paso to Jerome in September in violation of the Mann act.”

23 Nov 1946 issue of the Arizona Republic

23 Nov 1946 issue of the Arizona Republic

“Mann Act Trial Opens.  Testimony on behalf of the defense will be resumed in U. S. District Court today when the trial of Harold M. Konzen and John Turner, Albuquerque, N. M., on charges of violating the white slave traffic act, enters its second day before Judge Dave W. Ling.  The government’s evidence, intended to prove that the defendants transported a young Mexican girl from El Paso, Tex., to Jerome for immoral purposes, was presented yesterday by four witnesses.  Maria Garcia Carrillo, native of Juarez, Mex., testified, through an interpreter, that she made the trip with the men.  Others called to the stand by E. R. Thurman, prosecutor, were Jesus Puentes-Nava, Juarez cab driver who allegedly introduced the principals; Fred N. Thomas, border patrolman, and William B. O’Mahoney of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Bertha Cooper, serving a sentence in Arizona State Prison on conviction of operating a house of prostitution, was the first witness called for Turner.”

23 Nov 1946 issue of the Arizona Republic

5 Feb 1947 issue of the Arizona Republic

In my opinion, the Harold M. Konzen in the Arizona Republic articles is more than just a black sheep.  I don’t know if that Harold M. Konzen is the same person as our Harold, but it does seem very possible.  Maybe we’ll eventually find enough information to prove one way or another.  Until then I’ll choose to think of our Pinky as just a black sheep.

6 Days with my Konzen cousins: Day 4 – A Visit with Vernon

We started our 4th day with a Starbucks run and then a wild journey up one of Dubuque’s bluffs and through some alleys (thanks to the excellent navigation skills of the GPS) to the massive Mount Calvary Cemetery.  The three of us split up to take on the cemetery and we still didn’t come near finishing the cemetery – or even a quarter of it – before we had to leave!

We found Vincent Hansen (grandson of Angela Susanna Konzen Hansen) and his wife Helen Breitbach, Francis Hansen (Grandson of Angela Susanna Konzen Hansen) and his wife Margareta Schroeder, Lucille Link (Vernon’s mom and Angela Susanna Konzen Hansen’s great granddaughter) and her husband Arnold Auderer, John Louis Breitbach (Great grandson of Johann Ries [1794-1867]) and his sister Velma Breitbach Hentges Curran, Wilfred J. Konzen (Great grandson of Theodore Konzen [1823-1905]) and his wife Goldie.

Vincent Hansen (Angela Susanna Konzen Hansen's grandson) and his wife Helen Breitbach

Vincent Hansen (Angela Susanna Konzen Hansen’s grandson) and his wife Helen Breitbach

Wilfred Konzen (Great grandson of Theodore Konzen) and his wife Goldie

Wilfred Konzen (Great grandson of Theodore Konzen) and his wife Goldie

Then the three of us journeyed back down the bluff and up the next to Vernon’s house.  We had lunch together and discussed family history and connections.  Vernon showed us the many genealogy books he’s written on different branches of his family.  His dedication to family research was amazing along with his organization.  He had notebooks full of research and binders of obituaries organized.

After our time with Vernon; Michelle, Sandy, and I traveled down some winding roads to five more cemeteries.  We went to Holy Cross in Holy Cross, Holy Trinity in Luxemburg, St. Boniface in New Vienna, Sts. Peter and Paul in Petersburg, and St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville.  A few Konzen extended family members that we found in Holy Cross were: Anthony Konzen (Theodore & Marie DeMuth Konzen’s son) and his wife Josephine Blankenheim; Anthony Clemens (Son of Kathryn Konzen and grandson of Theodore & Marie DeMuth Konzen) and his wife Laverne Tobin; Elizabeth Clemens Ungs (Daughter of Kathryn Konzen) and her husband Henry Ungs; Joseph Konzen (Anthony & Josephine Blankenheim Konzen’s son) and his wife Lorraine Schmitt; Mathias Konzen (Son of Theodore & Marie DeMuth Konzen) and his wife Katherine Schmitt; Mathias (John & Margaretha Conrad Jaeger’s son, grandson of Anton & Catherine Konzen Meyer) and his wife Marcella Habel; Michael and Catherine Thielen Schmitt (Parents of Katherine Schmitt who married Mathias Konzen); Victor Konzen (Anthony & Josephine Blankenheim Konzen’s son); and Peter Konzen (1789-abt 1863) and his wife Theresa Wolff (1795-1871), their son Theodore Konzen (1823-1905) and his wife Marie DeMuth (1830-1895), and their children Elisabetha Konzen (1852-1864), Charles Konzen (1859-1864), Maria Konzen (1855-1866), and Theodore Konzen (born abt 1862).

Peter Konzen and his wife Theresa Wolff, my great great great grandparents.

Peter Konzen and his wife Theresa Wolff, my great great great grandparents.

Children of Theodore Konzen & Marie DeMuth: Elisabeth, Charles, Maria, & Theodore Konzen.

Children of Theodore Konzen & Marie DeMuth: Elisabeth, Charles, Maria, & Theodore Konzen.

In Holy Cross, I realized how incredible it really was to be visiting my great great great grandparents’ graves (Peter & Theresa Konzen) and being somewhere my 3x great grandparents actually lived.  Holy Cross is a cute little town in the rolling countryside outside of Dubuque.  Inside the Holy Cross Church, there’s a stained glass window that Theodore and Marie Konzen donated money for to the church – which even increased my feelings about visiting Holy Cross.

Mr & Mrs Theodore Konzen's Window inside the Holy Cross Catholic Church

Mr & Mrs Theodore Konzen’s window inside the Holy Cross Catholic Church

We made the quick trip from Holy Cross to Luxemburg’s Holy Trinity Cemetery, where we found many gravestones of people who were born in Mettendorf, Luxembourg.  Mettendorf is now in Germany (the result of over 100 years of border changes) and it is only four and a half miles away from Kruchten, Germany, where Peter Konzen & Theresa Wolff were married and had their children (Johan Mathias, Margaretha, Theodore, Joannes, Anton, and Maria).  Judging from the cemetery, Luxemburg, Iowa, was aptly named, such a large number of Luxembourg immigrants are buried there! One of the Luxembourgers buried there was Michael Kohnen (maybe some relation?), his gravestone says he was born in Niederfeulen, Luxembourg, which is about 29.7 kilometers from Kruchten, Germany.

Some Konzen relatives that we found in Luxemburg were: Johann & Susanna Greiner Maiers (Grandparents of Mathias Maiers, Theresa Konzen’s husband), John & Susanna Lacafe Ries (Grandparents of Anna Gilbert who married Peter Kout, son of Margaretha Konzen Kout), John H & Mary Maiers, John N & Marie Ries Maiers (She is the daughter of Johann & Susanna Lacafe Ries.  They are the parents of Mathias Maiers, husband of Theresa Konzen), Johann & Katherine Heiderscheit Ries (He is the son of Johann & Susanna Lacafe Ries.  They are the parents of Josephine Cecelia Ries who married Theodore John Konzen) and their daughter Kathryn Ries, Theresa Konzen Duster (Daughter of Theodore Konzen and wife of Anton Duster).

Theresa Konzen Duster's headstone. It says she was born in Kruchten - if only we'd seen that a long time ago!

Theresa Konzen Duster’s headstone. It says she was born in Kruchten – if only we’d seen that a long time ago!

At St. Boniface Cemetery in New Vienna, we found Elmer Ries (Son of Katherine Konzen & Thomas John Ries), Jacob Aloysius Elenz (Son of Matthias Elenz & Paulina Orth), Louis Kronlage (Mabel M Ries’s husband), Clemens Bockenstedt (Grandfather of Rose Henrietta Klostermann who married Anthony Leopold Konzen) & his wife Mary Ann Wiegmann, Paul Pitz (Grandson of John Pitz & Mary Kirkas) & his wife Leonetta K Ries (Daughter of Thomas John Ries & Katherine Theresa Konzen), Thomas John Ries (Grandson of Johann Ries & Susanna Lacafe) & his wife Katherine Theresa Konzen (Theodore Konzen & Marie DeMuth’s granddaughter).

Katherine Konzen & Thomas John Ries's son Elmer.

Katherine Konzen & Thomas John Ries’s son Elmer.

Thomas John Ries & his wife Katherine Theresa Konzen. Katherine was the daughter of Mathias Konzen & Katherine Schmitt and Thomas was the son of Michael Ries & Josephine Conrad.

Thomas John Ries & his wife Katherine Theresa Konzen. Katherine was the daughter of Mathias Konzen & Katherine Schmitt and Thomas was the son of Michael Ries & Josephine Conrad.

There weren’t many direct relatives of the Konzens in Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Petersburg, but we found some of Sandy’s relatives and a large Putz family. I found Pitz spelled as Putz in some records, so maybe these Putzes are Pitz relatives. Everett Klostermann (Son of John Joseph Klostermann & Catherine Nurre) & his wife Bernice and Nathan Maiers (John B Maiers & Mary Pasker’s son) & his wife Laurine were buried in the cemetery.

Nathan & Laurine Maiers

Nathan & Laurine Maiers

At St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Dyersville, we found the graves of Lloyd Konzen (Theodore Konzen & Marie DeMuth’s great grandson) & his wife Mary Smith; Kenneth Kramer (Grandson of Frank Henrich Kramer & Mary Hendricks), his wife Arlene Kennicker, and their son Paul Kramer; Anthony Konzen (Grandson of Theodore Konzen & Marie DeMuth), his wife Rose Klostermann, and their son Lester Konzen.

Lloyd Konzen & his wife Mary Smith were buried in St. Francis Xavier.

Lloyd Konzen’s wife Mary Smith was buried in St. Francis Xavier.

The Mystery of Angela Susanna Konzen

Peter Hansen & Angela Susanna Konzen’s Marriage Application – Angela is listed as Susanna Konzen on her marriage application, but, as far as we know, that’s the only time she didn’t go by Angela.

According to Vernon Auderer’s book on the Konzens, Angela Susanna was born in Rollingen, Germany (this is actually Ralingen, Germany) and her husband Peter Hansen was born in Oberbettingen, Germany.  Since Vernon wrote that all of the Konzens (Theodore, John, Catherine, and Angela Susanna) were probably from Rollingen, I’m guessing that Vernon came to this conclusion because Catherine’s gravestone says that she was born in Rollingen, so he must have assumed that they were all from there.  That was a great assumption at the time, but now we’ve proved that Theodore, John, Mathias, and Margaretha were from Kruchten, Germany.

I ordered a microfilm of Ralingen parish records and in it I found a lot of Kons/Konz/Konzens.  There was a Nicolas Konzen who had daughters named Susanna (born Jan. 27, 1819), Angela (Feb. 1, 1825), and Catherine (Feb. 6, 1830).  Nicolas and his wife Anne Marie Dockendorf also had five sons, Wilhelm (Jan. 29, 1821), Theodore (Nov. 13, 1822), Nicolas (Oct. 1, 1827), Christopher (Aug. 9, 1832), and Henry (Feb. 8, 1835).

Our Angela Susanna was born, according to Vernon, in February of 1822 (various census records state that she was born in 1820, 1824, 1823, and February of 1822).  However, at this time giving accurate dates of birth (or really an information) to census takers wasn’t as important as it is today.  Also, Angela Susanna and her family probably had a thick German accent which probably made it hard to understand any information they gave the census taker.  So it’s hard to tell if Angela Susanna would be Angela or Susanna of Ralingen, but my guess is that she was Angela since she was born on Feb. 1, 1825.

This is based on the fact that there is a census record stating she was born in February and none of the censuses I’ve found her in state that she was born before 1820.  I’d expect to see that if Angela had been born in 1819.  We’re not sure why she would’ve gone by Susanna (especially if that was her sister’s name) on her marriage record, but maybe she started using Susanna as her middle name after her sister Susanna died (if she did die young or before Angela).  Maybe we’ll know someday.

Angela Konzen’s birth

I’ve also written a letter to Ralingen asking for a copy of their family book, hopefully we’ll hear back from them soon.  It also seems very likely that the Ralingen family of Konzens are related to our Kruchten/Lellig Konzens because the names Theodore and Wilhelm are also names of some people in our family during that time period.  And because what are the chances of two (or more) different Konzen families arriving in the same county in Iowa at around the same time?  It really seems that they have to be related somehow…

*Note – after more research we realized that we are 99.9% certain that Angela Susanna Konzen is not the daughter of Nicolas Konzen & Anne Maria Dockendorf of Ralingen.  We don’t know if Angela Susanna is or is not a Konzen (yes, there’s been a little debate about that), but we have been unable – so far – to find a family for her.